Summer on the Canal

Summer is here!

The first day of Gravity Hill Farm's heirloom tomato season! Yay!

 

We've been enjoying our back deck, eating breakfast and dinner out there most days. I love preparing meals during the summer. My favorite thing to eat are the tomatoes, so I am happy that the season is just starting!

The award-winning Homestead Farm Market on Main Street in Lambertville and the local Stockton Farmer's Market are two great places for fresh, beautiful produce.

Every time we sit on our deck, however, we realize that we still have a lot to do to finish the yard. We're slowly getting to everything, but we sometimes feel embarrassed when neighbors and friends of Blue Raccoon pass by and look at the mess. We have plans to put in a stone patio for a dining table surrounded by natural beds of perennials, trees and shrubs. But first we have to replace the fence that runs along the property line between our yard and our neighbors' to the south of us. This fence is falling apart and has many gaps in it. I temporarily patched these holes with anything I could find so our dog Siri won't get out: a length of fencing left in our shed by the previous owner, some 4x4 posts, a slab of blue stone, etc. We've been training Siri to stay close and not run up to the back fence every time people and their dogs pass by. She's smart and has gotten used to laying out with us. I'm happy to say that she will NOT be one of those dogs that bark when you walk by on the tow path. But, we're still mindful that she not get out of the yard on her own to chase any animal she finds interesting. The other day one of the many outdoor cats that roam the streets in our neighborhood jumped up on a fence post and Siri went NUTS! 

Before I tell you this story I want to explain that Siri is a sweet dog that loves people and other animals. All she wants to do is play. Her tail is always wagging. But, when she was a puppy we were invited over to a friend's home who had 2 cats and it didn't go so well. They said, "bring Siri, so she can meet our animals." They live on a big farm and have a dog, as well as the two cats. When we got there she wanted to play. The dog loved her, but these cats would have nothing to do with it and started to hiss and claw at her. This happened another time with another cat. After that, she never much wanted to play with cats, to say the least...

 

Anyone walking on the canal can see the progress (or lack there of!) of our renovation. This is our back fence and shed. The shed, which is attached to our neighbors' cottage, was just recently re-sided. The fence will be replaced and we will be weeding the area and adding some plants...can't wait!

 

 

A view from the back porch. The fence on the right is brand new. That corner in the back is where the black cat was perched. Siri almost scaled the full height of the fence!

All of the beds are overgrown and need to be cleaned up and planted with new perennials, trees and shrubs. We have big plans! But, see the white fence on the left? We have to repair that before we plant anything and put in our patio.

 

Anyway, one day last week we were out on the deck with Siri when this black cat jumped up on a fence post. Well, she got one look at that cat and dashed over, trying to jump up to get it. She jumped so high we thought she was going over the 6' fence! The cat looked at her for a few seconds with a blank look on its face, then jumped off over into our neighbor's yard. Siri looked all over the perimeter of the yard for a way out so she could chase it. She almost jumped off the deck over the dilapidated fence, but we stopped her. This made us realize that, when we have this fence repaired, we need to make sure that it's tall enough so she won't be able to leap over it from the height of the deck. She's very athletic...You should see her jump into a swimming pool. She's leaping in midair for 8 feet before she hits the water!  

Siri finds the gap between the dilapidated white picket fence and the new privacy wall for our deck very tempting to jump through! We've patched holes in this fence with just about anything we can find. Here a length of fencing, some stray slats and a bench serve as a deterrent to our little escape artist.

 

Who made these muddy prints?

I bet it's the same guy who's been getting into our garbage!

 

Well, hello! One of the many neighborhood cats resting in the shade of a parked car. 

 

Nick and I are blessed to be living in such a great town. We often walk home after eating at Bell's or taking Siri for a walk and a quick stop at oWowcow for some ice cream and comment how lucky we are to be able to call Lambertville our home. It's also why we love having our business here. It's a great town to live, work, shop and eat in.