From time to time I resurrect or rewind some of my oldies but goodies. With spring just around the corner I thought it would be fun to revisit a post I first shared on May 17, 2013. This post is one of several filed under the category I call Gardening.
May 17, 2013
I was very remiss at cleaning out my gardens last fall; there’s plenty of debris just waiting for my attention. While working in my studio recently, I detected movement outside my window, in my peripheral vision. Being curious about the origin, I stopped what I was doing to investigate. Carefully I moved toward the window. As I got closer I could see a big fat robin. The robin was tugging at the leftovers of last year’s Black Eyed Susans.
I stood as still as I could; not wanting to scare the robin away. The bird paused for a moment then tugged once again at the decayed stems. His efforts eventually were successful. As he flew away I could see the new-found items nestled within his beak. The male robin returned numerous times to gather more items. Seeing this robin actively gathering stems and leaves reminded me that YES indeed spring is here! Yippee!
Take A Look
I took advantage of a rainy day recently to pause and take a few photos in my gardens. This is the fruit of my labors. Enjoy!
While this post certainly has nothing to do with quilting it does bring you a small taste of the environment that surrounds me. My home, garden and landscape bring me great joy. I hope you found today’s tour to be a pleasant one.
Long, long time ago I told you about the saga of selling my home. Things were moving so slowly and it looked like everything would fall through. Well, surprise, surprise! My house sold, just in the nick of time I might add, and I am now enjoying a new adventure. We downsized to a home half the size of our former one with a yard to match. It took two and one half hours to mow the grass and countless hours maintaining the gardens. I can only imagine how long it will take to mow our small piece of earth. In fact…at this point all we have is clumps of soil. The only thing growing in my yard are a few brave weeds.
Since moving-in 5 weeks ago I have managed to paint all but one room. The pile of unopened boxes has dwindled to only a few. Gone are the table cloths and such that covered our windows. In their place are shiny new shades. The makeshift wood sidewalk has been replaced with concrete. The rocky driveway is now finished as well. Left on the To-Do-List is the leveling of our soil and the planting of grass seed. Once that task is finished we will find ourselves mastering the art of growing grass.
This is the first day I have had to sit, relax and enjoy my new location. As I recline on my back patio, amidst the soil and rocks I’m daydreaming of what is to come. I’m imagining how different my environment will look by the time snow flakes fall. How many trees and what varieties will be planted. Where will the flower beds go?
My sewing room has been very quiet this week. Why, you might ask? Well I’ll tell you. My hubby is on vacation. Now no grandiose destinations were planned. A simple stay-at-home vacation was on our agenda. We’ve been spending most of our time in a state of leisure. A few short trips were planned to run errands and a bit of shopping but not much else exciting has taken place. The highlight of our day today was a visit to Starbucks. Our plan was to pack up our iPads and a word search game along with two markers and head to the local Starbucks to relax, sip an endless cup of coffee and entertain ourselves with the items we had packed.
With anticipation we did as planned. My hubby, as is typically the case, drove us to the coffee shop. When we arrived is was darn near 1:00 p.m. One would think the lunch crowd would have dissipated leaving ample room for our planned adventure. Walking up to the door we could see inside a sea of patrons busily occupying the limited seating space. A decision had to be made. Do we order up our beverage with the hopes that somehow someone would pack up their belongings and vacate a suitable table, or do we turn around and reformulate our plans.
Option # 1 was the choice we made. After placing our order we lingered at the coffee bar awaiting our beverage as well as the ultimate answer to our question. Whom would leave? This was the one time we hoped our order would take too long. You know, just long enough for a table to open up. As the line ahead thinned out and it was at last our turn to receive our steaming hot cups of coffee, we turned one last time with that hopeful stare directed toward anyone that might happen to turn in our direction. Perhaps if they saw the longing in our eyes they would instantly pack up their belongings and graciously direct us to their table. Well all the wishful thinking in the world was not going to make that happen. Not one person received our subliminal sound waves. Nobody moved. There were a few spots where a table meant for four were occupied by just two souls. I suggested we occupy the two empty chairs but my hubby was not at all interested so we left.
The weather outside was not at all conducive to an outdoor excursion. It has been cold and rainy all week. If it had been warm and sunny we could have found one of the local parks and continued our little adventure there. The only option left was to carry our coffee to our car and head home.
When we arrived home my hubby announced he was going to set up our own coffee shop right here in our own home. While I tended to a few items he rearranged our living room furniture. When I returned he had moved the couch and coffee table in front of our gas fireplace. On the table he had placed our steaming hot cups of coffee as well as our iPads and the other items we had taken to Starbucks. I thought it cute that he had taken the effort to arrange a cozy and inviting area to relax and carry-on with our experience.
To those that are new to my blog I must tell you we share our home with two cats and a dog. Anytime we slow down and relax all three of them find it necessary to join us. This little coffee sipping extravaganza was just as inviting to them as it was to us. On the couch to my left rested Mayor Tom, our Maine Coon cat, on the floor in front of us was our tabby cat Jerry and resting comfortably on a love-seat throw pillow was our little princess Sadie. Just as with Starbucks all of the available seats were taken.
Although our relaxing afternoon of coffee had not gone as originally planned, we had a quiet little coffee shop right here in our very own home. What more could we ask for?
I have this catalog of stories I have written but never released. They lie dormant in my folders waiting for just the right opportunity. I let them hide out with the idea that perhaps someday they will seem appropriate.
The story I am about to share was written way back in July of 2012. For some reason it popped into my head today as I was preparing to take Sadie outside. As I put on my hat, then my jacket, then my hood, then my scarf, oh and don’t forget the boots and mittens, it dawned on me that I had a story just crying to be let out. What better way was there to counteract the freezing cold temperatures I was about to step out into than to resurrect a story about blazing hot weather. So if you, like me, live in the segment of the world that is presently experiencing the final weeks of winter perhaps this will bring a little warmth to your bones.
Without our further delay let’s get this ball rolling. This is where, if I were a director, I would say, “Action!”
July 9, 2012
It’s been ten days since the outside temperature hasn’t been below 100 degrees let alone 90. Our geographical area is not usually bombarded with weather as hot as it is now. Added to the blazing hot temperatures is our severe lack of moisture. The drought we are experiencing is unlike anything I have ever seen.
Today is the first day we have had our windows open since the excessive heat streak began. In a way it almost feels like we have been hibernating. To ward off the effects of the excessive heat we put into practice the following measures:
We kept our windows and their coverings closed.
The air conditioner ran darn near non-stop trying to maintain a reasonable inside temperature.
Venturing outside was kept to a minimum.
A rigid watering schedule was followed to help our plantings survive the heat. Utilized in the timing of the schedule was one of our kitchen timers. Seldom was it sitting idle.
To assist the birds with their survival we maintained a level of water in our bird bath. Often seen floating on the surface of the water are hornets. I’m not at all a fan of these little creatures. I am, however, entertained as I observe them partake of the liquid.
Aside from the obvious unbearable effect the heat has on us humans is the evidence we can see in our surroundings:
Seldom do we experience a day without some sort of wind or breeze. During this dry spell the breezes have been but a whisper.
The pops of color found lingering from the surviving flowers are like diamonds in a sea of destruction.
The small hydrangea tree in our front yard struggles to survive. It was hit hard this year by the early warm temperatures in March, the freezing cold spell in late spring and the oppressive heat of June and July coupled with the lack of adequate moisture.
One by one we watch the neighborhood trees fall victim to the lack of rain and their owner’s inability or disregard to maintain proper hydration.
Directly across the street from our home is a grouping of newly planted bushes. My husband and I watch as the bushes slowly die. At times we talk about secretly dragging our hose across the street at night and turning it on to water them.
Amidst the depression we all feel over the inability to control the weather we are thankful for these things:
We have the financial resources to maintain our own plantings. The effects of the weather have been kept to a minimum.
We have central air conditioning and can afford to keep it in operation.
We have not experienced wild-fires.
Now that the heat has subsided it is so wonderful to open the windows and exchange the stale inside air for the fresh aroma of the outdoors. The open windows allow the almost-forgotten melody of birds to float inside. Of course drifting in along with their songs is the distant sounds of road construction. Those sounds I choose to ignore.
With our window shades finally open we can observe the devastation created by the 100 degree days. Typically our home is surrounded by a beautiful sea of green grass. Left behind now are intermittent patches of green amongst a dessert of brown, parched earth. The grass that once was soft beneath our toes now sounds crunchy as we walk across it.
Stranded in the middle of burnt vegetation is a lonely patch of green grass. This isolated oasis is where our grand-children’s wading pool was emptied after the 4th of July celebration. Outlining the edges of our gardens are ribbons of green. In our desperate attempt to keep trees, shrubs and flowers alive we utilized our sprinklers. These small sections of surviving grass resulted from the over-spray created by the watering. Attempts to keep the grass from perishing had long since faded.
This is a summer that I would much rather forget. The thought of enduring additional sweltering days this season sours my disposition. I long for the warm days of summer all winter long. This, however, is not to my liking.
March 21, 2013
Well there you have it. A moment in time much different from the present. Did it bring back memories? Did it send waves of warmth throughout your body? The memories, now jarred from my mind were still very familiar. The summer of 2012 is one I would rather not experience again. The winter of 2012-2013 is one I look forward to ending. For now I will dream about Spring!
I heard today that my two granddaughters were excited about Spring. Their hopes were that since the calendar tells us the season has changed somehow the snow would instantly disappear. What a lovely thought that would be. If only we could will these layers and layers of frosty white precipitation to magically fade away, in but an instant. Sadly we were not given that ability. Even so, the hopes of those two little girls brings a smile to my heart. Their innocent understanding of this life we live adds a layer of lightheartedness I too often forget.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. The approaching special day brings to mind not only the many wonderful cards and gifts I have received but also many fond memories of things, places, people and pets that have made my life special. There’s no better time than now to share my top ten favorites. So here we go . . .