Friday, May 17, 2024

Time Will Tell --------

If you don't follow me on Instagram, and are wondering where I've been hiding as I've been missing from here, forgive me!
I have several reasons for not writing or sharing photos and life over the past month. One is being totally worn out at the end of the day after of weeks of home projects. How people live in their homes when doing complete restorations is unimaginable to me. Just getting through the days without going insane when all seems to be falling apart around me is taking its toll. Why do I still post on Instagram you may ask. Because it's quick and I can collapse in a chair or my bed and write a few words along with a few photos, usually something snapped that day and from the garden mostly as I haven't gone far lately. Let's be honest, sitting at the computer and composing a neat and tidy, well-written (hopefully) blog post, usually with photos, takes more of an effort and a lot more time. . . . . . . and having strangers working, coming and going, and just being there in your house or garden, disrupts everyday normal living.

That said, when I did get out more recently, the week before this one, it was mostly back and forth to the hospital.  My lovely Bob took a middle of the night ambulance ride when he became very ill. Because of his pain, and a temperature of 105 degrees, the EMS had him down the steps on that gurney in no time and he was gone in the flashing of lights but thankfully no sirens. I won't go into details other than to say a blood infection can be a scary, dangerous thing. . . . . . he had so many tests, scopes, scans and such, and 6 days of IV's and antibiotics. Great care from the doctors, nurses, technicians, and all the workers who help make a hospital run, such as the housekeeping lady from Peru taking care of his linens, to the be-bopping musician with the 'dreads' pushing his bed along the hallways to the MRI's and CT scans etc. So many great people that it's impossible to thank everyone. Our hospital is in the top 20 list of hospitals across the USA. We feel blessed.

Bob is home and still on antibiotics for a few more days. He's feeling better but requires a follow up exploratory procedure very soon. The surgeon was very pleasant when we met this week, explained everything in detail, and said this will all be done ASAP.  In all honesty we are both tired and praying things will go well. So many of you know Bob personally which is why I'm sharing this here. I feel bad that I haven't been leaving comments on your blogs and hope to catch up soon.

Now our new back deck is being built. The guys are two brothers and they are doing perfect work. Reliable, timely, polite, pleasant, and truly interested in pleasing us and doing what we want. . . . . . . . . . .and they call their mom in Honduras every morning!!!  I'll share photos of the deck soon.

The garden has again offered respite lately. I'm behind with a lot of things - such as sewing seeds. This spring seems to be so lush all around when one steps outside. The jasmine vines are massive and perfume the air, especially in the evenings when we've made use of the gazebo prior to the deck work. Pink and purple roses, peonies and clematis are lovely, and now the blue hydrangeas are opening.  But for me it's also the greens, so many shades painted on the shrubs and trees, fresh and clean prior to the oppresive heat and humidity of summer when all will sizzle and call out for water.

A few garden scenes and flowers captured recently - enjoy!

......and a special surprise the day I brought Bob home from the hospital,
Mrs. Cardinal had built a nest in the candolier on the front porch!
This is a first - usually we have finches in the hanging Boston ferns but
they've stayed away this spring.

This weekend I plan to get a ladder and look in the nest - I know she
must have eggs as she stays constantly, only leaving for a minute or
 two when we go out the front door.

Happy weekend. . . . . . a wet one forecast here but I hope to catch
 up with gardening, need to plant seeds and do some serious weeding.
We English grew up gardening in the rain so it will be like the 
good old days!


Monday, April 22, 2024

Earth Day 2024 ~


I've never had luck growing beautiful hellebores in my garden, or delphiniums, lupins, euphorbia, Japanese anemones . . . . .  and many more plants I recall were easy peasy to grow in my childhood home in Devon, England. My mother, among so many other creative jobs and hobbies, also had a green thumb and worked wonders in our small gardens in front and back of the bunglalow. People passing by on foot, which most did back in those days before everyone sailed by on wheels, stopped and admired our front garden. Around the small lawn were beds of mixed shrubs, some evergreen others flowering, including fuchsia, always a favorite. A fragrant lilac was tucked in a corner, pyracantha espaliered up a wall below a bedroom window. Perennials such as peonies and dahilas were so abundant they would take your breathe away. A boxwood hedge, trimmed to around four feet surrounded everything. Our soil was rich, our rain came often, and we never needed a garden hose for watering. 

I don't recall people celebrating "Earth Day" as being a named day back then. Every day was a day when we acknowledged our beautiful planet. Continents, countries, oceans, mountains, deserts, landscapes. . . . . . . . everything, everywhere, it was earth and we were grateful for everything it provided. Having seen a lot of this planet during visits to all seven continents, I have wonderful memories of special places. . . . . and hopefully will see even more!

Okavango Delta - Botswana 2010

Maasai Mara - Kenya 2016

Chilean Fjords - 2018

Enjoy the day celebrating our planet EARTH - let us all do our best to save it and keep it beautiful.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Complicated - but there's always the garden!

Since my last post life has been complicated. 
I want my days to be like my bits and bobs around the house, neat, clean, organized, tidy and in top working order. Instead, these days, and past several weeks, I've been inundated with home projects, some planned, others nasty surprises, ranging from emergencies, to 'fix its' that are not actually broken but "let's do it now and be safe rather than sorry later".

I'm not going into the sordid details, just know nothing lasts forever in a home be it plumbing, electrics, roofs, outdoor structures, or even perfect gardens. Things age, wear out, break, disintegrate, fall off, blow away . . . . . . and even grow too big to manage, like 100 ft oak trees and 10 ft azalea shrubs. Who knew that taking down a tree that size might some day cost $5,000! Our biggest tree still stands and we say a little prayer when the wind picks up, wondering why the builder didn't clear the land before sitting our little house on it forty years ago. The azaleas we embrace and love their huge size with thousands of blooms right now.

As homeowners we sometimes turn a blind eye to maintenance issues, especially those of us who know very little about building and the length of time products last before dripping, cracking, corroding etc.  At times like this I wonder why I didn't decide to spend my life married to a plumber/electrician/sheetrock/painter/handyman. Even better a general contractor who could help out with everything in the home requiring attention and, with a snap of his fingers, have a reliable service person there with the right tools, a working pickup truck (that doesn't drip oil on the driveway!), who uses tarps and drop cloths and eventually fixes everything perfectly . . . . . . . and doesn't talk down to me or make me cry!
Are you getting the picture here?  

Yes, it's my garden and I love it. I sometimes complain wishing we could move to a new place with no repairs, less maintenance, no garden to weed, on one level with no stairs, no lawn to mow, no large trees to fall on us when the winds pick up . . . . . . . . . . .  and then I recall the months stretching into years of the pandemic and how having a garden perhaps saved my life.  All those days spent in the garden, on the front porch, back deck, away from the mosquitoes in the screened gazebo, were days I remember with love. The garden was my safe haven while the world was in turmoil.
Gardens here are at their peak of loveliness right now - the southeast brings a springtime where everything blooms profusely. It was my reason for moving here all those years ago when Bob's company flew me down to Raleigh in April 1977 for a weekend to look around - he was already working here - to see if I liked it and would want to make my home here.  I fell in love and had no doubts about living here . . . . . . . knowing immediately I would so enjoy having a real garden like I had in England as a child.