Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 23rd...

Well, here it is the twenty-third of December.

I wish I were ready for the big day, but like Santa,
there is always much to do until the final reindeer is hooked up,
 and the sleigh takes off.

My list is made, my routes planned out
(I've been told I get a little stressed this time of year).
Somehow everything will get accomplished.  In the end,
if something falls through the cracks, it doesn't really matter...
It is Christmas!


my little elf is on his way!

Merry Christmas everyone!
May your Christmas be all you wish it to be.

Enjoy the music of the season.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Joyful, Joyful

  1. Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
    God of glory, Lord of love;
    Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
    Op’ning to the sun above.

    Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
    Drive the dark of doubt away;
    Giver of immortal gladness,
    Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.

  1. Field and forest, vale and mountain,
    Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
    Singing bird and flowing fountain
    Call us to rejoice in Thee.

  2. Thou art giving and forgiving,
    Ever blessing, ever blest,
    Wellspring of the joy of living,
    Ocean depth of happy rest!

    Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
    All who live in love are Thine;
    Teach us how to love each other,
    Lift us to the joy divine.

    Mortals, join the happy chorus,
    Which the morning stars began;
    Father love is reigning o’er us,
    Brother love binds man to man.

  3. Ever singing, march we onward,
    Victors in the midst of strife,
    Joyful music leads us Sunward
    In the triumph song of life.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Feast of St. Nicholas

Jolly old Saint Nicholas,
Lean your ear this way!
Don't you tell a single soul
What I'm going to say.
Christmas Eve is coming soon;
Now you dear old man
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
Tell me if you can.

When the clock is striking twelve,
When I'm fast asleep
Down the chimney, broad and black,
With your pack you'll creep.

via vintageimages.org
Nicholas of Myra.
Today as we celebrate The Feast of St. Nicholas, the saint of children and sailors I have thoughts and memories of children swirling through my head and heart.

I love children.
There is nothing  makes my heart happier than to see a smiling child.   Nothing can take me to my knees quicker than hearing of a child being mistreated or harmed.  St. Nicholas loved children.  He cared for all children; most of all, he aided those in need.

We need St. Nicholas today, perhaps more than any other time I can remember.
 I turn on the news, open the newspaper and there are stories of children being locked away, left to perish, or harmed in unspeakable ways.  It is often said "children are our future"  ...no, children are our now.

Though St. Nicholas Day was not a tradition in my home, my mother taught us the need to care for those in need.  Long before there were Angel Trees or red kettles my mother would find a family, through the school, to help out with Christmas.

I grew up in a small Louisiana town.  There was one department store, a dress shop, a gift shop,  two Five & Dimes, and a Sears catalogue store.  Each year, the week after Thanksgiving, Mother would take me to Sears to see Santa Claus.  I've told you, I was told there was no Santa Claus when I was very young, and though heartbroken, I've never stopped believing.  I will now admit, that man dressed in red, scared the beegeezies out of me.   I would leave the house feeling so brave, but the closer we got the more apprehensive I became.  By the time we walked through the door I was clenching my mother's arm and begging her to not make me talk to him.

With my heart beating outside my body, we took our place behind the line of children and moms stringing in and around the washers, refrigerators and lawnmowers.   As I squirmed and whined,  Mother would whisper encouragements; and, as we drew closer she would point out a child or two in the line,  explaining how a visit to Santa would probably be their only Christmas gift.  Some of you may think she was trying to guilt me into accepting a visit to Santa with gratitude.  No, she was setting up act two of our outing.

 Though I always had a long list to recite, it seems once I arrived before HIM I only managed to whimper out....a new baby doll please.   Talking to Santa was never as bad as I made up in my head, but I joyfully welcomed my mother's hand and our quick exit.

After the treat of going to a restaurant for lunch, it was time to fill Mother's wish list.  Her list was filled with children's names, needs and sizes.  We walked from store to store picking out a complete outfit for each child.  Mother selected the clothes, and left the toy buying to me.  Well...she would tell me how much I could spend and I, along with my friend and owner of my favorite dime store, selected one toy for each child.  I always suspected Mr. McGregor pitched in on the toys.

Once home and the gifts were wrapped our outing was never mentioned.
 I was told, after each trip, if I saw someone at school wearing anything we had purchased, I was to keep quiet.  Most years I never knew where, when, how or to whom Mother delivered her bounty.

Today, children visit Santa Claus at malls.  Department stores no longer hire the man in red.  He is an employee of a photography company.  The visit is no longer about the magic or the mystery.    It is about someone making money.  I've heard a visit with Santa this year is about $25.  He is now grouchy and impatient instead of jolly.  Crying children and those with special needs are being sent away.  And, once again those who are the least will be left out....I can only imagine the tear in the heart of St. Nicholas.   Maybe, today as we contemplate and celebrate the life of Nicholas of Myra we need to don our cloaks and take up the staffs and care for those who are in need.  We needn't look far.

Tomorrow we enter the second week of Advent, the week of preparation.  I can't think of a better way to prepare our hearts for Christmas than to give to others.

Hanging in a row
Mine will be the shortest one,
You'll be sure to know

Bobby wants a pair of skates,

Suzy wants a sled
Nellie wants a picture book,
Yellow, blue, and red
Now I think I'll leave to you
What to give the rest
Choose for me, dear Santa Claus;
You will know the best.

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Welcome December

I do hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.   
We spent the holiday with our daughter, son-in-law and precious grandson.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (how many times have I mentioned this?), and my favorite meal to prepare.  This year, however, I was told the only thing I was to do was to spend time with Wyatt.  It was a tough job, but I was more than happy to take on the responsibility.

Dinner was delicious and having time with family... a blessing.

Now it is time to face the busyness of December.   This year, I had plans to slow down and truly enjoy the season; however, it seems I forgot to share this information.  There was a time when I thought it wasn't the holiday season unless I was overextended and stressed.  I felt the necessity to be on everyone's committee rooster and invitation list.  I couldn't and didn't really want to say no.   January was my month to recuperate.

I am now in a place where I want to be more of a Mary and less of a Martha.  I want to breathe and enjoy the preparation instead of waking up with a feeling of dread and defeat before my feet hit the floor.  I want to spend my time with good friends and family.

One thing I've discovered... it is easier to be added to volunteer lists than removed.   I will fulfill as many expectations as possible, and head toward a less stressful season.

Today as we enter Advent, I hope your days are filled with the beauty of the season and what makes you happy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Here it is, days before Thanksgiving.

I hope you have wonderful plans with family, friends and those your love.   I will be spending time with my family, and enjoying my new grandson.

 Tell those you love how dear they are, eat all you want, and enjoy all your blessings.
Be safe and

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Story of a Gown

Lately, I feel like a broken record.   Each time I sit down to write I go on and on about how time is getting the best of me.  I am going to try to not go there today...okay, you know I'm thinking it though...right?

I have been busy with a very important project.   My daughter ask me months ago to make Wyatt's christening gown.  I was excited to accept.  I found a gown for inspiration, a smocking plate, the fabric and a suitable pattern before the I was gripped with panic.   How long had it been since I smocked or sewn those little french seams on a baby's gown?
At least twenty years.

I shared with the owner of the fabric store I had taught children's sewing for a short time.  She told me not to worry, it was like riding a bicycle.   I left with my little bag in hand feeling like I could begin hyperventilating at any moment.

Once home I found all my notes from the classes I taught,  unpacked my package and began.  The smocking went well, unless you take into account I needed eleven pleating rows and I only had nine.  I crossed my fingers, looked up and told myself I could make it work.

There was prep work to finish before I had to worry about
actually putting the puzzle together.

There was cording to make.

Pleats to set.

The scariest part was going to be putting scissors to the fabric...
cutting out the pieces needed to construct the gown.

This is the point of no return.
A pattern piece drawn incorrectly, the slightest misplacement or a wrong snip would be disaster.
As I pinned the pattern to the fabric I began thinking about the importance I was placing on this gown.   Of course, I wanted to make something my daughter would love.  I had visions of this gown being passed down...becoming a heirloom...names of future generations embroidered in the hem.  I lost sight of the reason the gown was being made; and, it had nothing to do with my creating a perfectly made garment.

I love the liturgy of baptism.   It is when family and friends stand up and vow to be present in the spiritual life of the child.   It is a time when we are reminded of our own vows, and that we do not have to tackle those obligations alone.   With each challenge the congregation answers,  "I will with God's help".

The gown was important to me, and I was honored to make it.
It was going to be only the outer vestment for Wyatt's christening though.
   Once I remembered it wasn't about the gown or me,
the scissors snipped smoothly across the fabric.
(Okay, I did give up a little cheer when I saw the pleats perfectly
placed in the yoke.)

There were mistakes...things I was compelled to redo though no one
would know but me.  I often slipped back into the all about me mode,
but each time I solved a problem I once again realized I was only the hands.

The gown was finished in plenty of time.
The Christening took place this past Sunday.

And yes, I was reminded once again
I can with God's help.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Thoughts

I am a sucker for getting pulled into reading the comments after some random article on the internet.   I pull out the computer fully intent on signing onto Living Life and writing something brilliant, witty and/or entertaining (joking), but soon find myself scrolling through the current headlines.  An hour or so later my muse, my idea, has abandon me, as I have spent my time reading a wad of silly and ridiculous comments.  I know, I know this speaks volumes to my ability to waste time.  What can I say?

I am most often drawn in when the comments turn into rants against the belief in God.   I never really can figure out who they are talking to, as seldom do I find a comment defending God, Christianity or any faith.  In other words, no one is arguing against them.  Usually it is a string of those wanting to lash out at something, and the belief in God is always the perfect bull's eye for someone who is angry.  Though I would never want to respond to any of the comments, I find them interesting and worth studying.  Not because I agree, but because I am a believer in God.

I suppose you could say I am somewhat like Peter.   It was Peter, Jesus's most loyal, who denied knowing him when he was arrested.   I have never denied having a spiritual life, but I have never defended it either.  When I find myself in a conversation with someone who challenges my beliefs, I sit, listen, but seldom respond.  Though they run deep, I don't often write of my spiritual beliefs either.  I hope my actions are enough, but perhaps they are not.

I was four when an older child told me there was no Santa.    It was a few months before Christmas.  I was over at a neighbors house playing.   We began talking about the toys we were going to ask from Santa.   I vividly remember my friend standing over me telling me Santa wasn't coming because there was no Santa Claus.  I was heartbroken.  I burst out of her house and ran home sobbing.  Mother, having been alerted, was waiting for me at the door.  She held me until I calmed down a bit.   She rocked me in her lap as I told her my story.  She turned my face to hers and place her hand on my chest.  She then told me, "Santa Claus is right here.  He is all that is good about Christmas.  As long as you believe he will always be right there".  

I thought of this time in my life today during my morning prayers.  You know how you think of one thing and that leads you off onto another thought, and so on.  That is what I was doing this morning.  While giving thanks I began thinking how sad it is that so many live not knowing God (by any name).  Wondering why some find it so hard to believe in God.  I turned the question on myself and ask why I believe in something I cannot see.  Why do I believe in something that allows bad things to happen?  A lot of people spend a lot of time giving a lot of concrete reasons for not believing in "the myth" called God.   I then remembered that Saturday morning long ago, and the words my mother spoke.  Those things we cannot see, the things we are told are illogical, stupid, unproven, we hold in our hearts.  I could hear her saying, "God is in your heart.  He is right here.  There is no need to question his existence.  If you believe, he is with you."

Everyone has to have their own beliefs, for me, it is having faith in something greater than myself.  I open the newspaper and wonder, what is wrong with having faith?  It is much nicer having someone walking this path with me, than walking it alone.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

From the Mouths of Children

My summer vacation has come to an end.  I am back at school, and trying to return to some semblance of a routine.  My mind and my heart are there; my energy level is trying catch up.

My break lasted longer than I anticipated.  I am afraid I underestimated my time away.   The last few days I've thought a lot of how to return to my blog.  What might my subject be.  It feels as if I am back at the beginning.

My book group is back together for another year of reading.  I've been spending time in the kitchen baking, canning and experimenting.  There have been home projects and family events.  I've created  these posts over and over in my head,  but as so often happens my returning post comes from an unexpected voice.

Yesterday I shared a favorite book with my children during story time.  

The book,  How Full is Your Bucket, (I may have written about this book before) is a book I use to begin a discussion about being kind to one another, sharing and being a good friend.   The perfect story for the beginning of the school year as we are meeting up with old friends and making new ones.  The basic premise is by treating others with kindness, both the giver and the recipient are filled with joy and good feelings 
(filling one's bucket).

Just as I finished the story and was preparing to ask for suggestions on how to fill our own "bucket" and that of our friends,  one of my boys raised his hand,

"Miss Bonnie, when you do nice, nice comes back to you".

We continued to chat about sharing and being nice to one another.  The children had fabulous ideas, but it was the "when you do nice, nice comes back to you" that continued to echo in my head throughout my day.

I mentioned earlier I am still working on building my day to day stamina...keeping up with preschoolers, wow!   We are all adjusting to a new school year, and becoming reacquainted.   At the end of the day all I really want to do is come home, take a shower, and settle in with a good book.

Yesterday afternoon was no different.  The afternoon was hot and the playground dusty.  By 2:30 I had wilted, but there were errands.   I had also volunteered to help serve dinner to families who are currently in transition and in need of a helping hand.  Leaving school and feeling a bit bedraggled all I really wanted was to have my day finished.  As much as I didn't want to do anything, I knew I needed to follow through with my commitments.  

By the time I reached the hosting Church, I had revived a bit, and was looking forward to being a small part of this worthwhile program.  These are families who are working to pull themselves out of an unfortunate situation.

As I entered the dining hall I was immediately greeted by a young girl of about eleven.

"Hi, my name is ....."

I greeted this happy girl, held out my hand and introduced myself.  
"It is nice to meet you."

She reached over, grasp my hand, but her big smile quickly faded  
as she released my hand and darted around the table toward me,

"I don't do handshakes...
I do hugs!

and threw her arms around my waist.

I hugged her back, and said,
"I'm always good with hugs".

You know my little guy was right this morning...

"When you do nice, nice comes back."

Yes, it does!
And, I slept well last night!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Keeping My Brain Healthy

Neural Plasicity:  the brain's ability to change in response to normal developmental
processes, experience, and injury--

Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture on Neural Plasticity.  Though the seminar was directed to healthcare professionals treating clients with traumatic brain injuries, this presentation included material helpful to anyone who hopes to keep their brain healthy and active.  There was also much information I will take back to the classroom.   There was one point though, the last point the speaker addressed that was priceless...

The best activity to keep the brain healthy and active....
this is too good to be true....
Do you know?
Have you guessed?

Forget the crossword puzzles (and I do love my morning crossword puzzle).
Forget the high priced programs and apps offering activities and games
to keep the aging brain active.
The best brain exercise is...

Reading, reading
lots of reading!!!

I no longer need to make excuses for afternoons spent with a book or
frequent stops at a neighborhood bookstore.

Now, excuse me please.
I have a book waiting to join me
in a little exercise session.


I may be away for a couple of weeks.
It is time to begin preparing to return to the classroom;
and, I have the opportunity to spend a few weeks with my daughter and new grandson.

Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer dear friends.
I will be checking in on you.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Raining

I woke up this morning to raindrops hitting my bedroom window, 
 and what a glorious sound.  It looks like the rain maybe on its way out, but for now
it is the perfect morning to relax in my sunroom, with a cup of coffee and
 talk books with you.

Do you remember the stack of books I told you I have toted around this summer?

I've finished all but one...whew...
Along the way I've read a few other's as well.  

Reconnecting with my friend J has been wonderful.   We enjoy getting together for lunch or an evening glass of wine and catch-up...we've both had very busy summers.  We chat about the children and our new grand babies.  Can you believe it?  Our babies were born only a few weeks apart.  

It doesn't matter what we are doing our conversation always evolves to the question,
"What have you read lately?"

Last time we were together she was looking for something to grab her attention, but not too time consuming... something light.   She has a lot going on these days; I had the perfect book.

The Borrower is a book you read simply for the story.

Lucy Hull, a children's librarian (if you are a librarian, her credentials are going to bother you, be forewarned ) befriends, Ian, a young boy whose love of reading is censored by an overbearing mother.  When the mother enrolls Ian in an antigay class with a "rehabilitated" charismatic minister,  he runs away taking Lucy with him.   Wanting to believe she is taking Ian to his grandmother, and convinced she is saving him, Lucy finds herself in the roll of a kidnapper.   With Ian giving directions the two begin an across state line journey that will take them from Missouri to Vermont.  Who has kidnapped who?

Along the way the unlikely companions encounter the Russian mafia, a stalker and a crazy boyfriend, (there may be a stowaway ferret in there as well), all the while Lucy is trying to work out how she can return Ian safely home without being arrested.

I was drawn to this story, as I am passionate about children reading.  I feel strongly children should read all kind of books... the good, the bad, and the scary (age appropriate, of course).  In bookstores libraries, and on the internet I hear parents talking about not allowing children to read this or that book.  Sometimes the book challenges a belief or the parent didn't like the book as a child, it scared them.  I believe we underestimate our children when we place these limitations on them.  We live in a world full of evil happenings; how better to help children face scary things, solve moral dilemmas and not give up, than through literature.  Allow them to read, then be available to discuss the content.   I cannot imagine not having the opportunity to read Snow White, The Wizard of Oz, A Wrinkle in Time or The Giver.   One of my favorite quotations is from Coraline,

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

Okay, now I'll step down from my soapbox, and get back to the book.

I am not recommending this book for the writing.  There are more
than a few issues which are questionable, but it is fiction.    It was an entertaining, one day,

I had to find out if they survived the road trip or
would it end the way of "Thelma and Louise".

Now I have about an hour for...

You know I always love hearing about what you are reading!

The above quotation is a paraphrasing from the writings of  C. K. Chesterton.
(author of Father Brown mysteries)

Enjoy the day!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Summer Favorites

We are just a little over half way into summer, and I am longing for the cool crisp days of Autumn.  Summer is not my favorite season, though she delivers so much of what makes me happy.   Schools will be opening their doors soon, and though there are actually around seven weeks of summer remaining, I feel the the long languid days quickly slipping away.   It may be a little premature, but I thought it would be a good time to share my "summer favorites" list.  

summer's fresh bounty

the summer garden 

 summer escapes 

summer refreshment
(I'm addicted)

summer visitors.

Summer is a slow moving season.  The temperatures are high
 and the days are long.   I slow down and take more time for

morning contemplation,

 getting back on track and reconnecting,

and creative discipline.

By far the best part of Summer 2014 is this little fellow, who
entered our lives two months ago.  
I suspect summer will never be the same...

summer blessings

Summer is fading fast.
What are your summer favorites?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Supper

I have always enjoyed cooking.  I generally love all the gathering and preparations.   During the heat of the summer,  I am looking for meals which are 
quick, light and easy to prepare, with as little clean-up as possible.  

I don't know about you, but I am usually the one cleaning up the kitchen.  
My husband is an amazing cook, but when he creates he uses every pot, pan, 
dish and utensil available.  And, yep, I am generally the clean-up girl.
Seriously though, for one of his meals I'll do the dishes.

Sticking to my criteria, last night's dinner was perfect.  I decided to combine two of my favorite foods, shrimp and pizza.  Substituting a fresh pesto for the tomato sauce and using only a sprinkling of parmesan I put a bit of a light twist on pizza.

Shrimp Pesto Pizza

1 pound large  'wild caught' shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus some for the pan
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and black pepper to your liking
1/3 cup pesto, or enough to generously cover the top of the pizza crust
(pesto is so easy to make,
but there are some really good quality ones in the market as well)
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated.
One pre-baked pizza crust

(I enjoy making my own pizza dough, but there are also  good doughs in the freezer section of some markets.  For this pizza, I used a pre-cooked pizza crust from a specialty market.  Check the ingredients.  I look for one using organic ingredients with no preservatives.  I want it to be as close to my own as  possible.)

Pre-heat oven to 425℉.
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the foil.  
Rinse, peel and devein the shrimp.  Place shrimp in a bowl drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  I like to use my hands.  Sprinkle on the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, again toss making sure each shrimp is well seasoned (add or subtract seasoning to you taste).  Let sit while the oven is heating, to allow all the goodness of the seasoning to be absorbed.

Place shrimp on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 3 to 4 minutes.
Turn and roast for another 2 minutes.  The shrimp
should be pink, but ever so slightly undercooked.  They will finish roasting
once placed on the pizza and returned to the oven.

(For perfectly roasted shrimp I roast them 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
I really don't like rubbery and dry shrimp.)

While the shrimp are roasting, spread pesto onto the baked pizza crust. 
Place pesto covered crust into the oven and bake about 8 minutes.  
The pesto will begin to bubble.

Take the crust from the oven and arrange the roasted shrimp
on top.

Lightly sprinkle with parmesan.  Of course you can use any cheese (a good brie
would be fabulous), and as much as you would like. 

(If you use a heartier cheese reduce the roasting time on the shrimp.
You will need longer to melt the cheese, overcooking the shrimp.
 I used parmesan as not to over power the shrimp. ) 

Bake for one minute or until the cheese is melted.

Add a simple undressed tomato and cucumber salad,
and enjoy a simple and yummy summer supper.

I think this will be perfect for a supper after a busy day at school.
I'm adding this one to the line-up.

Bon Appetit'

Do you prefer lighter dishes in the summer?  
Do you have a favorite light summer supper?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Going Back

 Do you ever go back and read your posts from the beginning of you blog?

This morning I had a subject in mind and thought I should probably go back and make sure I wouldn't totally be repeating myself.  It really is an entertaining exercise to browse through your own work,  to revisit what was important a few years ago.

Scrolling through several post I found pictures (many my own) mysteriously missing, big squares with a question mark taking their place.  In others,  pictures have been rotated.  I visited my photo bank to try to figure out what happened.  You know me, I wanted (needed) to correct it.   I still haven't a clue.  

A few (and I repeat a few) posts I read,  and thought "wow, did I really write that?"  Others
caused my cheeks to turn red.   One thing I realized, I believe I mentioned this a few weeks ago, I have ventured from my original course when I wrote from my heart. 

Anyway, I have been working on a post (not the one sending me to the archives) when what should appear before my searching eyes, but the perfect post from two years ago. 

The post was on perfection or the lack of.   I often describe myself as a perfectionist.  There is a misconceived notion the perfectionist believe they are perfect or can achieve perfection.  This is absolutely not true. Though we know perfection is unattainable we do have high expectations for ourselves, and when we fail to meet them we are heavy handed with self-criticism.  Often the inability to achieve perfection, making a mistake, or the fear of doing anything less can cause the perfectionist to shut down.  

 "Perfectionist" is not a description worn as a badge of honor.  It can be, in fact, painfully debilitating.  Is it something learned?  Or, are we just hardwired with the trait?  Who knows, probably a bit of both.  We smile and laugh at mistakes, but in silence they eat us alive.  I want to say we don't mind a mistake being brought to our attention; in some way this is true.  Don't think for a minute though we have the natural ability to just walk away and let it go.  We expect far more from ourselves than from others.  Please don't tell a perfectionist not to take criticism personally...it is personal...in our mind we have failed miserably.  

I wanted to revisit this subject now as the first day of school is quickly approaching for so many.  There are a lot of little (and big) perfectionists headed into the classroom.  Lets be gentle in correcting and teach our children, young and old,  doing one's best is the only perfection needed and... it is enough.   In the classroom, I try to point out my own mistakes.  This has actually helped me as well.  It is important that those who correct be willing to point out their own mistakes.  

"Physician, heal thyself"
I'm working on it!!!
I'm hitting publish and walking away...
                                                                                                                            I'm walking away.

I hope you are having a grand week!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What's Blooming Today?

Gardening is a full-time job...hobby....pastime...whatever label you choose, it is a commitment.   Spring brings the most work, and the most enjoyment.   It is when we most enjoy last year's toils and prepare for the future.  Spring wakes exploding with color before summer transports us into the quiet lull of textural greens.

As spring approached this year I knew I would not be available to spend the time in the gardens.  They were going to need to survive, mostly on their own.  I promised, no, I vowed, I would not spend the weekends roaming the nurseries.   And, I came to terms with leaving the containers empty,  not adding new perennials to empty spots; I wouldn't be around to pamper, to enjoy.  Passing a nursery and not stopping was white knuckled, steering wheel gripping torture.

Okay, I agreed to possibly leaving the majority of the containers empty (It is all about where you place the accents).  Leaving the front unmaintained, would be screaming "no one is home".  Though we had an unseasonably cool spring, the pansies were desperate to be replaced,  and, the pots by the front entrance were begging for summer blooms.  Perhaps one quick trip to the nursery would be necessary.  I could stop in, grab a couple of geraniums, a couple of flats of impatiens,  and maybe something that would spill over the edges, just around the geraniums.  I  wouldn't even need a wagon.   Once among the growing things my will faltered, and, "gee, maybe I should throw another flat or two of impatiens onto that cart over there.  What do you think?"   
I know what you are thinking...
just another of my addictions... hopeless.

It dawned on me, while running among rows and rows and rows of annuals, and I mentioned this to someone trailing behind me as I flitted from one stand to another, how unhappy I would be when I returned home to find empty containers outside the back door.  I will not admit to when this thought wormed its way into my brain, but I might have heard it while slipping that extra flat (or two) of blooms on my cart.

I am usually discriminating when selecting my color combinations.  I like a lot of color in the front for curb appeal.  In the back gardens I use white annuals; it is refreshing against summer's green, and brightens shaded corners.  However, when you are wanting to slip a few extra plants in, it is best to go with one theme.  The extras go pretty much unnoticed.  
This year I went tropical.

Thanks to my dear friend and gardening mentor, who was kind enough to water while I was away,  and the unusual amount of rain this summer,

I returned to find everything happy and thriving.

I've not been home much, (having fun with my new baby boy and his mom and dad) but the gardens are surviving with only minimal attention.  I could tell you all the things going wrong (weeds, weeds, weeds); another story for another day.  

Here are a few things making me smile today. 

Sometimes I can't resist bringing a few friends inside.

It is a beautiful day, I have a book to read
 and I'm headed back out to the garden. 

Will you join me?  
I made tea...

(I apologize I pulled this and republished.
I'm learning to let go of somethings; there
was an error I couldn't leave.)