Monday, August 29, 2011

Belated Birthday Laughs and Love

The other day I received a belated birthday gift from a dear friend who was horrified that she missed my birthday. To me, birthdays are pretty much the same as another day and I'm never offended if someone forgets to acknowledge the day; she, on the other hand, took it pretty hard! :) She's one of those people who is apt to do more for you on any given day than most of us do on special occasions... so even if you were one to have your feathers ruffled if your birthday is overlooked... you'd probably still give her a break. Anyway, she gave me something for the garden, as she is apt to do because she knows that it is an area which brings me great joy.

When I got in the car with my husband he spied the gift bag and said, "What 'cha got?" I explained that it was a late birthday gift from a friend. He asked, "What is it?" I said, "It's really pretty wind chimes; but they're kind of loud." He said, "What is it?" I said, "Pretty wind chimes, but they're kind loud."  He said, "What is it?" I said, "Pretty wind chimes, but YOU'LL never hear 'em." :)  I can't help but laugh at how my responses continue to reduce in size with each repeat. If we kept going I guess I'd just finally just drag them out of the bag and say "Chimes! See?" He may be getting older (as am I), but he is still the man of my dreams and brings such delight into my life! I love that man with all of my heart!!! I work with his hearing loss and he puts up with all the stuff I say that wasn't worth saying even once... let alone 4-5 times.  Seriously, if you ever wondered if what you were saying was worthy of saying... just repeat it 3 or 4 times, a little louder each time, and see how important you think it is then! LOL!

As for the chimes, they are very pretty and have a lovely tone. Wind chimes are a great gift... each time you hear them it reminds you of the person who thought enough of you to buy them for you. It's kind of like a little subliminal hug from a special person.  Keep them in mind next time you're considering a gift for a person who loves to putter around in the garden. That is, unless they're like my husband... and then I might suggest something along the lines of a foghorn!

Remember you can click on any photo for a larger view.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sweet Autumn Clematis

We had a wonderful storm come through our area around six o'clock this morning gracing us with 1-1/4 inches of rain and enticing the Sweet Autumn Clematis to burst into bloom.  She's still far from reaching her full potential... but still worthy of sharing.

(Click on the photo to see an enlarged view)

Climbing along the fence.
A closer view
I wish you could enjoy the scent... wonderful!

Notice the pink tip on the unopened bud.

Millions of buds waiting to open!

I don't have many words to share today... but I still wanted to share a few photos.  I hope that you have a week filled with all the things that bring you peace and happiness.  I hope to see you in the garden soon!
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Be On The Look-Out (BOLO) Alert!

That’s right!  We have been victimized!  I was blinded by his good looks and cocky air of confidence.  He would be best described as the strong, silent type.  He was last seen on August 18th, headed west, towards the lake. 
  • Approximately 5 ft. tall
  • medium build
  • sandy blonde hair
  • brown eyes
  • thin lips
  • and breath, which comes in quick bursts and smells suspiciously of Impatiens! 

Be on your toes folks!  He could be headed for his next victim… or perhaps just a nap, while his meal of eleven of my twelve impatient plants settles a bit!  The least he could have done was finish off that last one… just to keep things tidy.  LOL!
What can I say?  The deer have thus far offered more beauty and entertainment than they have frustration… so I can’t really complain much.  Besides, those were some of the most pitiful impatiens I have ever grown!  I hope he enjoyed them!
Oh well... looks like I'll have to start planning a deer resistant flower garden for the front flower bed next year!  Y'all have a good weekend... and keep your eyes open!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Familiar Hints of Autumn

Although we're finally getting a break from the dangerously high temperatures we've experienced of late, I find that there is little news to share from my garden.  Between my mother being sick, my husband's recent back troubles and my own basic lack of motivation; there's just not much going on around here.  The lovely rose bush and Lantana I received for my birthday late in July remain on the patio, in full bloom, yet still in their pots.  I have managed to keep up with the watering, so they will live to thrive in the garden some day soon.  If I were smart I'd chalk it up to "planning"... you know, wanting to really be sure of where it will do best before I actually sock it in the ground.  But I suppose I am more honest than I am smart... because I haven't even given its placement much thought!

I can report that the morning air has that familiar crispness about it that we readily recognize as a taste of Autumn.  It instantly takes me back to my childhood and the anxiousness of the school year's beginning.  Even though I was far too nervous to ever really enjoy the actual task of going to school... the shopping and planning was always a thrill!  I still love to shop for pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.  And the organizing!  Oh Lord do I love to organize things in little draws and compartments!  Remember how you'd work for hours on your notebooks, zipper pouches and boxes?  That usually lasted about a week and then it was anyone's guess where you could find a pencil!  Today a friend/co-worker gifted me some galvanized metal boxes he picked up at a yard sale recently.  I can't wait to find a good use for them around the house!  Ooooh, it feels like 1st grade all over again! 

See the wilting plant and the watering can? That gives me a great idea! :) DUH!
(Again... smart vs. honest, need I say more?)

On a serious note... my mother goes back to the doctor tomorrow for a follow-up visit from her recent hospital stay.  I ask you to say a prayer for her that she'll soon be back to her old self bringing light into her surroundings.  It's not easy to see her moving in slow motion and lacking energy. 

While my Sweet Autumn Clematis is gathering her strength to put on a spectacular show... she's not quite there yet.  I promise to share her with you, in all her blooming glory at the appropriate time!

I had better sign off for now.  I hope to see you in the garden soon.  Bring a shovel... we need to get some work done! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Whew! Happy Saturday!

Life seems to have gotten in the way a bit over the last week or so.  As you know, my mother has been in the hospital and that pretty much consumed my mind most of my waking hours.  She is doing much better and just trying to regain some strength before returning to work.  My sweet husband injured his back a few weeks ago and since it rained here last Saturday and Sunday, I started off each day this week by threatening to end his life if I came home to find that he had done any of the yard work! 

Last Sunday, as I started cleaning the swimming pool he looked at me, completely disgusted with himself, and said, "Am I just supposed to stand her and watch you clean the pool?"  I said, "Just go inside and find something to watch on the television... always works for me!" :)  He failed to find the humor.   So I sent him in to organize the kitchen pantry.  Job well done!

It wasn't easy to convince him to let me take over these tasks for a couple weeks while he allows his back time to heal - but I finally won him over. 

Monday night I came home from work and mowed the lawn while he did a little light trimming around the pool.  For some reason pushing the mower doesn't seem to do any harm to his back, but jarring around on the riding mower is a definite NO! 

Today after a brief lesson he set me free with the weed-eater in hand.  He's always complained about this weed-eater not being comfortable to use.  I have to admit, I thought it was just him... but after being unable to master a clean line with it, I'm thinking he may be right!  Thank goodness grass is like hair... the only difference in a good cut and a bad cut is about a week!

I hope to see you in the garden soon!  Take care!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rains...glorious rains!

We were blessed to receive rains on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The rains were such a welcome sight!  I know that they were long overdue and it will soon be evident in the lushness of all things green and growing in and around our neighborhood. 
My mother has been in the hospital this past week and Friday she, my sister and I watched the rain from her hospital room before I headed home.  There’s just something renewing and cleansing about a good rain, isn’t it?  But as I drove home in the rain I thought about how, had she not been stronger, had she waited longer before getting to the hospital, the rains might feel completely different.  Rather than a cleansing/renewal of hope, would I feel as if it was adding to the sadness washing over me?  Like most things in life, it depends upon the situation or how you look at things. 
Today, Mom was released from the hospital with plans for a complete recovery.  My older sister did the honors of pick-up and delivery.  Mom has been our beacon of light in every storm we have ever weathered.  In our darkest hour, she was there to calm our fears and give us direction – and usually show us the humor in the situation; but most importantly – she was always there.  We have always known in the back of our minds that we wouldn’t have her forever; but for us, this was really the closest we’d ever come to having an inkling of how that might actually feel…   It is worse than I ever imagined. 
Today, I am thankful for those who took such good care of my mother during her stay in the hospital, for those who visited, those who called, those who cared and those who prayed. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gift from the Gods!

I've been searching my mind for something to write about.  It's not that I have this overwhelming need to write something just for the sake of writing... its more that something needs to be written to bump that last blog entry down on the list!  Who would want to read a blog that they've accidentally stumbled upon if it started with an entry about a snake?  Not me! 

So, I'll jump directly from one of the least favorite things that come with summer to one of the most beloved... TOMATOES!  I know that for most of you, especially you southerners, juicy, homegrown tomatoes make these near 100 degree dog days of summer almost bearable.  For me... the joy comes in seeing y'all enjoy them so hardily!  As you may remember from a previous post, tomatoes aren't at the top of my list of likes.  For me the best thing that I can say about tomatoes is that usually where you find ripe tomatoes you're apt to also find BACON! 

Today, one of my best friends stopped by the office with a bag of tomatoes for my sweet hubby.  Here in Tennessee there's not a much truer test of friendship than sharing one's tomatoes!  Oh there's always organ donation, becoming a surrogate mother, or sharing your lottery winnings; but seriously... if given the choice between an organ, a child, cash or tomatoes... you know you'd go for the tomatoes!  Shared tomatoes really let you know where you rate on the friendship scale!  I especially love it when they hand you the bag of tomatoes, with a proud look on their face, but then they don't seem to really want to let it go! 

I also know what you're probably thinking... "those aren't sliced right for a sandwich" (or SAM-wich as we say here in the south).  You're exactly right... but just like there's more than one way to skin a cat... there's also more than one way to eat a tomato... as long as you have enough salt!

I won't keep you.  I'm sure you're probably headed off to the kitchen to make sure you've got enough bread, lettuce, mayo and bacon for your own BLT.  If not, you'd better start makin' that list!  

I hope that if tomatoes are high on your wish list you have more than you can give away!  Besides, it's a great way to make new friends! 

For you other non-tomato folks out there... hang in there... and have some fried corn!

I'll see you in the garden shortly!