Gardener’s Hiatus

Another litter of kittens found their way into the dog hut next to the house. Our poor old Eva was kicked out once again. She usually sleeps in the hut on the old house porch though. Lela is the mama kitty. She and Stitch were sister kittens a few years back. Both are quite wild. I cannot catch Lela, though she does come for extra milk and fat the last few weeks.

So there are five little kittens to name and play with and pick up. The little fur balls were not too keen on the handling today. A good pair of sheep gloves came in handy. Two of the little hissy-fits were pretty scary. But I picked them up with out much damage to their pride or my fingers.

The “Complete Sherlock Holmes” has been keeping me company this past week. And the last few days I fell ill with some sort of flu bug that gave me none other than extreme fatigue. Of course, I had to look up sleeping sickness and found there is a real thing. So thank goodness it was not that. But after three days and nights of such lethargy, my hubby dragged me off to the doctor for some blood work and a check up. All is well, just busy fighting off some virus or another.

Glad, to say that I have actually been upright for nearly three hours now! The heavy limbs and head ache are a bit nagging, but none-the-less the symptoms are so few, that I was quite nervous at the amount of sleeping one can achieve when fighting off some viral bug. Much fluid intake at least kept me rising to use the facilities.

Upon some further investigation, we presume perhaps a flu bug just had no chance with all my fluid intake and vitamin consumption. I am rather thankful not to suffer the stomach bug as the some other extended family had the misfortune to befall.

So, inspired by the little hats that I conjured up about a month ago, I began this little prayer shawl. Not sure how many I will make after this fashion, but the pattern is an easy one to attempt and does not require much for concentration. My faculties have been in the dull-drums of late, so it was smoothen to do as I work back into my house keeping chores. Even, the laundry lady suffered. She is nearly exhausted jut over the sorting!. (I am the laundry lady and took a short snooze after that chore completed!)

The chief cook and bottle washer have gone on vacation. The gardener left the morning’s work unattended. The maid has not tended to any of the house hold duties. The dog trainer was under the covers for nearly three days and may return by the morrow. The grandchildren’s Oma even lost tuch with reality for nearly a day or two. None of the text messages were answered. And finally, the hubby’s dear even advised perhaps he should sleep in the other room. She thought the flu bug would result in some unpleasantness. However, the capacitor of all those roles survived with nothing more that much work left undone. Only a few days of catch up required.

All those people are one and the same. The roles I play are not stage perfect. And the occupations that call me back to the present life are beginning to scream louder than the heavy limbs that returned me to my cot. On we go in this life of ours. The bell on the washer is ringing out for the laundry lady to rise from her slumbering ways…

Monday Mumblings

Watching “Mayo Clinic Minute: How weighted blankets “lift anxiety” on YouTube this morning, I learned all about those little sleep hormones and the feel good hug.

One week has passed since I began sleeping with my gravity blanket that we purchased a few years back. I had tried it off and on but never just in itself for a full week trial. It is pretty amazing how a full week of rested sleep changes one’s mood! It must be knocking my anxiety hormones down a bunch, because for the first time in fur-ever, Honey took a nap on my lap!

Unfortunately her “serviceability” goes way down when she senses anxiety . She feeds on it and gets more hyper! This is not very helpful to say the least. So, in spite of the fact that she is now five years old, I am going to look for a trainer that can give me the right response commands to get this crazy dog down on all fours when the her hyper kicks in.

Saturday morning my dear helper hubby found the aphids moved into the pansies that i multiplied to hundreds. We spent a few hours treating them with some nnatural remedies. They look a little tough but I will be spreading them out into some more spacious quarters today and hopefully things will go well with the proper treatments. It’s so difficult to keep on top of it all once the nasty bugs begin their residency.

This is Holy week for the Christian and Jewish populous. It is always such a special holiday for me. Both of my daughters were baptized on Easter morning during their teen years. Easter has so much triumph and hope. How can the rest of the world live without that joyous celebration? I am so glad that we are back to church gatherings and that the “pandemic” shifted to endemic and everyone is just kind of “over” all of the talk. Yes, there are some rough memories, but not gathering has to be the worst. People are meant to live in community. And not being together makes everyone so depressed and cranky.

The wind blew something fierce the end of last week, and I though all of the old anxieties would come back also. Then I found Amy Carmichael’s book “The Edges of His Ways.” Though it is a daily devotional, I listened to nearly a full month. One of her notes was about the wind. And she encouraged me to look for inspiration from the wind that the Lord blows my way. So rather than fighting the blustery forecast for another day, I took up the “inspired by” list that i could find. The first one was comforting classical compositions that were inspired by … you guessed it-The Wind! Some of the pieces I have heard before but many were new to me. So the next time that I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances, I am just going to begin with looking for inspired by… a list that helps me turn the thing around and lifts up the mood.

This morning, I uncovered the rose bush that I planted in the tire flower bed next to the greenhouse. Today is going to be another beautiful day here. Without that nasty gale to knock me over. I also went out and zip tied the wind wheel at the Hydrant flower bed to the water meter pole there. The poor wind wheel has been knocked over so many times from the westerly hurricane breezes. (And we do not have hurricanes here… just the wind.). That made me FEEL like I had really accomplished something.

Then, I spray painted the basket that I had crocheted. The dye in the wood glue had not worked entirely to color the basket green. So I emptied the black spray paint on it. The rest of the paint was used on the wire baskets in the greenhouse. I had not done anything to them since purchase. That too FELT like I was really doing something. Then I repotted the little holiday cactus starts into two beautiful red pots that I found while shopping the other night at our local wally world. They look so happy. And now they will thrive. The other containers had proved to be too small over the long haul. The little plants had been in their since Thanksgiving and I would constantly forget about them. So they were either too hot, too wet, or too dry. There you go little holiday cactus starts. And I even decided who I am giving them to as gifts. But I am not telling you.

It’s not Monday. Thank goodness. You would not have wanted to talk to me this Monday. My visit to the greenhouse found the pansy stats much worse than before. I tossed quite a number of them due to some nasty little fly of some sort. We treated them again last night at sundown so I hope there is not burn from the spray. It is just not fun growing plants to just toss them out. Part of my eyesight problem, part of the learning curve.

So here goes to a lengthy post again. Today, I hope to get a new mosaic crochet project going. My last two project attempts were a bit lacking. I did not like the outcome. Yep, I feel like I spent the whole time mumbling. But I got it all out right? And the gravity blanket is still working to help me sleep. Yay!

The Silent Treatment

(Disclaimer: I do not sanction the use of coping strategies that punish oneself or another. Using aggression is not the answer. Fighting should not be a way of life.But fighting for life is a long battle. This week has been full of history making.)

When I was growing up my mother used this passive aggressive discipline technique (coping strategy) to get her children to see her way. It did not really work. The worst memory I have of this happening was the night she did not hear me say I was across the street babysitting. She used this anger management tool to keep from saying the wrong thing, though she already had. Her attempt at poetry to instill a value of trust did not work either. The two weeks following the incident were pretty rough. Being my senior year, it did not occur to me that having a message board for the family use would alleviated end the drama. Oh, well. This week my selence had an altogether different cause.

This morning I am drinking some green tea and blueberry herbal with honey. Hopefully the healing properties will help this nasty laryngitis to fly the coup. If only cold virus were so easily scattered like birds. Everyone thinks I am giving them the silent treatment. The one that suffers the most still tries to call me the most often. On the other hand, my doodle dog Honey has not barked in a couple of days because she does not know how to whisper. I think it is rather successful!

So I took my “down” time to learn a new pattern. This mosaic hat was a free video tutorial. I made the red and white first and then the reverse pattern blue second. It was satisfying to get a project done in just one day. Then after the fever began to break my voice disappeared.

February cones to a close this week. I wrote two other blogs nearly completed. I did not finish either one. Just had no conclusive thought. Story telling is not my strong suit I guess. I prefer the lesson of fables and something with a moral conclusion. Why, it seems, must I find a lesson in every thing? Willy nilly writing does not have analytical potential. Do we have to learn from everything?

I decided to makeover one of my brightest hats. I thought this pattern was a perfect fit for the bright colors. I wanted to do some mittens in the design but could only find videos of different designs. So I left these mittens because these fit so well. And so I came up with my own pattern.

All of the seedlings in the greenhouse seem to be okay. The plunge into artic air meant that the heat is on in the building. The propane tank ran empty and we have yet another day of frigid temps. I can’t believe that the temperature stays at nearly fifty degrees Fahrenheit. The full water tank, the black buckets, and the soil and plants are doing their job to keep it warm. Circulating the air kept the even feeling. I knew I should have called for service on Monday but now I have no voice and whispering does not work on a cry for help! Ha. The propane tank is full again and the weather will soon warm. Melting snow means mud. Ugh. But it also means spring is on it’s way!

Sometimes doing smaller projects makes me feel happy and fulfilled. Like I actually got something done. This week I managed to bake a turkey one day and make turkey soup and dumpling on another day. My energy level was pretty low. So I did not even go up to see my grand babies this week. I finished a mosaic shawl, and a Bavarian stitch shawl this month. Tackling a couple of small pattern ideas was next on my list. It is always fun to make new hats. And the remake was really enjoyable. Then I decided to attempt some mittens. I combined some pattern ideas and used the new mosaic stitch from the hat. Love them all. Now it’s decision time for what is next.

The final remake this week was interesting. Not sure that that I “like” this one. It’s a good thing the dumpling and soup tasted so good and helped us ride out of the week well. The yarn was a really busy “jazz” ombre and probably should have a coordinating color with it. But I used what I had. Resourceful is my middle name! And do you know how hard it is to do the same thing twice? Really hard apparently. I had two attempts at this one. I wrote down the mitten specs, but the second pair are a little smaller. Not as happy with the configuration. I prefer the look of the red and blue. It could just be the busy yarn. Oh, well!

I made it through my “sick” week. Fever for a few days and the laryngitis thing. Seems like any cold I get ends up in my throat of voice box. Gargling with salt water was the cure. And lots of tea with honey. We finally got some moisture with this bitter cold. Stuck inside while it is so cold outside was not so bad. The snow is such a welcome sight. I went out with the dogs and played frisbee in the fluffy stuff this afternoon. And yes, the mittens and hat worked quite nicely.

Still trying to find myself

This is an RP update. I did not know that when I first started writing this one. Sometimes the journal of going blind one day at a time gets an entry. I could call it the Chronicles of Yvonne Annette. Not sure anyone would even read such a book.

Seven years into blogging and I am still trying to find myself. Just the other day I decided to look up some of the history. It is really pretty embarrassing to discover that my writing has taken so many twist and turns. Perhaps that is normal.

For one thing, I find it hard to be completely frank and honest. Someone might actually read my blog that knows me and ask me a question that I do not want to answer. Here are a few potential nightmare questions… “How can you say that you are blind and still crochet?” “Why don’t you just get a job and have something to do that way?” “Where is your focus and purpose for this blog?” “When are you ever going to write something that earns money?” “What do you really want to do with your life?” “Who reads this stuff anyways?”

Here’s the thing, for the most part of my fifty years I did not know those answers and I am not even going to attempt to try! Writing for me is a release. Just an exercise, kind of like taking a walk that has no purpose. Every once in a while we take a walk that actually leaves us filling fulfilled and happy. Every day I send my dog out to do her business or on the days I actually go with, there seems no other purpose than just doing the routine.

Routinely writing for me is relaxing and a way to release often unintelligible thoughts. Once in a great while, the thoughts find a path and I find a gorgeous waterfall. Other times all I notice is the barren ground and large cracks in the winter earth that are screaming out for some snowfall moisture.

Today is one of those awful after-insomnia days. The ruminating thoughts that keep me awake at night are nothing worth repeating. Yet on they go. Sometimes, my mind is so hyper-alert it feels as though I did not get a wink of sleep. The sheep counting “God Bless You”-s did not work. The Bible mindful listening did not work. The warm milk and hot tea did not work. The pre-slumber routines did nothing to aid in the sleep process.

Last evening I went to church to do a recording with a friend. The song was quite repetitive and the count patterns got stuck on repeat for my mind. Also, when I used the facilities to release my full bladder, I walked right into the wall afterwards. How could my tunnel vision keep pulling so many tricks on me? I am constantly finding myself “lost” these days. Often right in the bedroom while turning in circles to put away my clothing. I ran right into the table the other day in the kitchen while doing the dishes. Had I forgotten the table was there? I was not paying attention to my other senses and did not even realize that the rug under my feet was actually NOT there. Ugh. This blind think sometimes catches me by surprise.

In just one half hour the brand new song was embedded in my memory and I had to play it by little signs like # * > 1 2 X and letters for chord names. My focus on how many times of certain chord patterns kept me from reading the words all together. Besides, unless they are size 50 type, I would not be able to read them anyway. Same girl?

On another note…. The ability to learn a new piece of music is getting to be shorter and shorter time expense. The song was mentioned to me one day. I listened to it a few times the next day. We ran through the piece with some “guitar chord lead” sheets that same evening. And by the third go round I actually did not loose my place in the sheets and words. This is the same girl that failed her first few recitals in early years of piano lessons. This is the same girl that could not memorize pages of classical piano for the jury sessions in college. This is the same girl that could not play a single note by ear training in the early years as church pianist. This is the same mother that made her little string playing children switch positions to play a song in the key that it was written so that mommy could accompany them at the nursing home church services. This is the same woman that bombed reading the music for her daughter’s senior recital and ruined the whole event (in my mind.). This is the same woman that one church rejected as pianist because she could not play the praise and worship “style” that they wanted. (Which by the way is the same “style” that she now plays completely by ear with just a guitar chord lead sheet!)

Not hardly. I feel like a completely different person than I was at twelve years old. I feel like a different person than I was even at 40! How do I make peace with this new me?

Golden Moments

Golden moments are few and far between during these blistery cold winters. I enjoy watching the survivalists in their wilderness cabins and am thankful their is no wood splitting daily chore. My life seems rather golden and some days I feel very lazy.

The golden pothos received a new home this week. I bought three little four inch plants one day before Christmas and had them in clay pots in various places. Then one day while looking at my spider plant in the library / office, I decided it was just too dark in here. So the pothos would find a new home. The hanging planter was also a recent purchase. So here it is…

I have been waiting for the coral kalanchloe to pop open a bloom for nearly one month. For a couple of weeks in January I enjoy spinning some wool in the light of the south window in the living room. I was hoping that moving the kalanchloe into the living room would also encourage it to flush out it’s blooms. Warm sunshine for me and the blossoms. It seemed to do the trick. However, the four and a half spools of homespun wool were not quite enough for the C2C shawl that i had in mind. So now what shall I do?

I am not an early bird by any means. The days that I go up to see the grand kiddos and have to rise before the sun to ride along with my hubby is so painful. Usually I fall back asleep and my little grand daughter gets to giggle at me as I try to wake up again. The sunrise photo of the greenhouse was actually on a Sunday morning before going to church. Our organist has some health challenges and so I am playing for praise team more frequently this next couple weeks. I finished the newest mobias prayer shawl just this week. And it finally turned out much better in size. I need to write down the dimensions and count the stitches for the sizing options. So there is something I am happy with.

And one final note for the memoir chronicles, the lemon tree is putting on blossoms! It lives much happier in the house. Patient is definitely a virtue in waiting for the lemon tree to do something. Of course if lost all but one leaf so far after the move indoors. And yes, we actually purchased a piece of exercise equipment in January! I thought just getting the heavy box into the house on this blustery south wind day was enough exercise for one day. I think I’ll go have a cookie or two now!

May you be a spark of hope

May you be the seed of faith

May you be an ocean of love

And may you be a fountain of joy…

I heard this saying above recently and added to it. These three in relationship are “faith, hope, and love”. The greatest of these three being love according to I Corinthians thirteen, the love chapter. All three of these leave joy in their wake. The fountain of joy bursting forth from the wellspring of eternal salvation. The belief in eternity and future sparks hope. Knowing God’s ocean of love begins the filling that never runs dry.

As the new year dawns, my thoughts turn eternal. What be my purpose for the new year? What are my plans? What prayers do i lift up for my loved ones. Some loved ones I have blessed already with gifts and hugs over the holidays, but many are distant from me. what of them?

This past year we were blessed with another grandchild in the family. It’s crazy how love grows and grows. Love is definitely an ocean. The heart bursts forth more and more rather than running empty. Energy might run low, but love never does.

Tonight my niece shared the books that she read this last year. It was so inspiring. I wondered if I could keep track of my books read and my crochet projects. I was telling my sister about all this one evening. About trying to journal the greenhouse and then not being able to read my own writing. Bummer.

So doing a journal must be done with new ideas.

This year I want to keep track of what I do in the greenhouse financially. Trying to be more thrifty. This year I want to keep track of how many yarn skeins I buy. That might be hard. This year I want to do better at a weekly schedules for home, garden, writing and contacts with friends and family. This year I want to over stuff my little prayer jar with requests. This year I want to read more books!

So here’s to the new year. New projects. New gardening plans. More prayer shawls and faith hope and love with endless joy!

Pretty much

“We cannot live only for ourselves…” —Herman Melville

These silly millennials think they are parents to plants. I think you’re either a slave to your plant or you enjoy them and for me it’s all about the joy.

I remember my husband bringing me home a plant from the flower shop in our early years of marriage and busy little feet running through the house. Well, plant after “easy care” plant died either from over water, under water, or simple neglect. I did sort of okay on the garden thing. But honesty my attention just was focused on my children and meals and mountains of laundry.

Having this little pepperonia watermelon on my desk has made me keep it a lot cleaner I enjoy looking at it and seeing exactly what it’s doing everyday. And I’m so glad I found a plant small enough to put in this little pot that my father-in-law made for me. Yeah, keeping it watered properly is more challenging. It only goes about three days between drinks. But two little tablespoons in a dish for a drink while I clean up correspondence and making to do lists for this busy time of year has been great. Keeping the pile to a minimum of three days was the best “plant” that I have ever had!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I kind of think that my husband is a “twleve days of Christmas” kind of giver. We have been getting little corner fixes and such for a week or so before the holiday. From a window shelf, to a light fixture, and a wall plant hanger, and this clock, the little bits of new throughout the house have made me very appreciative of his ability to fox things. Even had my plumber hubby put in a new faucet in the bathroom. Each little thing that gets done makes we sing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

“I am the last faded flower of summer pressed between the pages of a book.” Surely someone famous said that during the last stages of life. But alas, I may be remiss. There are days I have felt that tired, but lately not so. My poor daughters in their pursuit of life stage, being young and so very busy made me think of that saying one day. An elderly friend of ours celebrating in the ninety something years stated how she was not sure why she was still here on this earth. Feeling so very faded and so very pressed toward those last pages of life’s very own biography our hearts try to comprehend the ache and loneliness that calls them to heavenward home. But we covet their prayers. For surely the prayers of the righteous availeth much. Perhaps God hears the prayers of the lonely heart more?

The book that I am reading right now is one of Herman Melville’s longest novel. The language of the early American author is rich and deep even though I do not agree with much of the thought process deductions. The quote above about not living to our own purpose is so true. This weekend my husband is letting me participate in a grief therapy plant giveaway for the holidays. I am looking forward to it much. Perhaps the next blog will be a hint of the happenings.

For now, it is nearly Christmas. My house has pretty much become a plant haven. The greenhouse is allowed to dip to forty degrees at night so this quite a spill over of plant things in the house right now. But five large boxes of plant things will leave the house on Sunday. Oh, and then there is the fun of the pressed flower ornaments keeping me busy also. Christmas pretty much filled up every surface in my house right now!

So, if I don’t get back to the happenings before Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone! And to all A Happye New Year too!

Shading the Night Black

It’s been a mont or two…

Yep, it was a whole month of silence on the blogging end. But ever so busy. Harvest is a topsy turvy kind of life on the acreage. From the garden produce to the preparations for fall’s colder nights, I sometimes cannot quite decide what takes priority.

This moth, it was my sanity and my health.

The moth started off with beefing up the back side of the greenhouse. My lovely capable husband took the week off and we buttoned up the latches. The previous finishing cement board was weakened by the snow loads and soon began to leak. The rubber surfacing on the new materials should seal it up much better.

Then I decided to start harvest the lovely flower seeds that I wanted to have “more” of in the garden next year and perhaps even “share” with others. That’s when my whole month took a turn for the sudden self care needs. Apparently, I am VERY allergic to the black night shade weed. I was on Benadryl every four hours for nearly three or four days to help control the itch. Thank goodness after several salt bathes, they finally disappeared. But now suddenly, the garden was off limits to me. Controlling the gigantic weed infestation was not going to be an option for me.

Nevertheless, the harvest canning took a nose-dive also. My desire to avoid hives from head to toe just sort of turned of any desire to do amy more canning. And my energy level began to plummet as I would even think about doing another batch of tomatoes for something. Besides the thoughts of not having a cellar to store the beautiful goodies in, my mind just could not wrap around another processing day.

My focus went back to the greenhouse. We just completed a re-make to the pond. Previously the depth of the pond was at about five feet and the combine tire containment plain never let the water actually “warm” up. So we built a whale ribbing and put the pond liner back in. Our gallon amount might be a bit less (accoring top all the excess tarp material) but the four foot depth should do nicely with the sun’s power.

Meanwhile, I began putting away all of the canning supplies and getting my house back. OHHH! I almost forgot! The moth started off with a new kitchen sink.

My little trailer house variety will find a new home in the barn or somewhere as awash tub outside. The new farmhouse apron sink was quite the “back-ache” for my plumber/carpenter hubby. But I LOVE it. And for the most part I don’t let the dishes pile up like I use to. It is such a pleasure to fill the sink and actually wash dishes in soapy bubbles with water that covers the objects in need of scrubbing.

So while there were much improvements about, I feel my work ethic has not improved much. Many days I find myself just scratching the surface on all that appears to need to be done. My eyesight makes reading recipes such a chore that cooking has lost it’s pleasure for me. And much of the time I miss items becuase I missed the whole line in the recipe.

I wonder if sanity is slipping away. Especially when I make something that does not require a recipe, and like the apple crisp where I forget to sprinkle sugar on the apples…. Well, it will still be edible at least.

The two days that I suffered asthma aftershock from eating my allergy enemy stick in my mind pretty strongly. This past year I found out that white potato and barley are two of my worst foes. Learning to avoid them has made life much better. But the two days I suffered aftershock relapse were not much fun at all. The asthma drove me to the nebulizer machine and the albuterol infusion. The one thing that has become quite the blessing is the attentivemess of my girl Honey.

A service dog that loves to work and finds a purpose in helping is a special thing. If I am having a bad asthma day, she gets really sticky. Her namesake finally arrives on the bad asthma days. She will even nudge me a little if she thinks it’s time for me to stop and take care of my breathing need.

Some of us need a full time companion. Knowing that Honey is sticky and messy has not deterred me from my hope that she will be what I need her to be when the time comes. There are days though, we should have named her ‘Tigger’ or ‘Roo’ instead of Winnie the Pooh’s favorite snack.

Writing has really been the last thing on my list the past two months. So today, I though maybe I would try to catch up a bit. There have been some things on my mind that need to be sorted out. I spent the last two months working in the garden, painint a few rooms (at my daughters house and mine) and generally fall maintenance.

Today it is damp and chilly outside and my boots were in desperate need of waterproofing. So I am inside finishing the fall house cleaning chores. Garden and greenhouse can be such a strong pull that the house literally becomes a pig’s sty. So after some much needed cleaning there are only a few surfaces left to uncover. Because my desk in the library was turned to accommodate my grandson’s sleep-box, I am not too happy with the “writing zone.” But this is my attempt.

I Hope that you are all keeping life well balanced better that I am. Being scheduled use to be one of my strong suits. But now that it’s just me here most days, schedule is lost in the diving into projects. Swimming is not something that I do well, Will the aid of a life preserver I think I have found the other side of the lake!

Blooming where they are planted

A number of years ago, I saw a saying that I adopted as my motto: “Bloom where you are planted”. Sometimes I may feel like an uprooted marigold struggling to rediscover my water source. For the past four years, I stretched my green thumb to the limit. There were times I felt like giving up on the whole garden thing. When we finally discovered the power of blue dawn dish soap to keep many pests at bay, I am no longer afraid to use it liberally. So while this blog could be titled “Flowers Galore”. I chose to remind myself that “Blooming where God has planted me” is in the best interest of my soul, spirit, mind, and body.

The past week was full with special need prayer requests. I think I filled a prayer slip out every day to put in my little jar of prayers. I do this so that at the end of the year we can look back and see how God answered our every need. This week the supplications were all outside of our immediate family. From wee babies to adults with numerous grand children, we laid our requests upon the Lord, thanking Him in advance for each response.

We tackled a couple small projects, but mostly spend the evenings weeding the garden. I really do have to sprinkle some more weed-be-gone on the walkways. A few places that I used it, there was no difference. Gavin says the seed or root was already germinated. I’ll try to keep up. Maybe.

The Butterfly Shape garden displayed it’s first bloom yesterday! Yay! According to the package, it is a giant dinner plate dahlia. So far the only thing giant about it is the height. We raised the automatic “cat sensor” sprinkler in the air on a tomato cage wire because of this plant. The bold burgundy color is a bright spot for sure. The bottom wings did not produce any of the bulbs that I planted. So I seeded in some more variety. After the water system has been set up, now I can plant some personals again. First, I am going to lay out some chicken wire to keep out my furry diggers. Bugger.

My little grand son is learning to blow kisses. How sweet! But not so sweet when his hand is full of sand at the park’s volleyball court. Aww, mommy, that was mean…. I was impressed with his ability to walk just as he expected. He had to show me all his fancy moves this last week’s visit. His sister is learning how “not” to run past him and knock him off balance with her speed.

We mortared the fire pit blocks together in the original spacing this week. Don’t ask us to lay a brick house or chimney. We are pretty sloppy brick layers. I can’t imagine how those people do this for a living. Our “cookie dough” worked. And the result’s have not been tested again. Maybe tonight. This Independence Day Weekend might give us a chance to sit around the fire some evening. I also have plans to do some yummy snacks and foods on the coals. My husband made me a little snowman to add to my collection. I told him to make Olaf, but it’s just three little cement cookie dough’s stacked up!

The spill over flower bed is full of poppies and the other day there were a dozen early morning blooms to greet me. That day of course, I did not have my camera. This morning a put the left over bricks from the fire pit on the outer edge to remind hubby not to mow them off. I keep pulling the weeds out, and the poppies just multiply better than weeds. There are a couple other wild flowers in there also.

The flowers in the greenhouse are still gorgeous. These little black eye Susan’s are from the “viability” sowing way back in February. At least we knew what the ones in the Butterfly Shape should look like then! The potatoes in the compost bin will have to come out this weekend. I might even begin later today. The plants are starting to die back. They bloomed a few weeks ago. Oh, well. The Black eye Susan’s are blooming! Along with the geraniums galore, the pansies that did not get a home, and the wintered over petunia’s that hit me in the face as I enter. Soon the figs will be ready. We are checking daily.

The Butterfly tire finally recovered from the drought last year. I ended up watering twice daily for awhile to get some more plants to rise up. It does not need reseeding as all the wildflowers are perennials. I should have put some chicken wire in it before things sprouted as the cat dug a few bare spots. With the growth and blooms soon there will be no evidence of any holes though. It gets pretty crowded. Thus the “spill over flower bed” on the ground to the southwest of the tire. Big fat smiley face insert!

I achieved the patriotic look that I was aiming for. The flag is new as our old one sprung a moth hole. The red geranium was quite weak the first month with all the wind and lost a few longer stems. But it has toughened up and looks amazing. Happy Independence Day to all of our USA friends and relatives. To my other world readers, we think of you all often during the pandemic health scare. I took my vaccine as soon as I could. Go get one yourself!