Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ready For A Ride

Hello and Happy Summer.
In honor of the sweet summertime, I have decided to get really wild and bring my old bike out of hiding.  I bought it at a thrift shop a few years ago and had visions of making it a part of the garden decor.  That is until my boys saw it and thought I'd lost my marbles for purchasing something so ancient.  Then I began having second thoughts and let it collect dust in the garage. 

But, hey it's a new day.  The boys have flown the nest so I say out comes the bike.  Since they aren't here to poke fun at me, I am going to do a little playing.  Keeps me young ... or so I tell myself.

This morning I was doing some after the storm clean-up in the garden.  We had big thunderstorms last night with lots and lots of lightning.  So, while out picking up branches I noticed how pretty the hydrangeas were looking and thought why not deck out the old blue bike a bit.  Hee Hee, wouldn't the boys be horrified if they saw this?

~ Wishing you a fun-filled summer ~

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Walks, Wild Things and Pretty Things

A pleasant morning greeted us today.
A perfect morning for a walk.
It has been HoT & HuMiD here for several weeks, so when there's a break in the humidity, it's time to get outside and do something.
Peanut was happy to accompany me.
As we walked around the block we counted flags. 
If you live in America, you will know that today is Flag Day.
You did know that, didn't you :-D  ?
Anyhow, we counted 8 flags. 
When we got home, we hung up our flag, so now if you walked around our block you would count 9.

After hanging the flag, I noticed this pretty row of impatiens smiling up at me from the crack where the porch meets the house.  They planted themselves there and seem to be thriving.

Once we got back from our walk I decided to check out the yard and garden.  I found some other things thriving.  They didn't make me quite as happy, however.

Exhibit A

Good Lord, what is this??
I've gotten used to a lot of things since moving to the south, but the reptiles still make me cringe.
We often see little chameleon, lizardy types of things and they are kinda cute.  This guy looks like a mini gator to me.  Look at the scales, claws, tail... 
After discovering him I went over to water some plants under a nearby tree.  Earlier in the spring I had hung a gourd bird feeder from the tree and was excited to watch a bird make a nest in there.  Recently when I would water near there I would hear the little chirps of the babies.  Today I heard no chirps.  As I looked at their little home  I saw someone looking back at me. 

Now this is something I will never get used to.
I know they are one of God's creatures, but they give me the creeps.  Big.Time!
Not to mention that I think he ate the bird family. :-(

On a happier (and prettier) note, I have some light purple hydrangeas blooming  and ...

the cone flowers are making their first appearance in the perennial bed and best of all ...

the crape myrtles are blooming.  Unlike the reptiles, they are one of my favorite things about living in the south.  I guess no matter where you live there are good things and not so good things.
The important thing is to take a lesson from those impatiens and ...

~ ** Bloom Where You Are Planted ** ~

**Enjoy your day and raise your hand if the flag is waving at your house. **

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meeting Julia

Spotting the dish in my hand, she spoke to me.
She told me that she was glad I got the dish.
Reaching into her cart, she carefully pulled out the plates that she had found and we began a conversation about how we would hate to see these beautiful pieces of old china get chipped and broken amongst the stacks of objects on the thrift shop shelves.

She told me she had something she wanted to show me.
She knew the value to be far more than the asking price.
She told me she'd love to give it a good home, but she was in the midst of sorting through her 90 year old father's belongings and couldn't bring one more thing home right now.

As I was quickly deciding that 85 cents was a very good price for a cup and saucer with this marking ...

she mentioned that she had recently moved her dad into the memory care unit of an assisted living facility.  The same facility that I had moved my mom into 3 years ago. 
As we continued to look at dishes we compared notes on who was still living there since my mom passed away.

As she told me the circumstances that led to her dad's move to memory care, I had about decided that bargain cup and saucer would coordinate well with my Lenox Christmas china. 
She shared with me that she was spending a lot of time with her dad because she'd recently lost her husband and isn't ready to lose her dad yet.  I looked up at her and there were tears in her eyes.

She told me that he was the love of her life.  They were both close to retirement and had plans to travel together.  Until he was diagnosed with cancer and died 3 months later.  She struggled to keep her composure.  She said he had the same type of cancer that took my dad's life several years ago.  I was instantly taken back to the sadness of that time.  I hugged her and said "I understand".  Because I do.

She talked to me for nearly an hour and I was more than happy to listen.
When I needed to be on my way, she said to me "you will never know the value of the listening ear you provided to me today."

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~ Plato

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Most Welcome Visitor

Not long after the Butterfly Bushes began blooming ...

Look who returned to the garden.

I'm officially hanging out the welcome sign.

~ Welcome Back, Butterflies ~

I have missed you and welcome you once again.

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly,
"one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
~ Hans Christian Anderson

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Since Last Week . . .

There was a ladies luncheon complete with hydrangeas ...

and blue & white table linens.

There was fresh fruit served alongside a croissant filled with Lemon-Tarragon Chicken Salad.  Recipe can be found by clicking here.  If you are looking for a good chicken salad recipe, this one won't disappoint.  I didn't have time to take a picture of it, but it is my new favorite.

The magnolias came into bloom and my nose rejoiced at the soft, sweet scent.

Not far from the magnolias, the Easter lilies opened up.  Despite temperatures in the upper 90s, I made sure to get out there early in the day for a few sniffs. 

A new fountain was purchased.
Hubby saw a lady carrying the same one out of BJ's one day.
Hubby called me and said he thought we needed one.
Hubby has taken a renewed interest in the garden since I took him to the garden walk.  Hubby is a good guy.  I think I'll keep him :).

There was even an impromptu Memorial Day get-together where big cousins went tubing with little cousins, new girlfriends met the parents and the barbecue was put to good use.  The camera, however, was not put to use after the above picture. 

Remember back here when you all so graciously bolstered me up, shared your secrets  and gently nudged me in the right direction when it came to entertaining?  Well, I'm happy to say that since then I've changed my thinking on entertaining.  There have been several occasions that instead of just thinking about it, I've done it and you know what?  It feels good and I plan to do a lot more of it.  Thanks once again for your encouragement.