Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Moments

 - The daffodils came (and went).

- Easter was celebrated.

- Peonies ready to burst into bloom.

- Hydrangeas went from the Easter table to the garden.

- Jaxson discovers the great outdoors.

- Carrot cake serves a dual purpose this year :)

- Tulips bloomed just in time for Easter.

- A day trip to the UNCC gardens.

- Fresh lettuce being served daily from the patio salad bowl.

"April is a promise that May is bound to keep"
~ Hal Borland

Friday, April 25, 2014

Planning Ahead

 The daffodils and hyacinths have come and gone.
Gone until next year.
The final act to our spring bulb show is the tulips.
So glad I decided to add some under the fountain last fall.
It makes for a cheery greeting when I open the front door.
Tulips behave like an annual here in the southern USA.
You might get a few blooms from them next year or you might not.  If you want a reliable presentation it's best to dig them out and start with new bulbs in the fall.

 I'm so glad to have received this catalogue in the mail.
Makes planning for next spring's garden so much easier.
Right now I can still see where the current bulbs bloomed and where it might be nice to add a few more.  If I wait until fall to do this I have to guess at exactly where those bulbs are planted.
Yesterday I spent several hours whipping my perennial bed into shape.  The weeds were doing their best to take over.  Once this task was completed it was most pleasurable to prop my feet up and begin planning ahead for next year's garden.  I don't always plan ahead, but when it happens it's a good feeling.

Hope your weekend is a Happy one.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Taking Time to Smell The Lily

My Easter preparations always include the purchase of one Easter Lily.  I look for one containing the most buds with just one or two being open.  That way I can enjoy checking each day to see if another has opened.  But, I think the main reason I buy them is the smell.  To me they are the scent of Easter.  One whiff and I am taken back to all of the Easters of my childhood.   It's like a travel back in time to mom's kitchen... there she stands in her apron checking the ham in the oven.  Soon company will be joining us.  We've been to church and are outfitted in our Sunday best (most definitely patent leather shoes and white gloves for Easter)An Easter Lily and some simple decorations are placed about. 
Hard to believe that all of that can come from one whiff of a lily, isn't it?  But, for me, it's true.  So, as I go about my present day Easter planning, a daily sniff of the Easter Lily keeps the family members who are no longer with us close in thought and warm happy memories.

 At times the preparations for a holiday meal can seem a bit overwhelming.  Things don't always go as planned.  Circumstances change from year to year.  The changes aren't always desirable, but that seems to be the way life goes.
 Somehow, for me, the scent of that Easter Lily brings comfort. 
I think it reminds me that despite the ebbs and flows, Easter is a time for celebration.

 The carrot cake is long gone.
My mom's recipe that never fails to get rave reviews.

  The Easter Lily served me well this year.
Despite a beautiful holiday celebrated with my family, an emotional roller coaster presented itself.  Calling my sister to wish her a Happy Easter was tough, but not calling wasn't an option.  Almost five years after her stroke, not much has changed and now she is experiencing nearly unbearable pain.  I sensed such weariness in her voice.  Although she still deals with aphasia, she is able to get out some words.  Pain and Shoulder came out mixed with a few tears.  When my brother-in-law explained to me more about the situation, he sounded upbeat yet I sensed the weariness.  Knowing that they are grieving the loss of their son on top of all of this I once again wonder how much can they take?
Hanging up the phone I felt such sadness for them and, to be honest, guilt for the many good things I had to look forward to on this day.  
Just before my guests arrived, I had a good cry, said a prayer for my sister and brother-in-law & thought about things I could do for them. Then it was time to pull myself together.  It may sound funny, but a sniff of the Easter Lily helped to remind me that life is constantly changing yet some things remain the same and at that emotional moment I found that to be so comforting.  

 After Easter the lilies find their way into my garden.

Wishing my dear blog friends a beautiful week.

Thank you for your visits here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Treasuring the Moments

The moments leading up to Easter have been busy around here.
As the spring flowers continue to reveal their beauty, I've been cherishing the firsts in his little life.  
Normally this would have been a time for dragging boxes of Easter decor from the attic for me.
But, when asked if I'd like to accompany them to the park to let him crawl on the grass for the first time...  it's off we go.  As the sun warmed our bodies, watching him explore the great big outdoors warmed my heart.  
As Easter drew nearer and I felt the need to be making the menu and grocery list, the idea for joining him for his first Easter Egg Hunt seemed like a much more appealing idea so... off we go again.
Here it is almost Easter and the bins never came out of the attic.
Instead I picked up a few Easter plants (that will later be planted in the garden) to decorate the table.  A pink tablecloth, a bowl of colored eggs, bowls of colorful candy and a few pastel candles.  So simple and yet still festive.  
The carrot cake has been baked and will have a dual purpose this year. Happy Birthday to me :).   Ha... how's that for a shameless plug?  I'm celebrating another year today... a year filled with joy and love and also a year of treasuring the moments.
I saved one carrot for Peanut.  Tomorrow she officially becomes a teenager.  It's taken her awhile to warm up to Jaxson, but for the most part they are now friends

   Well, I guess it's time for me to finish up my food preparations.
I've been missing my blogging time and hope to get back to visiting you all soon.  Until then I want to wish each of you a very   
Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Spring Shed

Well, here it is Saturday evening and I'm sitting out on the patio enjoying the sights and sounds of springtime.  The dogwood trees popped into bloom this week and so did the hyacinths and mid-season daffodils.  The bluebirds are flitting back and forth to the nesting box setting up housekeeping.  I love the changing seasons, but there is something about spring that I especially love.  I think it's the signs of new life everywhere you look.  

At this time of year I'm torn between wanting to be outside and wanting to be inside decluttering every inch of my house.  This year the decluttering seems to be winning the race.
Last week it was the kitchen cupboards, drawers and cookbook collection.
Yesterday, the costume jewelry collection... mine and my mom's.
Today hours were spent on my closet.  I took every single piece of clothing out and tried them on.  Trust me, this isn't for the faint of heart... especially after a winter of not enough activity.  I think I could easily say that half or more of my wardrobe is on it's way to the thrift shop.  Ugh!!  To be honest I'd like to maintain a more pared down wardrobe.  Actually I'd like my whole house to be more pared down so I am on a mission to achieve that little by little.  
Why am I telling you this?
To explain why I've been scare in blogland of late.
If I spend too much time on the internet, the decluttering suffers and I've got to strike while the iron is hot where decluttering is concerned.  
Oh, and one more thing...
after trying on all of those clothes today I know I have to get moving.  Almost everything was too tight.  I really want to lose at least five pounds.  It's either that or go up a size and I refuse to do that.  I know that for the most part I eat a healthy diet and keep pretty close tabs on my fat intake.  But, if I'm honest with myself I know that my exercise is hit or miss.  Mostly miss lately.  I find too often I am sitting at the computer for much longer periods of time than I realize.  Not good for the waistline or my back issue either.
So, along with shedding clutter I'm hoping to shed a few pounds.  
I'd love some input on how all of you manage the exercise and the computer time.  If you'd care to share. I'd be ever so grateful.

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend.