Monday, February 29, 2016

Bonus Bud on a Bonus Day

   The amaryllis bulb that I was talking about here ended up putting out four blossoms on one tall sturdy stem.  They were so pretty while they lasted.  Once the flowers faded, I moved the plant to the laundry room.  My plan was to let it hang out there until it was time to plant it outside.

 It was a pleasant surprise to walk into the laundry room this morning and discover another plump bud forming.
It seems like a nice little bonus.  Somewhat like this bonus leap year day.

Popping my head out the back door this morning I knew we had the makings for a lace up your sneakers, get out here and enjoy type of day.  Fresh air, birdsong and mild temperatures.  Brett tells me by Wednesday the temperature will dip back to more normal for this time of year and the rain will move in.  So, for today I plan to do a little gardening, take a walk and eat lunch on the patio. Later in the day I'll be working on adding a few spring touches indoors.
Anything special planned for your bonus day?


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Room With a View

 It seemed especially fitting that the view from the balcony reminded me of those snowy village scenes often featured on Christmas cards.

You know the ones featuring gentle snow covered hills just right for sledding on, pine trees and evergreens dotting the landscape and long winding driveways leading to warm welcoming homes?
Ah, yes, this was the view our eyes settled on as we enjoyed the gift our son gave to us for Christmas.  A weekend stay at the Inn at Riverbend in Pearisburg, Virginia.

Turning our heads to the left brought this view.
The funny thing about this river is that although it is called the New River, it is thought to be the second oldest river in the world, second only to the Nile River.  It is estimated to be between 10 and 360 million years old!
Train tracks run along the river.  The train could often be seen (and heard) chugging along at various times of the day (and night).  I found this to add even more charm to the Christmas card scene below.  Brett's thoughts on the middle of the night train whistles were a bit different, however.

Inside the room the corner windows were ideal for allowing us to enjoy the scenery from the reading chairs and also from...

the comfy bed.
One afternoon after an exhausting day spent visiting the local antique shops, I curled up under that pretty throw and leafed through my one and only purchase.

The cover alone made my heart beat a bit faster.

Once I opened the cover, I was a goner.
Published in 1947.  It would have cost $2.50 then and now it was still being sold for that price.  That's a deal far too good to pass up.

I love books with monthly or seasonal chapters.
I allowed myself to read through February.
Now my excitement for the upcoming gardening season is in full force and I am trying not to cheat and read the March chapter before the calendar officially says "March."

 Speaking of books, this was the one I read most recently.
A story of homesteading in the Alaskan wilderness during the 1920s.  A couple mourning the loss of their child while learning to live off the land in this remote area.  One day they build a child out of snow together and from there the story really takes off in a most delightful way.
I absolutely LOVED this book.
My niece gave it to my sister-in-law for Christmas.  They both enjoyed it and passed it along to me to read.  I'm so glad they did. 
A perfect book to read on a winter's day.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

In The Garden on Valentine's Day

Because we are bracing for a blast of winter weather and, more importantly, because today is Valentine's Day, I thought you might enjoy a stroll through the garden.  It may be cold outside, but in the garden the sun is shining and the bees are buzzing.  
Feel free to bring your clippers to snip a bouquet for your Valentine's table.

 Don't forget to light the candles.


 Happy Valentine's Day from me to you.


Edited to add:  All garden photos from previous years.  I only wish they were all blooming now. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Marshmallow Memories

 Wanting something warm to accompany our movie night popcorn, we settled on hot cocoa.  Reaching for the marshmallow jar, I was reminded of a recent moment involving those very marshmallows.
Originally I bought them thinking they would be an adorable accompaniment to Jaxson's very first cup of hot cocoa.  

Shortly after Christmas, the big day arrived.
His very own snowman mug was filled half way with "warmish" hot cocoa.  One little snowman placed right on top.
As soon as the mug was placed in front of him, he peeked into the mug and carefully extracted that snowman.  I think the look on his face about sums up his feelings.

With that obstruction out of his way he could now get down to the business of tasting his hot cocoa.
A few short sips later...

Uh Oh... all gone!


 More please.

 Another first in his life.
We wondered what he would think of it.
The chocolate mustache says it all.
As does the snowman resting on the napkin.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Old Dogs ~ New Beds

 I'm so glad we made the decision to buy Peanut that new bed.



Monday, February 1, 2016

February First

February blew in like a breath of fresh air.
The snow and ice of last week now a mere memory.
Around here it was a lunch on the patio type of day.
Not every year would this be possible.  However, with temperatures nearing the 70 degree mark, the patio seemed to be beckoning.
Even Peanut was happy to get outdoors and soak up the warm sunshine.  See her over there gazing into the pond?

I think she was checking on the goldfish.
We are all happy to see them once again. 
Last year we fought a battle with algae.  The pond was green and the goldfish were hard to see.  We're encouraged to now be able to see the bottom of the pond and the fishies too.
Fingers crossed!

Finding it nearly impossible to go back inside after lunch, I made my way around to the pansy pots.  It's still early for serious gardening, but a bit of grooming and deadheading seemed like a good job for today.  Soon we will start watering them with liquid fertilizer.  That coupled with the warming temperatures will have them blooming beautifully by the time March rolls around.

Book #3
 Once gardening season is in full swing, my reading time may suffer or it may just shift to garden related books.  For now I'm moving right along and tackling a few that have been on the "to be read" pile.  Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn was one of them.  One day I was at the thrift shop where they were having a fill a bag with books for $2 sale.  Believe it or not I was having trouble filling my bag.  The lady working in the book dept. that day was trying to help me get that bag filled.  She brought me this book saying it was by the author of Gone Girl.  We decided it was worth a try and tossed it in the bag.  It was a whodunit involving a seriously creepy family.  It was a book completely different from the last two I read.  It did, however, hold my attention and keep my fingers turning the pages to see how it would end.

Book #4
I'm sure by now many of you have read this one or seen the lecture online.  Don't know why it's taken me so long.  In this case, better late than never.  At a time when most of my books are read and then passed along, this one has earned a spot on my bookshelf to be read over and over.  Hopefully I can even share it with my sons who don't take after their parents when it comes to reading.  
The story behind Randy Pausch's last lecture and the lecture itself... beautiful, touching and so very inspiring.  To quote Randy, "we cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
He sure did play his hand well.

On that note, I wish you all a Happy February.