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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Flower Month Day #31 – Grand Finale

It’s the final day of Flower Month. Thank you so much for coming by so often to see what’s going on in my garden!

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This is my gorgeous Penstemon.  Or rather, one of them. They come in many colors (and I have a bunch of them!) but this is my favorite. Nice, bright red!

I had planned to make a final offering of a single flower, but I decided instead to give you an overview of the whole garden. So, enjoy. It won’t be as great as sitting out there with a cup of coffee and listening to the birds chirping, but I hope you’ll be able to imagine why it is one of my happy places.

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Hope all my offerings for the month will inspire you to begin your own adventures in gardening!

Flower Month Day #30 / Decluttering AGAIN?

So here’s the deal.

If you are a pack rat like me, de-cluttering isn’t something you do and you’re done, it’s an ongoing process.

Ongoing, and ongoing and ongoing. It NEVER ends. It is treating a symptom, not the disease. WHAT??? Where did THAT  light bulb moment come from?

If I have to constantly de-clutter, I am treating a symptom, not the disease.

Uh-oh.

I don’t have time at the moment for a complete evaluation of why I keep letting all this stuff into my life. Correction, I’m not “letting” it in, I’m “bringing” it in. This isn’t something that is happening to me, I’m doing it to myself!

So, I apparently have a lot more work to do in this area, and I can’t deal with it right now. Right now I have to get this house presentable. We met some neighbors who invited us to come over for a glass of wine a few weeks ago. The visit included a tour of the house (which, thank you, Jesus, was not immaculate, but nor was it a pig sty.) Now it is our turn to reciprocate, and I don’t see any way around a tour of ours as well.  I’m skert. I mean, I’m not looking for a housekeeper of the year award, but I’m not looking to embarrass myself either. The idea of a complete stranger (who is not being paid to be there) in my studio makes me shudder.

It’s not that the house is filthy, it’s just not tidy. There is stuff on every surface, and even a few piles on the floor. But it’s mostly explainable. We live in a smaller house now, and recently brought a bunch of stuff from the old house down here that we haven’t found homes for yet, plus boxes of my Dad’s stuff I haven’t yet figured out what to do with, plus all the paperwork from his estate. And all that is on top of already not having as much room to spread out as we’d been accustomed to. Down-sizing seemed like such a good idea at the time, but now six years in, I’m wondering what we were thinking.

So, I’m kinda frantically trying to figure out how to make it look presentable enough to get by. Tell me again why I want real world friends?

And I, being me, have an unusual way of dealing with things like this. Instead of determining which 5 things I can do that will make the most overall improvement, I start sorting through a basket of papers, books, magazines and miscellaneous junk that is hidden under a table and wouldn’t be seen. And it ate up most of the morning, as I walked down memory lane reading things that didn’t need to be read, and daydreaming about delicious recipes that I have no business cooking. I did come away with a good size pile of trash and stuff to shred, so that felt good, but that particular project was not high on the list of what needs to be done.

But, those are hours under the bridge. The next few days are going to need to be more productive in terms of “looks.”

THEN I’m going to need to dig a little deeper on this issue of needing all this STUFF. Maybe it’s actually fixable!

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We’re down to the last two days of Flower Month…

For my next to the last flower, please enjoy my rock roses, or Portulaca. They are a wonderful addition to my rock garden.

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Hope to see you back for my final offering of the month tomorrow!

“Happy” Art Journal / Flower Month Day #29

I had an amazing day! I actually created some art for a change. A much needed change.

I spend a lot of time trying to make myself forget about art because I am busy, and because I don’t have anything to do with it when it’s done…I have so many lame excuses. But in the process I forget how much I love getting in and getting my hands full of paint and turning a blank surface into something I love to look at.

You may remember that this year I chose Happy as my “word” of the year and was all full of ideas for documenting my search for the happy in my life with art. But it hasn’t happened, until today. I FINALLY started my “happy” art journal, and I’m wondering why it took so long!

It felt wonderful to finally get my ideas on paper, to be doing art again. This is my first page. I was enjoying the process so much, I forgot to document the stages!

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On the next layout I got out the camera! I started the page using a technique I learned from my “Radical Wellness” class…

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I laid down a few pieces of book paper with modpodge, a layer of paint, and then started writing in pencil – just random thoughts about happiness. I added to that the word happy, over and over with a pitt pen (waterproof!) and then another coat of paint. Next I added stamping, more paper, more paints, a sheet of paper with thoughts about the journal, then washi tape, more paint, some pastels, sticker letters, and pen work…

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Fun, fun, fun! I can barely contain my excitement. I think I’ll be back in the studio a little more often now. No more excuses.

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As for day #29 of flower month? Please meet my Salvia. There are lots of varieties, but this bright purple is one of my favorite. Hahahahaha! Aren’t they all?

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Only two more days of flower month to go! Hmmmm…I wonder which 2 flowers will make the cut?

Flower Month Day #28 / Use Your Words!

“Use your words!”

How many times have you found yourself saying that to a child in the midst of a screaming fit or having hit someone?

And now, having seen all the wonderful Memorial Day tributes over the past few days, I’m wondering why we grown ups don’t take that advice ourselves?

“Use your words.”

I posted on Facebook today:

I’m dreaming of an America where not one more serviceman/woman will need to die in war. Where we will finally learn to settle our disputes using reason and words instead of violence. I know it’s naive.
But I dream it anyway.

 

What are the chances?  But it’s a great aspiration, isn’t it? A world where people discuss and compromise, and learn to live with each others ideals instead of forcing their will on others. Where we live and let live. Where we don’t settle our differences with violence. Where aggression is something our “forefathers” participated in, but is socially unacceptable now.

We can’t even do it within our own borders, let alone in the larger world.

But I dream it anyway. Especially on Memorial Day.

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And, for Flower Month Day #28 (yikes! Almost to the end of the month already!) I’m spotlighting my Lobelia. It comes in several colors and even styles, and I love them all.

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I had all but given up on it, because the voles ADORE it. Last year I would plant it one day, and the next day it would be nibbled down to the nubbins, or just gone altogether. We even got to the point that we were baiting the vole traps with it!  This year, I have seen no evidence of voles at all, so I’m trying again, and so far, so good. Should they show up again, I’ll replant it in containers, but I hope it won’t be necessary. I really like how it looks trailing over rocks in the flower beds.

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What ever are you going to do when the month is over and you don’t get these daily lovelies?

I’m so excited for tomorrow’s post – I arted! Woohoo!

Flower Month Day #27

Normally I’m not a huge fan of marigolds, as they are so COMMON. But some of the varieties are quite pretty, and even a little unusual. I love the orangey rust color and the little ripples along the edges.

They make for a nice splash in my annual beds. What there are left of them. Yikes! I guess I’m not over this yet!

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Lori’s Flower Month Challenge has gotten me back in the blogging-every-day mode, and I’m loving it. I haven’t found an organized challenge for June yet, and if I don’t I think I’m going to make one up for myself! I’m involved in a writing group, and I’m needing to do a bunch of homemade cards… Maybe I’ll do a card a day! I wonder if I could be disciplined enough to do that!?

Flower Month Day #26 / What’s With This Team Crap?

For the first time in a long time, maybe ever, my beautiful garden was not the picture of domestic tranquility. In fact, it was the scene of a domestic dispute.

Normally, Mr. Tattered doesn’t have too much to say about the garden. It has pretty much been my domain. I designed it, and for the most part executed it, although he did provide some much needed “man”power when it was going in. But mostly, I do what I want. And I like it that way.

But today…well, today he decided it was time to let it be known he wasn’t happy with the direction I was going with my latest foray into expanding the annual bed. I was encroaching into the area he thought he needed for being able to prune his plum tree. The plum tree “I” suggested he plant there because I know how much he loves plums, and knew I had taken most of the available space in the backyard and wanted to share.

Turns out THAT was a big mistake. Who knew he would need so much room to tend it? I figured as long as he could get a ladder close to it, we’d be fine. But no. Suddenly 360 degree access is required.

I had put dozens of hours of back-breaking work into something that was now causing a problem. Rather than pitch a hissy (which, believe me was what I WANTED to do) I set about figuring out how to mitigate the damage. Fortunately, all the planting I’d done was recent, so nothing had had a chance to really root yet. While I was flaming mad on the inside, I was able to calmly start taking my beautiful new bed apart, and make a smaller space, allowing a bigger clearing for “him” to work in. (When what I WANTED to do was to start ripping it up and throw things. Or, better yet, rip out every plant and let him have an ugly, utilitarian backyard.) But, we are a team, after all. And teammates have to work together (I told myself through clenched teeth.) And, theoretically it is his backyard, too (again, through clenched teeth.) Plus, if I did what I REALLY wanted to do, I would be the one unhappy in the end. He’d be fine. This being a grown up thing sorta sucks sometimes.

I worked until I was exhausted. I’m not fond of the new configuration, but I’ve identified other areas that I can change around to house more annuals, and that won’t be in the way of places he “needs” to work.

I have a feeling I’m going to be pissy about this for awhile. But, I’ll get over it eventually. In the meantime, things are a little tense. And I’m good with that.

When I finally came in, I made “him” one of his favorite dinners, complete with homemade mango and Maui Onion salsa. Don’t ask me why. He most certainly did not deserve it. But then again, how blessed we are that we don’t always get what we deserve. Maybe it was my way of saying “I love you even when you’re a pain in my…”

So, my flower for the day is a watermelon diascia. It is in a tin pail that escaped my wrath today, as it is portable and can be moved to another location.

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Lucky for it.

Love Can Be Fleeting /Flower Day #25

You know it’s true. You fall in love, thinking this is the one. We will be together forever. This time it’s for real. I’ve found the perfect one for me.

Then the challenges of the world set in. You start to see glimpses of the negative things about your love that they warned you about, and you chose to ignore – surely they couldn’t be true.

But they were. And here you sit, broken-hearted.

Yep, friends, they were right about my beloved hose. It continues to be a fantastic idea, but the execution is flawed. After less than a week, it began to leak, just like they said it would. I tried to ignore it. I didn’t even tell my friends about my doubts. Then I adapted. If I hold it out like this, it really isn’t so bad. Maybe it will go away. Surely this can’t be happening.

Then it got punctured by a twig in my pile of garden debris waiting to go into the green can. It’s dead. And laying in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the trash can.

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So now I am presented with a dilemma. Do I give up, or try again to see if I just got one of the bad ones?

I’m loyal to a fault. When I love, I love deeply. So, yeah, I’m going to try again. It is just too good of an idea not to give it another chance.

It’s only $20.00. Okay, if it fails, too, it will be $40.00. But it will have been worth it to take a chance on love, won’t it?

***Late note: I went back to Bed, Bath and Beyond to purchase my second hose, and related the story of what happened to the cashier. She validated that they had lots of complaints about the leaking, but said the company was working on improvements. She ALSO said, bring it back and we’ll give you store credit. I asked, even though I punctured it and don’t have my receipt? And she said, yep. We’ll take it back, anyway. Now THAT is customer service.

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Elsewhere on this 25th day of the flower month, meet my next flower. “Flower, these are my friends. Friends, this is….” Only I don’t know her name. She is a bit on the unusual side. Her name was on the side of the container, but I didn’t write it down because I just knew I would remember it. Well, I threw the pot away, and all I can remember is that it starts with a “p.” I’ve looked on every garden flower site I can find, and can come close, but the the name I’ve found doesn’t start with a “p.” And I just have to trust my steel trap memory (Stop laughing, Mr. Tattered!) So. I can wait until I find her name to show her to you, or go ahead with anonymous. As you’ve already guessed, I’m goin’ with anonymous. Or cute little purple balls. You choose.

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If you know what this is, let me know, k?

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