29 May 2013

have you heard...?

Today was the announcement!  It's time you see, to get ourselves together for a Mad Tea Party!

Get those teapots brewing, make some lovely snackies and gather your friends for a magically wonderful time!  I can't wait for the party and am already in planning mode.

So join us won't you, for a lovely time!  If you want to sign up to participate, head over to Miss Vanessa's to see how to join in the fun. 

Hope to see you there!


28 May 2013

a hopeful week...

The moon was beautiful this weekend.  Did you see it?  I love moon watching, don't you? Sometimes I can get good photos and sometimes not so well.  This one worked out well.

After all the rains, the birds started taking advantage of the bird bath outside my front door.  It was so fun watching them.  I laughed at their antics.  I was able to get a few good photos of them. One is below.

 I finally got the garden in.  All the pumpkins are planted, as well as the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants.  I'm hoping to get lots of good veggies this summer.  And tons of beautiful pumpkins in the fall.  Fingers crossed, wishes sent!  :-)

 I found another mulberry tree beside my property.  There is one on the side of the yard, but I can't reach the limbs to collect berries.  Now that the land is cleared I've found one at the back corner of the property and it has loads of limbs low enough that I can collect lots of berries.  I have NO IDEA what to do with them.  But it is so much fun to pick them and they are so very sweet!  I'm thinking I might try a bread with them.  I'd love any suggestions anyone has.

I've been doing a lot of drawing in my sketch pad.  I've started using color and it makes all the difference.  One of my biggest influences/inspirations right now is the fabulous Magickal Meliss.  She shares lots of videos of how she creates and it is so inspiring to me.  I also love the art of the beautiful Miss Vanessa.  I hope to keep creating and maybe share some more here with you.

I hope you had a lovely weekend.  Mine was spent in the garden, at the farmer's market, a birthday dinner with my family (yummy steak!).  It's a busy week for me doctor visit and test wise.  Nerves are stretching thin as I hate tests.  Anywho, I hope it is a good week for you and I'll try to get back here soon.  I'm counting the days until I have pumpkin seed sprouts to show!  :-)


23 May 2013

make a wish...

Hi There.  It's been a few days so I thought I'd pop in and share a quick Hi.  It's been a pretty decent few days.  I've been able to keep myself moving along despite the headaches and am happy with my progress.  I've got the new raised bed ready to plant.  Planting of peppers and eggplants is on the agenda for tomorrow although I'm a tad afraid that my seedlings aren't quite as big as they should be before I put them out.  So far my tomatoes are not looking good (except for the Gardener's Delight Cherry toms - they seem to be hanging in).
Yesterday was market day and I picked up a big bucket of strawberries (I have no idea what I'm going to do with them all - I'm thinking Strawberry Bread though) and the below bouquet of flowers. 

I also went to a couple of garden centers and ended up with more flowers to plant than I'd planned.  I bought cosmos, bee balm, delphinium, salvia and a few others that I can't remember.  Six of the cosmos were planted yesterday in the front of the sunflower bed.  I am not quite certain where the rest will go, but I so love them.  Tomorrow will be a mowing and planting day for certain.  I also hope to get those pumpkin seeds in the ground.
So, today is really a do nothing but lounge day.  It was going to be a garden day but we had storms during the night and it was way too wet to do anything at 6:30 this morning.  The one day when I should sleep in, I'm wide awake early and raring to go.  Figures...  :-)

Today has been pretty good.  Several phone calls, an email from an old friend, a couple of cards and a surprise invitation to lunch (which was yummy and some how resulted in my buying two new pairs of shoes).  Why is this worth mentioning?  Well, because today, I turn 44 years old.  Yep, today is my birthday.  My birthdays are pretty much like every other day.  Nothing special, just a normal day.  And today was a tad bit different.  I'm not sure why, but it does feel different.  I feel different.

So anyway, last night I got this urge so I baked up this little cake for me to have on my birthday.  It's box cake mix, but I made the frosting from scratch.

A couple hours ago, I took my little leaning tower of cake, lit three candles -past, present, future - said a little spell and blew out the candles, sending wishes floating off like smoke.  I wonder if you would like to make a wish too?  It isn't too late.  My wish is floating out there and you can send yours to join it.  Wouldn't it be great if everyone made a wish and each persons wish built on the next?  I love magical thinking.  Heck, I love magic.  :-)

So, have a slice of cake - it's a magic cake so there is enough for everyone - make your wish and enjoy the rest of your day.  I'm going to.  In fact, I might have two pieces...  :-)


ps...you don't have to share your wish, just send it out to the universe and let the magic happen.   ♥

19 May 2013

a peony for your thoughts...

 Isn't she beautiful?  Meet Miss Sandra Bernhardt Peony.  She has joined the garden and has the distinction of being the first peony in the garden.  I'm so thrilled with her and can't wait to add more. 

 Here she is all nestled at the corner of the shed.  I have a LOT of room now and am working on a plan to plant my new space.

 That's the new space.  Or part of it, as I have so many pictures of the cleaned up area that I figured two should suffice.

 This is what it looked like before Wednesday.  By Wednesday night it was all cleared up.  Like I said, I'm working on a plan of what to do with all this new space.  I'm so excited about it!  I have decided that along the back and sides I'll plant flowers (like the peony) and create a border and walking space to separate it from the veggie garden.

I've added another raised bed but need to fill it in and then get started planting.

At the farmer's market yesterday, I picked up some strawberries, broccoli, radishes, asparagus, etc. as you can see from above.

The garden has really been my sanctuary lately.  On Wednesday morning, I woke super early (to be ready for the workers to arrive) and was in a complete panic.  I ended up calling my mum and having her come spend several hours with me, to help me through my anxiety.  It all went well and I have this new garden space.

I'd love any suggestions about the garden space and how to make the most of it.  There will be pumpkins, lots of pumpkins planted this year.  Hopefully this week I'll get them in.

Hope you have had a good weekend.  What have you been up to?


10 May 2013

L. R. A. or how I deal...

In my current life experience there are three very important words - Learning, Recognizing and Accepting.  I live with a chronic illness.  For those of you that have been reading my blog for a while, this is not news.  For any newbies, it is news and it might explain a few things (for everybody really).  I have chronic severe headaches.  I have not had a single moment without severe pain in over six years.  Prior to that I would go for days and months with severe headaches and then they would lessen and sometimes even stop for an hour or two. 

I have seen many doctors, had tons of tests, surgeries, been on more medicine that you could find in a pharmacy and still they can find nothing to explain or even give a bit of relief.  All of this has been taking its toll for a while now.  I had to leave work and have been on disability for a few years.  I am unable to socialize very well (not that I was that great at it to begin with, but...).  I'm extremely sensitive to sound and sometimes light.  I don't know if it is the constant pain or all the medicines, but my cognitive reasoning and functioning is becoming much more difficult.  To add to all this, the past month or two I've started having panic attacks again.  Fifteen years ago I was in a constant state of panic and even locked in my home for 3 months.  But I got past it with Paxil and therapy.

Hmmm... I have digressed.  Back to LRA.  With a chronic illness comes learning limits.  One must learn that they have them, then learn to recognize them (see what I did there) and then of course one must learn to accept them.  I've been having a lot of problems with this you see.  But I think, maybe, I've finally caught on.  Today I had a breakthrough or epiphany.  Today, I recognized my limits and I accepted them.

As I've written recently we've had loads of cold, wet days.  Yesterday was our first good day of warm sunshine in a while.  I would have loved to head out to the garden and weed (it is very meditative for me), everything was just too wet.  So, I sat on the deck in my pretty blue chair and soaked in some vitamin d.

Today, it is a perfect garden day.  So of course, I wanted to take advantage of that fact.  I got the mowing done first and then rested a little bit while trying to decide what garden project needed attention next. 

I picked on of the beds to work on as I want to get angelica, rue, hollyhocks and echinacea planted there.  I worked there for a little while and started to feel nauseous.  Since I hadn't had breakfast I thought maybe my blood sugar was acting wonky again (yes I'm diabetic too).  Went in and checked and it was at a good number but I thought I should fix myself a little something.  I took my half sandwich to my pretty blue chair and was only able to eat less than half before I started feeling even more nauseous and sick.  I drank a lot of water and rested for a wee bit before getting back to work in the garden bed.  In my head I could hear a few different voices (not a thing unusual in that, I assure you).  One was saying it was time to stop, that I could work again on another day but today was not a good one for me.  The other voice chimed in saying to stop listening to the first and to get cracking.  I have so much to do and if I stop I'll never get it done.  Don't be a lazy sod about it all.  (Yes my inner voices are mostly British, Scottish and Welsh accented, tee hee!)

I sat there pulling weeds, bending and digging while listening to these voices (and a few others that chimed in).  I kept telling myself, just get half way done and that will be good. Come on, just a little bit more.  It's a lovely day after all and you really need to take advantage of it.  Keep going, keep going, keep going...

Then it happened... I stopped.  I looked at what I'd done and what I had left to go and I said, Enough.  Of course I was almost at the point of vomiting and passing out, but I got the message.  My body is just not up to it today.   I looked at my unfinished bed (not quite halfway done, but close) and said to myself, it's OKAY to stop.  Let's go rest.

 I put away the mower, took my tools inside and came out for my water bottle and camera and found this lovely little guy.  He's so beautiful and I wish I could keep him close so that when he changes into a butterfly I'll know just which one he is.  I wonder what he'll look like and hope he'll be as beautiful as he is now.

 But here's the thing, he reminded me that we have to stop being one thing, in order to become something else entirely.  For me that means that I have to stop pushing myself to the point of dropping, take that rest that my body obviously requires and then become something again.  It's like every time I am able to step out into the sun and work in the garden I'm taking back a tiny portion of the life I lost when I got sick.  I think it is a good way to look at it and it is a healthy way to look at it, for me at least.

I hope I haven't bored anyone to tears or made you run screaming demanding the past few minutes of your life back.  I really appreciate having a place to share my life (I don't have many friends or people to talk to IRL) and I appreciate everyone taking the time to read these posts.

Monday is new doctor meeting day for me and I'm extra nervous, but extra hopeful too.  I may be a few days before I get back here, but please know I wish everyone a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of the beautiful Miss V, I snipped my one blooming rose bud today and hung it  in the twinkle lights in my kitchen entry.  There is a storm blowing in tonight and tomorrow and if I hadn't picked it it would have fallen apart by Sunday.  The scent is heaven and I'm going to search for more plants as soon as I finish my nap.  :-)

Anywho, thanks for being here, it means a lot...


09 May 2013

when the sun shines...

The sun peeked through late yesterday evening.  Just as it was headed in for the night.  I was so happy to see it.  It's been such a cold wet week.  I feel like winter is leaving all over again.  Normally I'm a winter girl.  I love the snow and cold, but lately, I need the warmth and heat of the sun.  I need to feel it soaking into my skin.  When it does I can feel it sink all the way down into my soul.

I spent some time yesterday sitting for my favorite littles.  I call them my little soul children.  They are the children of my best friend, but I've been close to them since birth and cherish any time I spend with them.  We played games on the Wii, a board game (Trouble) and played with dolls and trucks.  So much laughter and giggles, little girl and little boy hugs and kisses.  That too is good for my soul.

My Tuesday garden work day got put off due to the weather.  I am hopeful that they will come tomorrow or at the very latest this coming Tuesday.  My poor little seedlings are not doing so well, some of them.  Many have set their second set of leaves and I'm ready to start hardening them off and getting them in the garden.

My roses are starting to bloom.  I just came in from checking them and they smell so divine.  I only have my one poor David Austin.  I really want to plant many more as I love roses, but I really only like the old english style, which I can't seem to find locally.  I suppose I'll have to search online for some, I'd really like to add at least one more this year.  Maybe two.  :-)  I've decided to hold off on adding blueberries to the garden this year.  I want to get that new section cleaned up and then replan my plantings.  :-)

I'm seriously considering taking this course in July.  It is close to our lake house and I could stay there and save on room and board.  I met Nina at The Red Thread Retreat this past October and have been a dedicated reader of her blog for several years.  Her words are so evocative and always speak to something deep inside me.  She is a beautiful person, both inside and out and I would love the chance to learn from her again.

I have been drawing again in my little sketchbook.  Being offline for so long I lost touch with my 52 PickUp that Lesley Riley is hosting.  In cleaning up old emails the other day I read through the previously missed messages.  One was a prompt to do something with an included sheet, do it right then.  So, I printed out the paper and started drawing.  I've been working every day even for just a little bit.  They are right you know, art does make the soul happy. 

It's time to head out into that sunlight.  It's still too wet to garden, but I'll take my sketchbook and kindle.  Maybe I'll even paint my toenails.  :-)


ps...if you love roses, head over to Miss Vanessa's for a peek at her roses.  She is amazing!

04 May 2013

flowers & things...

It's been a very grey, cold, wet week here.  Yesterday we had a bit of off and on sun so I tried to take advantage and get some outside time. 

I potted up some plants and dug up and potted lemon balm, mugwort and st. john's wort from the old garden.  I'm trying to get as much saved as possible as the yard gang comes on Tuesday to clear it all out.  Since I can't really get them all dug up, I harvested some lemon balm today and made an oil.  I hope tomorrow to do the same with the mugwort before the rain comes in.  
 Don't you just love flowers?  I love the way they look and smell, how they seem to smile at me while I work with them.  I just don't know what I'd do if I couldn't have a garden.

My rhododendron is blooming!  It doesn't bloom every year and I can't remember when the last time was that it bloomed.  I love the colors.
Today was farmers market day and I picked up some geraniums for my mum, one for my second mum (a friend who acts like a mum) and one for me.  I also picked up more strawberries.  I just can't get enough fresh seasonal strawberries.  Tomorrow is an Arts & Craft fair at the market and I'm thinking of going.

I'm still exhausted, every minute of every day and still have the head pain the same.  Only a week before I go to the new doctor for the headaches.  I can't tell you how much hope I'm putting on this new clinic.  I'm not sure at all what to anticipate, but I'm still hopeful that they will be able to help.

Off to have dinner, collards, pintos and mac & cheese.  :-)

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

02 May 2013

sometimes surprises are good...

Last week, on a particularly bad day, I found a package in my mail box.  When I looked at the return label I recognized the name and was immediately bewildered.  I was rushing out to an appointment when I got the mail so couldn't open the package right away.  I worried over it for hours, wondering what it was and if I'd managed to purchase something without remembering.

When I finally made it home, I opened up the package to find a note (that left me just as confused) and this lovely pair of earrings.
Pink, sparkly, dangle-y, sugar skulls...perfectly me!  I instantly fell in love with them!!

Like I said earlier, I recognized the label of Blue Finch Jewelry and knew this was sent by the lovely and talented Rachel Stewart.  I met Rachel last fall at the fabulously amazing Red Thread Retreat.  Rachel is a fantastic person and so sweet.  I was so happy to get to know her a little (as well as the other wonderful women) and spend time creating. 

In an effort to solve the mystery, I went to her blog (you might remember I'd been on an online hiatus for several months) and discovered that she'd sent out earrings to people who followed or commented during a specific time period.  I'm still so honored to have been included and also am amazed at how Rachel seemed to tailor the earrings to each person. 

I highly recommend that you visit her blog and shop.  I bet you find something you like.  :-)

Thank you so much, Rachel!  You are so fabulous!  I can't tell you how much you brightened my day!