Friday, February 27, 2015

Counting Down ... Finally!

Thirteen weeks from today.  Ninety-one days from tomorrow.  

In three months I am retiring!  

When I set the date - nearly two years ago - i bemoaned the fact that I still had so long to wait, but a very wise woman [a blogger friend in Arizona] told me that "anyone can do 24 months".  And, she was right.  I did move the date up by three months, but even counting that, the time has flown.

Am I excited?  absolutely?

Am I nervous?  Not at all.

Am I worried about what to do?  Never.  I have plans, plans, plans.

Obviously, the garden is high on my list of priorities and i have three projects slated for the outside. 

We'll be turning the current office into a library/music room, so that's a big indoor project.  I hope to take some classes at the community college.  

And, i have a lead on a community group that is working on voter registration.  Virginia is one of those states that has recently enacted legislation that requires more complicated voter ID, so i would like to help people complete the necessary paperwork.

That should be a start ... don't you think?
Two more days and this awful February will be gone.  Two more weeks and we should start seeing signs of spring.  It's time to get back outside, and to start blogging again.  Be seeing you soon!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

This morning I awoke to this:

and this: 

and this.

It all started Presidents' Day with snow, followed on Friday by the coldest temperatures I've ever seen.  

Then snow and more snow.  Some of it dry and fluffy and some of it wet, but still fluffy.  All of it cold!

At lunch time I heard the crunch of someone shoveling snow ....

... in my driveway.  Our across-the-street neighbors (who are enjoying a snow day) were shoveling our driveway!  I guess that officially makes us the "old people down the street", but i have to admit that i really appreciate it. 

I see muffins in my immediate future - muffins to take to those big, strong shovelin' men.

Even the garden benches are not available today.

They sit cold and forlorn waiting for spring.  Soon, i hope, soon.  Hope conditions are improving wherever you are! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

It's impossible that another year is over.  It seems like only yesterday that Mitchell and I were planning our annual New Year's Party for Two, and now it's time again. 
Very different planning this year, since Mitchell has the flu - yep! that one.  Fortunately, he is only miserable and not at death's door.  We both had flu and pneumonia shots, so even tho he apparently has the rogue strain, he's doing ok.

Did you  know that Tamiflu costs nearly $13 per dose!  OMG!  imagine a family of five getting this stuff. 

Anyway, it appears that our feast tonight will be chicken noodle soup for him, and leftovers for me.  i think we can survive!  Don't much plan on seeing midnight, either.

Thank you for hopping over here occasionally to read, and especially those of you who comment.  Thanks for your support when there were issues and for your encouragement when there were challenges.   It enriches my life to know that i have blog-friends out there.

My 2015 wishes for you are:

Peace - at home, in our communities and in the world.  Maybe in 2015 we can learn to live together and respect each others' differences instead of being afraid of them. 

Prosperity - whatever you are doing, i hope it goes well and keeps you comfortable. 

Health - enough with the surgeries, flu, and other bugs that are going around.  Let's all stay healthy this year. 

Laughter -  a smile goes a long way toward curing whatever ails you!

And, the love of friends and family. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

On the Third Day of Christmas, Mother Nature Gave to Me ...

a truly glorious day!

I keep telling you that if you do not like the weather in Central Virginia ... just wait five days.  And this time it was really worth the wait.  It's the kind of day when the 18-year old next door has the top down on his car and people wanting to stroll around the neighborhood are having to get starting times to control the crowd.  68 degrees in the garden - right now!  Glorious.

Finally got the last of the fall clean up done and put the garden to sleep today.  
The sun is so low in the south, that at just past noon, there is already shadow nearly across the whole yard.
It's not as pretty as in June, but it has a calm stillness that I enjoy.  Nothing left standing today except grasses and evergreens.

But if you look closely there's lots going on....

Remember my obsession with ranunculus?  It's all the fault of my blog friends who also are floral designers [you know who you are].  I didn't know anything about ranuncs until i started seeing them in your lovely arrangements, and then my quest to grow them began.  Have planted them year after year hoping for a bloom.  One year I planted four dozen and actually got - drum roll here! - one, yes one, blossom.

Last March Big Blue Box store had them in planters.  I bought many pots and used them in lots of my big planters - a full two months before the normal time to set out planters in these parts.  Thoroughly enjoyed them for about a month and then they went dormant, and i put new things in the planters.  So imagine the thrill I had this morning when I saw this:

and this:

Cannot imagine that they will survive the cold to come into bloom, but i've been hoping for a lot of years and don't plan to stop now. 

Mother Nature didn't stop there, either.  The mini-rose that has struggled for years [until i replanted it in organic potting soil and started a regular feeding schedule - duh!] has a dozen tiny buds opening.

The blueberry is covered with buds for a bumper crop next spring.  [Remember that the most i have ever gotten is half a handful, so "bumper" is a matter of perspective!]

And, would you like a bit of arugula!  It seems to love the cold weather, and tastes just fine.

Or, how about a bit of cilantro?

So far, no signs of the camellia blooming this year.  We had a hard freeze right after the buds came out and they don't seem to have ripened at all since then.  The helebores are late, as well, but i see lots of new growth coming up, so maybe they will adjust, too.  One can hope!