Saturday, November 19, 2011

Road Trip!

One of my favorite things in life is to climb in the car and hit the road.

In my first car - right out of college  [you know, in the days when kids didn't get cars until they bought their own!] - I'd think nothing of hopping in my VW and heading west out I-64 to I-81 to make the nine-hour trip Knoxville, Tennessee, to see my mother.  Nestled between a couple of 18-wheelers and listening to them babble on the CB radio while I sang with whatever blared from the radio, I'd spend the day traveling light and fast and comfortable in the knowledge that if I did have a problem the truckers would make sure I got help.  

Those were carefree, fun times and certainly low tech.

Yesterday as we headed south for a week of "us time" I was reminded of how far we have come since then.  When it was my turn to drive, Mitchell turned on his Galaxie and hooked it into the car radio so that we could listen to Pandora as we passed thru the NPR-less radio wasteland.  No singing with whatever on this trip. 

With Gypsy navigating [get it? GyPSy?] we drove south.  [Let's see... the route is I-95 south for seven hours and turn left at Exit 8 in South Carolina.  I really needed Gypsy's help!]  Then the red lights appeared ahead - like three lanes wide and as far in advance as I could see.

Mitchell jumped the Galaxy to Googlemaps and immediately found us a lovely country road at the very next exit and successfully navigated us around whatever was happening ahead and back onto the Interstate five mile farther south.  The tie-up completely averted and a lovely drive thru North Carolina cotton fields.

Let's hear it for technology!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Bloom Day

Hard to imagine it's the middle of November already.  We had the first hard frost just last week, but now it's back to 70's and golden leaves.  On a balmy afternoon stroll there was plenty to look at.
Camellia sasanqua 'Sparkling Burgundy'
 Only a year old, this sasanqua is doing well.  It's been in bloom for more than a month and is still covered with buds.  I can hardly wait until it's grown up a bit and turned into a real shrub.
Fothergilla gardenii 'Mt Airy
I know this is not a flower - really, I do - but the play of the bluish-green leaves of the nandina and the golden coin leaves of the fothergilla is just too pretty to ignore.
Aconitum x Arendsii
One poor little Monk's Hood.  I am delighted with it, because it has been years since it has bloomed at all.  Can't seem to find the perfect spot to put it so that it thrives. 

There are also more mundane things still in bloom, like dianthus.
 Or, Pacific daisies.
Chrysanthemum pacifica (Ajania)
Or chysanthemums.
Even if they are in a pot.
The real stars of these last few weeks, tho, have been the roses.  I understand now why people adore the Knock Out varieties.  This one has bloomed and bloomed and will be ... well, a knock out when it's a bit larger. 
Rosa 'Radsunny' PP 18562
This one is smaller, but definitely not delicate.  It has bloomed non-stop since May and is still covered with tiny buds.  Wish I knew its name.  The tiny spots of pink are probably a flaw, but I think of them as beauty marks!
The very best thing in the garden right now is not yet in bloom - bearded iris!  The re-bloomers that  I planted last year have made it thru a summer that was both dry as a bone and overly wet, but they have put up five flower stalks.  Had hoped the warm weather this week would push them into bloom, but they are not ready, so none of us gets to see them today after all. 

When I decided to participate in Bloom Day, I had no idea that I really would have something in bloom every month, and I am not yet sure.  In these parts, tho, the camellias should be in bloom next month, followed closely by the hellebores, so I am hopeful.  If you haven't already been to see what else is blooming around the world, please be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens and follow the links.  And, special thanks to Carol for being our hostess all year.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Everyone's a Critic!

If you are looking for a good movie this fall, you might want to try "The Way".  Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, it stars Martin Sheen. 

(You remember him.  He used to go by the name of Jed Bartlett, but after two terms in "The West Wing" he retired to California and became an actor - now known as Martin Sheen - or something like that.)

Beautiful scenery, an interesting story with characters who evolve over two hours. 

Well, at least we liked it.