Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Half a Century (Fiddy Cen)

April 8, 2016

Honestly, turning fifty…. FIFTY! wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated. I still feel the same as I did yesterday. It’s going to be okay. Five-Oh sounds really old to me, I mean, I was just turning 40 a few weeks ago. Seriously. That was the fastest ten years ever!

50th bday

I declined having a party. I requested a dinner with my husband and in-state children, albeit, it has to be postponed for three days to get all the kids available on the same night. Glad I turned fifty so I could still plan my life around my kids.

My baby son, who is 17, brought me flowers this morning. Ahhhhh. My eldest son, who is 19, called from California and sang a bday song for me. My baby girl, who is 12, made  a giant card for me. For reals. It’s four feet by two-and-a-half feet. My married daughter, who is 22 and in Oklahoma, sent me texts and called and wrote the sweetest words on facebook. My husband, who acts like he’s 14 sometimes, took me out to dinner and told me he was ordering a salad at a Mexican restaurant so I could be proud of him. Then his chimichanga showed up. He makes me laugh.

My family asked what gifts I might like this year… the monumental year when I turn fifty. I mentioned that a backyard swing would be nice. We used to have one, but years and years in the Arizona sunshine fried it to pieces, literally. Nora told her daddy that I wanted a swing set for my birthday. Just trying to be young again!

We picked out the swing tonight. The selling feature, even though it is brown with a red striped canopy (I don’t do red.), was that it lies flat into a bed. SOLD! So now I’m trying to find cute pillows on Amazon that bring cute colors into the red/brown non-cute theme. Currently the swing is in a big box in the middle of the dead winter grass in the backyard. I would be out there assembling it, but it’s dark and I need help getting the piece out of the box. No one will help me at 10:44 p.m., even though it’s my birthday and I am old enough to apply for AARP now. Sheesh!

Happy day of my birth to all of you! I hope you feel as loved as I did today!

 

Discoveries from the Chersterfield

March 24, 2013

My husband actually called the couch a chesterfield this week and he hasn’t even been watching Downton Abbey.  I believe it was a Canadian flashback for him.  I remember my Canadian grandparents using that term for the sofa, but not my husband!

Meanwhile, back on the chesterfield, I have made several life altering discoveries.

1.  Healing takes time.  Time allows you to think and write and read, all activities that tend to get brushed to the sidelines during a busy schedule.  I have missed writing.  I need to carve out some time to express myself with written words.  It brings me joy…. and I like joy.  It’s one of my favorite things, but not exactly in a brown paper package tied up with string. (Name that movie song.)

2.  My daughter and my niece hand picked lovely yellow and purple wildflowers, placed them in jars and brought them to my coffee table that holds everything I could possibly use while on the couch.  I have spent long moments watching little bugs crawl all over the sunny blooms.  A bit of wildlife right here in the living room.

3.  Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. (Name that artist.)  My front yard blooms are in their glory mode and I have spent time each day sunning myself next to their colorful display: royal blue lobelia, cadmium snap dragons and pansies, hot pink, pale pink, variegated and snow white Sweet Williams, four shades of purples in pansies, violets and violas, and a salmon pink geranium that has yet to open its glowy blooms for my pleasure.  Vitamin D is a glorious bonus.  My nature journal is calling to me to capture the array of colors.

4.  I am the sole individual who wipes out the microwave.  Sad but true.  Come on over and have a looksie at a week’s worth of blown up food bits.

5.  Ringo the wiener dog eats orange foamy earplugs.  Disgusting.

6.  I truly am a night owl.  Even on narcotics, my best hours are from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.  However, this was aided by a total of six hours of napping today.

I pray you are blessed with a full night of restful sleep while I am uninterrupted on the chesterfield.

Cuteness in the Backyard!

May 19, 2011

When I first laid eyes on this idea in a magazine, I was sold.  It’s been about two years since I ripped that page right out of that magazine…. and put it in my Idea Binder.  I’ve been waiting for the right chair ever since.  Several prerequisites for the chair were established in my mind: sturdy, wide seat, easily removable seat and CUTE!  The one in the magazine was an old ladder back chair with straight lines and no frills.

Fast forward to 8:45 pm on the Friday night before the 50% off sale day at Goodwill.  I was preshopping the sale for the next day with my husband by my side.  I spied this chair and my heart pitter-pattered a little faster than usual.  I knew it was MY chair for the flower pot idea.  It had a cane seat and darling flowers carved on the legs, seat and back.  The cane had a tear in it… hence the $6 price.

That night Larisa had her friend Sarah sleeping over and I talked them into going with me to Goodwill in the morning…. to stand in line so as to be ready for the mad dash.  As we waited in line, I explained everyone’s role: Larisa was to take Nora, get a cart and head for electronics. (That is where I hid small stuff.)  Sarah was to go directly to furniture, grab the chair and head for electronics.  I explained the chair in detail, so as not to get the wrong chair.  I was bee-lining to electronics.  I told them that as soon as the doors open, there would be an announcement over the loud speaker that says “Please do not run!” I confirmed, “Do not listen to it! … RUN!”

All went as planned and now I have a pretty potted chair in the backyard!

For those DIY-ers, I cut out the cain seat.  Painted the brown chair white.  Sanded the decorative carvings. Then I stapled chicken wire to the bottom of the frame in the shape of a bowl.  I bought one of those basket liner replacements that are an inch thick and made of coconut hair.  I had to cut some triangles out of the edges to get it to fit in the seat.  I wanted it on the patio, but it will drip everytime I water it, so it is on the rocky border next to the patio.  TA DA!

W.O.W. (Wildflowers of Washington)

July 3, 2010

A photo tribute to the beautiful flora and fauna of the most northwestern State of the contiguous 48.  Never have I had the opportunity to capture so many of God’s creations… every color, well almost.  My favorite colors were all covered… and that’s all that really matters, right? I don’t pretend to know what all of these flowers are named, but I do know some of them…. having lived in the great Northwest.  Please help me out if you know any missing names. 

Yarrow:

Daisies, duh:  (and grass seed)

Foxgloves:

???:

Roses:

Different Roses:

Different Roses #3:

Bachelor Buttons:  (these were our wedding flowers!)

Columbine:

Not sure, but could be the flowers of blackberries??:

???:

Unknown to me, but the blue ones look similar to Lobelia, the white similar to Star Jasmine, and the little yellow ones are shaped like Violas.

Lilies:

There you have it.  See?!  I need to do a W.O.W. scrapbook album and give it to Rick so that he will have fond memories of our hiking in Washington.  Please, take time to smell the roses!

Gazebo, baby!

May 14, 2010

replacement canopy for walmart mika ridge gazebo

Here is my beautiful new-to-me gazebo from some friends of ours.  Seems they live in a communist compound five miles north of us and can’t have shade in their backyard.  So my 13-year-old son and I put it together today… without instructions…. and only put four pieces on backwards.  Of course they had to be removed and turned the correct direction for the cover to fit.  It was only 85* in the SHADE this morning.  So we were a bit glisteny and shiny.  I have always wanted one of these gazebos, but it was never high enough on the priority list.  Thank you, dear friends!

While Aus and I were holding our arms straight up screwing nuts on bolts for what seemed like 27 hours in the hot sun, my other two children were leveling a corner of the yard which had been cleared of river rock and prepared for two 6’x6′ garden boxes.  It was the logical place for gardening boxes…. but it was the ONLY place for a 10’x10′ gazebo.  So my rototilled dirt was compacted and the river rocks were put back into place.  The mosquito netting was hung and the gazebo was placed in the NW corner of the backyard.  We promptly moved the patio swing in there and it is oh, so inviting!  SHADE!  The number one commodity in Arizona in the summer!

We are approaching summer temperatures, so my petunias, lobelia, alyssum and marigolds need to be yanked out and tossed and Vinca needs to be purchased and planted.  I plan to move some big pots in the gazebo and then it will be complete.  Ahhhhhhhh.

After watching Food, Inc. last night, I’ve decided to DEFINITELY plant some veggies!  I pulled all my carrots this morning and there is enough for dinner!  Yahoo!  So no more 6’x6′ square gardening boxes.  The only two places in the yard now are two 10’x3′ areas along both side walls.  I’ve grown zucchini during the summer before and I plan to again… and pumpkins.  I’ll keep you posted.

The Height of a Gardener’s Disappointment!

May 6, 2010

OK, this might not be the height, now that I think about worse things that my garden could succumb to, (leaf cuttter ants, grubs, mold, little white gnats, a digging dog, etc.) but still… this is pretty bad.  There is a flowerbed that surrounds a Queen Palm in the backyard that I was going to leave bare until late May.  I never got petunias in the ground this winter, only in my pots.  Down here in Phoenix, there is a distinct line drawn between winter and summer flowers.  And NONE cross the line.  Low and behold, the spot I was going to rest for a season was brimming with seeds from the previous year.  All these flowers came up on their own:  Lobelia, Sweet William, Marigolds, Petunias!  Sweet mercy!

Mixed in the beauties were these mystery plants that I couldn’t identify for the life of me.  There were four of them and they spouted the same time as all the others.  So I’ve been watering them and waiting impatiently to see what they are!  I suspected daisies.  Funny thing was, I visited my mother and she had the same little plants dug up from around her yard and was gingerly nursing them in two different pots.  She thought they were petunias, but no… I knew they weren’t because my petunias came up right next to them.  So we’ve been waiting for weeks for the healthy plants to reveal their flowery heads. 

Yesterday they opened.  Little white, fluffly, mini-dandelions.  They are weeds.  Really healthy weeds!  Weeds that I’ve been watering and actually weeding around.  Today I took this picture before I yanked them out of the rich soil, root and all.  My mother is visiting my sister in Washington, so I needed to let her know what she is growing in her pots!  HAHAHAHHA!  Not only have I been watering them at my house, but at my mother’s house as well!  I might save hers for her to see when she returns!

Spit Wads…. Again {sigh}

March 31, 2010

Sadly, my boys remembered their father’s example from six long years ago regarding the making, aiming and firing of spit wads.  Just Great.  I’m not sure what restaurant we were in when the boys each pilfered extra straw “guns”.  Regardless, the slimy ball wars continued for three days and I keep throwing away any straw I find.  On Sunday night at a concert at church, they actually pulled the straws out of their pockets and started gumming up some paper.  Militant mom confiscated all weapons before havoc was had.  I haven’t seen any today…. day five, so maybe we’re over this annoying ammunition activity.  Here’s hoping!

On Sunday, the height of the spit wad wars, Keeve had a friend over and they, along with Austin, went out front to spit at each other.  That’s really what it is.  Gummy, chewed up paper towel balls fired at one another, but “not at their heads”, so I’m told. 

My dry and thirsty plants in the front yard were calling to me so I ventured out-of-doors to relieve them and happened on the spit wad war.  To my surprise, my five-year-old nephew was also “playing”.  Before I made myself known, I secretly listened to the verbal exchange and rules that were being made.  Here’s how it went down:

5 yo:  Hey, guess what! Can I play with you guys?   (He says GUESS WHAT before every sentence… to keep us guessing.)

13 yo: Sure, you can be the target.

(Laughter by two 11 year olds and the smart alec 13-year-old.)

5 yo:  (naively, cluelessly) Ok, what do I do?

13 yo:  You just run around.

5 yo: (innocently, trustingly) OK!

Enter: Mom… and Auntie Linda, as the case may be.  I see the 5-year-old start to run away from the older boys as he says to me, “Auntie Linda, Guess what! I get to be the target!……… OWWW!  Something hit me on the back of my head.  I felt that!” (turning and glaring at the older boys.) Back to me with joy and glee in his big brown eyes, “They are letting me play with them!….. OWWW!” He reaches up to his neck and pulls off a slimy ball of gnawed on paper towel.

Being the mom, I gave a few pointed instructions… to the older boys and then went to water my parched posies. Raising boys is so FUN!

Side note: a nameless son of mine went to sleep over at a friend’s house yesterday.  He had packed a small bag… really small, so I asked what was in there for his overnight adventure.  “A clean shirt and shorts,”  he replied proudly.  That may seem all fine and good IF YOU’RE A BOY!  “Did you pack underwear or socks?”  “NO!  (with an amazed and shocked tone at how stupid my question was) I’m only going for one night!”  The caveman.  Who raised this kid of mine?  Positively Cro-magnon…. the same scivvies and socks two days in a row!  More than likely, he remembered to put straws in the bag.  Sheesh.

Desert Beauty

March 14, 2010

Four years ago we were studying the flowers, plants, animals, landforms, etc. of the Sonoran Desert in which we live.  There was this great activity in our curriculum that explained how to make a desert plant terrarium, so I bought this little round cactus for the enclosed desert botanical garden.  That’s as far as we got with the activity.  Since then, it has been just that… a little round cactus on my kitchen window sill for four years.  Being a cactus, I only water it once a month by setting it in a pan of water for an hour or so.  Then, THIS year, it decided to show off.  This beautiful orange blossom opened a few days ago revealing the true beauty of the desert. WOW!  The flower is only an inch across and the cactus is not quite three inches tall.  Teeny.  Perfect for a little desert terrarium.

Ila’s Fancy!

December 13, 2009

A little red birdie just alerted me to a new children’s line of clothing that is now available called Ila’s Fancy.  Ila is my friend’s mama and it is simply darling clothing.  When I know Zaza’s sizes I hope to get an Ila’s Fancy outfit for her to prance and play in.  Ila’s Fancy is on facebook and you can see the clothing line at etsy here: www.ilasfancy.etsy.com.

Back in the day, when my first little girl (who is now 16) wore ribbons and lace, I used to receive a catalogue in the mail with Ila-type clothing in it. I would pour over the pages imagining my little angel in the florals and the plaids and the ribbons and the lace and the bloomers and the pinafores.  I can’t remember the name of the company, but they were over the top with matchy-matchy clothing for the whole family.  (Majorly over the top, in my opinion.)  Needless to say, thanks to Zaza, I can revisit ribbons and lace.

So check out Ila’s Fancy and become a fan!

November 3rd has Come and Gone {sigh}

November 3, 2009

If you have followed our eternal adoption saga, you know that I’m a tad sad today.  November 3rd is the last day of the year 2009 that a referral call can be received from Bogota… and your child can be home by Christmas.  Our call did not come today.  This will be Christmas #3 without our baby girl looking wide-eyed at her first glistening Christmas tree, or having a family to gather with and sing carols in a strange language, or making Sugar cookies in the shapes of stars, candy canes and snowmen with sprinkles.  I don’t know if I can stand to put the baby ornaments on the tree this year.

When I think of the life Zaza is most likely living right now… down in Colombia… it makes my heart sad.  We pray for her every single day to be cared for, warm, fed and loved.  I know it will be the shock of her life to leave all that is familiar to her… food, weather, friends, home, caretakers, clothes, smells, Spanish, songs and games.  I’m glad that we stay in Colombia for a month to get used to each other in her surroundings.  But I honestly cannot wait to shower her in love and kisses.  To bring her to her own home and show Zaza her darling yellow room with the purple bed.  Her very own room!  With butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and the sun painted in bright colors and glitter dancing around the tops of her walls.  Her own curvy mirror to look in, comb her black hair that is just like her daddy’s and admire her beautiful clothes.  I can’t wait to hear squealing in our home again, high-pitched laughter and giggling.  We haven’t had princess tea parties in many years around here.  And dancing.  Yes, we will dance with Zaza.

We started a unit with the boys today on patience and plant growth.  As I read the definition “patience is waiting without complaining” I realized why God planned for us to start the unit today… Nov. 3rd.   I plan my homeschool year in early June, when I wasn’t aware of the Nov. 3rd cut off date.  And of course it would be patience out of all the character traits that it could be.  HE knew!  So we planted grass and flowers and herbs and vegetables today.  Of course I thought of doing all this with Zaza by my side making a mess next year.  I pray she loves gardening even half as much as I do.  We’ll have great fun together with the dirt, water, seeds and rocks.  I’ve been eyeing the little gardening gloves, rubber boots and color coordinated kid-sized garden tools at JoAnns.  I LOVE those!  A must have.

The courts in Bogota are closed from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15th, so there will be no action at all until after that. {sigh} The good news of Nov. 3rd being over is that the holidays are spent focussing on the family that is here, the few years we have left together, and making memories that will last. 

Seed Is a Promise

I read the book A Seed is a Promise today…. and it is, whether it is an actual plant seed, or the seed of a child born in your heart.  It is a promise.  A promise that will come true… if we have patience (and wait without complaining!)