Monday, April 24, 2017

A Gardener Who Can't Garden

I look forward to gardening every year.  It's who I am.  Having  many interests I must say gardening is probably my most enjoyable pastime.  Spring is here in all of her glory and this gardener can't garden.  Boo Hoo.  I do believe I'm going to cry.  Life gets a little tricky as we get older.  Some of it is good and some of it is bad.  Thankfully I have enjoyed good health my whole life.  What happens when you wake up one day and you literally cannot put weight on your leg?  What do you mean you can't walk?  I find myself in a very humbling situation.

"We may think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it's our garden that really  is nurturing us!"   Jenny Uglow

A few weeks ago as we were decluttering a closet I saw a pair of crutches that I had used 21 years ago when I broke my leg.  I told Grayden, why don't we donate them to Amvets?   He, the practical one, said "oh we may need them one day."  I said "hopefully not."  Well, we kept those crutches and now I'm hobbling along on them!

I know I need to see the orthopedic doctor and gave them a call for an appointment. The next available appointment is May 2nd.  They called and said they have a cancellation so I'll be seeing them today.  In the mean time I'm taking it easy, icing my knee, keeping it elevated and longing to be digging in the dirt.

I couldn't even buy some annuals for various pots and planters.  Grayden went with my wanted list and bought the plants.  Thank you, sweetheart.  He then planted the plants for me.  I must say he did a wonderful job. 

"Gardens are not made by singing  "Oh how beautiful, " and sitting in the shade. "
Rudyard Kipling

We have already put several wheel barrow loads of compost on the garden.  I love making and using our Compost.  It's such an easy process and we are rewarded with wonderfully rich amendments for our soil.  Our cleanup of beds is complete and in most areas mulch has been applied.  There is always something for a gardener to do and I enjoy doing it.  Now I must force myself to think in different terms regarding our gardening season. 

Spring descended on us like a fast moving locomotive.  All of our trees and shrubs are fully leafed out.  It's a beautiful time of year.  The only drawback is our world is full of green pollen.  Hopefully our rain will wash a lot of it away and we will all stop sneezing.  I don't recall everything blooming as quickly as it has this year. 

"I think this is what hooks one to gardening: it is the closest one can come to being present at creation."
Phyllis Theroux

I know many of you find joy in gardening.  I will hopefully again soon. I've always been told if all you have to talk about is the weather and your health, you don't have anything interesting to talk about---Well, that's all I have these days. ♥

Friday, April 21, 2017

Set in My Ways

We have been fortunate to not have to replace appliances in a very long time. With that being said, for the past year our dishwasher has leaked.  Not all the time, just when it felt like it!  The Maytag repair guy recommended a new gasket around the door.  When that was replaced it didn't leak for about a month.  Then it would leak occasionally!  Dealing with this has really been a pain.  I would place a little tray under the right leaky side and get a few drips every now and then.  Then a few weeks ago it began leaking a lot.  This was not okay as we have hardwood floors in our kitchen.  Knowing that the dishwasher was seventeen years old we decided to replace it.  Along with that we replaced the garbage disposal.  I love our new dishwasher and now no longer have to worry about water on the hardwood.

While the grands were visiting I needed to wash a load of laundry.  We noticed the washer took forever to fill.  After checking online, Grayden decided he could probably fix the problem.  After he pulled the washer out in the laundry room, there was a big puddle of grease and oil on the floor!  Well, I'm sure you guessed what we had to do.  Our washer was twenty-three years old, so we can't complain!  Having to replace three items in the same month is not great on the budget, but that's what we had to do.

Dishwashers and washing machines have really changed since we last bought one.  I'm not used to having a washing machine that takes an hour to run!  It does a great job, but really?  Also the dishwasher takes a while as well but it is so quiet!  

So, have you had to replace any of these appliances and found it to be challenging?  Maybe it's just me---Set in my ways! ♥

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Family Easter Memories

Easter weekend was full of memories that repeat themselves each year.  We enjoyed the weekend with our grands coming to do what we do every year.  There is comfort in repetition.  Favorite games, coloring eggs and favorite meals of the season.  Being quite warm allowed us to enjoy the outdoors.  I'm sharing photos of our precious weekend with our grandchildren.

The flowers and trees and shrubs all celebrated the wonderful weekend with us.  Spring is almost an embarrassment of blooms--  It's the most colorful my garden ever gets. 

"The year's at the spring,

And day's at the morn;

Morning's at seven;

The hill-side's dew-pearled;

The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

God's in his Heaven— 

All's right with the world!"

-  Robert Browning, The Year's at the Spring

Here are a few of the blooms that are delighting us in our garden.

Thank you for stopping by my little world today.  I hope your day is full of the joys that make life sweet. ♥

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Another Mantel

We have another mantel in our Florida room that is fun to decorate for Spring.  There is another one in our family room downstairs, but I won't be showing photos.  Our grandson Samuel has it decorated with Transformers and various items that he collects.  Let's just say it's not too Spring looking.

We've had fun over the years with these topsy-turvy eggs.  Some of their expressions describe our family members.  I printed out the banner from Ann's site--Here  She has lovely things to print and great ideas.  I really should have cleaned the copper sconces on the wall--please ignore the tarnish!

I have quite a few pieces of Jim Shore.  I'm sure you recognize his work.

The little sheep salt and pepper shakers had to come home with me a few years ago.  The little bunnies came from the Dollar Tree this year. You can't beat a dollar for these little cuties.

Years ago I made this egg and chick in ceramics.  Today it holds the egg tree.

I have a couple of these Beatrix Potter flower vases that are nice to put out in the Spring.

My Mama gave me this little Easter basket.  I must bring it out every year as it is the last gift I received from her. ♥

Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Decor

Spring is finally making its beautiful entrance to our area.  Despite roller coaster temperatures, we are now having daytime highs in the 50's and 60's. On the occasional day it's been in the 70's.  It's been wonderful weather to work in the garden cleaning up the last of the leaves. We're having mulch delivered next week so this job needs to be done.  This last month has been a very hard one for our family.  I'm so thankful that Spring has come to us just in time.

 Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.
Maya Angelou

Thank you, dear blogging friends for being there for me. ♥

Meanwhile, life goes on as they say. I've enjoyed changing the inside decor to Spring.  Our new mantle in the living room has been so much fun to decorate.

We decided to still hang our John Shaw print  above the new mantle.  We love it in our living room. 

On the left side of the mantel I placed our pierced Rose Medallion plate along with two glass bunnies and a Lefton girl that reminds me of Anne Shirley.  My sister, Susan gave her to me as well as the two pink bunnies.  She knew I loved Depression glass and even though they are not from that era they go well with my pink Depression glass collection.  


Adding a little nest just made sense.

On the right side I added a Valerie Parr Hill arrangement for height.  Along with my Mama's egg and a swan and a little girl figurine they seem happy to grace the mantle.

I've had this bunny for many years and he wanted to be front and center.

I'll share our Florida room mantle and other decor soon.  Are you decorating for Spring?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Our New Living Room Mantel

We have lived in our home for 44 years.  I was in my 20's when we built our home.  Our children were one and four when we moved in.  It's hard to believe how quickly time has passed.  Now my babies have their own babies and their own homes.  We never thought this home would be the home we would stay in for this long.  I guess we are the type of folks that put down roots really deep.  Over the years we have been through many decorating stages.  We are quite lucky that our home was built when the standards were strong in the construction field.  Adding a large room to the back of our home really helped us make the decision to stay here. 

Our brick mason was a wonderful man who added many special touches to our home. He never complained when we asked him to build semi circular steps and brick planters on our patio or curved openings to our family room fireplace.  When it was time for him to build the living room fireplace he suggested a brick mantel that stepped down in the front.  What did I know?  It sounded fine with me at the time.  After all we had many other decisions to make.  Such as green appliances in the kitchen and blue tub and toilet in the bathroom and green toilet in the master bath. Yes, I really did choose those items.  I still live with some of those decisions!!  Remember the 70's?  The styles were really something then.

Well that brick mantel is something I really don't like.  Over the years there were many other places for our money to go.  So the brick mantel has taken a back seat to other improvements we wanted to make.  I've been looking for years at an option to make this mantel more to my liking.   Grayden is retired and has more time to do some of the improvements that his wife requests.  I am thrilled with the project we have been working on this month.

Years ago Grayden installed crown dentil moulding in our living room, dining room and hallway.  We wanted to use this same crown dentil molding in the new mantel.  Considering this mouding was made so many years ago we had problems finding a match.  After searching the internet and the local building supplies we came up empty.  Grayden suggested we check one more place that I knew would not have it.  Well, they didn't have it, but they ordered it for us!  Yay--we were set!

Here are the steps to our new mantel.  We all worked together to get to the finish line.  Thank you Grayden and Samuel.

First thing was building a flat top box to fit snugly on the brick mantel.

Then Grayden mitered the crown moulding and nailed it to the box.

Then it was attached to the brick mantel.

It was then ready to have the nail holes filled with wood filler and primed.

Samuel was a huge help with the small tedious painting around the dentils.  

The mantel has now had two coats of paint along with a primer.  I can't wait to decorate the new mantel, but I must allow the paint to cure.

I'm so happy with this style and I feel it looks more appropriate in our living room. Next I want to paint this fireplace screen. It's quite old.  I'm thinking black.  What do you think?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Catching Up

When uploading photos to One Drive I realized I had not shared some fun family times of last month.  Even though these are a few weeks old I do enjoy remembering the good times.   

We went down to visit the boys over President's Day weekend.  They had gotten a trampoline from Santa that their Dad was putting together when we arrived.  If any of you have ever had the pleasure of putting one together you know it's not hard, but quite time consuming.  The boys were delighted beyond belief at the finished project!

Yes the weather was warmer last month than this month.  Alex loves to wear Bermuda shorts on days that are 60 and above.  

Of course the big kids had to give it a try.

I have a lot more sense than these guys, so I declined the temptation.

Miles came home to stay with us for the weekend.  It's the first time he has done that without his brother.  We thoroughly enjoyed the alone time with just him.  

Ferry Farm had a celebration honoring George Washington's birthday.  Miles wanted to go so we ventured out for a little history lesson and fun at Washington's Boyhood home.  I've mentioned before about the building of the home on the original foundation.  We took this opportunity to see it up close.

First you must partake of birthday cake!

And a little sip of cherry tea!

Then off to play Colonial games.

We walked over to the site of the home construction.  It's so exciting to see the home coming together.

The home is being built as close as possible to original building methods.  Hand forged nails can be seen on the building.

Miles wanted to run down the hill to the river.  The Washington home sits at the top of the hill overlooking the Rappahannock River and the city of Fredericksburg. 

That's him in the burgundy shirt.

We reminded Miles that George Washington must have run up and down this hill as a child, just like you did!