Saturday, February 3, 2018

February Thoughts



January is in the rear view mirror and now we have flipped the calendar to February!  Our weather patterns have been a little crazy from warm in the 60's to freezing in the teens.  Looking back at my gardening journals,  I see this is not unusual for us in winter.

The only thing blooming around here is my African Violet.  Do you like them?  They are quite old fashioned, but I guess that's what I like so I've always had them.  They remind me of my Nanny's place.  She grew the prettiest ones.


  

The beautiful Blue Moon made her appearance the last of January.  It's amazing to me that we all gaze at the same celestial bodies no matter where we live on this planet.  What a wonderful world we live in!



  
Our bird feeders continue to delight us.  These two male and female pileated woodpeckers usually visit us every day when we are having our dinner.  I had to buy more suet yesterday as these big boys eat a lot!





Many different birds enjoy our back garden and it really thrills us when we see a bluebird.  This old crooked bluebird box has seen better days.  The hole has been changed by larger birds through the years.  This fellow is wondering what happened!



A great game to play with your children or grands is Jenga.  Our two youngest grands enjoy playing as well as Grayden and I.  Samuel is looking forward to a match when his Mom comes for a visit tomorrow.  


On warm days you will find us taking our walk around the neighborhood.  During the really freezing days we opt for mall walking.  Yesterday was so windy and cold there was no way we would be walking outdoors so we walked at the mall for a while.  I'm afraid the arthritis in my knee is acting up again this winter, so we had to cut that walk short.  I'm very disappointed that this issue is rearing its ugly head again!  I really need to do the exercises my PT prescribed last year.  Unfortunately when I'm not hurting I become quite lax in doing them.   Changes that happen as we age can be quite disconcerting.



"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm"
Henry David Thoreau

I try to always remember that getting older is a privilege and one that is not given to everyone.  






   

36 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures..yes!! January just went by in a blink...

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  2. Ah! remember, objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear! The weather is such a mixed bag, for all of us. Speaking of all of us, I always look up at the moon, especially the full moon, and feel connected to each and every one of my online friends. Dare I say, thank you, Susan Branch?

    I do believe my friend and I were the original inventors of Mall Walking as a sport way back in the 1980's! It was a great way to spend an afternoon, but the only things that were lighter were our wallets!

    ~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

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    1. Yes, Susan Branch connected many of us, including you, my friend. What a sweet spirit she embodies. There are many things about the internet not to like, but the connection of kindred spirits certainly is a wonderful thing.
      I joined you in the Mall walking sport all those years ago. We walk there before any of the stores are open, so our wallets are protected! Our Mall opens for walkers early in the morning. xoxo ♥

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  3. Good evening.
    Japan is eight afternoon on 4th,
    Thank you for a wonderful newsletter. Always waiting forward to.
    The snow festival of Hokkaido Sapporo is held.
    Ryoma.

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  4. I too am a great fan of an African Violet, they evoke memories from my childhood visiting with my Nanny and Grandpa. We are also great fans of Jenga, something that we will try with the Grands when they visit. Beautiful photos of the birds that visit.

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    1. We played Jenga again this afternoon. It's a fun way to enjoy a rainy afternoon. ♥

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  5. Yes, I do like African violets and have had a few over the years. I will never be as good at growing them as my Nanny who had a big south-facing bay window. Her African violets were all packed into a big wicker planter that, as a child, I thought was a repurposed bassinet. ☺️

    Growing older is not for wimps as they say. A new crick every morning! You are doing well to keep moving.

    I cleared the driveway this morning in anticipation of more snow (then rain...boo hiss). It’s a skating rink out there. I bought the last tub of Mr. Fitz (ice melt) at the hardware store this morning. I was glad to have it.

    Those pileated woodpeckers must give a wonderful suppertime show! (Aren’t the longer days a blessing?) Happy February!

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    1. Vee, I do hope you are careful on your driveway. Glad you got Mr. Fitz--good name. It's raining/icing this afternoon. A good day to sit by the fire.
      It does seem that all of our grandparents grew African violets. Stay warm and cozy. ♥

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  6. Great shots....of the birds. And yes, I love violets! Esp those purple ones! I had some at work before and they did great but when I took care of a friends at work, her's had bugs on them, mine got sick and died. I need to consider getting a couple. They would look great on my deck this yr.

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    1. Thank you, Pam. I have a lot of windows where my African violets live and they love it! I hope you are able to find some purple ones for your home. ♥

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  7. Martha Ellen, the birds around your back garden got to me right away. I have noticed the birds chirping more here lately, and it's nice to hear. Love that old bird house, and what a sweet bluebird picture. Aren't those woodpeckers funny to watch? You got a picture of the blue moon, fantastic! I wanted to see it, but didn't get a chance to. Yes, I like the African Violets, and yours is a striking color. The "enthusiasm" quote is a good one, and a great reminder. All your posts are heartwarming, Martha Ellen, and your pictures and words are truly special.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Birds chirping surely reminds us of Spring, doesn't it? We have enjoyed the pileated woodpeckers so much, Sheri. They are great entertainment. Thank you so much for your kind comments, my friend. I hope you are well and are enjoying your break. ♥

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  8. I loved this post, Martha Ellen, and the quote at the end is so true. Aging is not fun and such an adjustment, but as you say, it is a privilege. As long as we want to keep learning, trying new things, and keep laughing, it will be fine. I'm sorry about your knee. I know the pain. And my new knee is not behaving as it should, this one I need to give more time to--a full year they say, and I'm only half way there. I never thought about African violets being old fashioned but I guess they are. I never did well with them but yours look lovely. Lastly, I have the same thoughts when I look at the moon! This recently one was just amazing. Have a good week ahead!

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    1. Dotsie, I know you understand the knee issues. I'm so sorry your new knee isn't behaving. Hopefully your body will adjust to it soon. It's really lovely to think that you and I were looking at the same moon. Happy February! ♥

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  9. I love your African Violet. I haven't had any in years. And the photo of the bird at the birdhouse is beautiful. We are iced over up here in north central Maryland today.

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    1. I revived my violets a couple of years ago. They had become leggy, so I cut the legs shorter and repotted them. Now they are beginning to bloom again.
      We had a little ice yesterday, but mainly rain that we need quite badly.
      Stay safe and warm. ♥

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  10. Beautiful photos this morning!
    Jenga is a favorite here!
    Have a cozy day.
    We have a cold, snuggly school day here. : )

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    1. I'm not surprised to hear your family enjoys Jenga. It's fun for a wide variety of ages.
      Have a warm and cozy school day, my friend. ♥

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  11. African violets are such pretty flowers and never disappoint. I know how you feel with your knee. I do not want another knee surgery. Mine acts up more so right before a rain, sounds crazy but it does. It hurts now. I purchased a knee brace so it helps to walk easier. I hope you have relief soon from the pain of yours. I like Jenga too. I see it looks like your grand son is holding his breath so they don't tumble. Have fun and stay warm.. I feel February will be doozy for some reason

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    1. Betsy, I'm sorry to hear that your knee is bothering you. I feel my knee acts up when it's very cold and maybe before a rain as well. I agree with you about February. We always get the most snow during this month. Stay warm and cozy. ♥

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  12. Oh, I am so sorry that your knee is acting up again! Your last words, however, are certainly true. That is food for thought.

    What splendid birds you have coming to your feeders! I'll bet those pileated woodpeckers can make a dent in the feed supply! :)

    African violets are lovely, but I am the kiss of death to plants. (Yikes!)

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    1. Cheryl, you can't possibly be the kiss of death to plants! I'm sure if you wanted to have a houseplant or two, they would flourish. They are kind of like teenagers you have to nourish to their full potential. Have a good week, my friend. ♥

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  13. I'm sorry your knee is giving you grief. And I find the same thing, that when I'm feeling great I tend to neglect them. I must be more diligent. I'm enjoying some of the same things: birds, plants, and of course books. I think the UPS truck probably knows it's way to our place by heart! Amazon is so tempting. Your African violet looks beautiful. I can't seem to raise them. Have a good weekend!

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    1. Hi Judy, you are right that Amazon is tempting. Happy reading to you! My knee doesn't like the cold damp weather we are experiencing now. I can't complain though, we have been so dry this winter. The rain is welcome. Have a nice weekend. ♥

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  14. Somehow I missed this post, Martha! I am really sorry about your knee. I have reactive arthritis in both knees right now (it is like severe tendonitis) so I know what you are going through. Mine will go into remission, hopefully, with the meds, etc. but could take a year or more for that to happen. Last time I had a 6 year remission.

    Great pictures and we LOVE Jenga. Even the 'baby' (age 3) plays it and is good at it. lol

    Have a wonderful weekend- xo Diana

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    1. Goodness, Diana, it seems we all have arthritis in one form or another. It's quite shocking, isn't it? This "spell", as my Nanny used to say, is lasting a while I'm afraid. Hopefully you won't have any more pain! Enjoy your weekend. xo ♥

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  15. I hope you are feeling better now. Take care of yourself and try to stay warm. I love the two woodpeckers eating together. What a beautiful photo! Enjoy your weekend. Hugs, Diane

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    1. Thank you, Diane. My knee does not like today's weather of rain and cold. I had to ice it tonight and I must say that does help, though I'm not wild about how cold it makes me feel! Enjoy the rest of the weekend. ♥

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  16. Enjoyed your photos and thoughts, Martha, I indeed enjoy African Violets, and I believe I have that same planter. We also enjoy watching and feeding the birds, I especially enjoy hearing their songs when I am outside, they sing no matter the circumstance, I think we humans could take a lesson from them.
    I enjoyed your thoughts about aging especially since I have been dealing with arthritis in my knees, Thanks for sharing, and thank you for visiting.
    Blessings,
    Sue

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    1. Thank you, Sue for visiting. The birds are singing more and more these days and it is a welcome sound.
      I'm sorry to hear you suffer from arthritis as well. Wishing you pain free days. ♥

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  17. African violets are beautiful flowers. They do remind me of something old fashioned. The birds are a joy to watch. How fun to play games. We played a lot growing up. Thanks for sharing some lovely photos. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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  18. Martha, PT is really effective. I, too, have a problem area that acts up every time I get lax about the PT exercises! But like you said ... it's a privilege! :D I grew African violets years ago and then haven't thought of them since. I don't know why. Very pretty.

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    1. Jean, last year when I was having great issues with my knee I got tons of relief with physical therapy. I'm now back to doing those exercises and getting relief. ♥

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