Hello, Dear Friends! Time is racing ahead as we spring forward
into a new season!
We had a relatively mild winter, here in the Pacific Northwest,
and I am very grateful for that.
Some years are better than others and you never
can predict these things, although I keep buying
'The Old Farmer's Almanac' in hopes that it can be done.
As we transition to spring, the weather has been typically unsettled, with sunshine,
rain, hail, wind and then back to sunshine, sometimes all in one day!
Despite it all, nature is her usual resilient self, and we are seeing
more and more signs of spring.
I indulged in a few pots of pansies from the garden center,
and you can see that the wild plum tree is starting to bloom
in the background.
That signifies the official start of spring here.
Forsythia below the deck.
It's a wild tangle that wraps around the corner,
started from one little rooted twig.
My first daffodil has bloomed in the barrel I planted last fall.
I planted some crocus, too, but I think the squirrels
made off with the bulbs! I had better luck with pots on the deck.
The groundcover around it is yellow Archangel.
It is extremely invasive,
but when you have large expanses of
shady ground to cover, it is perfect.
It will have upright yellow flower bracts in a few weeks
and has lovely, variegated leaves that are evergreen here.
Hellebore - Lenten Rose.
I've tried growing these in various places with no success,
so I kept this one in a pot and it seems to be thriving.
It took years for this ivy to spread. We built the wall about 30 years ago.
Back when we were young and strong.
I have so many gardening chores to do. The first is to cut the
dead hydrangea blooms. I keep them into early spring
to protect the new buds from any hard frost we might have.
You can see them in the background. It's a wild place that
I live in!
Kai carries around his little toy wherever he goes.
But don't you dare try to take it away! Haha!
This little guy sat still in the budding viburnum tree
long enough for me to take some sweet photos.
Don't let that innocent look fool you, though. He is very territorial -
chasing away anyone who gets near his feeder.
I have to keep several feeders full to give his rivals a chance.
You can see that he is giving me the eye, too!
Another sure sign of spring are the alder catkins.
They look so pretty against the moody gray sky.
When I was a volunteer art teacher in the elementary
school when my children were young, (way back when)
I had the students paint a light green tree on gray construction paper,
with pink catkins on the branches.
I found the inspiration driving down the road one spring day,
past a stand of Alder trees illuminated by the early morning sun
against a dark gray sky.
The paintings turned out so pretty that they were hung in the windows
of our local post office.
Small town sweetness.
I taught art once a month in my daughter's 5th grade classroom
for a year. There were several of us who volunteered
through a guided program, using famous
works of art, then using that artist's technique for the students
to create something of their own.
We volunteers had to come up with the projects ourselves,
which was sometimes challenging,
but a very fun and rewarding experience.
It is getting rather cold out here. Time to go inside!
I've put away all of my Irish treasures for St. Patrick's Day,
and replaced them with a few Easter decorations.
I also sewed a tiny curtain to hide my coffee mugs.
I have quite a few for when the whole family comes to visit.
I also cleaned underneath the cupboard - my goodness - there was a whole
dust bunny living it's life under there! Haha!
I have a thing for tiny glass baskets.
They make good candy dishes.
Or vases for bouquets of dandelions.
This little pansy doily was my Mom's.
I had given it to her as a gift years ago.
We had been shopping in an antique store
together (one of our favorite pastimes)
and I had picked it up to buy it
for myself, but she loved it so much, I gave it
to her after I bought it.
It didn't take much to make her happy.
I added a soft pink throw and some sweet bunnies
to my daybed.
This print has no identifying information, so I don't know who
the artist is, but I loved it when I found it at a thrift store.
Gift from a loved one.
A paper tulip my grandson made last year.
This little fairy has a bunny companion.
Bright, pretty flowers from a dear friend.
Hop on the Bunny Train!
Something from when my children were young.
Ramblin' Man dislikes cooked carrots.
I love them, so I pull them out of his soups and stews
and enjoy them all to myself.
Curiously, he likes them raw, though.
Speaking of my dear man, thank you for all
of your kind, encouraging comments in your last post.
He is recovering nicely from 'minor' surgery
and expects to make a full recovery.
(Big sigh of relief)
Having a big family means there is always
someone to worry about...especially
now that we also have the grand-boys.
I suffer from anxiety at times, but I am learning
to manage it. Deep breaths...lots of faith...
I'm sure most of you can relate.
I put all of my delicate things out of the reach of little hands.
The Mr. installed a new faucet for me recently.
I had gone out to lunch and shopping with my two daughters,
and when I came home, he had it all done.
Now that's true love!
The old faucet was nice, but it was bronze and the minerals
in our well-water would bind to it and no matter how
much I scrubbed, it wouldn't come off.
Through trial and error we have discovered that chrome
is the best solution.
My version of an 'egg tree'.
These are real, hand-painted blown eggs,
a sweet gift from my daughter years ago.
I have managed to keep them intact by
packing them carefully in an oatmeal container
Hand-painted sweetness with
'Now my dears', said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning,
'you may go into the fields or down the lane,
but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden:
your father had an accident there;
he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor'.
(That's a little disturbing!)
The St. Patrick's Day table when
we had our dear friends over.
I served Irish stew, (except I used beef, not lamb)
a salad, and Irish brown bread.
Of course, I didn't take any photos of the meal!
I meant to, but was too busy serving and 'catching up'
I made a pretty parfait in my green dessert dishes, too.
I tinted vanilla pudding green, then layered it with crushed
mint Oreo's and a whipped cream cheese/heavy cream mixture
flavored with a little sugar and mint extract.
It was very pretty and sooo tasty!
I offered to serve lime mimosas, but they wanted red wine,
so that's what we had.
The cloth has shamrocks with a dark background.
Of course - green fruit and jelly beans.
We had a pot of gold, too! Chocolate coins.
My new coffeemaker.
(The old one stopped working.)
The brand name is 'Nostalgia'.
We found it on Amazon.
It goes nicely with my vintage stove.
A couple of books that I've been reading.
Creating a wildflower garden month by month
with detailed planting information
and wonderful illustrations.
I have Bird's Foot Trefoil growing in my gardens.
It's a pretty little low-growing, deciduous vine that scrambles over
the ground, or anything in front of it, but doesn't take over.
And of course, I named my daughter, 'Heather'.
This is the cover page of 'Life in the Garden'.
I have not been familiar with the author, Penelope Lively, but as
you can see she is quite a prolific writer.
She is British, and in her 80's now, and I do like her down to earth
writing style, so I will be interested in reading more of her works.
I've removed my craft shelving from the upstairs bedroom
that I am turning into a guest room, and
tucked them into a corner of the library.
It's not the ideal solution, but I've tried to keep it all
as unobtrusive as possible by using
baskets and boxes and crates to hide it all.
This is the big picture.
Ramblin' Man's desk.
The flower 'vase' is actually made from tree bark.
The Grandboys play with their toys in this room,
so I needed something unbreakable.
I'll be busy this week working outside, tending to my
gardens and tidying up my deck to get ready for
Weather permitting, that is.
I have plenty of projects inside, too.
Still working on clearing out the bedroom upstairs
and also doing a bit of sewing for gifts.
I will keep that a secret for now!
I also need to catch up on my nature journal and will show
you my entries in my next post.
I will be hosting Easter, too. So, a busy month ahead.
What are you up to these days, Dear Friends?
What are you reading? What projects are you working on?
Any fun plans?
"We may see on a spring day in one place more beauty in a wood
than in any garden."
- William Robinson -
'The Garden Beautiful' (1907)
"Treat your friends as you do your pictures,
and place them in their best light."
- Jennie Jerome Churchill -
English writer (mother of Winston Churchill)