Embracing the dark

It started about 3am.  HUGE claps of thunder.  You know the kind, right?  It shakes the house and sounds like in the movies – usually scary movies!  Then lightening ripped the night.  And the rain – big, heavy drops beating down on the house, the pavement, everything.  The cats went and hid, I snuggled down in the covers and enjoyed the show until I fell asleep.

Today it continues, it is dark.  The big thunder continues to rumble and the lighting comes ripping through the grey sky.  Then it clears up a bit.  The rain, thunder and lightening subside and the skies grow less grey.  All is quiet.  And then the darkness returns and the show continues.  I just love days like this (well, not everyday but once in a while).

Yesterday was sunny and bright.  I was able to catch the deer in my garden twice, but I wasn’t fast enough to grab my iPhone let alone my camera so I don’t have those pics to share.  Suffice to say that, unless the deer decide to start liking melon, it appears that will be the one crop that I can harvest.  So far they’ve also left the lavender, rosemary, and cilantro alone.  Fingers crossed.

And one of my hydrangeas has produced its first flower – a blue/purple one.  I bought it in April and it was a sorry little stick with no leaves.  As you can see, its pretty healthy now!

I have two of these little bushes planted in front of the house.  The other one isn’t as tall or as full as this one, and has one flower hidden under leaves – its pink.  I’ll have to work on the ph of the soil as I prefer the blue/purple ones but then I keep hearing a little voice “bloom where you are planted” so perhaps I’ll have a blue/purple side of the house and a pink side!

Have a great day.

Knackered

I’m meeting my parents for supper at a local Mexican restaurant and them I’m coming home and going to bed.  Why am I so sure about this?  It’s because I am knackered.

I woke up early this morning and put the second coat of high gloss white paint on the crown molding in my living room.  Then I went to my parents where I trimmed my Mom’s roses and attempted to get the thorny weeds out of Mom’s azalea bush.

Then I came home and planted 10 rose bushes in the back garden.

I am stiff and sore and oh, so, tired.  It’s a good tired, but tired none the less.  So I’m going to enjoy my supper and then fall into bed and I’m sure I’ll sleep until tomorrow!

Good night!

Home again!

I am home again – it’s been about 6 weeks of traveling and tons of fun!  I spent time with two of my daughters, caught up with dear friends and even went to visit my sister.  I clocked up an amazing 5,290 miles on my car’s odometer.

While I was gone my sister and brother-in-law painted my living room, dining room and office.  After months of trying out what color(s) to paint in those rooms I finally settled on “Enchantment” by Valspar.  It is a light, creamy yellow — almost like thick cream.  The two huge oaks in front keep those rooms rather dark I wanted a color that would brighten things up.  And it does that!  It is lovely.  All I have to do now is to paint the trim (which will be a bright white), move the furniture back and enjoy the “new” rooms. Thank you Sis!!

I have decided to do my gardening this year in raised beds.  My Dad and I went yesterday and bought the lumber and earth for the first bed.  It is going to be 10′ x 4′ and 8″ tall.  (Not so raised, but it’ll do for this year).  Can’t wait to put them together and get the first of the seeds in.

But I got to confess, after all that fun and traveling I am SO tired!  It is almost 7pm and I’m all tucked into my bed, soon to be in dreamland.

Sweet dreams, friends!

St Vincent (Day??)

I have to tell you, I was beginning to have issues with this cruise.  Did you ever see that old film “If It’s Tuesday It Must Be Belgium”?  It’s about a bus tour in Europe that sees like 10 countries in 7 days (or something silly like that).  Well, that is how I was feeling and I was beginning to feel a bit of resentment.  When I would go ashore there was a ton of shopping – duty free is the flavor of the month.  Diamonds and other gems, not my cup of tea nor do I associate these types of goods with the Caribbean.  So, I was feeling very dissatisfied.

Yesterday I went ashore like the good little cruise-taker.  Walked through a spate of duty free shops and stood in line for the bus to downtown.  And I didn’t want to go.  I really didn’t want to see one more shop with a silk-screen print, another bottle of perfume, another bottle of booze, another designer purse.  And I thought to myself, “so, what do you want to do”?  And I decided what I really wanted was to go back on the boat and spend the day on my balcony watching the ocean, knitting and reading.  So I did – and it was one of the best days ever!

Last night the sun set was amazing…

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Today I’d booked a trip to the botanical garden on St Vincent.  It is the oldest botanical garden in the Caribbean and I love gardens.  So at 9am I was on the bus ready for the tour.  It was a small garden and as a flower lover I was disappointed since the majority of this garden is trees.  And it wasn’t what I was anticipating.  But our guide works full time for the forest ministry, and does tours on the weekends, and was full of information.  Not only about the trees and the plants but of the island history as well.  Then we set off for a second garden.

Traffic wasn’t bad, and it was interesting looking out at the sights…

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And after winding our way over some mountains we arrived at the second garden.  This one had been privately owned by a Welsh man who bought the disused land in 1991 and turned it into the tropical oasis of today – 7 1/2 acres of lush, tropical gardens.

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And tonight I shall sleep wonderfully!

Good bye old life, hello new life

Today I’m saying good-bye to my old life and welcoming my new one.

We arrived at our new home-town safely on Friday evening.  We have spent the weekend trying to keep cool – the temps have been around 115 (give or take a few degrees) and because it’s the desert, hardly any humidity.  This is such a change from the last several years where we lived in places where the humidity was much higher.  Tomorrow I re-join the work force.  Mixed feelings for sure!

The day we left Illinois was a bit sad.  Before leaving I did a walk around and it seemed like the garden was in bloom just to say “good bye”.

My pretty white zinnias,

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the luscious tomatoes,

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my favorite, raspberries (which were not supposed to fruit until next year),

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the wonderful black currants,

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delicious zucchinis,

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the bright glads and

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my beautiful, little roses.

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But it was time to go.  Truck was loaded and trailer was packed, so off we went.  It only took the first night at the hotel for me to learn to park where I could get myself out!

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And this is my friend’s house.  She has graciously opened up her home for us to stay in until we can find our own place.  It’s good to have friends!

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And it’s off to work in the morning!