Home again, home again

After a wonderful visit with my parents, and a safe trip home, we arrived shortly after 8pm.  It had been a LONG day – we started out around 5:30 and with the exception of stops at Starbucks (for coffee and tea) and to gas the truck – it was straight through.  We were tired and so happy to be going down our lane, nearing the journey’s end.

I had been told that it had rained lots while we were gone and we witnessed fields standing in water.  Many of the fields where corn has been planted look like total loss – the little plants only about 6″ tall and that yellow-green color that comes from too much water.  The fields in higher areas are doing better, but not great.  It is a sad time for the farmers here, who work so very hard and live on the edge.  I hope that things turn around for them.

When we rounded the corner and pulled into our driveway the first thing I noticed was that my lawn had become a field a clover!  Beautiful, but not a lawn!  We continued down the path and rounded the house.  What a wonderful surprise!  Just look:

20090615-IMG_1036My porch cum pergola is almost done!  Is it not gorgeous??  And see that big blue barrel?  It’s going to be the rain barrel.  I was stunned as I had not expected this much to have been completed!  I just could not stop smiling, and what a great gift to welcome us home.

Today I checked out the garden.  It is overgrown and I hardly know what is what.   But I did pick some radishes.

20090616-IMG_1046And while the earth and grass are really too wet to mow – I did mow the edges of the driveway (and made a mess of the center where the grass blew/clumped)!

20090616-IMG_1050And while some of my potted plants are doing great (basil, rosemary and cilantro):

20090616-IMG_1055 the lavender was swimming:

20090616-IMG_1057It’s supposed to rain again tonight, but with a bit of luck the sun will shine tomorrow and I can get on with my outdoor chores!

It’s great to be home…

Beautiful days

Last night I was on my new porch and was watching the hawks soar.  I grabbed my camera and snapped a few.  I had the 24-70mm lens so they aren’t up-close-and-personal, and you’re looking around the electrical wire, but they were gorgeous anyway:


Here’s another, which I cropped;


And here’s my wonderful porch.  Care to join me for a morning cappuccino?  


And after coffee you can check out my garden!


What a weekend we had. Ms C developed a tooth ache, and try as we might, dental care is not to be had on weekends. The few places that advertised emergency treatment, and that responded to phone calls, indicated they didn’t see people on the weekend and if the pain got too bad to go to the ER for an injection to deal with the pain. So, with OTC meds she made it though until this morning when we were able to get her to a dentist in her university town. Not good – tomorrow she goes in for a root canal. 🙁 And we need a consult for impacted wisdom teeth (all 4). Someone is going to have a sore mouth – and with finals next week too! Altho they did say they didn’t think the wisdom teeth would need to be removed just yet.

I’m working on getting the garden in, which I know I will love (one day) but just now I’m beginning to wonder what on earth possessed me to create such a huge garden! This is new to me (especially this are) so I started several seeds indoors based on a last frost date of 17 Apr. The frost date was pretty accurate, BUT the earth was too wet to put anything in. I was finally able to put them in on Saturday, but I’d already lost many of my seedlings and I’m not sure that the others are going to make it. (Naturally my neighbor’s tomatoes are stellar, he didn’t start his seeds as early as I did…) Today I looked at my hot peppers and the leaves have turned white on several of them. Don’t have any clue as to what that is about.

Did you ever watch that movie “Overboard” with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell? In one scene she becomes overwhelmed and just starts saying bub-bub-bub over and over again. Since retirement I’ve felt that way on numerous occasions. But today I got to live another scene from that movie. Near the beginning Kurt is taking Goldie home and she’s riding in the back of a pickup truck and swallows a bug (gag). Well, I wasn’t in the back of a pickup truck but I while I was working in the garden I must have had my mouth open because a bug flew right in. YUCK! And I couldn’t even spit it out. Double yuck. I’ve had it will protein – I’m going to become a vegetarian. I believe that bugs know if you are a vegetarian, and if you are one they won’t fly into your mouth. (And if you know different, don’t bother to even tell me!)

Inside maintenance

This morning I was reading Patti’s blog and she was saying that she’s doing some inside maintenance – new window treatments, new rug, rearrangement of furniture – you know the drill. And as I was reading her post, I found myself listening to the quiet that is the way of life in the country. There is absolutely NO sound of traffic. I can hear birds (and bugs), and the sounds that young limbs make when the squirrel jumps off and the limb springs back. Looking out of my window the trees have burst to life with beautiful foliage, still that almost lime-green of new growth but darkening a bit every day.

The mid-west is being hit by some major storms and there are flood warnings through our county and the surrounding ones. We aren’t in any danger as we sit up, but I am amazed by Mother Nature. Last week we had flood warnings (and flood it did!) yet we had clear, beautiful skies and not a drop of rain that day. So why did we have flood warnings? To the north (different states) they had bad weather and the Illinois River was being deluged by the additional water. The result was that it flooded here. Hum. Yet another example of the rippling effects that one occurrence has on another. It reminds me that we need to strive to live a life where we do not cause damage. You never know what ripple your action (physical action/inaction, a kind or unkind deed, a soft word or a harsh one) may cause to something or someone far, far away. It is a reminder that we have a great responsibility to humanity to tread lightly and lovingly.

And as I sit here enjoying my peace and quiet and the sounds that are from nature I don’t even mind that the skies are grey and that the sun will not be joining us until Saturday at the earliest. Never mind that the ground covering which I call “lawn” is 6-8 inches tall and needs a hair cut. Never mind that the garden, beautifully tilled and plowed, now will have to be reworked before planting.

Today I will focus on my inside maintenance. I need to do photography work, I feel the need to rearrange some furniture, my desk area is in desperate need of a good tidy and better arrangement. There is soup to be made – I want to do the cooking for the weekend so that we can enjoy kicking back and relaxing. (Ms C’s finals are the week after next and she needs to chill.)

And through these physical inside maintenance chores I believe that my soul/spirit will be re-energized.

Today and tomorrow I will focus on maintenance – in side my home and in the place where my spirit lives.

And to share with you, some photos of the outside I took this morning (outdoor maintenance list!)…

the waiting-to-be-planted garden

the waiting-to-be-planted garden

the waiting-to-be-power-washed north side

the waiting-to-be-power-washed north side

view from my desk

view from my desk

part of the waiting-to-be-mowed lawn

part of the waiting-to-be-mowed lawn

Another grey day,

But it’s really OK. There’s lots to be done in the house. Sometimes I’m not sure what I accomplish, but before you know it the evening is here! Time does fly. As I was walking through the kitchen this afternoon I looked out the window in the door. A wild turkey was walking across the middle of my garden! Naturally it was gone by the time I got my camera and got outside.

When the sun does come back and the ground dries out not only does the garden need to be tilled again and planted.  And the grass really, really, really needs mowing!