Come on in...Coffee's made and there's a Banana Pound cake to soothe that sweet tooth. It's a BEE-YOO-T-FULL day today, absolutely gorgeous. Did you notice the flowers coming up and blooming about the back door?
The petunias from last year dropped seeds...I decided to leave the pot alone and it looks like all but one of the openings will have petunias in it. I can't wait to see what color they turn out to be.
That little brown twig to the left in the pot is the dead part of the rose stem I pushed into the pot mid-winter. I'd just trimmed the rose bushes and picked up twigs to poke into the pot. I put 7 twigs in and this is the only one that took root and has put out leaves. I can't wait to see which rose rooted since I had some of all four roses in there. Don't you just love mystery plants?
The Yellow Knockout rose. I didn't prune it last year and it was pretty enough but this year, I decided to be brave and I cut it back pretty hard. Isn't it gorgeous? And just look at all the buds on the thing:
You'll just have to ignore the dead canes in these two photos. I need to do some flower bed housekeeping and kept putting it off while the pollen count was crazy high. This is an antique French rose. It blooms only once a year, and the plant is leggy and tall, never grows like a bush even after pruning. I must have a dozen blooms this year. Because this is an old rose it has the most wonderful scent. And the roots send up a new shoot or two each year so the rose sort of multiplies.
just the first bloom on it. I have no clue what the name of this rose is, because it's the bush that took such a beating for ten long years until I moved it here. (Now it has to be moved again because it is entirely too close to the house and tears my window screen each year). It's hardy, blooms all throughout summer and fall, smells good and is the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen in a brown transfer ware creamer. It takes the breath away, truly it does. And by the way, I like roses with a really good strong aroma. Angel Face is a lavender colored rose I want to add to my collection because of the aroma ( I could take or leave the color). I also plan to find a white rose and a Mr. Lincoln this year.
Here's Maddie coming up the yard just as I took a photo to show off all the lovely GREEN of the world about us. It's so beautiful that I kept commenting to Chance about it this morning as I went about opening windows. "Just look how GREEN it is!" I kept saying until he finally just gave me one of THOSE looks and said "It's green." Oh okay, as long you noticed, lol.
And it's BLUE. When we got up it was kinda gray and cloudy but the wind has blown (wind advisory today for gusting winds) and the sky has been beautiful, too. SIGH. It's the sort of day you could spend lying upon your back watching those fluffy clouds floating about, day dreaming of green and blue and flowers galore, or just drowsing while a bee hums lullabies nearby.
I can't believe that this year, I've had three different colors iris bloom. First was the purple and then the white and now these TALL golden beauties. The very last time I visited Grandmama's I decided I'd bring home an iris to enjoy. I was just going to break off the flower but when I pulled the stalk, a whole rhizome came up with the stalk. I brought it home to plant and now I have this gorgeous stand here at the back door step. Since iris don't require deep planting I put them where the water and electric and phone lines all run under the ground and to the house. I put a few of the iris under the Sweet Gum in the backyard last year. Those are blooming to.
You can see the Spiderwort there in the background. I like spiderwort because it makes the bees happy. It can be pretty invasive however. I've found it coming up all over the yard since planting it in just two or three spots. However, I like it well enough to keep it and just dig up and throw away what I don't want of it.
I thought, since I'm showing off pictures anyway, you might like to see my new haircut.
It's been a great style because I am wearing earrings every single day now! The tiniest earrings are pretty with a short style like this but I really love wearing long dangly types too, like the gorgeous red beaded chandeliers that Merlene sent me for our RED swap in February.
Kay came in Friday night and has been here pretty much ever since. I am a bit amused by her because she thinks nothing at all of hopping in the car and driving 30 miles away to visit her friend Jen or to the Hobby store for watercolors and a sketchbook, or running over to get a cup of coffee house coffee. Sometimes she makes two trips a day. And here I often will put off going anywhere more than once or twice a WEEK when I'm alone! But that is youth for you. And since she's paying for her own gasoline she surely doesn't need me to nag her about her little trips.
It's been awfully nice having her here. This visit is much better than her last one. She seems to be handling her husband's deployment far better. I'm glad of that. I know it must have taken quite some getting used to.
Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of Mama stopping in just as Kay left to go to a soap box derby race. Mama came in to tell me that she'd begun clearing out Granny's house. This has been a major emotional hurdle for er but it's necessary and I'm glad she's ready to do it at last. When she bemoaned how little she'd gotten done (just clearing the china cabinet which was fully packed) I remarked to her that I'd often found it was enough to work only a couple of hours in a small concentrated area when I was clearing Grandmama's home. "Otherwise I found I got overwhelmed looking at all of it. You've got all the time you need to take to do this, so go slow and don't hurry through it." I believe she's planning to tackle the freezer and fridge this week.
When Mama came in I'd been painting. I've been thinking for the longest time that I'd like to spray the unglazed ceramic pheasants I have in my living room. I am a tactile sort of person and I really disliked the way it felt to touch those two birds. I'd seen where someone on a blog (ooohh can't remember which, I read too many!) had painted some bird figures in Heritage White...Well, I never did get around to picking up spray paint but as I was busy Sunday dusting I suddenly thought of the cream enamel paint I'd used on my bathroom cabinets...Bingo! The pheasants now have a lovely glossy cream coat of paint and they feel so much better to TOUCH when I must move them. While I had the paint out, I put another coat on the bathroom sink mirror frame, since I'd noticed in the strong afternoon sunlight that paint appeared a bit thin in places.
I went to rinse out my brush after Mama left and then dialed up Alan's number to ask him to do a favor for Chance and I heard a tap at the backdoor. And there was Alan come to visit. He really had wanted to see Kay who apparently wanted to see him as well because she texted him just as he walked in the door asking where he was...She told him she'd hurry home as soon as the race was over and he and I settled to talk a bit.
There was, as it happened, quite a lot for us to talk about. His future, his summer, my plans for the yard, the siblings and all the news from all fronts there, and of course, recipes and such. We talked a good hour and half before Kay called to say she was on her way home and was bringing Subway sandwiches. I passed on the sandwich because I had leftovers aplenty here (did you see Menu Monday?), but the two kids ate a sandwich while they chatted and talked.
I picked up Jennifer Weiner's book In Her Shoes last weekend thinking it might be a good read since the movie was so good. Well the book is even better than the movie! I couldn't put it down and that was my treat all Sunday and yesterday and even this morning, between spells of working. It's been quite some time since I got so lost reading that I literally couldn't hear the world around me. I took the book with me when we left home to do errands and get Chance a haircut on Monday. I read in the salon and was stunned when he touched my arm to tell me it was time to go. I hadn't even realized he was in the chair! Then we stopped by our friends' home and I read and sipped coffee while the guys chatted (Sue was at work) and just zoned out completely for well over an hour. It was pure hunger that made me nudge Chance and tell him we needed to go home. I read all yesterday afternoon after lunch and between dinner and then after dinner and well into the wee hours of this morning and then this morning as soon as I was ready for a break and then I was done. The book was over. I felt almost grieved at it ending. I've read some good books of late (and have read quite a few of late, too, that dry spell is definitely ended) but this book was absolutely the best.
We were all home for supper last night and Kay went into the guest room and shut the door and crafted and drew and would periodically pop out to show me what she was doing. I think really it was a very contented household last night. It felt like deja vu having her in her old room with the door shut all over again. But it's different, too. "Home," she says often. "At home, I have.." "When I'm home I..." "The weather feels like home..." This is no longer home to her and I do understand that perfectly and oddly enough it doesn't feel to me as though she's come 'home' anymore but that she is visiting. I realized with a shock this morning that Chance and I have gotten quite used to having the whole of the house to ourselves and we are enjoying our life as a couple. It took a period of adjustment for all of us to reach the point but it's all worked out and rather nicely at that.
This past week has been an unusually busy busy off week for Chance. No opportunity really to have that 'weekend' feeling we like to try to enjoy on Wednesday. However, he assured me last night that we had nothing to do today. Well he can speak for himself there. I had plenty to do and I actually did get some of it done. I
You see Mama made me think quite a bit about the task of clearing out the things we gather over a lifetime. I came to a realization when cleaning Grandmama's after she and my uncle had passed away, that often the things we keep have little or no meaning for the ones who will come behind us. I doubt seriously Grandmama would have been aware of which of her things I sought out: an old cutting board and a tattered Crisco cookbook that I remembered from earlier childhood came home with me. A few things that were useful (a micro grater and a set of plain white ironstone dishes) and a couple of vintage tablecloths I just plain liked and use often. That was it.
Every now and then I catch myself here saying "Oh I'll save that I might need it someday." Often this leads to a clutter of things that begin to irritate me and then I must clear them out and wonder at myself for holding on to all that stuff in the first place. I thought about what was in my cupboards and drawers and breathed a deep sigh of relief that I long ago decided I'd NEVER store anything under my beds (though I do have two small plastic bins filled with fabric and scrap paper under the guest bed at present but only in an effort to make the room look nice for Kay). Mama and Granny both have had things packed under the beds of their homes for years now and it bothers me no end...
Anyway. I sat about thinking about what is behind cupboard doors and cabinets and under sinks and in closets and such and really I've been through nearly all of them in the past few months but there's one area that has really gotten under my skin of late: my dresser. It's a big old antique dresser with deep deep drawers five feet wide and crammed full. The top drawer is not so deep, but divided into two sections and has a little valet shelf at the front of the drawer where one might take off rings and watches and hair pins and cuff links.
So this morning I pulled up a chair to the dresser, sat down, and began to systematically go through and clean each section. Underthings first. Do tell me why I still have knee high hose when I've not worn them in three years or more? And why I kept them knowing they had runs? OUT! When the undies and gowns and socks were all nice and neat, I moved to the opposite side of the drawer where I keep my costume jewelry.
Tangled necklaces and earrings missing and bracelets here there everywhere. I sorted through them all. Broken pieces that had sentimental value went into a box for repairs. Broken pieces that really had some value in parts or beads went into a box for the craft room. Everything else was organized and matched (earrings especially were matched to mates) and neatly returned to the drawer. In the interest of further decluttering, I've offered Kay the opportunity to go through my drawer and choose a few pieces for herself. I did explain that I might say no to a few things but she could look and see what suited her at present if she wanted.
The 'at home' drawer of clothing was straightened and neatened. I tossed a pair of pants I caught myself feeling embarrassed to be found wearing. Hmmm...That left me with NONE to wear this summer, so I shall have to either buy some inexpensive ones or repurpose a few from the closet. I also found some things I didn't even realize were in that drawer: a camera case, a cell phone user's manual I'd been looking for, the picture hanging kit (WHY did I put that in there? And when?!)... And finally I sorted through the drawer full of sweaters. Moved a couple to the 'at home' drawer for next winter, put a few in the donation pile.
Chance came in when I was about half way through the work of the first drawer and lay across the bed. I think he meant to talk but he was soon fast asleep. I went on with my work then moved on to the kitchen where I unloaded dishes and gathered ingredients for lunch and cleared away breakfast things. I guess I worked a good hour and a half before Chance woke again. He's gotten up very early all week long and with the extra busy week I am sure he needed that restorative time. He complained that I'd left him alone, but he wasn't really serious and he looked so much more rested afterward.
Well gracious! The time has slipped right away from me. I must go begin prepping our simple supper, get Chance's lunch packed for his work tomorrow, feed the pets, clear the kitchen one last time after the meals are made and this day will officially be over. Hard to believe when I look out the window at the bright sun, the blue sky, the waving branches filled with shiny new leaves that this is late afternoon and evening is coming so near. Oh there's hours of daylight left yet, but regardless of sunlight I am ruled by the hour hand on the clock. Hope you enjoyed the visit...Do come again!