"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Showing posts with label garden flowers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden flowers. Show all posts

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Summer Flowers Are Slowly Waving Bye-Bye

The Spring and Summer colors of the garden are starting to fade. 

But , much to my delight , the Hollyhocks are continuing to bloom .  In spite of the fact that I have been doing battle with insects that I think are Japanese Beetles. 
And, the White New Dawn Rose is going strong with continual beautiful blooms.

With the extensive work in the garden this year I have changed a few things around .  When cutting back the Ivy  (which I have almost finished)  and hopefully removing the nasty wild invasive sweetpea I decided to change the location of the Gazing Ball.


Perhaps you can see that there are about five Lily of the Nile plants near the gazing ball.  Well, they have never bloomed in the past.  However, there was one nice flower this year.  I may be moving them into more sun.  I' m not sure.
This cement pedestal is one I have had for a long time and I just painted it lavender but it looks blue in the photo . In the past I used an upside-down tomato cages to support it among the Ivy .  Now the ball is in the long flower bed along the pathway.   
Let me say a little more about the purpose of cutting back the Ivy .  When I moved here many years ago , the whole area was covered with Invasive Wild Sweet Pea.  I managed to eliminate it and started some Ivy which I have been very happy with.  For years there were no problems with a return of the unwanted Sweet Pea until about two years ago .  The time had come to act on it or I may find myself "in the land of no return".

It seems to grow enthusiastically  naturalizing in open fields and in abandoned gardens where it quickly gets out of control. The plant propagates easily from seed .  It is usually a purplish pink, but occasionally deep purple or pure white. Admire it from a distance, for it is both toxic and invasive.

The ever faithful Sedum has been putting on a beautiful show - changing color from white to the soft pink.  They sure seem to be a sturdy plant and I like that.


This year I have really enjoyed my garden and I have done a lot of work and it is beginning to show . There have been so many different flowers and colors to nurture and enjoy.

I enjoy being outdoors so very much.  The time I have spent in my garden has helped me so much to return to a more balanced person following some very difficult years. Of course, there are other facets to this renewed and refreshing feeling.

For all who are being affected by the many unusual circumstances and difficulties that are happening in our current world,  I wish you strength, comfort, resilience and love.

Mary 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

OK Now - Where Was I When The "Computer Gremlins" Last Came To Visit

One thing that I know for sure is that I have been very busy and getting a lot of different things accomplished along with many (way to many) frustrating hours in my "Computer Repair Room".   How is that for creating a new room in my house?  Not really.  After many periods of despair and feeling defeated,  I finally have my computer devices and the Internet "singing the same song in harmony from the same hymnal".  And, I am getting closer to using my new Windows 10 computer all the time.  It really is a nice machine.  I still have to transfer a lot of data.  Call me crazy, but I get very restless when my computer isn't working correctly, especially if I get myself locked out.  Lately, passwords have been driving me cuckoo.  In the past I seemed to be able to remember most of them but now I have had to change some and I am getting them all mixed up !!!  -  even when I write them down.  Is my age starting to play havoc with me ?  It better not be.

Progress at the Cemetery Burial Plot has been good.  Last week the surrounding curbing was completed and the workman even can to my home (which is only a five minute drive from the cemetery) and picked up a lot of the rock from my garden to use for a little decorative touch on the top surface of the curbing.  For what it is worth  -  it gives it a little personal touch.  The next issue is to decide on the head stone.  We have been talking about using one of the large rocks from my garden as the headstone.  I thought it would be less expensive but that is not the case.  Most of the large/boulder rock that I have is granite and not a very good rock for engraving.  However, the workman pointed out a rock in my patio rock wall that is called Columbia Marble that may work well.  We'll just have to wait and see how all this goes.
Look at the huge size of the boulders setting around my garden.  They are from the excavation of the property before the house could be built.   I really like them.

How crazy is this?  A few weeks ago on an impulse I bought 2 little 4in. by 4in. plants, one a tomato and one a zucchini.  I didn't get them planted right away and they would dry out, I would water them and that went on for a few days before I got them popped in the dirt.
 And look,  I sure was surprised to see this beautiful zucchini and below is a beautiful tomato.
I like these surprises.  Hopefully, there will be more to come.

Another large outdoor project is underway.   I have English Ivy covering the one side of the pathway that stretches along where the water flows when we have heavy rains. It's a ditch that I lovingly call The Creek.




Can you see my bridge at the distant end of My Creek?

English Ivy can be very invasive and the time had come to corral it. More importantly, since the area was covered with cedar tree seedlings and an invasive plant called Wild Perennial Sweet Pea I decided to remove the surface of the ivy and the other offending plants and then allow fresh ivy to once again cover the slope. See that little purple spot. That is the purple (no fragrance) wild sweet pea flowes that have been spreading their long tentacles all over the ivy.
As you can see, I only have a small portion left to clear.  This is time consuming work especially since my methods of accomplishing many things is quite different than a very abled body.  One without a back injury!  I usually sit on the ground on a nice large foam cushion and cut away all the surface roots with a hand pruner.  I usually can only work for about two hours at a time.   I am like a little turtle just creeping along and then marveling at how much I get accomplished!   And, of course, since I really like being outdoors  -  it works for me.

This is the Iris and Chrysanthemum flowerbed with bluish/purple Petunia border months ago.
 And now, it won't be long and the Yellow and Maroon Chrysanthemums will be in full color.

My power washing of the moss covered cement is almost completed.  I delayed finishing because my neighbors were visiting their second home next door  and the power washer makes a lot of noise. They were here for over a week.  So, I can soon finish that project.

More project updates next time.

I hope you are enjoying your week.

Mary

Monday, July 17, 2017

I Need Some Cooling Off

From the Heat of the day, Yes - - - But that wasn't the main cause of me heating up.

Have you heard of Computer Problems ? ? ?

Well, as you may recall, last fall I purchased a new laptop with Windows 10.   I use it part of the time even though I have not learned about all the great things it can do.   My older laptop has Windows 7 and was bought in 2010.    With a lot of tinkering, I have been able to bring it back to good working order.    Because I have not transferred everything to the new laptop, I find that I frequently use the older one.   It is not without it's issues.   But, I guess it is like an old pair of slippers.   They are not perfect but that ol' familiarity has a strong draw. 

I like having two computers (and have had for many years) because I use one computer to problem solve when one is in my "repair shop" !

OK, let's get to the topic of this post.   Last night, all of a sudden Windows 10 would not connect to the Internet.   After trying several attempts a message comes up and says that it will no longer be available and I will be notified later about what to do.   With all the scams that occur unexpectedly, I really did not know what to think.   So, I "closed up shop" for the night and decided to return to the very annoying situation in the morning. 

Much to my surprise, there was an email in the morning from Comcast saying that there is a technical issue with the Wireless Gateway in my home (it is an older device) and they will send an upgraded model replacement that I will have to activate.  Wow, I hope this event turns out as good as it seems at the moment.   After being "burned a few times" I believe I have become a little cynical ! !
In reality, Windows 7 has been having delays in connecting to the Internet.  Hopefully, the new device will take care of that issue also.


Until Next Time.
Mary

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dirty, Dirty, Dirty Work And A Few Flowers

With the excessive rain this past winter my cement driveway, sidewalks and patio now have a heavy coat of green/black moss.  It not only looks horrible but additionally it is dangerous because it is slippery. It has been several years since I have had to power wash the cement.  I already have the power washer and it does a good job but it is very time consuming.


I can only power wash for about two hours at a time because of my back/leg pain level.  And, I have already spent eight hours on the project.  I think I have about two to four hours more before it will be finished.


The cement is looking so much better.  And, it certainly feels nice and clean and certainly a lot brighter. I wanted to decorate my patio but I could not get motivated.  I think it may be that it just didn't feel nice out there.


What a huge difference the cleaning is making.   Additionally, the filth tracks into the house. However, I usually do not wear shoes in the house since I work out in the garden a lot.


The SLUDGE is really awful.  But, soon it will all be gone!  



A few more flowers caught my attention when I was deadheading some of the garden.  SOOOOO  Pretty!



And, then I noticed my photos of the next flowers and how similar they look in the photos I took a few weeks ago.


Well, another week has almost flown by.   Sometimes it doesn't seem possible that we are already in the middle of 2017 ! ! !

Take Care Everyone.

Mary

Saturday, July 8, 2017

From This To This - Hollyhocks


I have loved Hollyhocks for a long time. And, here are a couple that I planted last year. They were looking so healthy a couple months ago in April. They had not had the attack of the dreaded Japanese Beetle which are one of the most voracious eating insects with many host plants. And, those beetles work fast. When I first noticed in the beginning of June the little puncture holes in my beautiful big green leaves I could clearly see four adult beetles. Fortunately, I had some organic neem-based pesticide handy and that helped tremendously to eliminate the "visitors".


They grew nicely and looked like they were soon to bloom.


And, looking healthy with good looking leaves at the top and minus all those little holes.


And, look at us now!   Tall and blooming.  See, the stars I added at the tips of the stalks so you can see what I am showing you?

I like the grouping of flowers including the Daylilies, Dusty Miller, Garua (which the bubble bees really love) Hollyhocks and the Rose on the right, nearby.      I just learned that another common name for Garua is - - - Beeblossom.  Makes sense, to me.


These are a Double White Hollyhock named ICICLE.


Quite Lovely - - - - - - I think!     Bright sunshine makes photo taking a little challenging!

Cooler temperatures are predicted for today at 103 degrees!

Happy Weekend.

Mary

Monday, July 3, 2017

When I Was 21 - - - - - A Distressful Post

In 1960 I gave birth to my first born - a precious baby boy.  

            Yes, I am a lot more transparent than any time in my seven years of blogging - for various reasons. One, is that I prefer to have the documentation and also the  "the insight"  may provide some useful information.

It was a wonderful time, happily married to a loving nicely employed man, schooling finished for the time being --- and pregnant. And what an easy and healthy pregnancy it was, without a minute of morning sickness or any prenatal complications.   When the word "Glow" is used to describe some pregnant women,   THAT was ME.  I was so happy, happy, happy!

Even though we were temporarily living an hour drive away from our "stomping grounds", we decided to have our baby at the hospital where I completed my RN Nursing Program.   Being a petite lady weighing a little over 100 pounds (before pregnancy) I was what some call   "All Baby".   When my due date came about on December 5,    no signs of a baby about to be born. I was so very ready emotionally and everything was prepared for the joyous event. Unfortunately, it was two weeks more before my water broke at 3 AM and we were on our way to the hospital. It was lovely to be greeted by a familiar smiling face at the hospital. That face belonged to one of my nursing classmates. They got me settled and LABOR was on it's way.

The contractions were getting harder and harder but it seemed like it was taking forever for the dilation numbers to move along to a higher number. There were many, many hours of fierce pain. Whatever they were doing for me in regards to pain management was NOT working. The pain was so very harsh and unbearable. Eventually, medication was administered that put me out. And, I didn't remember anything until my baby was brought to me in my room all bundled up and crying. My baby was a very unhappy baby. Not the least bit interested in nursing or being held. I was very lethargic and felt worse in ALL WAYS than I had ever felt in my life. I don't believe I can put it into words just how horrendous the experience was for me.

Now it is time for a CAVEAT. The following  information may contain TMI. You may want to shift your mind to reading this as if it is a medical informational post. Remember, this took place years ago. Procedures and philosophies have changed drastically since that time.

Unfortunately, VERY unfortunately, obstetrical forceps were used to (pull out) deliver my 8 pound, 6 ounce baby boy. My body was severely damaged and required an extensive episiotomy (a surgical cut in the muscular area between the vagina and the anus made just before delivery to enlarge the vaginal opening). Many sutures were placed and the discomfort and pain was nearly insufferable post anesthesia. There was very little helpful medical guidance. Complete relief from the stressful physical situation took more than 6 months.

I gave birth on December 20th and was discharged from the hospital on December 24th with my baby boy who seemed to be very unhappy and seemed to never stop crying. Allegedly, he was physically healthy and did not suffer any abnormalities.  My mother was with me for a week but made it very clear to us that she did not plan on being a babysitter! And, she meant it!

With trying to be as succinct as I can in telling you what my son's childhood was like, I will say. From day one, every new life experience for him was traumatic and there were hours and hours and hours of crying. He seemed to have fear of everything. Yes, of course, all available medical care was summoned to no avail. To me as a parent it seemed as though the medical professionals considered him to be "just a bad kid".  There never was baby/mother bonding.   And, life was super challenging for our little family. To this day, his behaviors, I would say, continues to be borderline in interpersonal relationships. Nothing seems to come easy for him, but he manages to get by in the margins of life.
Now, let's flash forward many years to when I was in my early 50's. I started noticing some rectal incontinence. It started around the same time as my serious back injury. So a lot was going on with me and my body. The first question was whether or not there was an association with the back surgery. Many invasive and may I say disgusting medical tests were completed at Stanford University Hospital. Some nerve evaluations along with practically every test (for down there) that you can imagine were completed during a three hour session while I was awake. That was one of the most horrible medical testing that I have ever experienced but ,   not even close to the distress of childbirth. When it was completed and I returned to the waiting room the first thing out of my mouth to my waiting friend was "I Need A Drink".   And, I hardly ever drink!

The results of the testing was a referral to a Neurological Proctologist.

Studies show that a large baby , a mother with small pelvic bones , a prolonged labor , a baby whose head is in the wrong position during labor , or the use of forceps can be associated with the development of incontinence.  Rectal Incontinence being the most difficult to manage.

But, let's try to move along regarding the difficult life my son has experienced.  Throughout his life, I have felt so very helpless.  And, he was certainly misunderstood.  After studying medical literature, speaking with many doctors and feeling profoundly happy about advancing medical science I believe that my son experienced   BRAIN INJURY   at the time of his birth. It is my thought that my presence triggers a psychological and visceral response of PAIN AND DANGER for my son! So - so tragic !!  Additionally, during his childhood he experienced a couple concussions, one when he fell from a height during playtime with friends at a very young age and he was hospitalized for two days. The other time was when he was "beat up" at school.   Terrible ! ! !


On a positive note, just think of all the football players with the current attention about concussions and blunt force to the head.  Thankfully, there is a lot more information about Brain Health!

Painfully, I tell you that many years have gone by periodically without contact with my son. Additionally, he was on foreign land many years of his military deployment. At one time I made all the arrangements to visit him in Korea.  At the last moment he "shut me out" and I cancelled the trip. Additionally, when he came to visit for my daughter's wedding, he left town the day before the event.    But the time may have come - - - along with some medical and professional psychological guidance that relationships and health for my little family may be improved before I am gone.

I pray that with knowledge, medical evaluations/treatment, new coping skills and gentle guidance that the remaining years of life for my adult children will be flowered with comfort, understanding, peace, forgiveness and excitement.

What a beautiful day we are having here in Northern California. The temperatures are very pleasant but reported to be rising to the high 90"s by the end of the week.

Happy Day To You.

Mary

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fireworks Plants Coming To Life And More Daylilies

Yes, Really ! Take a look - - -


That means that only two more plants have to show growth and we will be on our way.

This is the way they looked last fall before I cut them back before the winter.   What was I thinking! 
I wonder how long before I see something like this.     If ever !

A few more Daylilies are opening and showing their beautiful colors.
Today I was able to get my car serviced and all went well.  However, the air conditioning will have to be checked out by a Service Provider that can work on computer diagnostics.

Thank goodness the weather was a little cooler today.  Especially, since I had to walk from and back to the local Auto Shop. Only a few blocks away.  But, if it had been like the last few days there is no way I could have walked.

I hope your week is off to a Good Start.

Mary

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom
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While You Weren't Looking
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