A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring has sprung.

Productive spring day today.

Did several loads of laundry.

Made up a gallon of hummingbird food and will clean the feeders and refill them tomorrow. Poor little birds were on their own last year.

Finished the wreath I made for my door.

Pulled weeds in my sweet pea bed. This year I planted sweet peas like I always do. Weeded the bed. Added a full bag of compost. Ordered four packets from Enchanting Sweet Peas. Soaked the seeds for 24 hours. Planted them in October.

And never saw one seedling. I had a busy fall and I think they must have germinated just when we had a heat wave with winds that fried them. I had also planted them in pony packs and, except for Norah Holman (my favorite) they all germinated and I was able to plant them in the bed earlier this spring. Today I was out there pulling weeds and look what I found!

There are actually two seedlings, both of the same variety. I was so tickled to see them.

I also found these.

I had no idea what they were so had to do an internet search. Turns out they are tiny nest-shaped mushrooms (one of the morels). Most of them are the size of a dime (none larger than a nickel) and the "eggs" in the nest are part of the mushroom. I think they are way cool!

In the front yard I moved this lilac. It's still in its pot from purchase last weekend.

If you've read my blog for a while you might remember the story of the courtyard wall.

The trumpet vine worked with the wind in 2007 to pull over the wall and it all had to be removed. We had it replaced with a wooden fence. It's not a bad fence, but we know we can't plant a vine on it again and, well, it's pretty stark. I'm sorely tempted to paint "Fort Miller" on it. I'm desperate to soften the look of it, so bought the lilac as a start.

I got it at Armstrong Nursery and it's one of the varieties that is supposed to do well in Southern California. I thought it would fare well in front of the fence because it's an eastern exposure; by the hottest part of the summer days it would be shaded by the fence. What I didn't consider (and was reminded of after the plant was knocked over twice by east winds) was that it might not tolerate a Santa Ana wind event. So, I moved it into the courtyard until I figure out where I want it. Maybe in the fairy garden.

I've been working for a few weeks on redesigning our front flower beds. I'm laying rubber bed liner to create flower space in the front of the beds but wood chips space under the rose bushes. In January, the idiot gardeners my husband hired to mow the lawn (and that's ALL) to0k it upon themselves to "prune" my roses. I never prune my roses; I just shape them as I cut flowers, and so I have flowers all year long. These morons came through with an electric hedge trimmer and whacked off the tops of all the bushes. I had to go through and try to repair the damage. So far they look like they're coming back great. This is "Brass Band" (my favorite) covered in buds.

Also managed to weed a part of the courtyard planter where I've been wanting to plant my collection of heucheras. Got it weeded and planted, but now am not so sure I like the plants all clustered like that. Oh, well. Need to sleep on it, I guess.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Some Good News.

We celebrate all we can get.

My dad called today. He is undergoing radiation treatment. The purpose of the treatments is to get the tumor in his back to retreat away from the nerve it is threatening. The doctors think this is what is causing the numbness and weakness in Dad's right leg. If the nerve is further compromised, major damage could happen and make Dad's time left even more miserable.

He's had seven treatments. After the first two the numbness in his leg changed to pain. Sounds bad but is really a good thing. As of today he's had seven treatments. He said he's been taking a pain pill every night to help him sleep, but last night he decided to go without it, expecting that he would have to take one when the pain woke him in the night. He was able to sleep through the night without it.

This is great news as far as him being comfortable for whatever time he has left.

In my own news, I've lost 15 pounds in the last 11 weeks and am more optimistic than I have been in years that I will be successful this time. After a month of physical therapy I'm walking better than I have in years and am anxious to continue working in the gym to improve my strength and flexibility (although so far everyone has commented that I am remarkably limber. Must be a residue of all those years of dance.)

The dog is downright civilized.

The garden is coming together. I have a couple of hundred dollars worth of flowers around that I've collected (some never got into the ground last year) that I'm excited to plant (in addition to a dozen packets of seed) if it will only stop raining on weekends. Not complaining about rain! Keep it coming! But another day of the week would be lovely.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

One down...

... and getting toward the end of the list.

One at a time, I'm gradually checking off all the nagging health-related issues that roll around. Got my teeth cleaned and x-ray-ed. No issues. Mammogram - no issues. Blood pressure FINALLY under control. Blood work shows that - quote - "On paper [I'm] in great health."

Yesterday the orthopedist put me on "Call me if you need me" status. He gave me a referral for six more sessions if the PT thinks I need them to finish up rehab on my injured hip. PT says two more, so I should be good there.

One more visit to the internist for the annual poking and prodding and then I should be done for a while.

Follow up on the PT will be regular work-outs at the gym. Not necessarily looking forward to that, but have promised myself that when I finally get this fat off my ass and get all my muscles strengthened, I'm going to find myself a dance class somewhere.

And take up Pilates.

Now, there's a challenge.