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

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's Quiet Here.


I've started a couple of blog posts in the last few days, but don't manage to finish them; don't end up with anything worth sharing.  So this may be a ramble, just to catch myself up with where I've been.

I turned off the fan for a while the other morning, so I could enjoy the quiet while I did a post.  Then I postponed writing it because the keyboard sounds were interrupting the silence.

I crave silence. It's one of the appeals of the garden.  Rarely I'll take the ipod out and listen to music while I weed but normally I just enjoy the relative quiet, conversations with grumpy hummingbirds (who don't seem to understand that I'm the one who fills the feeders they are so determined to keep me from) and butterflies.

Pretty sure this is a mail broadtail hummingbird.  It makes a clacking sound as it flies.
I've been enjoying the fritillaries that have found my passion vine.  I don't know if I'm seeing the same female multiple times, or different females, but there have been a lot of eggs laid.  Yesterday I finished a clean-up project in the front courtyard and finally (it's been a year) planted the red milkweed that I got at Roger's Gardens last summer.  It hadn't been in the ground a full hour before a HUGE Monarch mama fluttered in and fed, then laid eggs all over the plant.

That's rewarding.

The courtyard is looking better.  Thanks to DS2 and his girlfriend, the pond area is looking good, too.  They started the grass removal and I joined in to help for a while.  The north sideyard is gorgeous and if I get nothing else accomplished this summer, I can live off the satisfaction of having finished what I have of that garden.  I moved a large pot around to the side.  It has a set of hooks anchored in a pot of cement.  I planted a new Mandevilla, this time a deep, velvety red.  It's just a baby plant right now.  It's root system will be restricted by the way I've potted it up, but the last one I had in the pot did live for several years, did climb to the top of the hooks and did bloom.  That will all be good enough for me.  The hooks gave me a place for my extra hummer feeder.

There's an empty hook.  Oh, dear!  What shall I hang there?  I told DS2 that I have a pot hanger that I can put a saucer in and fill it with peanuts for the scrub jays that nest in the pyracantha on the other side of the back fence.  In the south side yard I have a windowbox sitting on a shelf, just outside the kitchen window.  The other day I watched a scrub jay burying a peanut - a gift from another neighbor.

I've been keeping "busy" puttering.  I love to putter.  But I know that - again - when the summer comes to a close I will look back on this summer break and be - again - dissatisfied, angry with myself for all the time I squandered.  I'm trying to get something done every day that will help carry me through the school year with a more peaceful mind (I HATE having chores hanging over my head nearly as much as I hate doing them).  I'm looking at different maintenance scheduling programs on the net and talking with friends.

There's good guidance on the internet of course. 

DH is retired.  I went from stay-at-home mom/housewife to full-time teacher twenty years ago.  Naively, I assumed we would split the housework 50/50.  Snort.  I guess I deserve a good smack up side the head for the "fool me twice" assumption that once retired, he would step up and at least clean up after himself.

We had The Talk a couple of years ago.  He agreed that it was his turn to take over the housework.  He would do it HIS way.

I tried - I really did - to live in filth.  I just can't do it.  Happy clutter, the clutter that comes with little children or busy crafting, I can handle.  But I need to know that under it there's a clean floor, a clean carpet.  I need a clean bathroom and I REALLY need to be able to make my breakfast and pull my lunch together every morning on a clean counter.  My cluttered mind needs my surroundings to be in order.

Decades ago I read a quote from the great fabric artist, Jean Ray Laury.  She wrote that housework while important, is maintenance.  Maintenance on a grand scale, I think is what she said (my mom has the book or I'd go look up the quote.)  And she said (and this is the part that has stayed with me all these years) maintenance on a grand scale is still just maintenance, not a life.

This needs to be the year that I finally get maintenance in control.  I have too much headed my way to have my mind (or what's left of it) cluttered with random maintenance chores bouncing from one side of my skull to the other.  So, developing a plan that I can stick to, live with, has to go to the top of the list of things to accomplish this summer.

With the quilt projects, garden projects and fun stuff that I already have planned.

Speaking of which, my mom has decided to have her crippled knee replaced (she had the other one done a few years ago) and her surgery is scheduled in August, less than a month away.  So...

DISNEYLAND one more time with her this Thursday!  Hoping to duplicate the great day of music we had week before last.

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