A journal of healing

Posts tagged ‘gardens’

Fall endings

It was a wonderful summer. It was the first summer I have had off since I was a high school teacher. I thought I would be bored, but I was far from it. I probably did more reading than I have done since I was in college. I also had one of the best gardens I have ever had. I had time to water and weed it and I was constantly tending to the plants. But now fall is upon us and I must say good-bye to the garden for the winter.

This is very difficult for me to do. I hate watching the plants wither and die. We have not had a frost yet, but when we do, the impatiens that are left will be melted in the morning. The squirrels have been burying nuts in the pots and so many of the plants are already destroyed. I think all the nut planting is a sign we are going to have a tough winter.

The trees are just starting to drop their leaves. The yard is completely private with the canopy of shrubs and trees. It will feel so exposed soon.

But I know that this is the cycle of life. We all come into the world for a short period of time. The purpose is to spread joy and make the world a better place. I think this is a life purpose of all things. I also believe everything has a spirit and we are all connected. I feel very connected to my garden and all the animals that live and visit in it.

This fall is going to be very difficult for one of my friends. Her husband has just been diagnosed with end stage cancer. There is no hope, no future.  He will be here for only a very short time. He is in the fall of his life.

I have been thinking about my friend and her husband constantly. What would I do if I was her? What would I do if I was him? Getting a diagnosis like end stage anything is horrible. She has been so strong and I hope she knows she is surrounded with love. I wonder though how I would feel if I was told I had a month to six to live. What would I do with the time?  How angry would I be?

I have spent time in quiet reflection just thinking about that question of what would I do? My mind cannot process it. I have even discussed it with my husband and we both came up with a few lame ideas, mostly travel. But what if I could not travel either?

Reality hit me square in the eyes. We should all live like we are in the fall of our lives, because in essence, we are all dying. We should not live with the concept of ignoring that fact nor should we give up because of the inevitable end.

We should live with gusto and a fullness of life every day. It means embracing every moment because each one is special and it will never be the same. We should celebrate ourselves and our relationships because they are work we have done. Life is full of ups and downs and the fact that we have survived the ride is success in itself. Nothing comes into this world without leaving an imprint somewhere.

 

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Views from the Garden

Switching up a bit and offering some of my photography. One of the great things about retiring is being able to spend time in my garden.

Soon as the weather got better, I got out there. This first shots are  actually sometime in May.                                                             This is June.           The trees in our neighborhood were gorgeous this year. Also my lilac bloomed more than it ever has.            We have resident bunnies, chipmunks, squirrels, doves and cardinals and a host of all kinds of other birdies.

  But I am glad we have a fence because this year the neighborhood hosted a deer heard.

I put in over four flats of flowers and now I have even more to plant.

 

The dogs love the garden as much as I do.  

   Pots before

Pots after     New this year was doing something with the front rock garden. Because there are so many roots in there I had to do something different.     Before

After      We love sitting out in the garden.  

 

 

Being a hermit

I take such joy in things such as nature and the environment when it is beautiful. And I take such offense when it is not. I relish the joy emanating from small children and yet have no patience for the hedonistic tendencies of the twenty to thirty something age group. I can sit in peace and quiet all by myself for hours and cherish those times. I freak out now in crowds and with loud noises. I struggle with incongruences. I have no tolerance for lies. In truth, my patience level is very low; not that I had a lot to being with. Sometimes, many times, I just want to be left alone. This is when I love my garden the most.

Garden at night

I used to be a people person. I am not sure when I got to hermit level, but that is about where I am. I used to entertain every weekend with parties and picnics. It was nothing for me to host a dinner for twelve. In fact, if I did not have something planned for the weekend, I felt like something was terribly wrong. I used to do things also during the week at night. No more. I do not want to nor do I have the energy to do much after working all day. I am up at five and at work shortly after seven am. By eight pm, I am asleep in my chair, in my garden.

It took a long time for my husband to understand alone time. He felt we had to do everything together all the time. Now he gets it and has learned that he also needs time and space by himself. We do not enjoy the same activities after dinner. He is a TV watcher, I am a reader. He goes to his man cave and I go to the garden.

Even at work, I am isolated and by myself. My office is hidden and off the beaten path. People do come and visit because it is a nice office and I take the time to listen. I run fans all year long to block out the sound of anyone near me and to help muffle the talking in my office. Our building is such a piece of crap. It is dirty and stuffy and no windows open.  The ventilation system does not work well and in my area, it does not work at all. In winter I freeze, in summer I cook. Hence two of the four  fans have heat. We are supposedly building a new facility but that is a least two years off and I probably will be retired. Why I love my space is because I have a huge window. There are only ten windows for the whole building.  I have plants in my office. Most cannot grow anything in the building. But however nice my space is, by the end of the day, my head is stuffed up and aches. I long for being outside in the fresh air.

Full moon over garden

People keep saying that when I retire I will be bored. I do not think so. My tolerance for hustle and bustle is nil. I am a completely different person when I do not have a schedule and “must-dos” on my list. It is not my intention to just sit and rot when I retire. I have a list of things to do, like cleaning out the prolific amount of STUFF in this house. I want to go to the recreation center which has a series of exercise classes for people with arthritis. I have so many crafts that I have not touched in years. And I will be able to spend the time I want in my garden.

 

 

More Springtime views

  We took a trip out to the Lake last weekend. It was so foggy and gray. The streets are still flooded  in this little lake village of Sodus Point.        There is a street of shops and bars and houses that was  totally closed because of the flooding. We went to the beach and pier.

  The erosion on the beach was terrible.

   The beach was covered with drift wood and garbage. It is a mess and it will required a lot of clean up before they can open for the season.

  But there was some wonderful days during  the long weekend and my hubby and I took advantage and planted flowers and some new shrubs.

   I was not sure how I would fair doing with the planting but I completed planting all the pots and planters. I was in a lot of pain the next couple of days but it was so worth it. I realized I am better than I was the previous year because I got them all potted in a day. Last year it took me several days and I can remember crying being so frustrated with my fatigue and inability to garden.

  Every year is different and  every year I am amazed at how much my garden brings me joy. I am a different person. I long for the time when I do not have to work and can spend hours and days working in the soil and relaxing out there.  I will have plenty of company.

  The doves have been working on their next brood. They are so used to us now they fly in and out right over our heads. Sometime I will hear them cooing to each other in their secret language. On the other side of the deck is another bird house that had a sparrow family. We call them the Cheep-cheeps. The babies would squawk for food all the time and they looked like three little Muppets hanging out of their hole in the bird house. They have grown and moved on and now Mom and Dad are rebuilding the nest.

 Every fall I bring in some plants and then this year I had a bonus of several new amaryllis. I potted some lettuce also because what I had put in the garden was chewed.

  I do a few herbs and I will probably do basil and a few tomato plants this year.

  I had previously put in lettuce in the garden that is in front of the deck.  It really got chewed up. One night I was sitting out and the bunny, who totally saw me, came right up on to the deck and proceeded to chop away. He knew where and how to get around the sticks. We also have a chipmunk who dug  a tunnel with an entrance right in the patch. I closed it and he has now taken up residence under the deck…..

 ….Much to the delight of the dogs. One night this week, Browny actually caught the little bugger but released it. Both dogs thought it was a hoot and I think Browny surprised himself with the capture. The chippy was not hurt.  Now he thinks he is this big hunting dog and patiently waits for the next squeal.

  This little piece of the world brings much peace and serenity to all who visit. I am very blessed.

 

 

Shave and a hair cut…..it is Spring!

  These are the loves of my life. The pups are Papillion mix and the legs are my husband’s. He went into the cheese drawer…enough said if you have dogs. I let their fur grow out all winter to keep them warm. The day this picture was taken, it was 85 degrees. It was an unusually warm spring day, and we were not prepared.

 This is Browny. He is a “special” dog as in the fact he is was pretty traumatized. I have no idea of the truth of their history other than they were very mistreated. They think they were around four and five when we got them and we have had them for four years.

  He is the sweetest baby ever. But he has manic episodes where he barks like crazy at anyone near our home. If they come into the home, its even worse. He has bitten someone. He will defend his partner, Cookie, if anyone tries to threaten her. We have no idea of the true relationship of the pair other than they are devoted.

   Miss Cookie seems sweet at first, but she is a bruiser. She likes to be dirty all the time. But she adores me and her Dadder, especially me. She does not like to be brushed so by the end of winter, she is pretty messy.

  She loves to roll in the snow, but hates baths. She will go out and roll in the grass or mulch and often comes in the house covered in “stuff.” So it was time for their summer haircuts. I finally found a groomer who has a van and will come to the house. Groomer on the Go. Eric was wonderful with them and I highly recommend him.

 Cookie was mad. She did not want her picture taken at all.

  But she looks amazing!

 The B Boy looks completely different. His fur was extremely long with a long tail. Eric cut his tail, which was necessary. But the view is completely different.

  He really fits the name Monkey Boy now.

Spring is everywhere, finally. We spent the day yesterday digging out the veggie garden out and turning the soil. We then planted some lettuce. I was so thrilled to be able to get down and actually work in the garden. It was at first scary getting down, it was even more scary trying to get up after being down on the ground for a couple of hours. But I did it. I am paying for it today, but that’s ok.

  Here is half of the garden with the lettuce protected from the bunnies. I put in some lettuce in pots without sticks and the chomped them down overnight. Sorry bunnies…. the sticks are back.

  Slowly the garden is getting in shape. I think of it as a canvas that Mother Nature and I work on together. Next week I will post pictures of the flowers and lilacs. It is beautiful.

 

 

 

Water, water, water…..

 I used to think it would be so grand to have a house down on the big lake. I would actually love to have a place on the River. But after this spring, I am not so sure. The rain has been non-stop. The creeks are overflowing, parks are under water and roads are closed. We took a journey out to one of our favorite parks this afternoon. It was shocking.

   This is one beach area at the park. In the distance, you can see a break wall under water. That is how far the beach use to go out. Now it is right up to picnic area.

  This part of the beach was three times as big as it is now.

  Where those trees are used to be dry. You could walk out there and sit. There was a small beach area around the trees. Last week,  we also went down to another favorite spot. There is a long pier going out from the bay to the lake that you can walk on. It was too windy for us. We took some pictures of the houses that face the lake.

  Where the logs are out far was where the beach once was.       The  erosion and water is very bad. This was last week. This location is now closed because the bay and the lake have breached on either side.

  It has been so cold and damp that I have not been able to sit out. I also am very sick with the flu. It has wiped me out. I have never slept as much as I have this past weekend. Although I think I am on the mend, I would not wish this on anyone. Well, maybe Trump.

  Our garden is waiting for me to spruce it up. Fortunately, the flowering trees have been spectacular. My annuals are coming up including the roses I thought I lost. The lilacs are blooming, but they need more sun. Mrs. Dove grew her baby and it took off last Thursday. She is already sitting on a new egg or two. We also have a sparrow family in one house and a chick-a-dee in another. I want to sit out. Slowly I hope the weather and I will improve and it will be garden time

 

 

Spring is here

 After the longest March, we finally are past snow and ice. It was particularly brutal and I feel like it took a lot out of me this year. Fortunately for us, we did not have any damage done on the house, but our neighbors were not so lucky. But moving on, it is finally Spring.

  I knew it was Spring when Momma dove suddenly appeared in her nest from last year.These two little guys faced many harsh and cold nights, but managed to survive. We did not think they would be alright but they made it to become big and beautiful.

 The one Sunday, the bigger one flew away and left one behind.  Eventually, she  left. Now Momma is back and has one new baby already.  We have so many doves now that come to feed at my feeders and I hope many of them are the offspring that were birthed in this nest.

 Miss Cookie and her counter part, Browny have certainly enjoyed the warming up. Although she loves to roll in the snow, she could do without rain.

             One thing that says Spring is the sunsets. We sit on a hill and the light comes through the trees and is very pretty.

  My neighbors all have beautiful trees which are in bloom. I sit out every chance I get to enjoy the view.

   Yesterday, we went for our annual visit to this one peach orchard. I always try to catch it when it is in bloom. I missed it last year and the year before, the guy was spraying on the day I went out. This year, they were magnificent.

  There were a slew of us out there taking pictures making it hard to get a clean shot.

 One thing this Spring has brought has been a lot of rain. Here and everywhere on the Big Lakes. So the water level is extremely high. This is causing a lot of issues on the shorelines. We went down to a little park we like and was amazed how high the water was. You could not even walk out on the pier because the path way to it was under water.

 The waves were pounding the shore and they had put rocks to protect what was left of the beach area.   I hope you enjoyed my Springtime views.