The best part of having more vacation time stored up than is good for me is being able to take it when I just need a couple days to myself to just focus on me.  Work through a little built up stress.  Be creative.  Be me.  So, I took off Thursday and Friday to add to my weekend.  And, I spent most of it in the yard.  The corners of my fingers, where the fingernails end are so sore I can hardly type.  It's wonderful!

Thursday, I started in the yard and then had lunch with a friend, then home for some more walking in the yard; picking things up and pulling weeds and then some sewing.  On Friday, more hours in the yard, followed by sewing and quilting.  And, the same thing on Saturday, except Rob was there replacing rotten trim on my greenhouse and that evening, it rained, so that put an end to my real yard work in the clay back yard...I can barely dig in it when it's dry, but when it's wet, that dirt is too heavy to lift.  Rob couldn't work on the greenhouse because the mud was caking his shoes.  On Sunday, I made some blocks and then filed our taxes and then groceries and I made a big lunch for the three of us.  After lunch, the yard had dried enough for me to get out there and clean up the messes I had made, like when I emptied one of the greenhouses and just dropped plants all over the yard.  And, I had left several piles of leaves around that I had raked out of the beds.  Easy work. 

So, you all want to see what I accomplished.  And, the first thing I accomplished was getting another round on the half square triangle quilt.  This was a round of 2" finished squares.  This round was very stressful because I had a lot of trouble nesting the seam allowances.  I thought I had done a great job when making the 6" blocks, but when I tried to put them together, I had to re-make some.  And, even with that, I ran into trouble nesting seams at the end and had to do some last second block re-arranging.  One more round and I will be done.  I think this one is going to be called vortex.  (Elaine, I tried to email, but couldn't get through.  I'm glad I inspired you to make something similar.  Please send a picture...I'd love to see what you're inspired to make!)

I also got the purple Linus quilt assembled and basted and it's nearly quilted, so I'll wait until it's done to post pictures because I have plenty of other pics I can show today. 

These are about the only things in bloom.  Another Iris...actually, I've had several new Iris and have several more of these white ones coming.  I'm still waiting to see if any of the other colors bloom.  Hoping.  They're sure looking like they might, but no stalks yet.  The rose is the first one of the year.  And, no matter how people talk about "shrinking violets", mine bloom all year long and I have let them naturalize all around the garden, wherever they wanted to grow.  I even transplant them to pots because when they wilt, it lets me know that pot needs water, and once they're watered, they pop right back to attention.

These are pictures of the path.  I spent most of my time this week adding stones to the path.  The path runs through the center of the bed, from one end to the other and lets me get in there and pull weeds, or water, or just get next to the plants.  It was so fun being out there on my knees over three spring days because I could see a change in plants as they responded to the sun and rain.  Things that were just breaking the surface of the earth on Thursday were up three or four inches by yesterday afternoon, and things that were just sticks suddenly grew leaves.  The citrus is about to bloom, so it's good I got them out so the bugs can do their pollination thing.  Or, I can.  We may not have bugs in the next couple weeks, except the aphids I saw on some of the daylilies, so I'm always prepared to pollinate with a Q-tip.  Hey, whatever makes next winter's lemons, right?

We lost a lot of plants this year.  Our greenhouses just were not set up for four days and nights in the teens and we had a LOT of freeze back.  Sydney lost a couple beautiful hibiscus...she had the biggest frown the other day when she was watching me break off limbs and declare them dead.  And, we lost the pineapple we'd been growing for a couple years.  It had gotten about three feet in diameter. 

These ferns are all that are left from two hanging baskets that got bitten to the ground, so I cut the tops off and they started again, but only around the fringes, so I broke them up and took out the little starters and made this one big bowl of fern to sit outside the kitchen window where I can enjoy it while I do dishes.  I could tell even yesterday that it was perking up and I think it's going to respond to the repotting very well. 

Spring is all about starting over, I guess.  And, like my garden is starting off refreshed, I'm starting March very refreshed.  Many hard tasks done.  Very relaxed.  And, ready for spring.  And, ready to get back to work.  I spoke about two big meetings over the last couple of weeks.  Both went swimmingly.  My ideas were accepted.  People were open to me and my suggestions.  And, I was able to patiently explain why my way was (of course) the right way. 

Actually, it didn't quite happen like that.  More like bargaining and winning a few and losing a few and calling a few a draw.  Because that's how real life works.  And, I can fight against it.  Or, I can relax and get a big charge out of the simple things like adding a border to a difficult quilt or watching things spring from the earth and grow where I ask them to grow. 

Everybody have a great Monday.  Anything can happen, so wonderful is possible.  Lane


Anonymous said...

Oh my word! That's a lot of yard to clean up. Don't you wear gloves? I bet it feels good to get it done. Thanks for sharing. Mary

Anonymous said...

I remember when we lived in San Antonio, spring started in February. Where I live now, summer starts somewhere after July 4th and Spring is just a hope. Enjoy your time in the yard and I would just about kill to have more time in my sewing room.

Rebecca Grace said...

I love your Vortex quilt. And I know what you mean -- you're so close to being done piecing the quilt top and you feel like you're almost there, but all of those minute discrepancies that happened along the way have been accumulating so the final seams are often the biggest struggles! I had to do a bit of swearing and easing when I joined my rows of triangles together. Your garden is looking great, too. Irises are my favorite spring flowers.

Dot Wankat said...

Having multiple sizes of small triangles improves this quilt. I couldn't "see" past the charm of repeating fabrics and of course the technical skill of keeping all the points (so many points) crisply matched. You added unexpected focus. Watching it evolve is a treat.

Glad your meetings went well. In my book, "bargaining and winning a few and losing a few and calling a few a draw" means just that. And along with the negotiating, I bet you were charming and told a few jokes to ease things along. You have such wonderful life skills.

Julie Coburn said...

Lane--your 4-day re-charge sounds lovely; just what I could use right now too. I've taped your comment "...relax and get a big charge out of the simple things..." to my work computer monitor. Thank you for the inspiration.