Garden explosion

I'm having a very good year in the garden.  I gave everything a good early feeding and it certainly seems to have helped.  I can't help thinking about my Mom as I walk through it.  I'm sure she would have enjoyed seeing the pictures.  Her garden with all its order and my garden with all the chaos, and I think we both envied the other just a little bit.  

I've had that 'how long has it been since I called' moment already.  And, we watched a TV show where someone died in a hospital and I 'needed a moment'.   And, I got a sympathy card from my work team that made me tear up because they were all so sweet.  And, I talk to Rob about it a good bit, sharing memories and stories and getting his thoughts on dealing with it.  The only thing I'm struggling with is calling my Dad.  Our conversations always came at the end of my calls home, after my Mom had talked about everything she knew.  And, it's weird to call just to talk to him.  I'll adapt.  But, it's weird.  

The first tall daylily was this yellow one.  There's another yellow that has a more ruffled leaf that I'm waiting for.  

These Siberian Iris came from New Hampshire.  We saw them in front of an antique store and the owner offered us some, so we bought a trowel from him and dug a few up and brought them home.  It took years for them to naturalize and for us to find the right spot, but Rob is getting a really good show this year.  

Coreopsis.  What a bright yellow flower.  

Indigo spires.  This came from the neighbors composting bin before the collector got there.  Some of my best plants have, but I have to remember that someone is getting rid of it for a reason and keep an eye on how prolific it is.  

The aluminum chair on the left was Linda's and after she passed, we built a little patio to sit it on.  It's a great place to sit in the shade and look out over the yard.  And, plants love it there.  

I can never resist a picture of the path through the garden.  It's a lot of maintenance, but it's so nice threading its way through the middle of the wide bed.  

A profusion of daylilies.  And, still plenty of unopened blooms.  It's going to be a very good daylily year.  

This purple salvia is the plant that taught me to be careful about free plants and how prolific they are.  These gave serious effort to conquering the world from my back yard.  They reproduce from seed and root and after about 3 years, they were EVERYWHERE.  Now, I pull them like a weed and keep them confined to small areas where they make a big statement.  

Last week was so busy at work.  I had big projects that I needed to get caught up on.  Missing almost 2 weeks of work tends to do that.  It was a struggle but I think I'm through the worst of it and all my documents have been sent to others to review.  Of course, my boss will wait until the last minute and then create a crisis...because he does.  Every.  Single.  Time.  This week, I have another whole set of things to do, but I hope to do them without feeling like I"m catching up.  

La Diabla (she devil) is growing like a weed.  She's mostly white with a few black dots, so we named her Dottie.  And, she's in those teenage months when she just needs to run.  A lot.  Not going anywhere, just in circles.  Just for the sake of running.  Just watching her tires me out.  I'm trying to break her of napping in my lap every day while I work, but she's just so dang cute and it's my favorite time because she's still and quiet and not ripping something up.  (her official name at the vet's may be 'Dottie don't eat that')

The power went out yesterday at 8am during a strong wind thunderstorm.  Trees broken all over (fortunately not here).  We'd been to the grocery and I had started some cooking to fill the rainy morning.  It didn't come back on until 2am.  And it rained all day so I couldn't play outside.  After the refrigerators started to warm up, Rob set up the generator and we got to watch a little TV in the evening.  I sat in a sunny window, listened to a book and knitted most of the day.  A day of rest had to be forced upon me.  

Everybody have a great week!  Find things to enjoy.  Don't wait for rest to be forced upon you.



In the garden

 My Mom loved to garden.  She grew beautiful balanced flowerbeds with plants lined up in rows like soldiers and, like class photos, tallest kids in the back.  Plants were something we had in common that we could talk about.  She always wanted to know what was growing and flowering in my yard and she'd tell me what she was growing and what her next project was going to be.  And, I wasn't the only one.  Several people came up to me at the funeral to tell me how much my Mom loved to garden and how they had beautiful plants in their gardens that she had shared.  And, I could not go there without bringing back a half dozen pots of things.  Even after her death, I brought home an iris, some clematis, some rose cuttings to try to root, and a flowering almond.  

Over Easter weekend, when she could still talk easily, she went on and on about me getting a flowering almond from hers.  I didn't take one that weekend, but I did the next week.  It came from my Aunt Lucille's house.  I don't remember it as a child, but she did and wanted me to have a bit of it to carry on in my garden.   It's just a twig in a pot right now, but I think it's going to make it.  

This is the iris

And, this is the rose

You can see why I was so eager to take bits of them.  

In my garden, things are also starting to bloom.  It's Iris season here.  

And, the oakleaf hydrangea is getting started.  

Cinco de Mayo rose

And, my first daylily of the year is this little Stella D'Oro, but there are scapes all over the yard and we are going to have a very good daylily season.  

It was very important to keep something like gardening in common with my Mom.  We didn't have much else in common.  We believed different things and we lived our lives very differently.  And, by golly, she just could not help but bring those things up.  Sometimes, all she'd want to do is run down my politics or my parenting.  I always thought it was just me, but it seemed like everyone from the preacher to my cousins shared a variation of 'your mother was hard to get along with, but she did it with love."  If I could go back and say one thing to her, I think it would be that maybe love is about swallowing your own thoughts and making others feel good about themselves.  Of course, that's easier to say than to do.  

I find myself saying thank you a lot.  I've really noticed it these last few weeks.  I try to thank Rob for the things he does.  I'm constantly thanking people at work.  And, now I thank my family a lot.  I've realized I have a lot to be grateful for and maybe saying thank you isn't just about being grateful to the other person.  It's also a lot about me acknowledging how I feel.  It took a long time for me to accept that I couldn't do it all and rely on others and that I needed to recognize them for that.  

I'm sure I'll share lots of other stories about my Mom now that she's not there to read them.  They're not all happy tales.  After she passed, one of my Aunts turned out to not be who everyone thought she was.  There was a long story that one of her sons shared with me, just trashing her.  It made me realize that I don't want to do that.  I don't want to put the unhappy stories out there.  I've dealt with them and don't have regrets.  But, the happy stories aren't really ready to come out yet either.  I guess I'm in the angry stage of grieving.  But, like all things...this too shall pass.

Everybody have a great week!  Last week was crazy as I tried to get caught up at work, and in the garden and in the house.  So many things had to be done after I was away for three consecutive weekends.  But, I also needed rest, so I had to prioritize what I accomplished and take some time for me to just sit and watch TV.  I don't usually sit still well, but I did pretty good on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  




Sorry about being MIA for so long.  My Mom got sick before Easter and I went to see her that weekend and drove back on Monday.  It seemed that shew as getting better, but over the week, she continued to decline and they decided to go with comfort care only.  I drove back that weekend and stayed until after the funeral, driving home yesterday.  She hung in a lot longer than the doctors thought she would.  

Everyone in my Dad's church group (Sunday school Class) got covid and they all brought it home to their wives.  Everyone got better except my Mom.  She had several other health issues going on and was not able to survive the cumulative effect of them all.  

It was great to all come together in the effort of caring for her.  My sisters and their husbands and daughters and my Mom's sister who is a retired nurse all pulled together, some of us providing direct care and others providing support.  I stayed at my parent's house and was able to take over with my Dad, making sure he didn't spend all day every day at the hospital and that he ate at regular intervals and drank plenty of water.  Our favorite doctor talked to him about caring for himself through this and he reached over and put his hand on my shoulder and said 'I got my boy helping me with that.'  It felt really good.  

When she passed, my Dad, sisters, me, and my Dad's only brother were in the room.  One of my sisters commented that her breathing had gotten quiet and the nurse came in to administer the next pain med and she passed quietly during that.  A couple hours later and we were out of the hospital for the last time.  

For days, we ate hospital food.  Hospitals are where you go to get better, but this hospital seemed to only sell the things the doctors tell us not to eat.  I had some really lovely pancakes tho.  Every morning, my Dad and I would go down and several times, he asked for two strips of bacon.  He'd get two slices of bacon.  I'd ask for two strips of bacon and I also got two...but each one was three slices stuck together.  I tried to have a salad on one of my first days, but the chiller they kept them in was too cold and the salad had frozen.  I checked several times after and the same was true every time.  So I ate things like fried chicken and scrambled eggs and biscuits and pizza and on Wednesday, my body revolted and I started actively pushing for steamed vegetables at every meal I could control.  

The funeral was beautiful.  The preacher told stories about my Mom and I saw friends and family I had not seen in 40 years.  They played the hymns Blessed Assurance and In the Garden.  It was funny how all four of us agreed so quickly on the hymns.  I suggested both without realizing my sisters and Dad had already talked about them both.  She was buried in the family cemetery in Louisiana near my Grandparents and many uncles, aunts and cousins.  

I'm sure I'll have more to say later, but didn't want to wait until next Monday to give an update on why I was missing.  

Everybody have a great week and hug someone you love.  And, when you fuss and argue, make up quick as you can, just in case you don't get another chance.