With all the rain we’ve had over the past three weeks, you’d think my house would be squeaky clean.
Alas, not so much.
Posted in Gardening, Just Stuff, Musings | Tagged gardening, Monday musings, rain, weather | Leave a Comment »
Last Friday was prom night. Swimmer Girl is a planner, so by Friday afternoon, her dress was hemmed and hanging in her closet, her nails were gelled, her hair and makeup were done, and she was putting on the finishing touches before her date arrived. On cue, she glided down the stairs, pinned on his boutonniere, slipped on her corsage, posed for indoor pics and outdoor pics, and was tucked into her date’s ride just before a rain shower began.
During the pre-prom primping, she asked me if we were doing anything that night. I mentioned that Mr. Official and I were going to dinner in Nashville.
Now, she has seen us head out for dinner, overnight trips, weekend getaways, and even week-long vacations without her, but I guess it hadn’t yet sunk in that our lives are no longer completely intertwined with hers.
I watched her have that moment of stunning realization: her parents have a life, separate and apart from her and her brothers. I witnessed the same moment with each of our sons, at about the same age. While they won’t admit it, I think before this epiphany, each of our children thought we simply deflated into catatonic 2-D figures that sat on the couch and waited for them to return from dates and activities with their friends.
I guess we created that assumption. When our children were young, we were with them round-the-clock almost constantly. And on the rare occasion when we had a childless outing, we made sure they were well-cared for by adults they knew and we trusted. We made them aware of our plans in advance, and assured them we would return on schedule. And so they grew up with a perception that their parents lacked spontaneity…or any real social life to speak of.
But now the secret is out, the jig is up. Our children see us as people who do things other than raise children. Which is a good thing, considering we have almost worked ourselves out of that gig.
P.S. If you’re wondering where my garden updates are from now on, please check out my Garden Coach blog posts. You’ll find all the gritty details on my garden week-by-week over there.
Posted in Just Stuff, Musings | Tagged family, Monday musings, spring | 2 Comments »
The love of gardening that is.
Any gardener will tell you that the honeymoon phase of gardening doesn’t last long. Once the plants are in, there’s weeding, watering and nurturing to do, year in and out. Unless you have a cadre of gardeners to tend to your flowers and plants, you don gloves and sunscreen and spend a lot more time on hands and knees than you do standing back admiring your handiwork.
Speaking from a “few” (cough) decades of personal experience, there’s nothing romantic about gardening in Southern soil. In fact, I would argue it’s not even soil; it’s just nasty, heavy, slick red and gray clay. Almost greasy when it’s wet and forms rock-hard clods or bone-dry silt when it dries, depending on what you did to it when it was wet. My garden beds have a voracious appetite for organic matter and they seem to devour it almost as fast as I can apply it. I hear-tell that Southern sandy soil is nearly as nasty and twice as hungry and thirsty.
I carefully applied a dozen bags of pine fines and mushroom compost around each perennial last week, and I’m happy to report that most of my transplant/refugee plants are taking off and growing like gangbusters.
After I finished with all those bags, I realized I need a lot more than that to get the beds topped off this year. So I talked Mr. Official into getting a load of bulk compost over the weekend. And by load, I mean 1 1/2 cubic yards. That’s a lot of ummmm, “stuff” if you catch my drift. And speaking of drift…
Oh my word.
As I pitch forkful after forkful of this steaming stuff, from big trailer to small trailer to garden beds, my mind conjures up all sorts of obscure adjectives. Words you just don’t hear every day.
The list goes on.
I’m just glad plants can’t smell, because this would be an intolerable situation to grow in if they could. And if you visit my garden in the next few weeks, I probably won’t encourage you to lean in close to sniff the flowers. But it did put me in mind of the old poem penned by Frank Lebby Stanton, a Charleston SC native and longtime journalist for the Atlanta Constitution:
“This old world we’re livin’ in
Is mighty hard to beat
We get a thorn with every rose
But ain’t the roses sweet?”
Posted in Gardening, Uncategorized | Tagged compost, gardening, Monday musings | 1 Comment »
Our “Spring Break” trip (minus any actual Spring Break-ers) was a week of relaxed-pace recreating in Myrtle Beach. I knew our vacation was off to a great start when I spied our condo’s dishes:
If you guessed Fiesta, you guessed correctly. I’m feeling very influential these days. Or maybe I’m just in good company. What’s not to love about these dishes?
The week provided several rounds of golf for Mr. Official, a couple hours of hot yoga and a nice 5-mile run for me, plus plenty of pool time. Our winter whites have been banished for the season, replaced by a pink-brown color they call “tan” – I hear it’s the “in” color this summer.
The temperatures exceeded expectations, pegging out in the high 70s/low 80s most days. We ate our fill of local seafood each night and we drove Thunder Road:
…well, one of us did. Somebody had to take pics, and besides, I wasn’t sure I met the height requirements.
Because Mr. Official is an easy-going good sport, one night he agreed to forgo a seafood feast and dine on movie theater popcorn and Cokes while watching Jurassic Park in 3-D (in a nearly empty theater.. which was kinda weird.)
In between golf, yoga, and taking laps around the lazy river on innertubes, we also got in a day of antiquing, which netted two red fruit bowls and a turquoise salad bowl for my (ever-growing) collection. I also acquired some wonderful additions to our landscape, courtesy of a plant sale at Brookgreen Gardens and a fabulous little nursery in Murrells Inlet:.
But the highlight of the trip was on Friday…it was a paparazzi moment for me and my camera when I spotted this gosling surrounded by a couple tough-looking bodyguards on high alert. I managed to squeeze off a few shots before they shooed me away.
Technically, it was six goslings.
Oh, wait…you thought I spotted Ryan Gosling? Silly goose. Nope. But I think these Canadians are just as cute as he, and it was way easier to get a photo of ‘em than THAT guy.
Posted in Collecting, Fitness, Gardening, Just Stuff, Musings | Tagged antiques, Fiesta, plants, running, South Carolina, spring break, vacations | 2 Comments »
Forget the Ides of March and all that. Sorry Julius Caesar, but that was so last week.
It is the final week of March and the first full week of spring, according to the calendar. But the weather says otherwise. In fact, as I write this, it is snowing. Yes, snowing.
In. The. South.
It is not expected to stick or accumulate, and we should start a slow ascent into warmer temperatures as the week wears on…at least that’s what the weather men and women are promising. One can only hope, because my Easter dress is sleeveless and my shoes are strappy, and I have no intentions of wearing a jacket. So have a heart, Mother Nature.
It is definitely March Madness around here. Every night the sound of rubber soles running, stopping, spinning and jumping on oak flooring reverberates throughout our home, thanks to high-def televisions in practically every room. It matters not that we have no dog in this year’s hunt…Smokey is on hiatus and resting up for fall football. We will watch teams we have never heard of play all evening long, until the Sweet Sixteen becomes four and four becomes one NCAA champ. Then we can resume regularly scheduled programming. (Okay, I confess: I sneak off to a corner of the house and watch Dallas on Monday nights. And Duck Dynasty on Wednesdays. But otherwise, I’m all-in for whoever’s playing next.)
There is a glimmer of silver lining to this unseasonably cold weather: I have a good reason to try my hand at one last chicken pot pie for the season (new recipe, new hopes), and a pot of Cincinnati-style chili and beans over spaghetti. The crockpot will get a workout with a brisket that will be turned into hash and a new slow-cooked barbeque chicken with sweet potato cornbread on the side. Then maybe…just maybe, the weather will warm and we can begin welcoming spring with grilled foods and cool salads.
Oh and one last thing…March Madness can also explain away a recent shopping spree through Macy’s online store. Right? As long as the new Fiesta bowls arrive while it is still March, that’s my defense and I’m sticking to it.
Posted in Just Stuff, Musings | Tagged basketball, cooking, Easter, Fiesta, Monday musings, spring | Leave a Comment »
Oh blog, where are thou?
Yes, I know…it’s been here all along, and somehow my attention (meager as it is) has been diverted for several weeks. Long story short, be careful about taking on volunteer “opportunities” in your “spare” time. The result can mean you wake up and realize a couple months have raced by and you barely looked up to notice the clock racing or the sun rising or setting.
This past weekend was the annual springing ahead of said clock. It is the weekend I love and dread in equal proportions each year. I love having longer evenings and here in the South, the time change is immediately followed by warmer evenings as well. But for a few days, I struggle with the alarm going off in a pre-dawn hour.
Our Saturday was spent driving to Knoxville to watch the Vols beat Mizzou, then driving back, knowing the East/Central time zone switch would be compounded this time by the arrival of the annual time change. It arrived right on cue, so Sunday morning came all too soon, but I was up and out the door bright and early. After lunch, Swimmer Girl and I went shopping for Easter dresses and we emerged victorious, with two dresses in tow. We rushed to the high school for a matinee production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” It was very well done, but my eyelids were drooping after the intermission, so when we got home, I grabbed a nap. Even with the nap, bedtime came early Sunday night.
And the Monday morning alarm was completely ignored. Tomorrow, treadmill, tomorrow.
Posted in Just Stuff, Musings | Tagged Monday musings, spring, Tennessee | Leave a Comment »