I’m really not ready for this month – or winter – to start. My hair is blowing so hard as the time whizzes past I’m suffering from wind-shock – if that’s a thing. I’m really trying to get the yard ready for winter, but Mother Nature is laughing at me as she plays ‘crack-the-whip.’
Yesterday afternoon I did get out and cut the Rio Samba rose bushes WAAY back. It seems that these bushes last about 3 years and then have to be replaced. I can’t really complain, because they have bloomed their little hearts out, but I hope they’ll do it one more time before we have to start over. I also bagged up leaves and refilled the trio of planters. The leaves had blown out due to the extremely gusty winds we had a couple of days ago.
It’s 31 outside now, but since it’s supposed to be in the mid 50s this afternoon, I’m planning to check to see if I need to weed whack in the front one more time. I’ll also use the leaf blower to attack the piles of leaves particularly around the front porch. My to-do list outside is beginning to shorten.
“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.” Victor Hugo
I’m feeling pampered and spoiled right now. I’m just home from a particularly wonderful massage. I told Lynn about the area of my back that was hurting since I added some new poses to my yoga practice. She really zeroed in on a big area, it turned out, and it feels much better now. I’ll drink lots of water this afternoon and then do my yoga practice for the day.
It’s almost time for lunch. We’ve been enjoying a wonderful bunch of grapes lately, plus we share an apple, called Cosmic Bulk, as a part of our healthy lunch.
My husband was doing some weed whacking in the front when I drove up. It’s too hot, so I got him to stop as soon as he had finished the section that was offending him the most. I reminded him that I’m planning to do the rest of the weed whacking on Saturday morning.
I wish today looked at least a bit like this here.
Happy Fall! Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the memo yet, as far as weather in Arkansas is concerned, but we’re hopeful she’ll comply once she does. It’s only supposed to get to 92 today.
We’ve been trying to encourage it, putting our scarecrow on the mailbox, but the pleas have been falling on deaf ears so far.
I’ll leave in a minute to get my monthly massage. My body is already saying, “ahhhhhh!” :0)
Today is DAY 69 of my daily yoga practice. I have a sore spot in my back that MAY be due to the new poses I’m doing lately. I’m hopeful that Lynn, my miracle-worker/massage-therapist, will be able to ease the discomfort.
Happy new month! May this month bring nice, calm weather to all of us so we can spend as much time as we would like outside. Things outside here look pretty ragged. I gave up trying to get things under control since Mother Nature was trying to fry me like a piece of bacon or steam me like veggies in a steamer each time I went out. I would love to be able to enjoy being outside again, to get my veggie garden under control, and my flower planters. It’s super-humid here right now, so it’s another ‘steamer’ day – but we MIGHT finally get some rain this afternoon and evening. All appendages are crossed.
I’m finally seeing some progress again. I’m being a good girl with my snacks now, unless I’m up in the middle of the night. Then I can eat the entire fridge in one sitting. I don’t know why my motivation/determination/common sense flee the scene in the middle of the night. I’m just trying everything I can to NOT have to be up, and therefore NOT having to control myself when my defenses are down. So far, the smirk on my scales is fading. :0) DAY 48 today on my daily yoga practice!
PROJECTS UPDATE –
I should be able to finish my project to reorganize the books in my bedroom bookshelves today. I moved more books into the guest room shelves yesterday (my Robert B. Parker collection), so my shelves in the bedroom are now ready to clean and reorganize.
My husband remarks every time he gets another drink from our main fridge how good it looks. (his highest compliment in that regard comes from the fact that he’s a Marine (‘once a Marine, always a Marine’) – he says it’s ‘shining like a diamond in a goat’s ass.’ Iffy as a compliment at best, but quite colorful and heartfelt, nonetheless…
I’m taking pictures today and will try to get some more products listed on my Etsy site today.
A heat index today of around 115 is TOO hot for this old lady. I just took some water out to pour into the elephant ear planter. Our plumber hasn’t been able to make time to put in our 2nd watering line for the planters in the front yard, so things are just drying up. The thing I care about the most in the front is the elephant ears, so I’ll concentrate on those. – UPDATE – Our plumber just drove up, ready to work on the 2nd line we need! HOORAY!!!!
We will go to Lunch Bunch soon to catch up with our friends. I don’t know if one of them will be back from her visit in Tennessee, but I’ll be happy to see whoever is there.
I’m making steady progress on the Christmas gifts. I’m spending some wonderful time up in my art room each day, taking my time, listening to music while I’m painting, enjoying time to myself and the joy of trying to make something my friends will like. :0)
I got some new things added to my Etsy shop yesterday. I’ll add some more today. It’s fun to give my shop a bit of a new look.
Yesterday I wrote to Dr. Singer at our veterinarian’s office via email to tell him how impressed I was with Emma and the rest of his staff on handling the possibility of a fire and handling customers in the middle of it. I’m hoping they will get something special, including raises. :0)
I’m resting from my first session of weed whacking. By noon today, until 8pm tonight, our heat index is going to be 106, so I’m out NOW, trying to get the weed whacking done while it’s ONLY 85.
There’s about half an hour towards the end of the day, when the sun is starting to go down when it’s fabulous outside here. I try to arrange things so I can walk around then, soaking up the glory of it. I take pictures, make mental notes of the next thing I need to tackle, wish I had more flowers (there are never enough), play with Amber and Abby, who follow me around, and maybe sit for a bit on the front porch steps or on the back deck before going in. The world is perfect then, ‘free’ from problems, strife, and stupidity, when I feel filled with the joy of being alive.
If our weather here were like that for more of the day, I might spend all day outside. Since I’m older than dirt, it’s probably a good thing that our Arkansas weather in the summer is totally UN-civilized, hitting you in the face with the heat the minute you step outside, moving from one place of a/c to the next as fast as you can.
I have one more weed whacking session in me before I will have to stop for the day, clean up outside, then come in and shower, getting ready for the rest of my day.
It seems a bit anti-climactic for this to be the 1st day of summer, since our temperatures with heat indices have been in the ‘excessive heat warning’ and ‘heat advisory’ brackets for at least a couple of weeks now. I don’t see that it can get much hotter now that it’s ‘official,’ but – bring it on!
My husband just mowed recently, but was moaning that our grass needs to be cut again. Hopefully, he will choose to do it in the late afternoon, when the worst of the heat is over for the day. We’re still waiting for our good plumber to find time to help us with the 2nd irrigation line, but I can water manually to try to keep things alive.
Now that I finished a couple of projects inside the house, I’ll try to switch my focus to working in the yard in the mornings and then right before dark, hosing down with Back Woods OFF! before going out there.
I’m delighted to welcome the month of May this year. I’m hoping that by mid month, our weather will have calmed down. Today our weather here in Arkansas is stellar. Sunshine-y with a high of 82 and lower humidity today. Wheeeeeeee! I have a lot I’d like to do outside. I’m not sure what I’ll tackle first. Maybe, since the Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be stormy, I’ll check the veggie garden first, weeding and harvesting, and then try to get started with my new “pruning-the-tomato-plants experiment.”
My official ‘monthly report’ on my efforts to lose the lard and get stronger and healthier is –
Weight – Down 30.8 pounds since my heaviest.
Measurements – there is 29.5 inches less of me than at my heaviest.
Exercise – I’m into my regimen of various online videos for seniors in the mornings and yoga and yard work in the afternoons. Videos are from Mike at MoreLifeHealth.com/seniors. The ones I’m doing now are a “warm-up,” “stretches,” one of two exercises with weights videos (alternating)’ and “Workout 1B” every other day. The day I don’t do the ‘workout,’ I spend time on my elliptical trainer. I’ve increased from 10 minutes to 15 minutes per session so far. My daily yoga stretches session is 30 minutes.
I hope that May will be a wonderful month for us all.
We have been very happy this month that we live on top of a ridge line in Arkansas. Being up a bit has its own dangers – lightning and gusty winds and tornadoes being some – but we DON’T have to worry personally about flooding, though we HAVE discussed tying a rowboat at the bottom of our driveway in case we need to get to town at times. We’ve had a LOT of rain this month. May might bring dryer weather, but it won’t bring calmer weather. We’re under a tornado ‘watch’ much of the summer. We’ve gotten to the point where we don’t really pay attention unless the weather alert says, “A tornado is on the ground in Greenwood, headed for the Lewis’ house.” I’ll be happy to wave goodbye to April tomorrow.
Good/Bad – GOOD: We saw our second hummingbird of the season this morning! We’re not sure if it’s the same hummingbird we saw yesterday or a different one, but he/she took a good, long drink before flitting away. BAD: It looks like we might have another raccoon. The feeders were all absolutely empty this morning after my husband filled them up yesterday. The suet holder on one end of one of the feeders was pulled out on one side. We have yet to see a bird who pulls out the side of the suet holder to get at the suet. We had a suet holder down on the ground below the deck… We’ll have to set the humane trap and see if we can catch the critter for relocation.
CLEANING: I was planning to tackle cleaning up our porch as my next project, but I think I’ll postpone that, since the weather forecast for the next few days is really gusty winds and chances of rain and severe storms.
Instead, I think I’ll work on our pantry. It’s gotten out of hand over the past couple of months, since there wasn’t a good place to put extra supplies and things tended to get ‘stuffed’ wherever it was out of the way a bit. This will be a several day project, but it’s overdue and I don’t have to get the cooperation of Mother Nature to do it.
FRIENDS: Today is Lunch Bunch. In fact, we leave in about 45 minutes to meet our friends. I think that Kay’s daughter will be here, visiting from Albuquerque. She’s a wonderful person and I really enjoy it when she comes home to her parents. :0) Catching up on Fridays rounds the week off nicely.
We’re supposed to get another 1-3 inches today and this evening. Oh, good.
Yesterday, I started weeding one of our planters. The wind was blowing SO hard, it picked up the plastic bucket I was using for the dead stuff I was removing from the planter, threw all the dead stuff into the yard as it whipped the bucket around, and was trying to blow the bucket to the next state. I managed to jump up and catch it between gusts of wind. :0)
These are the ‘after’ pics after the hour I spent. It looks a bit better now, I think, but I’ll spend probably another hour or so thinning out the iris in it when the weather cooperates.
This is the other side of that same planter. The poor iris is choking itself. It gave us a nice display of the deep-purple, twice-blooming iris we love, but they’re finished now for the spring. Hopefully, I can tackle the planter again tomorrow, at least getting out the iris I’ll replant another day.
Today is definitely an inside day. I’m happy that we have a warm, dry home on days like this. The temperature is nice, so we have the door open to the porch.
It seems that winter is having trouble saying goodbye this year. The coasts of the U.S. are both braving snow this week, while the mid-section is suffering through waves of severe spring storms. It’s really a challenge.
Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together. ~ Verna M. Kelly
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. – Victor Hugo
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. Albert Camus
Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart. Victor Hugo
When there’s snow on the ground, I like to pretend I’m walking on clouds. Takayuki Ikkaku
Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it. ~ Richard Adams
Deep purple is my favorite color. Whenever I see it, my soul reacts, with happiness welling up inside and spilling over. Spring is one time of the year where our yard reflects my love of the color.
They are blooming almost all the way down one side of the driveway now. When they are finished, yellow ones take over.
You can see my heart is really full this time of year. There is much to do in the yard, and little time right now to do it between severe weather. Soon things will tame down (hopefully) and I can get our planters weeded and cleared out, tomato plants in, and buy some purple petunias for the deck. :0)
I checked the weather website yesterday evening right before dark to find that, not only were we supposed to get rain after sunset, but HAIL. I went out and clothes-pinned sheets over my veggie planter boxes to protect my sweet, young veggies as much as I could.
It DID storm overnight and we’re still under a ‘thunderstorm and hail’ forecast this morning. It’s raining and very dark outside now, though the thunder and lightning are so noticeable. It looks like the sheets won’t come off until at least lunch time. I hope the plants don’t get squashed by the weight of the wet sheets!
Here was what 3 of the 6 garden boxes looked like last night –
Any minute a guy, or guys, from a solar panel company will be here to talk with us about a ‘government solar panel program’ for our home. My husband signed us up for this. I researched it, and though it isn’t really a ‘scam,’ it’s quite misleading.
The solar panels are installed at no cost to the homeowner, but the homeowner doesn’t OWN the panels. You LEASE the panels. If you sell your house, the new owner has to agree to continue the lease. If they don’t, you have to pay to remove the panels and try to get someone else to take the lease, or you break the lease, costing you up to $20,000. You get no tax incentive break for installing the panels – that goes to the solar panel company. To maintain the warranty on the panels, you must have them inspected each year and cleaned twice a year – a cost of $450 a year. For many reasons, this is not a good thing for us.
I read this to my husband. He agrees it’s not for us, but still wants to talk to them. I will sit in just to make sure he doesn’t sign up for anything…
It’s quite rainy today. Really gusty winds went all night and into this morning. Now the sky is getting quite dark. We have possibly severe weather. Fingers crossed we get through this day with no damage.
I hope that your Wednesday is safe, calm, and dry.
The day is finally warming up quite a bit. It’s now sunny and 67 degrees, according to my computer. I’m still washing the wet sheets I brought in from the garden freeze cover up. The last load is in the dryer now.
I took a nice nap on my heat pad and then took some more Tylenol, so my back and hips are starting to ease up. I added a longer a session of yoga stretches and that should let me feel more myself tomorrow.
I keep hoping that we have seen the end of winter. THEN, sooner than I would like, I’ll start to gripe about how HOT it is, when I burn my arm on the car door… :0)
We’re supposed to get lots of rain today, particularly this afternoon and this evening, possibly severe. A “normal’ spring day for Arkansas.
Yesterday, since cleaning up my counter in the garage did NOT yield the garden irrigation system timer for which I was looking, we went to Yeagers and bought another one. We bought weed killer for our lawn at the same time. My husband spread that while I tackled the new timer.
I managed to program it and install it on the outside garden faucet and then hooked up the hoses in the garden. I turned on the water to test it, but the pressure was way down for some reason. We looked at the well house, since that’s where the water for the garden comes from. After a LOT of unpleasantness, my husband figured out what was wrong. He repaired a broken wire and then was able to get the pump pressure up. So we THINK we’re fixed now. I’ll check it this afternoon to see if the sprinklers in the middle of each planter box are actually sprinkling, or just dribbling as they were yesterday.
In my travels back and forth from the well house to the shop, I noticed that our tulip tree was blooming! Since our possible severe weather this evening may batter the sweet tree, I tried to get some pictures.
today’s project will be tackling the kitchen. THAT includes a deeper cleaning of fridges, countertops, ceiling fans, wall air flow systems, and vacuuming the pantry, kitchen, dining area, utility room, and two half baths.
Hooray! We did it! We made it to spring! Whoo HOOOOO!
I was beginning to give up. In Arkansas it almost never snows after my birthday on the 9th, but we broke records in temperatures and amount of snow this year AFTER my celebration of adding another year to my personal total. I couldn’t be happier that MAYBE we’re through with frozen precipitation of any kind. I’ll continue to watch the forecasts for freezing temperatures for awhile yet.
My spring garden is mostly in now. I’ll continue to see if I can find some head lettuce, and I will plant some radishes, but the main part is in now. (The scraggly-looking things you see in this photo are red onion sets)
My husband looked in the shop, but didn’t see our irrigation control timer yesterday. Today I’ll see if I can uncover my counter in the garage and find it. My counter has become the catch-all for everything – including my husband’s zero sugar soft drinks, zero sugar gallons of tea, plus my seed planting stuff, plus tools (garden and otherwise) and more. It is truly awful. At least I’m actually looking for something I need, rather than JUST having to label this a character-building exercise. It MAY keep me going on what will probably be an all day project…
In the meantime, let’s all give Spring a huge hug!
It started raining last night and is still raining today.
I got my early spring garden planted, so I’m really happy about the rain, even if we drown going to Lunch Bunch today. :0)
Two days ago I got some leaf lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower plants in my raised bed, square foot garden. Yesterday I planted to bunches of red onion sets. I don’t have the irrigation timer installed yet, so I was really glad to see we were expecting rain last night. The garden is started! I’ll probably plant some radish seeds, plus more lettuce (my husband likes me to try head lettuce) if we can find it, but basically, the early spring garden is in. (This photo shows three of the six planter boxes. I took it before I planted the onion sets.)
I’m looking forward to seeing my friends for Lunch Bunch today. It’s a big moment of ‘normal’ in a chaotic, scary world, and I treasure it, and my friends. We’ll probably stop at Real Food on the way home to see if we can find some goodies to bring home.
Since working outside isn’t in the cards today, I’ll concentrate on cleaning some of the inside. Most of what I vacuum up is dog hair. You would think Amber would be completely bald by now.
I hope that you can stay safe, warm and dry today.
Some wise person said, ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” or words to that effect. I just checked outside again, and the white stuff is clearly falling now. No accumulation on the ground yet, but you can easily see it’s snowing. Oh, joy.
Grudgingly this time, I’m sharing some more snow creations from really creative folks who obviously enjoy the snow more than I do right now. I truly love the imagination and humor shown, and delight when I find new examples. :0)
I’m in a whine-and-cheese frame of mind this morning as I watch our weather deteriorate. I’ve been so happy seeing signs of spring, shoots coming up through the debris of the winter, daffodils blooming, our tulip tree full of buds and starting to bloom. All this comes to an end now – at least for awhile – as the temperatures fall and LITTLE BITTY white pellets start to fall.
I was just outside for several minutes, taking pics and realizing that the white stuff the weather people predicted has begun. I had to really concentrate, holding my head very still to SEE it. I FELT it falling on me, though. The wind has picked up and the temperature is really BRISK out there!
I really love our tulip tree. It’s quite fragile, though, and so you have to keep an eye out for the buds and then blooms because they don’t last long in the best of weather. They really lift my spirits, though, for however long I can enjoy them.
Usually it doesn’t snow here after my birthday (March 9), so I’m fully into ‘weather resentment syndrome’ considering this a personal insult to my embrace of spring.
Hopefully, this will be a really quick last gasp of winter that will melt quickly and won’t kill everything. All appendages are crossed.
I’m itching to start working in the yard, cleaning up, and planting early spring veggie plants in our square foot garden. I just walked around the yard between sessions of rain and was so excited to see more daffodils blooming here and there.
Then, as I was getting ready to come in, I saw our tulip tree has a gazillion buds plus some that are showing color!
We’ll still get more freezes before we can officially say goodbye to winter, but it really brings up my spirits to see the plants bursting forth.
I’m keeping an eye on the 10-day forecasts to see when I can get serious about looking for early spring veggie plants. All I need to do is pull off the tarps and grab my trowel! (If you’ll pardon the expression…) :0)
I’m SO glad to wave ‘bye-bye’ to February. I think we should start a petition to rid the world of February and the weather associated with it, from now on. Will you add your signature to mine?
We will finally be able to drive down from our house today, leave trash for our wonderful pickup people, get our mail, and replenish supplies for the first time in a week and a half. We still have ice on the bottom third of the driveway, but not enough to keep us up here, due to our snow tires and the gravel. HOORAY!
Under ‘character-building exercises,’ I have been dealing with our main credit card being frauded, then cancelled by the credit card company, then receiving the new card (my husband slogged CAREFULLY down our steep driveway Saturday to retrieve them from the mailbox, since the UPS guy couldn’t get up our icy driveway, and we then began notifying the people and places who need to know the new information. My husband quickly got frustrated and angry, so I told him I would do it. UGH. I’m finally down to 2 places and hopefully I can get through to them today.
We are getting a lot of melting where the sun can reach the ground easily now. Our driveway will, as usual, be the last thing to thaw, being long, steep, bordered by trees, and on the north side of our property. I heard our driveway alarm and found our truck gone from the garage. I swept out that side of the garage and my husband came back up with the mail, plus Amber happily riding in the bed of the truck. We’ll be able to take our trash down tomorrow morning, retrieve our mail, and run some errands!
I’m more than happy to start a new month tomorrow, particularly one that includes the beginning of SPRING! :0)
My husband laboriously negotiated our ski slope of a driveway to get several days worth of mail yesterday, then again when he received an email that UPS had left a package for us at the bottom of our driveway. Since our driveway is STEEP and 650+ feet, it was quite a bit of exercise. We have sunshine today, and our afternoon temperatures are supposed to be above freezing (33 degrees F. now), so we may finally start getting some melting. I figure it’ll be another day or two before we have our freedom to come and go as desired again.
I’m ready to put winter and February behind me. My heart is in the garden, playing in the dirt, envisioning colorful flowers and veggies. Maybe in another 2 or 3 weeks, I can think about finding some early spring plants to get going.
Otherwise, one of my dear friends made me feel really special yesterday, and I’m still glowing from it today. She creates drool-worthy jewelry, mainly from silver. She branches out from time to time into copper, one of MY favorite metals. Yesterday, in the mail my husband retrieved, there was a package from her with SEVERAL pieces of copper jewelry – earrings, a bracelet, and two necklaces! A feast for the eyes, I keep changing which is my favorite. I can’t wait to show them off to my Lunch Bunch friends. :0)
The rains started last night with a lot of thunder and lightning. They continue today. I’m not griping TOO loudly, though, as this is much better than what we’ll have starting tomorrow – ICE. Ugh.
We’ll leave in about half an hour to run errands, keeping appointments and picking up supplies for the coming winter storm.
I’m very happy we have a warm, dry home to ‘weather’ the storm in. I have to admit I’m more than ready for spring to arrive, though. Yesterday we saw veggie plants for sale at the local hardware store. Just too soon to plant, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want to have to cover the plants every night from now to mid March – though I really felt drawn to the plants…