Spring

Accountability or the Lack Thereof

I was talking to a friend a few days ago. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Before I say this, understand I don’t really want it.”

Her: “Ok…?”

Me: “I need an accountability coach but I don’t really want to be accountable.”

Her: ..still listening..

Me: “I don’t really want anyone holding me accountable, though.”

Her: “Maybe you need a dream team – an encourager.”

Me: “Maybe.”

If I was in the workplace and I was my own boss, I’d fire me.  This is me after a year in the pandemic. I set goals for things I want to do, but my follow through is terrible. The only thing I am motivated to do right now is be outside in the midst of spring. Maybe it is because I have spent so much time in these walls, I just want out.

The goals I am setting for myself are simple and still somewhat long range. When can I travel to Florida and see my family? When can my grandchildren spend a week with us? When can we have our family here for dinner? 

Yesterday we spent the day traveling to the local greenhouses buying soil amendments and vegetable starts. Today we will finish replenishing the garden soil and planting. It looks like we may have some cool nighttime temperatures again next week.

Spring is beautiful, but it is a bit different than in years past. Plants seem slower to bloom compared to years past. Azaleas that normally bloom at the same time every year seem to be delayed – some coming to full bloom while others are moving at a snail’s pace. Maybe they are suffering from a lack of motivation, too. After all, the earth has been stressed for so long. Maybe this last year it needed the break just to stretch and relax. I get it.

(This entire post was written using the block editor. I used the classic block for the text portion and the gallery block for the photos. I am dipping my toe into the waters and will post next week on how it’s going for me.)

Blog, Family, Spring

Monday Missive – Our First Hugs

It was a hallmark Weekend for us. We were able to hug my son and my grandchildren for the first time in over a year. Wow. I started to get teary-eyed but held back. I wanted the occasion to be upbeat and joyful. My grandson held me for a long, long time. There is a kind of missing that words do not convey. My granddaughter was a chatterbox trying to catch up after a year of no contact. We delivered Easter baskets and had a nice visit.  I hope to go back and have lunch with them while the kids are still out of school for spring break.

  • I am hopeful we are through our latest cold snap and moving toward gardening weather. It might be time to take the flannel sheets off the beds.
  • Today I plan to start spring cleaning – both inside and outside. My house is barely Covid Clean – the kind of clean that is passable because you know no one will be coming in your house. Deep cleaning is not my jam, as my granddaughter would say.
  • Yesterday I noticed a few of my Irises have started to make an appearance. It will not be long before they are in full bloom.
  • Carpenter bees. Ugh. Love them or hate them, they are important pollinators. Our azaleas are covered with them. Many people cover their homes in pesticides to prevent the damage the bees can wreak on soffits. We use bee traps near the eaves instead of pesticides.
  • Early wildflowers are in bloom. It is so nice to see the earth come alive, changing dramatically every day.
  • I am trying to work up the nerve to go to the salon. My hair is so long now it has become an annoyance.
  • Hubby is ramping up getting ready to go to a Japanese timber frame workshop in late May. It is a week long where they learn the process and erect a structure. It has been postponed twice because of Covid and hopefully, this time it will proceed if the Covid numbers continue to improve.

I hear the cardinals calling. My first chore is to clean out the raised beds so hubby can turn and refresh the soil. If all goes well, we will get a few of the cooler weather plants in the ground. It looks like the end of the week brings the possibility of more rain.

Blog, flowers, gardening, gardens, Spring

Living In The Moment

Day 204

img_9647Yesterday was our warmest day of the year thus far. This morning the temps were a little cooler which made perfect walking weather.

The visual landscape around here is changing fast. Most of the azalea blooms are gone as well as the dogwood flowers and the native azaleas. We seem to have an abundance of rhododendron blooming this year. The irises continue to bloom but the spring flowering season is coming to a close. This morning I was greeted by a splendid white iris that had evidently bloomed. It was spectacular.

I love spring. It has to be my favorite season. I am always a little sad when the warm days and cool nights make way to hot days and equally hot nights. Right now we can still open the doors and windows, but with many more hot days, it will soon be time to close the house up and turn on the air conditioning.

We have a good start on our gardens. We have already had a salad out of our lettuce garden. It is so divine to have our own greens topped with the punch of flavor from fresh dill and cilantro. (Yes, I am one of those that love cilantro. Thankfully, so is hubby.)

I mentioned earlier that hubby raised our container garden. Last year we had so much rain and the ground was so saturated the garden could not drain. Our plants literally drowned.

Raising the garden was cumbersome. I told hubby I thought he over-engineered it which did not go over well. Sorry, but it was so heavy we almost could not turn it over. He basically attached legs of 4×4’s and put planks across the bottom, leaving spaces so the soil could drain. Then he covered it with landscape cloth to keep the dirt from falling through, then comes the soil and the mushroom compost then the planting. I asked him to keep the little ledge rather than even it up. Makes a good place to put pots and the watering can.

Friday we will go to the Asheville WNC Farmers Market for their annual Growing in the Mountains Plant Sale. This is where we usually find a nice array of native plants. We have a bad habit of buying more than we have room to plant, thus a lot of garden plants end up overflowing into individual pots.

Yesterday afternoon we went to help our friend unload his kiln after a 40+- hour soda ash firing. He is an amazing potter and the resulting work was beautiful. The community of artists in this area is inspiring.

Tonight we will go see our grandson at his final track meet of the season and next weekend we will drive to Charleston for our granddaughter’s piano recital.

It seems this retirement life is jam-packed full of things to do.

Blog, gardens, Spring, sunny day

Spring Gardening

Day 182

Today marks the halfway point of my goal to blog every day for a year. I thought there was no better way to celebrate this milestone than to share some photos of my day in and around the garden.

Gardening is hard work — especially after the winter we had. Our trees lost a lot of branches from some very heavy snow. Hubby had already cleared the large branches away. Today I cleared the smaller pieces and we have a 4′ high pile of broken limbs to deal with. I decided not to share photos of the hard part of the gardening so as not to discourage anyone. 😊

After the branches were gathered, I proceeded to scrape moss off our brick walkway. Last year was a very unusually wet year here (90+- inches of rain). The result was water standing for much longer periods of time. The moisture added to the shade from some large trees and overgrown bushes were the perfect environment for moss. We try not to use pesticides and weed killers so we can have a pollinator-friendly environment. I scraped until my arms gave out – more scraping later this week.

There is a lot of clean-up to accomplish after the winter months. Leaves to rake and raised gardens to clear and fortify with new material before planting. We do have one of our gardens planted with lettuce and spinach and broccoli. Soon new herbs and tomatoes will be planted and the growing season will be off to a good start.

I also noticed there were bees making use of our ‘bee house’. I could not see what type of bee but I did snap a picture of the house.

IMG_9250

My morning meditation had me in a funk. A good day outside in the sunshine and the dirt really helped change my outlook. It turned out to be a fantastic day.

Happy 6-month ‘blogiversary’ to me!