Greetings from Seattle



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Set Back and Resigned

With a personality tinged with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a penchant for perfectionism, it is very difficult for me to overcome the drive for orderliness and job completion and not sacrifice the physical body and it's need for healing. I have been fighting this battle for three months now.

And so it was that I over-extended myself last Wednesday as I helped Tom make use of the one day we had to get the Whidbey garden in shape. The result was a scritchy back (my word for describing the little stings and stabs of irritated muscle strands and nerve endings) that has been very sensitive to unwanted motion and very sore, stiff legs that were not used to the ups and downs and crawling around that comes with gardening. 

I have been trying to walk through it and continue my physical therapy exercises.  The exercises are fine, but I have had to cut back on my walking, going shorter distances. Of course I have not exactly been sedentary here at home either, what with the great weather this week and lots of gardening chores that need to get done. And now, again, just tying my shoes can be painful.

But I have finally sort of scared myself into a more sensible course of action. I did my exercises and took a 2.5 mile walk this morning, went shopping for plants, struck out on finding my impatiens, picked up some groceries, and then spent my lunch hour here on the patio.

As you can see it was a beautiful day.  In fact it was heading to 80°.
I worked carefully in the yard for an hour, doing mostly standing jobs, and then I relegated myself to the rocking chair.

By 4:00 Tom joined me.  We have a rule here - no working when it hits 80, and Tom was overdue for his rocker time too. I spent two lovely hours in the shade, finally taking time to read the book I have been trying to get through for a long time now.

The seedling plants need to be planted in the vegetable garden.  The raggedy edges of the lawn are bugging me and need to be re-cut. There is plant staking to do and general grooming and yard art to be set out.

But I will be back on the patio and in my rocker again tomorrow, hopefully using common sense to overcome my OCD.  Josy will most likely join me again too.

And for all of you experiencing frightening weather east of here, and fires to the south, I send my concern and good wishes for your safety and comfort.  Who knew Seattle would be weather paradise this week!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Whidbey Island Stopover

After touring the tulips last Tuesday, we drove across to the north end of Whidbey Island and then down island to the family cabin on Sunlight Beach.
The clouds were dark over Deer Lagoon and rain was on the way.
 By Wednesday morning the rain had passed and we were surprised to have a mostly clear, though very windy and cold day. We bundled up and went to work in the front garden.
This was the first time we had been up since early December and the weeds had gotten way ahead of us.  I hadn't dared to come up earlier because I knew it would be hard to resist pulling weeds and my back needed time to heal. As it was I did more that I should have.  My back seems OK but my legs and hips are still sore.
 The garden is looking good again though.

 I didn't spend much time over on the Useless Bay side of the road with the cold wind blowing.  We did see a few kite surfers taking advantage of the conditions.



With the hard work done by 1:00, we did some reorganizing of clutter inside the cabin and went over to Langley for a look around. We checked out the new Whale Center.

While Tom did some more work outside back at the cabin, I went for a walk on the dike along the lagoon.


 The Scotch Broom is beginning to bloom as well as seedling apple trees. 



Thursday morning the wind had calmed down a bit.


We paid a visit to the Bayview Farm and Garden Store and Nursery.  






 Later that afternoon we sailed across the Sound to Seattle and back home.
We won't wait so long to return to Whidbey Island next time.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tulip Time

Each year we try to get away for a trip up north to the Skagit Valley for the Tulip Festival.  We thought we might be a little late this year, and the weather forecast was not favorable when we headed north Tuesday, Earth Day.  We lucked out on both counts.

Our first stop in the valley is always Christianson's Nursery. We love this place, and always come away with some plants we really need. This time was no exception.

The nursery is located in close proximity to some of the bulb growing fields.








 The gift shop is always fun.








 The old school house on the nursery grounds hosts a local arts show.




From here we drove on valley roads over to the Roozengaarde Display Garden. Wow!  We were not too late at all.







 Along the outside of this fence was a small display of every kind of tulip in the garden. They are also for sale as bulbs next fall.




































 When the tulips begin to drop their petals, they are beheaded so that the strength of the plant goes into the bulb and not into seed production. 
 We missed some of the field color, but there was enough!
As you can see we enjoyed the beauty of the earth on Earth Day.