Greetings from Seattle

Wednesday, April 8, 2020


The garden this morning. Sunny day, skipping my cares away.

It has been a month now since I overdid the gardening at the Whidbey cabin, aggravated my bulging disc, and set of an attack of sciatica. During this month of not being able to walk much or work in the garden, I have almost felt sick, not because I have any of the virus symptoms, but because I was so limited by stiffness and pain. It has been depressing in this time of non-stop national illness news.

I think I am finally improving. I have modified my physical therapy exercises to do those that help and change those that don't. I have been able to work out on my stationary bike without it bothering my back. I began to take short walks. Now, in the last few days, I have been able to go back to my two mile walks.  I'm not "skipping" my cares away. My back is still stiff and standing up really straight is not happening, and I am relying on my walking stick for stability, but I'm walking again. 

Then yesterday I got down in the garden dirt for the first time in a month. I spent two hours, with a rest break, clipping off the old fronds on the sword ferns, a job I started over a month ago. 
The new fronds are beginning to unfurl. 

There is so much going on in the garden right now, especially down low to the ground.
 The primroses have been especially beautiful this year.

 All of the primroses I have in the ground started out in the porch pots, like these.

Each year I plant the potted plants out in the garden when I put in the summer flowers. Most of them come back.
Violets are thriving and spreading. 
 Daffodils are still blooming in the colder lower garden.
And in the upper garden, it's happening! Tulip Time is beginning!
Tom is moving his bonsai trees out from under winter shelter, grooming them, and putting them back on display.
 This is my job for today, working on shaping up the succulent pots, trimming, sorting out plants that need to be replaced, re-potting some, making them ready for display on the patio later in the month. 
It feels great to be outside, working in the spring garden. I just have to remember not to overdo it. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Flowers From My Garden

Since January I have been buying fresh flowers from the grocery for small arrangements on my kitchen table. Today I found enough to pick in my own garden instead.

Hopefully this is the beginning now of going out with my basket and snippy scissors and foraging for flowers and plant material to create something of beauty, sometimes big and bold, sometimes pretty and petite, with which to grace my life. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Charlie's Story

Some of you might not know the back story of Charlie/Mewdini, so I found some old posts to re-share. It was fun looking back through old posts to find this stuff, but feel free to ignore it.

Here are links to previous posts about the borrowed cat I call Charlie, in case you missed them the first time around.

When I first met Charlie:

Snow cat:

We found out in January 2019 who Charlie's owner was, when Peter stopped by to see what the construction next door was all about. While Peter was standing on our porch, talking to Tom, Charlie showed up. Tom said the cat was a frequent, welcome visitor, and Peter said, "That's my cat!" But Tom didn't ask any details. 

When I found Charlie was really Mewdini

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Cat Friends

This morning I was greeted with this photo of four years ago on my FaceBook Memories. 
 Yes, it's Josy Cat, our dearly departed, beloved kitty, spread out full length on my lap.  She has been gone three and a half years now, but I still miss her.
That reminded me that I was worried about our borrowed cat, Mewdini/Charlie. We had not seen him for weeks now. Either something had happened to him or his keepers had him isolated during the virus threat.
This photo of  Charlie (Mewdini) was obviously taken last April, because those yellow trillium are just about in that same stage now.

So I emailed Peter, our neighbor and Mewdini's owner, to see what was happening with our cat. I was anxious for an answer.

Meanwhile, I got going for the day, and I took my phone/camera with me to walk out to get the newspaper. The sun was shining and the robins were singing, and I lingered in the garden.

Down by the deck, I heard a persistent meowing. Was it Charlie? I called, "Kitty, kitty, kitty", and a big fluffy, brownish not-Charlie cat appeared. It wandered all around me, persisting in it's plaintiff meowing. It came on the deck and self-petted,  rubbing against all of the deck chairs.

It came closer and closer, while I sat and waited. It seemed a bit cranky that I wasn't petting it, but it wasn't quite ready. Stranger danger. 
 Finally it got close enough to be stroked. That seemed to go OK, so it jumped up on my bench, still self-petting
Well, OK, I guess I passed muster. We became friends. It enjoyed not having to rub against the furniture to get its strokes.  

In fact, it meowed quite unhappily when I stopped petting it and got up to leave. It followed me for a while, and then slipped through a fence gate. I think it might belong next door. (And yes, I washed my hands and my phone thoroughly after petting someone else's cat)

Later in the morning I heard back from Peter. "Thanks so much for your concern!  We are keeping Mewdini isolated during the quarantine....We know there are no reports of virus being spread through pets, but we don't know all of the homes Mewdini visits so we're just playing it safe. He prefers to run free but we keep him company and he's being well fed and getting exercise through various cat toys. I know he misses you and Tom. I'll send you some photos of him later."

I am relieved  that our sweet borrowed cat is being well taken care of and no harm came to him. My heart is warmed by our mutual love for this dear cat and by my caring neighbors who don't mind sharing. 

Just got this photo from Peter- Mewdini in quarantine.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Good Day

I woke up early, earlier than the 6:30 alarm, but felt rested. It was grocery shopping day. We are at the local Safeway by 7:15, where we found very few other shoppers, shelves well stocked, and we got everything we needed. We'll see if we can go two weeks now. 

I had plenty of time to read social media and catch up on the news. I got my PT exercises done, 8 miles on the stationary bike while reading my current novel, and finished a sewing project before lunch. 

After lunch I decided to give walking a try. We hadn't walked to the neighborhood park for quite a while. I knew the cherry trees were blooming. That was my motivation. 
The dog park and the playground are closed, but there were a few other folks out enjoying a walk. 


Perfect timing. This is such fleeting beauty.

The native red flowering currant was in bloom too. 

Now I'm relaxing in my recliner, resting my back, before it's time to turn on the news and make some dinner.  I have some TV and some streaming to entertain me this evening.

It's a good day. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Chicks and Ducks and Bunnies

April is here and Easter is on the way. I don't know if there will be a family Easter dinner or an egg hunt this year, and if there is it will be at Jill's house, but I decorated anyway.

I love Easter decorations, which to me are Spring decorations, full of pretty pastel colors and soft things and new life. 

I have collected decorations over the years and each year they have a place somewhere, like on the mantel and the hearth. 

Here and there on tables. 

and in cabinets.
 In the dining room

 The kitchen table, 
 and in the powder room.

 Of course the outside is decorated too.

The first tulips are showing color!

Happy April!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

An Anniversary and a Dream

It was a year ago today, March 29th, that we quietly celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, having decided after much thought, that we would delay our big bash until July to coincide with my 75th birthday. We sent out save-the-date notices and began planning, booking a caterer and party rentals and purchasing all of the supplies we would need.  It all paid off when we hosted our very successful 50/75 Celebration.

As our anniversary approached this year we were in a very different situation. We have been dealing with social isolation now for almost a month. Parties are out, and even going out to dinner is not possible. 

All of that was apparently on my mind one night last week when I dreamed that we had planned a party and sent out save-the-date notices, but then that all went by the wayside because of the "plague". In my dream Tom and I were sitting at home on the day of, thinking ,"What if someone shows up?"

No, they wouldn't. Surely they know not to. And then a car full of people arrived! Tom invited them into the house! There they were filling up all of the seating in my family room and I was desperately trying to figure out what to feed them. If I used up all of our food we would have to go back to the grocery store!

Then, in my dream, I got mad and I was trying to figure out how I could get these family members politely out of my house! What the hell were they thinking? They shouldn't be in my house!

As sleep turned to twilight sleep, I realized I needed to wake up, and I did, but I was still so overwrought about how to get them out of my house, that I just had to get up and distract myself. It took a long time to settle down. I had had my first Coronavirus nightmare.  

I am happy to report that we had a simple, pleasant anniversary day today. I exercised, I rode my stationary bike, I baked brownies, and we went for a short walk in sunshine! Tom worked in his greenhouse. 

This evening we had a yummy home cooked meal, pot roast. 

And brownies for dessert. 

We really wanted ice cream, but we are not letting ice cream in the house either. It's too hard keeping weight off when all we really want to do is sit around and eat. We are allowed whipped cream though.