Friday, May 13, 2022

Getting By

We are now on the downside of Covid. Head congestion lingers, and some coughing, but it never involved the chest or lungs. That's why you get vaccinated and boosted. 

Tom seemed to have been hit harder than I was. At least he was coughing more and doing less. He said he had a bad head cold. Now he is recovering faster. I have lingering sinus headaches and I tire easily. Getting around was hard to begin with so that is only worse now when my sinus headache makes my balance worse.  We are getting by.

This morning I thought I'd go out to get a couple of photos to decorate my blog post, whatever it might be. My kitchen table bouquet needed to be replaced and I have not been to the store to get new flowers, so I wondered what I could come up with in the garden.

Most of the tulips are still quite beautiful outside but I'm not picking them now because they would go over immediately inside. It has still been in the 40's and 50's here. I discovered lots of other things are beginning to bloom now, but are not necessarily great for bouquets. 
The Columbine are now coming into bloom.

I can see this view well from my kitchen table and my work station at the sink, and I have been loving all of the colors, from the shrubs and other plants as well as the tulips. 
On Wednesday, a dry day, I did a bit of puttering in the yard and got out more yard art.

The first perennial bachelor buttons, Mountain Bluets or Centaurea Montana, are opening. 

The purple Heuchera add a lot to the color scheme. 

The bed in the lower yard is beginning to explode with growth and color. The first Welsh poppies are blooming. 

The new growth on the Lady's Mantle is now hairy enough to collect rain jewels. 
The maples have leafed out. 
This old purple rhodie, one of the few that survived the pestilence of many years ago, is getting ready to put on its show.
Inside-out flower, Vancouveria hexandra, is sending up its slender stalks of little white flowers. It is a native that habitats dry wooded areas and reminds me of my childhood home in Oregon. 
When I bent down, carefully, to photograph the inside-out flower I noticed the beautiful bark of the Stewartia tree. 

Lily-of-the-valley coming into bloom.
May apples still showing color, and the one below, Spotty-Dotty, just "ripening". 

I found our one big bloom on our tree peony flat on the ground the other day so I got it tied up.
More yard art in place. 

When I was visiting Laurie and we were delivering plants for her garden club sale I bought a few more succulents with this in mind. Last year I bought this Cougar Gold cheese can full of tiny succulents at her plant sale. This year I raided those for other pots and refreshed it. Her plant sale begins this weekend. I hope it is going well. 
New growth under the bonsai bench
I wandered to the front yard and found the yellow trillium!
My kitchen bouquet is much smaller now. I settled on Lily-of-the-valley. The little bells are so pretty. Unfortunately I can't smell them. I have the perfect little crystal vase for them, but it is in the corner cupboard in the dining room, where I can't get to it now behind the boxes and drawers and stuff. This one is too deep, but I just stuffed some plastic wrap in it so the flowers wouldn't sink out of sight. 

We get by. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022


 What is it they say? "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." (translated from the original olde English.)

That is why you will see the word "NOPE" written across most of the days of my planning calendar for this week.

On Monday, wondering why I had not heard from Home Depot about my pending carpet installation, I called the store where we ordered it, and paid for it, the only contact I had. After what seemed like half a dozen transfers I finally talked to a woman who told me that the order had never been filled, that the carpet had never been shipped from the warehouse. There had been a mistake in the ordering process. Apparently no one had bothered to fix it. 

I informed her that I had spent weeks preparing for the installation that was supposed to happen this week and my house was all torn apart. She said she would get more information and call me back. She didn't. When I called her back just before 5:00 I was informed she had gone home half an hour ago. I chose not to leave a message but instead got her extension #. When I called again on Tuesday I got voice messaging and no call back, twice, so finally I said I didn't care if she had to answers yet, I needed to talk to somebody now!. She called me right back. I learned that the order had not been placed correctly and she had just now replaced the order. Now we wait all over again for shipment and then scheduling an installation date. 

Meanwhile my living room/dining room looks like this:

Fortunately our bedroom and office are still functioning. Taking them apart was what got 'NOPED" on my calendar for the first part of this week.

But our plans to travel to Friday Harbor got "NOPED" because of this:

Yep, we have Covid. Suspicious of the negative results we got on the home test Sunday evening, I picked up new test kits Tuesday morning. We were both sick, Tom hit harder than I. I studied symptoms of colds vs Covid and wasn't sure, but didn't know anyone we could have caught a cold from. So I got new test kits, we used them and then we knew what we were dealing with.

I spent most of the rest of Tuesday notifying people we had been in contact with since the middle of last week and then playing internet games to figure out how to save our already paid for and non refundable hotel reservations on Friday Harbor. I had booked through Expedia. Expedia does not offer a telephone number, believe me I looked everywhere, so contact had to be through a "remote agent". Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and it is a slow, clumsy process, but finally I broke through, was able to change the date of our reservations without penalty, although a week later cost more, and then get our ferry boat reservations changed, although we will now have to leave before the crack of dawn to get an earlier sailing. 

Now this is only Wednesday morning but it feels like it has already been a full week since Sunday. We are slowly recovering. We are in isolation for at least five days and then we will have to mask up for five more days, but we are fine with that. We are well stocked with groceries for now. We still have cold like symptoms and not much energy. I need to get out and do some walking to get my strength back slowly while the sun is shining. That's next on my new list for today.

These are the flowers I had on my table for Mother's Day. On Sunday they were standing up tall and perky. I was coming down with what I thought was a cold, so I wasn't very perky, but I was still standing.

Now the tulips are doing what tulips do, sagging and slumping a bit. So are we, but I really like tulips this way. They remind me of old Dutch Masters paintings. There's beauty in aging. We just have to find a way to deal with the not fun stuff, and be prepared for the best laid plans going awry. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

They Brought Me Lilacs


Jill, Isaac and Irene spent their Mother's Day planting their garden. That makes me smile because that's how I used to like to spend my Mother's Day too when I was still working and time for gardening was precious. 

But then I invited them for dinner. I figure being a mother and treating your daughter, who is the active mother now, is the best way to celebrate the day, and besides that we needed their help. 

So after a dinner of roast chicken, pilaf, asparagus, and fresh fruit, we put them to work carrying boxes and small furniture downstairs to the dining room (we ate in the kitchen). Wednesday is carpet installation day and I spent weeks getting everything organized. Now all the small stuff is out of the three bedrooms and the office. We are paying the installers to move the big stuff from room to room.

It's a good thing I got all of this done ahead of time because both Tom and I are suffering from what we are calling a cold, or an allergy attack. We were worried so two days ago we did a Covid test and that was negative. We haven't had a cold in years and being sick isn't fun. We'll have more work to do tomorrow, taking down our office, but today light house keeping and laundry are all we are attempting. 

After we got the work done, me just directing traffic - no carrying stuff down stairs for me - we gathered back around the kitchen table for brownies and ice cream. They earned it!

And today as I sit in my recliner I will be enjoying that big bouquet of lilacs from Jill's garden. She knows I love them. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

LOUD and Quiet

Soccer set Seattle buzzing yesterday and today. Last night, Wednesday, the Seattle Sounders MLS soccer team played the Mexican team Pumas, for the North American Club championship, the CCL Cup, and won!

CCL stands for the CONCACAF Conference League, which is made up of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.   Winning means Seattle will represent this league in the Club World Cup later this year. Note: this is not the same as the National Team World Cup. 

When I say "buzzing", that continued today, the day after, but at the time "roaring' would be more descriptive. With 68,741 fans in attendance, many supporting the Mexican team, it was loud, and when Seattle scored their three goals, we - yes I was there - set of the earthquake seismographs. 

It was fun and exciting, and exhausting.

Today we spent most of the day with my sister Laurie in Chehalis, where we traveled down I-5 in the rain to deliver a van full of plants from Tom's greenhouse to contribute to her garden club's plant sale next week. We visited several nurseries, under cover to protect us from the constant rain, were treated to a lunch Laurie prepared, and  before we drove back home, there was berry pie and good conversation. It was a quiet day, and we needed it. 

Now we head into a busy weekend and a busy week, but it will all be calmer that Thursday night!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Inside and Out

 We have been busy. The weather determines whether we are busy inside or outside. 

With a week now to go before we have new carpeting installed in all of our upstairs -  three bedrooms and the office -  I have done lots of sorting and culling and the upstairs bathtub is now stacked high with books and bedding and clothing.

On Monday, our usual housecleaning day, while it rained outside, we pulled all of the remaining furniture away from the walls and cleaned and dusted years with of accumulations on furniture backs and walls and baseboards and carpeting. What's left still functioning is our bed and nightstands, which we'll have to do the morning of, and our office, which we will take down the day before since it has our desktop computer and modem and wi-fi. Jill and the kids will come on Sunday to help carry boxed up and smaller stuff downstairs to the dining room and I'll feed them. It is Mother's Day and that's what mothers do, right?

Once the installers arrive they are being paid to move the furniture from one room to another as they install.

On Sunday and Tuesday we worked outside. We moved pots out of the greenhouse and we planted plants and prepared plants to give away. We cleaned pots and refreshed their contents.

Now the patio display of weird and spiney plants and tender plants are on display on the patio. The large pots that stay out year round have been emptied and reworked.

Alongside the patio the impatiens and plectranthus have been planted after cleaning up this bed and freeing it of cedar tree surface roots. 

Working outside is a joy now, with so much blooming, and of course the tulips!

Down in the lower yard, this lovely bleeding heart is blooming. 
And right now Loderi King George Rhododendron is the star with it's apple blossom pink buds fading to huge white flowers. 

And it's fragrant!

When the news bites, it's good to have flowers and plants and even cleaning jobs to occupy one's attention. 

May the Fourth be with you!