Friday, February 24, 2023

Going Green

 Away with the pink and red hearts. It's time for GREEN. And gold.  I bought some new flowers at the grocery store this morning. I swapped out the placemats.

That's close to Sounders green. 
Photo from a year ago

I wore a Sounders sweatshirt to breakfast this morning. The MLS soccer season starts this weekend. The Sounders will be playing at home on Sunday. By then it should warm up to 40 degrees. Tom will be going but not me. I did not renew my tickets this season since getting around is just too hard now. Jill and I each had two season tickets, but now mine are gone and Tom and Jill will be going together. Change happens. 

More green. The lawn is starting to grow, or at least it will be again when it warms up a bit. We are hoping that we don't get snow as the temperature rises and moisture comes in from the Pacific. 

We got the furnace fixed this week, and then I got my income taxes filed, after tracking down some missing 1099-R forms. The good news is the tax refund will cover the cost of the furnace. At least we are in the green on that. The property tax bill that came last week is another matter.

Tomorrow we will get together to celebrate Jill's 50th birthday. Her birthday is March 4th, but she will be in Hawaii then on a scuba diving trip. She's as adventurous as ever. Having a 50 year old daughter is a bit of a shock though. 

The sun is still shining, the sky is blue, and the grass is green, pretty enough to be outside, if you bundle up. Maybe I'll do that now. It's time to make the trip out to the mailbox. 

Stay warm, those of you in the snowy north lands. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Checking It Off


                                                        Hellebore in my garden.

We got our furnace fixed this morning. It got pretty cold in the house, I piled on layers, but I'm still not sufficiently warmed up. We are glad to have it working though because the temperature will dip below freezing tonight and for the next several nights and the daytime temps will not get above the mid 30's. That probably sounds balmy to some of you across the country though.

I had a phone appointment this morning with a nurse at the my orthopedic hospital, getting some things checked off before my hip surgery in a few weeks. That got me to thinking about all the stuff I need to have ready at home. It will soon be time to get the walker out of the attic. I'm making lists of other things. And I need to hear back from my cardiologist. I think I was supposed to have an EKG and that didn't happen yet. 

Our winter blooming Mahonia finally bloomed. I hope the hummingbirds find it. They will need extra nourishment during the cold. 

I finished another quilt block and have the next one planned. I am not speedy at this and just work at it for little bits at a time. 

A new blogger, Daisy in the Garden, showed up in my comments today. She gardens in England! I think I will enjoy following her. 

Now that the garage has been closed up for a while and the cold air is no longer blowing through, it's time to brave the cold and get warmed up on my stationary bike. Staying as fit as possible is on my checklist. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Garden Therapy

 I have been feeling kind of low lately. I know that it is up to me to do something about that. 

Sunday morning was cold and gray but it was dry. The Hellebores were starting to bloom in my garden so I thought they would also be opening in the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden a few miles from our house. I asked Tom to take me there. 

I wondered if the Edgeworthia by the gate might be blooming yet. It was!

It's a strange shrub, with thick stems, and no leaves when it blooms in late winter, but with an incredible fragrance.

The Silk Tassel Tree was blooming too, on the other side of the gate. I have never been very impressed by this shrub but up close the chain of flowers is interesting, and it blooms early. 


Pieris Japonica shrubs are starting to open their little bell shaped flowers. 
So are the very fragrant early Viburnums. 

And yes, we found hellebores! Since most varieties don't hold up their heads, they need help showing their beautiful faces. 
An early rhododendron. 

Winder blooming Mahonia (Oregon Grape)
The hellebores were just beginning to open. They will be wonderful in a couple of weeks, after this next cold spell. 

A lovely double. 

These are wild hazelnut catkins, the male, pollen producing flowers of the tree. 
We learned something from a blog friend last week that we had a chance to check out for ourselves here in the garden. See that tiny reddish bud at the top of those catkins? That is a female flower bud. 
Tom found one blooming! Cool, huh?
For my entire life, always living with these trees around, I never knew about these tiny flowers. 
These are the fuzzy buds of a magnolia. 

So happy to be here, I managed to walk around most of the several acres of garden, including around the serene Japanese Garden. 

No climbing up narrow paths or teetering on stone bridges for me now,

but holding Tom's hand I was happy to climb these lovely stone steps as we made our way out of the garden to return home, just as the rain was beginning to fall. 

Not only was visiting the garden yesterday good therapy, but now sharing it with you has worked it's magic all over again. 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Good Stuff

 Costco had a very good price on fresh Dungeness crab yesterday so we bought lots. Irene isn't available to help us eat it so we had a crab feed yesterday and we'll have another one tomorrow. YUM! Too bad we have to eat it all ourselves. 

The furnace guy returned yesterday to check for the leak in the refrigerant. He found it in the the coils of the main furnace unit. It will cost about $2400, which is lots better that the $11,000 for a new heat pump.

As I am having more and more difficulty because of my hips, back, and knee, it was time to put the elevated toilet risers back in place. I will need them after the hip surgery anyway. "Going" is a lot easier now. 

Life seems to take up a lot of my time these days, but I do need some extra activity now and then. I got my sewing machine back out, and my box of scraps, and I'm testing my spatial sense in creating some more quilt squares. I am finding directions for cutting on line and some directions for piecing. My hands are much more clumsy now but I am having fun creating with color. 

One done, one in progress.

Now I'm off to an appointment with my new primary care physician. So far this week I've had a podiatrist appointment, a blood draw, and a hair cut appointment. More to come.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Valetines Day


Valentine Lace
We had a two hour snow shower last evening that deposited about two inches of snow. It was above freezing then and so we had snow on green but not on gray, and we like it that way.
It froze lightly overnight to preserve the lacy beauty of snow on bushes and trees. The streets are clear.
I took a few photos when I went out to get the newspaper this morning. 

It's all very glittery now as the sun lights up the water droplets and it all melts away. 

We have no special plans for today. I have a Podiatrist appointment this afternoon to get my toe nails tortured, something I do every three of four months. I'll cook lamb chops and roasted vegetables for dinner. We'll go lightly on the chocolate we always have on hand.  We'll be grateful that we have each other and all the comforts we need. 

Happy Valentines Day