Friday, April 30, 2010

Plans Postponed

I had planned for a day of digging on Sunday. Lots of new bulbs, and seeds sitting in egg cartons, just waiting their turn to be introduced into the warm, fertile soil.
It's forecast rain for most of the weekend, so unless I can plant between thunderstorms, they'll remain in their cozy little nests until fair weather prevails.

A treat from The First Sergeant : ' England's most favorite flower.'

I am keeping my fingers crossed they will look as beautiful as these...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Little Home

The Little Home
The little house is not too small
To shelter friends who come to call.
Though low the roof and small its space
It holds the Lord's abounding grace,
And every simple room may be
Endowed with happy memory.

The little house, severely plain,
A wealth of beauty may contain.
Within it those who dwell may find
High faith which makes for peace of mind,
And that sweet understanding which
Can make the poorest cottage rich.

The little house can hold all things
From which the soul's contentment springs.
'Tis not too small for love to grow,
For all the joys that mortals know,
For mirth and song and that delight
Which make the humblest dwelling bright.

~Edgar A. Guest

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
~ Margaret Atwood

Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire. ~Virgil

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Didn't Get To Say Goodbye

One of the hardest things for expats and transplants to other countries face, is the loss of a family member, back in their homeland.
I am experiencing such a loss this week, with the passing of my favorite uncle Len, who unexpectedly became poorly and passed from Pneumonia complications on Friday.

Uncle Len was always a positive influence in my life, I spent many a night with my three cousins and was always treated like one of his own.
He was a kind, gentle man, hard-working and dedicated to his family.
A storyteller and always had a smile on his face.

I shudder to think what a tremendous hole it will be leaving in the hearts of his three girls and my Auntie Maude his beloved wife of some sixty years.

The best I can do, is to remember him in my prayers, ask God to wrap his arms around his loved ones and keep them strong.
The most I can hope for, is that when our time on earth is through, we have been decent enough human beings, to all meet up again, swap our stories, and enjoy one huge family gathering .
Uncle Len will no doubt have his fishing pole.

I didn't get to say goodbye
Or thank you for the kindness shown throughout the years
For always treating me as 'one of your girls'
For allowing me to spend endless giggly nights in your home,
For making me toast and tea in the mornings.
For always making me feel welcome.
For making me laugh.
For mending my dollies.
For loving animals.
For loving my cousins with all your heart,
For dedicating your life to my Auntie Maude.
For giving me rides home from Liverpool on your Number 5 , green, Crosville Bus.
For being a true friend to my family.
For coming to my wedding.
For sending me Christmas cards each year,
For always being happy to see me, no matter how many years pass between visits.
For being a man I was proud to call my Uncle, and one I shall miss with a passion.

The First Sergeant planted one of the Dogwood Trees in remembrance of Uncle Len today.
The Dogwood is more than a is a representation of life.
A life well-lived.
Farewell Uncle Len, you were one of the good 'uns.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tornado Weather

It's been a day filled with thunderstorms, winds, and tornadoes dancing all around.
The rain was needed, the other elements we can do without.
This is our first rain of the month, the sticky, yellow pollen now washed clean from everything it befelled.

The first of the trees were planted in the garden, the rest will have to wait their turn, until the storm clouds play themselves out.

I puddle up the neighborhood
I make the postman mad
I wake the worm and spank the frog
Sleeping on his lily pad
And when the tulips in their beds
Nod happily, it's true,
I shake the petals of their hands
And say, How do you dew?

Planting Times

We planned a trip to the garden center yesterday, it always renews my spirit to see the different colored flowers and trees.
It seems like there are more varieties to choose from each year.
I put flowers out in stages, first the potting shed window boxes......

Next the flowerpots on the porch.

A variety of new trees, Willow, River Birch, and White Dogwoods.

White azaleas.

Several Kimberly Ferns.

New Knock -Out Roses.
Lots of digging to do, and 100 percent rain and thunderstorms forecast all day tomorrow.
Murphy's Law once again.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Worlds of Maddie Grigg

It's always a pleasure to share favorite blogs with readers. Today, I want to share a true gem, from Dorset, England.
In her own words ....... Maddie Grigg.......

Manor from heaven:

" There is a place I love in Dorset, one that Pevsner describes as enchanting. It's Mapperton House, the loveliest, most delicious place in the world, where the ancient, rolling countryside tumbles down to meet the golden stone walled formality of the Italianate garden.This blog is a personal celebration of one of England's treasures. It also represents a journey of my struggles with the till, Indian runner ducks and a part-time job in the great outdoors."

Maddie's other blog The world from my window
tells tales of life in a rural village, deep in Dorset, United Kingdom.

"England's rural underbelly, where the cosy green hinterland hides away from the Jurassic Coast, close your eyes and you may just stumble across The Enchanted Village. It's under Milk Wood and a little beyond The Shire, somewhere between Dibley and Royston Vaysey. Welcome to The World from my Window - not to be confused with a religious blog with a similar name. Heaven forbid! And it does. Quite often.."

Stop by and say "hello" to Maddie. Her talent for taking life's everyday situations and turning them into humorous predicaments is priceless.
I'm convinced in the very near future, the name Maddie Grigg will be a showcased weekly column in that magazine or newspaper you are now reading.
Prepare to be amused......

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For The Birds

We are in need of Spring rain. None so far this month.
The birds are happy we have bird baths scattered about the place, they drink, and then wash the dust out of their feathers.

There is quite a lot of nesting activity going on. Feathering and fluffing.

A new coat of paint puts the bird bath in shape for the Summer.

More nesting.

A new coat of paint on the squirrel proof bird feeder.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Sunday Repose

Walking around the garden today, it's almost impossible not to notice the difference in what just a couple of weeks make, in the prolific foliage growth.
Leaves and buds sprouting everywhere you turn.

We finally have a few live frogs living in the pond.

The grass has been mowed three times so far.

The garden gate is getting its annual covering of wild roses.

The First Sergeant spruced up an old garden bench with paint.
The Clematis is growing by leaps and bounds.

Hope you enjoyed a beautiful Spring day !

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I have to admit, I really don't want to blame Oliver for the bite incident..
I have worked around animals some thirty years, and should have known better.
Truth is, Oliver has a bit of a "bull in a china shop" personality, he's a bit of a klutz to put it mildly, not realizing his own strength and body weight.
When I tried repeatedly to examine his leg, he was in the middle of eating, and becoming very annoyed.
He chomped down, and before I knew what had happened, he had already returned to eating, and dismissed the whole affair.

My dear kitty's of old, would have given me fair warning, at best a 'hiss' at worst a 'scratch'.
I didn't raise Oliver, it appears he has pretty well raised himself, and so it's the old game of survival of the fittest that he knows best.

Doc, says it's Cat Scratch Fever.
Which in itself is ironic after all the years I've worked for a veterinarian, restraining animals, suffering my share of bites and scratches, I didn't succumb to this malady.

Oliver is a sweet boy, affectionate to a fault, but rough and not aware how much.
I'll be more cautious when handling him during situations which require restraint, and he'll continue to entertain us by sliding across the hardwood floor, crashing into the butcher block, and doing his best impression of Tom Cruise in Risky Business.
Thank you for all of the get-well wishes. Many of you are animal lovers and know the lengths we go to for our fur babies.
I'd have it no other way.
The antibiotics have kicked in, and it's onwards and upwards from here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hanging In There

I'm just stopping by, to thank you for all of your get-well wishes.
What a terrific bunch of friends.
The doctor has put me on strong antibiotics, I'm still experiencing sweats, aches and pains and weakness, all caused by a little 'love-bite' received from Oliver cat, when I tried to examine an infected wound on his leg.
As you all know, Oliver came to us, as a grown cat, so I wasn't the one to teach him etiquette when he was a kitten.
Biting the hand that feeds you, is not acceptable. Nevertheless, it was not his fault, more my own, since I insisted on just 'having a little look'.
Lesson learned.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Under The Weather

I've gone and picked up some kind of delurgy, fever, chills, aches and pains, even my hair hurts.
I'm off to the doctor tomorrow, hopefully he will root through his trusty medicine bag, and produce a potion, putting me to rights.

In the meantime I should heed my own words......

I don't 'do sick' very bravely.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Cleaning

The First Sergeant spent the entire weekend, mowing, trimming, pruning, fixing, and even a little painting.
Putting the place 'to rights' after a long Winter's nap takes quite an effort, and will be ongoing for several weekends to come.

My effort consisted of hanging the Summer porch wreath, and ferns.
I've still got lots of empty pots to fill, and birdhouses to tend......

"Everything is blooming most recklessly;
if it were voices instead of colors,
there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke: Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Domestic Staple

They've held cake batter and noodle soup, dishwater and cocktail nuts.
Paper boats, and prized goldfish.
Through it all, simple stoneware bowls remain eloquent symbols of domestic comfort.

Friday, April 9, 2010

No Teddy Bear's Picnic

If you go down to the woods today, You're sure of a big surprise
If you go down to the woods today, You'd better go in disguise.

A HUGE coyote came running out of the woods, and even used the gate to enter the property.
I have seen a coyote once before, years ago, but never a large one....
Makes you wonder just what else is lurking, and I've had a serious talk with Oliver the cat, about venturing back there.