...well, anything but work really. I've been making some tough choices with my time and basically, blogging just didn't make the cut. Plus, as most bloggers know, this is a muscle (like most) that needs exercise to stay functioning.
Catching You Up.
After Bermuda I was fortunate enough to be able to take a week off and enjoy a visit from my Mom. After my father passed away we began a springtime tradition of her joining us for a week around Mother's Day and she helps me, well, do anything and everything. Seems a little unfair that it is supposed to be a time of year to celebrate Mom's and here she is helping me out, but let's face it, I can use the help.
This visit included a lot of shopping for furniture -but no purchases have been made yet - some lunches, some dinners, some gardening, and some just being still. I think we took it a little easier this year - a little slower pace - and it was welcome. Typically I feel that every moment should be filled with some activity - both to entertain and to take advantage of the time away from the office, not to mention the extra set of hands. This year, we still got PLENTY done, but I also felt we had some down time as well. I had offered to take mom in to NYC for a day, but she encouraged me to just take it easy and not worry about working so hard to entertain her. I'm sure we would have (and will in future) enjoy a day there, but again, it was nice to just chill.
The results of our work are evident in the red pots of geraniums, the hanging baskets of purple flowers on the shepherd's hook, the fresh orange trailing flowers from the evergreen pots on front porch, and the freshly weeded cobblestone walk. She also helped me pick out some perennials to add to my gardens in hopes this will reduce my annual outlay of cash and planting time. (pictures to follow tomorrow)
Since Mom returned home, it's been almost nothing but work work work. I'll write more about that later this month - a special project is at hand that has been taking all of my time and energy. But I've found a little time here and there to be out in the yard. I've never enjoyed gardening, but love the results of a good effort. If someone could just find a way to make weeding a one time effort, I might actually become a garden fanatic.
The Secret to Finding Joy in Gardening.
Last weekend I found that my iPod can actually make gardening tolerable. Tip to the gardening iPod user: secure your iPod in a pocket with button or zipper that won't be banged by gardening tools; run your earbud wires under your shirt so when one falls out, it will only dangle harmlessly from a few inches from your shirt collar; be sure you have several episodes of a favorite radio show (my pick is This American Life with Ira Glass or Radio Lab - very entertaining and thought-provoking, perfect for the relatively mindless work of digging in gardens) or albums, a full battery and go to it. I made it through 4 straight hours of garden work without a break in the momentum, and totally enjoyed it.
So far I've been a mulching mad woman and expect that I will have used about 30-40 bags of mulch before I'm through - note to self: next year bulk delivery. I've also been in the destructive gardening mood. We've removed trees (or should I say, had them removed) and old shrubs which was a necessary activity, although it sure has made the neighbors a much more visible part of our life. We're hoping some of the large tree removals may add a benefit of sun-time for the pool which typically hovers at 73-75 degrees in the summer, while friends a mile away see 80s all summer in a pool twice our size.
Crystal Clear and Cooling.
Speaking of the pool, today we finally pulled off the cover. It is always amazing to me that the green mucky mess can become a clean, clear, crystal blue enticing pool in a matter of days. But after the several hours at this, I fondly recall when we used to pay for someone to do this for us. It is messy, stinky, and back breaking work. I particuarly enjoyed taking the decomposing mess of leaves, twigs and larvae I had skimmed off the pool cover and filling three trash bags by hand. Yum.
Hubby took on the difficult mechanical tasks with the pool, while I took on the drudge work. Only fair since the mechanics of the filter, pipes, and chemicals totally confound me. He then proceeded inside for another mechanical effort - installing ceiling fans in our bedrooms...well one got done at least. I really like it and hope to have less A/C running this year because of it. I know all my HGTV designer hosts would cringe, but this is a case of function over design.
Yeah, this is another reason I haven't been posting. My life has been absorbed by daily routines and work with little else to show for it, and certainly little to blog about. But - I'll keep trying to pull my writing muscle out of atrophy - at least on non-work days, and find something to say again. Stay tuned for garden photos soon.