Tuesday, October 26, 2010

first frost

All winter we patiently wait for the first days of summer to arrive.  We wait and we wonder.  Will it be another rainy summer?  Will it be a decent summer where we're lucky to see a few days of sunshine?  Or will it be one of those rare summers where we bask in the sun all month long....  Then.... before we know it, we're doing fall cleanup and getting the yard ready for winter again. 

That's what my sweet hubby and I have been doing the last few weeks.  Cutting all the plants down to the ground, exposing slugs.  Putting yard art away for another season.  Tidying up the yard.  Admiring the good, the bad, and the ugly, making notes of what did well and what changes will need to be made the following year.  Then, just as we wait for the dog days of summer, we wait for fall to arrive.  That first hard frost that tells us summer is truly over.  

We don't have to wait any longer.  It finally arrived a few days ago, in all its glory.  While the shrubs were still covered with their early morning frost, I headed outside to enjoy those last moments with the garden that I love.  As I wandered along the garden paths, I could hear the garden going to sleep for another season, as leaf after leaf dropped to the ground with a heavy thud. 

Seasons come and seasons go, and with each new season, new challenges and new wonders.  It's almost time to let my garden go for another season.  Soon, it'll all be covered with a white blanket of snow and then the waiting begins all over again. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

a giveaway

No, I'm not having a giveaway.... But I know someone who is!  Check out my new friend, Tammy, at Stitching n Shipping.  She's having a special giveaway in honor of Pink Ribbon Month, dedicated to those who have been affected by breast cancer.  The giveaways are some lovely lovely sachets. 

While you're there, also check out Tammy's ebay site as she's donating 50% of every sale to the Susan G Komen for the CURE campaign.   Just don't bid on my items :)

What an inspiration she is. 


good neighbors

I'm one of those lucky people who has good neighbors.
You know what I mean? 
They're friendly.
They're happy.
They're always watching out for us.
Always with a smile and a wave.

Even once inside the house, I can feel them watching.
And watching.
And watching....
Say "hi" to Casper and his friends!  Scooby Dooo is there somewhere, too. 
They moved in a couple weeks ago....

Every holiday new neighbors move in.  They're not all this friendly, though.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


There's leaves.... and then there's leaves....

I love all kinds of leaves....

Big leaves.
Small leaves.

Fall colored leaves.

Hanging leaves.
Concrete leaves.
Concrete??? Yes! These were made from real leaves cast in cement. I love love love them! You can use them in the house, as yard art in the garden, or hanging on the wall. These are made locally, if you're interested.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

my fall garden

I love my garden. Especially in the Fall, when the colors are changing.
It's almost done for the year, and that saddens me.

My azalea:

Just an ol stump with stump mushrooms growing next to it:

The secret door to Fairy Fairyland:

The beach:

My red Final Astilbe:

My footbridge:

Yes, I love to wander through my garden.
Especially this time of year.

Friday, October 8, 2010

not too old

I went south last weekend to visit my sister and part of the itinerary was to attend the Tillamook Seafood Festival and visit with the aunts. It was the greatest time, and the best memories were made. We'd been planning this trip since July, but I was dragging my feet and almost didn't go. Then my sister shamed me into going, and I'm so grateful she did.

I've not really had an opportunity to spend much time with my aunts since living in Juneau so this visit was long overdue. We stayed up until wee hours visiting! Okay, 9 p.m.... But then was awake at the crack of dawn visiting again. Aunt Rosy served us her famous waffles with homemade strawberry freezer jam. When she brought the waffle iron out, I commented that it looked very old. She replied that it wasn't... it just browned after using it the first time.... Then she hesitated, and thoughtfully said, "it's not very old.... maybe 40 years...."

Yes, Aunt Rosy has probably never thrown a thing out in her life. Her home reflects the love she has for her daughter and the love others have for her. She showed me a package of old flash cubes.... Yes, flash cubes. The kind you used in the 60's, wondering if they still worked.... We laughed and told family stories. Then it was time to leave.

Two of my favorite people:I'll always hold this visit close to my heart as one of my favorites. Aunt Rosy is 91 and you just never know what life has in store for her. But she has been a good role model for all of us on how to take care of ourselves, how to eat healthy, get regular exercise, learn new things, live life. Have no regrets. Of all my favorite people.... she's right up there. I love her dearly.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

one day at a time

True love. Don't we all dream about it? Finding our soul mate? Living happily ever after?
Then suddenly, just like that, it can be taken away from you. Now you're a shell of a person, trying to find your new normal. Trying to get into the rhythm of things. Learning to accept, and embrace, the loneliness that surrounds you every single waking moment of the day. But, especially the nights.

I can't imagine what it's like to lose someone you love so deeply. I would stay in bed all day, curled up in a ball. I would relive all the wonderful moments we had, over and over and over again in my head. I would smell him on the pillow next to me. I would want to die.

Then, one day, I would crawl out of bed and maybe even get dressed. I would check the mail and even turn on my computer. I would eat cold cereal. The healing process has begun.

I've never lost someone I loved so desperately, although we did find ourselves in a situation many years ago that required Mike to go south to work. And I stayed here..... It was the worst of times. I could not function. I could not think straight. I missed him so desperately.

We traveled back and forth, but it was never the same as waking up to the smell of fresh brewed coffee every morning, or going to bed in his arms every night. I desperately missed him. Every single moment of every single day. For almost three years.

Besides missing all the every day things we did together, like grocery shopping, holding hands, talking over dinner, I missed Mike even more during those times when I had to do his "manly" chores. I could mow, but I knew nothing about checking the oil in the lawn mower! Or what would happen if you let it go dry.... Then there was the morning I sat outside in the pouring rain, trying to lay flat rocks for a patio affect. I knew nothing about how to do it properly to begin with and the fact that it was so much work.... I missed Mike most that morning when I cried in despair. Silently. In the rain. All by myself.

That's as close as I've ever come to losing someone I loved so deeply. I can't begin to imagine what my sister is going through after suddenly losing her husband.... It's times like this when living so far away has its disadvantages. I don't have the convenience of stopping in for a short visit to make sure she's doing okay nor do I have the luxury of staying for a long visit. Instead, we try to fly south for a long weekend every month, just to be a presence, help her with chores, or just to visit. I hope it helps her. I hope she knows that there isn't anything Mike or I wouldn't do for her. And if we don't catch on that she needs help, all she has to do is ask us and we'll be there. We only get one family and we've learned from experience how quickly that family can be taken away.

I know my sister will be just fine; is already doing much better. But it'll take time to completely heal. She'll figure out her new normal, her rhythm, in her own time. She'll eventually re-claim her life. Every day, just a baby step closer to being whole again.