One hot sunny morning a month ago, my sister, mom and I went to the iris gardens in Montclair. I generally liked irises but felt that from a distance they don’t look that special in bloom and the foliage after they bloom isn’t the most attractive. However, after spending the morning checking out hundreds of beautiful varieties, I think I’ve changed my mind. They are truly glorious when they are in full bloom. Now that I’ve ripped up my entire perennial garden (more on that in another post) I plan to strategically place irises in the new garden. I think they need to be seen up close to appreciate, and their foliage, when not in bloom, needs be disguised by other plants nearby. So I plan to put some near the path, but I need suggestions for what to pair them with. Something that blooms in late spring or summer, and can take full sun. Any suggestions?
Enjoy these pictures of some of the beautiful irises we saw:
Which iris did you like the best?
The other day I heard a noise that sounded suspiciously like water running in the bathroom. Considering I hadn’t seen Annika lately, this was cause for alarm. I was so pleased to see that she wasn’t making a big mess! Instead she was practicing her mothering skills, independently and responsibly! I think those skills will come in handy in four months.
I generally don’t consider myself an impulsive person. I kind of like predictability in my life. Some might describe me as a
little type A personality. I have routines and like to stick to them. But then I hear of those organized folks who have time slots for every chore….. who plan out their house cleaning and gardening and stick to it. That’s when I realize that I’m not Little Miss Organized Planner. In fact the way I usually accomplish things that are out of the ordinary rhythm of life is through being impulsive. I think this might be a family trait. I know I share it with at least one sister. There I’ll be, in nice clothes and good shoes and I”ll spot a weed in the flower garden. Before you know it I’m a hot, sweaty mess with dirt in between my sandal-ed feet, hair askew, grubby hands, transplanting a perennial. I own many pair of gardening gloves but they rarely get worn because my gardening time is seldom planned.
Generally this seems to be the way I get into most extra-curricular things. The other day I noticed some lint in the dryer after I had pulled out the filter screen. I pulled some fluff out and the next thing you know, I’ve got a screwdriver and I’m taking apart the machine and poking the cavity with a skewer. You wouldn’t believe how much lint I got out of our dryer (even though I am a faithful lint screen cleaner). So that’s the paradox of my life… I like my routines, especially with the kids, but anything beyond the basic stuff like eating and laundry, baths and bedtimes get done at the whim of my impulses.
What about you guys? Anyone else relate to this?
I don’t want to turn into one of those bloggers who write big apologies after a lengthy absence and promise to be more faithful. But here I am, feeling slightly foolish for abandoning the blog for half a month while life just happened. But happened it did, and when I think of what we all accomplished this month (finishing off the basement), and all the visitors , plus head colds and spring break…. it shouldn’t surprise me that this whole blog venture got put to the side. Meanwhile I have been mentally composing various posts, of which I am sure I will forget most before they get published.
Let me start by sharing that we had a brief vacation in the third week of April to Montauk, a town at the very end of Long Island, NY. On our first evening there we went for a walk along the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean during what I like to think of as the golden hour. You know the time of day when the sun is sinking and casts that glorious warm light on everything! You can imagine all your woes away… everything is golden then. Does anyone else get a thrill when you’re outside and the slanting rays make all the colors vibrant, and beauty runs rampant? This is the best time of day to take pictures. Even a total point and shoot amateur like me can capture some of the wonder.
Isn’t God’s creation beautiful? We need to remember to send our pleasure in His world back to Him and give Him thanks for all this beauty.
Isn’t it amazing how smell can transport you back to a memory, a feeling, a place in an instant? I’ve read that your sense of smell is the strongest trigger of memory, more than sight. Today I went for a walk with Annika. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, 75F, sunny, and definitely a lovely foretaste of May weather. We walked past a new house being constructed in our neighborhood and instantly I felt a sense of anticipation, excitement and wonder. I caught a whiff of the new lumber they were using to build the house and I was amazed how quickly the emotions came.
I remember as a child, when my dad was building the first house, we loved to see the progress and run through the rooms. Construction became part of my DNA. While we lived there, the property behind us was developed and three new houses were put up. In the evening, after the workmen left, we would go through the houses, climbing up the 2×6 ramp and look around. I would try and figure out which room was what, and where the kitchen was etc. by the way the room was framed or how the pipes were roughed in. Sometimes I was lucky enough to look through the blueprints left by the construction workers. Even though I was in my early teens, house construction was fascinating to me.
My dad then built our second house and I was a lot older (around twenty I think). I remember talking about the plans, giving suggestions (probably unsolicited) and pouring over the blue prints. Now I’ve been living with our own projects and additions for more years than I care to admit. We’re definitely at the end of the road now, with the basement being nearly completed. While it’s good to be DONE, I must admit the smell of fresh lumber does quicken the pulse a little. It’s all about dreams and possibilities.
Here’s some favourite oldies from the summer of 2007:
Sometimes I think we were crazy…. but most of the time I think we were just following our DNA.
I’ve been remiss in blogging faithfully lately. However, I have a pretty good excuse (at least I think so). See, it’s hard to get the creative juices flowing when you’re feeling kind of crummy. To get to the point, I am expecting a baby in the beginning of October and have been suffering the typical nausea etc. that accompanies a pregnancy. So that’s the big news folks! I am glad to report that those yucky symptoms are gradually receding and I anticipate getting my energy back.
The baby is about thirteen weeks and doing well according to the ultrasound I just had. We’ve all had a little adjustment to make in our expectations for the future. While there isn’t a big gap between Annika and the new expected one (three years), having her at 39 kind of felt like the end of the baby era. So yes, I will be a 42 year old new mother! Been done before, right?
Having the ultrasound really solidified the reality. It was fun seeing the little peanut jumping up and down like s/he was on a trampoline. The ultrasound tech said that this baby was likely to be very lively throughout the pregnancy. We are excited and yet aware that there may be more challenges with this pregnancy than with the others. We thank God that all has gone well so far and pray that we will be able to embrace a healthy baby in about six months.
One of the great things about school is how your kids can come home with a new interest, and run with it. We have a new hobby in our house: bird watching. I have always enjoyed birds, and can identify the basic backyard birds. Taylor has developed a huge interest in birds and has set up some more feeders. His new binoculars are being put to good use and our Peterson Field Guide Eastern Bird book is getting a good work out. The kids also love The Backyard Birdsong Guide which plays the songs of many backyard birds. They can now ID some of bird calls they hear outside.
So far Taylor has identified 31 birds, and his best bird ID was a Pileated Woodpecker. He often grabs my camera with it’s good zoom, and takes pics of birds on the feeder. The only problem is that our dinner hours are being interrupted with… “I see a _______” and everyone rushes to the window. Could be worse…. right?
Can you identify these common backyard birds we’ve seen?