Monday, June 9, 2014

What Becomes of Life Now?

As it seems that I have done for the last few months, I'm replaying history - like the movie plot that gets us all confused and bewildered, wondering if this scene is in the present tense, or rather a piece of memory? Each time I've written since January (aside from the gardening posts),  I am sending readers back into time. I recently posted a very sad, still fresh, harsh reality - my mother no longer exists.

poem read at her Celebration of Life

What now? Is there a certain way to live ... sans mother... a tried and true method that will help me to plod through all of this? I was given a gift of 55 years loved by a woman that was but a child herself when I was born. She loved me with every piece of her soul - she was more than happy to express her unbridled affection for me - her only daughter. Her lovingly exclaimed ~ "MY GIRL"
a frequent nickname for me.

Surprised at myself, quite honestly, that there is not horrible, wrecked, visible emotion at every turn. I have always been quick to cry, palpably emotional, touched and teary by even the merest of incidents. Yet, it feels to me that I am .... holding onto something? holding back? holding on for dear life? waiting for the other shoe to drop? For the life of me I cannot figure it out.

There is still the other 50% that makes me whole, to think about - my Dad. That man, so strong - and sturdy too, at most times. He had a break in his solidness just after my Mom's passing. He really got sick and it was quite difficult to watch. We hardly knew what to do for him. Off we were to emergency rooms (again, uugghhh) and doctors. He came through and has delighted each of us - his children - with his complete willingness to accept all of the "newness" of this lousy situation.

Many weeks at the beginning months of this year were spent with me traveling back and forth to his home in the pines, and living out a week here, a week there. My brothers playing back-up on weekends doing their faithful & loving duties.

Thus is my slice of abundance for the time being. So much of the time with my Dad a pleasure. Time that frankly was not often spent previously; alone with just him. As Mom and I would scoot off to browse antique shops and lunch, and be girls together - taking up most of the precious moments we spent, just we two.  Not that he much minded... we still had loads of family time with the whole crew!

Lo and behold, amidst the sadness and traveling there was fun and beauty also. I took brief moments here and there to truck off with my camera, possibly with Dad's dog, sometimes with heaviness in my heart, and other times with joy at the simplest of things. I took many a backroad and country lane, once in snow and oft alone. There were jaunts with Dad to places that mattered to us - a part of our family's past - to the town where he was born, a place I left my heart many, many years ago. We had visits with his only living sister and lunch at a funky diner with his great-niece!

There is still abundant joy to be had - in spite of the life we now have....
The abundance not always in the form I would love....

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Garden Party

Second time I've decided to post bunches of photos, and say very little... (hard for me to do) with the intent of sending this off to the Fishtail Cottage for a Garden Party tour. You can go see what I mean by clicking on Garden Party.

Not a whole lot of progress in my garden since last week's party. Truthfully I'm so busy with my work at Goat Hill Fair, ( <- click to see what work I do) that the house & garden take a back seat until after the show is over. There has been the mundane, not -so- pretty-to- photograph upkeep of a lawn, pulling of weeds, and pruning of overgrown branches.  All much needed tasks, but bo-ring!

Here's some pretty instead ~

this variegated Calla lily is from the garden of  Hubby's deceased Aunt

more vintage signs in the garden

pulling out winter crop and starting seeds

Penny the hen from next door

combo of rose, mock orange, and fremontodendron

star magnolia - long since leafed out...

Look at the same star magnolia image from above ^ done in Waterlogue app.... I love it!

That's all I've got for now. Back to Goat Hill work... anyone want to come along on a tour of that fun place? Maybe I'll post about Goat Hill after the May show...

Happy Mother's Day to the women that make life one beautiful garden....

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Queen

Can there possibly be a better way to celebrate all things flower & garden, and SPRING, than MAY 1st??  It is May Day!

A virtual bouquet to family and friends....  not hung on your doorknob - with a knock-knock to offer you sweet spring salutations... yet, with sunshine thoughts anyway ~

My garden has come alive! The veggies are beginning to shoot skyward. It has taken quite some time for them.. after first planting - some seeds, other starter plants - the Cali weather has been on a roller coaster ride and I do believe the plants stayed in hibernation for awhile, peeking out and then deciding to stay-put for a short time more.

You'll notice that many of my images are Instagram, or shot from my iPhone. Seems such a handy tool when I'm out gardening. It slips quite easily into the pocket of my apron!

I do have a "big-girl" camera.. and she WOWs me every time with the close-up shots I get of individual blossoms. It's just heavy, awkward and potentially dangerous ( to her ) while handling with clay dirt all across my hands!

The magnificent walnut that graces our backyard does not leaf out until late May. So she still looks like this ~

One of the veggies that was plenty happy with the fickle weather - actually preferring some cool, dampness - is the artichoke. We've already sampled some of our homegrown for dinner!  * a little side note: the artichoke capitol of the world is not far from where I live - Castroville,CA. The beachy area near Watsonville and Santa Cruz. Marilyn Monroe was once crowned the May Queen ARTICHOKE Queen!

one from my garden

I have loads of roses I tend...I adore... these grow over an arch intermingled with jasmine. The scent at this time of year as I wander through the gateway to the far back.. is breathtakingly sweet!

Still following me?... step along my gravel footpath... (this is a vintage sign from England - scored at an estate sale many years ago)

Purple lilac... whereas the first image I shared (above) was my white lilac - the white beauty new to me this year as a gift from a set of friends at Goat Hill Fair, to honor the passing of my Mom. Bittersweet but perfect memory as I garden!

I have so many images of my home and garden - my place of quiet content - my refuge...
This post is quite lengthy, so I hope any who follow are still reading ~

A couple of artsy images to shake things up!! hhhaaa

Veggies, again....

How can one resist swiss chard? My gawd the vibrancy...

Now - LETT UCE entertain you!! hha  A little piece of humor & light ... a vintage sink for a plant vessel ~

Yellow is a favorite of mine ~

... and in the front yard too ~

Lady Banks  ^ comes to visit each spring, knocks my socks off and then heads off to parts unknown until the following spring. Me thinks she needs to visit more frequently!! Don't you feel the same about these wonderous plants?

I am linking to a Garden Party and I hope that's where you've been to find my slice of abundant life... go read here { click - Fishtail Cottage }. I'm heading over there to go on some garden tours, myself... can never get too many ideas for the garden! Especially on May Day!

Friday, April 25, 2014

January 11th

It's come to down to this... the telling of what January will forever represent to me.  Possibly there will come a time that the start of a new year will mean what it does for most folks. It may hold promise and, like I said in this post {click here}...just imagine the possibilities a new year can present. Wonder how long it will take for me to imagine good possibilities?

We were with my brother & wife to finally get me up to speed with technology.  A smart phone was coming home with me on that day. Lessons needed to be given on oh so many applications and uses. So, off we went to brother's home for some lunch and tutoring. We thought ahead and invited our niece to lunch for her 30th birthday party planning. And, sometime in the early evening we left our small gathering of family - quite sated in food, learning, and the smugness of getting event details in writing.

January elevenths evening hours were cool.  There was quiet at home, as I sat on the couch bundled in my white chunky weave blanket, inspecting the new contraption; adding contacts and apps. While I'm writing this it feels as though there should be a drum roll, or an eerily piercing movie soundtrack playing.... well, because this is dramatic.  I tend toward the big punctuation!!!, the LARGE telling of a story with big emphasis toward the punch line. This particular story needs emphasis on the ending. I need to tell it, in all it's BIGNESS, because in my heart this day was as dramatic as they come. So then... here is where a song plays and I begin to cry...

My Dad is calling me - a sure sign that there is an emergency - he's not the one to phone, my Mom is the communicator. Words fly back and forth. I'm not certain that he is correct in his observations.. my brain won't let me believe that the sentence he's forcing upon me is certain. The one thought that I cling to is that my Mom is getting help, that those talented EMT's will get her to safety. "NO, Dad, it's okay, she'll be okay. I'm leaving right now. I'll be there as soon as I can."

By nightfall we're on our way through the dark to their place in the pines. That new technology a lifesaver in our car as we travel hours down freeways. Hubby texting, returning calls, speaking for me, reaching family who need to be told. My focus on the white lines, my hands heavily clutching the wheel - I yell intermittently in response to questions being thrown my way, as I am unable to hear all that is being said... and well, because I'm mad!

Anyone that has experienced hospital scenes with a loved one in an emergent situation knows precisely where I will take you next. Except, I won't take you there... far too personal!

We were all there, crammed in the tiny curtained room; she was no longer with us. All hopes dashed. In the early morning hours of January 12th the woman that gave me life, left her earthly one behind.

It feels as if I've only placed facts and time lines in this post. My emotions are strained... I haven't quite felt myself, and I'm running on energy from who-knows-where.  Possibly the energy will get me to the next phase of journaling about this life changing event....

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An Ending and A New Beginning

This time traveling I'm doing gets exhausting. Attempting to keep memories in order, and true. Like, "I did do that, didn't I?"... We were laughing, happy and unknowingly keeping memories to heart, right? Jumbled, foggy thoughts are friends of mine lately. But, here? now? I can mostly keep track of time by the photos that I savor.

Back a few journal entries, I shared a family party that was held for my sister-in-law, nearly in lieu of Christmas - as the entire family was present that evening - and we were going separate ways for December 25th.

I went the email route for sending good tidings and embracing the coming New Year... memories of the abundant life I share with my Hubby ~

Traditional Christmas it WASN'T this year (similar to Thanksgiving). A portrait with Santa was about as traditional as we got - albeit this Santa was my brother-in-law.

Always and forever Christmas Eve is with Hubby's family.  Gift giving and opening takes on an entirely different  joy when there are children in the room. It makes me happy to have our nephew and his family grow to include two young ones. Our great nephew is like a bouncy ball that hops from plaything to not-so-plaything while smiling, laughing, and singing his ABC's. We don't share photos of these beautiful beings... unfortunately....

my kitchen in December

Brother #1 celebrated endured Christmas in Southern California, as his mother-in-law passed away. Brother #2 was content at home with his family for Christmas and had to work.
Brother #3was dutiful and kind sharing Christmas day with other family.
And, my parents were home, at their place in the woods. They made plans with friends for holiday dinner, yet my Mom was still not feeling well. That flu bug was hanging onto her.

Yes, quite separated we were and equally as nontraditional.

Off to the beach on a whim, because of the niceties from my Goat Hill boss...  Hubby & I would dig toes in the sand and watch sunsets for Christmas.

even the bird came along

Sunshine filled perfection!!

2013 coming to an end - we headed back home. A small celebratory evening with friends to welcome all that the beginning of a new year can mean... resolutions - maybe, dreams - surely, hope for a year of abundant joy and magnificent memory making ALWAYS! Isn't that the truth for each of us? That we have eternal hope each and every time the calendar reads January 1st? Life is all about the beauty of sunshine perfection, isn't it? Otherwise it would be hard to rise each morning. Who of us would sit and ponder dreadfulness? Not on my watch, anyway! Eternal optimist (mostly), that is me.

Let us celebrate a HAPPY New Year ~

art on our fridge for incoming 2014

Try as I might,  I cannot come up with a clear picture in my head of the first week in January. A lot of vague recollections. Checking my calendar, there are entries about the 3rd, 4th, 5th being spent in Los Angeles, and San Francisco at funerals. Deaths that needed to be acknowledged, loved ones that needed support.

Very soon after, acknowledgement, love and support would be needed to heal my heart. The art I chalked on the refrigerator said IMAGINE.... but, imagine what exactly? Thinking sunshine, I got rain...