I Was Gonna…

I remember when I was a kid and my dad called me to task, I would say, “I was gonna…” And then he would tell me, there’s no such thing. It’s either “yes” or “no”. You either did our you didn’t. Even now, my plans get away from me.

Last year, before we left for Australia, I visited Costco and saw this bag of daffodils. Wouldn’t it be great if the whole driveway was lined with beautiful yellow flowers? I had time to do it before we left. But then there was packing, and rain, and my busy schedule and the bag of bulbs sat in the garage.

I could always do it when we got back. And then somehow it was winter. It was cold, the ground was frozen, it was really too late to be planting them, wasn’t it? Spring came, flowers began to bloom, and with them the guilt of that silly bag still sitting in the garage. It was too late; they would die; the ground was too hard; I’d never plant them deep enough; it was the wrong time of year. As you can see, I had plenty of excuses.

So last week, while we waited for yet another contractor to stop by, I went outside with my hoe and in less than 15 minutes planted 90 daffodil bulbs. Some of the bulbs were rotten, some plain and simple won’t make it. I did not space them evenly along the whole length of the driveway, squirrels quite possible will dig them up. Is it perfect—no, but it’s enough.

And now as I pull my car into the garage, I am no longer greated by a picture of cheery, spring blossoms reminding me of my failings and all I was gonna do.

You can check out other daffodil musings in Planning Ahead or go back to the beginning with A Gift of Spring when it was really rough around here.




Can You Repeat that, Please?

There’s just something about repetition that makes a statement.

I’ve read that in ancient Hebrew a word was used over and over and over again for emphasis—in English that sounds crazy. But in flowers, it’s quite divine.

While the MR, Baby Girl, and I were cruising through the beautiful waters off Croatia, our 20-something captain with a so-so grasp of English would pull up to a dock, dump us off, and say be back in an hour.

Since we usually had no idea where we were, we’d wander and buy some gelato. That’s how we stumbled across these.

While one pot would be lovely, two lines of them makes a statement.

We also passed by a little restaurant with bright blue chairs and tables. That punch of color added brightness and cheer. Don’t you just want to sit down and be part of the scene?

Along with picking up some decorating tips, we visited the Blue Cave.

Sailed into a submarine silo.

Enjoyed a lot of swimming, and watched a spectacular sunset.

We totally enjoyed our time exploring the coast of Croatia.

And now I’m thinking the front steps could use a little attention. Maybe pots filled with mums for fall color, or decorative kale and some pumpkins. We’ll have to wait and see what speaks to me.

Do you like lots of colors or one bold statement? Where do you get your inspiration?

Changing Perspective

Remember a few months ago when I shared an unexpected treasure of overwintered carrots in the garden? Cocoa was breathing deeply as we explored the mess, and sure enough, with a little weeding, I came across two sweet lines of carrots. Me and the MR would enjoy an early harvest. It would be wonderful.

Fast forward a few months, and nothing turned out the way I planned. I picked a few and added cooked carrots to the menu. That was a mistake. Some of the carrots had good flavor, but the cores were so tough, you couldn’t even cut through them with a knife. Others tasted like nothing at all, so it was a bit of a crap shoot deciding whether to eat them or toss them. I’m afraid the worms enjoyed more than we did.

But wouldn’t it be nice to free up some space in the garden? Maybe they just needed a little better weather to sweeten up. It was not meant to be. When I revisited the carrot patch recently, they’d gone to seed. The carrots were hairy and mangled. Perhaps I could add them to my next batch of chicken broth; the upstairs freezer is woefully empty. I put a fistful of vegetables in Cocoa’s outdoor water dish and took a second look at the tops.

These carrots are something. They’re architectural and graceful, swooping and swaying, feathery foliage topped with delicate domes. I think they deserve a little space in my home.



Sometimes you just have to shift your perspective. You see, I wasn’t trying to grow carrots—you can pick those up at the farmer’s market—I was growing lovely, one-of-a-kind bouquets.

In case you were wondering; those are kombucha bottles. My favorite comes in a plain old clear glass bottle, but when they’re out of it at the store, I pick up one of these (or a couple if Baby Girl is around). I peeled off the label, plopped in some carrot tops, and ta-da, doing dishes just got a lot more fun.

Hope you’re enjoying the first of July. 

Don’t worry, the June recap is on the way. With the girls home off-and-on, the MR’s parents visiting, trips to here and there, and all the other stuff that’s part of life, we’ve been busy. 



Making My Own Sunshine

I’m not a trusting soul. When the weatherman last night promised sunshine, I took a wait and see attitude. The rains pelting the roof this morning were no surprise. 

Perhaps with only seven days without rain this year he was trying to throw us a bone. 

It is what it is. Eventually the sun will come out. Me and the MR spent the weekend apart, but we still had that couple’s intuition happening. He bought flowers for the outside, while Baby Girl and I chose flowers for the inside. 

I have a habit of buying vases and just leaving them sit there for days, weeks, months, years…. 

Now at least we have a bit of brightness in the great room. And while I love real flowers, these add cheer and won’t wilt. I do believe there’s room for both. 

I was telling the MR over dinner last night about how a rainy spring and moldy, hallucinogenic flour may have contributed to the medieval witch trials. It’s feeling like that kind of year. 

Don’t worry. I’m keeping an eye on the flour. 

How do you add a bit of sunshine to your world?

Me and BG purchased our flowers at Pier 1. If your interested in how chemistry changed the world, check out Napoleon’s Buttons by Jay Burreson. 

Simply Pretty

A few weeks ago, after we moved Sweet Miss out of her duplex, attended graduation, helped host a BBQ, went to dinner and breakfasts with Her Fella’s family, moved Baby Girl out of the dorms, and drove hundreds of miles home, my first thought was to check on my garden.

The MR was busily untying ropes so we could get Baby Girl’s stuff out of the pickup, and I needed to stretch my legs and see what a weekend of sunshine and neglect had done to the garden and the orchard. As I headed out the back door, I was surprised when Sweet Miss asked if she could come, too.

Well, sure, and when did my children grow up enough that they went out to the garden without being forced? The broccoli and beets were growing; it was time to check out the berries. As we walked over to the orchard, Sweet Miss grabbed a fistful of daisies.

Daisy Stand

We have clumps of daisies growing wild around the meadow and the fields. The MR likes the flowers, so he takes extra time to mow around them. Sure they’re pretty, but they’re weeds, right?


Our pocekts filled with blueberries and currants, me and Sweet Miss made our way back up to the kitchen. She cut the stems and plunked the flowers down into a canning jar. I added a bit of orange ribbon, and suddenly, we had sweet, humble centerpieces for our dinner party last weekend.

Daisy Bouquets

Pretty doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. It can be as simple as a few daisies in some old jars. Thanks Sweet Miss for teaching your mother a thing or two.

Do you enjoy fresh flowers? Any centerpiece tips?


It’s Been a Great Week

We’ve been having fun around here. It hasn’t been a good blogging kind of week, but it’s been a great living kind of week.
Baby Girl turned 18, and Sweet Miss came home for spring break. In my book, that’s enough to make it a banner week, but of course there’s more.
The girls
Last Friday, we visited a tattoo parlor–a first for me–so Baby Girl could get her nose pierced. I thought it was a sister’s kind of outing, but when they invited me along, how could I say no?
On Sunday, we surprised BG with tickets to Cirque du Soleil. Sweet Miss wanted to blindfold her, and the MR wanted to just tell her, but then BG came up with the best solution unwittingly. She started talking about going to the movies after church, and we all agreed. We piled in the car early, so we could go to the hardware store before hitting the movies–wink, wink. The best part was when we pulled into the parking lot, and Baby Girl says in surprise, “This isn’t Home Depot.” It was a magical afternoon.
Monday featured a marathon shopping trip in town. We added some lovely spring items to our wardrobes, and Baby Girl found her prom dress. We met up with the MR for dinner and hit a few more shops on the way home.
Wednesday, I had a presentation in the morning, and then after school we were off to the movies for real this time. Then Sweet Miss has been longing for my burgers. The secret is Montreal Steak Seasoning.

Last night, me and the MR went to a fancy dinner sponsored by a local winery where we’re members. We enjoyed fabulous food paired with very nice wine and caught up with sweet friends. That brings us to today. Papa Willy along with my brother and sister-in-law are headed over for dinner, and Sweet Miss wants to fit in one last trip to the mall.

We’ve been lucky. Baby Girl had to work three nights this week, and Sweet Miss has caught up with friends a few nights. All this running around is wearing me out–it’s been a long time since I was 20.

Like I said, it’s been a living week not a house week. We did have a repairman here Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ve been enjoying brisk–sometimes icy cold–showers lately. Apparently, an animal has been in our heat pump and done it’s business on some of the circuits. The repairman will be back.

Yesterday at 5:56 am, the MR started texting me from under the house in the well room–my phone was on silent, because some people like to sleep at night–that can make others a little crabby. Anyways, after he burst into our bedroom, turned the shower on full blast, and started demanding a thermometer, I did wake up. Water at the well was 104-degrees, but up here it was around 100. In the upstairs shower it was even cooler. The MR did some adjusting, and Baby Girl had the first warm shower in weeks today.

After a string of rainy days, yesterday was beautiful. Checking on my garden left me blue. The pea shoots have been plucked out of the ground. If it’s not slugs, it’s bunnies or birds. The MR added more wire to the fencing around the garden; maybe it’s time for netting?

Today, I’ll leave you with our latest mantel bouquet. I hopped through the puddles this week and picked a few lonely blooms. Together they add a little springtime color and cheer.



We say goodbye to Sweet Miss tomorrow as she heads back to school. It’s been a good week.

How was yours?