Last weekend’s New York in Bloom flower show at the NYS museum is the ultimate harbinger of spring’s impending arrival. Click through for my Seen gallery on the TU site. As always, the museum and the exhibitor’s did us proud while raising funds for a worthy cause!
Category Archives: Flowers
Since I’ve shared the part of my weekend when I did do things myself, I believe it is only fair to also share the days since then when I’ve been very much accompanied. Monday I went to see my ENT. I wasn’t alone. My doctor pretty much did what I expected – an in office fine needle biopsy, orders for some blood work and a CAT scan and the promise of a call to schedule surgery. Whatever it is, it’s coming out.
Because I had been so open prior to the appointment, I felt compelled to report back to my friends, both “real” and virtual, to share the news from my office visit. The warm wishes, promises of prayers, and offers for assistance have left a greater mark on me than that bruise, or any of the already existing scars, on my neck. Thank you, friends.
Two days post-appointment, blood work done, anticipated CAT scan tomorrow and surgery three weeks away, I am bolstered and protected by the people I love, people who have demonstrated that they return the feeling. Although I’ve been down this path before, in terms of medical intervention, this sense that my being taken care of is a concern to many, is new. And cherished.
So, pathology should be back in a matter of days and in just a few weeks this latest (and literal) bump in the road will be gone. Thanks for traveling this path with me, and to someone who has allowed me to ride shotgun for a change, thank you for taking the wheel. I so appreciate it.
There was a time when I felt overwhelmed by the needs of my children. The attention they demanded caused me to abandon my interest in taking care of any other living things, specifically my plants. I believe I have one houseplant which survived those toddler years. It is a shadow of its former self, but seems determined to remain a member of the household.
As the boys became more independent and able to entertain themselves a bit better, I started acquiring plants again. There was a rubber tree I inherited after a friend’s move, a fern or two, a couple of plants my brother no longer wanted. My house once again had bright spots of greenery. It was time to direct my attention elsewhere…
My front yard is the size of a postage stamp. When I moved in 18 years ago, there were a couple of rose bushes and some grass. Simple. And boring. Over the years , friends have shared their perennials with me, beginning with Sharon and her purple cone flowers. I remember her bringing over clumps of flowers and my not getting them into the ground for days. I was skeptical that they would survive my neglect, but they have thrived in the sunniness of my front yard.
A few years later, the cone flowers were joined by Black-eyed Susans. I love the sturdy cheeriness of these and usually cut some to have in the house. I like to put them in an old glass pitcher with the baby’s breath my brother gave me a few years back. The baby’s breath fills in an area of my garden directly in front of the red bee balm and purple balloon flowers which my friend Donna gave to me. It’s one of my favorite little spots this time of the year when everything looks so lush.
There are shasta daisies and a variety of ever multiplying lilies, also. The grass is long gone and mulch and rocks fill in the garden in the few bare areas which remain. My iris, given to me by both my brother and my friend, Lisa, have long since bloomed, but I’ll need to thin those out come fall because they have taken off. They’re surrounded in their home in my parking strip by colorful snapdragons. I don’t recall ever planting snapdragons, but an elderly neighbor always had them in her front garden and I suspect that is where mine originated. I think she’d be happy to know that she left behind some life on our block.
Come fall, I also plan to thin out the geraniums I was given by a work friend. They would take over if I didn’t keep my eye on them! The peony, which was originally in my shady backyard, has settled into its sunny home and thanked me for its new digs by bestowing bloom upon bloom. I’ll be splitting that this fall, as well. Right now the peony is home to a cat which Jeter is constantly trying to flush out. Each time he brushes past the star-gazer lilies he marks himself with pollen. Guess that makes him a flower, too, almost.
The biggest surprise in the garden this summer are the sunflowers. After years of planting seeds with limited success, this year I left the work to the birds. They have thanked me for my mostly constant feedings by spreading sunflowers throughout my garden. In return, when they’re done blooming I will harvest the seeds and give them back to the birds. Without the birds and my generous friends, my garden, and my life, would be a far less beautiful existence.
It isn’t often that I have a day when nothing displeases me. When such a day as this occurs on the absolutely longest day of the year, it makes for an incredibly satisfying day. That is precisely what I had yesterday.
The day began with flowers as I cut a bouquet of the beautiful roses and peonies which are currently blooming in my garden, as well as in my neighbor’s backyard. Jeter and I followed breakfast with an early morning visit to the dog park where he played with a lovely dog who had recently been rescued from NYC. I resisted the urge to immediately adopt the sweet young dog, but I do hope she finds her forever home soon.
My middle son’s mid morning haircut appointment went well and I left the salon with plenty of time to get home, swap boys and head to Altamont Orchards to pick some strawberries. It took less than 25 minutes to pick 3 quarts of sweet and juicy berries. On our way home we stopped at the Guilderland location of Fin where Quinn got an apple juice and an already prepped meal of seasoned swordfish with corn salsa.
I made an easy caprese salad for lunch, with my own basil, and reveled in the simple delight of summer eating. I followed my meal by folding a couple of loads of laundry while watching the first half of the Germany-Ghana match with Griffin, my source for soccer commentary. Germany looked good, especially their keeper (holy hotness!), and I decided it was a fine time to make my way to a joint high school/elementary graduation party in Delmar. Since the day was supremely beautiful, I chose to ride my new bike and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
The party was lovely and my initial impression about not knowing anyone was rapidly put aside as I enjoyed meeting and talking with some really nice people. Seems I was wrong about not knowing anyone as connections were quickly made. Yes, it is a small world. Griffin kept me abreast of the match via text and I loved knowing that my son and my family in Germany were simultaneously taking in the same event – more connections.
I rode home and made a simple and delicious dinner while taking care of our bounty of strawberries. It was strip steak and corn on the cob for the guys and grilled swordfish with a side of steamed local spinach for me. So delicious! After cleaning up the kitchen, I prepped about half of our strawberries for the freezer already anticipating their eventual use in smoothies. I should have picked more!
Jeter and I returned to the dog park for round two but ended up home again after a short while since it is never really fun to be the only dog at the dog park. While playing fetch in the yard, I got to witness the reaction of two teenaged girls to my son’s haircut (“Oh my God, you cut your hair!” exclaimed in a shriek.) which is still making me laugh.
I changed into running clothes and hit the streets for a fast (for me) 5 miles, luxuriating in the extended twilight on this, the longest day of the year. There were only pleasant aromas tickling my nose and I realized that there hadn’t been a single affront to my senses all day long. The temperature, the smells in the air, everything I had eaten, the conversations shared, the view along the drive to the berry patch, the birds at the feeder…every single thing had given me pleasure. It was the beginning of a new season. Life is good.
As I’ve recently confessed, I love winter. I like cashmere and wool and boots and colorful scarves and hats that hide hair mishaps. You know I am undaunted by cold temperatures and that I’m happy when there is deep, fresh snow. Crockpot suppers, roasted root vegetables and hearty stews are some of my favorite (and simplest) meals to make. Me and winter? We’re good, but…
I also like crisp cotton and exposed ankles and bare shoulders. I’m tired of sleeping in leggings and long-sleeved t-shirts, on the ready for Jeter’s middle of the night “bathroom” breaks. My flannels may welcome me with cozy warmth, but I’m ready for the cool comfort of high thread count cotton sheets. I want to light the grill and sip a refreshing glass of rose’. And then there’s my garden…
Wardrobe, bed sheets and diet aside, I miss watching things grow. After months of being frozen, the earth is ready to start coming to life again. There are bunches and clusters of pale green shoots pushing out through the ground and I can’t wait to be reminded what is where in my postage stamp front garden. I recognize the purplish red leaves of my tulips which have emerged and see the crocus preparing to take their turns – yellow first, followed by white then purple, but there are other beautiful promises which are less predictable. Did the hyacinth take? Are my daffodils naturalizing and filling in? Will the lupine come back?
After a long season without obvious development, spring brings the assurance that there will be change and growth. The quiet acceptance of winter yields to hopefulness and a sense that things will soon be different. It’s time to see what comes next.
I think I finally caught my breath…
About a million years ago, I entered a beauty pageant known as The Rose of Tralee. Yes, really. There were two reasons I was prompted to enter the particular pageant I did – one being that my teenaged friend/nemesis V had won the contest the previous year, and the second that it was a contest geared to Irish-American princess wannabees and that had my name all over it. Sign me up. I knew I was sunk when my current events topic during the contest involved Northern Ireland and Ireland and I made parallels to the Middle East and other historical religious wars. Nope, not quite what they were looking for.
Speaking of looking…here are some of the flowers I encountered during my visit to Ireland. Hope you enjoy them more than I enjoyed that damn pageant.