Sunday, November 29, 2009

Remembering Evan

Last week was a busy week. It was an emotional rollercoaster with Evan's death anniversary on Tuesday and Thanksgiving on Thursday. Tears were always threatening, and Evan was (and is) always on my mind. After asking some friends for ideas, I finally made some plans for how I wanted to spend time remembering Evan last Tuesday. Since the backyard was too muddy for planting, we (my parents, my mother in law, Justin, me, and the kids) stayed inside and painted rocks to go in Evan's Garden.



I didn't realize when planning this activity that it was going to be a more than a day long process. So, we basically got started Tuesday, and I've been finishing the rocks up since. This is Evan's favorite bear, "Bear Bear."



And some cute bugs.



I also decided that I liked doing the balloon release so much last year, that I'd like to do it again. Miranda was very pleased with this decision!






We wrote notes to Evan on the balloons and gathered together outside. And let them go.




And then we watched them float and spin on their journey to Heaven.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mud Pies, Anyone?



After my previous post, my mother in law and I talked about Tuesday. She suggested we wait and see about the weather, and then decide. But after a little playtime in the back 40 on Friday, I already knew what the answer would be.



I mean, everybody likes to play in the mud. What's more fun than making mud pies? Ummm...staying inside and being clean? (Notice my facial expression as I watch Miranda get beyond dirty in a couple of mud puddles.)



Cute, but Yuck!



Today it rained alot. And now the weather prognosticators are predicting a chance of rain on Monday and Tuesday. Not more than 30 percent, but it seems like any possibility ends in rain here right now. So, we may just have to celebrate Evan's life indoors this year.




Because even though my heart is heavy with Evan's loss, I am so very grateful for the time I had with that little boy. Just wish it had been longer.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Other Purty Stuff



I took these photos earlier in the month. This hardy geranium that I got in a trade is spreading nicely. It's funny to hear me say this, because I generally have an aversion to plants that spread. Oh sure, some clumping is ok, but really spreading has always kind of freaked me out. I was afraid for a while of suckering shrubs. Of course, there are things that spread too much (Chinese privet, kudzu, English ivy, etc.), and others that are manageable. And those can always be shared with friends, which is part of what makes gardening rewarding and so much fun.



Pam from Digging has suggested that Garden bloggers should consider doing a foliage day the day after Garden Blogger's Bloom Day each month (that's on the 15th.) I immediately thought of the gorgeous fall color on my surviving Oakleaf hydrangea this year! It didn't bloom, but by golly it's making up for it this fall.



My one lowly Camellia. I've had this Camellia for several years. It's been moved about a couple of times, eaten by deer at least once, and never has it bloomed until this year. This year, when it was in the thick of the worst, fastest part of the flooded area. Other plants in the area floated away, got flattened, and some things just didn't make it. But the Camellia came through the flood with flying colors. And now it has blooms! Or, bloom. But isn't it beautiful?! I need to go back out there and see if there are any more. There were buds! I thought it would be fun if I could find an animal named Camellia. No luck so far. Mostly names. If you find one, let me know. I'd like to get more!

Disappointed



I had plans to work in Evan's Garden on Evan's death anniversary this coming Tuesday. I was hoping that the recent rains we've had would mostly dry up by then. Of course, I've been hoping that since late September when the major flooding occurred.




And even though we've had many sunny days with spring like temperatures, the puddles remain. And rain is in the forecast for this weekend. I don't tend to complain about the rain, since we had so many years of drought, but I have to admit, a few weeks of dry weather would be a nice break!




I'm sure my volunteers (my parents and my mother in law) may say they wouldn't mind getting a little muddy in memory of Evan, but I think it's asking a bit much. So, I guess we'll be having a lunch gathering instead. Sigh...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bloom Day



This is that same Rudbeckia "Early Bird Gold" still blooming in November! The regular old Black Eyed Susans quit blooming ages ago (like August.) Early Bird has been going strong for 4-5 months. I am so impressed with this plant!



A non-native Butterfly Weed I picked up at the spring plant trade. It's starting to wane a bit now, but it's been lovely for weeks.



And the oh so lovely Dahlia "Pam Howden." What a beautiful bloom! She just knocks my socks off.



And she's still blooming...in November! Of course, we haven't had our first freeze of the winter, yet. More rain, yes, but nothing lower than about 35 degrees.



And here's all the stuff I still need to plant!

Silliness



I found a car rammed into my van recently. The driver had already left the scene.




But wait...there he is!




"I'm outta here!"



But look who's got the keys now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Work and More Rain

I am fortunate enough to live close enough (but not too close!) to both my parents and my inlaws. And even more so, because my mom and my mother in law both enjoy gardening. We talk about plants, we wander around each other's gardens, but best of all we plant shop together. We've picked up some new things for Evan's Garden this fall, and just a few days ago my mom and I put them in the ground. The new area is separated from the rest of Evan's Garden by what used to be the stone path. I removed the stones and threw them (literally) over to a new patio area. That is still in progress. The path will still be a path, but instead of stone, I'll use pea gravel. I dug up the concrete pavers I had around the playground that floated away during the flood and used them to border the path. I still haven't gotten the pea gravel. Justin wants to do a French drain underneath it for better drainage of the area. Anyway...Evan's Garden is on the right edge of the back 40. The path is next, then a new little perennial bed full of more zoo plants! And then the patio. After that will probably be the new playground that Santa told me he'd like to get the kids. So, lots of work done, and lots more to be done. As usual. But it feels great to have a good start. We were able to get the plants installed during a week long sunny spell. It was wonderful to see the sky again! But alas, the tropical storm past through over the last couple of days, dumping 3 or more inches of rain on an already fairly saturated spot. So, I expect to have puddles for a little while again. I'm just hoping that they'll dry up in time for Evan's death anniversary on November 24. I'm hoping to go back there with my mom and mother in law and plant something special in Evan's garden. Fingers crossed for nice weather!

Meh

Kind of feeling meh lately. The weather has been really great up until Ida decided to throw a cold, wet, windy blanket over the southeast. I got most of my new plants in the ground for my extension to Evan's garden (yes, I'm making it bigger!) just in time for some more lovely standing water back there in the back 40. I am feeling a slight undercurrent of pre-Christmas excitement. I have already done a little shopping, which is not unusual for me. This year is looking like a small Christmas (so don't be expectin' no fancy schmancy pressies!) Justin's job situation is uncertain. He may have a contract starting in the new year. He may not. We just don't know yet. Or a regular job would be nice. Something with health insurance, because COBRA is gonna get expensive in a few months. My go-to flute is in the shop (4 weeks now), and I had to scour the dusty nooks and crannies to find the backup flute. Which is also in need of repair. So, I'm pretty much not feelin' the love right now. I'm feelin' the frustration. I'm feelin' the sadness of overcast skies. And most of all I'm feeling the depths of the well of grief as Evan's death anniversary looms. So, I'm thinking I'm due for a good day here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Day the Halloween People Came


I keep trying to get a good pumpkin patch wheelbarrow picture. Sigh...



Miranda and Duncan playing pumpkin drums


We've spent the last few weeks riding the wave of expectation to Halloween. We had two fun filled trips to the pumpkin patch, when we all walked away worn out, but happy. We talked about, wondered, agonized--you name it--over costumes. When Duncan finally made the decision to be a cowboy, we went to the Halloween store (yes, there is a Halloween store open just for the season) only to find out that, no, Duncan would not wear the cowboy hat. So, we walked over to the fabric store, in the rain. I found some great fabric for cowboy and native American princess costumes. Woohoo! Now, I only needed to find the time to make 'em! I patterned Duncan's vest from a shirt, and Miranda's outfit from a dress. The vest fit perfectly over the cowboy shirt. I figured I'd try the dress on Miranda when the big day arrived.


Bunnies!

Then the big day did arrive. A cool, dreary day. And did I mention the rain? Again with the rain! Two feet in the last 6 weeks...but I digress. I tried to get Miranda's costume on her and found it to be too tight, and too short. I re-stitched and ripped the old seam. It fit! I decided to pin the top to a shirt to make up for shortness. It wasn't perfect, but she still looked cute. As the day progressed both kids started to melt down. Duncan flat refused to wear any costume. He didn't want to go trick or treating. Miranda may have been interested, but she decided to go exploring in her costume. She climbed up on the countertop (note to self: Always remove chairs from kitchen!) and spilled vegetable oil all over the countertop, and herself. I found her and yelled, "Oh no you didn't!" Justin came running. He took her upstairs to bathe, while I cleaned up the kitchen. So, one kid who doesn't wear his costume, and one kid who ruined hers. So, we chalked up Halloween as an epic fail, and would have called it a day. But we still had to hand out candy (and pencils and erasers!)


A bunny sneaking up on Miranda


They didn't start arriving until well after 7. I began to think we weren't going to have any. But then the doorbell rang. The kids ran around all excited. "Who could it be?" We opened the door, "Trick or Treat!" they said, I complemented the costumes, gave them their goodies, and they left. And we were pretty busy right up to 9. Miranda's favorite costume was a little boy dressed as Thomas. She called him, "Thotas"--her word for Thomas. Duncan kept excitedly talking about the people. And finally started calling them "Halloween People." We told him that he could be a Halloween person, but he seemed happy to be the observer that night. So, I guess Halloween wasn't exactly an epic fail. We still had a good time, even if we didn't get to go out in the frigid, wet, horrible weather. Am I disappointed? Meh.


My little native American princess