Sunday, March 30, 2008

signs of spring

Wow - sun earlier today - and 50's!! Woo-hoo! A lot of melting going on. Forecast: rain tonight. By Tuesday morning 3-7 inches of fresh snow. Drat. So, good thing I took some pix this morning.

I did this one extra big so you could actually see what I'm so excited about. :)
I have little tulip sprouts showing up in several areas of the gardens. It gives me great hope for beautiful things to come.

A lovely clump of coral bells. I love the spring greens and purples.

My ornamental grass didn't fare too well after the last heavy, wet snow. But I'll be cutting it to the ground soon, so not a problem.

My bowling ball crop is looking spectacular!! :)

A sure sign of better things to come is water appearing around the edges of the lake. This is looking east...

and this is to the west.

And this is straight out from shore. Yup, the little things you see on the ice are fishermen. It's still thick enough to walk on.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

which view do you like better?

Nan left a comment that she would like to see the view from our bedroom window. This is it in July - the gardens in full bloom. From the bedroom we don't actually see a lot of the lake itself because of the leaves on the trees - but I love looking out at the gardens first thing every morning.

And then you have days like this morning. :( Our snow had pretty much melted off the yard last week, but we woke up to a couple inches on the ground. By noon this was gone. I'm going to be very happy to see open water instead of ice, green leaves instead of bare trees, and flowers instead of dock sections in the gardens!!

I have a little bit of green showing in the garden - very fun! Jacob's ladder and a couple other plants retain their green color through the winter - which totally amazes me.

Back in November, Kate did a post on her glass pens. I thought hers were beautiful and showed the post to Mark. A couple weeks ago he found these on eBay and bought them for me. Aren't they pretty? They're very fun to use - too bad I'm such a slug at writing notes and cards to people! :) The first pot of ink I bought was purple - very cool.

I'm afraid I still have weeks to go before I really have any interesting garden stuff to share. This has been a very long and very cold winter and I am quite anxious for it to be GONE! But in the meantime, thank you to all of you who have flowers in bloom for posting photos. It is such a treat to see right now!

Monday, March 3, 2008

a bedroom finally comes together

Thank you all for your good wishes on my blogiversary. And also for your good thoughts about the loss of my friend Babe. I can't believe that I will never sit and chat with her again - but I feel so fortunate to have known her for so many years. She was a sweetheart.

I wanted to show you another project I've been working on this winter. Last summer I found this picture at a garage sale (the weird lines in it are from the reflection from the blinds). The orange-tone colors weren't exactly what I have my house filled with - but the background and over-all feel of the picture was something I thought would fit in our bedroom very well. We put up new wallpaper a couple years ago and I have been trying since then to find bedding I was happy with. I can't begin to tell you all of the trips I've made - buying complete sets, returning them because the color was just wrong, repeat, do over. I had almost given up on ever finding what I thought I wanted!

These photos are of the wallpaper - hard to get a picture that shows the exact color - plus it changes with the light - but you get the idea. The paper is smooth - but it gives the impression of great texture and subtle variations in color. After I had chosen the paper, I looked in the back of the wallpaper book and found that this particular faux finish was called "concrete" - of course I would choose wallpaper that looks like concrete!! I love it anyway. :)

This winter I found this brick red duvet and matching sheets etc (below) - and it worked really well with the burnt orange in the picture and with the walls. There is a very subtle print on one side of the duvet. I love it. The dark color shows all of the little bits and pieces that float around from the down pillows and comforter, but other than that I think it's perfect. I also bought a bedding set in a greyed or blued green - hard to describe - for summer sheets. It's very pretty and after I make the duvet, I'll show it to you. I couldn't find a duvet I liked with those sheets so bought extra sheets to make one.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. We're not big on lots of frills and pillows - I like getting up and shaking out the duvet and not thinking about it again - Mark likes just jumping into bed at night without clearing it first. Still have more wall space to figure out, but it's finally coming together. The stained glass in the small window is one of a set that our son and daughter-in-law made for us one year for Christmas. They are absolutely beautiful - I'll have to show them in a post sometime too. The light patterns on the duvet are from the windows - that entire wall is windows facing the lake - it's a gorgeous room to wake up in every morning!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I've lost someone special

I found out this morning that a very dear neighbor and friend had passed away this week. My heart just hurts thinking that I will never again sit with her in person and share news of the neighborhood and our families. I will never again hear her generous compliments, her wise insights, her unfailingly positive voice. I will, of course, have talks with her and hear her voice - but only in my head - in my memories. She will now be in that part of my life that holds memories of my grandparents - rich, full memories - but not nearly as wonderful as all those in-person chats - not nearly as comforting as warm hugs.
When we moved to this street in 1975, Babe's mother lived at the end of the street. Grace was an old woman at the time - at least to my 25 years. I liked her because you always knew where you stood with her. If she wasn't pleased, she told you - likewise, she never hesitated to pass on a compliment. She had the most incredible gardens. They reminded me of my grandmothers' gardens. In the early 80's - shortly after we moved into this house on the lake, Grace passed on and Babe and her husband, Glenn, moved into her house. Babe immediately became a favorite neighbor. She was an excellent role model for aging gracefully. I don't think I have ever met anyone as genuinely positive and appreciative of those around her.
Babe had back problems and let a lot of the gardens go back to lawn. In the process, she shared countless plants with neighbors and friends. I remember talking to her one year shortly before my birthday. I mentioned that I loved Siberian squill or scilla. On the morning of my birthday, she came down the street with a small bucket full of scilla and other treasures from her garden! She never failed to mention how much she loved my gardens - or to tell me what a wonderful man I'm married to - or what wonderful young men I've raised. I am going to miss her terribly.
This morning our son came out to visit - and do a couple loads of laundry. We were talking and I mentioned that I had seen Babe recently at the nursing home, and that she had said how much she had enjoyed seeing him a couple years ago. Our son said why don't we go down and visit her this morning? We decided to wait an hour so she would be up and ready for the day. A half hour before we were going to head out the door, Babe's son called and gave me the news. I was so glad that we had been thinking of her before John called - it actually helped soften the blow.
Next spring, when the ground has thawed and plants have sprung back to life, I will walk down to her yard and ask her son if I can dig up a few things from her gardens. John will say of course - Mom would want you to have some plants to remember her by. I won't need plants to remember Babe - but I will treasure having a small part of her in my gardens.