Monday, April 25, 2011

flowers in the house

It's still Monday.  Barely. but still.  I think I still made it in time for Jane's Smallbutcharming Flowers in the House Party.

One ginormous Rhododendron bloom!

Here it is on the dining room bar table.

The first Hydrangea bloom of the season.

Thanks again, Jane!

Friday, April 22, 2011

today is...


Are you doing everything you can?

my new home away from home...

Nobody here this afternoon.  Good time to take a few photos.

My desk and file cabinet.  I am the only person here who uses paper for anything.  Someone's gotta keep records.

The other side of the space.

The view out back, from the lounge area.  See the antennae looking thing on the left?  That's the bow of the USS North Carolina which is permanently docked here, and is where they shoot the 4th of July Fireworks from.  The roof of our building is going to be a major party this year.

The view out the front.  In good weather there are always lots of people out here.  Tourists, locals, dogs, street performers, etc.

I think I mentioned that my office moved upstairs.  These are pics of the new digs.  What do you think?  Keep in mind we've only been up here a few days and haven't had time for hanging artwork and tidying up.  The word on the street is that the middle of the room is being kept clear to make room for the pool table (seriously).  I forgot to take a picture of it, but there is a lounge area at the back of the room for the couch and the big screen TV.  My boss wants to be "Google East".  Yep, for real.  And no, I don't mind.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


The one good thing about being sick?  I feel so damn good when it's over.  Being sick makes me remember that without our good health we don't have much, and it makes me so grateful for my normally healthy body.   I still have some sniffles, and to be on the safe side I took some Sudafed this morning, even though I didn't feel terrible. And I skipped the gym this morning for one more day (it's scary how easily I  could get used to this skipping the gym thing - especially when it is so beautiful walking around the garden with my coffee at 8 am!).  But, for the most part I feel excellent! is good. 

As you might expect, I haven't done much lately, but Mother Nature didn't stop.

The Irises are beyond beautiful.

This beautiful climbing rose is one that I never even knew existed until I started cleaning up the gardens last summer.  It has rewarded me with dozens of blooms so far this year!

What can I say?

Before I started feeling puny I did get around to cleaning up the front yard.  I trimmed all the liriope back and now the sidewalk looks twice as wide.  Not sure if you can see it in the picture, but the Lady Banks Rose is blooming on the arbor. The Jasmine won't be far behind and the fragrance will be unbelievable.

Also went to opening day for the Farmer's Market and found a new bakery.  This Foccacia was SO good!  And the fresh strawberries (in salad) were sweet and beautiful.  I noticed there were several new egg suppliers.  They all had pictures of their hens, and the coops and yards where they kept them.  I always like to see where my eggs come from.

While I've been lying low with this cold/allergy/whatever thing, my office has been moving.  We moved just one flight up where where we were in this historic old building in downtown Wilmington.  I'm getting pictures of the new space now and hope to have them up tomorrow.  Speaking of tomorrow - I'm hoping I'll be back on my bike to get to work tomorrow.  Haven't felt up to it for several days now, but with gas prices going up daily, I'm thinking I better get back on it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'll be back...

Well, it's been a week now.  I thought I'd shake this thing by now.  I don't get sick.  Honestly.  I just don't. After several days of trying all the homeopathic remedies I know, I have been reduced to taking all kinds of over the counter stuff, in an attempt to feel better.  I know.  They probably only mask the symptoms, but that's how much I want to feel like myself again.  The fact that I have to be at work this week (boss is gone and we're moving our office upstairs) hasn't helped matters.

Didn't mean to make this into a tale of woe.  Just wanted to let y'all know I'm still here and I'll be back...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.
- May Sarton

Last night was a perfect evening.  Perfect for being outside, perfect for walking thru the garden and looking at all the new blooms.

Oh, how I wish I were a halfway decent photographer.  I think the key is to remember to wear my glasses? of the first roses.  It was stunning.  Too bad you can't tell from the photo.

The end of the dogwood blooms.

The first Dianthus bloom!

And, of course, what southern garden would be complete without a couple (hundred?) Azaleas?

It was so nice out last night that the bf made a fire and we sat by it after dinner, with wine glasses in hand.  Monday's aren't so bad...

Friday, April 8, 2011

an update on Jack...

Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.  ~ Agatha Christie

For those who read this and don't know about Jack:  see picture at right.  Jack is my sweet little guy and one of my best friends ever. He was diagnosed with diabetes this past January.  He was in and out of the vet's offices many, many times over the past couple of months.  For reasons too lengthy to deal with here, I wasn't  real happy with the care he was getting, so we switched to a vet that came highly recommended.  One of the first things the new vet said was "has anyone mentioned the fact that Jack is completely blind in his left eye?" No.  No one ever mentioned that.  Probably due to, or at least exacerbated by, the diabetes, he had severe cataracts in both eyes.  Severe enough in the left as to blind that eye, probably some time ago.  
As of this past weekend, he is now blind in both eyes.  Saturday morning, instead of jumping off the bed as usual, Jack seemed very hesitant to move.  I lifted him off the bed and set him on the floor.  I then watched, very sadly, as he walked right into the wall behind the open door.  Taking small hesitant steps he found his way to the kitchen, hitting the wall and furniture several times.  After giving him his insulin shot, I usually give him a little rawhide chew as a treat. On that morning he couldn't find it in the palm of my hand, right in front of his nose.
It's been a few days now and I can see he's making progress dealing with this.  Probably more progress than I am.  He gets around in the house much better already, but he still spends much of his time under a chair in the living room - trying to stay out of the way, I think.  He can't go out in the yard by himself anymore.  Every trip involves a harness and leash - at least for now.  I have to remember to tell him when there is a step up or down in front of him, and I try to make sure there are no twigs or stones on the path that would startle him.  He is teaching me to slow down and look at everything.  I'm guessing he will never be the same little Jack.  No more running like a little bullet, or jumping straight up, waist high when he wants my attention.  No more acting like a tough guy.  He's slower, more timid, softer, and somehow he's even sweeter.

There's a good yoga lesson in this.  Everything changes.  Nothing stays the same, no matter how much you want it to.  I just wish Jack didn't have to pay the price for this lesson.

A few months ago - when he was still fat.

It doesn't show up here, but when you look into his (beautiful, soulful) eyes they look almost colorless.  My sweet little guy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April's Book Club selection is...

We'll be meeting on this one later this month.  Have y'all read it?  I really liked it and despite the ending, I found it to be a testament to the inner strength of women.

And this is what I'm reading on my own...

Not as good or as educational as I'd hoped it would be.

Okay, so Amazon has really bad photos.  So have y'all read either of these?  And did you like it (them)?  Next up is "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese.  I know.  Everyone in the reading world has already done it.  I finished "Little Bee" early, so I've started on this.  I'm about 60 pages into it and have yet to decide if I like it or not.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our weekend activities!

It is so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved, 
to have thought, to have done. ~ Matthew Arnold

Well.  Here it is Tuesday already and I'm just getting around to my weekend.  So, what did I do? 

Friday night was spent cooking and enjoying some corn chowder, nice, warm, crusty 9 grain and sunflower bread, a lovely little salad and plenty of wine, with a couple of girlfriends that I haven't seen in weeks and needed some serious catching-up time with!  The bf was working late, so we girls had a great time.

Saturday was spent at yoga and running around town in my new-to-me car.  Love that thing!  I got some fabric to try out making some very simple slipcovers for the chairs in the living room.  I haven't tried that before, but I'm armed with directions from several blogs.  But I think if I figured out how to make drapes, I might be able to do this.  I'll let you know how that goes in the coming weeks.  Then the bf and I went out for our weekly "date".  Date night is usually Friday night for us, but the movie the bf is currently working on is shooting a lot of late nights, so this week we went on Saturday, instead.  We went to a place that we've been to before, but only for wine and appetizers at the bar.  Saturday night was our first dinner experience there, but it won't be the last.  It was fabulous! The mango salsa alone was worth the price of dinner.  Janet, at the Gardeners Cottage, posted something about going out for date night the other day, and she had pics of how cute she looked.  I was not that ambitous - it was jeans and a sweater for me, although I did wear heels, and made the bf put on a nice shirt!

Sunday morning, after our coffee in bed time, and then the bf''s world famous French Toast with Walnuts and Bananas, we headed to the local nursery for some soil amendments (peat moss and chicken poop!) for our new raised bed veggie garden.  I had a veggie garden last year but wasn't thrilled with it's productivity, so I asked the bf to build me some raised beds.  I filled them with a years worth of our own compost, the peat moss, chicken poop and a load of good, dark topsoil.  If I don't get better results this year I may have to give up.


Two 8'x4' raised beds.  And, yes, my veggie garden is in the front yard.  Technically it's on the side of the house.  That's the only place in my yard that gets enough sunlight.  It's fairly common in the neighborhood.

Three kinds of tomatoes, basil, parsley, bell peppers (2 kinds), Jalepenos, Swiss chard, zuchini, summer squash and eggplant!  Keep your fingers crossed.

So, a wonderful weekend was had by all, I hope?