Monday, May 28, 2012

In the Garden

When my BF (of farm fame) lived in the area I gardened more.  I was inspired.  I would work with her and come home and want to work some more.  It was also before I had kids.  When I got married I took family life seriously and let a few things fall to the back burner.  Gardening was one of them.  I did a little bit here and there but for the most part plants at my house needed to be self sufficient.  The kids are older now and don't need the hands on care they once did. Now they just need my guiding presence.

So, I've been getting out into the flower beds a little bit more.  And when one of my homework assignments was to do something for my health/well being for the next six months I decided that it would be to spend time in the garden each day.

Weeding which is a BIG chore especially after having been neglected for so long I actually enjoy once I'm in the middle of it.  It's rather meditative.  Once the beds are cleaned up I can compost and mulch which will keep the weeds at bay.   I have enlisted the help of the kids for some of the work.  And hubby has helped with the transplanting of bigger items.  Things needed to be moved so they could grow properly.

And by weed I mean anything growing where I don't want it.  The dandelions are allowed free range in the lawn but not choking out my herb bed.  I tell them this. 

I started with the beds around the house.  The beds that I can see as I sit on the deck or look out a window.  The curbside bed is last on the list.  I'm sure my neighbors are appalled at the sight of it.  I probably would be if that was the bed I looked at all the time.  It is the first look you have as you pull into my driveway so I do want to get to it soon.  It needs a little TLC.  Some rearranging of plants, some plant division, some new plants, compost and mulch. 

And I read something recently.  At some level I knew this already.  But, in print it made so much more sense.  It said that your garden beds are not just about the plants but the lay out.  Do the paths, seating areas, etc. draw you into the garden, lead you to the next flower bed, encourage you to meander your way through to engage all of your senses.  Hmmm!!!   Not completely but I've been slowly working on that idea for years though subconsciously.  And as I weeded the back bed and transplanted flowers and shrubs I realized that there would be no reason for the average person to view the bed from behind.  And lying near by is a pile of rocks that never made it to the stone wall.  A few are flat.  So, I asked son if he could over the course of the summer make steps leading up the side of the garden.  I can see it in my minds eye.  Those steps will lead you to explore.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Farm

Some ten years ago my BF moved to a farm in upstate NY.  Our schedules are rather hectic and I don't get to see her nearly enough.  We sometimes plan visits via phone messages and never actually talking.  This past week end I was able to make the trip while hubby stayed home with the kids.

I arrived Friday afternoon and surprised her at work.  I then hit my favorite craft store.  Hobby Lobby carries items I just can't find around here.  I arrived at the farm and visited with her DH and hugged a few trees before she arrived home. 

Saturday and Sunday I helped her with her landscape business.  We planted containers, borders and gardens at six car dealerships.  I found my dream car.  It's only $105,900.00; a red Mercedes convertible.  I was on her schedule.  We were up by 6:30 and I washed dishes while she fed the horses.  I like to breath to much to help in the barn.  Loading the truck, picking up plants and working.  I used to work with her when she lived here.  It's great.  We get to talk and play in the garden.  She pays with plants. Not that I cared if I got paid.

Lunch was around my usual supper time and dinner was past 8.  Time seems to warp at the farm. 

And after loading up the car on Monday morning I headed home.  A big deep breath of farm air first.

And hubby and the kids managed just fine without me. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Turned Out OK

So, mother's day was pretty good.  I was up early and made new batches of toner, sugar scrub and lotion.  I brought gift bags to the gym as a little shameless promotion for the owners.  They said I could leave brochures out.  And I spent an hour and a half working out.

 I came home and made a scrumptious lunch if I do say so myself.  And the new blackberry cobbler recipe was to live for. Yum!!!

Youngest had picked out my card.  Garfield telling me that some kids show they care by hard work and others by hugs.  Son wrote that he doesn't do hugs and youngest wrote that she loves them.  So fitting.  And I received two beautiful hanging plants for the Shepard's hooks in front of the deck.  With all the pansies I potted up, the hanging baskets and the flowers planted below it truly is an oasis. 

And after mom and dad headed home I curled up in my window seat and read.

What a great day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

When I was a little girl the trillium were in bloom behind our house at this time of year and I would pick a bouquet for my mom.  I was greatly disappointed a few years back to learn the trilliums had disappeared and that my mom doesn't remember this ritual.

My kids were told repeatedly by bio that you need to give birth to be a mom.  So, I am not a mother.  Little does she know - I can be a real mother (in all it's connotations).  Youngest summed it up best saying, "mother's give birth and step-mom's take care of you." 

I know this is just a day like any other but..... when so many outsiders tell you to have a happy mother's day and your kids don't it still kinda hurts.   I blame my dear hubby a tad.  I think he should have set the example when they were young - a happy step-mom card, an acknowledgement of some sort.  Though I have received a few cards here and there and I know I'm getting one today.  It helps when I make hubby buy his card for his mother,  It's the least he can do.  I buy her birthday card.

So, instead of the pity party I've invited my parents to dinner.  They are back from four months in Florida and this seemed like the perfect day.  I'm making steaks for hubby, dad, son and youngest.  Salmon for my mom and I.  Creamy Brussels sprouts, horseradish mashed potatoes and blackberry cobbler.

Hubby is home and said he would help with a few things in the garden (I need a few larger plants moved that I need help with).  The new flower bed is almost complete.  Youngest and I went to town on it while son mowed the lawn.  A few more wheel barrow's full of sod to the compost heap and some rock removal and it will be ready for compost and turning over.  Then I can plant.  I'm moving the strawberries there that are taking over the herb bed after only one season.  I'm moving the rhubarb there because it doesn't like its current home.  And then I'm sneaking out to do a little shopping come memorial day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Advanced Herbal Studies

This past week end I was at Sage Mountain in Vermont for my first of six week ends studying herbs and putting it into a practice.  I sat in or walked all of the optional classes.  We had anatomy & physiology Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday morning was a weed walk and plant biology.  This week end focused on men's health and in-takes.  Our homework was assigned and explained.  We are 34 women and one man.  And my brain is full and happy.

I rode up with a friend taking the class and we stayed along with a new friend in her camper.  It has heat which is a really nice feature for May in Vermont.  We ate well and slept well.  It was just too amazing an experience to put into words.  All I can say is it was worth the long wait.