Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'm a fixer too

Have you ever had one of those weeks when your household appliances conspire together, breaking down all together?  This is that week. First the air conditioner, then refrigerator, washer, toilet...the stove burner's been out for know, the essentials.  

Husband Dion tried something new, and paid a monthly subscription to a website telling him how to fix things.  This means I wake up to find lots of parts from lots of things spread lots of places.  Being the good wife that I am, I have decided to stay out of it.  I say "good job you".  It works best that way.  

In the midst of this, the idea to rearrange our furniture formed in my head.  It went something like "let's take this out of that room, and then replace it with this, and then this can go here, and so forth..."  and by let's, I mean me.  Once a notion begins that something of large bulk and weight must go there instead of here, it usually means it should happen now.  Husband Dion doesn't typically have the same notion at the same time, so good thing I'm a believer and a possessor of furniture-moving superwoman powers. In these moments, I twirl around, blink my eyes, twitch my nose, and the powers become mine.  
kinda creepy, huh?  This should be my getup
for the upcoming superhero 5K.

For the most part I can do it myself.  But the other night, while moving one of those put-it-together-in-an-hour, tall bookcases from Walmart, it fell to pieces.  As it fell to pieces, it smashed into husband Dion's office wall, books and everything, resulting in a fairly large hole.  "Good grief," I thought, aggravated with myself for not taking all the books off the shelf. Mentally adding "the wall" to the list of things needing repair, I carelessly carefully hid it behind another bookcase. 
It's that kind of week.
Surrounded by this sea of brokenness, I began feeling a need to do my part in fixing something.  That something became this fountain put together for $11 last spring. Click here for the "how to". The motor began guggle guggle guggling half way through the summer, then stopped.

I wish I could explain to you what was wrong. Instead I'll tell you that in the end I took every little, tiny piece apart. Two hours later and a lot of wetness, the puzzle was solved.
I found a something to replace the something else that was supposed to be there but wasn't, and it worked!  Then I took out a piece and turned it around (that is not supposed to be turned around), and that made it become so very quiet.  quieter than it has ever been before. 

You can imagine how happy this made me. We can once again pretend to be sitting by a quiet stream while indulging in good foods like cereal on the deck.
Now when husband Dion successfully fixes something, like the front, left side gas stove burner, as he did this morning, I can say to him, "Excellent job!  Fantastic!  Yes, that must feel quite nice to be such a good fixer!"

After all, I am a fixer too.

How are you making your today world beautiful?

Pinterest "pin me" images:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

There Once Was A Man Who Worked And Rested Under A Mocking Bird Tree

This is a story about Sgt. Gary Taylor.  We've come to know Mr. Gary over the past few years, while staying up north during Siri's medical trips.  His beautiful wife Maria, is the night manager at the house where we stay.  Maria and Gary live in a two bedroom, on-site apartment that comes with her job. 
Mr. Gary collects books and T-shirts.  When I asked him if it would be okay to take his photo and write a post on his garden he said, "oh I guess that'd be alright"...something he says, and then assured me he does not get on the computer, and that the computer is Maria's thing.   When Mr. Gary laughs, it is a literal hee hee hee of sorts.  He tells stories about growing up in Louisiana, his trucking days, and his adventures working as a Sargent in Penn Station.  He retired last spring.  He loves his children, spending his weekends with them, and dotes on his wife Maria.  He refers to life at the house (where he and Maria live, and where we stay) "the life of abundance"...usually he says this as he's preparing to eat something yummy from the kitchen, which is regularly filled with yummy somethings.

Although Gary and Maria have their own apartment, they are often around the house.  Community living has a few positive aspects, but you's community living.  One of the ways Gary invests his time at the house, while also creating his own private space, is creating and maintaining his garden.  There are beautiful flowers all around the house and he helps with those sometimes too I believe, but there's a special little place you can almost be sure to find him working.  He calls it his serenity garden.  The rest of us call it "Gary's garden".  You do not mess with Gary's garden.  And not because he asks you not to's just a known's Gary's place.  So when he gives permission to cut a few roses for a tea, or for the children to pick the berries, or when he gives a little tour, it is not to be taken for granted.  In some ways entering his garden feels like what I'd imagine entering a secret garden might feel like.  quiet and sacred...something of magicalness.

Here are photos captured of Gary's serenity garden, as well as some of the flowers on house property. My cell phone is a pay-as-you-go type, and the camera is apparently not so hot at taking garden photos, but I hope you can find the beauty in them, as I did in taking them. The berries were the most prolific during our stay there, but the mocking birds quickly ate what the kids didn't.
Here is what Gary calls "the mocking bird tree", which is full of mocking birds.  When I would look at it to take a picture, I could see them, but cannot find one mocking bird on these photos. How is that possible?  They must be magical mocking birds.  So just know, there are lots of mocking birds and this is a mocking bird tree.
Here you can see Gary's private spot in the center of the garden, underneath the mocking bird tree.
This is the fox tail he hung on the mocking bird tree.  He wanted me to know he didn't kill the fox.  He found it and thought this would be a place to put it.  "Don't ask me why," he said, which is another something he says.
"Don't ask me why I have these bowling balls here," he said.
I didn't ask him.

Lamb's ear is one of my favorites.  Touching it makes me sleepy.  I could sleep with it instead of a stuffed armadillo.
I may have fallen in love with this particular shrub while there this summer, although I'm not sure what it is.  It's not within the perimeters of Gary's garden, or I'm sure he would've known.  Do you know what this is called?  The leaves were a dark greenish color on the bottom and the tops grew into this majestic reddish purple.  They worked well used as a base for flower arranging.
Here are some branches of it, as well as a few other flowers from around the house, quickly put together for a simple, afternoon tea.
I very much enjoy friends and afternoon teas.

This gazebo is off to the right of Gary's garden.
The master gardeners come in the spring to maintain the little garden surrounding the gazebo.
These children guard the gazebo door.  They remind me of the episode, season one I think, of Once, when Rumple turned those two adults into little doll people.  That was a creepy one for sure.  turning humans into little dolls.  
This boy was saying "I don't care...go ahead. Try turning me into a statue...whatever."  And the girl was being all hands in her pockets, chill about it, too.  and then bam!  turned into garden statues.  no going back now.  no. going. back.  This is a lesson for all the little children with an "I don't care" attitude.  If the "I don't care" fairy hears you, you don't get a second chance.

Finally, my favorite from this garden shoot.  The simplicity and colors are stunning.
Again I find an example in Gary, accepting where he's been placed for now (he dreams of returning to his home on the bayou), and in that, creating a space for quiet and peace...a garden to rest and to work and to think.  A place of beauty to hang up a fox tail, set out a few bowling balls, drink a cup of coffee, and call it his own.

The many blackberries in his garden this summer kept one of my all time favorite quotes ripe in my thoughts...
"Earth's crammed with heaven, 

And every common bush afire with God; 

But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, 

The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries, 

And daub their natural faces unaware."


How are you seeing your today world beautiful?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

"Hardy Hibiscus! We are home!"

Well, that was something.

What was something?

Being without internet for 3 weeks was something.  

I don't think I'm ready to talk about it really.

But we are home.  And instead of dealing with this...

and this...
let's look at photos of hardy hibiscus.  

On the way back through, back to home, once again we had the fun time of staying with my brother and sister in law. This time they had a little bitty baby staying with them, as they are foster parents. I may have fallen in love with her.  We can't post her pictures publicly, but know there were some sweet, sweet moments together.  Tessa is working out her sisterly love, and Jason and Krystal are smitten.   Together, we watched the Lego movie. Batman was my favorite. Everything is awesome.

And here is some fun news!  The hardy hibiscus are in full bloom!  yay.  yay.

Without further are the photos of these amazing and HUGE storybook-cottage-like garden flowers.

Blue River Hardy Hibiscus (why are they called blue when they are white):

They remind me of large moon vine flowers.  Learn more and order Blue River here.

Next up, Kooper King:

Find more info about these here.

Here are deep pink ones, transplanted from K's mom's K's aunt's home. don't know what they're called.

My brother corrected me, and told me they came from Krystal's aunt, not her mom. sorry Krystal's aunt. But Krystal's mom visited them soon before us this trip, and brought some flip-flops for Krystal. Krystal didn't like them, and brother Jason said, "I think Linnet would like those." What a great big brother, looking out for my shoe preferences.  He was right.  They are comfortable, colorful, and contribute to a false sense of height, which is a somewhat unusual thing for comfortable and colorful flip flops to do.  If you're reading, thanks so much Dar!
More photos of them being happy together (flowers, not flip flops...although they are also happy together):
Hardy Hibiscus die back, then return each year. Blooms last one day, and every day there are many new blooms.  If you'd like to see more of Jason and Krystal's wonderland in the city, you can read their back yard story post here.

Some more of my favorite Hardy Hibiscus varieties, and other ideas for a garden Sara and I have been working on, are pinned on my garden pinterest board, here. The violet ones are super fun. 

Now I have a few options.

option 1: unpack, clean up the above documented mess.

option 2: attend to my daughter who has just been traumatized by her discovery of a nest knocked out of a tree, resulting in the deaths of two baby birds.  This just makes me sad. She thinks Kitty ate one. so. very. disturbing.

Earlier today, she was traumatized by a sweat bee. When the bees sting her, it hurts her, "How could you do that to me bee?!"  Many tears streaming down her face, I couldn't get the instant burn relief spray cap off...husband Dion failed as well for what seemed like 3 minutes...for what was 3 minutes, then in heroic fashion, squeezed and pulled and twisted that cap off in a clockwise position.  Tears still going.  The spray part got yanked around as the cap came off.  Trying to straighten it properly, I proceeded to shoot the burn relief spray directly into my eye.  As I ran to the sink to flush my eye and entire face, Sara, still crying, refused to let husband Dion treat her, because apparently only someone capable of spraying burn relief spray directly into her own eye is suitable for spraying it on a sweat bee sting.  So she continued to cry until I could see again.  Then I sprayed the burn relief spray correctly on her wound, distributing more kisses to heal her angry, betrayed heart. that bee! I told her it's not personal.  It's just what they do.  You sweat.  It likes that.  You move.  It doesn't like that.  sting.  She responded with more crying.  Everything is awesome.

option 3:   tell more stories unrelated to this blog post

option 4:  continue my newly rediscovered bad eating patterns for another day or two, by downing a bag of goldfish and whatever else junk I might find, refusing to balance any ups and downs of my glycemic index with sources of protein. Then justify the behavior. I am in mourning over the death of two baby birds.  three baby birds. this just in.  three. baby. birds.

option 5: take a shower

option 6: go to the store for bread and other necessities for living that husbands seem to be immuned to...

option 7: view this video.  This goes out to all who've survived limited internet access for longer than a week.  dedicated to the internet.

or watch the one hour everything is awesome video on youtube.

tough call.

How are you making your today world beautiful?

Pinterest "pin me" images:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...