Thursday, June 26, 2008

Time Expired

I think I was born in the wrong century. I think life should be lived at a slower pace. I always try to take the time to enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset. I love to sit and watch the birds as they dart here and there grabbing all the insects they can, or the bumble bees busily gathering nectar from the basil plants that are so prevalent in my yard. I remember summer days on my great grandparents farm in the Ozarks that would last an eternity. Time seemed to go so slowly as a child. I remember sitting in the porch swing, listening to the cows talk to one another in the field as they grazed and watching the sun shine through the clouds in long gold columns that would explode into golden stalks of wheat in the field across the lane. I remember lying in the grass looking up at the clouds and seeing viking ships sail across the sky, and then turn into a host of angels riding in chariots. I remember making ice cream in a manual ice cream maker. Taking turns turning the crank until it felt like my arm was going to fall off. I remember getting water from the well that was so cold it would give you brain freeze. I remember sitting on the porch with my cousins, brother and sister, mom and dad, aunts, uncles, grandma, and her friend that we called Aunt Isabelle, even though she wasn't really a relative. Each of us had a sheet of newspaper in our lap with a sack of green beans to snap. How satisfying it was to hear those beans S-N-A-P so crisply and watch as your sack filled up until you had to empty it into a big pan on the kitchen table. I remember having contests to see who could finish their sack of beans first. I remember going outside after supper dishes were done (we all had to help wash dishes and clean up the kitchen after a meal) and catching fireflies by the dozens, and then creeping back up on the porch and sitting next to my mother while all the grownups talked the night away. I remember being so tired my dad would have to carry me to bed, and my mother would help me into my pajamas, and wash my face and hands and feet with a washcloth, and say, "Your too tired for a bath tonight, so we'll just give you a lick and a promise." And in the morning waking up to the smell of bacon and coffee that would make it's way upstairs and tickle my nose until I couldn't stand to stay in bed another second! I remember running downstairs to breakfast and not being able to wait for the day to start because Uncle Paul had promised that I could go down to the barn with him to see the mother cat with her new litter of kittens. And the day would be gone, and mom would be washing my face and hands and feet again. Each day ran into the other with an effortless ease that can only come from childhood and that feeling that the summer would never end. Those days are long gone, and the cares and responsibilities of being an adult have made my days go by in a rush--here and gone before I turn around. The only time that I feel I can slow down is in my garden. And that is why I have this old parking meter in my backyard. It pleases me when the morning glories grab hold of it and wrap their tendrils around it, almost covering it. but I move the vines to make sure I can see the red flag that is always warning me: TIME EXPIRED! I need to be reminded to stop, slow down. Let the world go for awhile, because my granddaughters are the ones running through the garden looking for bugs and flowers and playing so hard they have to be carried to bed thinking that summer will never end. I don't want to be so caught up in the cares of this world that I don't watch as they discover just how wonderful life can be when you slow down and watch an ant busily scurrying along some invisible path that only it can sense, or watch a bee so fat and heavy with pollen, that you hold your breath to see if it does make lift-off.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This Post Comes With A Warning!

Reader Beware!

The story about to be told is true, graphic, and not for the faint hearted or weak stomach!

I am keeping my little 8 month old grandson today, and he took a long morning nap. I was happily catching up on my blog reading, and when he woke from his nap and played in his crib. I don't like to jump up (not to mention jumping up is hard on these old bones) and get him out of the bed as soon as he peeps, so I let him play while I continued reading.

When I got him after about 10 minutes, I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked in. He was sitting up in bed grinning at me when I opened the door. He had pulled his diaper off (one of the pitfalls of Velcro closings!) and had poo smeared all over the sheet, his face, and of course his hands!

What to do? I did not sign up for this!!! I pulled off his shirt, and carried him (at arms length) to the tub and sat him in it as I turned on the water and adjusted the temp. Rinsed him off, soaped him down, rinse again. Then I filled up the tub and let him soak until I could get all the "stuff" out of his fingernails. Wrapped him in a towel, took him back to his room, diapered and dressed him, and let him roll around on the floor while I stripped the bed, wiped it down, put on clean sheets. Are you ready for bed little man? I am!!!

He certainly enjoys his food!

The Tomato Thief left a few--all green, of course!

I thought this tendril hanging down was so graceful and pretty.

Are you getting an idea of why I am Morning Glories in Round Rock?

The sunflowers are so bright and cheerful.

I wish computers came with Smell-O-Vision, because there is nothing so sweet as the smell of a rose (except lilacs, which I can't grow).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Walk Through The Garden

Sorry this is so blurry, but the wind was so fierce when I took this shot a couple of days ago. This is a Floribunda called Eutin. Even in this heatwave, it is putting out blooms!

The Lantana laughs at the 100 degree weather! It is also a butterfly magnet.

I am not sure what this is--I'm thinking a Gerbera. It came off a sale cart at the nursery because it no longer had it's tag. Charlotte wanted to rescue it, so it is officially her plant, which is why it is in a pot. This fall when Charley is no longer attached to it (I hope), I am planning to plant it in the ground.

That pesky wind wouldn't stop long enough to get a good shot of the lantana. As you might have guessed by the earlier shot, I have a lot of it. Another Austin gardener, whose blog I enjoy reading: east-side-patch, hates it. But I figure, go with what grows, and I can always depend on lantana to give me color right up to frost.

Euvolvus, Blue Daze

I just love this flower even though it is an annual, I love the blue blossoms that continue throughout the summer.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of mum this is. I got it on the half off cart at the Round Rock Nursery (I love this local nursery for the variety they stock), and it didn't have it's identification tag any longer.

Plumbago has the most beautiful blue blooms. I have a memory garden in the corner of the garden where I have all the blue flowers I can find. Funny story about Bocephus the Wonder Dog. When I was planting one plumbago, Bo was taking off with the other still in it's nursery pot. He was getting ready to eat it when I caught him and took it away. So far, he has left them alone, and they look beautiful with the Blue Daze and Balloon Flowers I have in the blue garden.

Here is a better shot of another Eutin. I try to buy only antique roses because I think they are hardier and are less prone to diseases and pests. I don't baby them at all. I just throw some compost and mulch on them every spring. I don't water or fertilize, although, I am thinking of giving it a little fish emulsion if the heat doesn't let up soon.

This salvia is huge. When it goes dormant, I am going to have to cut it back this fall. It's threatening to take over the back yard. I have a pretty little Mexican Marigold Mint next to it that is getting crowded out.

Libby has the only sure fire way to keep cool in this heat! Don't you just love her freckles? She and Charlotte have been going to Camp Invention this week and going to the pool in the evenings when the sun is going down.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wanted! Tomato Thief!


I have been watching my tomatoes for days now, waiting to pick at the most optimal moment. Watching as the beautiful round globes turned from green, to palest pink, and then rosier and rosier by each passing day. But someone else was watching in the garden. Watching me daily inspect all the plants, Biding his time. Waiting until he could stand it no more, reaching in, pulling out the reddest ripest tomato he could find. Thinking, I'm sure, she won't miss it, there are so many, she'll never notice it's gone. And at first, I don't. I am busy watering and pulling any weed that dare show it's head in my veg patch. But then, I notice, something is just not right--the tomato plant looks lopsided--almost like something is missing. It is! And that something is MY tomato! NOooooooooooooooooo! Not again! I'll get that thief if it's the last thing I do!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What's Blooming

Hello! I thought to start, I would show you what is blooming in my garden right now. Of course we have to start with a morning glory!

I am not a very good photographer, but can you make out the bumble bee in the Cinderella pumpkin blossom?

The hydrangea the kids got me for Mother's Day last year is doing well. The three that I bought seven years ago from a nursery, are toast.

The gardenias were beautiful this year. I'm not sure why, but I have noticed that everyone's seemed to be very prolific and gorgeous. After this round of blooms, they will bloom a couple more times before frost.