Thursday, April 22, 2021

Do You Have A Favorite Spring Perennial Combo?

Every year, these two buddies bloom at the same time--candytuft and bluebells.  They welcome folks as they approach our front door.  It's such a sweet combination, made even dearer as some of the bluebells have become lavender-violet bluebells.

I started with four candytuft plants from four-inch pots many years ago, and now they and their progeny grace our entire front yard.  The bluebells have been equally prolific and I've shared their tiny bulblets with anyone who wants them.  Especially since I've begun to rein these ebullient beauties back a bit.  I mean, it would be nice to find a vacant square inch where I could plant summer color, like petunias.

As the growing season progresses, more flowers will bloom here to welcome visitors.  Columbine, roses, sweet peas, violets, lilies, clematis--and a few annuals will make their appearance during the summer's heat.  I'm hoping to add zinnias to the usual petunias this summer.  

My new heated seed-starter mat is like a magic carpet when it comes to germination.  Our growing season in the high desert is so very short, that anything which will give me a head start is valuable.  It deserves its own blog post!  (Note to self!)

Monday, April 19, 2021

Dose Dos--Remember When

I never finished writing this post originally so I never published it.  I was gonna delete it, but then figured that this was a record of the change from a very challenging time to one filled with hope.  I wanted to keep this memory.  Sometimes a blog can be less of a communication tool and more of a personal journal.  This is one of those times.

March 29, 2021.  We got up this morning and headed off for our second Pfizer vaccination. I might have been a little anxious since I had a nightmare that involved a low-speed car crash right into a small tree.  But we were up in time, had no auto incidents on the way, and were at the pharmacy in plenty of time!

What a difference three weeks can make.  There was no hour-long queue to wait in while cringing away from other people who somehow, even after nine months of Covid19 warnings, still didn't know how to properly social distance.  Heck, there was no line at all.  We walked right up to the check-in desk, handed in our paperwork, had our temperatures taken, sat down waiting for our names to be called and had our shots in less than five minutes.  It took longer to sit in the waiting area afterward than it did to walk up and get our jabs!

Since then, we had Easter dinner with a vaccinated family and I got to hug my mom for the first time in a year. Last week I took her to one of our local nursery/gift shops just because we didn't feel totally vulnerable and at risk.  

We are still very cautious in public, knowing that there are no one hundred percent guarantees and cognizant of the new variants swirling around.  I won't be eating in a restaurant or enjoying a movie theater anytime soon.  But I'm gaining confidence outdoors and not totally freaking out when there are more people in one place than I'm used to.  We do masks and social distancing and keep tabs on family, friends and co-workers who are getting vaccinated so we know when we can relax and enjoy their company.

I may be safer, but I'm still keeping up on the latest science.  I won't be getting cocky anytime soon.  I've seen the statistics on B.1.1.7 and they are scary.  My neighbor had a scan recently and asked if they could include his lungs since they were "in the vicinity" and his radiologist agreed since he knew why he asked (he caught Covid19 during a chemo infusion). My neighbor's lungs are thakfully clear and healthy.  But the radiologist shared that he'd just seen the lungs of someone who had a mild case of the coronavirus and he called them coal miner lungs.  Why one guy and not the other? This virus can affect vital organs in ways that we are still learning about.   

There is no downside to getting the vaccine.  Still a happy camper here...ready for springtime, outdoor activities, visiting with neighbors (all of us vaccinated), and lots and lots of gardening!


Monday, April 12, 2021

Liberation Day (sort of, almost, kinda)

Today marks two weeks since we received our second dose of the Pfizer Covid19 vaccine. 

Theoretically, I had planned to go out and do something normal again for the first time in a year.  Like shopping for a decorative item that I could live without at T.J. Maxx.  Or browsing doll accessories at Target for Rosebud's birthday.  Or strolling through the SPCA thrift store in search of treasures like picture frames for my watercolors or a book by a favorite author. Or spending the last of my birthday money on some tubes of Winsor & Newton watercolors at our local fine arts store.

Instead, I've cleaned up my desk.  I have a wastebasket filled with paper, a to-do checklist for the spring and an organized deferred-project inventory.  Most importantly, I managed to unearth my Covid19 immunization card.  It's now photographed, uploaded to the cloud and pinned to my corkboard--I think I've made it impossible for me to misplace every again.  

Three reasons why I haven't gone out and celebrated wildly today.

First, we've been so careful and cautious for so very long (since mid-February 2020 when my intuition and a healthy dose of scientific reading told me that the new coronavirus was going to be a pandemic and inspired me to stock up on every necessity that I could think of and start to bunker down) that the realization that we can relax a bit now seems unlikely and unreal.  I guess it's going to take me more than two weeks to fully process our new reality and venture out willingly.  Isn't it strange that the new antibody minions running freely through my body are adjusting more quickly than I am?!

Second, some recent variants scare me with their increased infection and severity rate, which we are seeing in an uptick in cases locally.  I have friends who still have not been vaccinated, intentionally.  I really want herd immunity so we can stop those variants in their tracks.  I'm making sure I pass on the scientific news that should scare them into doing the right thing.  There is just no downside to getting the vaccine.  None.  

Third, we only have one car and the love of my life decided to use it to run work errands this afternoon.  What was he thinking?!   

The good news is that I'll be equally protected by the vaccine tomorrow and the day after and the week after.  So I'll get out there...masked, socially distanced and with my trusty hand sanitizer dangling from my purse.  Just not today.

I plan to take photos of Life Outside My House!


Saturday, April 03, 2021

Feeling Colorful

If you have water lilies, you know why I currently have colorful fingers.  

For anyone without, water lily roots and tubers look tan or white, but they have a hidden element that stains skin after dividing the plants.  And grabbing large unwieldy lilies that have essentially taken over the pond, wrestling them into submission and cutting them up is a very hands-on activity.  

So...purple fingers.

Worth it since the lilies obnoxiously left little-to-no room for overwintering fish and made it difficult to clean out the slimy, rotted leaves that escaped the autumn cleaning.  I now have the extra divisions potted up for sale once they've grown new leaves a bit later in the season.  Buyers will have to take their chances on whether they get a white or pink lily. Lilypad Pond is crystal clear and all the moving parts are moving and filtering water as they should.

In other colorful news, a family tradition is to color eggs the day before Easter.  Grass green, sky blue, sunny yellow, rosy pink.  So now I have fingertips that are even more colorful.  I really should learn how NOT to pick up dyed eggs.


I just accidentally found out that cleanser works on fingers as well as the sink after dumping out all the cups of dye.  For the win!

Something colorful which makes life a little more fun:  Bunny napkins ready to set out at our Easter table. 

Time to scour the yard for whatever is blooming so very early this Spring for a bouquet.  I know there are daffodils and forsythia.  I'm hoping that a couple hyacinths will be open so add a color other than yellow.  No tulips or lilacs or coral bells this year, but we'll enjoy what Mother Nature has given us. 

Okay, I might check Raleys for some tulips. Is it cheating if part of the Easter bouquet comes from the grocery store instead of solely from our garden?)

The very best part of Easter this year will be five happily vaccinated family members able to enjoy a holiday in one room.  What a blessing!  Thank you, science!

Happy Spring!  Happy Easter!