Tomb-Sweeping Day

I saw an article on BuzzFeed today about Tomb-Sweeping Day, an ancient holiday the Chinese observe where they visit the graves of family members and loved ones that have past. Apparently, in recent years the holiday has extended to pet cemeteries as well.

It’s hard to believe, but Loki, who would have been six this April, has been gone for almost two years. We have his ashes in a beautiful wooden box, and his collar still sits on a bookshelf in The Man’s office. I still remember how beautiful Loki was, especially his eyes. This was his favorite time of year, because we would open the window in our bedroom for him and Luna to chatter at the birds that would begin flocking to the magnolia tree just outside.

One of the tombs in the BuzzFeed article reads, “Gently you left, but will be in my heart forever.” That’s how I like to remember Loki. I hope you’re over the rainbow bridge, laying in the sun and chirping at birds, beautiful boy.

 

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spring firsts!

I know I haven’t been posting a lot, but life has been going pretty well. Spending a lot of time outside each night has been a true blessing, and I can’t believe how much is popping up in the garden in just a short amount of time! Just yesterday, there was barely any color in the garden, and then today, BAM! The first beautiful blooms!

My irises are gorgeous…

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My knockout roses are blooming all over…

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And we have our first strawberry, small but mighty!

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Our tomatoes and eggplant are doing well so I can’t wait to see how much they grow this coming weekend!

garden bliss

Nothing much is going on inside the house yet as far as spring reno goes, but the gardens are doing all the work on their own outside, and they’re gorgeous! This past weekend was World Naked Gardening Day, and while I didn’t garden naked, I definitely continued working on the yard. Even without much effort, spring is in full effect on our property. The tulips are all up…

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Gemima the Geranium is happy in her planter with some ivy, and we have a new bush in the front named Arbie (because he’s an Arborvitae… duh). I figured if you name them, they will grow.

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notice the one lonely yellow daffodil?

Penelope the Peacock  now lives under our gorgeous cherry tree surrounded by hostas…

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pink goodness

And this year she has been joined by Priscilla the Peacock WHO HAS A SOLAR LIGHT BELLY!!!! (My mom told The Man that we were buying her and he though we were kidding… HA!)

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SO CUTE! (husband thinks I’m a dork)

She is very happy with the flowering quince, tickseed, and bleeding heart that are all sprouting up and thriving. And of course, you can’t forget the herbs and veggies and such!

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happy planters!

From left to right we have chives, black cherry tomatoes (first time growing), strawberries (first time growing), a super 100 cherry tomato plant(same as last year), a full size tomato plant (no idea what variety), and on the fence (soon to be power washed and stained – yay for container planting!) we have German thyme and cilantro!

So far the tiny little fence has kept the groundhogs away from the strawberries (he dug them up the first night), and he seems to have no interest in the tomatoes so far. Not pictured, we’re also growing an eggplant for the first time. We figure we’ll see how everything does this year and if we have any luck, and next year we have plans to make a quite large veggie bed in the back of the property.

Last but not least, I’ve been fighting a (losing) battle against the rose of sharon which, this year, has decided it wants to grow IN THE LAWN. So if anyone wants some, come and get it!

sharon is DEAD

sharon is DEAD

I can’t wait to borrow our neighbors power washer for all our paver walls, the fence, and the cement patio pad. I think it will make a world of difference, and since I took the pictures over a week ago everything has started filling out and all the weeds have been pulled and leaves swept up. We are religiously using the composter earlier this season than last because we were so impressed by what we got from last year that I can’t wait to see what we do if we’re diligent with adding to it.

This weekend I’m going to visit my mom and do a lot of container planting, and then it’s back to renovation! I have the door to my office that I finally need to refinish and hang thanks to Abby’s inability to control herself (more on that later!) and a lot of wood work that I need to start painting. All in good time! Reno season is finally here!!!

warming trend

Sometimes it’s hard for me to admit when I’m stressed or depressed. I think it’s hard for everyone. But recently, I had to. Not because I need an intervention, but because I needed the people around me to understand that I’m not myself. That I’m getting emotional over small things. That I need a shoulder.

And somehow it always starts to ease in the spring. Suddenly, I’m not so worried about all the things to do that have piled up over the lazy, winter months. Now I’m looking forward to all the long hours that I need to put into the yard to get it in shape for the veggie growing season. And the door that still needs to be painted? Now that it’s light out longer and it’s warmer, it will get done.

Finally, I admitted to the Man that I’m overwhelmed and need some more help with stuff around the house. That I’ve been indecisive and sad and need him to be patient. And he has been. Sometimes you just need to ask for help, wait for the warmth, and breathe. It will be okay.

easter joy

Spring is truly here! The crocuses are in bloom and my daffodils have started peeking their heads out. I have to say that our Easter weekend was a beautiful one. We started off Good Friday with an amazing meal. I was able to run to the farmer’s market early on Friday morning and picked up a gorgeous piece of King Salmon.

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the prep

Fish is always the Man’s job, so he turned on the grill and broke out the cedar planks. He seasoned the salmon with dill, scallions and lemon. It was amazing. On the side, he grilled some portobello mushrooms and we had some herb rice.

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the chef in action (who hates it when I take his picture)

Saturday was spent going to the grocery store and stocking up on tons of meat and veggies. I had a big meal planned for Easter Sunday! Abby was excited for Easter.

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not sitting still…

But finally agreed to sit like a good girl.

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pretty puppy!

After church, we were cleaning up some branches in the yard. Abby loved this, of course.

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fetch!

And then I had an epic failure. While just standing and HOLDING the telescoping tree trimmer, I managed to get myself a nice avulsion, which is just a fancy word for forgetting about gravity and slicing off a chunk of flesh on my thumb.

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there will be blood

And of course, my planned meal was something the Man had never cooked before – and neither had I on my own, without my mom – so I was on my own! But by wrapping it up to the size of a carrot, and being very careful, I managed to pull it off!

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feast!

I made chicken cordon bleu, a mushroom shallot sherry cream sauce, broccoli rice au gratin (thank you Rice A Roni!) and fresh steamed broccoli, all paired with a nice white wine. I have to say, it was absolutely AMAZING!

It’s sad that our families are so far away, but we still had a beautiful holiday. Sometimes having great phone conversations and a nice hot meal can be just as lovely. And even Abby got some chicken for dinner. And she had no complaints.

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end of the day exhaustion

I hope everyone had a beautiful holiday weekend! Spring is finally in the air, and I can’t wait to see what the coming months bring our way.

Can we go back to the weather from Easter please?

I can’t believe how (comparatively) cold and windy and bleak it has seemed the past two days when it was so gorgeous this past weekend. As this weekend looms I’m just hoping for more blue skies and warm winds to grace us.  I love spring and seeing the flowers and the grass growing and the birds returning to the yard, but cold days like today are such a slap in the face.

Our Easter weekend was very quiet but absolutely lovely.  The Man and I started out the weekend by picking up a dog crate off of Craigslist and meeting some amazing dogs at our local shelter. We even took one special girl out for a walk and LOVED her but she just wasn’t “the one” for us (shout out to June and all the amazing folks at Delco SPCA!) The rest of the day was spent at a wonderful lunch (where I got a sunburn on the back of my neck – forgot I chopped my hair!), mailed my mom’s birthday gift, and then did work in the yard. We ended our evening by having a dear friend over for dinner and broke out the grill for the first meal of the season.

Then came Easter Sunday. The weather was perfect, clear blue skies, and the Man and I were getting dressed to walk to church when he stopped me and asked, “What did you do to your leg?” I looked down and lo and behold I had a friend! It was a tick. GAH! Freaking out commenced, along with the discovery that we do not own tweezers.  A set of pliers and band aid later, though, and we were off to church.

Because the weather was so gorgeous, we went home, settled on the patio with coffee, and called our parents. Then the big meal of the day (as the Man had to work) was brunch!

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I made the most AMAZING white bread in our machine the day before so we made French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. It was so gorgeous out we decided to just eat outside.

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And then I decided we needed a festive Easter picture (and no, they weren’t Mimosas… I just have lapses in judgement sometimes).

IMG_20140420_104653_648Even though the Man had to go to work, it was a gorgeous day. I just can’t wait for this weekend to get back outside and finish seeding our lawn and start stripping the paint off a door (which will be my first project for the season!) and hopefully, this time, no ticks. On the plus side, for those wondering, I have no “bulls eye” and am on preventative meds – yay.

So happy hump day! And I hope all your bunny holidays were happy too!

 

sunny feline friday

It was beautifully sunny when I got home from work today but oddly no kitties came to greet me at the back door. So I went upstairs and found the little one.

IMG_20140321_180637_502Needless to say, he was so sleepy and warm that he didn’t even move while I snapped some photos. You see, it’s almost his birthday which I think he knows. So if he behaves, he thinks he’ll make out well with presents.

IMG_20140321_180943_736The only complication to our little photoshoot was that my ring was casting rainbows on the wall which caught his interest.

IMG_20140321_180938_936But that’s okay. I got the winning shot.

IMG_20140321_181102_882Hope you all had a fabulously happy and sunny feline friday!