My left knee is growing stiffer by the second, as are my shoulders and hands. I'm fine with that. I accomplished my goal today before it started raining. For about four hours I've been digging holes by the back fence for roses which I transplanted from pots (the orange roses, for instance) and from the middle of the banana plants. I've always wondered what the Mama had planted first, the banana plants or the roses.
All the transplanted roses began as cuttings that the Mama stuck in the dirt. Whenever she trimmed her roses, she'd propagate a few branches, so who knows what generation the roses are that I stuck into the ground today. If you're interested, here's an old post about the Mama's roses.
I also have a bucket of rose cuttings, which, if my body doesn't protest and it's not raining too awfully much, I'll put them into the ground tomorrow. Rose cuttings don't grow for me in pots. Mostly because I forget they're there. Unlike the Mama, flowers have a better chance of living if they're in the ground. We shall see if that includes roses. Now, it's time for me to ice my knee and think about making Cream of Mushroom soup for dinner.
The Mama loved her flowers. Every time she trimmed her flowers, she planted many of the trimmings directly into the soil elsewhere. And, they grew. I'm hoping that will happen for me, too. Here's what her daisies, geraniums, and rosemary in the front of the house looked like this afternoon. Oh, Happy Spring!
The other day I came across these photos of the Mama's front yard in 2010. Neat and proper, how the Mama loved her gardens and landscaping to be. A philosophy that differs from mine, which is essentially a higgledy-piggledy one, although you might say that there is order in chaos.
It has been almost two years since I've taken over the Mama's gardens and landscaping. Flowers have gotten out of hand. The canna lilies, for example, were winning in their plot to take over the front garden so I dug out most of the bulbs and transplanted many elsewhere last month. The Mama's rosemary bushes, on the other hand, are getting straggly in a way that I wonder if they may be on their last legs.
The Mama's roses got rather tall. Some nearly reached the roof. She deadheaded them, but after someone mentioned how tall the roses were, she was no longer interested in cutting them back. So I thought. Now I wonder if was because it was too difficult for her to prune them and she didn't want to ask me to do it for her. Here's a link to the story about the Mama and her tall roses.
At the end of December, I got brave and pruned the roses back. They're still on the tall side. Here's how the front and side gardens looked yesterday. Notice how full the bougainvillea and jade plants have gotten near the front door. I suppose I ought to trim them for easier access to the front step.
As some of you may know I've written previously about how the Mama loved having a lawn. Green and plush, which was difficult those last several years of her life because we were in a horrible drought. We were limited to our water use, so the Mama had to choose: the lawn or her vegetable and flower gardens. She settled for the Husband watering the lawn sparsely, but there was usually evidence that she had watered the lawn when we had gone off for the afternoon. Here's the Mama's lawn in 2010.
And, here's a picture of what the ever evolving landscape looked like last month. Higgidley-piggidley in a somewhat orderly way. The daisies, roses, geraniums, and most of the succulents were plants that the Mama kept in containers.
I like to think the Mama's spirit is pleased with the changes made to the once-upon-a-time lawn. What do you think?
I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday. Here's the link for you to check out participants from around the world, and maybe to join up yourself. Thanks, Our World Tuesday hosts!
I'm creating a structure at the sidewalk end of our front yard. Not a fence.
Just look at it. What creature could that evolving spiderness-of-a-something keep off our property?
Giggle. Hmmm, maybe that's something I ought not to giggle about.
I'm making this not-a-fence out of skinny branches of the fruit trees we pruned a few months ago, as well as from the second-time-with-The-Mama era. I'm not kidding. You can find all sizes of branches in our yard that I'd say were at last 10 years old. Some lie on the ground waiting for their time to become something helpful, such as the stakes holding up the boards that the Mama put around her flower and vegetable beds.
Have I digressed? Doesn't matter. :-)
That's my story for the letter N, this week's theme of ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out the participants from around the world. How cool is that? Thanks, ABCW team!
"I already have a place," the Mama said. "With your father. They saved me a space on top of him."
Always a forward thinker, as well as practical-minded, the Mama bought a dual burial grave site when arrangements were made for the Daddy in 1982. He was buried in the Veterans section in the cemetery a few miles away from the house. The section was new, so the Daddy scored a front row seat, beneath a big old shade tree that was planted in the same year as the Daddy. I'm sure the Mama was pleased with where her bones are resting. In life, the Mama liked to watch people go by.
When I had to arrange all the funeral stuff last year, I was very thankful that the Mama took care of the burial site. I was also grateful that after 34 years the mortuary had a pristine paid-in-full record of that transaction.
I hope the Mama's spirit is having loads of fun and laughter soaring through the Universe at beyond warp speed. I have no doubt that she skims by us.
Today, I'm sure, the Mama is smiling at her roses.
Today the color is orange. It's an upclose look of an orange rose. Yes, from one of the Mama's rose bushes. I cropped and enlarged a photo I took of the rose, then enhanced in Photoshop. Nothing more to say. Until later.
The banana plant reminds me of Don Quixote fighting at the windmills. Don't you think? This Banana Quixote attacks the apple tree branches.
By now, the Mama's banana grove ought to be pruned back. The rain and the muddy ground have kept me from doing the job. When it's not raining, the temperatures have been in the 30s in the
early mornings. I was going to say that's cold for us, but that's only
because we forget from one winter to the next.
Anyway, this year I've learned that icy temperatures burn the banana fronds dry, just like not watering would. Interesting, huh?
Click here to see what the grove looks like the rest of the year.
It's the letter B on ABC Wednesday. Click hereto join in and/or check out the other participants of the weekly meme. Thank you, ABCW team!
So, what did you think about when you read the letter A?
The Scarlet Letter? Alvin from the Chipmunks? "A-a-a-a-a" as in the Fonzie's?
Nope. You get no analyzing from me about your answer.
Mine, you ask?
Avocados. That's because an avocado fell from our tree during the amazing storm this past weekend. Most of the fruit are at the top, which surprised me. I didn't think we'd
have much of a crop because of the big one last year. But
nearly every time I looked at the avocado tree, and it was infrequent, I
found another hidden among the leaves. Trés cool.
I read that avocados start ripening once they're picked and that the best place to store avocados is on their tree. In two or three days, the avocado may be ready to eat. Maybe four days. If so, our feasting on avocados begin.
Once all the avocados are harvested, we'll lop off the top branches. The Mama taught me to prune high in the tree so that the fruits would grow low on the tree. We shall see.
Wait, wait. Don't go yet. I also want to tell you that the letter A is also for ABC Wednesday, the fun weekly meme I've been doing for two or three years. Today ABCW begins it's 20th round. Yaaaay! Sadly, it also starts the final round for Roger and other ABCW administrative team members. Thank you very much for your dedication and good cheer!
If you'd like to join in or check out the other participants, please click here.
This morning I thought today was the letter W on ABC Wednesday. What shall I do? I wondered.
Then it dawned on me that today is December 7 -- Pearl Harbor Day. I can repost the War! piece I wrote several years ago about my parents's experiences on that day in 1941. Yes, that's what I would do later when I had a chance.
An hour ago was my opportunity to do my post. Whoops. It's actually the letter V. I thought vice, viceroy, vicious, villain, vile and all kinds of v words that had me thinking of our new President-elect and his, shudder, proposed advisors and cabinet secretaries. Vleahhh.
I decided you would prefer to see something pretty. So, here you go—the Mama's flowers in the front of the house. They are in bloom this moment. I don't know how long they'll last. It's starting to get quite chilly.
To check out other participants in ABCW, please click here. Thank you, ABCW team!
Two of Mama's apple trees are producing quite a lot of fruit this year, unlike the past two or three years. Some of you already know about the story of her apple trees. So, please bear with me as I say again that the Mama's apple trees started from seeds of apples that the Mama ate about 28 years ago.
The Mama was told:
"They'll never grow into trees."
"They'll never bear fruit."
"You won't be around long enough for the trees to grow and bear fruit."
Ha. Ha. And, Ha!
The Mama tasted many years worth of apples from her trees.
Today begins a new round of the alphabet at ABC Wednesday, a delightful weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continuing under the administration of Roger Green and his ABCW team. Click here to join in or to check out what bloggers are writing about the letter A.
This is what I've been doing with some of the Mama's various varieties of cups.
This is what I've been doing with some of the Mama's various varieties of plants that need to be put into pots or repotted.
I'm having a lot of fun.
It's the letter V at ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out the other participants or to link up with the weekly meme started by Denise Nesbitt and continued today by the ABCW team headed by Roger Green. .
Sunflowers from the grocery store. I sprinkled a jar full of seeds throughout the backyard a month ago. As the Mama said about things she planted, "If they grow, they grow."
Tiny roses from the roses that the Mama planted in the box I built many years ago and which I demolished on Friday. I should've either reinforced the box or removed the plants and potted them elsewhere for the Mama. Something I thought every time I watered the box the last few years. Bougainvillea and jasmine from the out-of-control vines in the front yard. The Mama would've been pleased to see the jasmine in full bloom, but also would've sighed that the vines had taken over. And, now, it's up to me to figure what to do.
"What are you writing?" asked the Husband, looking up from the newspaper. The remains of our lunch sprawled on the kitchen table.
A few minutes later, I looked across the flowers on the table at the Husband and said, "I want to make a table runner."
"What's a table runner?" the Husband asked.
"I'll have to take out the sewing machine. But first I'll need to fine a place where I can set it up permanently, but every space in this house is taken."
"What's a table runner?"
"A piece of cloth that runs down the center of the table," I said, sweeping my arm down the center of the table.
"What's its purpose? To put things on?"
"Something like that." I really don't know.
Maybe I don't really want to make one.
The trio of vases full of sunflowers, roses, bougainvillea, and jasmine sit in a row down the center of the kitchen table.
When Molly the Cat and I opened the curtains in the living room this morning, the first thing we noticed was the puddle of water on the patio.
"Look, Molly! It rained during the night." Noticing the white petals in the puddle, I glanced up at the apple tree. "Apple blossoms!"
Molly the Cat looked out the window, posed in her So are we going outside to explore further stance. She didn't seem as pleased about the apple blossoms as the Mama and the Husband did when I told them.
It may be a good year for apples from that tree, which the Mama planted from seeds 28 years ago.
I'm hooking up with Seasons, a new weekly meme hosted by Jeanette at St Germain's Blog. Click here to check out other participants.
Today I'm participating in the Friday's Hunt, a new weekly meme hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills. You have until Sunday to hook up. Click here to join and/or to check out the participants. It's trés fun! Now, on with my finds.
Starting with B
That's the Mama's tiny banana grove in August. It didn't get as full as usual last year because of the drought. The grove usually yields two to five banana blossoms, which the Mama sometimes harvest for us to eat. Sometimes tiny bananas grow, but the cool weather sets in before they can ripen.
Here's what the banana grove looks like today. I pruned the dried tops of the banana stalks (Are they called trunks?) last week. They'll grow back by Spring. Hopefully. This is the first year I pruned the grove without the Mama's instructions.
Molly the Cat yawned just as I snapped the camera. I think she did it on purpose. She doesn't care for me taking photos of her. I wonder what she'd say if she knew I posted her photos online. Shhhh! Don't anyone ever tell her.
I finally got a shot of one of the birds sharing our persimmon crop this year. Tweet, tweet.
On New Year's Eve Day I noticed this rose bud. The odd thing about it is that its branch is among several rose branches sitting in a bucket of water that the Mama set aside in early October. She pruned the branches from the rose bushes in the front yard and was going to plant the branches in the backyard. But, then her health sidetracked her.
This is the first time I've ever seen a rose branch in water take blossom. Another surprising thing is that we've had cold temperatures, including frosty mornings, for several weeks. I can only think that the Mama's love for her roses is strong and the roses love her back.
By the way, the Mama is doing better. If you're interested in
what happened, you can read about the Mama's health in last Sunday's post.
Today, I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday. To link up yourself and/or to read what's going on with other participants, click here.