Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I'm loving lately.

My gardens. My plants and flowers. Sharing the abundance of zucchini with friends and family, and seeing the tomatoes finally beginning to turn red.

It's been a weird year for vegetable gardening. More on that in another post.

Every day when I get home from work, one of the first things I see is this flower bed on the east end of the house:

Huge hostas. Beautiful, bright pink garden phlox. Bee balm. Purple salvia. And more. This used to be my "nursery" bed where I would plunk sad-looking plants hoping to nurse them back to life. Apparently it's in a good place because everything I put here thrives here, to the point that I've had to move some plants to other places because they're crowding each other out. It makes me happy.

And yes, the garden hose you see in the picture, too. I love it. At the end of the regular hose I have one of those "pocket hoses" that when you empty it takes up only a teeny tiny space. Pretty sure this is one of the best inventions ever.

This drought tolerant plant? Love it. 
Despite being ignored lately, every day more of these gorgeous orange flowers pop open. This plant sits atop a fountain my parents gave me as a birthday gift (early, as my birthday is coming up this weekend). At the moment the fountain - which I have enjoyed immensely - doesn't have any water in it. I'm going to remedy that this evening.

More garden love. 

My cucumber plants are climbing the trellis beautifully. You can't see it in this photo, but way at the bottom, protected by the leaves, is one cuke almost ready for picking. And many more to come, I hope.

Cherry tomatoes - we've got a bunch. I love watching them grow day after day. It's one of those things that reminds me how amazing God is to have created this world.

The kitteh condo:
Given to us by one of my coworkers who is recently cat-less with no plans to adopt any more. A friend made this awesome cat bed/climber for her, and she was so happy to see it go to a home where it would be loved. Patch is happy happy happy. Whiskers is all, "This is not my bed. My bed is at the end of the hall." If only she would realize that when she's on the top, the dog can't reach her.

I took this picture of Patch from outside the window. The kitty condo is huge. We look like the Crazy Cat House. I'm ok with it.

This guy.
Well I love him always, of course. But this summer we have made a real effort to get together as much as possible, and it fills my heart to bursting. It has meant he makes the drive from WV to MI for the weekend after working 10 days straight. And I have visited him alone or with whomever can or wants to go with me (kid-wise, and on the most recent trip, my mother-in-law). We are in that interesting season of parenting where the kids would rather hang out with friends than with us, or are already committed to other things. Which means they are also old enough to fend for themselves while I spend a few days away.

It's been such a busy summer. The kids got out of school, we hit the ground running and we haven't looked back. I haven't even posted here on the blog since June 10. I'm just now catching my breath, and before we know it we'll be back-to-school shopping. But that's life, isn't it? I keep reminding the kids when they lament that they can't do it all, they are fortunate to be able to do as much as they do. We all are.

Something else I'm loving: work. After six years of the kids and home being my main focus, I am now regularly contributing to the workforce. It's the perfect part-time schedule for me. Great people I've known for years. A town I love and just blocks away from the kids' schools. With flexibility to take an extra day off now and then when I go to see Steve. It's been six months since I took this job and the time has flown by. Also, because of my job I'm trying new things like working as an election inspector which I'll do for the first time next week. Good stuff.

When I'm not working or running kids around or catching up on household duties, I am often working on projects - building, painting, stripping, sanding, upcycling - and loving it all. These windows are leaning against the house on the front porch. I have plans for them. (But don't they look kinda' cool right there alongside my grandma's old washtub I painted last year?)

There is so much else - so many things, moments, sights and sounds - that make me smile every day. It has been a wildly busy summer, yes, but I have enjoyed it. Looking forward to what the rest of summer brings.

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