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Boing Boing!

Spring has officially sprung in my part of the world and I finally caved in and bought some flowers.  I think our bougainvilleas will come out of their collective death spiral, and some of our bushes are already sprouting deep green leaves, but some of the other stuff didn’t make it.

New PlantingWe’re catching up slowly but not there yet, so I’m tamping down guilt for spending the money, no matter how little.

Nonetheless, I bought some flowers this morning from Wally World and we set them out in our matching pots.  We’ve had the pots forever, a thrift store find from back when.  Wally World had a bunch of options – petunias, marigolds, stocks, and daisies among them – for $1.88 for a six-pack.

As you can see, I opted for deep purple petunias and dark rust-red marigolds  and planted them close together.  As soon as they were tucked into the pots I gave them a good soaking.  I did the smart thing and put a layer of gravel in the bottom for drainage, too.  When the flowers set and start spreading I hope they spill over the sides of the pots.

Second potThe other pot has more color already, but I suspect it won’t take long for them both to be in full bloom.  The pots look like low bowls in these pictures but really they’re probably 15-16 inches deep.  Plenty of room for my flower roots to grow down into nice rich potting soil.

My mom instilled this sense of, “How dare you spend time and effort on something as frivolous as flowers?  If you can’t eat it or feed someone else with it, it’s wasteful and sinful.”  I am of a different mindset, thinking that to create beauty is a good thing; and that to create an oasis, no matter how small, feeds my soul in ways her vision of God never did.

Funny, isn’t it, the things we need that don’t fall under the category of food, water and air?  Those are what science says we need to survive. But that alone isn’t enough.  I used to sign off from any electronic message – email or blog – with, “The body needs food, water and air to subsist; so does the soul need love, laughter and imagination.”

I believe every word of it to this day.  The only way to appreciate how true it is, is to have all those things stripped from your life.  You learn the depth of misery equivalent to disease and starvation.  I know because I’ve dealt with all of the above, and it makes me appreciate every drop of joy and every breath of laughter I can find.

It’s been interesting to have my cousin here, on a few bazillion fronts.  Over the years I have wondered how much of my memory of my parents was skewed.  Had I remembered things wrong?  Was I right in thinking their attitudes were so far out in right field as to qualify them for mentally ill at times?  My cousin lived a block away from us for several years so could bear witness.

Suffice to say, I was not mistaken.  I’ll leave it at that, because I’m not interested in digging up those bones again.

BarstoolThis bar stool is my Craigslist find, which has already been a godsend this morning.

I slept in until 6, no small miracle for that alone.  And when I woke I felt genuinely rested for the first time in…  Good grief, I can’t remember when.

First order of business was making blueberry muffins.  (Well, after my shower anyway.)  Cheap store brand mix, real blueberries.  Brand doesn’t matter if we like it.

By pulling this little chair up to the  counter I whipped up breakfast in no time.  The spousal unit and the cousin unit were duly appreciative.  Can’t say I was complaining either. Between the rest, reduced stress and a $10 used bar stool, my pain level dropped to almost nil.  I could handle a few more days like this!

We’ll probably do sandwiches or whatever for lunch, and for dinner tonight I’m planning a chicken caesar pasta salad with some fresh veggies thrown in to make it even more yummy.  I’m a fan of Betty Crocker’s Suddenly Salad boxes.  My bunch likes it fixed warm or cold, and with the addition of chopped chicken, diced tomato, etc., it’s a reasonably balanced meal in short order.

entertainment nicheThis is our current living room TV arrangement.  After the guys do their thing this week, I’ll get a snap of the update with the big screen.  I’m looking forward to it.  This is a 20″.  We’re going to a 57″.  I can barely see the current TV from the loveseat, particularly it’s an image with text.   I suspect that won’t be a problem once we do the swap out.

The little bookcase on the left will go away with the transition, but the new media stand is more than adequate to carry its books and more.  Not sure what we’ll do with the decor there – Little Guy already likes playing with the stone globe and the acorn candle, and they are HEAVY.  He’s come close to pulling them off as it is.  (The globe spins and its “frame” also rotates, which fascinates our two-year-old.)  If we put them any lower he’ll definitely pull them out onto the floor.  Not only do I not want him to be hurt – obviously our first concern – but the globe is a fairly expensive item and I’d hate to see it broken.

We are gradually pulling things together to make this place feel like a home instead of yet another temporary landing.  G wants to put down a patio, probably adding a fire pit and/or built-in BBQ, and definitely some outdoor seating. I would eventually like a small herb garden.  We’re also talking about building a pergola just outside our bedroom window, possibly training grapevines over it.  (Yes you CAN grow grapes here.  When I was a kid we went to a pick-your-own vineyard not too far outside the Phoenix metro area.)

I love our big bedroom window for looks.  It is so huge that our bedroom is always the hottest room in the house, though, by as much as 10 degrees.  We invested in thermal drapes throughout the house, which certainly helps.  Still, I think if we could get a couple of acacia or similar shade trees in the back yard, and aforementioned pergola to help break up the sunlight into our back window – maybe even add a misting system to it – it would help even more.  We talked about Italian cypress trees too.  Both G and I adore cypress, even if they don’t offer a huge amount of shade, and they are reasonably drought-tolerant.

I can live with these

I am operating on the thought that both of us will continue to work and that we will eventually catch up and stay that way.  If determination alone will do it, I’m there.

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