Note: If you are experiencing palpitations due to shock at the recent frequency of my blog updates, I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and assure you normal service will resume shortly. —The Management
First off, I'd like to thank all of you for your wonderful comments on my Today I Leapt entry. I really appreciate all your well wishes and encouragement. Things have been a bit slow in the two weeks since I quit my job. I knew I would need time to decompress, and have been laying low, mostly on purpose. But I'd like to share my simple joys of these two weeks with you. I happened upon James and Fiona sitting tucked up right next to each other this morning. This is noteworthy enough. They do like each other more than any two cats I've ever had, but Fiona really likes her personal space. As in a lot. As in "It's mine, all mine." Ahem. But not only were they sitting so close, James was grooming Fiona, licking her forehead. That never happens, so I went to grab my camera, but by the time I got there, James was like "Huh? Wassup?" and I didn't get the shot. I do love what I captured, though, with James blurry while turning to look at me and Fiona crisp and composed. As usual.
And, in case you were wondering, one man's trash really is another woman's treasure. I'm an avid garage saler who has been getting really antsy by the lack of garage sales since before Thanksgiving (you think you're ready for spring? Try being an avid gardener and yard saler in Michigan. Bananas!). Anyhoo, I went to an estate sale in Ann Arbor this morning, and got the things on display on Sandy (my car; the vanity plate is Photoshopped). From the left, that's a retro-cool aluminum sled, complete with original leather handles and two holes for a rope to pull the sled. Only I'm going to use it (with the new twine resting on the sled) to pull heavy garden items (bags o' mulch and gravel, transplanted shrubs, etc.) easily across the lawn without using the wheelbarrow or tarp. Because my lot slopes and the grass is a bit bumpy (lots of tree roots), the wheelbarrow tends to tip when fully loaded. Plus, it's hard lifting heavy or bulky things into and out of the wheelbarrow. I had successfully dragged such items using a huge tarp, but I really like the idea of a sled, with an actual grip to pull. And I love retro things, so so much the better.
Next, we have a really cute frosted glass (with pour spout!) that has recipes for various mixed drinks and the words "To Your Health!" I absolutely love it. And I found this really cool holiday candelabra from the 60s or early 70s. Don't my retro pine cones and bells look perfect at the base?
Going back to the car photo, there's an older wooden box that once held grapes that will soon serve as my elevated salad box (to grow lettuce up and away from groundhogs) and four very sturdy metal poles that will stake some of my tomatoes. The poles even have one end cut diagonally to make them go into the ground more easily. And all that for just over $10, which is what the sled alone would have cost, had I found a new one. Yippee!
The other day, one of the two seed swap envelopes I sent off back in January came back to me. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! It was so exciting getting new seeds in the mail, plus the nice swappers got me a card that they all signed (so sweet!) and which was addressed to "magical, marvelous Monica" (the wording of which I ate right up!). And the eagle-eyed among you (or those who figured out you can click on this image to make it bigger) may notice Fiona's rear-end in the photo. She had hopped right onto the table and headed for the cat grass seeds, but was out of position when I was ready to take the photo. She's definitely her own cat! I picked out some seeds for myself, and it was fun Googling some plants I didn't know (Texas mountain laurel, Texas star hibiscus, Mexican mint marigold, etc.). I will donate what I can't use to a local community gardening group. The swap was so much fun, I'll do it again next year, so remember to save your seeds!
My first amaryllis bloom, which was just a bud for GBBD, is starting to open. Cool!
And, here's a gratuitous photo of the leaves of love in a mist. Marnie had asked about growing it and I explained how much I liked it, how it was ridiculously easy to start from seed by direct sowing (I don't even cover the seeds with soil, I just throw them down!), and how it sometimes blooms twice for me in a season. Once in very early summer from last fall's seedlings, and a bit later on from the seeds of the earlier plants. And even though it's an annual, its leaves are evergreen, as seen today in my garden (the snow has just melted due to lots of rain). Noogie! The only bad thing about love in a mist is that I tend to start singing "love in a mist" to the tune of "Love is in the Air," which isn't even a song I like, only in a more lounge singer-y way. "Love in a mist, everywhere I look around (round round round). Love in a mist, every sight and every sound (sound sound sound)..."