Friday, June 28, 2013

Ramblings of life lately and scenes from my tiny (but sweet) backyard...




Hi Friends!  Please join me for tea in the garden.  :)  It's HOT outside today so we will make it iced tea and sit under the umbrella.  I am continuing my ORANGE theme.

I really have been a sorry excuse for a blogger lately.  And I am quite rusty with my photography, having barely taken any pictures for about a year.  I am shaky and must find a tripod!

Ahhh well.  I am in a season of life that requires a huge amount of commitment on the work end.  We have one son in college at present and another to launch in only a year. 

This has been a tough year (when I say "year" I mean school year) for me.  First I needed to adjust to my older son leaving (quite nauseating, to be honest).  Then I needed to come to terms with the enormity of responsibility I have at work, and with what the job has morphed into over the last several years.  The disconnect between my desire to help people and, sadly, what the job has become was nearly unbearable many days. 

And then in April my precious, beautiful Golden Retriever of 15 years went to heaven.  I did not quite realize how much I relied on her loving presence for my sanity.   

In addition, my parents have each had their own health issues this year and I am 6 hours away from them, making it difficult to help out in the way I wish to.  They always rally and they are understanding.  And all I can do is pray many days.  I do take comfort in that.


Pretty table on a budget....new dishes this year on sale from Crate and Barrel; placemats and napkins were a gift and came from Elegant Clutter in Danville, CA.; silverware on sale from IKEA; bee glassware on sale from Ballard Designs, pillows and green candle holders on sale at Cost Plus; bicycle pillow from One Kings Lane.

On the positive front, we have helped our younger son narrow down his choices for art college and he did very well as a student this year.  He got his driver's license.  Our older son adapted very well to his first year of college and is happy with his choice and his new friends.  We so enjoyed visiting him on the northern coast of California the few times we were able.  The beauty there is just breathtaking.  We also shared many visits with friends this year, made some new friends, and my husband and I have started walking for about an hour each night.  While a far cry from my triathlon days and fitness, I have enjoyed these walks and talks with him (uh, mostly I talk and he listens!).  ;)


This summer I am enrolled in two graduate courses through UCLA.  Work has ended for about 8 weeks.  I am retrieving my older son this coming weekend (he will be home for about 6 weeks) and will have a chance to visit my parents.  No, we don't have an amazing trip to Europe or Hawaii or anywhere else planned, but I am okay with that.  We have tickets for baseball and art events and have a beautiful beach to walk on that is only about 25 minutes away. 



My hydrangeas are at their peak right now.  No need to spend money on a bouquet of flowers from the store!  I wish they would stay in bloom longer than they do, but I think it is just too hot in SoCal for them, even in the shade.


I think I am going to replace one of our flower beds in the backyard with more of them, however.  This particular area of the yard gets a lot of shade where I think they might be quite happy.


I have never particularly loved hydrangeas in blue because they do not look especially natural to me.  However, I do love them in white, pink, and green.  I would like to find several white bushes for the spot I have in mind in the back.  :)  We already have several pink bushes in the front and I would like to divide some and add them in with the white bushes for the spot I am thinking of.

Rusty with the camera and trying to focus on a lone geranium.

This year I am attempting to grow several herbs (cilantro, mint, and basil) in containers as well as two large tomato plants.  I also have a lone strawberry plant. 

I am excited that the tomatoes are beginning to grow (see my pic below)! 
Nothing like vine ripened tomatoes to say SUMMER, right?

Ahhhh summer.  Just the word, the thought, the idea of it makes me smile.

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