Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Re-emerge










Thank you so much for your get-well wishes for the small Bears. They are mostly feeling better now. Still coughing hard, still a little pale and tired, but at least the fevers have broken. This was a whopper of an illness. I really hope you don't catch it. They had fevers for five straight days and fairly high ones at that. I thought for sure I'd be next but so far, so good. I feel a bit run down, but not sick. Maybe I was already immune to this one.

I continued my bustling busy-work all weekend - baking more, doing more laundry, stitching and crocheting, cleaning up around the kitchen and family room. If anything, I'm probably run down from all the housework I've been doing. I go into overdrive when people are sick. I don't even know why, really; I think it's a combination of stress, worry and boredom. I'm not good at idleness under the best of circumstances; illness in the house frays all my nerves.

We were able to get outside on Sunday; they rode their bikes on the patio in the backyard while the Bear and I tackled some garden cleanup. They helped too, pulling last year's detritus from the flowerbeds and piling it into bins. All winter, I've cringed a little every time I've looked out the kitchen window at the backyard; it got cold early this winter and stayed that way until recently and we weren't particularly motivated to clear up the beds before now, so we let everything wither naturally. It looks neat and tidy now, though, and it was a beautiful day for yard work. The view from the kitchen is much improved. The side yard, on the bedroom side of the house where we have grapevines and herbs, stacked firewood and the inevitable trash bins, will always look a little dicey. But it gets good sun and the stockade fencing hides an awful lot.

While we were inside for the past week, spring showed up. I couldn't believe how close to blooming the plum trees already are. I think we may have flowers within the week. The winter jasmine is blooming in full force right now. We pruned them severely a few weeks ago and they look healthier than ever. I love the flowers but the plants themselves are a pain in the neck, with their runners that root themselves straight down into the ground.

We planted two types of new lavenders in the fall and I'm eager to see what they'll do this year. Our big, old lavender finally gave up the ghost this past summer. I was sorry to see it go, but they don't last forever. I like the new ones; there's a Spanish and a French, I think. We had an English before. I didn't plant that one, the remarkable gardeners who sold us the house did (sometimes I wish they'd come with the house, they were that good). Oh, and my rosemary is blooming. It bloomed last year too. That was the first time I ever saw flowers on it; I like this new trend.

I'm not really that much of a gardener, truth be told. I like to work outside when the weather is nice, and I love being able to clip flowers from my own yard for display in the house. To that end, I've taught myself some basic pruning and maintenance techniques, to keep things growing and producing. In late spring and summer, I can count on my roses, Jupiter's beard, primrose, coreopsis and Shasta daisies to give me enough flowers to make a small kitchen-table bouquet, usually in a mason jar. In the fall, I swap primrose for chrysanthemums. It's enough; my flowers get me through the year pretty well. It's only in cold weather that I buy any, and then it's mostly tulips, and cheap bunches of daffodils in early spring.

We tested the sprinklers in the backyard yesterday. I think this is the first time in history that they have a) operated properly and b) not needed replacement parts. I was expecting more yelling and swearing, with maybe a tense trip to Lowe's for tiny plastic bits. But no - the sprinkler gods were smiling upon us this weekend. May they be so benevolent in dry, dusty June.

34 comments:

  1. I am so pleased the little bears are on the mend, Jennifer. They look sweet playing outside in the sunshine. What a fabulous shot of the copper colour mountain - it must be a stunning view for you. And I must share that we also have sprinklers, which regularly and mysteriously lose bits and pieces, also leading to some swearing and a trip to the hardware :)

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  2. I'm so glad the small bears are doing better, and can enjoy the beginning of Spring!

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  3. I glad to hear your Bears are on the mend. It looks like spring is definitely on its way!

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  4. Glad to hear that everyone's better again, long may it last. We've got a sunny day today for a change, it's still mighty cold though.

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  5. I am glad the little bears are better, and that you seem immune to their bug. I am like you, I like being outside in the garden but I am not really a gardener. Enjoy the spring, it is a fabulous time of year. x

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  6. Good to hear the bears are feeling better. It is starting to look a lot like spring around here too.

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  7. glad the bears are feeling better.
    I'll never tire of looking at pictures of your mountain.

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  8. Hey Jenifer,
    I'm just glad that you didn't catch that awful bug. I'm over mine now, thank goodness, but it was so hard trucking on when I felt like death warmed up. I think your gardening ways are perfectly acceptable. I'm very much the same, truth be told. I'm definitely not an all weather gardener. The garden goes to sleep, just as I've kind of had enough. And then it wakes up again, and I'm out there enjoying it too.
    I love to see kids in their bikes. We only bike when we camp, because St Ives is just a series of massive hills. But Olly does like to scooter to school. He doesn't like wearing his helmet, so I shall show him the pictures of your guys with theirs on. Very sensible and necessary. Have a lovely week.
    Leanne xx

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    1. I hope my photos will help Olly feel better about his helmet. They're a very good idea. :)

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  9. Glad your little bears are almost better now. I know what you mean about keeping busy when people are ill, I think it's instinctive to want to do something. It's very satisfying getting the garden all tidied up isn't it. Looking forward to that blossom now. CJ xx

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  10. So happy the smalls are on the mend. Our weather has been a bit of frigid then warm. I'm ready to get out and think about the flowers. I'm not much of a gardener. Every year I have high hopes and in the end I'm happy when I can stay ahead of the weeds.

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  11. Glad they are better. My twirly girlies are desparate to get out even if it is cold, they have had enough of being inside now.Jo

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  12. Glad to hear your children are better and you didn't succumb. Keeping busy might have helped. Getting outside always perks me up, especially in spring sunshine. The blossom in your last pic does look as though it's about to burst – I do love this time of year. Sam x

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  13. Good morning Jennifer. I'm glad to hear the small bears are doing so much better that they can be outside playing. It seems whatever the bug is that's going around is particularly awful this year. I'm just praying we don't catch it and I was very glad to hear you seem to be doing OK too. Spring! I'm ready for that here too, but as I look out this morning everything is covered with a layer of frost. The only flowers I have are my roses and that's just two measly little bushes here and at the lake. All I usually have are flowers in planters just for some color. I hope you're having a lovely day today.
    Blessings, Betsy

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  14. So glad your little bears are better....and that the sprinklers worked! Lovely to have so many signs of spring arriving.
    Happy week, Jennifer.
    Helen xox

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  15. Good to see you out in the spring sunshine Jennifer. Children bounce back so quickly don't they. All your photos are brilliant but the mountain shot is spectacular, what a superb backdrop to your life. Have a great week.

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  16. Good to hear they are on the mend, lovely photo's
    Clare x

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  17. Sorry to hear your children have been Ill but pleased that they are getting better, spring comes very early to your neck of the woods how lovely to have things beginning to blossom already. I did spy some snowdrops in my border today but that about all. Enjoy your week. :) xx

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  18. I'm glad to hear the wee bears are feeling better, Jennifer, and that you didn't get what they had. We've had some lovely days here but there's no way we could do any gardening - it's bitterly cold out there!

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  19. I so enjoyed this post. I'm really glad your bears are better now and that life is resuming it's normal rhythms. I have completely ignored our garden since last autumn but I suddenly feel ready to get out there again. Xx

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  20. i'm so pleased to hear the little bears are gradually feeling better and do so hope you do escape without coming down with it!

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  21. The sprinkler gods were looking out for you because the cold/flu gods were not! So glad everyone is finally on the mend. I don;t do well when I am stuck at home, the first day I am thrilled to have a reason to stay home, but after that I go a bit mad.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  22. So glad that your bear 'cubs' are feeling better and also that you managed to avoid the worst of it. It was very spring like here today too and I really need to get out into the garden and have a major tidy - we also left everything to die down over winter. Love the cycling photos. xx

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  23. Glad to hear everyone is feeling better, and that you have stayed healthy. May that continue :)

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  24. Glad to hear your kiddos are feeling better. That illness sounded awful with having fevers for so long. You're so lucky spring has sprung there. Still mostly gray and cold here for us. In fact, most of Chicagoland is under a winter storm warning for tomorrow.

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  25. I'm glad to hear the kids are on the mend. Hope they continue to feel better and you stay well too. Lovely to see early signs of spring in your backyard. That mountain photo is stunning.

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  26. My little step-son Jack had a horrible fever for an entire week as well. I'm glad he has recovered as well as your little ones. I am green with envy over your blossoms. We are months away from blossoms yet....and was that lilac??? Oh my heart is swooning.

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    1. I hope Jack is all better now. The last photo, you mean? Those are plum blossoms. I have one tiny stick of lilac blooming out from under a big juniper and I've never had the heart to cut it out because I love it so much, with it's one little stalk of blossoms each year. :)

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  27. Beautiful photos of all the signs of spring.

    Glad your children are feeling better.

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  28. Nice photos of spring coming to your area Jennifer. Winter slammed back into us today. I always leave seed heads on flowers and stuff for the birds to nibble in the winter. I kind of like seeing the brown dead stalks in the winter ... reminds me of living in the country. I'm glad your kids are getting over their illness. I'm like you and tend to clean and tidy when people are ill in the house. Must be some kind of nesting thing?
    Wendy

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  29. Re-emerging after a spell of sickness is a triumph, isn't it. Our sore throat headache virus seemed to last forever, and Hayley still sounds a bit congested but definitely better. The girls went outside while I was at the gym swimming and when I got home I was delighted to see they
    had brought in four of the first of our jonquils/narcissus/daffodils for me. Cheering you on to having a houseful of wellness, and celebrating with you that the sprinklers are ready for service :) Thanks for posting, Jennifer. xx

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  30. Such lovely photo's you've shared ... so pleased to read the kiddies are feeling better

    All the best Jan

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  31. So glad you are all feeling better. It's so horrible when they're not well. Sounds like a really nasty virus . We've had some bad viruses this side of the pond too. I think it's partly down to the exceptionally mild winter we've had. It feels so good and refreshing to get back out in the garden again come Spring. Have a great week :)

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  32. I'm glad the little ones are feeling better now. Yes, spring is arriving everywhere, though it's still cold here and I haven't yet ventured out to do any gardening. The soil is still so wet and cold.

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