Saturday, February 25, 2017

Budding blossoms

GB's interpretation of Georgia O'Keeffe's Evening Star IV, for a school project

Thanks for the lovely comments on my post about my grandpa. You guys are so kind and sweet. His death was sudden but not necessarily a shock, given his age, but I've been very sad all the same. I hadn't lost a family member since I was nineteen, when my mother's parents died within four months of each other. I loved them but was not nearly as close to them as I have been to my dad's parents. I've had some hard days and I wasn't sure if I wanted to blog about his death. I'm glad I did, though; it's important to share feelings and I love that I can receive support from all over. I think some people want you to fall apart when a loved one dies and I've never really felt right about that. I am sad, but I'm choosing to focus on happy memories; I know he would prefer that.

This week has been kind of tough with illness in the house. We'd been doing really well this winter, with just a couple of mild colds here and there, but this time around, the GB was quite sick for most of the week with fever and lots of coughing. She went back to school on Friday but she's definitely not totally well yet. We're taking it easy this weekend. Nobody is feeling great, actually. The Bear and I are coughing a bit and the LB is looking kind of pale and glassy-eyed, so maybe he's next in line for whatever the GB has. Sigh...I knew the easy winter illness season would catch up with me eventually. I shopped for groceries this morning and laid in a fresh supply of children's fever and cold medications while I was at it.

My week with sickies at home was about the same as usual; I keep busy with household tasks and hobbies to make the long hours pass. I crocheted some more Sunbursts and I also started a small chevron-ripple throw to use up some of my worsted-acrylic stash, which has become a little ridiculous. I'm trying to pare down, and I want a new throw for the living room anyway, so it's all good. I like crocheting ripples; I was in the mood for a project with longer rows and a little counting. I have new curtains in my kitchen, living room and dining room now and that's been lovely. It's amazing what a few simple changes can do. Reading-wise, I've been back on a Philippa Gregory kick. The Other Boleyn Girl is my hands-down favorite and I've read it so many times. My copy is getting beat up. It's a good story and nothing could be further from real life. It's also pretty trashy, so there's that.

Everything is looking like spring now. The winter jasmine is in bloom, a little later than usual. The plum trees have buds now, definitely a bit late. This winter was a bit colder and wetter than our past few, I think. Normally, we'd have plum blossoms by the final days of February. I'm thinking it will be another week or slightly more. I can't wait. I'm hoping for a good plum crop because I had such a nice time making plum jam two years ago.

Our house-painting project is nearly finished! I'm really happy with how it's looking. The window and door frames are all painted cream, along with the wood trim on the courtyard supports. The back-porch supports will also be cream, when we get to them. The vigas are light brown; we wanted something wood-like until we can replace them altogether in a few years. They have a lot of damage and are not in great shape but fresh caulk and paint did a lot for them. All of this wood was blue before; attractive but a little garish. Painting is kind of a miserable job, in my opinion, and I'll be glad when we're finished, but it's been good to freshen up the outside of the house and I think it's going to be beautiful as things start blooming this spring. I'm excited to see how the house looks with the purples of lavender and Russian sage, and the yellows of Spanish broom, santolina and yarrow. I think the neutral colors of the house will let the plants shine more.

I've got a load of wet towels with my name on them, and then there's lunch to make. This afternoon will feature homeschool work and maybe a movie. Tonight's at-home date will include turkey-and-swiss sandwiches and ice cream. It's a little too cold for exterior painting today (not for the painters, who are hardy and well-insulated, but for the paint itself). You won't hear me complaining, no siree.


  1. Focusing on happy memories when someone dies is how they'd want to be remembered, I'm sure. There's been lots of illness around here during the winter months too, whoever I speak to seems to have had one thing or another, I don't think it's been cold enough to kill the bugs off. I do hope that the GB feels better soon and that the rest of the family stays well. I haven't read anything by Phillipa Gregory but I have heard lots about her books, perhaps I'll give one a go.

  2. Love the new curtains in the sun, beautiful. Lovely to see flowers out as well. My peach blossom is at the same stage as your plum blossom I think. My eldest boy had some of that juice the other day - loved it. The littlest boy is on his third cold in a row, one after the other pretty much. He's powered on through it all, including a survival party out in the mud and rain this afternoon. He'll be watching rugby outside tomorrow afternoon - he'll need a day off school by Monday! Hope you have a good evening and a lovely Sunday. CJ xx

  3. I don't like painting much either, I find it boring. I hope that GB will be better soon. Colds are such a nuisance, aren't they. I remember making sunbursts myself, a good while ago. It was really enjoyable. I am still working on my v-stitch rows, also enjoyable. Love your new curtains! x

  4. I hope that GB feels better soon and they she hasn't passed on the illness to the rest of the family! I'm not fond of painting either - although I'd rather paint than put up wallpaper! Eeek! :o)

  5. I totally love the GB's painting, looking great beneath that Georgia-style section of your house! Nothing beats having a fresh coat of paint around the house, always feels much better. I had a smile about the Boleyn Girl: yes, it is trashy, but I also found it hooked me in even while I knew it had quite a few of the facts wrong :)

  6. Sorry about the sickness in the house. We've had a lot in our area, but none in the house so far!
    I like GB's painting!
    I love all your Spring pictures! It's been snowing like crazy here...

  7. hope everyone is feeling better soon x

  8. Wishing you all well, hope the illness doesn't last too long. I think it is wonderful to focus on the happy events of your Grandpas life and celebrate his life rather than mourn his death. It was lovely to get a glimpse of your sunburst squares, they are a delight. Take care.

  9. Sounds like the perfect time to get all the painting done so it is all fresh for the seasons ahead. Hope the family soon recover from the winter bug and are all fit and well soon. I love GB's painting, it made me think of Georgia O'Keefe, even before I read the label.

  10. Hi Jennifer. I'm sorry to hear about your grandpa. I think you're right, though, to focus on the happy memories, and admired your post about him in many ways. I hope everyone gets better soon - comfort crochet and reading sounds like an excellent strategy for such times - and that the painting is finished soon, too.

  11. You can be sure that bringing back those happy memories is what your grandpa wants, it's the happy memories in our hearts that keep them alive with us.
    Hope everybody feels better soon :)

    Luisa xoxo

  12. Hey Jennifer,
    We've been pretty lucky with winter colds around here. Most people I know have been struck down with something. GB's Georgia O'Keefe painting is quite lovely. I'm about to enter painting season; the stairwell, landing, hallway and utility room need a refresh, and I shall be painting furniture too. Hate doing it, love the end result. Hope your date night was a good one.
    Leanne xx

  13. Hi Jennifer, Spring. It's a lovely thought. It's snowing here again this morning. I'm so sorry to hear about your GB's illness and the possibility that it's going on to visit the rest of your little family. So many people have been so sick this winter. It seems everyone around us has been sick. Your basket of hexies look lovely. I think you have a very healthy outlook on life. It is so hard to lose someone, but most people would not want you unhappy, but rather, to remember the good memories of them. I lost my Mom when I was 29 and my Dad when I was 30. It was devastating, but life continues on and I had three small children at home. As much as I missed them both, you keep on keeping on for your family. I'm sure your Grandfather was proud of you and the woman you've become and you honor him very well with your memories of him. I'll continue to be in prayer for you and for your family Jennifer.

  14. So sorry about sickness bringing down your household. I've been sick for weeks, but my husband has been completely immune -- which means he can take care of me!
    Your house is just so beautiful! And you have flowers? We just have ratty old snow!

  15. I think everyone grieves differently and the best thing is to let each person do as they are apt to when it comes to this, so I agree, not helpful to be expected to grieve one way when what is best is another... it is hard though and you have my continued sympathies. I do hope your family all feels better really soon... kids around here have had fevers and some with strep throat (even though he did not have all the signs of it!)... God bless and comfort you!

  16. No fun caring for the sick ones at home. My son had all four wisdom teeth pulled on Friday and not feeling great Saturday. I had to leave him to spend the entire day with my dad who is in hospital this past week. Long exhausting hours. Your outdoor painting is looking good! I like painting outside in the fresh air, but for some unknown mystery I am the outdoor painter :P My husband is pretty good about helping out indoors, but I don't know why he never offers to slap some paint over the garage door every so often. Glad to see some blossoms down your way. I'm pretty sure my lilacs are starting to bud up. Hard to tell, they looked the same way in November. I need to get kitchen curtains up in my kitchen (or so my family tells me). We've had nothing covering the windows for about 15 years now ... good during the day, but a little revealing at night.
    Enjoy your week Jennifer!

  17. Lovely to see signs of spring inside and outside your home - this time of year always makes me think about home improvements. Sorry to hear about the illness, I hope you all feel better soon. Xx

  18. I feel all relaxed now after reading your post. It is good to read about humans being humans and I love you for it. Great blog post. A snotty nosed Jo! x (I too thought I had got away without a winter virus, but not this year)

  19. Love your colourful pictures in this post. I am sorry to hear about the illness...hope everyone is well again now. Have a great week Jennifer.
    Helen xox

  20. So sorry to hear about your grand father.
    Last year was rough for both of us.. M lost both of his paternal grandparents within a few months of each other. It was not shocking.. they were very old and had been sick for sometime but loss is still loss.
    I lost a dearly loved uncle and a cousin in a motorcycle accident.. the cousin was shocking and not easy to bear.
    We are having spring like weather too and I'm really looking forward to it.. I can't imagine going back to the cold of winter.
    GB did a wonderful job.
    Hope you all feel better soon.. tea with lemon and honey is my go to when I feel that itch in my throat.
    I have never been to New Mexico and the house look so interesting.. I hope to visit someday.


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