Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good Help

I've mentioned that my garden chores have fallen behind, along with just about everything else around Shady Hollow. I think I need to clone myself. (Scary thought, huh?)

But I did get some wonderful help with the flowering magnolia the other day. My sweet husband decided to help prune out some dead branches. He did a good job too. My love and thanks to him for his help. Once upon a time he did all the pruning on this tree, keeping it down to a manageable size. Over the past few years it has started reaching for the sky and we decided to let her grow.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Rambling Update on the Garden

The only plants I've started under lights this year (so far) have been tomatoes. They have done well and I'm hardening them off now. There were 15 at last count, so if the dreaded blight doesn't get them first, we should be good to go on 'maters.

Wandering around the gardens this morning I discovered we will really be 'good to go' on 'maters' because I found scores of little volunteers. Some are in one of the flower boxes, others on the top of the compost pile! Well, hmm, that does present a problem. I was planning to use that compost to help with the tomatoes. Oh, well, I guess the garden gods got a jump on me there. Of course I will have to fight the blight, but so-be-it.

I almost tilled the garden last week. Upon seeing the forecast for heavy rain, I decided to wait and I'm glad I did. The storm system that wrecked havoc in Alabama and Mississippi has arrived. If I had plowed the garden would be washing away right now.

It just goes to show that sometimes my tendency to procrastinate works out to the positive.

I also noticed that there are plenty of baby inpatients, sweet annie, and petunias arriving on the scene. that's a good thing since I haven't started seeds yet. Maybe I won't have to and procrastination will pay off again.

The hosta are up and growing like crazy. Even the ones I planted around the oak are doing great. I'd had doubts about them, since I planted them very close to the tree.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Beautiful Spring

Spring burst upon us here in Western North Carolina with a vengeance over the past two weeks. In an amazing twist, the super cold and snowy winter seems to have invigorated all the plants.

These daffodils have faded now, but I wanted to share them with you...

The forsythia was beautiful and made a golden arch for my pathway steps.
The tulips...
I've never seen so many blooms on the flowering quince:
If the beauty I see around me is any indication, it's going to be a great year for gardening!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Is Springing Out

Spring is definately underway at Shady Hollow. The flowering magnolia put on quite a show last week. I don't remember it having this many blooms, ever.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Writer’s Block, Sick Cats and the Grass Needs Mowed

If you write, you know about the dreaded condition known fondly as "writer's block". Also known as "a dry period" it comes on like a thief in the night, stealing words, ideas and ambition and carting them away.

Sadly, there is no pill, no treatment, no magic formula or other quick fix to the problem. The writer has to work through it or wait it out.

I have a mild case of writer's block. I also have obligations that are taking time away from gardening, daily chores, and just about everything else except going to work each day. It's a deadly combination for this and my other blogs. I've been waiting it out, now I'm trying to work through it.

One can only do so much with a houseful of sick or nearly sick cats, a workplace needing all the overtime you can give them, a husband fed up with the chaos, and spring chores needing done, topped off by a slight case of depression. It's a perfect breeding ground for writer's block.

I've been dealing with sick cats for months now and a fresh wave of sick cat problems has surfaced this week. I have to pick Lisa up from the vet later this morning and get advice on caring for several who have developed head colds/cat flu. Sometimes I think the cottage has turned into a cat hospital.

The warm weather has sent our grass on a growing binge that would make a fertilizer company proud. I have to make a trip for mower gas before I can cut it and I saw on the way home last night that gasoline prices here had jumped a dime a gallon while I was at work. (Glad I gassed up the car earlier in the week.)

I still haven't done our taxes and tax day is looming large on the horizon. Of course the fact I've procrastinated on the taxes again has fueled hubby's ire and put me in the doghouse for another April. Let's see, that's twenty April's and counting. (He still doesn't realize how bad I hate doing taxes and that I will put them off to the last minute for as long as I live.)

Work. Well that is something I could really rant about, but as the boss might read this blog, I won't. I'll just say that with a third of the workforce laid off, now that we have work, they want the remaining few to do it all. The stress is tremendous. We are all tired.

Maybe that is the reason I developed writer's block. Maybe I am tired and overwhelmed. Nope, that can't be it. Maybe it's spring fever…that sounds better at least. Or maybe I'm lazy. Or crazy.

I'm recovering though. I wrote this post! I actually sat here and worked my way through it! It was great to visit with you for awhile. I have to go now though, I've got to call the vet, go pick up Lisa, feed, water and doctor the other kitties, check the gardens for what's new this morning, and well, you know….take care of life.

Be Blessed.