Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving Thanks

With 2011 approaching its end, and in the spirit of the season, I am thankful for our blessings.

These blessings include: our wonderful family. . . they love us, warts and all. Our very special friends who live much closer than our children and keep an eye on us when the children can't. Their love and kindness is one of our greatest gifts from the Creator. My online friends and readers of this oh so rarely updated blog. Just knowing you are "out there" means more than I can express.

We have had sorrows and disappointments this year as well.

We lost one of the cats, Tennyson, to kidney failure last month. It broke our hearts. He put up a good fight, but finally gave in and crossed the Rainbow Bridge shortly after midnight on October 13th. We will miss him forever. Be Blessed, "Ten".

The gardens suffered from neglect this year, and yet bloomed their hearts out. I promised them I'd be a better gardener next year.

We plan a happy day of feasting with family on Thanksgiving Day. A day trip off the mountain and down into the foothills to see children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Telling the story of that trip should give me plenty of inspiration for blogging more, much more, than I have had all this past year.

All of us at Shady Hollow wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. May your blessings outnumber your sorrows a thousand to one.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Help Needed with Vet Bills


One of the reason’s I’ve let this blog sit unattended this year has been due to multiple sick animals keeping my hands full.

We lost Tennyson 3 weeks ago to kidney failure and today had to put Amber in the animal hospital with a possible heart issue.

So, we are swallowing our pride and asking for help.

Be Blessed. JMM


Thursday, June 30, 2011


Finally!! I finally have a stretch of time before me in which to do what I want and need to do around the cottage! Oh happy day!

There is so much to do in a landscape that has been totally neglected this spring and summer. The to-do list rolls out like a child's list for Santa Claus.

Weeding (consisting mainly of pulling out pesky wild honeysuckle vine and poison ivy from each and every flower bed and bush), pruning, mowing and string trimming are all on the list.

Will I get it all completed? Probably not. Well, I do have to spend time with the hubby, go shopping, care for the critters, clean the house, get in my computer time….. You know how it is. Don’t you?

My thinking is that if I get most of the garden work done, then I can get the rest done a little bit each day before work. You believe that. Don’t you?

It is a grandiose plan, I know, given my propensity of late to spend way too much time on the computer, wasting time on Facebook mainly. Yep, I’m guilty of falling into the allure of Facebook, and gasp, Twitter. Even though I don’t really have anything earth shattering to report on either.

Maybe I’ll do the before and after picture routine in the gardens. Or, after taking the before pictures, I may be too ashamed to let you see them. In which case I’ll post the “after” pictures of butchered… ugh… pruned shrubs and freshly mowed yard; or neat, weed less flower beds.  Maybe.

Maybe I’ll just wait a few days and write a post about the evils of procrastination.

Be Blessed.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Gardens Turned Jungle

I have no pictures to post of the sad state of affairs in my garden. I’m too ashamed and any picture right now would look like a solid mass of green foliage anyway.

Almost daily rain from thunderstorms has led to this abundant growth. A case of flu for my husband and myself has caused me to get weeks behind in pruning, mowing and cultivating. 

Never fear though. I can straighten it out with a couple of days effort. The change will surely give me instant gratification.

Now that we are almost recovered from the flu. or creeping crud, or whatever it was things should get back to normal.

I might even manage to post on the blog more frequently.

Be blessed.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday Night Update: May 27, 2011


This is the front bed, recently redesigned. The clematis has been in this location for three years now. The variegated hydrangeas' since last fall. I put in the hosta  earlier this spring.


This big pot of catnip was one of the first garden plants to “green up”this spring. . . much to the delight of Thomas T.


This clematis bloomed for the first time this year. It is still very small, but I can see it filling the trellis in years to come.



The garden steps, severely overgrown by forsythia. The much needed cut back on the forsythia is awaiting the robin family to move out. I was attacked soon after starting to prune this mass of foliage. Believe me, there really are steps under all that green.

I have lots of overgrown areas right now. I am behind in my gardening. I have some vacation time planned for the first of June… perhaps I can tame the over abundant foliage while off work.

Stay tuned for more photos and the gardening adventure stories I’m sure I’ll be telling.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Absence Explained (Excuses, Excuses)

I was dismayed when I checked the blog and realized I hadn’t posted since March. Oh, shame on me!!!

What’s happening at the Hollow and in my life? Well, my excuse for not writing is my work. We have been very busy with overtime and tight deadlines. Therefore, this old girl comes home at night dead tired and brain-dead. Thus, no midnight blogging.

Mornings have been busy…. mostly getting chores done and readying myself for another shift on the job. There have been doctor and vet visits and the gardening that I’ve managed to slip in between all the rest.

As for the gardens; they have been beautiful so far this year. I made a bed for all the canna’s I dug last fall where I can leave them to overwinter. I planted them deep and with a thick layer of mulch they should be just fine.

The front bed has been redone with perennials. A hosta border backed with variegated hydrangea's, coneflowers,  roses, a clematis, and a Rose of Sharon.  

I’ve moved some daylilies. The bare spots in the lawn have been reseeded with a mix of grass and white clover. Shrubs have been pruned. The forsythia have avoided pruning so far. When I started I was warned away by a mother robin who had set up housekeeping within its mass of branches.

The cottage cats have run me ragged. One had teeth that needed pulled, one had a bladder infection and a strange illness in one of the elder cats turned out to be high blood pressure. Yep, kitties can get high blood pressure.

Hubby is doing good, only routine doctor visits for him now. Yay!!

I’ll get back in my groove and put some pictures up this weekend.

Be Blessed!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Praying for Japan

Since first learning of the disaster in Japan Friday morning, I have been praying for the people as they endure unimaginable hardship.

I have been profoundly worried about co-workers of mine who are in Japan, and their families. Over the 12 years that I have worked for my employer (a Japanese company) I have been blessed to know many Japanese engineers and management personnel who have since transferred back to Japan.

I hope that when I go to work this afternoon I will learn that all are safe and accounted for. I fear learning otherwise.

This is the first disaster outside the US in which I have friends and co-workers who may have been victims.

It puts it into an entirely different category. Its scary.

I hope today I will learn that Joe, Hero, Nori, and others are safe and sound. Until then I keep praying for them and all the other Japanese as they work their way through this horrible time.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ready for Spring

A walk around the gardens reveals numerous signs of spring. Crocus are up and blooming. Daffodils are up with their buds at the ready. The hazel nut bushes around the perimeter are blooming. Buds are swelling on countless other shrubs as they count down the days before bursting forth.

I’m planning the gardens for 2011.  Which vegetables will I grow this year? What type of tomatoes, squash, and other vegetables do I want to try? Which flowers will go where in the ever changing tapestry of flower beds and containers? Where will I put the canna bulbs I overwintered in the basement? What unhappy plants will I move to better locations?

Each year the gardens are a canvas blank except for the perennials that create the background. The brush strokes I add change each year. That is the intent: that Shady Hollow is different each year with new discoveries around each corner.

Spring is almost here. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cousin Reunion: Filling in the Gap

Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit down face to face and have lunch with my cousin, John.

We had not seen or talked to each other since we were both children. We are  life-times away from being children now.

He was my mother’s favorite nephew. I was her only child. He grieved for his aunt when she died young. I wondered where Mama had gone and why she left me. Its hard to understand death at 3 years old.

In the end I was raised by my paternal grandparents. He lost touch with the family his beloved aunt had married into.

Life went on.

We both have children.  We also have grand and great-grand children. When Mother died, we were children. Now we are elders in our families.

He told me things about my mother I never knew. Good things. For instance:

I learned she was an avid photographer and even had her own darkroom.

I thought about my love of photography and all the cameras I own, from simple to a DSLR. Well, Mother, you managed to pass that passion on to me in 3 short years.

Our lives as cousins was cut short 56 years ago. Yesterday, we started filling in the gaps. Many lunches from now, we may get caught up.

Be blessed.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Nothing Much

Rain yesterday carried away the remaining Christmas snow. Yay! I love to watch snow fall, but am getting to the age where clearing it away and driving in it just isn’t fun anymore.

So good riddance to the snow and I hope you wait a full year before returning. Go somewhere else.

Its going to be a busy day at the cottage. My granddaughter is bringing her brood to visit today. I haven’t seen them in months, so can hardly wait.

Be Blessed.