Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Don't Give Up On Me Yet!!!

Hi friends!  I am here, I am here!!   I know that my lack of posting has caused a raised brow or two.  To be honest, we did have a bit of unpleasantness creep up on us here, about a month or so ago.  We are dealing with it.  It has been a rough time, but we are finding ways to make lemonade out of lemons.  So bear with me, as my posting may be somewhat sporadic for a while yet.
Today is a beautiful day here in Southern California!!!  We have had two days of horrendous winds that caused a lot of mess, and some damage in areas near us too.  With all of the trees here on our property, a visit by the winds is very messy business!  I have spent all morning cleaning up from it.  Picking up branches, and debris that fell out of the huge sycamores in the front.  And a few avocado branches in the back.  Not to mention the dust and leaves that accumulated on our front porch and back patios.  So after doing that, I went around and watered everything, and took note of what is blooming, and what needs weeding, trimming, etc.
I noticed that the many iris' that I have in both the front and back, are just about to burst, revealing their grape sucker scent, and standing tall and proud in their brilliant purple!!
I have a gardening friend in Illinois who sent me a couple bulbs from her garden about 10 years ago.  I have divided them every year, and put them all around the front and back of our home.  I have also shared them with many friends too.  I wait eagerly every Spring for their show!
The California Poppies are "popping" and waving their delicate little orange heads in the breeze.  I love these Spring flowers so much!
I have a lot of Bird Of Paradise in my backyard.  They can become very unruly if not tended to.  But if taken care of, they are magnificent!
When  they bloom, the part in the back of the flower begins to dry up and fade away, as the rest of the flower continues to put on a show.  You can simply remove those dry husks from the pod, and then the flower continues to look beautiful and fresh for some time.
My Dad planted these roses in he and Mom's yard just a few months before he passed away.  His illness was sudden and quick, and we miss him every single day.  I dug up these rose bushes when my Mom sold their home and moved a few years ago.  They bloom faithfully, and I absolutely love what they mean to me.  I bring Dad yellow and red roses when I go see him at the cemetery.  But I talk to my Dad every day.  He lives in my heart, and I feel him with me when I am outside working in my yards.  We talk, and I hear him calling my name......"Kristin"
I have planted oodles of nasturtiums in the back.  They seem to thrive well in our poor quality, rocky soil.
Soon this patch will be filled with bright jewel tones throughout.  Also in this planter is a huge deep pink geranium that blooms all  year long.  I also have some of my Iris' in here too.
I have a cute ladybug bird feeder in this planter as well, that my Mom gave me.
There are bird baths, and feeders all around our yards.  As well as many nest boxes to attract my feathered friends.  This feeder was given to me by my next door neighbor Jane.  Pretty cute, tongue in cheek saying on it.  The actual dish is a painted tuna can.
Poor fellow is missing a few whiskers on him.  But the birds still flock to their black oil sunflower seeds.
I keep feeders both on the ground, and in the trees.
It is very important that you place your feeders amongst plenty of shelter and coverage for the birds to flee to, should a predator appear.  I do have a kitty.  But I keep a bell on her to warn my flighted friends of her approach.
This bird bath belonged to a favorite Auntie of mine.  She always loved flowers, and had the most exciting backyard for us to play in when we were little.  She planted sweet peas that climbed up her fences and the sweet fragrance will forever make me think of my Aunt Connie.
I have to keep my nectar feeders filled daily now, with the arrival of my beloved Orioles, and my year around Hummers.  I make up two gallons at a time, and go through a LOT of sugar!!  I also keep fresh orange halves and grape jelly at the ready for the Orioles to feast on.
In one day, all of these oranges will be completely reamed of their flesh, leaving only a dry and empty skin, which goes into the compost bin.
My back patio is a favorite gathering spot for us this time of year.  It is not yet too hot to enjoy our time here, and with the solid cover, it is a great spot to read, blog, and crochet.  After I finished my work in the gardens I had my lunch out here.
A chicken salad wrap with crimini mushrooms, avocado, sunflower seeds, shaved parmesan, dressed in creamy cilantro dressing, and rolled tight in a tortilla.  Erika's yummy fresh fruit salad to go with it.  Delicious!
I have put some potted flowers on the patio, and it is such a delightful place to relax.
I need to get a new rug for this spot.  That brown one actually goes on the outer patio underneath the other wicker set.  I am looking for a green one I like for here.
I have repurposed this wine rack on my patio.  I use the table top to hold iced tea pitchers and such when having company.  And the wine rack holds magazines.
This hutch was my Nana's.  I moved it out here a couple of summers ago, and it holds our outdoor silverware, and placemats and things I use for eating outside.
I love to decorate it seasonally.  I am thinking of painting it this summer with a green chalk paint.
 Those three little pots on the carrot plate are citronella candles that I have yet to put out on the tables. 
The nest in the little wooden chest was abandoned by a wren Mama last Spring.  I cleaned out the box in hopes of another nesting.  The eggs are so tiny and pretty in their speckled shells.  I just couldn't toss them.
From where I am sitting here on the patio, I can smell the clean laundry flapping in the breeze.  I have not used my dryer for about a month now.  Last year, I didn't use it until the days grew short and chilly, in late November.  To me, there is something so relaxing about hanging the wash on the line.  Perhaps if I lived in a time when there was no other way to dry it, I wouldn't feel this way.  But I do so love to line dry our laundry.  Everything comes off so crisp and clean smelling!
The garden is plugging along nicely.  It won't be too long now before we will be reaping what has been sown.
I will have to replant cucumbers.  I think the birds dug up the seeds.  I will be planting more along the way of everything.  But so far, all has sprouted and is growing nicely.  My watermelon and pumpkin hill is looking great too.   The herbs have already been snipped for use.
The tomatoes were teeny tiny when I put them in.  They are getting big fast, and have many blooms already.
I have been making some new blooms too.  I found this pattern on a blog I just recently discovered.  Do you ever find a blog that just speaks to you, and you have to go back and read every page you can?  Well this blog was like that for me.  It was just delightful and happy, and pretty, and fun to read.  I was captured immediately.  I hope you go visit her.  She lives in the Swiss Alps, and loves to crochet and sew, and garden and bake.  My kind of gal!  My Rose Valley  Her blog is written in English, with a lot of Scandanavian touches throughout.  I have Scandanavian blood myself.  This blog is beautiful.  Go say hi, and follow her on Insta Gram too!!  Her name is Annette.
Anyway, I saw these flowers on her blog, but I believe the link she gives is to another blog.  Also a lovely read, called  Emma Lamb.  She calls them Maybelle Flowers.  Don't you just love the name?  I do.  I am using my leftover odds and ends from the yarn I bought in England, and made my Bobble Blanket with.
I finished this during the televised Queen's Jubilee.  And so it has been aptly named, "Jubilee"  This is the yummiest, softes yarn ever!  Here are some of the Maybelle flowers I have made so far.
I love these!!!  They make up quick.  And are so cute!!!
I will be sitting out here on my patio, me and  my yarn...and my pups.  Stitching  up more of these pretty Maybelle flowers.  It is good for the soul.
A gift from my babies.....
Have a great week friends!!  Thank you so much for all of the loving support.  Hello new followers!  I will be over to visit you this week too!!!!
XO  Kris


Patty said...

You get alot accomplished Kris! Thank you for the tour of your lovely yard. I love hearing about how different things are in different parts of the country. Did someone paint the tuna can? It' looks cool. Also, the bubble blanket and flowers are so pretty. I can imagine how wonderful it is to sit outside and crochet in your beautiful California yard.

Deb~in~Denver said...

Oh, Kris. Thank you for the tour of your gardens! I am sitting here freezing, it's 15 degrees but with the wind chill it's -1. I had planted a few pansies and ranunculus (in pots) so I brought them in, last night. I can't believe how big your geranium is! I love to have those in the flower boxes and on the porch. My grandma used to have sweet peas all around her yard, I love them, too! The ones we have don't seem to be as fragrant. Glad you didn't have any more wind damage than you did. With that many trees, it could have been awful! Enjoy your porch time, I wish you lived closer, we could do some serious porch sittin'!

Take care. Love ya!

Bethany said...

You're hired! I'll send you my address and plane fare, you come work your magic, m'kay?

Kelli said...

I just love reading your posts. Your home and yard are just beautiful and I can tell filled with love. I too love clothes that have been put out to dry...towels are the best!
Have a great week and your lunch looks yummy!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

It is so lovely around your place, Kris...you really have a green thumb and such a talent for homemaking! I hope things work out for you there soon! XO

Joline said...

love all the stories and memories in your garden. it's so beautiful!! so nice to have such a lovely space to relax in :)

by Teresa said...

I will never give up on you! I am sorry you had a rough patch.. hope it's over. Feel free and private email if you need to talk. You always impress me with all your hard work around your place. I so want some raised gardens like yours! Enjoy all your blooms.. we both have lots, but they are so different! I'm meeting up with Gracie, Betsy and Taci tomorrow.. I wish that you could join us! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Grayseasailor said...

Kris, I too am sorry you are going through a rough patch, and I wish you could join us for lunch tomorrow, also!! Thanks for another wonderful visit. I love all the beauty that is growing around you thanks to your loving care and hard work. Your new flower pattern is lovely as well and I am glad you are enjoying crocheting the blooms.

Mereknits said...

Kris, rough patches are never easy are they? I know you feel so connected to the earth, I am sure it will help you feel better. I have made the Maybelle flower for a grand for my craft space. I changed the inside color, I like them both ways. Sending you a big, big hug to help with anything you need.

priscilla said...

Your yard flowers look beautiful; and so do your crocheted flowers ! I have those purple iris here too but they are only about 1/2 inch out of the ground ! Hope things get better :)

From the Kitchen said...

It looks like your gardens are going to provide a delicious and beautiful summer! It's good to hear from you and I hope that things will fall into a good place for you very soon.


Nicolle said...

Been thinking of you and praying for all. We'd never give up on you! We all love you dearly.
Those poppies and bird of paradise are gorgeous. And, you know I love the roses and the story behind them...makes them extra sweet and special. I know what you mean, I miss my dad every single day. I cry just writing that. I feel your heart on that!
Great pictures and a happy post, that made me smile. :)

Debbie said...

Hi Kris! I loved this tour of your gardens. I especially love the Poppies! I have tried and tried to get those to grow, but no luck! I love to see their happy faces blooming everywhere else though. When we were first married we had a clothes line to dry the clothes and I know just the smell you are referring too. I LOVED it! Soo fresh...You do have a lovely place to sit and enjoy the out of doors. Sorry there is something going on that has troubled you. But glad to hear that you are making the most of whatever it is...HUGS to you!

Holly said...

Hope everything is okay over there. I wish I were closer but I'm only a phone call away. We sure had a mess from that wind too. I started to clean it up yesterday when the winds picked up again and I gave up. Your yard and flowers look so pretty. Miss you!

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, I have missed you my friend and sorry for whatever life issues have kept you at bay-hoping you are able to spend more time with us. Not fair though, showing me your garden-you make me want to get out and plant and we are still covered in snow. I love birds and loved feeding them but as I've said before we have aggressive birds that kill the little ones-sparrows, juncos, titmice and I just can't draw them into the yard to be killed. Love your new blanket and projects. I loved being in northern Ca. last week and I'm so very ready for spring to stay with us. We can't plant until mid-late May due to snow, it is going to be a welcome time. Hugs today.

Sarah said...

I hope everything is alright with you and your family. You are loved by many! Your yard is beautiful and your descriptions and pictures capture it so well, could imagine the smells of the flowers and the warmth of your California sun! The story about the roses is so touching, I love that. Take care, we're thinking about you here in Wisconsin!

Pam said...

I was starting to worry about you... I hope everything is okay with you and your family.

Your yard is absolutely lovely. I think it's finally warming up here a bit so I can plant some flowers.

Karen L. Bates said...

I hardly know where to start but at least take your time coming back to blogging on a regular basis. We get it, sometimes we just need to pay attention to other things. I am in that mode now as well.

Your gardens are looking fabulous, growing so fast. That Bird of Paradise is a amazing.

Love that blanket, just beautiful, I bet you are getting some use out of it already in the evenings.

Take care of you!

Linda said...

Great tour, Kris...
We are still crappy here...
I treat my Irises like you do the Bird of Paradise...peel off the shrivelled one, and let the rest bloom...
Thanks for your comments and concerns for me...I am much better!

Have a great day...

Linda :o)

Dawn said...

Everything looks so wonderful in bloom. Your tomatoes are so big, my plants are still inside I grew them from seed and they are about 2 inches tall. Won't be able to plant till June here. I envy you being able to sit outside and have a nice lunch. We are going through our rainy season right now:( Hope all is ok with you..... I now have short hair again, all the color is cut off.

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hi Kris, Beautiful post with so many lovely images from around your yard.......where do you find the time!?!
AND I would never ever give up on you! Life and family come first and we will always be here. xo

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

Hope all is OK with you and your family...life does get in the way of our posts doesn't it! Your gardens look wonderful as usual...funny when you were talking about the roses from your Dad...Don and I have several plants from Don's Mom and they are our treasures. Wonderful post... take care...have a great day!!

It is Still windy here...but not as bad...

Jann Olson said...

Kris, I hope it's nothing too too serious. Got me a bit worried my friend! Love yor patio with the wicker furniture. Your garden is coming along so nicely. I've only planted early spring veggies so far. I love Nasturtiums and need to plant some this year. the Iris was one of my moms favorite plants. Because of this I love them too. I have starts that were from her. I know what you mean about thinking of your dad daily. I do the same with my mom.

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

You know I know all about the "stuff" and how it can creep up on you. In fact, we've had some nasty stuff down here on vaca.

Debbiedoo's said...

Hi Kris! Your gardens are so beautiful already. I can't believe all the planting you have done. Enjoy every second of it!

Grammy Staffy said...

Your patio and gardens are so pretty. I love being out in the patio. You are my only friend that likes to hang clothes on the line like I do. I only use my dryer when I have to... I much prefer the clothes line.
Your patios are lively...just like you. Welcome back. I've missed you

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Oh dear friend you are in my heart and on my mind. I am praying for good things for your family. Do you find feeding the birds away from the chickens keeps them out of the coop. I hate wild birds flying down to eat the chickens food. I worry they will spread bad things in there. I have thought of putting a feeder on the other side of my backyard.

RobynFromSimplyme said...

Wow you packed a lot into this post. Everything in the yard looks so beautiful. I hope whatever it is or was that has been happening in your family is passing now. I understand what you mean about your Dad. My mom loved Lavender roses so as soon as we moved in to our house my husband planted to lavender rose bushes for me.
Bless your heart.

Gloria Baker said...

aaah Kris ! all look beautiful, I love how you celebrate all seasons and enjoyed all, Happy spring dear!! here is autumn! And I love autumn too!!xo

Val said...

I'm loving your Spring blooms.

Jill said...

Such lovely pictures. I love birds of paradise flowers so interesting looking! That lunch you had makes me hungry, lol...looks delicious! Everything is coming in so nicely in your gardens! I finally found time to blog today :-) Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


TACIStudio said...

Hi Kris, I don't know how I missed these posts, but I hope by now things are a LOT better for you. Your yard looks great and I love the flowers. Hope you are feeling much better. Have wonderful weekend.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I'm so glad things are getting better for you Kris and I hope they continue to improve.

I love your patio area and your pretty flowers, especially your Dad's roses. My Dad passed away 4 years ago when I was a teen but I also feel him close in my heart and I know I will see him again one day.

Love those pretty crochet flowers and your colorful afghan! You are so talented!

Whosyergurl said...

LOVE that blanket!

xo, Cheryl

sparkle100-havealook.blogspot.com said...

I so enjoyed all your blogs.Nice crafty background also.

I think I have added you a minute ago.