Tag Archive | quote

Grandma’s Garden

A couple of mornings ago, the sunshine crept through a tiny crack from behind the window shade to wake me. The shade doesn’t flush up completely close to the window. That little beam comes through this time of year, because that’s where the sun is on its path. My first thought was about the garden. It hasn’t rained for a while, and the day before, I promised the growing plants I’d give them a drink of water.

As I positioned the hose in between the slats of the fence, it felt like I woke some mosquitoes. 🦟 I tried to be aware and feel if they landed on me. Some tickled my skin, but I don’t think I got a bite. Sometimes it takes a day or two to find out.

The daffodil leaves now either lay flat or reach for the sun, their blooms long gone. The yellow irises and the purple irises still reach for the sky. Soon the little plants with the yellow flowers will bloom. Then the flowers from the phlox will appear. The phlox are trying to catch up after being chomped down by the Lucky Rabbits. The grapevine is starting to poke through. I wonder if the cone flower, which came up this year, will bloom and spread. A wire fence surrounds it to keep it safe.

My mom gave me the daffodils, irises, wild geranium, and yellow flowers, which are getting ready to bloom. The chives have been here since we moved in. For some reason, I tried to get rid of them, but it wouldn’t stop growing. Thankfully, they stayed and have been in our garden since the beginning, with the grapevine and ferns.

Our granddaughter painted the blue heart a couple of years ago. Her mom’s careful printing says it all. It cracked, but we glued it back together. It’s all better now, sending its love. The little gnome was a gift from them too.

That early morning visit to the garden felt magical. A cardinal was singing a tune when a huge bumble bee 🐝 came for a visit and landed on a yellow iris. The bee was so welcomed that the usual goosebumps did not appear. Mom always said the bees are our friends.

When I see the heart that says “Grandma’s Garden,” I sometimes wonder does that mean my garden, or my mom’s, since most of the flowers started in her garden? We’re both grandmas now! I keep the garden in my heart and know Mom keeps it too.

Now, if only a hummingbird and a butterfly would appear…

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. ~Audrey Hepburn


Happy World Turtle Day!

Two small turtles rest
One snapper and one painted
We shared the same path

While on a walk the other day, I was surprised to see not only one turtle, but two. They were both the same size, about three inches long. They were quite far away from one another. When I saw the snapper, it didn’t move. I found a litttle stick and gently poked his leg. Thankfully, he moved slightly as if I was waking him from a nap. After walking around 20 more minutes, I came upon the painted turtle, which seemed a bit more awake.

How lucky for me to have seen these two turtles right before World Turtle Day! “The day was created as a yearly observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.” Click here to learn more.

Happy World Turtle Day! I ❤️ turtles.

Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause. ~Bruce Feiler

Dear Life

A week ago, Hubby and I thought we’d try our luck fishing on Lake Minnetonka. We had a bit of luck a couple of years ago when we visited a certain spot with our daughter and grandkids. We decided to go to the familiar place. Our footsteps on the wooden planks made the dock wobble in a few places, but it felt secure. Tiny waves slapped up against the posts. The east wind blew to cool our cheeks while the sun managed to keep us warm. A worker on shore and close to a maintenance building used a leaf blower to make a pile. That noise was disruptive! We stayed and watched our bobbers bounce to and fro for about 30 minutes. I thought about the familiar saying: “Wind from the east, fish bite the least.” Was it the noise or the wind that caused the fish to hide away? Maybe the sun was too bright. We didn’t get a nibble, so we decided to take a drive to Excelsior Beach.

Excelsior Beach seemed to be more peaceful. Birds chirped their songs. A squeaky swing holding a smiling toddler was a more welcomed rhythm than that of the leaf blower. A little ways off, we could see both sides of the beach, which comes to a point. One side was occupied with two sunbathers who didn’t seem to mind the cool breeze. We headed toward the other side where it looked like we’d have that spot to ourselves. Swarms of what I thought were gnats came floating our way. Upon closer inspection, I saw the bugs were quite large. Perhaps they were May flies? Standing still made us more attractive to them. Our way out was to keep walking at a good clip, which is not usually something a person does while fishing. Hubby stayed close to the shore casting away, while I took a walk.

I felt as if I was inside a maze, with the way I dodged the groups of bugs. There seemed to be a bit of relief the closer I got to the point. That’s where I found this remarkable tree, hanging on with crumpled roots, not sure which way to dig. Buds were opening on the branches to show life. I wondered if covering the roots with piles of dirt would help, but the tree seems to be doing fine on its own. How long had it been since the little seed had found that spot, I wondered. It’s nice it gets to live close to the water.

Not a fish was to be caught that sunny day, but catching a glimpse of this unusual tree hanging on for dear life was inspiring. I hope it holds tight so we can see it the next time we visit.

The great-heart wind, that bids us share
The optimism of the trees.
~Madison Cawein, “Wood-Words

Candy Sandwiches

Last night, Hubby and I were lucky to spend a couple of hours with our grandkids while their mom and dad went out for dinner. We played some new games and read a couple of books. Time flew. We wondered if they were hungry for a snack, so I listed off the usual healthy choices that their mom told me about before she left: fruit, cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc. Before I knew it, Grandson had his fist in the candy jar and pulled out a bunch of SweeTARTs in a variety of colors and flavors.

“Can’t you think of something healthier to eat?” I asked again, as I tasted one little SweeTART, which can make a person’s mouth pucker! Grandson said he’d like a sandwich with Nutella, which seemed like a healthier option. After I made it and Grandson devoured it, I put the baggie of SweeTARTs back in the jar and noticed squares of individually wrapped Ghirardelli chocolates sitting on the bottom.

“We could have a candy sandwich,” I announced, as Granddaughter laid a few little SweeTARTs on the kitchen table. I gave both of them a little square of chocolate and unwrapped my own. After I took a bite, a bit of sweet caramel came dripping out.

“Delicious,” I said.

“I didn’t know those were in there,” Grandson said. Yes, he wouldn’t have seen them since he just pulled the baggie out of the jar and didn’t look down toward the bottom, which is easier for me to see, since I’m still taller.

“Oh, whoops,” I said. Maybe their mom didn’t want me to take those. “It’s kinda like a sandwich with the squares and tarts all together.”

When the parents got back home, my daughter said, “How’d it go?”

“Not good,” I said jokingly, because the kids were supposed to have their pajamas on by the time they got home. We chatted a bit, while Daughter held Granddaughter on her hip. Daughter asked what the kids had for snack. She must have noticed the little bits of evidence on the counter.

“Candy sandwiches,” Granddaughter announced, loud and clear, with a big smile on her face. I guess we made a new invention!

Grandparents are there to help children get into the mischief they have not yet thought of. ~Unknown

Lucky Rabbits

A few mornings ago, four rabbits hopped around the backyard, not afraid or worried about our dog, Lila. Lila was inside the house at the time, but I thought animals pick up the scent of dogs and stay away from their yards. Ha! These rabbits didn’t care about any smells from dogs, which there are very many of on our block.

The rabbits will scamper away, when Lila comes out to play!

The rabbits played so happily that I’m expecting to see many more hopping around our neighborhood in the near future. Did you know that one female rabbit can have four sets of babies in one season? The size of her litter can be between one to 15, with an average size of seven.

Last year, many rabbits visited our yard. They ate the zinnias, clematis, and the cone flowers. They ate the row of hostas from our neighbor’s yard, one plant at a time. Those hostas have been growing there untouched for many, many years. Every few days one plant would disappear. We wondered, along with our neighbors, why they were eating so much, especially of things they usually left untouched. We decided the drought made it hard for their other food sources to grow.

Some people might consider it a sign of good luck to see that many rabbits in their yard. Others think it’s bad for their gardens. If we’re lucky, much rain will fall to chase the drought away. But then there might be even more rabbits. 🤔

I think they’re cute, but to be safe, I might just buy hanging baskets this year.

Have you seen any rabbits lately?

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
~Irish blessing

Shelf Mushrooms, Green Moss, and Hidden Bullfrogs

Have you ever noticed shelf mushrooms living on the side of a tree? There are also some growing out of the stump in the picture below.

When leaves unfurl and grasses grow tall, the mushrooms will be veiled.

Green moss grows on a weary log. Neighboring greenery sprouts nearby, trying to catch up.

Hidden bullfrogs in the wispy marsh croaked a quiet tune. Louder notes might greet us, the next time we visit. 🤞

If one truly loves nature one finds beauty everywhere. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Spring Back!

Photo by Phil Mitchell on Pexels.com

Spring sprung for two days
Then went off to hibernate
We wish it’d spring back!

It’s been a chilly spring in Minnesota.* Mother Nature teased us by giving us a couple of days in the 80 degree range. The daffodil leaves grew high in the garden, but now the buds don’t seem ready to open. It’s as if they’re waiting for the sun to shine before they show their pretty faces. The robins sang excitedly as they snacked on the fallen berries in the front yard about a month ago. Now they quietly hop about with strands of dead grass hanging from their little beaks hoping to build a warmer nest. The worms, like spring, must be hiding now too.

Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring. ~Lilly Pulitzer


* The temperature is 34°F, as I write this. Our high was 38°F today. The average high temperature for April is 55°F. 😏

Meet Marcy

A couple of years ago, I found a pattern for Marcy on Etsy. She’s quite a cutie, and I wanted to make her for my granddaughter. Soon after I found the pattern, I began crocheting all the parts: body, arms, legs, head, dress, underpants, booties, and bow. The pattern was easy to follow and the parts worked up nicely. However, it’s always a little difficult for me to make the facial features, and I wondered how challenging it would be to get the hair into place. Those fears loomed a little larger with each passing stitch, and I talked myself into thinking that, My granddaughter is still pretty young for this doll. I’ll give it to her for her next birthday. All the parts were placed in a basket and sat collecting dust for a while.

Suddenly, Granddaughter’s next birthday got closer with each passing day. I could wait no longer. I took the basket down from on top of the desk and followed the directions for putting it all together. Then it was time for the hair. After getting each piece into place, I remembered that I should have made adjustments to the pattern because I used a different size crochet hook. The crochet hook was larger, because I used a different kind of yarn. The hair ended up being too short and not lining up as it should have. If I would have completed it when I was in the midst of making it, it would have been done correctly the first time! Luckily, I had enough brown yarn and was able to work out the hair as best I could.

Last year, my granddaughter got her dolly at her birthday party and she hugged it tight!

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task… ~William James, 1886

World of Wonder – WOW

The Bachman flower shows used to be at the Macy’s store in downtown Minneapolis. A few years ago, the show moved to The Galleria in Edina. This year the theme is “World of Wonder.” The flowers will be on display through Easter.

Fragrant flowers greeted us as the wind blew flurries of snow outside.

Colorful mushrooms towered above us up to 12 feet high!

A pink toad snuggling in among the blooms.

A snail enjoying a colorful display!

An Easter lily blooms surrounded by greenery.

Many disco balls peek through the foliage.

Hoping we see a beautiful rainbow soon.

Wishing you a Happy Easter!

I will set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a token
of the covenant between me and the earth. ~ Genesis 9:13

Discovering Savannah: Mercer Williams House Museum

Mercer Williams House Museum

On the last day of our Savannah trip, we visited the Mercer Williams House Museum. The 1994 non-fiction book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, written by John Berendt, is based on events that occurred there in the 1980s. The story is about Jim Williams, an antique dealer and restorationist, who’s on trial for the murder of his assistant. There were four trials. Mr. Williams was finally acquitted; the jury believed it was self-defense. There is also a film based on the book, which was directed by Clint Eastwood and released in 1997.

Before we got inside the house, we bought our tickets at the gift shop. The gift shop was once the carriage house for horses. Unfortunately, the tour guide informed us that no photographs are allowed on the tour. We first entered the beautiful garden, which was designed by Jim Williams. Plants bloomed with pollen dusting some surfaces. There are two levels of raised terraces built with Savannah grey brick, and the walkways are slate. Some of the plants include banana trees, palms, ginger lilies, ferns, grapevines, tea olive, and Carolina cherry. Also planted in the mix is a sweet shrub bush from Mr. Williams’s grandmother’s garden.

After going through the large entryway at the back of the house, we entered the dining room. Many portraits are displayed on the walls. Most of the furniture and art in the house are from Mr. Williams’s private collection. The artwork includes 18th and 19th century English and American portraits and Chinese export porcelain. Some portraits are of people who used to live in Savannah. General Hugh Mercer (great-grandfather of the songwriter Johnny Mercer) bought the land and had John S. Norris, an architect from New York, draw up plans. From the museum brochure: “In his design for Mercer House, Norris added Renaissance Revival elements to his standard mix of Greek and Italiante. The house and carriage house are constructed of deep rose-colored bricks called Philadelphia Reds, which were brought to Savannah aboard barges towed by sailing vessels. Using a symmetrical interior design, Norris combined 15-foot ceilings with floor-length windows and anchored the first floor plan with a 60-foot entrance hall that retains its original ceramic tile made in England at Stoke-on-Trent.” Construction began in 1860 but was interrupted by the Civil War. The house was finally completed around 1868. The Mercer family never lived there. The property was sold to John Randolph Wilder, a cotton merchant. After Wilder moved on, the Shriners used the building for their meetings. The members used to roller skate up and down the entryway! The floor tiles are original and remain in good shape. The house was vacant for 10 years and was about to be sold to the city. Fortunately, Jim Williams purchased it in 1969 and saved it from becoming a parking lot. It took him two years to restore the house. Jim Williams saved over 50 houses in Savannah and the Lowcountry.

As we left the dining room, the guide pointed out the 15-inch-wide door jambs. He also explained how the house is designed to cool, by air flowing up from the basement. We admired the beautiful spiral staircase but were not able to climb it. The Fire Department doesn’t allow visitors upstairs, because there is only one way down. When we entered the living room, the guide told us how, at an early age, Mr. Williams took in old furniture, fixed it up, and re-sold it. That is how he began creating his fortune. There are a lot of beautiful period pieces to admire. During the filming of the movie, Clint Eastwood had the original furniture replicated, with the originals going into storage, because he didn’t want any of the original items to get damaged.

We also saw Mr. Williams’s office. The original shutters still hang in the windows on the main floor, with no heavy drapes collecting dust. There are collections of Audubon engravings, ivory tusks and shells from Cabbage Island, an island Mr. Williams owned for a time. Many trophied stuffed animal heads peeked at us with glassy eyes! Mr. Williams had a cat for many years and scratch marks can still be seen on some of the furniture. We didn’t see the kitchen and there was no mention of it. My guess is that it’s adjacent to the dining room, but I didn’t think to ask at the time. The bathroom is quite large and the walls are covered in red, velvety wallpaper.

At the end of the tour, the guide informed us that Mr. Williams died of a heart attack in 1990, at the age of 59, eight months after his acquittal. We wondered if it was caused by the stress of the trials. Jim Williams’s sister, Dorothy Williams Kingery, currently owns the house. Her daughter, Susan, helps manage the museum.

The book and movie made tourism flourish in Savannah. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil “became a New York Times Best-Seller for 216 weeks following its debut and remains one of the longest-standing New York Times Best-Sellers.” My Book Club read it back in the day, but I don’t remember too much about it. My only memory is that many parties took place in the house.

Other beautiful homes in the neighborhood.

Monterey Square – Happy Spring!

Be sure to take a carriage ride, if you go! We hope to visit the “Hostess City of the South” again.

Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow. ~Anita Desai