Everything in its Place

Downsizing. It’s kind of a “thing” for people my age. We talk about how we’re “editing” our closets (I just worked on that project in September), or “minimizing clutter” by going through cabinets, drawers, garages and the like in search of seldom used or unnecessary objects.

Over the past two years, I’ve been tasked with helping my dementia-challenged mother downsize her earthly belongings in order to move to smaller accommodations. Twice, actually. As I’ve sifted through her belongings – especially her paperwork – one thing became very clear to me. My parents were generous. Generous with time. Generous with possessions. And generous with their modest finances.

This article by my husband brought my godly parents and their generous hearts to mind. Read on.

Know Your Flocks & Herds

When I was young, I was told that there should be “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place.” This meant that it was good to be tidy, organized and neat. But this can also mean having life priorities set properly so as not to focus on the unimportant or less important things while ignoring things that deserve a higher place in my thinking. If I think today is more important than tomorrow for some things that is very true. But if I think this life’s pleasures, things and my personal goals are the highest priority, then I am a fool.

Kevin DeYoung has some excellent advice in the link that is provided below. Part of what he says is:

“1 Corinthians 1:30-31 says that Christ is for us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that as it is written, ‘Let the one who…

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Six on Saturday: The Garden’s Faded Glory

A tired garden trellis is given a fun purple paint-job and a new lease on life, thanks to my hubby.

Iris ‘Immortality’ makes a return fall blooming engagement.

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Between raindrops – German Bearded Iris ‘Immortality’

We lost our birch tree last year and haven’t gotten around to grinding out the stump. It made a nice pedestal for my mother’s blue pot of dianthus and a bit of orange portulaca trying to make a comeback for one more blooming before killing frost.

This hibiscus moscheutos ‘Tie Dye’ just keeps on blooming. It’s slowing down, but still putting out a few ruffled blooms every day.

A few years ago my neighbors bought a whole bunch of plants in the hopes of doing a major landscaping project. Pots filled with the promise of spectacular blooms awaited planting, but it seemed they would never get planted. In fact, I rarely saw my neighbors. At summer’s end, I noticed my neighbor lady outdoors, so stopped my gardening to chat with her a bit. She apologized for the “mess” in her driveway – a few pots of dead and dying plants sitting in a heap. I asked her what had happened. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, much like these potted plants, my neighbor’s marriage was shriveling and dying. Pointing to the pots, she said that if there was anything I’d like to try to save, to just take it. Sedum ‘Maestro’ stands in testament to the fact that, like marriage, plants need attention and TLC.

My garden helper, Smoky – a neighborhood stray who chose us as his family three summers ago.

That’s my six for the week. Now, let’s see yours.

Keep checking back to our host’s site for the latest Sixes.

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday – “Hello” to Autumn

Like most Midwestern gardeners, my season in the garden for 2018 is coming to a close and, as always, I have so much left to do. Over the past few summers, taking care of Momma has been my first priority with time spent in the garden has been very limited. This year Momma lives with me, so my gardening strategy has been to squeeze at least one gardening task into one of her daily naps. I know I’ve accomplished a lot more this year than the past two or three, but I still feel a tad bit overwhelmed. I have four new daylilies (purchased in June) which are still awaiting planting in my flowerbeds, hostas I’d like to divide, weeds that need to be pulled, bushes needing trimming, mulching that should be done, and my newly arrived mail-order of new tulip and daffodil bulbs awaiting burial in a sunny garden location. I’ve had all sorts of reasons (excuses) –  hot rainy weather paired with mosquitoes; cold rainy weather paired with soggy ground; and plain ol’ busyness paired with the tiredness that comes from late nights taking care of my mom as she wrestles with the fiend, Alzheimer’s.

With only a suggestion, my wonderful husband painted a few of my garden trellises to renew their almost spent life cycle. Here’s one he painted red for me. It looks amazing as a backdrop for some orange zinnias that are still lookin’ snazzy on the edge of a flowerbed awaiting fall cleanout.

One of autumn’s faithful beauties is most definitely sedum. So, so, so pretty.

Our fireplace woodpile houses a few chipmunks who love to use the top log as their stage for their morning ‘chippy’ serenades. I noticed something fun when I was looking through photos…their stage has a lovely heart shape in the wood-grain on the end.

One of my favorite shades of green in the garden is this one – a lovely chartreuse-y green that lights up the garden wherever it is planted. This ‘Tiger-Eye’ Sumac graces the north-east corner of our backyard deck.

I don’t recall planting cosmos this year, but I’m loving this fuchsia pink volunteer…and so are the visiting bees.

This beautiful cherry red zinnia makes me smile too. With very little effort, late summer and early fall are rewarded with this cheery flower. I’m a perennial gardener, but there is always room for zinnia in my gardens.

And I always, always wish I had planted more zinnia.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my very first contribution to ‘Six on Saturday’– a fun blog meme hosted by  The Propagator, and introduced to me by Carolee, whose blog “Herbal Blessings” makes me aspire to be a better gardener. Please take a moment to check out both of their blogs. You’ll soon find yourself virtually wandering through some pretty amazing gardens all over the world and I guarantee  you will learn something along the way.

 

 

For the Love of Books

For a very brief window of time, it seemed something Mom had lost had been restored. Mom always loved reading books. I thought Alzheimer’s had stolen my mother’s ability to read.

Imagine my delight when she picked up a devotional book, paged through it, then read from its pages for about 30 minutes. Unbelievable. I’m so grateful. It hasn’t happened again since then, but it was sweet in the moment that it happened.