Monday, February 15, 2010

February Bloom Day

here is the deepest secret nobody knows.
here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide.
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart.
i carry your heart.
(i carry it in my heart.) ~
E. E. Cummings

It was an exceptional Valentine's weekend for our family, with the birth of a granddaughter Saturday morning. Even if it wasn't quite so eventful, I hope yours was lovely too.

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. - Hal Borland

I used to hate winter. As moments, weeks, seasons, years, decades pass, I like it more and more. Life is beautiful, whatever the season. As the old cliche' goes, it beats the alternative.

I wonder. How might we see a snowstorm if we knew it was our last? What if we knew this was our last winter, last month, last day, last moment on this beautiful earth? How might a sunrise, a starry night, a hug, good morning, good night, I love you, phone call to a dear one, hello and goodbye, be different if we knew it was our last? Every moment in life is a gift, whatever the weather.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. ~ Ecclesiastes 3: 1

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content. ~ Helen Keller

Each of us makes his own weather, and determines the color
of the skies in the emotional universe he inhabits.
~ Bishop Fulton Sheen

If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Happy Bloom Day, when garden bloggers everywhere share what's blooming in their corners of the world on the fifteenth of each month. To see more February blooms please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Our Little Valentine

K, my oldest daughter and her husband joyfully welcomed a little Valentine into the world early this morning. She is 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and 20 1/2 inches long. Every inch of her is perfect and beautiful.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

4.3 and 12

About 4 a.m. today, 75 miles northwest of us near Sycamore, an earthquake (originally reported as 4.3, now revised to 3.8,) hit Illinois.

So far there are no reports of damage or injuries. There are preliminary reports of the quake being felt from Wisconsin to Tennessee. Here in the south 'burbs, we slept through it.

The latest round of snow here started late Monday, and continued through last night. This shot's a bit blurry, but it gives some perspective to the depth of the snow. George's legs are about 12.5 inches long. In unprotected areas of the back yard, he's up to his belly in snow.

The garden receives shelter from the house, trees, and and an arborvitae hedge - here the snow is 11-12 inches deep. George rarely ventures into the garden. He's forgiven since it's kind of hard to tell where the garden is! Yesterday it took some searching to find the walk leading to the front door so I could plow it.

As much snow as we've received so far during this latest storm, it pales in comparison to the east coast's snowfall totals. Be careful plowing and shoveling everyone, and safe travels. As for me, I feel fortunate being able to stay close to home, and am grateful for our big honkin' snow blower.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

An Ounce of Prevention

Ben Franklin, who helped found Philadelphia's first firefighting organization, the Union Fire Company (a/k/a Ben Franklin's Bucket Brigade,) coined the famous saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound a cure."

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena'

Last spring a young witch hazel was added to our garden. Sometime during a spring garden supply shopping foray, a roll of marked-down garden fencing ended up in the cart. No immediate use was planned for it, but the price was right.

After returning from a trip to Mom's last September, I remembered the bargain fencing. A small piece was easily cut using a wire cutter, and a small round fence was made to protect the last of my favorite coneflowers left standing. Another was made for young Jelena, as seen above.

Early this spring I'll be watching for signs of life from victims of last fall's carnage. If any, or all of those cute little rooted hydrangea cuttings survived, they'll get their own little temporary fences, at least until they're large enough to fend for themselves. My makeshift homemade fences might not be pretty, but so far they're working.