Forward - From the Heartland of Carolina

This is a continuing story of the journey Forward shared by 2 people, Lynne and Tom. Both love to LIVE life to it's fullest, which currently means spending lots of time outdoors, working on various projects from gardens to patios, flowers to vegetables, sunrises and sunsets, birds and woodland critters, and spending time with family. Don't forget to check the monthly archives, and please feel free to leave us a comment so we know you stopped by.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Remembering the past but looking FORWARD

3 years ago - March 23, 2003 - my children and I said good bye to a husband and father. Not a day goes by that he is not thought of with love and a joy that he was a part of our lives. This blog will not be about him - I have written much about our love for him and his place in our lives - he will always remain deep with-in our hearts and the memories are good ones and bring a smile to my heart. This is about SPRING - new beginnings and how much I look forward to it and now share it with Tom.

We have been very very busy with the yard and expanding the gardens and clearing out the woods to make new woodland gardens. I had mentioned before wthat I had discovered a new gardening technique called 'wintersowing'. Well it has been a tremendous success - we have tons of new babies just waiting to find their home in the gardens. The paths of the cottage garden - Glenns memorial garden - are lined with containers with sprouts of every imaginable kind of flower. Tom has been busy too with his own choice of flowers and of course the veggie gardens. All the cool weather veggies have been planted and doing nicely. Sugar peas are a new crop this year and I can't wait to pick the first of them. of course we have the usual lettuces, brocolli, cabbage, beets., spinach and radishes planted again. I just love the idea of going out and picking fresh vegetables from the garden. Mom is enjoying it too and eagerly gobbles down anything that we have picked and cooked. The flavor is to die for - yummy.

The big job for this year is now completed and ready for us to enjoy. The screened in porch is done - all we need now is the warm balmy nights. It will be sooooooo nice to sit out there and not get carried away by skeeters and to enjoy a meal without swatting flies and bees. We left it with a very rustic look and I plan to give it a 'Cracker Barrel' feel with old signs, old gardening tools and a very country, comfy feel with rocking chairs to rock away the afternoons sipping ice tea. Of course Tom is envisioning it turning into a summer home for all the plants that don't like the sun and he just may be right - lol. The poor little front porch gets so full of hanging baskets, flower pots and window boxes that we feel we are in a tropical jungle but it gives the hummingbirds, butterflies and chameleons a place to play and that is what it is all about.

The grandsons are doing great - busy with school, basketball and now baseball is gearing up - keeps their mommy busy. John's main job lately has been acting 'plastic container' chief. He makes sure that any plastic bottle that I can use as a seed starting container gets saved for 'grammy' with gallon milk jugs being the favorite. Of course I have told both kids that they had better get their garden ready because I will certainly have left over babies to put in them. Celeste continues to grow and get prettier every day. She is getting into the discovery stage - finding her fingers and toes and voice recognition. We don't see near enough of her but when we do it is such a joy. Her great-grandma just beams when I put Celeste in her arms - we cherish those moments.

Mom is doing OK - wish I could say great but for now we have to settle with ok. She still tires so easily and breathing becomes labored whenever she tires to do anything other than just the very simple basics. She is keeping busy making her little beaded angels - the current craft of choice - and working on her word puzzle books. One thing for certain - her mind is still sharp and witty and for that we say "thank you Lord". She has enjoyed being out on the porch a few times when temps allowed and is looking forward to doing it more as it warms up. For right now she is content looking out her windows and asking about all the new color that show up in the gardens. I planted alot of spring bulbs in her front garden and it is looking so pretty with them and the pansies, violas and dianthus in bloom. I plan to cram her garden with lots of color this year for her to enjoy.

Well this is getting longer than I had planned but there is so much happening here at the 'Heartland' that I wanted to catch everyone up. Tom will be posting pictures again and there will be more frequent entries as the gardens burst forth so please stop by often to see the changes.

In closing I ask each of you who stop by to take time this spring to plant some seeds, walk around your yard, go to a park or woods and watch God's miracle of birth and renewal - it is truely amazing..........

Lynne ~~he who plants a seed - believes in tomorrow~~

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Winter's Winding Down

Greetings from The Heartland!
It's hard to believe it's been a month without updating. There really hasn't been much to report on, though. February gave us Winter, Spring and a taste of Summer, and early March has done the same.

Mom is still progressing along slowly, with good days and days she's very tired, but she still sneaks out on the porches for a little while on the nice days to see what Lynne and I have been up to out in the yard. Last Sunday, she decided she was feeling up to going down to the Church for Sunday School. This might not sound like much, but other than trips to the Doctor's offices, this was her first time away from the house since coming home from the hospital. Lynne and I take turns going shopping, so someone's always home with mom, but with her slowly getting stronger, we're hoping soon we can get out for a couple hours and visit some garden centers or even grocery shop together. Little things, you know?

Speaking of porches, over the last 2 1/2 weeks, we've gotten the back deck converted into a screened porch. The crew just finished up today, and they really did an excellent job. We've held off on a lot of landscaping and planting, waiting for them to finish up. Now we can get going on some planting. Meanwhile, the veggie gardens have been expanded to grow some things Mom has ordered for the summer, and the regular rotation of cold weather plants like spinach, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and beets continues to rotate through the beds. Summer things like tomatoes and peppers, squashes and gourds have all been wintersown, and some have germinated, while others are waiting for warmer temperatures to sprout.

Kevin, Jenn and baby Celeste get down occasionally, and Dawn and the boys stop by often. It's especially a good time when they all get over at the same time, as the pictures show. Celeste is growing like a weed, and the grandsons, well, it their combined energy could be bottled and sold... ;-)

Back in December, there was a picture of a pear tree in the back yard that was in full fall colors, which it eventually shed. That tree has come back to life with spring just a week away, as the pictures with this post show. And, amazingly, we've had butterflies in the yard off and on all winter long.

The deer still show up from time to time, as does our semi-resident hawk. A couple weeks ago, we were very surprised to see 2 ducks up in one of the pine trees. Yes, that's right.... DUCKS! As in quack, quack!! If you look close in the small picture, you can see it at the bottom center.

Much of the back woods has now been cleared out, and Lynne is slowly turning parts of it into woodland gardens, instead of the saplings and trees, honeysuckle and grape vines, and occasional poison ivy mixed in. While clearing the woods out, we came across a stand of native blueberries. Hopefully, with a little TLC, we'll get some fruit off them.
Soon, many of the winter-sown seeds we've started will be getting planted out in the various garden beds. With the continuing drought, we're hoping we'll get some good soaking rains sometime really soon. It's been a dry winter so far, already almost 6" below normal for the year that is only 10 weeks old.

Next time around, we'll be posting pictures of some of the late winter flowers and the wintersown seedlings that have seen temps from 18 - 83 over the last several weeks, yet continue to provide entertainment for the eyes each time we walk around the year.

And, of course, no entry is complete without showing the cats doing what cats do best...absolutely nothing :-)

Thanks for stopping by and visiting. Please leave a note so we know you were here ;-)

Life continues to be well and wonderful, here in the Heartland.