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.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Spring is well underway

here at Heartland Gardens. Gonna start changing the focus of the blog back to the gardens now that Mom is doing pretty good. We are so pleased with her progress - she gets out in her wheelchair to both the front porch and back porch to enjoy the weather and the gardens. Her nurse is so pleased with her progress that she is only coming once a week to check on her - life is good and we thank God for her progress. It is such a joy to see her enjoying life again.

Now onto the gardens - we have had a pretty good spring with good amounts of rain and all the plants are loving it. Tom and I have been able to work on the area around the pond where we took the upper pond and stream out. Mom has her fountain placed so she can see it out her window and I have planted the area behind it with a bunch of annuals that I started from seed. We are looking forward to seeing it in full bloom. I have spent the better part of this week working around my shade house, perennial bed and the plant starting area. I am trying to get better organized so that when I start these seeds I can have a better handle on how they are doing and can manage the whole process better. I am very pleased with this years WSing - germination was really good except for one whole tray that I think I cooked the seeds by having them in too much sun - hence the re-organizing of the shade house. Even our early spring sunny days can be too hot for seeds to germinate - I am learning.

Another thing I am learning and trust me this is a BIG thing for me (ask my sister Ruth or even Tom) is to pull out plants even if they still show some life. Today it was the pansies and violas that have graced many of our gardens all winter and early spring. They still looked pretty but it was time because I have summer annuals to replace them and if I didn't get the new ones in the ground I would loose them - so now the mailbox viola garden is replaced with portulaca and other places have zinnias to take over where the larger pansies were. Many containers now have begonias and others have caladiums and coleus and now are on all the various porches. Pictures will look better in about a month when they really take off. The confederate jasimine has been spectacular this spring - every night the air is filled with its fragrance. The gardenias are starting to replace that smell and will last well into July. I try and plan to have something very fragrant blooming all the time.

Two days ago Tom and I managed to score really big at our local Lowes. Seems there was an 'oopppss' in the watering process and as a result a whole big cart of clematis got marked down by 75% so we jumped on that and got 18 clematis at $1.50 each. Customers want 'perfect' plants and I could see that all these needed was some TLC - they have been repotted and watered and look great - now where to put them all - what a wonderful dilenma to have. After giving some to Ruth and setting some aside for Dawn I think we can find places for the rest.

Tom has been having a ball with the veggie garden - it looks so healthy and luscious. I couldn't even begin to list all he has planted but even if we only get a decent yield from 1/2 of what he has planted we will be set for the winter with veggies - yummy.

So far Spring has been good - we are looking forward to a good summer but will take whatever heads our way weather wise. Please keep the mid-west in your prayers - they have been hit so hard with tornados. So until the next time - stop and look around you - there is beauty everywhere

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

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Mother's Day (Belated)

Greetings from Heartland Gardens! We hope all Moms who come across this little part of cyberspace had a Wonderful Mother's Day.

Here, we celebrated a day early --- the weather was great, the gardens were full of color, and Mom wanted to get out of bed, into her wheelchair, and watch things from the porches. I was eating lunch, putting off mowing the lawn for a while, when Lynne called to me, letting me know Mom wanted to be wheeled outside... Well, like I had a choice, right? :) So, lunch was left unfinished, because Mom stayed out on the porches (back and front) for almost 2 hours! Yes, the grass did get mowed, but not during the heat of the day... Thanks, Mom, for delaying my work last weekend!

Before I move on to pictures, a brief update. Really, very little change in Mom's condition in the last few weeks. She doesn't eat much still, but her diet, at least, varies. This past week, she had some fresh carrots from the garden, wanted some Vienna Sausage, had some milk toast, and still likes her mashed potatos with fresh parsley from the garden.

Hospice care has been VERY good with Mom, and with us. In the last couple weeks, we were actually able to go out to dinner with some visiting friends, and watch our grandsons baseball games, thanks to the volunteer aides who allowed Lynne and I a couple hours of 'time off - together'.

Mom is visited by a hospice nurse twice a week, and has a home health care aide in once a week to help her with bathing, hair washing if needed, -- her personal care, and Annie does an excellent job.

Of course, Meredith, the social case worker, makes sure that Lynne and I, and the rest of the local family, are all doing OK with Mom's ever-changing conditions, and keeps insisting that we take time off together... which we have now, a couple times together, leaving Mom in the very capable hands of volunteer Laura, and last week, Laura and her husband.

It's kinda difficult for us, with the Hospice team wanting us to be able to spend time together, and us, not wanting to over-use the services that Hospice offers. Maybe in the weeks and months ahead, we'll find a happy compromise.

For now, Mom is doing pretty good, given where we were at just a couple months ago. As each day passes and dawns into a new one, EVERY day here at Heartland Gardens is Mother's Day.

Lynne's sister Ruth still comes down twice a week as well, to spend time with Mom, which gives us a little time together, working out in the yard uninturupted, or to go out to do the simple chore of grocery shopping together. Yeah, that doesn't seem important, or critical, but it's still a little time Lynne and I do have alone, even if it's walking down the aisles of the Wal Mart or Food Lion, or maybe even going to the Farmer's Market or a local garden center... Ruth's twice-weekly visits ARE so very important to us, and we so much appreciate the time she allows us to have together.

Now, on to some pictures...

Here's a good shot of a beautiful stray rooster that frequented our yard, and our neighbors yards, for a couple weeks back in early April. He was a joy to see, but not particularly pleasant to hear at 4:30 in the morning :) We still hear him, but apparently he's back in the confines of his coop again.


As Lynne posted, Karen's visit in April gave Mom lots to smile about. From the first hugs, through the sharing of pictures, both hard copy photos with Lynne, and then at the computer, where Karen and Ruth share online photos with Mom.

April, May, and early June give us our favorite photo shots, as these will show. Mom has seen most of these, either from her room, or her porch visits. The pink Dogwood, new last year, put on a nice display for a young tree.

Here's some of the Irises we had blooming

The Clematis are still putting on a nice show in various spots around the yard.


Here's some random flower shots. 2 years later, and we're still trying to figure out all the features on the digital camera :)

Here's a boquet of flowers Lynne picked for Mom a couple weeks ago. They really brighten Mom's room, and bring a smile to her :)

And, of course, after a hard day's work, Shadow and Tinkerbell take a well deserved nap...


Thanks for taking time to stop in and see what's been going on here at Heartland Gardens. We'll have more pictures again soon, and hopefully continued good reports on Mom. Take care and God Bless!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Spring has arrived

but first an update on Mom. After we had the family reunion Mom stayed on real high for a couple of weeks - she couldn't stop talking about it to the nurses, home aid and Hospice counselor. Then to make things even better we had a visit from her oldest grandaughter - my niece Karen. We surprised Mom with that visit and was she ever - her faced beamed for days after Karen left. Since Mom is spending almost all of her time in her bedroom now, Tom and I moved her furniture around so she could see out her window from her bed and watch the birds at the bird feeder and see the ever changing flowers in several gardens. She has really enjoyed that. All in all she is holding her own - she still is not eating or drinking much and continues to lose weight but her spirits are up and that makes us happy. Our continued prayers and our mission is to keep her comfortable so her remaining days are filled with love and peace.

Tom and I are really keeping busy now that spring is in full swing. Our winter sowing was a complete success this winter and as a result we have tons of plants to get out into the gardens. Tom has expanded his number of veggies adding more varieties of peppers, tomatoes, beans, squash, you name it he has planted it. Hopefully we will have sufficient rain this year to have a good yield. I did alot of perennials trying to chose ones that were drought tolerant once established. I am going to do away with the fussy annuals that need constant water during the heat of the summer and stick with drought tolerant ones. I have been doing alot of reading and research on which varieties to use. Thanks to Ruth coming down twice a week now Tom and I do get out and are able to really work uninterrupted while she is here. On days when she isn't here we take a baby monitor outside with us so we can hear Mom if she calls for us. So far it is working out really good.

So as spring sets in I can say that life is really good here in the Heartland - thanks for stopping by and please leave us a message when you do......until the next time

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