Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Front yard update.

Three years ago today, I was living in the new house I'd bought a month earlier and just starting to work on the landscaping. It was basically a plain grass yard, with minimal plantings at the foundation.
The clover that we put in to replace the grass is pretty full now. The instructions that came with the miniclover seed said it could be kept to a standard lawn height by mowing it occasionally. But we looked at it a few days ago and decided we liked it tall and lush. Why should we have to mimic a conventional lawn? It's starting to bloom a little and I'm very happy with it.
From the first crocuses through daffodils and tulips, bulbs continue to send up flowers in waves. Asiatic lilies are in bloom now.
The liriope and other perennials along the new walkway are full now.
The birdbath is absolutely covered up by coneflowers. I only planted a few but they have spread profusely.
This is a purple d'oro daylily plant, which makes no sense at all. It's a purple version of a stella d'oro, which means gold star. So why didn't they name it a stella de viola?
The same view of the house as the first picture, taken today. Quite a change, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's never too late to do something different.

One of the big things going on in our lives of late is a mid-life career change for my husband. He was deeply unhappy with his work in the corporate world, trying to juggle competing demands from the heads of the company and not finding much in the job that felt valuable. I hated knowing how much he hated it. When the company started struggling and layoffs ensued, I saw it as a wonderful opportunity. I offered to pick up the financial slack and take over kid duty when he needed to be in class or at a part-time job, and urged him to get trained in something he would feel good about doing. And so, he enrolled in a program to get certified as a Clinical Medical Assistant. With that certification, he could work as a phlebotomist or EKG tech or more generally in a hospital or physician's office. My only condition was that as a needlephobe, I could not let him practice on me! After months of evening and Saturday classes, and lots of studying in a field completely new to him, the course wrapped up with the national exam. We went out to celebrate!
Several days later, he got his results back and found out he didn't just pass the test, he aced it. I pulled out the bottle of bourbon I'd bought to mark the occasion. Because I never had a doubt he'd do well. And he posted this incredibly sweet thank-you: "When I told her we should bring back a couple of bottles of wine from Italy, she said "How about a couple of cases?" When I told her before cooking a fish and chips dinner that I was going inside to batter the cod, she raised an eyebrow and said "Is that what you boys are calling it these days?" And when she could tell I was tiring of a business world that was taking a very real physical and mental toll on me, she said "whatever you want to do we will make it happen"."
Ready for the 6-week externship, which he is now two days into. It was a scary move but, I feel certain, the right one. He's been happier and more relaxed even since just starting the program. And when he came back from the first day at the medical office where he's been placed, he was smiling and wanting to talk about it. That in itself makes it all worth it.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Other times, it's a run of funny things.

Like this sweet potato seal I found.
Or a cherry turkey.
Or maybe a place to stop for lunch when you're feeling blue.

And then I saw a joke on a friend's facebook timeline:

Dad: "What's a pirates favorite letter?
Kid: The letter Arrrrrgh?
Dad: You'd think it be the letter Arrrrgh, but they be enchanted by the C's!

I had to try it on my kids, leading to this exchange with my older son:
I walked right into that one!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A run of odd things.

In the last few minutes of the last appointment of the day, I heard a loud thud and then spent too much time watching this scene out the window.
 And then I unwrapped a truffle only to find it was a chocolate Death Star.
Worse, I went into the fenced-in back yard to plant something and saw this on the ground. That's right, a severed duck foot. But why? And how? My theory is that it is the work of El Chupacabra.
But on the other hand, a little house finch landed on my husband's messenger bag when he was on his way to class. That makes up for the rest of it.