carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

Getting Ready For Florence

Let me just say.  I would really rather have my Aunt Florence visit than this hurricane…

There has been chatter about this storm for over 10 days now.  It begins to wear on you.  But on the other hand, when we were in Italy, we had very little idea when some major weather event was going to happen.  In Italy, I did learn to keep a collection of empty plastic jugs that I could fill with water if I had a clue that we were going to lose power, which meant losing the pump for the well.  Here in the US, every Spring, I use up the supplies from last year and restock my ‘hurricane kit’.  This is a carryover from looking after my Mom when she lived in Florida.

So since we had adequate supplies, I only had to worry about gas in the car and the always essential, pink fizzy wine and Cheetos! And of course, the always important, trip to the library.  Grocery stores were a ZOO!  Parking lots, don’t even ask!  We live in Cameron Village so I know a few parking places that others might not know of.  And I know the ‘flow’ of the village, the busy times, the slower times.    So it wasn’t too bad to get in and out.

Our neighbors have made sure that we know if we need their help they are there.  They are absolute champs at moving all the flying objects off the deck. (see a picture later) This morning I went out to move everything from our deck.

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Not sure how the begonia forest and jungle will fare in the storm.

You know who came out to help me

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And everything is tucked away.

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It gets to the point when you say “I’ve done all that I can do’.  We just don’t have the space to move things inside.  But those young neighbors did a spectacular job.

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Look at those garbage cans….  such a good job.

So we will see what happens.  I worry the most about this tree.

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It made it through Hazel and Fran and goodness knows how many other storms and has been examined and declared healthy.  So I am sure that it will be fine.  Plus we sleep and live on the ground floor…..  Updates later.

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The Ultimate Garden Compliment

Hummingbirds fighting over your plants….. Yes, that is it.

We have had a good bit of rain this summer.  Some times it comes down as a gully washer, sometimes nice and gentle.  For me it has been a little tricky about when to put out plant food.  One day last week I realized I must have timed it just right when I looked out my kitchen window and saw this.

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Most everything blooming together at the same time.  (Sorry the color is washed out.  Still using my tablet instead of a camera)

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And as I went back in there was a hummingbird fight going on over head.  Made me feel good that my plants were such a treat that they were worth fighting over.

The pampered hydrangea still looks good.

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The elephant ears have done so well

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They will definitely go back there next year.  I am thinking that if I can get some bamboo I might make a trellis to help support them.  The lower plants are sort of lost and still have to be watered some times since the big leaves are like umbrellas.  For some reason I have lost my lambs ear plants here and out front.  I don’t know if it is too damp or what.

The begonias are doing well

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Again, the color is not true.  They are a very pretty rosy pink.

I have been going to the State Farmer’s Market.  Managed to get my knives sharpened there too. Only been trying to get that done for MONTHS!  (Becks https://beckscutlery.com/)

I had some time to wait while my knives were being worked on so I looked at plants which I normally do not do.  Of course I had to buy one.

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A very dark, almost black purple vinca.  Real tickled to find this.  It will move into its own pot, if it ever stops raining long enough.  And next to it, a little airplane plant that I pinched from a public planter.  Gotta get that in dirt soon too.

The deck has taken on a nice jungle feel.  Guppy and I brave the mosquitoes and sit out there for a bit most every evening.  And I try to remind her how fortunate we both are.

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Well, what happened to April?

I don’t know about you, but those winter months seem to drag by.  Then it is Spring and the months seem to pick up speed.  April was certainly that way.

I have been having camera issues.  So no pictures.  But then it finally occurred to me that I have a tablet which takes pictures.  Of course it took me about an hour to get my tablet to talk to my laptop and get just the few  pictures that I wanted,  transferred.  Finally, I got it working.

So a brief recap of April.  It was still cold at night.  Hydrangea was still wearing a towel on many nights.  Robins appeared on the lawn wearing hats, gloves and mufflers, asking for directions back to Florida.  Ben’s nephew and two of his daughters blew in from Kansas for a soccer tournament in Greensboro.  We toddled up to meet them for lunch.  Before Easter I started working on stenciling a faux tile pattern on the steps.  Who knew that would take so long.  Each step took about 3 hours total and had to be done in stages.  What with doctors’ appointments and exercise classes I would fit short 2 hour work sessions.  (American steps, 10 inches, Italian hips much larger.  I could really only perch on that little edge for so long anyway)  Finally, I finished at the end of the month.

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Before

 

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after

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I also touched up the backs of the steps.  They had gotten scuffed.  See how they go from dark to light.  I used those colors and the gold that is on the wall  and just a bit of red that is near Ben’s office that you can’t see.

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So that is April.  Already exciting things for May….

 

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Ah, Spring in North Carolina

Now that it is mid-March I think I can write about Spring.  I saw a cartoon where Mother Nature is saying “You can’t have all 4 seasons in one week!”  And the state of North Carolina says ” OH, Just Watch!  Here, hold my beer!”  That is what this week has been like.  Monday, March 12 it snowed and Thursday, the 15th it was 70 degrees.  We are not in the mountains, instead towards the eastern part of the state.  Go figure!

Anyway, February was wonderfully and consistently mild.  The cherry trees bloomed early and were outstanding.

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They bloomed.  No cold snap or heavy rains to damage the blooms.  Looked good for 2 weeks like they should.  The Asian Magnolias or Tulip Trees or whatever you want to call them were spectacular.  Sorry, no pictures.  I was having camera issues.  The blooms were so full and large on these trees that petals dropped and covered the ground while the trees still looked good.  For here, the variety that is planted usually is not that showy.  The buds will get nipped or something will happen.  But not this year, it was their year.

Last summer I saw an offer for 50 mixed daffodil bulbs from White Flower Farms in Better Homes and Gardens for a very good price.  So I went ahead and bought them.  Planting them in the fall.

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What a show they have been putting on.

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The first one opened on February 4.  Gradually more and more have opened.  And it was a nice mix of bulbs.  I would buy it again if I just had more room.  When I planted them I also stuck a day lily in. We’ll see how they look this summer.

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So, is all this snow?  No, flower petals from the tree out front.  See the hydrangea at the base of the tree?  Monday as all the snow and sleet came down it was asking for a coat and gloves

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I have been very conscientious about covering it up every night.  Hopefully the tender buds have been saved.   Never a dull moment here.

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No, no, no, SNOW

I haven’t disappeared.  We just got really busy in December.  And we just don’t do anything that is exciting anymore.  However, I could not let this snow pass without a comment.

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Yes, this is the “don’t worry about it.  It will only be 1 to 2 inches.” snow storm.  Here in town, we probably got about 4″ so far with maybe an inch or two more to come.  There are places with 10″ or more.  I don’t think you could pay me enough to be a weather person here in North Carolina.

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There was a storm two weeks ago.   That was barely a dusting.  Then it was really COLD!  Unusally cold for here.  Four degrees one night.  That is really cold for her.  We had a 10 day period when we did not get above freezing.  So guess who has been living inside?

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Yes, the olive tree.  Festive lights.  A Poinsetta friend.  Ohhhh, it is getting a little too comfortable in here.  Thank goodness I bought a rolling saucer for it.

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