Friday, April 29, 2011

Sweet Dreams

You've been wondering how long it was going to take me to post another picture of my grandson.  Come on - admit it - I know you were.

He is bringing me so much joy.  His little face already lights up when I lean over his crib and he breaks into a big smile.  Just like the line from "Jerry McGuire" - he had me at hello!  

Today is Countdown Friday

"But what minutes!  Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gertrude Jekyll

I'm just in from the garden with a tray full of Gertrude Jekyll roses, ready for water.  If this rose was a woman, she would be the one who walks into a crowded room and kidnaps all of the oxygen, just by the sheer force of her will.

Gertrude Jekyll is a David Austin English Rose, and is considered the most fragrant of all roses.  I can testify!  Every May (yes, I know this is April...) she comes to call and steals my heart all over again.  If I'm lucky, she will return for a brief encore in September.
Arranged in a Rose Medallion vase on loan from my sister, she looks mah-velous!  I placed the leftovers in a Rose Medallion teacup of my own, piled the loose petals in a matching bowl and scattered a few on top of the piano where my little collection of Rose Medallion lives year-round.  The scent is something from heaven!
Later in the day, my husband happened by as the sun was slanting across the living room and caught a close-up of the loose petals.
After dinner, the lamplight only improved things.

Did I mention how much I love Gertrude Jekyll roses?

 With so many beautiful things coming out of my garden in April and May, I'm racing to capture them all.  Just so you know - the peonies are full to bursting and the JASMINE is not far behind.  More from the garden cam next week!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Blessings

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
JOHN 3:16

Today is Good Friday

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tiny Miracles

Every year in April, I'm blessed with a little garden of tiny miracles called lily of the valley.  They visit for a precious week or ten days and then retreat, but their fragrance and appearance are worth the wait.

Our family has a sweet story about this flower, and every year in April I remember it with a smile.  For 25 years we lived in a house not far from here.  Both of our children grew up in that house and we have so many good memories of those years.

About five years before we moved away, I planted a small patch of lily of the valley.  Every spring, I would eagerly watch those little shoots coming up - hoping for my first crop.  Sadly, every year for five years, I grew a crop of beautiful green leaves with no flowers!

We moved to our present house in December and used the following months to get the other house ready for sale, so for a short period of time we owned both locations. I won't lie to you.  I grieved for that house for a long time.  Many times, driving to and from, I would inadvertently turn down our old street before realizing what I was doing.  Every night around sundown was especially hard.  As a mom, I know that I was  grieving for the memories it held.

The first year in our present house also marked the year that our daughter, Ashley, was to be married.  Even though the wedding was in May, the bridal portrait was scheduled for April.  We ordered a fresh bouquet for the portrait from our friend Ruth Baxter, who just happens to be a floral magician.

Discussing the components of the bouquet, Ashley wanted all of her favorites included - white lilac, white roses, white tulips, Casablanca lily - and lily of the valley.  Ruth scheduled the bouquet for the day before the photo shoot, to be picked up the following morning.

Driving past our old street that same afternoon, I was in the process of telling myself "Don't turn!" - when it hit me - "Maybe you SHOULD turn.  What if this is the year of your first lily of the valley crop?"

And there they were - the most perfect little bundle of white flowers I had ever seen.  I quickly called Ruth to say "Stop the presses!  I'm on the way to you with some precious cargo."

We sold the house not long after that and my grief gradually worked itself out.  These days, I'm left with only smiles when I remember the wonderful days we spent there.  And Ashley's portrait, which hangs in my living room, is a sweet reminder of the goodbye gift of lily of the valley that her childhood home gave to us for her wedding.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Garden Cam

Augusta National was spectacular this weekend during The Masters, and so was my own garden!  Many of my azaleas are old souls, having been planted in the 1950's when the house was built.

They bloom every year in April in big soft mounds of pink and white.  Lord, I do love Spring!

Stay tuned for regular editions of The Garden Cam.  As the seasons roll through my corner of the Carolinas, something beautiful is always happening and I'm excited to share it all.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Warm Breezes

Warm days and green leaves on the trees have inspired me in the studio.  I'm feelin' sorta tropical, actually.

I began a regular feature of this blog six months ago - promising to devote each Friday for a solid year to the subject of time and how we spend it - or how it spends us!  Impossible though it may seem, we have already seen half of that year come and go.

Winter has entered and exited, holidays have been celebrated, and precious new life has entered my world in the form of a grandson.  Through it all, I have been blessed with continued inspiration in my studio.  I hope you are enjoying the journey.  If Countdown Friday has made you more aware of how precious life is, and what a wonderful gift every minute of our time is - then we are on the right track. 

Today is Countdown Friday