Sunday in the garden

In the Costa Rica greenhouse garden. Cleveland Botanical Garden.

I have gone back to the Cleveland Botanical Garden, sorting through some more of the photos I took over a week ago during my last visit.  It’s another beautiful day here in the Bogs and I could bring you photos from today, but I wanted to finish going through the Orchid Mania images before starting on something new.

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258: Slowing down, easing up

(Drooping in the heat.)

It is a hot and humid day here in the Bogs.  Sultry.  The humidity is so thick that the air is hazy and lenses (camera or glasses) will fog up.  It is the kind of day to take it slow and take it easy.

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Morning wake-up

(039:  Wildflowers along the Cuyahoga River.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.

~ J. M. Power

I’m having a little trouble getting started this morning.  “Keeping going” might be more accurate.  I rolled out of bed prepared to exercise like the exercising madwoman I’ve become only to find myself spending a good 30-40 minutes cleaning up after the cats.

Don’t ask.  You don’t want to know.  Suffice it to say that Izzy and Bella are lucky I didn’t take them out and throw them both in the pond.  Since I don’t know which cat made the mess, they should both suffer for it.  Seems fair enough to me.


It’s officially summer now.  I saw a few fireflies lighting up in the wildflower meadow last night.  (Funny visual with that — picturing fireflies with cigarettes and matches, “lighting up.”)  When we lived in southern Ohio the fireflies peaked sometime around the summer solstice, millions of them flashing on and off along the riverbank.  Here they peak later in the season.  It takes a little longer to warm up in the Bogs.  I’m not in any hurry for it (the warm-up).  I’ve been enjoying the cooler-than-normal June.

The newlyweds are back from their honeymoon.  We talked with M the Younger last night.  They enjoyed Jamaica, but were getting a little bored towards the end.  They went to one of those all-inclusive resort type places where they were pretty much walled in on resort grounds for the week where they lounged on the beach, sipped on rum drinks, and went snorkling occasionally.

Sounds good to me.

The buzzer on the washer just sounded.  The first load of laundry is finished.  Time for me to get it out on the line to dry and then it’s off to the garden.  I’ve been afraid to look at what’s happening up there.  I’m pretty sure the weeds have taken over by now and finding the vegetables will be a little like looking for needles in a haystack.

Stress and tension

(028:  Another look at the stolen peonies.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Good thing I took a bunch of pictures of the flowers.  That way I can still enjoy them.

There’s a little tension and stress in the house today.  Debates about proper etiquette (dress code, bascially) for the rehearsal dinner, snappish replies to questions, and lots of little accidents (stuff being spilled, a burn on my arm from ironing, etc.).  I did my Muscle Max workout this morning.  I can handle anything!  Hahahahaha.  <– Read that as insane laughter.

M the Younger’s bachelor party is today.  The original plan was to go to a big amusement park about an hour away that has big roller coasters.  The weather didn’t cooperate.  I’m not sure what the guys are going to do now.  Just hang out, I guess.  M the Younger is not a drinker so it won’t involve hangovers, and it’s unlikely to be too wild and crazy.

My parents and my youngest brother will be arriving today.  M’s sister will be arriving today, too.  Then we do a musical beds thing tomorrow where my parents and brother move to a hotel and friends arriving tomorrow will stay here.  Gonna be lots of sheet washing going on at my house.

I’m still working my way through the monstrosity I call a to-do list.  As far as today is concerned, the end is almost in sight.  I will still have plenty to keep me busy tomorrow and on the wedding day.

Who needs a roller coaster when you have the ups, downs, and curves of life?


Just for fun

(025:  Rowing off into the sunset.  Or:  The Great Escape.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

M the Elder is back at work.  M the Younger is off attending to wedding business with his lovely fiancee.  And I’m lazing about when I should be doing at least a few things today.

It’s a rainy day and I’m not feeling particularly well.  I’m hoping I’ll perk up this afternoon and at least begin the work of getting the bedrooms ready for the incoming friends and family.  I have until Thursday afternoon, when my parents and youngest brother will arrive.  But it would be nice to get a head start on things before true hecticness sets in.

Clouds and random thoughts

(021:  All dressed up for sunset.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

After the rain cleared out yesterday we had a gorgeous sunset.  It was nice to be able to sit, relax, and just enjoy the show of changing colors in the sky.  There was a light fog drifting over the pond and a great blue heron came to visit, walking quickly across the grass at the front of the pond (nearest the house).  I don’t think he had a chance to catch anything.  I frightened him away when I opened the patio door to try to take a photo.

We had friends stop by for a brief visit yesterday.  They were on their way home to Detroit from Hershey, Pennsylvania and we’re just a little way off the highway.  I made chicken enchiladas and a salad for dinner.  It was nice seeing them and meeting their 4-month-old son.  He’s a cutie.

Today is my mother’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

I’ve been Tweeting on Twitter every now and again for a few months, just to try it out.  Last week I decided to declare Thursdays Twitterless (or Twitterfree).  Or Twitterless Thursday.  I ought to see if I can start a trend by putting it out there with a hashtag.  I’m debating whether or not I should even continue with Twitter.  Sometimes it’s interesting or fun.  Mostly it’s starting to feel a little spamlike, especially in things like #followfriday where the idea is supposed to be that you list people you think are interesting enough that other people should follow them.  However, it looks to me to be mostly an excuse for people to list all of the people they are following (probably for fear of offending someone if they don’t list them).  If you’re going to hang out on Twitter, skip Fridays.  It’s just lists and lists of people other people are following.

Reminds me a little of that terrible trend in elementary, middle, and high school when my youngest son was growing up.  The trend wherein everybody was special.  Making everybody special pretty much makes nobody special.  A good example:  A couple of years ago my daughter-in-law, who teaches in a high school, was working on Senior Awards Night.  Traditionally it was an awards ceremony for the high school seniors who had done outstanding work or won scholarships, etc.  However, this particular year she was working on coming up with an award for all of the seniors in that year’s class because someone higher up had decided that everyone should get an award of some kind.  She was trying to come up with things such as “best hair” or “best smile” because in some instances, that was about all the teachers could come up with since not every student had excelled in academics, civics, or sports.

In my (probably not as humble as it should be) opinion, by giving everyone an award, the meaning of award and of the awards ceremony was diluted.  Those who had worked hard to achieve good grades or to win scholarships were put on the same level as those who managed to comb their hair in the morning before coming to school.

Getting off of that soapbox now…

Have you checked out GoodGuide yet?  If you’re interested in how safe, healthy, and green the products you’re using/consuming are, you should pay them a visit.  I had a look at the sunscreens and was pleased to see that the No-Ad we use has pretty decent rankings.  It’s nice to know that the stuff I put on my skin has no neurotoxicants or endocrine disruptors.  It is not, however, the best.  We could do better.

I’m taking a rest day of sorts today.  I’ve been working hard around the house and need a bit of a break before I get back to it.  I think I’ll go spend some time in the garden this afternoon.  After two days of rain, I’m sure the weeds will be making a big comeback.  I also need to get the swiss chard seeds in the ground.  It’s too bad I didn’t get them in over the weekend as all the rain would have had them sprouting by now.


(019:  Bella in bed.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

That’s Bella, cuddled up in the waterbed next to my pillow and under the covers.  Both Izzy and Bella like morning cuddles, but Izzy will stay on top of the covers whereas Bella really likes to snuggle in.

I did Cathe Friedrich’s Muscle Max workout this morning.  I’m going to be hellasore tomorrow.  Or the day after.  It’s usually the day after the day after that’s the worst for these things.  It was a killer workout that challenged me to the max.  I was feeling pretty shaky and weak by the time I finished the entire 63 minutes (or whatever amount it is over one hour).  To me that’s the sign of a good workout.

We have friends dropping in for dinner tomorrow, on their way home from wherever they went.  I’ll be making chicken enchiladas.  I seem to have a Mexican food theme going this week.

Another rainy day.  It’ll be a good day for me to concentrate on all the indoor work I need to do.