Monday, July 11, 2022

Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of Ryan's passing. It has been a crazy, busy, sad, and interesting year. The sadness washes over me on the spur of the moment. One minute I can be fine and then I hear a song, or see an image, or look outside and it all comes flooding back. My best friend is gone. I miss sharing plans with him and I miss talking about the gardens with him. I miss him coming home from work and watching telly while we ate and chatted a bit. I miss our Friday night movie nights and our weekday go to the movie dates. I miss so much about him. Life still feels strange alone. However, with the prayers and support of family and friends I am moving forward with my life...trying to put together plans Ryan and I had discussed as well as creating new things. I'm trying to figure out who I am without him. For 31 plus years he was always with me; always there to bounce off ideas. Of course we had our fights...some real blow-ups, but our vow and our friendship pushed those away and I'm sure we would have shared 31 more years together.

Today I went to the Virginia State Arboretum at Blandy Farm to price a memorial bench in one of our favorite places in the gardens--dead wood hollow. A fitting place really, where nature takes the things that have died and passed away and breaks it down into new life. Something remembered that will go on ad infinitum. Ryan is still remembered by his friends and family. Still not completely replaced at work and certainly not at home. But everytime I watch the fish in the pond or see a redwing blackbird or watch the bunnies in the gardens I feel him in my heart and mind. Today I went to the viewing platform
above the marshland to watch for redwing blackbirds, which are one of his favourite birds, and not only did I see a few of them, but cardinals, goldfinches, downy woodpeckers, robins, doves, sparrows, swooping swallows, a mocking bird and even a wood thrush (another of his favourites). The frogs were singing and the birds were chirping and as tears filled my eyes I remembered all the wonderful times we had together.
Tomorrow will be hard, although I know there will be smiles and tears, I know all those who loved and appreciated him will miss him too. Still haven't recieved news of when the actual funeral service will be at Arlington, but hopefully in the next two months. I'm so glad that I married my best friend and had 31 years with him, 2 boys and one grand daughter who I love with all my heart. I hope everyone appreciates those who are still with you...forgive and move past your disputes. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. 💗 God bless you all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Busy Again

 Whew! It's been a crazy couple of weeks. Between crazy weather and me getting 7 trees cut down or trimmed WAY back I've not been able to get into the gardens. The trees were very hard for me. The 4 that were cut down were trees that my husband and I planted and enjoyed very much. It was like losing more of him all over again...and the maple trees in the front got cut back to an extreme measure, but it was necessary for their health, and I actually cried from being so overwhelmed by the change. I guess grief causes odd reactions. 

Anyhow, I had to indulge in the process of cleaning up the massive tree loss which had taken many days. I ended up hurting the tendons in my hands from over use of the chain saw and loppers so had to take a week off before clearing the pear tree branches that were laying all over my back yard. But now, with the exception of the large poplar trunks waiting to be cut into usable logs, I am ready to begin the tending of my friends garden maintenance and the cleaning and planting of my own gardens.

The town council/manager finally signed off on my friend David and Sara's yard, so that stress has been lifted. Much is planned for the next few months...getting the green house repaired and moving the logs from my yard to theirs will begin the transformation even more of the Mysterious garden. Keep watching this page for the transformations. It's amazing what a little creativity, hard work, and giving of time can do for a garden.

If you haven't noticed, gardens are one of my biggest passions. Writing and family and friends are right up there, but there's something about digging in the dirt and seeing small plants grown into large greenery, flowers, and herbs that gets my writing juices flowing. The long winter and stress over getting the garden cleared blocked my creativity, but I already feel the words expanding in my mind's eye for the three or four stories I'm working on.


The fresh air and sunshine will fuel my creativity, and those of you waiting for more tales of Andrew Stone, Isabelle Zenn, Michael Damious, Emmanuel Caine, and Outlaws Miles it is in the works...not to mention new characters and of course the children's stories of the Catkins. Just mentioning the names gets me excited! I hope you all have had a decent winter and are looking toward the spring for newness of life, as I am. Blessings to you all, and keep on Resisting !!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Mysterious Garden: Destruction


Hello fellow garden enthusiasts, lovers of personal property rights, and trolls. The snow has finally melted and I had a day to spend clearing another part of the garden. It is a flower bed that had been overgrown with periwinkle, aka vinca vine. I personally LOVE periwinkle in a flower bed, but since it vines, I had to cut it way back and pull a bunch of it out to satisfy the "tidy police" that are in charge of the looks. Also in the bed was a overflowing mess of soil from flower pots, some fallen branches and garden clutter that had been tossed into the bed while a mass clean out of "complaint driven 'trash'" was removed from other parts of the yard late last year. It was a task that took about 4 hours from beginning to clean-up. One of the most disgusting parts of the clean up had to do with cigarette butts thrown into the garden from the very neighbors that complained about litter...ironic, no?

I spent my time clearing dirt and debris, also breaking off branches from a broken pussy willow tree that were invading the space. After all was said and done, I had found some wonderful treasures (at least what I think are treasures) and placed them in the now open space.

I know some people will see these things as litter or trash...things that need to be put away if not used, but who is to say what is garden art and what is trash? I happen to love broken pots scattered around an area, waiting for sedum or rock plants to grow out of them. The old water pump handle is now sitting next to to bucket looking like it's waiting to be used. Why do people think they have the right to tell others what is trash and what is not? Here is the end result of my work that day. Notice that you can see the rock wall at the base of the garden...sadly you can see all the way through to the back of the crumbling building. As we plant and rejuvenate this area I will post new pictures. However, the town has already sent their list of what needs taken care of...namely most of the broken pots have to be moved...why? They will be used, they may just be there as a decoration that we like. How do they hurt anyone? I really just do not understand. So while we have been working, and will continue to work at cleaning up the garden I do not believe it will ever be enough for the complainers. You can walk through it now and see the ground, see the buildings on all sides, etc. It's a garden, a work in progress. It will change as the year and years go by. We will follow the "rules" and get signed off on this but no one will ever convince me that this is not harassment by people using the government. There is no danger in this garden and no nuisance I can see, unless nuisance means that someone doesn't like how it looks. In that case I would like the town of Strasburg to remove all the horrid modern murals disgracing our historic down town...but then again, we were all told to deal with that nuisance. Ah well. Here are pictures of the work that has been done. You decide if it's a danger to the health and welfare of the town. Does it really need anymore destruction?