Friday, July 26, 2013

Plants Moving Out East to P.E.I.

One of my very favorite flowers in my front and back flowerbeds is the old fashioned hollyhock..I love the white ones out front this year..on the other side of our walkway a pink one is blooming and out back is a yellow one..the only trouble I have with them is that the groundhog family likes them too, eating them that is. He or his family eat the tender leaves so I feel very fortunate this year he left them alone for the most part. I took many photos of them especially close ups of a single bloom as I hope to paint a nice watercolor someday of all my hollyhocks..

We are heading out to Prince Edward Island in about a week and I have tagged some plants around the yard for my hubby to dig up and take with us. I have a 3 day holiday starting Tuesday with three friends I attended High School with so won't be here when hubby starts the digging. As he thought he might forget all I wanted dug up he told me to tag them with some yellow plastic tape. Now that will work fine if he walks all around the yard and finds all the taped plants..we have had several talks about what to dig up so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I have tons of plants that could be dug up but there are some considerations to think of..we are still undertaking our renovations out East so we are not living out there permanently. We spend many weeks out there working hard on the interior of the house but the yard work like cutting the lawn most of the summer and snow shoveling in the winter is left to hubby's brother who lives just down the road. It would be remiss of me to dig up a lot of new flowerbeds as my brother-in-law would have to manoeuvre his big lawn tractor or smaller riding lawn mowers all around these new beds..hubby says he gets dizzy sometimes trying to cut grass around all my flowerbeds here in town..

But I feel if I dig up a nice straight flower bed up near the front ditch out East and just plant day lilies and iris in it for now, it won't interfere with the lawn cutting. I already have two large flower beds that were dug up out there last year but they are so large they are easy to mow around. I would dearly love to take buckets and buckets full of plants this trip but must be content with the few plants that I've marked. Rome wasn't built in a day. It just seems though I can save a ton of money by dividing my plants here, rather than buying new ones out East.

I have many, many hostas some of which have been moved out already. Those I can tuck under trees here and there, so as not to interfere with the lawn mowing..another consideration I have to think of is how big our new decks will be that we built later on so can't plant near the house as yet. I could perhaps plant some perennials out near my little barn but it has to be painted yet, so they might get trampled. I guess I'm being impatient and just want to do it NOW!

We are pulling a trailer just packed full of boxes, small pieces of furniture we don't need here, my bike, Jim's tools he wants to take and some of my gardening tools. Also we will be packing up the back of our truck with many boxes, many holding light fixtures that were given to us. How come my house doesn't look any different? You would think with all we are taking the house would look emptier but alas, it still holds way too much. We've certainly added many toys this past year for our dear 2 1/2 yr. old granddaughter. They are getting much use, especially the dolls, toy stroller and high chair.

There is so much to think of when going away for a month, lawn to be cut, garden watered, mail collected, indoor plants to be watered. Thankfully we have the best neighbours neighbour is looking after the lawn and garden and our other neighbour and her husband look after the inside and our mail..they are so great to send us regular emails that all is well with the house and we keep them updated on all our news too. Right now my husband is helping one neighbour with her front lawn. She dug the whole lawn up with a rotor tiller and is laying new sod. We all help each other.

I sure hope my plants travel well and we can keep them alive. The ones my step-son dug up last year and I planted last May are thriving I've been told so can't wait to se them. I'm sure they will also be surrounded by weeds so I'll have my work cut out for awhile. Hubby will be doing wiring on the main floor of the house and then start the drywalling. The upstairs is nearly finished, I may be able to start painting our bedroom this trip. It's lots of hard work but exciting to see more work completed on our retirement home. Imagine the day I look outside my windows and see my hollyhocks blooming and waving in the East Coast breezes...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Life Happens While You Are Making Plans

Plans we make can turn out well or fall apart at the seams. I decided that a family reunion would be just the ticket to introduce our new-found cousin Abby whom my brother and I reconnected with last year to my other two sisters. We aren't a huge family, there are five siblings but trying to juggle a date that everyone can attend proved difficult as usual.

My husband and I could hold a reunion almost any weekend all summer but it wasn't that easy for the rest of the family. My youngest sister Jane showing off her nice leg in the above photo is a teacher and once school is over heads to her vacation home in Prince Edward Island. So that meant having a reunion in June. That shouldn't be too difficult except my brother Gord and his wife Pat said the only weekend they had free in June, was the 22nd. Add to that my cousin's son was getting married June 30th it was iffy if she would want to come the weekend before his wedding. My other brother Kim emailed me that he was flying to Ireland for a month (lucky duck) and wasn't returning guessed it....June 22nd. So he certainly would not be able to attend.

Kim usually makes every other reunion, so hopefully if we hold a big reunion and birthday bash next year for some really special birthdays he will be able to attend. I hurriedly emailed everyone involved and cousin Abby said let's go for it! Knowing Gord could attend on the 22nd of June with his wife, I waited on Jane to say yes..all was well with her but a week later she said her partner could not attend as he had to head out to P.E.I. early for a job. Well that was disappointing but we'll forge ahead.

The next spoke in the wheel was several days later when my brother's wife had an upset with her elderly mother who ended up in the hospital. Now I really was in a tizzy, did I email everyone and cancel the get-together until the fall or keep on with it and a smaller group. I knew in the fall the weather would still be nice but cooler but also Jane who teaches would be extra busy getting herself and her class-room ready. Plus what guarantee did I have that everyone could juggle their schedules to come all at the same time.

Hubby and I decided to go ahead as we had laid in extra food, the freezer was full and I had spent many days (weeks) doing a huge spring cleaning even rearranged furniture etc., to make my guests as comfortable as possible. Abby would have the spare room, Jane would use the couch downstairs and my other sister Dale would put up my brother. Now if the weather co-operates all would be well..

I was so hoping we could eat outside in the gazebo and my husband brought home an extra awning from work in case of rain. Hubby spent a lot of time sanding wooden lawn chairs, repainting them, repainting my metal patio set bright red, along with painting my window boxes matching red. I planted them with bright, cheerful flowers and they didn't disappoint. My large flowering hanging baskets out front full of pansies smiled away, even the peonies were at their best.

I find when having company now that I'm older, I need to be very prepared ahead of time. All the food that will fit into the refrig. I like to have ready before people step through the nice to be able to visit along with everyone else instead of being tied to the kitchen. Being a bit of a fearful cook, not good at "flying by the seat of my pants' where preparing meals are concerned, I had it all in order when the first guests started arriving Friday. Reunions usually start Friday and people leave Sunday. The weather did co-operate, hubby and brother Gord did go in the pool, we ladies like it a bit warmer so we did a little shopping instead.

All in all the weekend was a great success even though we were small in numbers. We missed our sister-in-law very much, also our brother Kim and Jane's partner. Next year there are several "big" birthdays, one being mine..I want a huge celebration and my hubby warned me already he doesn't want me lifting a finger. Perhaps it will mean traveling down to where my two brothers and sister live but I have a feeling it will end up being here again so perhaps we can eat out for a few meals. This just seems like the best place for celebrations, a big yard, large deck, gazebo and small blue pool that we put up each May.

We can make all the plans we can think of, cross the t's, dot the i's and hope for the best. But life happens while we are making plans, it just keeps moving on. People plan trips, people get sick, or our children or grandchildren might need us suddenly. So we must tread lightly, whisper softly as we make our plans, keeping our fingers crossed that one day out of 365 might work for five siblings and their families to all come together and celebrate US...

In the above picture cousin Abby is in a dress, then we three sisters, Jane, myself and Dale. We laughed, we ate, we shopped, we looked at photo albums, we talked of the past and best of all we reconnected with one another, looking forward eagerly to our next shared family get-together. Perhaps we will be a small group again but I'm secretly hoping for a huge, big bang-up affair because soon two of us are moving out of province. Now that will really take some planning!!