Monday, April 17, 2017

mother nature never fails

I've been putzing around with growing succulents indoors this winter.   The plants that had flourished outside last summer mostly became weaklings during their period of meager sunlight.  A few, like the jade plant shown below, didn't seem to mind.  So a couple days ago I rounded up my various pots and plants and did some dirty work.   I should get my fingernails dirty more often!  I'm always poking around stores for some new and interesting shapes and colors in succulents, and I had stumbled across some good ones, although itty bitty pots, at Lowe's last week when I was supposed to be looking at garage shelving.  Here's one of the re-potting samples that I put together:

There are several more specimens to accompany this one, and it won't be too much longer before I can put them outside again.  New plants and fresh dirt always make me happy!  An appropriate activity for the Easter holiday.

Just 2 weeks ago, I was in Charlotte, NC, for active-duty grandparenting.  And it was fabulous to be in an area that was actually in full-bloom-spring-mode!  These were a few of the plants and trees that brightened my days there, and gave me hope that once I returned to the tundra, spring would happen again!

On my last day there, we participated in an Easter Egg Hunt organized by neighborhood volunteers for all the kids.  It turned out so nice, with a lot of families present at the little playground area, just mixing and socializing.  It really is a good community of people.  My kids have lived there a little over 2 years now, and have become familiar with many of the people in the few blocks around them.  I was impressed with the friendliness and support I saw and felt.  When little Leo was born March 2, he had a bit of a struggle and had to stay in the NICU for awhile.  This was a lot to handle for 2 young parents already working to keep up with the other 2 boys at home.  The neighbors rallied to help them with keeping Ian and Jack happy and entertained while mom and dad were needed at the hospital.  They even went as far as organizing some meal deliveries, which extended through the whole month.  That's the kind of neighborly response I would maybe think to expect after living somewhere for several years, not just 2 years of residence!  I'm really happy they have a good community there!
The Easter Egg Hunt was a treat for me, because that's not something we normally do back at home.  The day was warm and sunny, a sharp contrast to many Easter holidays in Minnesota.  We probably had indoor egg hunts more often than outdoors.  And cute little spring outfits were generally worn under a winter parka!  But now, back in MN, the leaves are starting to show green and the yard is changing from brown to green rapidly.  The rhubarb is pushing bright pink stalks through the dirt, and garden plans are being discussed.  As for that garage shelving I mentioned earlier, it is still in the planning stages but we did actually find a good day to haul a lot of stuff down from the old garage shelves and sort and clean out there.  Plenty of stuff found its way to the garbage, and some things to be donated.  I'm still pushing for a garage makeover, it could really use some "sprucing up"!  The temporary rough construction steps leading from the garage into the house have lasted 30 years now, and I'm aiming for an upgrade!  Wish me luck!

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