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Posts tagged ‘spring’

In Search of my Spring Project

It’s really here! The snow is gone but not the cold. We’ve had some lovely sunny days that had me out walking the area once it warmed a bit. Of course, walking warms everything but the nose and ears. I did four miles last Saturday looking for a mobile home community. I found it but it was filled with homes that had long since passed their expiration date and there was no yard space to make a nice garden. The more I look around at what I can afford, the better my rented apartment looks.

As the spring buds start to pop, I seem to finally be doing the same. Winter is so hard on those of us who are solar powered. Oregon is probably not the best place for me but I thought I could afford to live here. I may have to rethink that idea.

Seeing these made the 4 miles worth the walk.

Seeing these made the 4 miles worth the walk.

This bush is thinking about spring but not ready to commit.

This bush is thinking about spring but not ready to commit.

In the meantime, I’ve been inspired by the wonderful Boomdeeadda to make better use of what I have available.

These things will stay somehow. The rest will stay boxed for now.

These things will stay somehow. The rest will stay boxed for now.

These are in with the regular dishes for now. I can't put them all away!

These are in with the regular dishes for now. I can’t put them all away!

I have scrapbooking papers in my garage that I have not been able to get to in the last four years and four moves. Seeing the beautiful stuff she creates, I wanted to get my toys out to play with again. So the beautiful teacups were packed away for another time. I have been rummaging in the garage and organizing as I go. Much of what was in this old china cabinet will one day be passed on to my daughter or son. Maybe we can even make use of it once I find a real dining table. In the meantime, the cabinet will hold my crafting supplies as well as some sewing supplies as they tend to cross over their uses. In bringing out things from the garage, a great deal has made its way to the thrift store. Two trips so far this week and I still have a trip to the antique store to sell off some things I no longer have space to use.

Finally finished and up. Is it warm yet??

Finally finished and up. Is it warm yet??

I’ve done a bit of sewing to get a new spring sign made since I gave my sister-in-law the last one. This one is larger than I wanted but my attention to detail seems adrift these days. I used some different colors and fabric and put a binding on for a change. I have three more charity quilts to finish this month so there is no shortage of projects but the projects that make you clean and organize are the most productive and fulfilling. I’ll take a photo when the change is complete. My poor daughter is aware that her Sunday will be taken up helping me carry boxes up and down stairs. I bribe her with dinner out somewhere. We’ll both be too tired to cook.

I took a two mile walk this week in the mall since it was going to rain again, arriving early enough to catch something I’ve never seen before. Moms getting ready for spring too. I was walking too quickly to get a photo of moms gathered doing standing exercises by a little used entry with their little ones close by. The next trip around the mall brought enough awareness to capture this of the moms in front of Macy’s before the store opened. Later you could see them in a brisk walk with strollers and youngsters working to keep up.

I was floored! In front of Macy's no less

I was floored! In front of Macy’s no less

What a lovely, inexpensive way for young moms to get together and keep their children out of day care. I imagine there was a treat somewhere for the little ones after because they were exceptionally well behaved. They probably went home as tired as mom. I saw a few in their yoga pants passing through the book store as I sat sipping ice tea, perusing magazines and collecting yet another book. Yes, I’m embarrassed.

They were oblivious to the mall walkers. All that work before 10 a.m.

They were oblivious to the mall walkers. All that work before 10 a.m.

I know my friend at Gardening Nirvana has her spring projects all lined up. How about you? Is the hint of spring for those of you who are still suffering with the wild winter, bringing out a desire to start something to bring new bloom to your life?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of a Ray of Sunshine

The sun came for a visit but refused to unpack and stay awhile. The warmth felt good for the few days it stayed. Maybe father sun felt like just another guest. You know the kind that after three days starts to stink and you want it gone. I might feel that way in August, but not right now.

I had a good time while it made it’s grand teasing entrance. Walking everywhere I could, taking pictures of everything else that was enjoying the lovely spring weather. I stopped to watch the ducks for a few moments and being very quiet was given a genuine gift. I had mentioned the Nutria in an earlier post right after moving into this apartment complex but could never get a picture. This time I was rewarded as someone had spread seed on the ground for the ducks. Looks like several others were hungry too.

Nutria in the water, ducks resting in the middle and the mouse heading for seed at the bottom. Look hard.

Nutria in the water, ducks resting in the middle and the mouse heading for seed at the bottom. Look hard.

It’s a bit difficult to take a picture of anything while holding a cane but somehow I managed. If you’ve ever wondered how well a mouse can hear, each time the camera clicked, the mouse ran for cover. It’s a quiet camera. The only other mouse I saw was in an upstairs bedroom attached to the attic. Unfortunately, we had to trap the poor guy. He was too fast for my husband to catch. They can run up walls, by the way.

I see a vacancy there. Shall we check out the apartment?

I see a vacancy there. Shall we check out the apartment?

I am feeling better, most of the time, so what do I do with that extra energy? I signed up for a couple of writing classes that I’m truly enjoying. It’s a chance to meet new people and stretch myself. There are homework assignments so I’m getting behind on my blog reading and writing. Maybe by next week, I’ll have a better flow going.

I also managed to get my spring wall hanging made and hung outside the door. I texted a picture of it to my sister-in-law and she said it was going to fall in her suitcase when she comes for a visit in July. Looks like I’ll have to make myself another for next year. Now I need to work on one for Memorial Day and July 4th.

My sister-in-law loves humming birds. She'll hang it next spring.

My sister-in-law loves humming birds. She’ll hang it next spring.

I have also traced out the pattern for the next set of Big Shirts I want to make but those take some serious time. Don’t expect pictures any time real soon. You’ll see why.

How can a person be this busy without a job? Most of the busy is about getting well. Yes, I’m still sticking with the routine!

It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow. ~ Unknown

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of an Odd Memory

Spring is in the air and with somewhat warmer temps, I’ve had a bit energetic momentum. It was time to change out the down comforter for something a bit lighter. When I opened the bag the lighter weight comforter was in, the smell nearly knocked me over. Well, I certainly couldn’t sleep under that. What to do, what to do? I could pay $20 -$30 dollars to get it dry cleaned and live with that chemical smell. There is no laundromat close by and because it has ribbon embroidery on the front, even a commercial washer can be a bit hard on it.

My last option was going back to an old memory from almost 45 years ago. Yes, I’m that old. My young military husband was stationed in Taiwan and I was allowed to join him there with our toddler son. It was like stepping into a time warp. We finally found a nice two-story apartment that had almost no modern conveniences. At least it had indoor plumbing. I cooked on a two burner hot plate and a toaster oven. We bought a refrigerator from the PX that was sold to the next family when we left. Washer and dryer? Not an option.

Military families were encouraged to hire local household help. I had very little to do in the way of cleaning the apartment but it was explained to me by those in the know, that a house girl did more than clean. I found a gem. She spoke relatively good English and understood quite well. Her job was essentially to do my downtown marketing and oversee what my son received as snack from neighborhood playmates. She said some things were ok for him, some not. Everything someone gave him, he had to show her before eating. If it was ok, he got the go ahead, if not it was traded for something safe for his American constitution. She taught me so many things in that 15 months.

What I learned about laundry from my house-girl, was something that has helped many years over. She watched me one day doing my laundry in the bathtub. I was doing it wrong. “Back and arms not strong” she said. “Legs and feet stronger” I just looked at her. Get in the tub with your feet and swish the clothes that way. By golly, it worked and my back was very happy about it.

Those are some strong legs and feet there. Just not very pretty.

Those are some strong legs and feet there. Just not very pretty.

any wonder I'm so fascinated with ducks.

any wonder I’m so fascinated with ducks.

That is what I did with the comforter. I couldn’t take pictures of me actually doing the washing parts. I’ve already given 2 phones a permanent burial at sea that way. I also have to firmly hold on to the counter and the tub handle because of my balance issue. So all you get to see is the spin cycle. Once the water is drained, I put it in the dryer on a delicate dry. Now, on my bed, it smells quite fresh and lovely.

Finally on the bed for a while.

Finally on the bed for a while.

I’ve done laundry this way on rare occasions and it always brings back fond memories of a woman, herself a mother of 3, who always had our best interests at heart and kept us safe in unknown territory. It’s interesting what brings up memories. A spring cleaning can bring up many for me. How about you?

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.
~ Bob Dylan

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Spring

Is it really almost here? The calendar said it’s only eleven more days away. But we are being teased with signs of it everywhere. Hope of warm and green abound. Stepping out onto my finally dry deck, (it’s quite slick when wet) I was able to get a good look at the potted plants I put there when I moved in last October. The pansies have survived and the heather has thrived. New growth on the heather warms my heart.

New growth on the heather. Yay!

New growth on the heather. Yay!

My daughter sent a text while at work on Friday to see how I was feeling and if I was up for an adventure. Well, I’m always up for an adventure no matter how I feel. I met her at her apartment as she gets home at 12:30 on Fridays, then riding with her into downtown. We had a quick lunch at a Greek hole in the wall that was a block away from the Chinese Garden. The sun was shining but still a bit crisp. My toes didn’t warm up all day. I wasn’t expecting much since my sister said the Chinese Garden was low on her list of local attractions. What a pleasant surprise we had. Maybe it was our attitude of just enjoying what came our way that day.

Let's have a local adventure

Let’s have a local adventure

There were some very potent scents greeting us as we walked into the garden area. I asked about taking photos and the curator said it was a requirement and he would be checking for quality on our way out. Already a reason to giggle. There were plants I had never seen before and the fragrance of their flowers followed us every step of the way.

best smelling flowers ever

Yellow daphne. A new plant for me to experience

Yellow daphne. A new plant for me to experience

As we came to the end of a very small garden we found the tea house. The thought of tea makes my daughter’s essence vibrate. Her eyes light up and there is pleading in them. I said to her that we had already had lunch but maybe we could have tea and dessert here. What the heck would a few more calories hurt if it made her that happy to sip tea. There were so many to choose from, so we each had a different tea to share. I took my dessert home.
While sipping tea and looking over the garden, we were entertained by a mature Chinese gentleman playing traditional Chinese music on a violin like instrument. I did ask permission to take his picture. The fun part was when I heard “You are my sunshine” and “The Red River Valley” coming from that classic Chinese instrument I think was an Erhu. I looked over at him and smiled the “I hear what you are playing” smile. He shot a tiny one back at me. Most of the patrons weren’t really listening.

playing ehru

Back at home Friday evening, the neighborhood ducks were wandering all over. A lovely couple found a nice warm spot under the carport to take a break. The sun had left the asphalt quite warm as it made its descent. I don’t know about you, but spring and fall are my seasons. The extremes of winter and summer find me longing for more balance. I hear the birds chirping and saw the first robins here yesterday. Yes, I think spring is coming and I am ever so grateful. Are you seeing the signs?

does this look safe (2)ducks resting cropped

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself