Friday, March 18, 2011


I love to fill planters with color. My annual search for flora begins in April with a trip to local garden centers overflowing with pinks, vibrant reds, white, purple, blue and sunshine yellow. I walk around the tables imagining my deck and patio garden as if they were in a Jane Austin landscape. I dream of hanging baskets cascading with wispy blooms. My goal is to create an oasis of color and tranquility where guests can sit and savor. Spring plantings promise so much. Drought delivers something different.

Every year, I remind myself that around July, the baking sun and rising temperatures will win the battle. I know that this usually prevails, but those gentle petals beguile me into thinking we'll spend the summer together.  I picture myself sipping lemonade beneath shade trees (that grow on a slope in my yard quite unable to sustain peaceful benches). In this idyllic scene, I sense the breeze as it flirts with gentle blossoms and smell the mossy fragrance of rich potting soil.

Now, cut to reality. In August on my deck, the potted plants that remain have cracked soil, withered leafless stems and fading flowers begging for mercy.  Even if I remember to water them daily, there are times when even the sturdiest of geraniums would be best served in the compost pile. If I had one.  And, seriously, who wants to sit outside and muse when sweat runs down your temples and even the dog is whining to go inside? I'm an A/C girl and not ashamed to admit it.

This April will find me full-throttle and elbow-deep in planting.  I've surrendered to the fact that I'm a floral optimist.  You'll find me filling planters and humming some Disney soundtrack hoping this year will be different.  And, if by some chance it is, stop by for lemonade.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Marching Orders

Yesterday I was domestic.  Rare around here anymore.  I used to be a pretty good housekeeper.  Now, I'm a really good dirt hider. Cleaning can be physically exhausting and a bore.  Just saying.  But, can I just "air out" a few things?

Winter 2011 has been full of, well, germs.  Friends have all been bombarded with two illnesses.  One is the Type A flu that wasn't included in the Flu shot we were all supposed to get.  It's taken body builders down.  Most have been lifeless resembling Olive Oil and sometimes whining with fevers for five days.  Not to mention the cold symptoms.  The other is the Norovirus which is a vicious stomach/intestine thing that has docked cruise ships.  It, too, lasts for almost a week.  Highly contagious. Some lucky souls have had it twice. Within the last two weeks, both of my adult kids have joined the ranks. All this makes me want become a high-class hermit. Forget the cabin hidden in the hills.  I'll take a disinfected suite on a sunny island with plenty of fruity umbrella drinks.

So, with everyone finally out of the house and temps close to 60, I opened windows, scoured bathrooms from top to bottom, changed sheets and sanitized everything but the dog.  If I knew how to do that, he'd be even whiter. (Wonder why he's been in his crate all day?) My hands look like I've been on safari without any moisturizers.  I may need Crisco by this point.

As I type, the aroma of Lysol permeates my tranquil moment.  If we can make it until Spring,  I may not have to clean again for at least 6 months!  We'll all be out on the deck anyway, sipping our umbrella drinks.