Greenhouses and Cemeteries

Thursday, May 22, 2014 0 No tags Permalink

Monday Mom and I went to the greenhouses and cemeteries for our annual trip.


We started at River Street Flowerland in Kalamazoo. It’s one of my favorite places in the whole world. This year, they had re-done the back area where all the trees and shrubs are. It is now a zen paradise. It’s what I’d like my garden to look like.


This year they had a few new varieties of catmint (nepeta). I have three plants of the walker’s low already, and added two more.

Next, we stopped by K Drive Greenhouse to pick up the hanging basket and flats of bedding plants. I also got a ‘Coconut Surprise’ Scent First Dianthus and a new color of yarrow.

After the greenhouses, we stopped in at Station 66 for lunch. Love Station 66. Love.

Wednesday we went up to Lansing to get the cemeteries ready for Memorial Day. We started by driving past Great Lakes (landscape sadly lacking), Long Blvd (which looked amazing) and 435 Regent Street:

435 Regent Street

After our driving tour, we started at Mt. Hope with the Thorne/Cleary plot:


They hadn’t been by to cut and trim yet, so we hand-trimmed all the stones, and planted two brunnera and some marigolds.

Next, we headed over to the Beaubiens and put in a couple of marigolds:


After that, we drove to Evergreen. Again, the grass hadn’t been cut. We cleared and planted zinnias and marigolds on Grandma and Grandpa’s:


And then did some clearing and planted a little on Aunt Betty and Uncle Nick’s. The day was warm (80 degrees) and humid. We worked up a good appetite and headed back to Diamondale  to the Village Ice Cream & Cafe for lunch before heading back home.


We spent all day talking about family, both those who are with us and those who have passed. We laughed and shared good memories. It was a very satisfactory day!

Misc. Spring Updates

Monday, April 21, 2014 0 No tags Permalink

So, we’re a bit behind for spring this year at our house. These photos are from Saturday, April 19. As you can see, the sedum is just starting and we don’t have any daffodils open yet.

The bleeding hearts are through the soil.


The violets are finally in bloom.


The scrub bushes now have little green leaves, but the maple is still a long ways off. Tuesday’s low is supposed to be 30 and highs next week are all in the low 50s. Right now, May is only predicted to have two days reach 70…May 10 and May 31. I don’t think it’s going to be a great year for forsythia. Still, it rather does feel like spring with all the robins and red-winged blackbirds back.


Southern Exposure

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

Tomorrow is the Humane Society event at Southern Exposure. We went out today to set everything up. The weather is lovely today, and should be perfect tomorrow, sunny and 75 degrees. There is simply no more beautiful place to hold an event than Southern Exposure; the beauty is equally matched by their generosity and love for animals.


After we set everything up (still have an hour or so to go tomorrow right before the event), we went to Turkeyville USA for the final planning meeting. Grandma and Grandpa always took us out to Turkeyville. I thought of them while we were there. I think they’d be interested in the expanded turkey menu items. And probably would have gone for a slice of rhubarb pie.

I remember the auction event the first year I started at the shelter. I had only been in the job a little over a month. It was overwhelming, but the committee was a well-oiled machine and I didn’t really need to worry about much. The event has changed over the past years, and I’ve taken on more of the responsibility and a lot of the worrying. The evening features a gourmet meal paired with wines, wine-tasting discussion, live and silent auction and a wine pull. The fundraising goal for this year is $16,000. We’ve sold out (oversold, in fact) at 113 attendees. Hopefully, they’ll all be feeling quite generous and will spend a lot on baskets and items.

It is now days into September and I feel like I have fallen well behind everything. Time is moving so quickly, and it feels like I am personally moving in slow motion. It’s not a good feeling. I wish I could pause time, just so I could catch my breath.

Garden Update & State of Humanity

Thursday, August 8, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

Status Update – The State of Humanity

Wednesday morning I had an 8:00 meeting downtown. When it finished up, I found that it was pouring rain and storming. Drove to work with a massive headache, 55 mph on the highway because of the rain and visibility. Turn down the road, near the shelter and see that some brilliant person has left two cat carriers inches from the road, a good 50 feet down the road from our sign. Mind you, it is pouring. It is also thundering and lightning.

I pull ahead to the driveway, get out, run back and grab the carriers which are full of several inches of water and two really freaked out cats. Some of the fluid in the carrier is likely urine. I run the carriers to the car, shove them in, then drive up to the building.  If I hadn’t had the morning meeting, they’d have sat out there until we opened at noon.

What kind of person abandons their two front-declawed cats inches from a busy, 45mph road during a storm? No blankets in the carrier, no toys. These cats belonged to someone. They had homes. They had names. Imagine how terrified they were at the side of the road. Then, they are brought inside a shelter with barking dogs and lots of smells. They are pulled from the carriers, dried off and placed into steel cages with food, water, toys, blankets and a litterbox. They have nothing familiar. Everything of their previous five years or more is simply gone.

That, my friends, is the state of humanity on a stormy Wednesday in August. And frankly, I’m sickened by it.

Garden Update

On a happier note, here are a few photos from the garden. The bees are going nuts for the sunflowers. See the pollen baskets on the bee legs? If you’re interested in learning more about bee legs and pollen collection, check this out.

sunflower and bee
This next one is yarrow. Lots of little insects seem really interested in this particular plant.

This year I caved and got a perennial hibiscus. We’ll see if it comes back next year. It’s lovely, though.

Again, this has been a lovely summer, weather-wise. Everything is so green due to regular rain, and it hasn’t been incredibly hot. I am seeing some leaves on maple trees down by KCC starting to turn. The Rhus typhina syn. R. hirta (staghorn sumac or stag’s horn sumac) alongside of the highways is in full color already in our area. I feel we may have an early autumn.


Saturday, August 3, 2013 1 No tags Permalink

I am lucky (fortunate, blessed, delighted) to be married to an incredible man. He makes my life better in countless ways, and he inspires me to become a better person. Today is his birthday. I am so thankful for the day he was born, for his family and for their influence on my life. I could not have wished for more. Happy Birthday, Bob.

Bob Gilbert

This is from our trip to North Carolina. We went kayaking, and it was awesome 🙂

August has arrived with some lovely weather. Today was just gorgeous. The pot of wave petunias in the front has given up the ghost. I moved it to the side garden in a shadier spot and replaced it with three different kinds of sunflowers. The bees love them, and they are bright and cheery.


Kirsten and Troy have come back to Michigan on vacation. Should be a good week, weather-wise, for them.

Dumplin’ the Kitten

Thursday, July 25, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

Little Miss Dumplin’ was rough-housing with the kittens in the kitten room today, and fell. She landed funny, and I had to take her to the emergency vet.

kitten Dumplin'

She has a fractured rear right leg, right where the growth plate is. She got a shot of morphine which should provide pain relief for three days. We’re supposed to keep her on the down-low for a month and see what happens. It’s possible the other growth plate could compensate. Maybe she’ll have one really short leg. We won’t know until she grows up.

kitten Dumplin'

She’s such a brave, happy little kitten. Just look at that spotted belly!

Here’s a bonus shot from my garden this morning:


Red Hot Poker Plant

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

My red hot poker plant finally decided to bloom (about three weeks behind every other R.H.P.P. in town):

red hot poker plant

I’m not sure what this is, other than it’s an annual.


Another day with temps in the 90s and the heat index near 100. It’s like living on the sun. Bat wings be damned, I’m wearing a sleeveless shirt with my skirt today.

We’re Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

Monday, July 15, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

Hottest Week This Summer

This week is predicted to be the hottest week so far this summer, with temps in the 90s, heat indices in the upper 90s and nighttime lows staying around 70 degrees. Of course, the air conditioning unit in the lobby at work is broken. Staff members are advised to wear swimsuits until the temperature changes or I can find an a/c unit to exactly fit the hole in the wall where the dead one rests.


It is pretty, though. I won’t complain, as I much prefer the excessive heat to the freezing cold. The heat simply makes me feel lethargic, where the cold makes me feel hateful. Am I the only one to feel apprehension with the loss of daylight each day? We’re already mid-July.


I just finished another of my summer reads, Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, and I’ll be posting a review up later this week. I’ve also got two great vintage postcard posts coming up later in the week. was featured on Yes and Yes! on Saturday; do check it out as it’s a great site. Stay cool.

Oh god, it really is as bad as I remember it:

Life in Michigan – Garden Pics

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 1 No tags Permalink

Garden Update – Life in Michigan

Here’s a warning to unsuspecting folks who may blindly stumble into confrontation with me today: we lost power at 2:30am and I never went back to sleep. Probably best for others to keep their conversations short and friendly. No complaints today.

Why did we lose power? No idea. Bob and I got out of bed and went outside to look around. No rain. No storms. Nothing. Pulled up Consumer’s Energy, reported the outage, and checked out the map. All of Pennfield Township was out of power, from Capital to North, from Roosevelt to Mud Lake. Weird. They had it back on by 4:00am, but by that point, falling asleep was rather pointless. Later this morning (5am?) storms did roll in.

Anyhow, the rain means I won’t have to water tonight. It hasn’t rained in weeks, it seems. Everything has been so hot and dry. For the past few days, the forecast would call for storms. Yesterday on the way home from work, it did seem like something was building:

downtown Battle Creek

But then nothing would happen. And it was hot and quite humid.


I did water everything last night after dinner. Hadn’t seen the oriole in a day or two (maybe the heat keeps them away?) but he was there at the feeder briefly last night.

baltimore oriole

I keep saying it, but it seems this has been a rather strange year, weather-wise. Whatever, the flowers look fantastic (and the tomatoes and radishes are making good progress).


The outdoor stray-side kennel project started today. That’s right, it’s construction season at the shelter once again. They are starting by taking down the fencing, saving as much as they can. Then the heavy equipment will come in to level everything back there. It will be great when it’s done. It’s going to be a mess in the meanwhile.


Can  you believe next week is already the 4th? Once again, I’ve saved my vacation to the very end and I’m off all next week. Rather looking forward to it. No major plans, other than to avoid the airport (next week is the Field of Flight Balloon Festival). Mom and I will be taking a day trip to Bowling Green to meet up with family. That should be a good time.