Friday, April 19, 2019

playing catch-up

Hello! Sorry I've been gone for awhile. It seems that there just isn't enough time to blog when I want to, or else I haven't been in the mood to write. I'm still struggling with this back pain on and off (I finally start PT next week) and I recently had a horribly infected stye on my eyelid which made me feel cruddy in general. I've noticed a lot of blogs haven't been very active lately. I think Instagram is taking over. I do like IG and it's definitely a lot easier to post a quick pic with a few words, but I also miss the stories and warmth behind regular blog posts.

It's been a crazy weather ride here in northern Illinois, but that's typical for April. Last week, there were a couple of days that were actually warm enough to sit out on the front porch in the morning with my coffee (which I never take for granted - it was glorious!) and for a couple of beautiful, sunny walks in the State Park. And then a few days later - this past Sunday - we had a snowstorm that dumped six inches of wet, heavy snow on us. Two days later, it was 70 degrees and all the snow was gone.

So now everything here is finally exploding into bloom...I take a walk around my yard and see hostas, clematis, sedum, lamb's ear, bishop's cap and clematis all coming to life. Chives, fennel, red leaf sorrel and mint are growing in the herb garden. Some of the buds on my lilac bush have gently opened, revealing tiny purple flowers that will soon burst into heavenly scented blooms. I even saw my first butterfly the other day! This red admiral  was on a dandelion in my next-door neighbor's yard. His side yard joins up with ours on the south side of our house. The neighbor's side yard gets direct sun, so the dandelions love that area. 
The bees and butterflies need the dandelions in the early spring for pollen and nectar. I'm so glad our neighbor is like us and doesn't spray any weed killer on his lawn. Did you know that weed killers not only kill butterflies and bees, but in us humans are linked to cancer, kidney, liver and nervous system damage, endocrine disruption and reproductive toxicity? So, please - leave the dandelions alone! And hey, if it's your thing, you can use the dandelion greens in your salad or make dandelion wine with the flowers. 

We haven't begun yard clean up in earnest yet. And there is so much to do. All the garden beds are filled with wet, dead leaves; there's blown wood chips all over the back yard; piles of dead pine needles from the arborvitaes that line our back yard; perennials that need to be cut down; bare patches of ground that need grass seed...the patio furniture will need to be uncovered and the patio cleaned...and on and on. I've only done a little raking around the yard so far because of my back and because of the weather.  I read on a gardening site that if you start cleaning out your garden beds before the daytime temps are at least a consistent 50 degrees F., you risk throwing away butterflies, bees and other pollinators that are overwintering in the dead leaves and hollowed out stems of last year's plants.

I finally got my old, chippy window on the buffet painted (I do want to distress it a bit though) and the decor in my living room lightened up a bit for spring.

This weekend is a holiday celebration for both Jews and Christians. However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have a blessed weekend with your family and/or friends.


  1. Always good to catch up with you. I'm afraid I'm not blogging or posting much on IG. Life has sorta taken a big turn for me and I've lost my mojo. Maybe it will come back one day. Meanwhile I'm trying to stay in touch with comments. Hugs!

  2. You need to follow the blogs I do. I always have lots to read and thank God they aren't all on Instagram.

    I am sorry about your back and your eye. I of all people get how setbacks can bring you down.

    It is supposed to be glorious weather this weekend; think I will work in my yard a bit.

    Happy Easter, my friend!!

  3. You need to be careful about raking if your back is bad. I was told years ago by a doctor not to sweep with a broom because you are twisted on one side, so out of alignment basically. Same would hold true I imagine for raking. I don't use chemicals. All natural for me and my patio!

  4. So good to see this post from you. Sorry you've been dealing with back pain and then a stye to boot. Miserable!

    Loved all of the photos. Hope you will be able to be outside working soon.

    Have a lovely Easter Sunday tomorrow ~ FlowerLady

  5. Hope you start to feel better with your back. Have a wonderful day tomorrow with your family.
    Happy Easter.

  6. Back pain is just terrible. I went to PT for the first time this week and it was wonderful. I hope it works for you. Happy Easter!

  7. I hadn't thought about cleaning up early in the Spring being detrimental to butterflies and bees and such. We're pretty much in the 60s and above now, so while I didn't wait because of that, I'm glad we're just going to start on the yard/garden work this week. I've been really stressing to the kids how we need bees and they're working on being very brave around them. (Greg got stung on his head/face when he was a little boy, and is still terrified of them, so the kids started out seeing him panic.) The other day Silas told a neighbor friend who was over to play to just stand still until the bee left. The boy didn't, but it made me smile to hear him give the same advice I do.
    Hope your back is better soon!

  8. I hope PT works for your back - I had back pain and then surgery 13 years ago. Living and working with the pain was not easy.

    I'm not blogging much and I haven't posted on Instagram in a week. I'm having difficulty with my eyesight - turns out my eyes are dry and I'm on a strict regimen to get them to heal. Looking at the tiny screen on my phone was not helping. And, I am finding that I get so much more done each day if I don't spend time on my phone.

  9. I think Instagram has won over many people. I am trying to stay true to my blog, I like the relationships here. Happy Easter.

  10. Sometimes life gets in the way and posts just don't get happens! Glad all your snow is melted - ours too, it's so nice to see the gardens waking up!

  11. I do hope the PT is going to help alleviate your back pain. Good to see all the signs of new life in your yard. Always so welcome after a long winter. I think you are right about a lot of bloggers switching to IG now and it seems like many have just faded away. I miss them and the connections made at one time. Oh well, time marches on I suppose.

  12. Nice to see a post from you- Checking in as I get back to blogging myself. I am so sorry that you are having back pain and hope the PT helps...and a stye? How miserable is that!?!!!

    It is kind of sad to see more and more bloggers jumping to IG, etc. I miss the old days of blogging when good friendships were formed as we shared things we did-no one tried to outspend others to make their home "the best". People did projects and posted them. There were give-aways and heartfelt posts. But, life changes and I guess us old bloggers have to change with the times, too. Some of us go kicking and screaming...others embrace the changes gladly.

    Have a wonderful week, Melanie. Hopefully, you are feeling better by now. xo Diana

  13. These pictures could be from our area the past few weeks. The weather is crazy. I haven't seen any butterflies yet, but I have had a fly or two in the house! Go figure! I only blogged once in April, and while the break was nice, I do miss it. I'm glad there are still those who love to blog!

  14. I hope your back is feeling better. I, too, miss the older style of blogging with more frequent, personal posts. I've been trying to figure out how to bring more of that back to my blog yet still be able to make it financially profitable. My husband will be retiring in 5-7 years and I'd like to be making enough by then to replace a reasonable portion of the decrease in income. Facebook and Instagram have both contributed to the change in blogging but I think (hope?) we might see a return to more personal blogging.


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