Friday, March 30, 2012

Pure Bliss...

This time of year is my busiest time in my gardens... Spring is here... and everything is getting so green and lush... my days are pure Heaven watching new blooms appear here and there each morning...

So much to do... so many plans to make and trips to the garden centers... always coming home with my car full of plants... keeping track of everything in my garden journal... comparing notes with this time last year... plus, after not being able to do my full Nature walk each day for some time due to some strained tendons in my foot and a pinched nerve, I am now able to do the whole walk again with Jack... yippee!... can you tell I am excited???...

It's Springtime!... get outdoors and enjoy it!... xoxo...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Great~grandmother's Wedding Ring...

Today I needed to go renew my drivers license as it expires this year on my birthday in May... they have made it so hard to renew since the last time I did... nowadays, you must bring a copy of your social security card and your birth certificate to renew... I was born and raised here... been driving since I was 16... no speeding tickets (at least not since I was 16)... but each year seems like there are more and more changes to everything... you know me... I don't like change... maybe that's why my thoughts drift away so often... back to simpler, gentler times... anyway... I had to open our safe to get my birth certificate out... there, on a soft piece of velvet was my great~grandmothers wedding ring... that is my great~grandmother and great~grandfather Souders in the photo below... the gold pocket watch belonged to my great~grandfather and I inherited it... at some time long ago, my grandmother had it put on the little gold stand... my great~grandparents lived to be almost 100 years old each and I knew them well when I was a little girl... spending Summers with them in Santa Fe at my grandmother's home...

I gingerly took my great~grandmothers ring out of the safe and slipped it on my finger... pictures of this sweet little lady filled my mind... carefree Summer's days in New Mexico... sitting at her side as she rocked in her favorite chair in the living room... chatting with her... savoring her homemade cookies that always filled the cookie jar... I caressed the ring on my finger and wished that just once more I was sitting there beside her... great~grandmother had the softest snow~white hair... it cascaded all the way down her back... sometimes she wore it down long, but most often it was piled high upon her head... and she always smelled so sweet... that's what little great~grandmothers do, you know... because they ARE so sweet...

After my great~grandmother passed away, my grandmother Delphine (her daughter, my daddy's mama) inherited the ring... she wore it every day...

When my grandmother Delphine passed away, my mama inherited great~grandmother's ring... then, when my mama passed away... thirty years ago this May... much too young... I inherited great~grandmother's ring... I wore it every day too for many years... the band had worn so thin from all of those years... I took it to a jeweler to check the band and the prongs on the diamond... the first thing he told me was to take it out of that old setting and put it in something new and modern... sorry... no way... just like I would not want to change a thing about my great~grandmother... I would never change a thing about her wedding ring... he told me it was an old mine cut that they don't do anymore... I didn't like the other things he told me about changing it... but that delighted me that it was an old, old mine cut diamond... great~grandmother's ring is well over 100 years old... and has four generations of stories to tell...

I don't wear it anymore as fragile as it is... so soon it will go back into our safe... but for now... I shall wear it just a bit longer... as the smell of great~grandmother's cookies and her soft gentle voice fill my thoughts... unlike so many things in today's modern world that change or go away... precious memories never fade... xoxo...



Monday, March 26, 2012

I'd Invite You to Tea...

But...

Tonight's just for me...

A favorite magazine, Lady Grey steeping in the teapot... jammies on... house is quiet... time to indulge myself... we all deserve it... do you slip away for quiet times too?... I hope so... xoxo...



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sound Advice...

You've probably all seen the little signs that say "Keep Calm and Carry On"???... well, today I found the cutest journal at Barnes and Noble, I like this saying better... this is what the front of my new journal says...


Maybe I'll keep track of how many cupcakes I eat in it???... xoxo...



Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Favorite Place to Be...

This time of year, if you are looking for me, most likely I am...

Last year, I asked my friend Rebecca of A Gathering Place if she would create a beautiful sign for me with that saying on it... she came up with exactly what I had in mind and I loved it!... I hang it out on my little potting bench when I am "in the garden"... I'm sure friends and family already know that is where I will be... but the sign is just so pretty!... while at the garden center today, I bought a beautiful new wildflower... it is a Geum, which I have grown before, but not this particular one... it's called "Prairie Smoke"...

I came right home and planted it... here's how it looks in the garden... the foliage on it is just so delicate and kind of fern like... I can hardly wait for the blooms which are "bell to cup shaped mauve flowers followed by showy feathery pink seedheads throughout summer".... sounds so beautiful!...

Has anyone grown this before?... or is it a native wildflower to your area?... I would love to know!... xoxo...




Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring... and a young girl's fancy turns to love...

Today is the day I call officially the First Day of Spring... and oh, what a beautifully glorious, warm, sunny, fall~in~love with it kinda day it was!... Tessy couldn't wait to come outside with me and soak up some sunshine and blue skies... and some sugary~sweet Springtime smooches from her mama... c'mon Tessy... give mama a little sugar...

Tessy and I spent the day doing all sorts of wonderful Springtime things together ... She pointed out our resident Blue Jay out back... his name is B.J. (for Blue Jay, what else??? he is actually a Scrub Jay out here in the west)... and he sits in one of our flowering crabapple trees (which is not flowering yet!) and squawks at me to put more peanuts out for him... then, if I am not fast enough, he gives me the old stink~eye and squawks some more!... I just love him and his family!... he loves to hide peanuts everywhere... and somehow, always remembers where he put them!...

We checked on our pots of pansies on the front porch... purple and pink, my favorites!... lookin' good!...

The local deer had a party in our yard during the night... they ate about half of our tulips that were just starting to come up... well... as long as they had a good time!... there are still plenty left... and our yard IS a designated wildlife habitat!... (tulips really aren't on the menu though dear deer)...

Then we put our pretty ceramic birdbath out front after being inside all winter so it would not freeze and break... (the metal ones stay out year round so the birdies can drink anytime)... the Robins love to drink and bathe in it this time of year as they prepare to build their nests... I have posted before about how my great~grandmother told me when I was a little girl that there will always be something white in a Robin's nest... and through the years, I have always found it to be true... a piece of white yarn, a white paper towel, perhaps a white feather... look closely the next time you see a Robin's nest... it will be there... that small, something white... always... after putting the birdbath out, I hung the yellow jacket traps... yes, I know I always post how much I love all of God's creatures... but, I made an exception to that... two years ago, as I was working in my gardens, a yellow jacket somehow went up my pantleg and stung me seven times on my thigh... after the first sting, I knew what was happening and tried to swat through my pantleg to kill him... (unlike a bee, yellow jackets can just keep on stinging and stinging)... all that did was make him madder and he stung me six more times as I tried to run inside... by the time I got to my back stairs to go up to my back porch to get inside I pulled my jeans down around my ankles trying to get him (hello neighbors!)... as I ran screaming inside... once inside he flew out and Jack swatted him... needless to say he did not live to see another day... at that point, I didn't even care if the neighbors saw me that way, it hurt so bad and I had 7 huge welts on my swollen thigh... (I now own my own Epi~pen)...

After that, Tessy and I checked the birdhouses in our yard... did you know the birds actually scout out their Spring nesting sites in the middle of winter?... they do... then, come Spring, they like to do some "Spring cleaning" just like we do... I put wood shavings in the bottoms of all the birdhouses... then, when they are "rented" the birds will toss out the shavings and begin "feathering their nest", making it their own home tweet home to raise their babies in...


Soon... this one...

Will look like this... my beautiful Jackmanii Clematis clamboring up the pole and trellis behind it last Spring...

So, that is how Tessy and I spent this beautiful "real" First Day of Spring outdoors today... hope you had a fall~in~love with Spring kind of day too... xoxo... Moi and Tessy...



Monday, March 19, 2012

Welcoming Spring!...

"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the spirit of love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of it's wintry rest" ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

I have always known the first day of Spring to be the 21st day of March... now it is celebrated the 20th day of March... curious by nature, I googled to see why the change... tradition states it is actually the 21st day of March, but in recent years astronomers and calendar manufacturers state it is the 20th... so... being one to always carry on traditions, I shall continue to call the 21st the First Day of Spring... but welcome it's arrival anytime!... whichever day you choose... Happy Spring to You!... xoxo...



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Well... I had a post here....

I had a post here I did this morning... really, I did... with comments on it even... but when I looked just now, it was gone, comments and all!... what the heck is going on?... I am just too darn tired tonight to re~do it all, so I will just show you my sweet wild violets that are blooming all over in my gardens right now...


And now I am off to bed... I have hurt my feet really bad from all of the walking I do every day, something called Plantar Fasciitis that is really painful... so, nite, nite!... xoxo...



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Key to the Past.....

If you have followed my blog at all (merci!) then you know I love to photograph old structures... barns, outbuildings, homes, stores, signs... you name it... I stopped to take the following photos yesterday... they are of wonderful old, old buildings that still stand on Main Street in Bountiful, Utah, the little town I grew up in that borders my little town of Centerville that I live in now... I have such a love and respect for the past and I hate to see old structures torn down and vanish... along with the stories they tell... shhh... listen closely, perhaps we shall hear those stories...


At one time in days~gone~by, this was a welding shop in the photo below... I pass this old building almost every day and cannot go by it without glancing over at it...










A part of small town USA from yesteryear... shabby and worn, yet still stand proudly on Main Street... they tug at my heartstrings... do they yours?... xoxo...



Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's Just Our Nature...

What do this beautiful lady surrounded by dogs and I have in common?... besides the fact that we are both lovers and rescuers of animals?... until this past week, I had never heard of or seen this lady... then, a comment left on one of my posts lead me to her with the information she left for me to get ahold of her... it's truly amazing the power of a blog... and just one comment... this past week, my life has been changed... in so many positive ways... thanks to this lady...

This is the picture that brought her to my blog... it is one I have posted several times when I post stories of my French heritage... my great~uncle Pierre Seraphin Jr. on the left and his brother, my grandfather, Jules Arthur Vicknair, Sr on the right... this lady had done a search on the internet for Jules Arthur Vicknair, Sr and it brought her to one of my posts with this photo... this lady and I share a special bond... of course our mutual love for all of God's precious creatures... but more... you see, she is family... she is my cousin... my cousin that until last week I never even knew I had... I already feel a closeness to this beautiful lady and we have chatted by phone and emails this past week... she was doing research on her family... which is also my family... for her great~grandmother Marie Vicknair is my grandfather Jules Arthur Vicknair's sister... and my great~aunt... my grandfather left Louisiana to work as a chemist at a large sugar plantation in Cuba... then later moved to New Mexico where he met and married my grandmother Vicknair... the rest of the Vicknairs, other than my great~uncle Pierre stayed for the most part in Louisiana... I always knew I had lots of family there, but needed to find out so much more... since my parents and grandparents have all passed away, my research has been long and incomplete... until now... just to clarify things, when I divorced my ex~husband years ago, I took back my maiden name of Vicknair and go by it to this day...

My beautiful cousin's name is Veni Harlan... she is such an incredible lady!... a graphics designer, photographer, writer, conservationist, animal trainer, animal rescuer, artist, designer, collector of vintage treasures... the list goes on and on... her newest venture is her company called Marsh Dog that sells all natural dog treats... (Tessy is sooo excited!)... I wish I had Veni's energy!... she was part of the Louisiana Animal Rescue Team in the Macondo oil spill of 2010, the largest spill in US History... Veni spent countless days with the rescue and cleanup of all of the beautiful shorebirds and wildlife affected by the spill... she rescued and fostered numerous animals and birds of all kinds after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita... many of which were returned to their owners... while others were placed in new homes... she was part of the Black Bear Conservation Coalition helping to save the Louisiana Black Bear... . obviously the love of all God's creatures runs deep in the Vicknair family blood... her parents, grandparents, brothers and sister, cousins... all are involved with rescuing and caring for animals and birds... domestic and wild... I am so proud of my new~found cousin... and want to get to know her so much better... she has graciously sent me photos of my great~grandfather Pierre Seraphin Vicknair Sr. and my great~grandmother Marie Madeleine Vicknair (her great~great grandparents) who I had never seen photos of before, and many other family photos, as well as filling in alot of the missing pieces in my family history... all of my life, my daddy had told me I had a great~aunt in Louisiana that had something to do with a soda pop company... little did I know, my great~aunt Marie, (yes, there are alot of Maries in our family!)... who was Veni's great~grandmother, and her husband were founders of the famous Barqs Root Beer company in New Orleans!... Veni is working on a book about the history of Barqs... the company was sold to Coca~cola in 1995... here is an old photo provided by Veni from her website... can you guess what vintage treasures I will be seeking out at my next estate sale or antiques shop?... you are right, Barqs!...

And the beginning of her story on the history of Barqs... (click to enlarge to read better)...

Merci Veni, for all you have given me... the photos, the family information and stories... the inspiration... but most of all... being a part of my family... our love of animals truly is part of our nature... I have always rescued and helped animals of all kinds... but after meeting Veni, I see there is so much more I can do... and I shall... xoxo...