Thursday, May 3, 2012


 Don't you just love a volunteer. I know I do. I have done a lot of that in my life and know it is so important to have people working with you who are dependable. Now you may be wondering what the fellow up above has to do with volunteering? Well, every evening for the last two weeks he has come out to sit on the top of his nest box to keep an eye on me. I am thoroughly enamored of these beautiful Missouri blue birds. Up to now I have only caught a flash of sky blue, orange and white as these gorgeous creatures as they whisked through the air outside my sewing room. Now as an aside, and  before my daughter brings it up, I am planning to share my beautiful space very soon! In any case, I just checked and he is once again sitting on the bird house. A volunteer!

My favorite kind of volunteer however often occurs in my garden. The sweet little violets you see above started showing up five years ago. I never planted a single seed but expect that the birds brought them in. Perhaps the guy up above? In any case they arrive and I let them flourish just where they land.
 In this picture I think you can see that they have planted themselves in orderly fashion along the bricks edging a large raised flower bed. I could say they demonstrate a certain intelligence but really it comes down to availability of soil. Between each brick that very thing exists.

 Now the rest of the photographs are not volunteers, but simply some of my garden. I have little time for my flowers so treasure the ones that pretty much take care of themselves. When we moved from California to Missouri I had plans to at last have a serious rose garden. Thank goodness I did not get an early start!
 The second year here I had delivered a whole lot of river bottom soil as recommended by a wonderful neighbor. he was right, everything I planted thrived in that bed.

Unfortunately flowers were not the only things that thrived in my yard! I had a sweet yellow rose bush. One afternoon as I drove up my driveway, I paused to admire that rose. Imagine my horror when I saw a lot of iridescent bugs feasting on the pretty yellow petals. I had no idea what they were but was having none of it. My daughter drove up the driveway and got out of her car to see me picking those bugs off the plant, throwing them down on the driveway and stomping on them. Of course that was not an efficient way to dispose of the nasty creatures. I persevered for a couple of years and finally admitted defeat. I hired a service to help the day we filled two traps to the top with what I now know is the infamous Japanese beetles. I also gave up on vintage roses and now have only Knock out Roses. They are bothered some by the beetles but if they eat they die and the roses begin rejuvenating themselves by the next day. Really! Would I tell you anything but the truth? I have come to care for each and everyone of you.

I hope you are having a lovely spring/summer. By the way another volunteer that has not shown up this year is Cleome. I will leave you to look that one  up and if you cannot find one ask and I will post a photo. let me know what you think


Joanne Parks said...

Hi Nadine!
I just found your blog and I am so sorry to hear it has been such a difficult year or so for you. I took several of your classes at the Applique Academy and miss seeing you there. I want to comment on your grand daughter and on congenital hip deformities and what happens when you keep going doing things that they are not capable of doing.
I was born with congenital hip deformities: shallow sockets and pistol grip deformities of the upper parts of the femurs. When I was born, the doctors had my mother do exercises with my legs for the first six months or so. Then they said all was ok and my mother promptly forgot there was ever a problem. I never knew about any of it. I always wondered why everyone else could run without excessive fatigue or aches but no one ever said anything other than I should not be so lazy or out of shape.
Fast forward 35 years... My son asked me to do karate with him. I did and we both earned black belts over 8 years. I earned something else: chronic hip pain. The kind of pain that makes long walks a problem or bending to sit in the car painful. I would park in the handicapped spot, go into karate class and very slowly hobble out. Two doctors said no problem, you just need physical therapy. I did PT and the pain persisted. Finally, I found someone who told me about the deformities and further said I needed hip replacements due to tears in the labrum (the cartilage around the socket) and subsequent arthritis from the trauma. It was then that my mother recalled exercising my hips when I was an infant. After second and third opinions, the verdict was the same: hip replacements. At age 50, I had a modified procedure, actually 3 over 7 weeks, called hip resurfacing but unfortunately one failed and had to be redone 15 days after it was done the first time. The body's response to that was to grow extra bone that now limits my range of motion to where I can no longer do the karate that I so love. I am 55 and walking around the block can be painful. It is what it is but for your family members it is worth knowing this warning and reaching for better. It is worth avoiding the pain, the arthritis, the scars, the risk of surgery which includes potential complications with re-dos, stroke and death.
I wish your grand daughter more than well. I wish her vivacious life! She is right to follow the doctor's orders. I think you should start a blog and facebook and twitter campaign of support for her. It just got a Down's Syndrome girl elected prom Queen in Texas. Who knows what it could do for your girl?
With hugs and the very best of wishes,
Joanne Parks

Kathy said...

Your yard looks lovely Nadine. I hope to come and see it this summer even if only for a few days. I miss you so much. Kathy