What to Wear?

 I braved the ominous halls of the hospital today. 
I felt the unwelcome kinship of being one patient among hundreds—
maybe even thousands—of other medically unskilled souls 
seeking expert guidance and merciful assistance.

So of course, what to wear occupied my thoughts at bedtime yesterday.
I even pondered it during those wide-awake night moments.

My folks taught me to dress up to go to any medical appointment. 
Actually, I don't remember anyone actually saying, 
"Suzy, wear your best dress and shiniest shoes..."
But, even as a little girl, I noticed the details in the preparations my elders made 
when an appointment with a doctor loomed. 
It was an occasion to which you might wear your (fake) pearls. 

Have you noticed ... it's not that way anymore—not at all.

Today I learned that pajama pants pair nicely with any color tube top for a hospital visit. 

And that makes getting ready SO much easier, doesn't it?

These Stella de Oro daylilies are fabulous in container gardens. Blooming year after year, they return even in my metal washtub planters, surviving overwintering in near- and below-zero temperatures. The clumps of lilies multiply more slowly in containers, but still give enough increase to share with friends. While I haven't had much luck with the beautiful red cultivar, the yellow-gold standard type are a sure bet for any gardener.


Everyday Celebrations

I know some of you would be horrified at the carbon "footprint" my household 
stomps into the earth. Especially during large family gatherings.
When we host the entire tribe of extended family, I break out the paper 
plates, plastic forks and styrofoam cups. 
(sigh) I'm not proud of it, but there it is. I'd like to list all my excuses, but I'll spare you.

But look what I scored at a recent yard sale:
Vintage "pressed glass" goblets in all colors of the rainbow!
The home owner was selling the contents of her mother-in-law's
 home to pay for her stay in an assisted living facility.
"We have to pay a little extra, doncha know, because Mama needs her hair done every Friday."
Her mother-in-law is 103 years old.

My husband and I admired the collection, but drove away, only to return an hour later to 
scoop up what was left. We purchased nineteen goblets and contributed a 
little extra for Mamma's hair needs.
It seemed appropriate to store them in our Hoosier cabinet. 
When I open the doors, it just looks like a party in there. 

I've resolved to use these every time we host a family gathering. My younger self 
would have kept these only for good, only for the very best occasions. 
But now that I'm (ahem) older, wisdom urges me forward with the earned understanding
that every gathering qualifies as the very best occasion, and
every single family dinner is an occasion to celebrate with 
fancy, rainbow-colored, antique goblets.


Garden Bangles

Last year's Mother's Day gifts included these cool garden markers.
The black resin stakes came with a white grease pen to label ... anything! 
(... why not keep a pie bird in the greenhouse?)
Garden markers are the bangle bracelets of the flower bed, 
the bejeweled pinky rings of the veggie patch. 
Not at all necessary, but an oh-so-cool addition.
The sort you have speaks to what kind of gardener you are.

Some of us (ahem ... me) go with utilitarian methods 
of labeling in the garden: this, those, and (ugh) these.
I've even just re-used plant inserts, marking over the print with a fat Sharpie.
But ... with any Pinterest-y craft ability or Etsy cash flow, 
you could have this, those, or (ah!)these.


Hymn Browsing

I'm working on a special order tie-tack for a music teacher. 
My Etsy customer wants a tiny Scrabble tile to display a bit of sacred music
under a dome of diamond glaze.
I LOVED browsing antique hymnbooks this weekend, humming through 
familiar old hymn-friends. Although I can't say my family enjoyed my 
impromptu, off-key concert ...
My favorite is probably the closest tile, "Amazing Grace" on letter A.
But the last one, "Take My Life and Let It Be", is close to my own heart's cry right now. 
An inspiring hymn of dedication, this one has a sweet history
Oh, to spend an hour with Frances!

  I'm pretty partial to this pendant. 
My grandparents had one Nikko blue bush on their farm, and it was ENORMOUS.
This hydrangea bloom is from my own bush, which is a start from theirs. 
It's a tiny piece of the old farm preserved and even wearable.


Basking in Sunshine

These hosta emerge as purple nubs in early spring.  
I noticed them studding the wet ground weeks ago.
Then while I wasn't watching ... all this!
It's one of my favorite plants because of the leaf texture. 
Deep veins with a seersucker surface make it unique. 
SeersuckerWHAT? I know. Is that a weird word or what? 
* I keep all (most) of my plastic plant tags as a sort of catalog of perennials I've purchased over the years. There are  definite patterns: blue and purple flowering plants, sturdy beats frufru, and hydrangeas must be had! Tip: If you buy from a garden superstore and your plant dies, you can usually return it if you have the tag. Just dump the dead plant in an old store container, stick that plastic tag back in the dirt, and slug it off to the store for a replacement.
* Cowbirds invaded my feeders this year. I usually grind my teeth about spring starlings, but this year—COWBIRDS are the birdseed gluttons. But I did spot a pair of rose-breasted grosbeaks at the feeder two days in a row! I tried to talk the lovely couple into staying longer, but they said my feeder attracted too much riff-raff. Dang cowbirds!
* Speaking of riff-raffy gluttons ... I'm listening to a library audiobook called Made to Crave. After six months of intensive study at The Lord's Table, it's making a lot of sense. God is revealing new parts of my heart and helping me see just how grateful I can be for His finished work on that cross!I highly recommend both books.
* Back to spring gardening: I usually swoop through garden centers at this time of year, on the hunt for new plants or crazy bargains. But yesterday my mom and I took a Mother's Day jaunt and wandered through a local greenhouse, savoring the color combinations and vast array of plant varieties. It was fun to recall what aunts or uncles favored which old-fashioned annuals: Great-Grandpa loved zinnias, Uncle Mike loved cockscomb ... remember when your cousin pushed you into the cactus bed at the conservatory? 
Yes. Yes, I do.  During our greenhouse stroll, I had a couple close calls—I almost fell (keeled over backward) into a huge display of geraniums as I admired the colors and lost my footing. And I found out just how far it is to the half-person bathroom in the check-out area—VERY far, especially if you're trying not to laugh or drag one leg behind you. 
* I'll only be forty-nine for four more months. Oh, man. I'm twenty-five on the inside! Which reminds me of Wanda. Have you heard her poem? Here it is.