Sunday, July 27, 2014

Finches and Pinches

Not much to report of late, as a matter of fact I've been a bit out of pocket recently.  At first it was because of the 4th of July holiday, then we had company in from out of town, then I was having computer issues, and within the last couple of weeks I have had a pinched nerve in my arm...which makes being on the computer difficult.

I have had it checked out and it turns out I have "golfer's elbow," which is kind of ironic since I don't golf!  And in all the years that I played competitive tennis, I never once developed tennis elbow, yet somehow I now have golfer's elbow...go figure!  Maybe I should take up the game and see if it makes my elbow/shoulder/upper arm better?!

With my arm out of commission I haven't been taking pictures, holding the camera is one of those things that seems to irritate it, but I did make an exception when a female Goldfinch decided it had to have an afternoon snack and landed on the Anise Hyssop plant on our patio.

A male often joins her on the plant, and they happily pluck the lavender flowers, which apparently are quite yummy.  If you look closely at the image above you will see that she has a blossom in her beak, and you can also see that many of the small lavender blooms that fill each stalk are missing.

The male is much brighter yellow, and a striking fellow I must say, but the plant is located not too far from our sliding door, so whenever I try and open it to take a shot they both hurry away as though they'e been caught red, or in this case purple, handed!

This is the first year I have tried to grow Hyssop, but it won't be the last.  I originally wanted the pink/coral variety, but the anise was all I could find in my area.  There seems to be some debate as to whether the variety I have is the same as the traditional European hyssop herb which is prized for its healing powers.  You can read more about anise hyssop HERE

Whatever healing powers it may or may not have doesn't seem to prevent the birds and bees from loving it.  The stalks are full to the brim all day long with bees, which seem a bit addicted to its flavor, or perhaps the magic it possesses.  And for now, the goldfinches seem quite content as well.

I will be away a bit longer as I try to let this arm of mine heal.  Wishing you all a very happy week ahead!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lost in Transition

While getting rid of some of the spam comments on my blog this past week, I realized that lots of comments are getting hung up in the system somehow.  I noticed comments I had never received, nor responded to, which had been posted on my blog that I was completely unaware of.

These were not spam comments, but thoughtful comments left by kind people and I never even thought to check each post to see the comments, because the comments are supposed to show up in my email.  Yet another thing about blogging that makes me sigh.

Although I don't respond to each and every comment that comes my way, I hate thinking that I've missed some and never would have known about them had I not gotten rid of spam, which seems to be well equipped at getting through.  So to those of you who I've missed, please know that it wasn't intentional, it was simply absentmindedness on my part!

We have been plugging along with the massive garage clean up...yup it was that messy that it's taken this long to remedy, and it's still not perfect, but much closer to perfection than it has been in 7 years...and that makes me very happy!

The time consuming part is that we couldn't just throw stuff out en masse, but we had to open each box and container to see what treasures they held, then decide if they were still "our" treasures, or if we should turn them into someone else's treasures.

It's funny how something can seem so important to you at one point in your life, yet just a few years later you are ready to part with it because it no longer holds the same meaning for you that it once did.  I guess as we transition through life our priorities change right along with our tastes and sentimentality.

What we found was that we were way more sentimental about our children's books, games, and toys than they were.  When I asked our daughter if she wanted us to keep her Go Go The Walking Pup dog...a must have one Christmas when she was little as it had a leash and could walk on its own thanks to the magic of batteries...she responded with a text that read "I have no idea what Go Go The Walking Pup even is, so yes donate it!"

We got a similar reaction from our son regarding his childhood toys, except that he went online to see if they were worth anything first...ahhh to be young and in the phase where a few bucks supersedes the "remember when" factor...but his sentimental transition will come, one day.

 (Orchard Oriole)

I feel like lately I'm a little lost in transition rather than lost in translation.  My sentimentality has shifted, and I now treasure moments, not things, much more than I once did.  I've never been one to value possessions over people and memories, but sometimes parting with items that represent a certain stage or point in our lives can be difficult, especially when those items were gifts from people who are no longer here, or those items belonged to, and were treasured by those who have passed on.  Or worse yet, they magically transport you back to when your children were little.

When you get rid of those items it can be both freeing and a bit daunting.  And what is meaningful differs from person to person.  As we stood dripping with sweat in the garage sorting through childhood memories, I could see that what brought back memories of our children when they were young for Mr. Tide was often different than what I found difficult to let go of.

In the end, we were able to let go of the stuff and focus on the here and now, and the gift that we are able to make new memories, with the bonus of having a clean garage!

I can hardly believe that it is July already, back during our long winter it seemed like such a distant time, this wonderful season of summer which I love so much.  Like the toys our children once loved, the seasons are fleeting and we need to focus on the present and not long for the past or wish for the future.

I think I'm going to like being lost in transition for as long as it lasts, for we know that this too shall pass, and everything really is just one phase leading us into another throughout our lives.

I plan to keep getting rid of things which tie me down, force me to worry about them, or cause me stress over where to put them.  And I also plan to enjoy every single day in a way that I thought I had in the past, but now realize that I really wasn't.  

That means less time on the computer, which I've been enjoying SO much, more time spent with friends and family, less time worrying about having a perfect house before having everyone over for a big dinner, more walks in the evening, more time in the kayaks, and less time doing the things I don't really feel passionate weeding for instance! ;)

I know many of you are in a transitional phase yourselves, and I hope you let yourself get lost a little, because knowing where you're headed all of the time can be so boring!  Happy July!