happy easter…happy spring…

Because the weather here in the Seattle area is so iffy…rain pouring down on us without any warning…hubby and I decided to forgo Easter Day celebrations in lieu of gardening. Praise God…the sun decided to spend the day.

Celebrating the holiday early, we treated our nephew and his lovely wife to lunch yesterday. Immersed in conversation and enjoying one another’s company, we barely noticed the raindrops pelting ferociously against the windows of the restaurant, as if pleading to to be let inside.

It’s not often my husband and I get to spend time with young folks. Our daughter’s the exception, of course. We’re lucky that she and our nieces and nephews get that we’re fun, sometimes weird…in a good way.

Hubby and I laugh a lot. We cajole one another. We make each other smile. We exchange silly remarks. We even call each other goofy names.

IMG_1709

…young uns ourselves back in the day…as kooky then…as we are now…

I’m pretty sure my husband’s business colleagues would be thoroughly surprised were they to see him bumming around in his “allo, allos,” as we Hawaiians like to say. Translation? “Raggedy clothes.” Not that they’re raggedy, they’re just not his usual corporate duds.

In fact, even his personality undergoes a transformation. He’s not so careful about minding his p’s and q’s around the house. He’s not the reticent, quiet guy he projects at work. It’s more like he goes from being Clark Kent and Superman to being George Burns, the comedienne and straight man to his wife and comic sidekick, Gracie Allen.

I’ve always been a self-proclaimed Lucy…as in “I Love Lucy.”IMG_1493 I probably started squirreling away all those crazy antics of hers, ever since I first laid eyes on that zany redhead back in the 50’s. Add to that a touch of Gracie Allen, and you get an idea of how kooky our household often is. My daughter threatens to follow me around with a camera so she can post a youtube video showing the world the real hugmamma. (Not going to happen. Trust me.)

So it’s nice to be loved by the likes of my rather normal daughter, and young relatives, who go out of their way to humor their elders whenever we’re together. 

Although an unconventional celebration at a small Japanese restaurant the day before, our Easter holiday was indeed happy and blest. 

Aloha and mahalo to Kanoa and Erica for making it so.

And I’m hoping yours was equally joyful as well!

………hugmamma.

 

 

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weekly photo challenge: infinite

Want to count how many daffodils there are?………hugmamma.IMG_3966

And then my heart with pleasure fills…and dances with the daffodils.
—William Wordsworth Longfellow—

springtime…when all things turn to fanciful-ness

I tend to decorate to the nines.Imported Photos 00154 What I can’t fit inside my four walls…is relegated to a space in the great outdoors.

Lazy summer days in our backyard...

Lazy summer days in our backyard…

img_1665.jpgApril 2011 00038Not only does my yard abound with the normal tchotckes, like bird baths…trellises…and statuary, but there’s a vintage iron headboard nestled under the shade of a maple tree.

img_2036.jpgBroken-down, painted benches with which I can’t bear to part company have put down roots alongside the house, as well as on the front and back decks.

img_1784.jpgStep ladders, too short to be of much use, are content to prettify a spot bereft of sunlight, or serve as a backdrop to pots draped to overflowing with petunias, sweet pea, heliotrope and alyssum.

IMG_1549IMG_4433 IMG_4436Neighbors comment, and have for years, that our yard serves as eye-candy for them. So hubby and I are encouraged to slave away during the warm days of spring, summer and fall…making sure  we keep the neighbors happy

IMG_1869IMG_1964The wildlife don’t seem to mind either. In fact, hummingbirds…well, at least one…monarchs and smaller butterflies, finches, sparrows, blue jays and red-breasted robins…flit and fly about the yard, owning every inch of it.

And then there are those critters that annoy, the ones who chew their way through the garden indiscriminately…the slugs, the deer, the bunnies.

IMG_3302Slugs dine at night, while the deer and bunny rabbits feast all the day long. Both stand their ground, daring me to…”Come closer…I dare you.” Only when I shout and wave my arms like a psychopath, do they get the message. Glancing at me furtively over their shoulders, they seem to say…”Sheesh! What’s all the fuss about?”

Squirrels test my patience as well. They act as masters of all they survey, taking control as it suits their fancy. They pay no mind to my attempts at shooshing them away.

IMG_1864IMG_1865The little, black squirrel in particular sizes me up as though he’d like to chew me up and…spit me out. I’m sure if I got in his face, that’s exactly what he’d do. I don’t think I’ll tempt fate.

I got to thinking about all this after reading about Thierry Ehrmann, a Frenchman. It seems he fancies decorating his outdoor space as well. Have a peek at his genius at http://www.cvltnation.com/abode-of-chaos/

Scattered around the garden are a giant silver skull, a crashed helicopter and a model of the jagged steel remains of the World Trade Center. On the outside, the house is decorated with big black-and-white portraits of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, George Bush, Bashar al-assad and Mitt Romney. Old computers and hard drives hang from a tree in a net.

A sign reads: “Chaos in progress.”

You can imagine Ehrman’s neighbors aren’t pleased with having a rock star of a garden artist living among them, mere mortals that they are.

The ‘Abode of Chaos,’ which is his name for the museum, attracts hundreds of visitors on weekends. ‘They come in droves and look at us as if we were strange animals,’ says neighbor Boris Perrodon.

A 45-year-old schoolteacher, Mr. Perrodon says he has considered moving away but when he tried to sell his house, he says, he didn’t get a single offer. Other neighbors say they are in the same predicament.

Pascal Paysant, who runs a real-estate agency in nearby Fontaines-sur-Saone, says there is no rush to acquire property near the Abode of Chaos. ‘Perhaps we lack artistic flair, but the fact is this house depreciates real-estate value in the town,’ he says.

Even the local mayor is on the verge of collapsing under the weight of Ehrmann’s Abode of Chaos.

The village mayor Ms. Revel, who has been pursuing the fight against Mr. Ehrmann undertaken by her predecessor, says the protracted legal battle has left her on her knees. She says she is exhausted physically and mentally because dealing with Mr. Ehrmann’s mail is ‘a full-time job.’

‘It is unbearable,’ she says, showing off piles of letters on her desk sent to her by Mr. Ehrmann.

I guess I could spiffy up my garden…just a tad more.

thierry Ehrmann le 112 ème est Jorge Mario Ber...

thierry Ehrmann le 112 ème est Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis), painted portrait DDC_7831 (Photo credit: Abode of Chaos)

…what do you think?…

………hugmamma.

…time to exhale…getting away…

Tulip Era in the Ottoman Empire...

It was heavenly to escape the hammering, buzz-sawing and drilling for a few days. A nephew’s wedding in tulip and daffodil country was just the getaway I needed after weeks of preparation for our master bed/bath remodel. Never mind that the tulips have not yet made their much anticipated appearance. The longer than usual winter season has kept the delicate buds hovering underground for warmth. I’d join them if I could, although my cozy abode suits me just fine.

Wedding cake

Wedding cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spending several days in the company of family who are like best friends was the icing on the cake, wedding cake in this instance. Hawaiians “go with the flow.” Louise and Milton epitomize the laid back island tendency. Doing whatever is fine with them, which is totally in sync with my husband and me. That they enjoy browsing antique stores and retail outlets was a happy coincidence.

Much to my husband’s chagrin, every inch of our SUV was crammed full of luggage and new-found treasures. Thank goodness for side mirrors because his use of the rear-view mirror mirror was totally obliterated. Thankfully great friends and sunny weather kept my husband from focusing upon his inability to see out the back of the car.

Molbak's outdoor eating
Molbak’s outdoor eating (Photo credit: burienundressedblog)

Spring has probably sprung throughout most of the country. It takes a tad longer here in the Pacific Northwest. While I’m excited for the warmth and sun, I know yardwork cannot be far behind. I’ll have to visit a favorite destination, Molbak’s Nursery in Woodinville, to rev myself up for the inevitable weeding that comes with good weather. Wish I could just transport their gardens to mine. It’s safe to say this will remain…just a wish.

Molbaks' Orchids

Molbaks' Orchids (Photo credit: JHall159)

…how’s spring…where you are?…

………hugmamma.  🙂     

spring’s arrived!!!

 

Springtime flowers.

Image by beamillion via Flickr

I think it’s safe to say that the Pacific Northwest is finally beginning to experience spring. The sun’s been out all day; it’s warm. Perhaps it’s time to think of storing away cold-weather clothing…or maybe not. One can never tell here, it could be dry and in the 50s and 60s one day, wet and in the 30s and 40s the next, or even later the same day. But I won’t jinx it. It’s spring!

I’ve been cleaning and refashioning the rooms in my house, preparing for the new season. Now that it’s April, with summer right around the bend, hopefully, I like to keep the decor light and airy, and colorful. Although the primary color palette remains pretty much the same, shades of blues, greens, roses, and mustards. Country colors. “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can never take the country out of the girl.” That’s me to a tee! I love cities, and fit right in with city-folk, as long as I know it’s not a permanent arrangement. Being an island girl, I always go back to those small town roots for sustenance and recharging.

When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob Bobbin' ...

Image by Fozzeee via Flickr

Having redone my daughter’s bedroom so that I now have a small, computer table stationed in front of the window, I’m sitting here typing away on the keyboard. Where I use to roam between my husband’s office, thereby throwing him out without intending to do so, and sitting uncomfortably at the dining room table, I’m now occupying prime real estate. Gazing out at the back yard, I can watch red robins digging in the dirt for insects, squirrels scampering up the big cedar tree trunk making their way nimbly out along the large, drooping branches, and leaves swaying ever so softly as the breezes drift through the boughs of the lilac bush and the low-lying roses. What with all this day-dreaming, I may not get a whole lot written.

Actually, sitting here I’m reminded of all the work that needs to be done in the garden, weeding being my least favorite. I can already feel the arthritis acting up in my lower back. Oh me, oh my…getting old’s no fun when I’m still doing the work I use to do in my 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, but haven’t the same agile body I had back then. No complaints though, at least I’m still moving around, indoors and outdoors. I’ll just be taking my time, that’s all.

I’m just glad the warm weather’s here. I can do anything when I’m not shivering just standing still.

i age less when the sun’s out…that’s for sure…hugmamma.

weekly photo challenge: spring

I’ve been dying to post this picture. Am resolved to try this when the sun, and its companion, heat, take up residence again.

not sure how many hoops i can tackle at once though…hugmamma.

“opens me up,” walking

Just returned from a short walk around the neighborhood. Couldn’t have asked for a nicer day. The sun was warm, but not unbearable. Although I did peel off a layer, a lightweight jacket, opting to wear the thick vest over my thin sweatshirt instead. Wrapping the jacket around my hips, I headed toward the nearby park. As I got closer, I could hear voices and as I rounded the turn, there was an explosion of people having fun.

The tennis court was full, a family of 3 were in the children’s playground, the huge, grassy field was host to several different groups. Baseball was being played by a good, many people, soccer by a handful, La Crosse by a couple of boys. Dogs on leashes, walking their owners; a puppy frolicked, rolling around blissfully in the green blades. Pets are not exempt from having fun in the sun.

Always in evidence on the weekends are a small “army” of young adults dressed in feudal garb doing battle with poles. It’s interesting to observe them at play. At first glance the group may look like goth followers, until they re-enact fight scenes. They look serious at what they’re about. Maybe one day I’ll engage one of them in conversation and find out the group’s history. For now, I’ll just enjoy watching them as I walk by.

Everyone looked like they were having so much fun, oblivious to those around them, or perhaps enjoying that they were part of the bigger celebration of a beautiful day in the park. Deciding to join in, I sauntered over to a swing and started…swinging. Wow, what an adrenalin rush! I was a child again, no cares in the world. Gazing up at the cloudless, pale blue sky, I felt a million miles away. Leaning back into the push off, I rushed forward as though I were 6, not 61. I’m not sure what I looked like to others, but I felt gloriously youthful. There’s a child in all of us, waiting to emerge whenever we let them.

Minutes later, I alighted back on earth, back to reality. Striding away I felt a bounce to my step as I resumed walking, like several other adults, young and old, whom I passed. Nodding with a small smile and a glance in their direction, I felt myself opening up to the warmth of a blossoming, very early, spring day, and the joy of others doing the same. As I continued on my way, I thought  “How wonderful life is, when I open myself up to the  sunshine that pours in on a cloudless day.

Hey! And if I can’t be on a beach in Maui, a park full of sun worshippers will do just fine.

for good weather…hugs, and some…hugmamma.  🙂