Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Ramblings

Gregg has been in Seattle all week. This time I almost went with him, almost. It would have meant me entertaining myself for three days while he was working, which would have been easy because the hotel is downtown and I could have done a lot of exploring. And then we could have had the Saturday and Sunday together and traveled home on the Monday. But I kept thinking and decided that it was a long way to go for such a short space of time, let's save that money until we are able to take a whole vacation together, which we are planning to do in September, with hopefully a couple of long weekends away before then.

Later I did regret not going but shudda, cudda, day late, dollar short and all that. He called up and said, "Hey, guess where I am right now?" and after I said "Where?", he told me he was right across the street from the Elephant and Castle which is a pub/restaurant where we dined on our first trip to Seattle several years ago. It is located on 5th street and the British food pulled us through the door. We ordered fish and chips which were excellent. Afterwards we walked around the city before finally returning to our hotel. Above is a cell-phone photo Gregg sent me.

One good thing was that when he got on his flight here in Virginia last Tuesday, it was early enough for him to volunteer to give up his seat due to overbooking, and he was given four $100 coupons to use on another flight, so we'll be keeping that for our vacation. We are not usually that lucky when traveling.

On Friday I took myself off to Merrifield Garden Center. I haven't been to this place for a long time but I wanted to get a few ideas of what perennials to plant in the front flower bed. When we finally move into our last house (after Gregg's retirement) I am going to make sure that we find a place where the front has full sun because right now it is mostly shade. We also have a large tree which I have always liked and it has a squirrel's nest in the top of it, so I enjoy watching them play along the branches or run up and down the trunk - it also gives us a lot of that shade.

There is much work to be done to get the front presentable. Knowing that a new path and steps are needed, and probably a small retaining wall to be built on one side of the house to level things off (because the water drains too quickly and everything seems to die on that side), I have been putting things on the back burner as far as planting. Our neighbors had considerable work done as they were having the same problem. I even had a chat with the chap whose business it was, and took his name and number for when we were ready to get something done.

So, holding everything off all this time, I now have a bee in my bonnet about growing a variety of beautiful blooms this year, to encourage more butterfly activity and we all know how important those bees are, not forgetting our feathered friends of course. I would truly love a 'Secret Garden' but as I have never really had a green thumb, I don't think that's going to happen. My Dad was an amazing gardener and had 'the knowledge'. I am sad that he didn't pass those gardening genes down to me. Oh well, the spirit is willing and you just have to make do with what you have and you get a lot of advice from the gardening center, which I will do when the time comes.

I didn't buy any flowers from Merrifield but I walked around their perennials and took photos of the ones that looked interesting. Hopefully this record will come in useful when I start shopping in earnest. I did buy a ceramic dish that I thought would make a great bird bath. Hopefully it will be put to good use this summer. I also bought a little ceramic frog holding an umbrella which I thought was cute.
It is on a pole which you stick into a plant pot and what's missing in the photo is the rain gauge. A couple of impulse buys but it was so cute and it has been a while since I treated myself.

A statue that I would love to put in my garden but I think the Home Owner's Association would be knocking on our door and wagging their finger at me if I did. I think she's beautiful!

Saturday I popped out and ran a few errands. It rained off and on and I pottered around all day, had a couple of phone conversations with friends, and was waiting for Gregg's call to say he had landed at Dulles. At about 10.30 p.m. he was home. Another neat thing that happened to him was when he got to security gate in Seattle and saw David Spade about four feet away. Everyone was lining up putting their belongings into those boxes just before going through the metal detector.

He took a quick photo with his cell phone to show me. He's partly hidden but I recognize him. I wonder where he was going and what was he doing in Seattle? Inquiring minds want to know, at least this mildly inquiring mind wants to know. Probably going back down to LA.

Sunday was a very rainy day. I heard it in the wee hours, a good torrential downpour. I always keep our window open at night as I love listening to the rain bouncing off the leaves on the tree - the branches are practically touching the glass. We will have to do some trimming soon methinks but right now it's lovely to look out there and watch the birds on the branches, invisible and unnoticed by them. It rained Saturday also but it was a bit heavier Sunday.

Gregg and I popped out to our favorite bagel place for breakfast. Breakfast for us was around noon. A quick stop to the grocery store and we spent the rest of the day very quietly at home where all day it felt like Saturday because when Gregg does travel he usually comes home on Friday, and sometimes Thursday. It was nice getting back to normal after he had been gone all week, and look at it now, it's already Monday and we're at the beginning of another week. Where does that time fly?

I have yet to hear if my friends got to see Newt Gingrich who had a book signing starting at 4.30 p.m. in the same store my son works. They live about an-hour-and-a-half west of us and wanted a copy of his book autographed and also wanted to meet him. The place was predicted to be a zoo and son told me it took about two hours to get a book signed. He got to be bodyguard to Mr. Gingrich and he said he was real nice. A couple came into the store with their dog and they asked Mr. Gingrich to hold him, and he allowed the dog to lick his face while they took the photo.

Now, the two hour finale of Lost! What can I say? I'm going to miss that show. I have watched it from the very beginning, except maybe for a short while when I got a bit bored, having missed a few episodes and not being able to keep up - I was lost - but then I came back not too long afterwards after watching the DVD of the previous season from start to finish and got hooked again. I won't go into detail on what I think about the ending because there may be people reading this - like my son - who won't be watching this show until tonight as he was working till late last night. He and his wife are inviting some friends over who also elected not to watch it until they could all get together and have a party.

That's about it for this week's rambles.

Added note: I did a little research and found out that David Spade was performing at The Snoqualmie Falls Casino on Friday, May 21st, 2010. If you click right here you will read that the actual Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington State's most popular scenic attractions, with more than 1.5 million visitors a year.


  1. . . . and a very enjoyable ramble it was too! I like the frog and would have been tempted, too. Shame about the statue - she is rather lovely. Is there no room for her - or one of her sisters - in your back garden?

  2. Love the frog with the umbrella. Too cute!

  3. Your photos of the garden are beautiful. Love those statues.

  4. Hello Denise
    Thanks for popping in and commenting on the the lily. There are other bulbs that flower in a similar way (Nerines are one) but the ox tongue lily always seems rather special because it is so different.
    Now why would the HOA have a problem with that classy statue? It would certainly set your place apart from the others lol
    Did you notice I now have a new blog - time for a change and Still Waters is just that -
    Take care

  5. What an interesting post. We have the Elephant and Castle pubs up here in Toronto. I am not keen on dining there, as the food is way overpriced and not that good.

    We have the beef and giant yorkshire pudding last time we were in there.

    Love your froggie and all your garden photos.

    Gill in Canada

  6. p.s. love the lighting in your header photo.


  7. Hi Denise, Sorry you didn't get to go to Seattle this time--but it sounds like you got alot accomplished at home. I love your new little 'frog'... Cute!!! Sorry you didn't get the statue.. That lady is gorgeous!

    I recognize David Spade too... Glad Gregg got a picture. I like Newt Gingrich--and want to read his new book.

    Have a great day.

  8. I looove fish and chips. They are my downfall. I ordered fish and chips 2 nights in a row while vacationing in Hong Kong this month. Excellent!

  9. Interesting post. I can see the lump in your throat when you talked about the place across the street. And I don't get stuff anymore from nurseries or garden centers. I have mine mostly weeded out to only the things I want and they come back each year and even those are growing out of the intentional bounds. So I may end up having to move some things.

    I am glad I don't live where an association governs what an owner can own or not. That would drive me nuts.


  10. I can't wait to have weekends like yours! Every weekend for me is errands, and duties! Bahumba! I enjoy living my not so interesting life through yours, hope you don't mind. :-)

  11. I'd like that statue for my garden too!

  12. Hi Denise..the pub sounds fun, sometimes its worth it to wait. Last fish an chips I had (that was really tasty) was S.F. Bay with my son. At least those coupons were a nice exchange! I love statues, but your frog is cute. Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow, Regards, Regina-

  13. Interesting rambling. I love listening to the rain too. We have a metal colorbond roof and the rain sounds quite loud. I like to crawl into bed with a book when i hear it. Time seems to go faster the older you get. Today has gone and I didn't get time to visit many blog friends. I'll have to catch up tomorrow.

  14. I like the fountain at the top. I wish I had a fountain in my yard, but I'm going to wait until the kids are grown.

    I had to grin when I saw the frog. Did you know that frogs are a cherished part of Puerto Rican culture? There is a little frog called a coqui (koh KEE) that populates the island, and its song fills the night air. I was born and raised in Chicago, and I am more anglicized in culture than hispanic. (Anglicized... did I just make up that word?) Anyway, we have no frog decorations in the Craver house, but other relatives do.

  15. Very interesting post, enjoyed reading about your ramblings. That frog is so cute and so is the statue. Thank you for coming by.