The last time I posted here was May 2012. As you can see. Since that time, my father passed on (October 4, 2012), my mother and oldest sister and I and our Significant Other or Husbands have celebrated Thanksgiving, and now it is becoming Christmas.
When my father first passed, it was such a relief for all of us. He had been slowly deteriorating for years between his dementia and his neuropathy. To know that he was no longer trapped in his earthly body that had failed so completely was like breathing after holding your breath for too long.
Now, I look back and, in the realization that it is over and he is gone, I have achieved another milestone in this roller coaster ride called life - or life has achieved it for me. I did nothing but continue to exist and take what came. My father's funeral was very beautiful and very comforting. I was looking for assurance I would see him again in heaven, and I believe I received it that day. My sisters and my mother felt the same way.
On a different note, the painted buntings are back. Cheeky Boy, the Common Yellowthroat, has not shown up. The show off Catbird was around for about a week in November and I haven't seen him in a while. The Spot Breasted Oriole is back chomping on Cape Honeysuckle flowers. The territorial Mockingbird and the pair of Red Bellied Woodpeckers never left.
The population of Blue Jays has swelled and the one that knows how to catch peanuts in mid-air returns now and then, holding his beak slightly open as a signal that he's ready to catch.
I started another veggie garden and it is better than last year so far. I've had some green beans that are quite yummy, but appear to be drying out a bit. I'm watering them a lot since this is the dry season, but chlorinated water is not nearly as good for them as good old rain. A couple of cucumbers have popped out of their yellow flowers, but that plant is even more dry than the beans. I'm not sure now many I'll get, although the few I've had so far were delicious.
There have been a few salads made with the lettuce I planted, and, since it grows back, it looks like there will be more salads to come.
The tomato plants - 2 of them - are just beginning to get flowers. I also threw some herb seeds - literally - into one of the raised beds - and various herby things are growing wherever the seeds landed. The wild birds plant sunflower seeds all the time and they are always growing. Only sometimes do they achieve the huge, showy yellow head with the large seed center that represents the quintessential sunflower. Most of the time a yellow flower does indeed appear, with a small dark center, but it isn't big or symmetrical or impressive. But the bees and other pollinators don't care - and that's what counts to me.....making the wildlife happy.
We've had a temporary raccoon visit. I say temporary because I haven't seen him/her in about a week. Mr./Mrs. Raccoon would show up about 2pm, coming down the center path in my garden, that leads to the right side of the back yard, saunter toward the porch door, taking a left at the path to the veggie garden and the overgrown east side of the house. He/she would go back and forth several times, although I couldn't see clearly enough to ascertain whether anything was being carried in it's mouth. My husband and I searched the east side of the house and found no evidence of a raccoon habitat, so perhaps it was just passing through to somewhere else. The house on that side is recently vacant and there were pit bulls outside in the back yard there all the time. Perhaps now that there is no one there, animals feel freer to come and go through there. I'm nervous about who may move in - it was so quiet even with the big dogs there.....
Well, I will be blogging again on a more regular basis, but right now I have to go to a meeting at work, so I will sign off for now. Pictures to come sometime this week when I get a chance-of the garden and it's denizens.