Friday, May 15, 2020

 I have been absent from my blog for such a long time, I have also been working on this post a long time!  I guess these stressful times have taken kind of a toll on me.  Don't get me wrong it's not fear, it's just and stress have never been very good friends.  I have a tendency to just shut down, especially on social media, and it looks like that includes blogging.  I don't spend much time on FB or Instagram either, and I stay away from anything that might have too much political or negative talk.  Although I do have friends and family who post good positive things on social media, and when I am plugged in, I love to read them.  I think it would be fair to say that I have struggled with this pandemic.  But, I hope to be able to move forward, being better prepared both physically and spiritually. 

The spiritual side has been interesting.  I miss church, I miss the time each week to fellowship with friends and neighbors.  I love that Bob and I can study, pray and take the sacrament at home, but I really miss being with and praying with my church family.  I must say that I have come to rely on the Savior more than ever, especially for little things, simple things that I would have taken for granted three months ago. It's easier for me to be still and listen to that quiet voice of reassurance I get from the Spirit...that's where I find my solace.  I have really enjoyed this quiet life and have found that I have more time to explore other interests than before the pandemic.  I could really get used to this!!

On the physical side of things...we decided to plant a small garden this year!  We kind of gave up on gardening a few years ago, but, this year we decided that it was something that we needed to do, and I'm so glad we did.  We've been working really hard on getting the beds filled with compost and preparing the soil, but it's a little too early to plant a lot of things here in Idaho.  I did plant my onions, lettuce and radishes since they are pretty hardy, and they're coming up really good.  Tomatoes, peppers squash and cucumbers will have to wait until at least the end of May, and then they will still need to be protected from some cold nights, as we usually have a frost in the middle of June.  One of the beds is filled with herbs and they are coming back good and strong this year.  Before too long, these beds will be full of green plants and hopefully producing lots of good vegetables for summer.  My son and his wife always plant a huge garden, and so this will just supplement all the good things they share with us from their garden.  We like to help them with seeds and plants so we feel like we're doing our part.  We also like go help them weeding and picking the produce.  One of my daughters started a lot of seeds this year and she was very generous and gave me a few tomatoes, cucumber and zucchini plants, and I gave her seeds to start next year!  It's all about sharing and working together with what you have.

We've also worked really hard in our yard!  I have two Lilac bushes that were completely out of control and needed to be trimmed, I know this one looks really bare right now, but by next summer, it should be beautiful again!  Hopefully they will produce a few Lilacs for us to enjoy this year.  This bush is usually full of beautiful blossoms, so I hope we didn't shock it too much. 

This year after it's trimming.

This photo was taken three years ago in May.  We're hoping to get back to this!

The horses are enjoying the green grass and warm weather as well.  This old girl will usually come to find me if she hears me outside in the evening.  She's getting old, so I'm grateful that we got to have her here for another year.  Her name is, Princess, isn't she a pretty girl?!

  And of course birthdays don't stop because of a pandemic.  Clara turned 9 this year, she's such a precious little granddaughter, we were so happy that we could go spend some time with her on her special day.  When we were there, Clara was excited to show me a book that she's been writing about her experience with the pandemic...I can't wait until she finishes it, when she does I might share some of it with you.  Her mom is a school teacher, in fact she is Clara's teacher, and has always encouraged her, from a very early age, to write stories and be expressive and Clara is really good at...expressive!  So it should be interesting! 

And of course...Mother's Day!  My girls and their families, gave me gorgeous hanging plants this year and my son, Chris, and his family, gave me a grape plant!   I've never had grapes growing in my yard so I'm excited to get it planted and see what it does.  My plants look beautiful in my yard, and will until Fall. 

Our 46th wedding anniversary came and went without much celebration.  Of course we had a really nice day, but with everything closed, we didn't do much celebrating.  Nevertheless, it will still be an anniversary to remember!  Things have started opening up very slowly here in our city, in fact tomorrow, the restaurants and theaters will open.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, I guess time will tell.  We are still being super careful and taking every precaution when it comes to staying healthy.  We have been really fortunate not to have had any deaths in our town, and I thank, Heavenly Father every day for that.  My heart just breaks for those who have lost loved ones because of the virus...hopefully it will be over soon.

The other night as we were driving home from my daughters house, I snapped a picture of this beautiful sunset.  It was late, probably 9:45, so it was getting really dark, but I thought this sunset (or what was left of it) was just gorgeous!  All sunsets are like, God's masterpieces to me...I love them all!

I look forward to catching up with everyone, and hopefully I will find you well and safe!

Hugs and Love,


Deb said...

Beautiful pictures, Barb. I know what you mean about struggling with this whole thing. I have been up and down about it. I love the pictures of your place, your horse, your garden and the lovely plants you got for Mother's Day. It is good to hear from you. I always enjoy reading your blog!

Christine said...

I'm you shared with us your journey, the good and bad.
Gardening has helped me focus on nurturing things, during this time. And your Lilac,even God prunes us to make us grow better. It's going to be so beautiful next year, just like us!

We both have 9 year old grand daughters this year! So special!

Idaho has the most beautiful sunsets! You captured one of them.

Vee said...

My! That lilac was stunning and will be again. I have major pruning to do this year as mine has a large branch leaning on the deck railing. Somebody didn't plan that planting too well. It has been a strange time and I am ready for it to be over. Looks as if your garden will be darling...those troughs will be amazing.

Marie Rayner said...

So good to hear from you Barb. I was getting concerned. Loved seeing all your photos and reading your words. You will have a fabulous garden. We tried a couple of years to plant vegetables, but our soil is not good at all and the slugs got more than we did. There have been birthdays during lock down here also. And a baby has been born, unfortunately to the son who has no contact with me, so I was not privy to the news first hand which is heartbreaking to say the least. I think our Government is in too big of a rush to open things up. They dragged their heels shutting everything down also. I think many lives have been lost because of that. I do not deal with the stress of it all very well. I get anxious and it disturbs my sleep. I am not sure anything will ever be normal again. I love your lilacs! I have always loved lilacs. Love and hugs and prayers for you both! xoxo

Kerin said...

Oh my.. that first picture is stunning! You certainly have some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets where you live; thanks for sharing them with us!

I miss going to church, and especially miss going to the temple!

Love your garden! Those water troughs are going to be great for gardening, and they look cute too :)
You are going to love growing grapes...think of the yummy home~canned grape juice!

I've been spending lot and lots of time in our gardens and yard and planting a ton! Hopefully we will get our veg garden in this weekend and hoping that we won't have a late frost in this region. We are now zone 7, whereas we used to be zone 5a.. so fingers crossed.

Happy belated anniversary!!
Have a lovely rest of your weekend.


(p.s. we too celebrated our anniversary recently without much fanfare... kinda like when we were young and broke..LOL!)

Sue said...

Your thoughts are so similar to how so many of us are feeling,about this pandemic Barb, we have been in much prayer that it will soon be over, God still remains so faithful.
I am happy to hear your area is beginning to open, we are still worshipping with online services, it certainly is not like being in church with fellow believers.
Happy birthday to Clara, blessings as she tries her book.
And Happy happy Anniversary to you and your dear husband.
Your flowers are so pretty, good luck with the gardening, our garden is 80% planted and we will soon be harvesting peas and beans.
Like you I have not been blogging to much, just so busy as you well know how farming is. ~wink~

LeAnn said...

Oh my dear friend, I always smile when I see that you have a post. I really think we should have a good chat sometime.
I do think that this Pandemic has been very hard. I have had a couple of melt downs. I try not to watch too much about it other than to be just be aware.
I'm working on health issues and back exercising so that's good.
We are planting a garden this year. Since Roger doesn't have as much to do with the temple closed, he has enjoyed working in the yard and starting a garden. It's going to be a small one. it took our seeds 31 days to get here. It's was amazing all the places it went in the mail.
Lilac trees are my favorite for sure. For some reason ours isn't blooming as well as usual. We did trim it back. I miss the full bush.
Princess is a beauty!
Your little Clara is such a darling. I have loved our moments with her. I love that she likes to write, so I do hope you share a bit.
Your Mother's Day flowers and Grapes vine are lovely. You should feel so loved.
Congrats on your 46 Wedding Anniversary! Ours is coming up soon. It will be our 53rd. It's on Sat. June 13th. I kind of think we could be back at the temple. We will figure out a way to celebrate it at home.
I'm concerned with the opening. I see people all the time that don't want to obey the social distancing and masks. I have strong feelings about it all because I do think it has been helping. We had our biggest amount of deaths today. I feel so sad for all that are being lost and can't really comfort them in the hospitals or have funerals.
I know the church will be careful on how they open things up. I do know everything can't stay closed for ever. I just hope all obey the precautionary rules.
Your sunset photos are the best ever and I'm happy I can borrow them.
I'm super excited for our kids and their move. I think it sounds like a good one. I hope the time isn't too long before we can make a trip up there.
Sending lot of loving thoughts and hugs your way!

Homemaker' said...

Hi Barb - I think your photos are amazing (especially the Lilac bush and the sunset and the horse........). : ) Happy Anniversary to you and this whole thing really does put a damper on things, but it sounds like you have a wonderful family and you can get together (carefully). I'm kind of like you in that I hope things aren't opening too soon and we are still trying to be as careful as we can. Most days are okay for me but I do have my moments of sadness about it all. Like you, I miss church, I miss having people in our house, I just miss what we had - but, as you know, our faith will get us through!!!!! Take care and thanks again for sharing your part of the country with us. God bless. Mary S.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

I think you echo the way so many are feeling. It is so hard to discern the truth from news and social media. So much is negative. But to me, it sounds like you are doing exactly what everyone should do. Examine themselves, do what feels right and get to work.

I do think it is a good time to shrink the world. Know where your food comes from and grow your own.

I hope your stress decreases as we get some warm weather....hurry up warm weather.

Terra said...

You share so many pretty photos here, yes, Princess is a pretty horse and I can tell she likes you. Your lilac of three years ago is so prolific; I planted a lilac and hope for more flowers from it. Today I watched our church Sunday service live streaming on FB and then went to a Zoom meeting of a small group. This technology keeps us somewhat connected. Plus blogging.

Just Ramblin' said...

As I began reading your post so many thoughts and feelings you expressed were what I have been feeling also. This pandemic has been hard, but then I jokingly say, I was being prepared last year when I broke my ankle and was housebound for several weeks. Thank goodness I can at least get outside this year. My daughter gave me one of her planter boxes and I'm also raising a few veggies and love going out each day to see how the plants are doing. We will be going back to church June 7 and I'm looking forward to being with my neighbors and friends once again as we alternate Sunday's. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Look forward to seeing more posts!

Shug said...

Hi Barb....I too have been missing from the blog world. I've missed everyone though. Your pictures are so pretty and I love the flowers and the gorgeous bush. Hope your little one had a great birthday in spite of the pandemic. Our grandson had a birthday and it certainly wasn't the kind of celebration that we normally do.
It has been so weird in our area. Even though the stores have opened up, there just isn't much to choose from. Thinking the shipments are seriously delayed. Hoping for the very BEST in this great Country that we live in. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Mrs R said...

Sweet Barb, I completely understand how you feel. I have felt the same. I had to give myself a quiet time out before returning to blogging. Know that you are loved! xo