A VINTAGE FARM TRACTOR AS GARDEN ORNAMENT – Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

Weekend Writing Prompt #120 – Vintage

This is getting to be a very vintage house. Two vintage owners, three dogs, two of them vintage (13). The house isn’t new either. Of course, I collected (now re-homing) ancient Chinese porcelain from Neolithic to Qing. Anyone want to start a collection? I’m not asking for money, just a good home and you pay the shipping costs. They don’t weigh much.

I’m just worried that they need a safe place to continue their very long lives and won’t wind up in a dumpster after I’m gone.

My favorite vintage item is still my 1928 Fordson tractor. It’s not repairable but it does make a nice garden decoration. Highly photogenic!

FLOWER CLOSEUPS IN OUR 2019 GARDEN – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Close up of Flowers

My garden is just a bit “unilateral” this summer. The Daylilies have overwhelmed everything else, except maybe the grass which is fighting it’s own battle to get higher than our knees before mowing.

A perfect pair of Daylilies

Another glorious Daylily

Spiderwort

Very closeup of our tiny roses

BACKYARD DAYLILIES – Marilyn Armstrong

Backyard Daylilies – FOTD – July 13, 2019

Although I’ve taken a lot of front yard daylilies, I’m not kidding when I tell you they are blooming everywhere. Our entire backyard is full of them, too. You can also see our repainted deck.

The summer heat has hit … and Garry picked up the same stomach bug I’ve got and is not feeling at all well. Amazingly, now that he feels really lousy, he has become surprisingly sympathetic to how I feel. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Vacation is deferred. I’m hoping we’ll pull out of this soon enough to actually still take one, but for now, Garry is in no shape to drive any distance. I don’t think he’s in any condition to drive into town, much less inter-state.

Backyard Daylilies!

Meanwhile, we’ve been living entirely on bananas, rice, ginger ale, and chicken broth. It’s not very interesting, but at least I’m not sick every time I take a bite of something. Well, I am, but I’m not AS sick as I was before.

No cooking going on in this house right now!

 

AND THEN THERE WERE MORE DAYLILIES – Marilyn Armstrong

And then there were Daylilies

It’s not fair to say it’s ALL daylilies. As it turns out, we also have some roses. Pink and red ones. Not as many as usual, but to no one’s surprise, they have come back enough to flower. Still, the soul of the garden is definitely daylilies and more daylilies. Front yard, back yard, side yard, along the road in the front, too. Probably in the woods, if there’s enough light.

I took pictures.

Daylilies

A few more daylilies

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll see what I can do with the roses. But I think I need a longer lens. Small roses way in the back of the garden.

DAYLILIES WITH BUDS – Marilyn Armstrong

FOTD – July 5, 2019 – Daylily

It’s definitely the season of the daylilies. They really are everywhere. I keep trying to find new ways to take pictures of daylilies that don’t look exactly like the last set of daylilies, but so far … well … they look like daylilies. In particular, the leggy tall ones we grow locally.

More Daylilies — and an old tractor

Buds and Daylily

DAY OF THE BLOOMING DAYLILIES – Marilyn Armstrong

Blooming Daylilies – FOTD – 07/02/19

And so, it did not rain today. No thunder or lightning. Only a few passing clouds. Warm, but not humid. In fact, as close to a perfect summer’s day as one could ask for.

We had a lot of errands to run today — and more tomorrow. But wherever we drove, there were daylilies along the road, in gardens, in the woods. I’ve never seen the roads so green.

Weeds and vines have wrapped the fences by the road, overflowed their usual locations and seem to be trying to enclose the whole world.

Old tractor with daylilies

And everywhere, you could see orange daylilies peeking out from between the greenery. Somehow, these originally imported flowers have become a symbol of summer in New England.

A clump of daylilies

My perfect daylily

I was grateful for the long day because I knew I would be able to photograph the flowers when we came back from doctors, pharmacy, garage, and grocery. It was a long day and I still have had time to go through my email. I don’t think I’m going to get through it today at all. All this evening, I’ve been processing the pictures I took earlier.

Now it’s late. I’m tired. Tomorrow is going to be very much like today. For that matter, Wednesday is going to be very much the same.

By Friday, I’ll need a gurney to move me to the exhaustion ward.

YOU CAN’T KILL HOSTA – Marilyn Armstrong

 Hosta, The Unkillable – FOTD – 06/09/19

Last year, it almost died. I don’t know what did it. The winter? The long, cold, icy spring? Some combination of that? But it barely grew at all.

I was shocked. As far as I know, you cannot kill Hosta. It is permanent. Endurable. Grows in sun, grows in shade, grows anywhere you put it. Gets so big, you have to separate it to give it room to breathe.

So this year, when it magically reappeared — big leaves in all its many shapes and colors — I was relieved. Maybe last year it was dividing itself from being too crowded in its bed.

Hosta

Another leaf Hosta

Hosta with Mayflowers

With Mayflowers and a weed of unknown origin

Hosta and a few Mayflowers

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Tuesday: Garden

I used to be a more enthusiastic gardener but my outdoor gardening days have become pretty limited. I manage to get into the garden once a year and clip everything back and pull out all the dead stuff from the previous year, but that’s pretty much “it” for me.

I love my indoor garden. It’s not huge, but it’s pretty and I can manage it … which is a powerful reason to love it. I look daily at my soon-to-be blooming Christmas cactus and the shoot of upcoming orchids.

Orchids

Orchids

One macro orchid

THE FLOWERS I’VE GROWN: CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Things People Grow


I grow flowers. I don’t do it in any organized way, but somehow, they grow. I grow things in pots — inside and outside. I have a wild rose and daylily garden that suddenly has become a huge rhododendron garden and we have the biggest holly bush I’ve seen.

I’ve got some very old lilacs, a few very young lilacs, astilbe and goat’s beard, a few random daffodils, and crocus. There used to be others, but they didn’t survive. At one point, I had an amazing display of hollyhocks, but one year, they withered and died and I don’t have any idea why.

Pink roses

Spiderwort

Daylilies

Columbine

Wild strawberries

Crocus

Red Roses

Geranium

Daffodils

Red Begonia

Christmas cactus

Orchids

Solomon’s seal

Lilac

A MAGIC GARDEN – Marilyn Armstrong

Photo Challenge Ambience

Our garden is magical for one month every summer. Usually between late May through much of June.

This year, it was July. It’s all roses and daylilies and for its single month, it’s absolutely magic.

Daylilies with roses along the edge

Also red roses

It’s not a macro, but it is as detailed a photograph of a daylily as I’ve ever taken.

Columbine

Spiderwort 

Lilac

 

BLANKETS OF ROSES – Marilyn Armstrong

FLOWERS OF THE DAY

Although the first run of roses is beginning to fade a bit, it’s still an impressive site out there in our garden, or, as they say around here, GAHDEN. Dump that “r” … we don’t need them in Massachusetts. Bet you can’t find an “r” in there. No “r” in Massachusetts!

A few roses!

It’s really quite impressive. When I took my clippers and attacked the roses, I hoped it might improve them, straggle bunch of brutal thorn bushes that they were. I did not expect this massive response.

Roses and daylilies

DAYLILIES – FLOWERS OF THE DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

Lilies of the Field and Garden

We got all our lilies by digging them up in the woods and from along the road. There were a few in the garden, but there were thousands of them everywhere, so we took some. We also took spiderwort and redistributed Solomon’s Seal from deep shade to more sunlight where they have thrived.

Of all our replanted wildflowers, my favorites remain the daylily. 

They are bright and tall. On a good year — like this one — they stand taller than me. Of course, I’m so short it’s nothing special being taller than me, but you get the point I’m sure.

A FINE DAY FOR EMBRACING by Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #37 – EMBRACE

Not an embracing sort of day for me, although I have to admit to a powerful passion for Excedrin, the only over-the-counter pain reliever that really works on migraine, backache, and a zillion other problems. If I weren’t so sensitive about the aspirin, it would be my drug of choice. It’s actually stronger than Demerol and with fewer side-effects, if you don’t count the massive ulcers that forced the twice removal of my stomach.

Otherwise, it would be my drug of choice.

It’s a gorgeous day in the valley. The sun is out, the humidity is down, the temperature is reasonable and in an hour or so, when I can actually walk upright, the world will be golden and full of joy.

These evil nights are hard for me. I don’t “not sleep” because of insomnia, though I sometimes fail to sleep because I’m in the middle of listening to a book. I just can’t stop reading. Books have always been my downfall.

It’s the broken nights. The every two or three hours of waking up with throbbing pain in a hip or the lower back or some other part of me. There is a limit to the number of drugs I can take — or am willing to take. In the first place, if you take drugs — any kind — all the time, they don’t work as well and if you keep at it, they stop working entirely. Our bodies aren’t designed as giant receptacles for drugs, so you have to know when you’ve reached whatever your personal maximum is and just simply stop. No matter how much you hurt.

Aspirin or any combination that includes NSAIDs will cause ulcers. That also means Ibuprofen whether it’s Motrin, Advil or a generic version.

Demerol works if you don’t take it often. It’s not strong to begin with, so its potency is limited. Moderately and carefully at best and I’m allergic to all the rest of the opioids — assuming I would consider them, though I admit there are some nights when anything seems like a good idea.

Tylenol doesn’t work very well AND it is lethal to your kidneys and liver, so if you take enough to make a significant difference, you are close to over the top on how much you are allowed before it does anything positive for you. I am fond of my kidneys and liver. I’d like to hang on to them. I’ve had plenty of replacement parts and they are not on my list.

The end of all of this is that I wake up tired because I haven’t gotten more than three hours of sleep at a time. Then there’s the phone that rings in the morning. Either it’s a doctor’s office (again) … or it’s a single ring that gets cut off by NomoRobo.com (I love that service!) … but just enough noise to wake me up again. Sometimes, I wonder if going to sleep at all is worth the effort.

And then, there is how much I really need a new mattress.

Embrace the world. I would really like to. But first, I need to be able to stand up and it would be a great joy if standing up were not accompanied by a lot of pain at the same time.

And I love people who keep telling me that exercise is going to help.

It isn’t going to help because the calcification in the spine is so deeply ingrained in there, nothing will make it better. Not anymore. Ten years ago, it helped. Even five years ago, it helped.

I tried to think about Richard Duke of Gloucester and his twisted spine. He led an army — to defeat, I grant you, but he tried his best. Of course, he was dead at 35. I wonder how he would have dealt with it at in old age. Well, hardly anyone reached old age back then. Pretty much no one lived to survive massive arthritis.

Except for Eleanor of Aquitaine. Woman power! It’s a miracle.