March 26, 2022

March 2022 Daffodil check

 I love daffodils. Plant them and you're finished! They return every spring bringing bright bursts of yellow all around the yard. 

I did a walk around the yard to look at them and make a short video of what's blooming. 

March 20, 2022

A Sobering Conversation

Until recently, the spousal unit and I kept well clear of political discussions. We agree in our views, so a lot of conversation hasn't been necessary. With the 2020 election, all that changed. 

We are angry. Something is very foul, very wrong, in the United States when hatred of one man can poison a nation. And the poison is still spreading. I've yet to figure out what he did that was so onerous other than send idiotic tweets. 

We are concerned about the recent events in Ukraine, and today our discussion turned seriously morbid. 

If the United States is invaded, we can not fuel our armed forces. We can't feed them. We can't get medical supplies to them. Our oil pipelines are shut down and truckers who effectively go on strike are made into heroes. 

We not-so-jokingly said if the country is invaded, we'll give the dog as gentle a death as possible and then we'll both take an overdose of sleeping pills, go to bed and hold hands, and that will be that. 

Our three thousand rounds of .22 ammo can't hold off an invading army. We have nothing of real value to invaders so our chances of survival are pretty slim.  All I've ever wanted was to get to the stage of my life when I can spend my days on the manor enjoying a long retirement. It's about to be snatched away from me. 

Our country is at risk and the youth of this nation are not going to fight for their own future. Why should we fight for them? 

Yes, it was a theoretical conversation, but sobering nonetheless. 

What is not theoretical is this: Climate change is a ruse to push us toward a Socialist government, a government that will tell us what to eat, what to wear, where to work, what cars to drive, and what types of homes we can live in. Surely I am not the only one who sees that. 

It frightens me that my husband, a man who fought cancer twice just to stay alive can so calmly talk about the particulars of how to end his life. 

It's time to THINK! To very carefully THINK about what our rulers are telling us.  One wrong move is all it will take, and there is an idiot at the helm. 

All our days are numbered, and the number is paralyzingly small. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

March 13, 2022

Plans are rarely static

The old saying is, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." It's often true, but sometimes the more things change, the more they change. Take my retirement calculation, for example. 

On the surface, I have 57 total work days, or 11 weeks, until my retirement date. I don't work Mondays, so do the subtraction and we have 46 days. Now let's figure in the new twist. They want to throw me a retirement party on Sunday, May 22. 

You know that after the party, I will not go back into the office. 

So do the subtraction and we have 39 days, less one Friday when a friend is coming into town for one day and I'm spending it with her. So we're left with 38 working days. 

Thirty-eight working days. 

Thirty-eight days I'm not looking forward to.

Thirty-eight bittersweet days. 

I'm excited and sad, contented and regretful, all at the same time. For such a long time, I thought all I'd feel is relief. There is some of that - I'm sure I'll be relieved when I walk out of that party. And my conscience will be clear. I've done the very best I know how to do. 

But maybe the most surprising thing is how worried I am about spending 24/7 with the Man of the Manor. Yes, me and the spousal unit have some different ideas on what MY retirement should look like. I'm sure it will work out. If he annoys me, I can call Deuce and take off for the woods where the man can't follow us. That may seem like a cold thing to do to a disabled person, but it's not if he drives me to it. 

I'm a fan of making lists. I may not follow them with strict adherence, but a list is part of my thinking process. It's putting my thoughts and ideas down so I don't forget them. There is value in that. Does it matter that items on Monday's list don't happen until Thursday? Probably not. The Monday critical items will likely be done first and what falls to the wayside are just notions. I can deal with that. 

So I think I'm off to make a list of ideas for the Summer of '22. Maybe I'll jot down a few things and then engage the spousal unit and see if he has any different ones. We can then "discuss" them. It should make for an interesting afternoon.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

March 12, 2022

A Mid-March Snow

It's not at all unusual for us to get a measurable snowfall in March, but then again, it's not an every year occurrence. We didn't expect it this year, an expectation based on the daffodils and the fact the maple trees have red tips. But this morning we got four inches of white powder. It was 36F when I got up at five-thirty, and now at two-thirty pm, it's only 24F. And, as the snapshot shows, we had a casualty. 

Being curious, I went to a website run by our local meteorologist to check out snowfall totals in a single "biggee" snowfall that happened in March. March always has a few flurries, but I didn't feel the need to look at those.  

March 5, 1902 - 15"

March 18, 1928 - 13"

March 7-9, 1941 - blizzard conditions, 13"

And a special one: March 29, 1942 - The famous Palm Sunday Snowstorm. 23.0" of heavy, wet snow that fell trees and power lines, damaged roofs, and collapsed buildings. Higher elevations had up to 48" of snow. It was 53F on the 30th and by April 3, the snow was completely gone and it was 65F. Wow!

March 6-7, 1962 - 10.5"

March 13, 1993 - 20". I remember this one! I couldn't get my car in my lane and had to walk in and out. This storm affected an area that stretched from Alabama to Maine. 

March 14, 1999 - 12.5 " of really heavy snow. Lots of tree damage (read that we had a lot of firewood for the next season).

We are way overdue for a "big one" in March. I think I need to be happy we only had 4" and go knock the snow off my chair and set it back on its feet. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

March 7, 2022


For the past several years I've been gifted with a mini-garden planter for Easter. The violas last until the weather gets hot, but the small miniature daffodils are perennial keepers and I've planted them in various locations. 

Last spring, I needed to separate some of the clumps of daffodils that have been growing on the manor for many years. This past weekend, I walked through the woods looking for green sprouts and was pleased to see more than a few breaking ground. I don't expect many to bloom this year, but future springs should be yellow! 

I was surprised to see the tête-à-têtes blooming already. This little clump is really out-doing itself. I hope there are others I haven't spotted yet.

It gave me a feeling of hope following the long, cold winter just past. And it was a hard winter in many regards. My grandmother often said the colder the winter, the better the bulbs bloom. 

Time has proven her correct about many things. Here's hoping! 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

March 6, 2022

A simple fix - fake ivy

Several...good grief. It's been almost FIVE years.

Five years ago we put railing up around the sunroom porch. We were concerned a young Deuce would jump off at the back end, and it's a six-foot drop. The installation did not "go off without a hitch." It was July and it was hot. The good news is that once it was installed, we liked it. It gave the porch a more intimate feel on those evenings we sat out there to watch the deer meander through the woods. 

Not long after the installation, the base of the center post fell apart. The center post drooped a bit and we knew we'd need to replace it. That never happened. His health took a turn and we were busy with doctors, and it just didn't get done.

I've snarled to myself over the way the railing looks for several years. It's a two-person job to fix else it would have been done long ago. 

Fast forward to me scrolling through Amazon one day very recently when I somehow was given links to "silk flowers" when I was searching for "flower pots." I saw a set of ivy vines for $10 and wondered if that would be sufficient to hide how the railing sagged. 

The answer is yes! That's not a very good photo, but the fake vines are just the ticket. They hide the sag and soften the edges. It's very pleasing to my eye. 

I'm going to look at it for a while before deciding if I need another set of vines. I'm on the fence about it and probably won't decide until I can put the umbrella up and actually enjoy some time out there. 

The post base still needs to be replaced. Maybe this summer, once I'm home, I can ask one (or two) of the male cousins to come to help me out with my To Do list. I bet they could whip right through it. It's a thought, anyway.

Until then, my simple, inexpensive fix works just fine.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)