four springtimes for my lilac to recover

When we bought our house in April 2008 (OK, rented it from the bank), the front yard was tidy:

front grass yard 2008

front yard grass 2008

In February 2010, I was made redundant and went to town on the front yard, working fast and hard for several months because I knew I’d be back to work in no time (that didn’t happen):

after the sod cutter:  bye-bye grass!

after the sod cutter: bye-bye grass!

Near the front wheel of that purple bicycle is the scraggly lilac that had languished in a pot for years.  The roots were terribly pot-bound.  <:-{

Note in the picture above that Big Mister had already built the pergola for me, seen here (in a blast from the past digression) using the manly-man machine:

Big Mister and the Augur

Big Mister and the Augur

monster machine

monster machine

We now return from our digression.

In the chill of March 2010, I started transplanting from my root-bound pots right away, after hauling cubic yards of soil all round that 900 square feet:

first year garden

first year garden

first year coming along

first year coming along: the scraggly, transplant-shocked lilac is vaguely under the purple bicycle. (That window to the right of the red-flowering shrub became the viewing spot from my recuperation room.)

Ah, the garden grows in a bit:

second year garden (?)

second year (?) garden, with bowling balls atop rebar as hose guides.

[I’d already painted the (unlovely) front door orangey-red, too, which helped!]

Standing on a ladder at the front sidewalk:

front yard "aerial" view

front yard “aerial” view

The lilac still was unhappy last year:

turns out, the lilac does hate me!  it only has ONE blossom!

it only had ONE blossom!

I had a plan when I planted the lilac at the top of the garden:  I wanted that fragrant, shade-providing view to be near the front door so that my steps would be slowed by the scent and the sight.

The lilac and I have a lot in common.  Once we have room to breathe, leave us to get ourselves untangled and we start to blossom.

This spring, right now:

lilac near the front step

lilac near the front step

lilac anchors its bed 2013

lilac anchors its bed 2013

lilac blossoms once again!

lilac blossoms once again!

[there’s the front door orangey-red (poppy!) with a great glass-fronted storm door.]


How To Cut a Proper Paper Snowflake [video] « Lillian Sizemore’s Mind’s Eye

How To Cut a Proper Paper Snowflake « Lillian Sizemore’s Mind’s Eye.


Ah, there I am.  I’ve been walking around in a verbal fog for the last month.  My writing voice has been stilled.  My poor old beaten up brain can only do one big thing at a time, apparently.  I will assume that once my verbal re-wiring is complete (enough), my writing will return.

I miss my community here, but there is so very little to do about that.  More waiting.  6-1/2 months post hospital.  I could not imagine that life would be this strange and that it would continue un-know-ably.  That is to say, the re-wiring of so many facets of me continues to take me by surprise, except for expecting the surprises.

The good news:  I’m improving.  I’ve been working with a physical therapist who understands brain trauma and that even in minimal brain trauma, the most mundane and “I learned that when I learned to walk as a toddler” tasks can be affected.  Hence the difficulty and resulting exhaustion of taking a walk on a familiar cobbled beach.

Now I understand why JustI of JustUsSociety posted that video back in April about the brain researcher, Jill Bolte-Taylor, who watched herself suffer a catastrophic stroke.  At the time, I didn’t get the significance.   So many commenters here seemed to understand that I had suffered brain trauma; I depended on your feedback because I didn’t know, being stashed behind that benign fog, but I listened.

I’m having trouble forming memories and when I try to search for a previous moment, the effort is often too great, too tiring.  Sometimes I confuse memory with dreaming.  It does make me realize how inconsequential most memories are as single moments, but how as a whole those memories give breadth to a life.

I have since discovered a US Veterans Administration PTSD website that discusses minimum brain trauma (they call it minimum traumatic brain injury or mTBI) and its logical relationship to PTSD.  I have been fascinated, and relieved, by the neuropsychiatry discussed (this link takes a bit to load because it is a Flash file).  The PTSD symptoms are still very much with me and force me to keep a low profile.  But I’m stubborn so I keep trying, keep pushing my boundaries.

I’m also in the mosaics studio most days for a couple of hours.  Creativity is still blunted, but I am able to better “see” the patterns and line expressions in the works I copy.  Very good news indeed.

I do have moments of rage against the medical machine, sending me home without a hint of what the next year could hold.  How could you leave me twisting in the wind?   You left my family twisting in the wind, too.  Ripple effect.

This writing has been very difficult–I am having trouble recognizing grammatical structure and misspelling so often that the delete key has a divot in it now, plus I’m typing words backwards and even typing words I don’t intend to type. (!!)  (Hope this essay is readable because I can’t edit it for sh*t!)  The effort required is reminiscent of the attempts to make conversation or the effort required to compose a post in those early days.

I will close with pics of my garden so we all can relax now.

globe thistles covered in bees!

Oriental lilies

crocosmia and honeysuckle backed by lily

sail ho! here comes the sun!

We got the shade sails up just in time for mid-80s temps (about 27C).  Big Mister is the ladder guy and could thoroughly do without these dang things, but he helps me anyway.  The shade sail is made by Coolaroo and I recommend them highly!

shade sail and hops keep the west side cooler

On the south side, we have a pergola that is filling beautifully with more shade-providing hops!

pergola with hops on south side. purple campanula going nuts!

And here come the prickly globe thistles, rising above the bed of non-prickly foliage and flowers!

Globe thistles coming on (Echinops exalatus)–will be blue!
The pink is scented phlox and the purple is campanula.

ice storm (updated photos)

yikes!  happy to be sick and at home!  my poor corkscrew willow!  waaaaah!

ice storm!

Told ya it wouldn’t last–freezing rain has been pattering down since late last night.  It is hauntingly, deceptively beautiful, and very dangerous.  There are folks driving in this stuff.    See the new shininess?!

I'M not walking out to the compost bin, thank you very much!

and, I'm not walking that-a-way either!

that's more than the 1/10" of ice predicted!


red sky at morning, sailor take warning…

Except here it just doesn’t work that way.  But it was spectacular this morning.  I rushed out in my jammies with the little point-and-shoot, once again thankful for the landscape screening I planted a few years ago!  >:-D

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Total Eclipse of the Moon

Save the date:  10 Dec 2011!

A whole bunch of us Earthlings will be able to see this lunar eclipse.  (Oh crap, unless you live in the damn cloudy Pacific Northwest, US of A.)

Here’s a fun factoid sheet:  lunar eclipse.

I’m a weirdsmobile and proud of it!

Total Eclipse of the Moon – NASA Science.

Tranquil Space Designs; A Mandala a Day

Tranquilspace’s Blog.

“We make cards that are More than Just a Card!”

You must go to this site.  You must support this artist!  >:-D

Shopping season is upon us!

Someday she will market her mandala creations (I hope!), made everyday, and posted for us lucky souls.   When you see these mandalas, your heart will soar, flip, and slide; your mind will reel from place to place.

bright sunflower

gigantic red sunflower

Garden in Autumn

I took a walk in my gardens late this Northwest (US) afternoon.

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The peace of a classical Chinese garden

For me, the Chinese garden inspires peace, which I need this morning.  Here are photos of this magnificent constructed space, very similar to gardens I have visited in Suzhou, China.  The spaces in this garden, as well as those China travels many moons ago are on my mind this morning.

Classic entry requires a slowing...

Ting (=pavilion) with a specific view

Classic elements: Ting (building), water, Tai Hu rocks

bridge, water, Tai Hu rocks--all hallmarks of classical design

every window with a different pattern

Stunning bark on the crabapple tree (Malus spp.)

To learn more or to plan a visit, go to Portland Classical Chinese Garden.

For Mom…

Pacific Ocean

Ahhhhh….  this is where we have been for the last three days.  Well, actually, we’ve been down on that beach wandering and looking and just staring out to sea.

Ah, the truly pacific Pacific Ocean

We had an intense windstorm our first night, which was followed by an hours’-long intense rainstorm.  The next day the surf was high and pounded over into curls far away from shore.

Today, the obscuring spindrift has been absorbed back into the tides and the waters are calm.  That’s today, the picture.  Ahhhh….

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poppy pods

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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