We had a really fun time with family and enjoyed having them here with us in Michigan this past week; we managed to squeeze in lots of fun activities, including Traverse City area, Motown Museum, a Tigers game, and horseback riding/mountain biking, just to name a few. We hope you guys will visit us again soon and we miss you already! You can view more photos from our vacation here.
Guess what we did on Friday afternoon last weekend? A whole lot of nothing, that’s what, and it was wonderful – we just sat out on our patio and enjoyed it; although Melody seemed skeptical about us removing her little patch of grass in this area, I think she’s coming around and warming up to it.
We got plenty of rain on Saturday afternoon and a bit on Sunday as well and in between rain storms we managed to pick up and put out most of our 17 bags of mulch, the rest of which we’ll surely get to this week. I also took the opportunity to cut some of our garden roses and put them in vases around the house; they smell pretty amazing!
And the award for cutest fist bump last week goes to little E – super baby fist bump power!
With Memorial Day in mind, here’s a video my parents shared with me.
When we returned to Texas for my Granddaddy’s funeral a couple weeks ago, we were part of a beautiful funeral service in which they played this clip and when he saluted in the video we all saluted him back one last time – we saluted to his memory and to his service – and at the burial site we heard the bugle play Taps and we watched the servicemen fold and present the flag to my Dad.
In the video, Granddaddy says, “They made veterans of us right quick, the day we hit the beaches over there. You either gotta be a veteran or you’d be a dead man, one or the other.” Thank you for the sacrifices that so many have made for our country.
We had a very busy, very productive Memorial Day weekend full of outdoor cleanup and improvements; we planted all four of our garden boxes (variety of peppers, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, herbs, and some marigolds too), replaced small section of grass in our backyard with concrete pavers and pea gravel, weeded and trimmed bushes, and we cleaned up the bed around our birch tree in the front yard and placed stones underneath the bird feeders as the ivy never grew in there correctly – all of which, I think, made a huge improvement and we will most certainly enjoy throughout the summer.
For comparison, here’s the backyard before (complete with awkward, little patch of grass)…
And after (you may remember when we put in pea gravel and planter boxes a couple years ago in place of the empty garden – I mean weed – bed)…
And the front yard, before…
After a long day of hard work, it can be really relaxing to enjoy a walk in the evening light and watch the last rays of the day’s sun glisten off a field of dandelions – they almost looked like stars shining in the night sky in the light of the setting sun.
Our outdoor table is officially complete and we were able to sit around and enjoy it with friends over the weekend! The wood used for the top was all reclaimed wood found in our garage and left by the previous owner; it even includes some ping pong table (the previous owner’s wife was a ping pong champion) and bed frame wood, which I thought was fun. The center pieces come out and reveal two metal food pans which we plan on using to chill drinks in or use as a planter, etc.; the nice thing about the food pans is that we can easily remove them and drop them back in as needed. And we picked up some short hairpin legs which I think worked out great for this little table. 4 new patio chairs, DIY table complete, and we’re ready to enjoy the summer on our patio!
We did our first big plant purchase for the season over the weekend and it always make me so happy! We’re starting with lots of flowers in pots and hanging baskets: a rose bush (in honor of my Granddaddy), some really pretty pink dahlias, yellow lantana, a variety of geraniums, coleus, sweet potato vine, and various other trailing greens to fill in and spill down the pots. We also picked up a couple orange mint plants and a spearmint plant for our garden box; we’ll wait until later this month to plant the rest of our herb and vegetable garden. It’s lovely to be able to sit in the backyard and feel as though you’re in your own private oasis; Ann Arbor really is stunning this time of year – the trees are flowering and everything is so beautiful and green…and my lilacs are blooming! Want to see more photos of flowers and plants and/or our garden?
We also got started on a really cool DIY outdoor coffee table project we’ve been dreaming up and planning for since last fall; I think we my have it all finished and ready to enjoy by this weekend – stay tuned for more on that…
We had the pleasure of chatting with our mothers on Sunday too – hope you gave your Mom some love in honor of Mother’s Day; here’s a fun throwback photo of me and my brother with our Mom (those are some sweet glasses and awesome hot air balloon shirt, Mom)!
Last Saturday we said goodbye to my beloved Granddaddy in Abilene, “Big Country”, Texas. It was so nice to see family, some of which we hadn’t seen in many years, although we wish it could have been under happier circumstances. It feels so strange – filled with sadness and happy memories all at the same time – the business of packing up someone’s life; as we went through my Granddaddy’s home, putting things away and boxing things up, I had so many wonderful memories of years past spent in that house – Christmases and summers and happy times…the smell of him lingering in his closet and in his shirts. We cut some pink garden roses from my Granddaddy’s front yard and brought them in a vase to the funeral home; they were so beautiful and I think he would have liked to have his own roses, that he spent so much time growing and caring for, there.
Before we left Abilene on Sunday, we made it a point to take some photos on my Granddaddy’s front porch in the white porch swing we spent time on even as kids. I will miss his pretty little white house on Kirkwood, but most of all I will miss him. I’ll always have wonderful memories though and he will forever be in my heart.
This was one of my favorites: a photo of my brother, my cousin Trina, and I on that white porch swing… Then…
More photos from our visit to Abilene here.
I am heartbroken as this world lost an amazing man yesterday – my Granddaddy, Clifford Talbott; he served through the entire WWII and made it home safely, he would have been 95 next month, and he still lived in the house he raised both his children in and celebrated almost 64 years of marriage with my beloved and dearly departed Mema. He was kind and brave and gave so much to so many. He will be missed by many as he loved so many and was loved by so many.
When my Mom asked my Granddaddy (about 4 years ago) to share his thoughts on marriage and his wife/my Mema (who had passed away), he had this to say:
“I can say that she was probably one of the most beautiful women you could ever want. Whatever I wanted to do, she was always ready to do it. We never did sit there and one of us want one thing, one want the other… When you get married, it works both ways and if you’re gonna keep married you better have it both ways too.
We had two wonderful children (Connie Watkins & Charles Talbott), you couldn’t ask for any better, more perfect kids than what we had.
Like I say, we had almost 64 years…and people would always be asking me, they’d say, ‘Now your wife’s not here, you gonna get married?’ And I’d say, ‘Nope. There’ll never be another one. I’ll never marry another lady.’ Cause you just don’t have a marriage like that. If you ever had to pick another one, if I had to do it over, I’d do the same thing. That’s the way I would do it.”
What a beautiful love story!
It actually snowed here this last week, but my dear friend Jennifer Reedy had this to say and it’s so beautiful and so quotable that I wanted to pass it along: “It was such a soft April snow. So vulnerable that most of it would collapse and dissolve into the earth almost immediately, so fragile it would be obliterated instantly upon contact with warm skin. So delicate and so very fleeting, I thought it beautiful and poignant. These clusters of snowflakes cascading down from the clouds that bore them, with only that brief journey through the atmosphere to exist within. It seemed a little sad, but also peaceful. No part of me felt anything at all akin to “ugh” while watching it. Things begin and things end, and we are at that crossroad in a season of change. So don’t fret Val, spring cannot be stopped now. Vibrant colors have burst forth by way of flowers blooming and the buds are growing every day on the trees and shrubs, as you know.”
Unrelated, but this had me laughing – it’s important to remember…things could always be worse…you could be dead on Mars.
It’s wonderful to witness the change in seasons – with the arrival of spring blooms and signs of growth all around, the sunshine seems somehow extra special this time of year. Our forsythia is blooming, and I see that our lilacs will bloom soon too which I find myself looking forward to each spring. They even had some beautiful pink peonies, which I was happy to take home with me, at the grocery store this week; I’m hoping the peony we planted last spring will come back this year (fingers crossed).
Even my purple shamrock is blooming…