Monday, January 16, 2012

The Garden in Winter

Written 1/11/12 – Wednesday - I went to the oncologist today and my tumor markers levels are down to 5.3! YEA!! I talked to him about our upcoming trip to the Galapagos Islands. During the holidays my neighbor and I noticed that our alligator plants had bloomed for the first time ever. We didn’t even know that they bloomed at all but here they were dripping with tiny little 1 inch red blooms that looked like miniature trumpet flowers! What a wonderful surprise God gave us for Christmas! New growth, new birth! An outward sign of what He is doing in my body!

God is winterizing my garden now. We had 2 nights in a row of 22 degree weather. Our plants survived the first night but not the second night. Hopefully they will all come back in the spring. We had lovely weather this past weekend so Al started clearing out the dead branches; he cleaned out all the Mexican petunias. I helped by cutting the larger branches into smaller ones to fit in the trash bags. We cleared out the 4 o’clocks, the bougainvilleas, and the 3 tubs. So now I can see the lovely sculptures and, as my sister Ivia calls it, the “skeleton bones” of the garden. I will put fresh batteries in the solar lights and move some of the sculptures from the front yard into the back yard so I can enjoy them while sitting on my porch this winter. That will also prevent them from being abducted, like the little flamingo. And, of course, Al will put the artificial flowers in the tubs in the front yard so our neighbors will have something pretty to look at too.

I am continuing to clear “stuff” out from my closets, from under beds, etc. I have a stack of teaching materials to donate and another big box of things to go to the Salvation Army or a thrift store. I am keeping up with the paperwork. I set up an excellent filing system years ago and now that I am retired, I am finding things in it that are years old. Here’s how my filing system works. One folder is labeled “Priority Action”, another is “To Be Acted Upon”, and the third is labeled “Acted upon, Pending Reply”; the fourth is labeled “To Be Filed.” When the system is working correctly, items move from folders 1 and 2 to folder 3 and then to folder 4. The “Priority Action” folder is filled with important tasks that have a deadline and something bad will happen if I don’t meet the deadline (like canceling an insurance policy). These items usually get acted upon at the last minute but before the deadline passes. My favorite folder is “To Be Acted Upon” because these are things that would be nice to have/do but aren’t really necessary. They too have deadlines. This one is so easy to clean out because I usually go past the deadline and just end up throwing them in the trash! Yahoo! Paperwork is taken care of!

I did set a few New Year goals. Our newspaper had an article that advised people to set small, achievable goals and have support persons to help you reach them. So I picked these 3:

1. Have Al teach me how to adjust the belt on my treadmill.

2. Have Al advise me where to hang plaques, shelves and wall hangings in my office.

3. Have Al hang the plaques, shelves and wall hangings in my office.

Yes, they sound like something I can accomplish, definitely, with Al’s support!

Pictures show our alligator plants blooming. The 2 with the partial blooms are mine; the 3 with the full blooms are in my neighbor’s garden.

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