Tag Archives: family

Once upon a time…..

I was into thinking I was an artist.
And wanted to be a painter.
Actually,all I wanted was artwork on the walls of the house.

So,I tried my hand at painting with acrylics…..

Oils take to long for me,and Lord knows I have no patience……

Obviously,I’m drawn to beachy things…

And tropical things…..

But I think the best thing
–at least,I think so- 
I’ve ever done
and my most favoritest

is this portrait that I call
“Mom At The Beach”


It makes me think of my mother.
She loved the beach.
And she always wore a bathing cap.
She worried about her hair-do.
And I think she’d hate this painting…..

But it makes me think of her and her love of the beach.

I just may start painting again……..

The best Christmas present ever…………

I grew up a total daddy’s girl.
After two boys,my mother was overjoyed to have a girl.She tried dressing my in frou-frou clothes.
Totally,didn’t work.
But I wanted to be with my dad.

In his garden,in the summer.
And,in the winter,in his greenhouse.

And when Michael,the Elder,was born,guess who held my hand?
Yep-my Dad.
Michael’s dad was in the Navy and was away,on a ship.It was the Vietnam era,after all.

Readers of this blog know my Dad loved his orchids.
That’s why he built the greenhouse.To house them in the winter.

Fast forward,about 50 + years.After my mother passed,and it was time for him to go to an ALF,he let me have his orchids.
The only advice he gave me was,”Don’t baby them.They grow in the mountains for God’s sake.They can take a lot.”

I tried to follow his advice,and ignored them.
I’m good at benign neglect.Very,very good….
And they bloomed.

We actually divided the largest up and gave one to Erich,the Younger.
He’s a gardener just like his Grandpa.Oh,so very like his Grandpa.

But,after he died three years ago,they stopped blooming.
Oh shit!
What have I done?
It’s been three years,since my Dad passed,and not a bloom….

But,today,on my walk-about thru the garden,and the lanai,I found this….

Merry Christmas!!!!

My Father’s Orchids……….

As long as I can remember,my Dad raised orchids.Cattleya’s mostly.The corsage orchid.Remember those?
Growing up,in Western New York,I remember hanging out with him,in the greenhouse,that he built himself.While he tended his orchids.That greenhouse had all the bells and whistles.An automatic timer that would open the windows when the temperature got too hot.Automatic misters that he created himself.He was an engineer,but I think he was a frustrated architect.
In the winter,if you wanted to find him,you just went to his greenhouse.There he’d be.I’d be messing around.Getting in his way,but he’d tell me all about his orchids.
In the summer,he moved the orchids out to the screened patio(that he also built himself-the man never sat still!).They would be covered in blooms.He had 2 secretaries,so they were always getting orchid corsages.My mother would make these beautiful bows for them.I don’t think that gene was passed on to me me.I’m not that crafty.
When my parents moved to St.Petersburg,in 1973,the orchids made the trip.In the Plymouth station wagon.
Along with my mother’s Hummel figurine collection,but that’s a whole other story.Everything else went in the moving van,except for a few clothes and the orchids and the Hummels.
In Florida,his orchids flourished.He left them outside all year long.Underneath pine trees.The only time he would bring them up to the house was if a freeze was in the forecast.He never fertilized them.They were totally on their own.
After my mother passed away,and we moved Dad to an ALF,I got the orchids.The Hummels went to my sister-in-law.He told me to just put them under the large oak,and just leave them alone.Which I did.And they flourished.
Too well.The largest one had so out grown it’s pot,it was falling over.I asked him if it was time to do something with it.
He adamantly told me
,”No! Leave it alone.”
” But Dad,it’s falling over.”

”Leave it alone!It will be fine.”
But then TheTree went down,taking the pool with it.When the new pool went in,he suggested putting them in a shady spot in the new lanai.But with orders to leave them alone.Which I did(I’m really great at leaving plants alone….),and they flourished.
After he passed away,I finally took it upon my self to divide the largest one.I kept 3 plants and gave one to Erich,the Younger,who now has own garden.
But they didn’t flourish……
They looked like they were dying.
All I could think was that I had killed them.What had I done?
They grew,but they didn’t bloom.
Until this year,and I saw this….

Which,today,became this…..


And another cutting is doing this…..


And Erich,the Younger,has a scape on his,too.

So,maybe I did a good thing.I hope he’s proud…..

After all,he’s the man who taught me that gardening is one big experiment.

Thanksgiving-GreatWall style…..

Yep-The GreatWall went on vacation for Thanksgiving.
To the beach.
With the family.
Sanibel Island.

A little bit of this…


Some of this…..IMG_1696

And quite a bit of this…..IMG_1692

And a lot of this….

Now,time to get the Christmas décor out……

Happy Birthday!

Remember when this muchkin was born?


That’s me!Emma!
And I created Miss Emma’s  Garden?


“Gramma! What happened to my garden?”

Ummmmm…..Emma, remember when we went to the beach?


“Oh,yeah.Seashells!I liked collecting seashells.And playing in the sand.

But what’s up with my Queen Emma Crinum?”
Lubbers!That’s what!While I was at the beach,with you and your sister,the stoopid lubbers moved in!Not to worry,though.There are two growing on the lanai,by the pool.



today you are

Happy Birthday!

Gramma loves you!


A week long get-a-way.

Just the girls….


…being silly,’cause that’s what girls do….
no boys men allowed…

…on Sanibel Island


Fun in the sun…..


Glorious sunsets…


…Junk food…   DQ

But most of all….


Now,back to reality ,
and my weedy,overgrown garden…

…I find reality highly over rated…

Emma’s Garden…………

When Emma was born,I planted “Emma’s Garden.” Itwas next to the old pool.
But the pool cracked when TheTree went down.
So,”Emma’s Garden” was moved.
This is it,today….


The original garden has remained pretty much the same.
Just in a different place.
Which has turned out to be a better place
The Queen Emma Crinum has flourished.I have taken many pups from it and have them growing on the screened in lanai.Just in case the lubbers decide to stage a major attack on this one. Along with the Queen Emma Crinum are planted a pink Knock-out Rose,a coontie palm,and Angel’s Tears.All transplanted from the original garden.


I bought the cherub at Tony’s Garden Patch,in,Tallahassee,when Emma was born.-that’s me,Emma –but,alas,it has since closed.


This weekend,the Easter Bunny visited…me,too…and left some surprises…


Then,a certain little girl visited…..me,Emma!….
and found those surprises…..


“Chocolate is my favorite candy.What’s yours?”