Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Climbing Hydrangea

Hi Dear Folk,

I have had several requests to see a photo of my climbing hydrangea, and here it is, quite a monster.  Just hope my pergola holds up.  I love the way the branches splay out, almost has a Japanese look to me.  I think it has loved all the rain this year.

Growing Hydrangea - Vine Type

Latin Name Pronunciation: hye-dran'jee-uh  
Hydrangea anomala petiolaris is one of the best of the ornamental vines and useful because it will grow and flower even in a northern exposure. This is a large heavy vine that requires a very sturdy support. Reddish brown, peeling bark is attractive in the winter. Superb growing up the trunk of large shade trees, walls, fences, or along a stone wall.
  • Full sun or shade; needs afternoon shade in the Deep South and in western Zones 9 and 10.
  • Plant in rich, moisture-retentive, well-drained soil.
  • Climbing Hydrangea's growth habit is unusual for a vine, because plants have lateral branches that will grow out as much as 3′ from the supporting structure, giving a rich, deep texture that is quite unlike that of other vines, which more typically twine up a narrow support.
  • Climbs with the aid of rootlike holdfasts, which cling to almost any surface.
  • Slow growing for first 2 or 3 years, but vigorous and fast growing once established (this is an example of that old gardener's saying about vines: first it sleeps, then it creeps, then it leaps. A little patience will be amply rewarded.).
  • May take 3–5 years to start blooming.
  • Prune as needed after bloom.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Three Joys Before 8:00 AM

Hi Dear Folk,

An emergency flash flood warning just came across my cell phone, yes we are back to grey skies, rain and thunder.  However I was able to dash out in my nightie, dig a hole, in the spitting rain and plant some miniature iris that my friend gave me yesterday and I had left in the car.

On my way over to dig the hole a tiny animal scuttled in front of me, I thought it was a mouse, but was just able to see that is was a toad, joys of joys I have a toad in my garden.  In all these years of having a pond I have never seen any frogs or toads.  It makes my heart happy.

Dashed for the scissors and was able to cut a bunch of peonies before the downpour started and have arranged them in my Shannon cut glass vase.  Didn't I say as soon as the peonies come out the rain downpours.

They are glorious and the fragrance wafts around.  Just right on a dull gloomy day.  My veg and seeds will be happy for all this rain.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day although getting rather hot and humid, up to 92 F.  I was out in the morning on my volunteer work, home for lunch, and then over to my friends to have my hair cut and hi lighted.

Janice has been a hair dresser all her life and she has been my friend about just as long as she has been a hair dresser.  So when I asked for hi lights on hair that is very white on my crown, but darker else where she thought it would not blend in.  In fact we had a little tussle over this.  I insisted and she acquiesced.  Obviously when your friends the customer is not always right, but this time the customer was, in fact it turned out so nice, contrary to her expectations, that she called her husband down to have a look.  I also had my hair cut shorter and layered, but still long enough to put up.  Hair success.  I love the tone effect of colour in my hair.

For some reason I was so tired last night that I was in bed by 8:00 pm, so forgot that the miniature blue iris from Janice's garden, were still in the car.  I didn't want to not get them planted hence the crazy dashing around the garden this morning with a spade and the digging of a hole, before the storm came, didn't even water them, because I figured they would be watered soon enough and they are now getting a good soaking.

My climbing hydrangea is in it's full glory.  For several years I had it growing along the fence under the oak tree, but it never thrived and when I put the pergola up I decided to dig it up and plant it on the outside corner of the pergola and after that it never looked back, it thrives and tells me how happy it is there, by it's prolific growth and flowers.  It's a good position, because when I sit on my Simla patio, it gives me privacy from the road out front and passers by.

How is your Sunday?


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Retirement Day and Dinner

Hi Dear Folk,

Time is flying now and here we are on Thursday the day of my retirement lunch, it almost seems surreal. My boss John invited my husband to join us.

Mr B. and I in the conference room at our office.  I will be sad to leave this view, of all the offices I have worked in over the years, this has been my best view.  City Hall Philadelphia.

In Philly we like to keep our statues simple, above the Clothespin statue by Claes Oldenburg and below the LOVE statue, in fact the artist who designed the sculpture Robert Indiana, just died.

They have almost finished this park, shame it wasn't ready last summer.  This is on the one side of my building.  Isn't it a gorgeous day?  Just perfect.

The LOVE statue is back to it's original park and colour.  At some point the inner purple colour was painted blue, but now has been restored back to the purple.

Here I am walking back to get the lift up to our office.

We dined at DelFrisco's for my retirement lunch and very nice it was too.  I think this is the third time I have had lunch here since we have been in the city.  I must say our dining out did take a jump up since we moved to Phillly.

This restaurant is in an old bank and the above photo shows the beauty of the ceiling also the circular wine tower they have here.  You can also see the mezzanine level, we did have a table up there one time.

The CEO of our company, Ralph came down from NYC.  I indulged in a pomegranate martini, and very good it was too.  In fact the whole lunch from appetizers to desert and coffee was delicious.

To the left of the above group is our little office, including Erin, my replacement, John my boss in center front, on the left Tom and Bob. To the right are Hugh and Mel who I worked for, for many years and they sold their company to Vanguard.  I started work with them in 1981.  Hugh and Mel coming was a surprise.  I have been fortunate over the years to have worked for good companies and with good people.

So that's it folks, a wrap on a secular working life.

Now what?


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Breeze Blocks Are Out

Hi Dear Folk,

Oh my!  Time is flying.  I took a PTO day on Monday as was sooo tired.  We picked Rob and Tierney up from Newark Airport on Sunday evening and by the time we got home it was 11:00 pm and for some reason I could not get to sleep.  I was already tired all day Sunday as on Sunday morning at about 4:00 am the crazy little alarm clock in the bathroom went off and started getting louder and louder and woke us up and I could not get back to sleep.  So that just exacerbated my tiredness.

It was a lovely sunny day and later in the afternoon I was able to get out in the garden.  I have fallen out of love with the breeze blocks that surround my veggie gardens and have decided to take them out altogether, just leaving the little brick paths that separate the seven little gardens.  At the moment they are all stacked up, I have to find a permanent place for them, I'll have to think about that.  Mr. B. says it looks more natural now, I like it better too.  Probably should have invested in bricks and not breeze blocks, as you know the bricks have been finds over the years and each year more and more disintegrate.

My friend Jack always gives me some plants, tomatoes, peppers and parsley, so I was able to pop over there and pick them up.  Then stopped off at the NSH to look around their greenhouses, but like everything it isn't what it used to be.  I picked up a sweet basil, geranium, cantaloupe and green bean plants, plus portulaca's. I'm trying to keep the spend down.

I have gradually been clearing out my personal things from work and bringing home a little each night, as it would be too much to carry on the train all at once.  Last night I bought home the poinsettia plant that I've been babying since it was given to our office over the holidays.  When I was in Hawaii we saw giant poinsettia bushes, they just grown wild.  Here you only see them around over the holidays.  But I thought I would plant this outside, at least for the summer, then it would need to come in for the winter, and my space for wintering over plants is most limited.  I am interested to see how much it will grow throughout the summer.

Thursday is my retirement lunch.  It seems all a little surreal.  Just phasing out at work and handing it over.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

My Wedding Dress

Hi Dear Folk,

All this talk of wedding dresses and it made me think of mine.  I got married in 1981 the same year as Diana and Charles.  That was the decade of a lot of flounce, lace, beads, puffy shoulders with pads.  I was not a fan of all that and had long admired the 1940's decade of dresses, and that is when my dress was from an original.

Cream satin, boat neckline, mine had sheer net up to the neck.  Beautiful paisley beading, just around the yoke, paisley being one of my very favorite designs.  Long sleeves, came into a point over the hand.  Covered buttons to close them.  Also covered buttons down the net part of the back, fitted waist, with a small invisible zip on the side and a train.  Lovely sheen on the satin.

You might also like to see this these posts

Weddings Through The Decades

Royal Weddings

The Wedding Dress I Wore


PS:  The sun is shining.

Megan's Dress, Royal Wedding and I've had Enough!

Hi Dear Folk,

Did you watch the Royal Wedding?  Well the Brits do know how to put on a good show, most diverse.

Her Givenchy dress by Claire Waight Keller, a British designer, in pure white silk, with the bateau neckline was lovely, a classic, and a simple posy.  I liked the long silk tulle veil going over the train of her dress embroidered in silk flowers, fifty three flowers representing the countries of the Commonwealth.

Lesotho was represented by a spiral aloe, Bangladesh was symbolized by a white-water lily and Granada had a bougainvillea.  Australia was represented by golden wattles, and Nigeria had a yellow trumpet.  England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland were respectively represented by a rose, a daffodil, a flax flower and a thistle.

Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat delicately embroidered, blending into the flora, to symbolize love and charity.  I also heard on BBC Radio there was a favourite flower from Kensington Gardens and a California Poppy a nod to home.

Topped by the Queen Mary bandeau tiara, wife of George V.  I'm sure there are a lot of tiaras down through the ages in the jewelry caskets to chose from.

1. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
2. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
3. Queen Elizabeth II, grandmother of the groom
4. Prince Philip, grandfather of the groom
5. Doria Ragland, mother of the bride
6. Prince Charles, father of the groom
7. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, stepmother of the groom
8. Prince William, elder brother of the groom
9. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, sister-in-law of the couple
10. Princess Charlotte, 3, daughter of William and Catherine
11. Prince George, 4, eldest son of William and Catherine
12. Page boy Jasper Dyer, 6, godson of the groom
13. Page boy Brian Mulroney, 7, son of the bride's best friend
14. Bridesmaid Ivy Mulroney, 4, daughter of the bride's best friend
15. Bridesmaid Florence van Cutsem, 3, goddaughter of the groom
16. Bridesmaid Rylan Litt, 7, goddaughter of the bride
17. Page boy John Mulroney, 7, son of the bride's best friend
18. Bridesmaid Zalie Warren, 2, goddaughter of the groom
19. Bridesmaid Remi Litt, 6, goddaughter of the bride

I do hope that the fashion for wedding dresses gets away from the strapless ones that have been in for a couple of decades now, and get back to having a lovely neckline and sleeves.  I have never been a fan of the strapless wedding dress.

I have had enough of dull skies and rain, with a few bad storms thrown in.  I only wish my garden was planted because it would be romping away.  Still it was a good excuse to be in, have a cup of tea and watch the pageantry.  The sun smiled on the Royal couple.  I have been watching the weather in England all week, hoping that it would be good for Rob and Tierney while they were there.  And they certainly had better weather there than we have had here this week.

I was looking at how things change over the years, even the amount of work put into packaging Chambord a raspberry liquor.  The older bottle is to the left with the crown lid, and even embossing in the glass and the bottom, compared with their newer bottle on the right.

Also just think if Wallace Simpson had met Edward VIII now she too could have had a church wedding and walked down the aisle in a white dress.  She was just eighty years ahead of the times.  Of course Camilla lived long enough to see those changes in her lifetime, and to benefit from them.

At last after sitting in the garage for several years we have actually restrung this chime.  It has a lovely sound being so long.  The wood had rotted out, so Mr. B.  came up with the idea of using this terra-cotta pot holder and drilling holes in this to thread the strings through.  I like it.

This is the patio I worked on last weekend, Saturday this weekend it rained all day.

Roses like a good drink.

I went out to retrieve something I had put out in the trash, which was the top of my circular com poster, which comes apart, off course I came up with an idea to use it, fortunately it was still out there, some things I put out had gone, which is good.  And then something was left behind my garage from someone else, this pot with plastic flowers in.

Looking worse for wear, I salvaged what I could, added some old silk flowers I had lying around in the garage and thought why not put it here by the garage door for a splurge of colour.  Now I am not a one for fake flowers, this may or may not stay, we'll see.  I don't think it looks too bad though.

Must get the paint brush out.  Lot's of painting to do.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

My Last Hurrah! At the NSH Yard Sale - Wheel It Out

Hi Dear Folk,

A couple of Saturdays ago was my last hurrah at the NSH Yard Sale.  The yard sale is housed in an old building at the Norristown State Hospital which is soon to be demolished.  The funds raised are used for the patients.

I only started going in the last few years and then as they changed to just a Friday instead of Friday and Saturday I did not always get to go.  One more is scheduled for this year in August the final one, but sadly I will not be able to attend, as happily I will be in the UK.

My friend Maria and I had a long standing appointment as this year they changed it to a Saturday.  It is fun to go with a friend, it was a marathon.  We got there just before it opened at 9:00 am.  Each room is dedicated to certain items, we always head first to the jewelry room which is right inside the door.

Then we headed over to shoes and bags, linens, from there to clothes, back to china, craft items, books and looking at what is in the central room area.  Last of all we hit appliances because the wonderful ninety year old lady who is lovely to talk with keeps us for so long that we would miss all the bargains if we went there first.  So of course we never get a bargain in appliances because they are all gone by the time we get there.

She is ninety and looks a spry seventies.  She has traveled all over the world with her photographer husband and still flies out to see family in California, Colorado and Mexico.  She gave us a travel trip always ask for a wheel chair at the airport it is complimentary and they will wheel you through customs, over to baggage and out.  I may very well do this, she positively told me I should.

Her daughter is Jill Bond who produced this film for PBS We Served Too - The Story of Women Airforce Pilots in WWII.  She is now in Mexico making another movie for PBS about vineyards in Mexico.  The oldest wine-growing region in the Americas.

There is also a coffee, soda, baked goods and hot dog section to take a break, which we needed.

So what was my haul:

Shannon crystal vase, old china biscuit barrel, which I love $1.00, old sugar bowl, I would think from Austro-Hungary era.  Victorian crystal and silver cruet set.

Isn't the design delightful?

I walked past the cruet set and then saw someone else taking a look at it and I thought that is so nice if she doesn't get it I will, and I did.  I have tried cleaning it, but think I need some silver dip so will have to go out and get some.  A Victorian cruet set would be about $80.00 to go out and buy.

I walked by this jug, but by the afternoon they were marking down what ever had not sold, and my friend Maria bought this for me.

Eight glasses for martinis?  I'm not good on knowing what glass is meant for what drink.  $0.25 each, how can you pass that by.

Cottage eggcup.

Hand made handkerchief holder?  I'm not sure but the work is lovely.

Glass necklace.

24 carrot gold plated necklace and matching bracelet $3.00

Amethyst broach and I can't remember the name of the green stones.

Brighton necklace and matching bracelet.

Bracelet watch brand new in it's box, I just bought a new battery and it works perfectly.

Zebra broach it looks like a Cinar, but can't see a mark, so maybe not, still I like it.

Butterfly broach, hard to get an in focus photo on this.  Cleaned up nice and sparkly.

Coldwater Creek Jewelry Necklace.

Should have put this in with my Australian post, maybe from the same person.  I would call this a Happy Hankie.

A stash of hankies, can never have too many.  Look at the work on this one.

Evening top, may take this along on my cruise.

Summer hat.

Oval table cloth for BB.

Serviettes/Napkins I especially could not pass by the daisy ones, very 60s/70s.

Brand new set of linen placements and serviettes, hand printed.

Little clay rounds to keep your sugar from getting rock hard.

And last but not least my piece de la resistance, brand new, The Capri Bag from the Capri Watch Company.  this design is called Majolica Sun.  It is made from Neoprene, they sell a whole line of these bags in different designs and it originally sold for 109 Euros.  It is very lightweight, may use it on my travels, only thing is does not zip up, only a snap.  Still could pack it and use when there.

Maybe someone bought this while on vacation.  You must watch their Capri Watch Commercial, selling a life style. Here.  The scenery is beautiful and of course so are the people.

Well that's it, ah! I forgot to say that nothing was more than $5.00, and most was much less.  You can see why we love to go to this sale.

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