It was an exciting time twenty years ago when we moved into
our house.It was our first house,
purchased from an older couple we had gotten to know over the buying process.They left behind their refrigerator,
their gardening tools, and a few assorted plants.We moved our possessions in and started our family
I was so busy with school, kids, and work in those next few
years, I barely even noticed the jade plant the former owners had left on the
back patio.Since it was a
succulent, I figured it didn’t really require much attention.Even when its pot broke, the victim of
a speeding soccer ball, I didn’t do anything and the plant still survived.
Over the years, life got even more active.I like to muse about all the action the
jade plant saw from its post on the patio.I scurried about, taking care of kids, going to meetings,
working full-time, entertaining when I could, trying to keep the house in order
and my sanity somewhere in the vicinity too.From its vantage point on the patio, it witnessed all those
years, saw all the birthday parties happening on the other side of the glass,
watched the children get older each year, and witnessed as our family meals
went from four people, to three, to two, to one.
About a year ago, I was over at a friend’s house and I saw
her jade plant, a towering, healthy beast of a plant in a beautiful
planter.I noticed she had an
automatic watering system running through pot.I felt the leaves that were glossy and fat.
I went home and considered my small, neglected jade plant. I
fell to my knees and apologized to it.Then, I repotted it, fed it, and watered it. Within a week, it
responded.The leaves fattened up
and took on a rosy glow.The
branches reached out to the sun.It started to live, not just exist.Now, it gets a weekly watering and is absolutely thriving.
The other day a friend noticed how beautiful my jade plant
was and I told her the story of the plant and how I had finally started to take
care of it.She cited the drought
in California and said, “Ah, yes, those jade plants are really seeing us
through the drought, aren’t they?They are still green and hanging in there despite the lack of water.”
I think about the people in our lives who are just like
these plants, standing close by, ever-present in our lives.We take them for granted, doing little
to nourish them.They don’t ask
for attention and because they look and act fine we forget to give them the
care they deserve.They do indeed
see us through some of the droughts of our lives.
I think about how I was so busy raising my own kids that I
sometimes forgot to call my mom.Now, as a mother with grown children, I know how much a call from one of
my sons means.I think about
the brilliant teachers I took for granted.Didn’t they know they were great?Now, as a teacher, I know the power of a card with a
few words of thanks.I think of
how many times old friends crossed my mind and I thought of them with
love.Now, as I start to lose
friends to illness and age, I know I should have let them know how much they
meant to me.
So, I hope you’ll look around and see those people in your
life who have always been a part of the landscape.Maybe you’ve underestimated how much care they need.It could be your parents, your spouse,
your friend, or maybe just that neighbor who always brings in your newspaper
when you forget to.
These jade people give us their steadfastness without asking
anything in return.It is up to us
to recognize them.We need
to give them space to grow, and an abundance of gratitude and appreciation.A little sunshine and nourishment from
you could be all they need to start thriving.
It's Monday again and time for your weekly flower delivery.
How was your weekend, my darlings?
Are you ready for the week ahead?
It's going to be a good one!
Eat some fruit today and be of good cheer. Life is awesome, isn't it?
Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down. -- Charles F. Kettering
It won't be the first time I've been called that and normally, I would disagree just because I am programmed to, but in the case of produce, I truly am. I live in California, in one of the most highly productive areas of the country and organic is starting to catch on with a lot of farmers.
So, Brian and I started subscribing to a service that provides a box of organic produce every two weeks. You don't get to choose what you get, but you get whatever is fresh and in season. The price is $25.00 and we pick up our box at a local gym.
Today we got our first box!
Let's see what's inside, shall we?
Ohhhhhh! Sugar snap peas and black kale!
Let's dig deeper.
Lemons! Romaine! Rainbow Chard! But wait! There's more!
Finally, I can have the big reveal of what I have been working on for a couple of weeks.
My living room has always been a bit of a problem. It was dark and long and nobody hung out it in very long. Really, the only reason we went in it was to get to the TV room. (I did take before pictures, but I can't find them now! Arrrrghhhh.....)
Since Brian will be moving in soon and we both love books, we decided to make the living room a library.
The cost of built-in bookshelves was rather daunting, so I went searching in Blogland for an answer. I found lots of brave souls who had done "Built-In Billies." Billy is a rather inexpensive bookcase from Ikea. The idea is to make them look like they are built-ins by using molding.
I thought I would just do a short row that would anchor the couches, but as with all of Betty's projects, this one grew a bit. Brian lives near an Ikea so the poor man was contacted on a daily basis to get more Billies. More Billies, man. I need them. I decided to go with both 15 inchers and 30 inchers and we put extensions on the top. Evan was home for Spring Break and was thrilled to help his Mama build the bookcases!
Here they are, lined up like the homely girls at a dance about to be given extreme makeovers.
Thinking ahead, Brian wired the top shelves for speakers to be added later.
We had to put the shelves on one inch boards to make the molding fit just right.
Here are the boards that are at the top of each bookcase so the crown molding could be attached.
Here is Mr. Craftsman working on the moldings that will go over the edges of the shelves.
My friend Cathie and I used spackle on all the unused holes for the shelves. It was a big job but really made a difference.
Because we live in California, you can bet these suckers are bolted to the wall!
I had so much fun filling the shelves with our books and lots of other treasures. I am still not finished, but this gives you a good idea of what the shelves look like.
Ah! A library at last! I LOVE this room now!
There are a lot of great tutorials on-line about how to do this kind of project. I didn't give a lot of details here, but if you have specific questions, just shoot me an e-mail.
Now I really must go. If you need me, I'll be reading in the library.