Oh my I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my last post… 4 complete seasons, from summer to summer! So much has happened, good and bad… I had two major things going on in my life, the purchase of our home, and my mother-in-law being diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
The house kept me extremely occupied in the summer months. We have about 0.4 of an acre of land, and I had zero experience taking care of landscape. I’m the person who – to my great shame I admit – has been known to kill a cactus, and a pothos plant. I had overgrown everything, including 3 unruly burning bushes that were taking over the front of the house. I spent months cutting, tearing, pulling and digging things in all the spare time I could find. I had a close encounter with poison ivy and poison sumac. I can say that those two plants became the sort of stuff that appear in my nightmares. I started with funny burning/crawling sensations that would wake me up in the middle of the night. I thought for a while we had, maybe during the move, acquired bed bugs. Or could it be a extremely bad flea infestation? It took about a week for the rashes to appear, and almost 6 weeks of agony for them to disappear. I swear that to this day I can still feel the itch in the areas affected the most.
But there was also a lot of joy learning about gardening, different plants and their care, designing what I want the backyard to be, etc. I fell in love with gardening, and devoured all the information I could find in books, internet or in conversation with friends. I set my heart into starting an orchard, using the apparently very popular method of “high density planting”, part of the “backyard orchard culture”. So my husband and I covered a huge portion of our yard with black tarp in order to solarize the area I had in mind. Over the years I also plan on transforming my surroundings into a complete 100% edible landscape. It surprised me to learn about the amount of ornamental plants that are not only native, but that also produce fruit. Last year we were able to add blueberries, raspberries, chokeberries, Rosa rugosa (for rose hips), and a variety of herbs. This year so far I’ve planted 3 sour cherries, 2 paw-paws, 2 types of crab apples (which I learned how to make a wonderful jelly from my neighbors tree) and 2 columnar apples (fantastic little trees). Oh my, so much to tell about them! I really hope to devote some of my postings to the progress of this experiment.
My mother-in-law… all I can comfortably say about all of this is that by the grace of God she is doing great, and that she is one of the strongest, most gracious women I’ve ever met. It was a horrible, indescribable feeling of terror that went through all of our minds thinking about the possibility of not having her around. I was hurting for my husband and his sisters, for my son and niece, and for myself. God’s graceful hands has been guiding a fantastic team of doctors and nurses that have been giving her the best treatment available, and God’s love gave her the strength to face this situation mostly undisturbed by speculations of outcomes. One day at a time we came to the point now where things are looking better than ever, and there are no words I can find to write that could express my gratitude to my Lord.
In the midst of all our turmoil one thing my MIL and I loved to do was go thrift shopping. In the process I rekindled a passion I had as a little girl for beautiful china. There is a long story behind this, which I’ll maybe mention later, but the outcome is my very own Etsy store called Tea Times Creations. This is a sneak peak of what I’ve been doing:
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