Spring is Here

The weekend was busy and we are almost ready for summer.  We went and visited Julie for a couple of hours yesterday and were amazed at the flowering trees along the drive to Centreville. The Dogwoods are in full bloom in Frederick and Virginia along with the cherry’s, pears and apple trees. We are about another week behind Frederick up in the mountains. In our yard the daffodils are still nice and the pink tulips are finished opening up. I am not sure how long the blooms will last. Probably depends on how much hot weather we get in the next couple of weeks. The ring of tulips around the hummingbird tree are still in the budding stage. Looks like one color is about ready to open but there is another color where the buds are still hiding in the leaves. I trimmed all of the berry vines and other undergrowth bushes in my Tea Garden area to keep it manageable until I can get Wes to help me level it later this summer. I would love to have it finished so that we can enjoy ice-tea and snacks there before Mom and Dad leave in May. I would love to put in a small concrete table but leave space for padded or webbed chairs with backs (for my old rear-end and disintegrating body). I may have to settle for a heavy metal table that we can put inside or cover during the winter. I just know that a table like that will need painting every once in a while where the concrete would be maintenance free. It depends on what I find on Craigslist. The "floor" of the area is full of Johnny Pop Ups and May Apples right now. Marie thinks that it will be a great place for moral mushrooms but Donna doesn’t think that the weather is good for mushrooms this year. It got to hot too fast and then really cold again which is not a good sequence for mushrooms. We purchased a garden cart yesterday and I am really excited about it. It is like a wheelbarrow except that it has two bicycle tires on either side of the tub instead of the one wheel in the front. It is really stable and light with a padded handle-bar in the back that you can either push or use to pull.
I have transplanted the hostas to the north side of the equipment shed and I think they are going to be fine. I left space to add some of the variegated varieties when someone is splitting theirs and is going to just throw away extras from the clump. I am learning a lot about the native plants and trees. I refuse to pay $10 each for nursery hostas when they are almost indestructible and need thinning every 3 or so years anyway. I understand that the deer love them but I don’t think that they will come that close to the house because they have plenty of browse that isn’t so close to humans or a dog run.
Marie took us on a ride of some of the back roads on Sunday morning including a trip to Catoctin Lake. I wish we had access to an aluminum fishing boat. The lake is stocked with bass and trout and fairly small. I think Daddy would enjoy fishing on it while he is here except that Jim will be gone and the canoe is not stable enough for Daddy to feel comfortable in it. He could go bank fishing though. Maybe I can talk Wes into taking him one weekend early in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday.
We got the vinyl flooring for the studio but will have to wait for Wes to return so that he can help Jim install it. The space is really too small for all of my equipment and green ware and I will no doubt be "leaking" into the rest of the area. Once we can afford an ATV that will cause some storage problems. Right now that expenditure is pretty far out in the future so I think that the space will be adequate for quite a few years.  
The peony that I found on sale last year is sprouting (I thought it was a misplaced hosta!) They look funny coming up. I need to put a grid over it to hold the flowers and stems up later in the summer. I am so excited that that everything is coming up, but we are so far away from the summer produce. It seems like the corn, tomatoes, squash etc should all be here like in San Diego, but the seeds were just planted and still under plastic here!
I am still committed to the Italian Challenge and made 2 recies out of our Italian Cookbook this week: Fresh Pear Tart and Florentine Pork Roast. Both were delicous. The roast called for fresh fennel and I hope that the Farmers Market that we frequent has planted that particular Italian ingredient this year. I did not realize how prevelent fresh fennel is in Italian recipes. It equals basil as a vegetable and seasoning. I never look for it at the market. It may be everywhere and readily available and I just don’t know it. 
We are still trying to unpack and finding we are down to the really hard stuff now. Emotional attachements are getting in the way and more shuffling is going on than ever before. It is funny what we think we want to hold onto just because of the memories, circumstances or the person attached to certain items.  I supose it is a process.

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