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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sadness, Happiness, Sadness

Lovely Beautiful Daughter visited for the holiday weekend, arriving last Thursday and leaving out on Monday. The day she had to leave to return east was a sad day for all of us. That particular good-bye was very difficult. She is such a spark of life, such a kind, thoughtful young woman, and everyone who is in her presence feels that spark, is buoyed by it. I know I wasn't the only one feeling the hole created by her departure. Funny Delightful Son seemed down when we all traipsed back into the house after getting her settled in for the ride to Chicago where she was to catch the train heading to Massachusetts. We'd been in the middle of playing Munchkin, but he just looked at the cards on the table and said, "I don't want to keep playing." I really didn't either.  For two days, as if the four people who'd been playing the game were going to return to finish it, the cards stayed on the table where they'd been left. On Wednesday, I finally boxed up the game and put it away.

Two bees enjoying a drink
My usual way of getting past a sadness, such as Lovely Beautiful Daughter leaving, is to immerse myself in some kind of project. This time I made a water source for the bees. I've been reading about what kinds of water sources work best for bees, and I found out the kind with plants seem to attract them more than just a bowl with water. One of my water barrels has a small space for planting flowers, but I'd never had any luck with any of the flowers I'd planted in it as every time it rained the flowers would basically drown. It finally dawned on me to make a small water feature out of it. I filled it with water and put two water plants in it. Wha-la! Every day now, I can stand nearby and watch the bees come to drink.

To give the bees another source for gathering water, I looked at different birdbaths online, found one I liked, and used it as the inspiration for my own creation. I found a trio of nesting terracotta planters at one of my favorite farming stores and liked the idea of having the different sized pots for the project. I then found a six foot piece of rebar, some clamps, the flowers I wanted to put in the pots, and the top piece to hold the water and water plants. I brought it all home, and within a matter of an hour or so, the new water feature/potted plants were in place. For less than $50 the garden now has a functional, pretty addition (this cost doesn't include the 3 water plants which ended up being the second most expensive part of the whole project; the 3 terracotta pots were the main cost at $30 for all 3). Little by little this particular garden is starting to come together. The next step is sowing some lettuce and grass seeds to give the hens some greens to go after. The hope is they leave the flowers alone. They've done a number on the little lilies near Buddha turtle, so I definitely have to do something to deter further destruction.

Buddha turtle bringing calm to the garden.
Buddha turtle marks the resting place of Angel Baby's pet turtle, Jake. Unfortunately, Jake didn't make it out of hibernation this year. I thought all was good in late March, as the turtle had awakened and moved about. I fed it, watered it, and thought it was ready to fully awaken to another spring. When Jake didn't eat or drink, and seemed to go back to sleep, I didn't worry all that much. I figured he would fully awaken when he was truly ready. He never did.

Angel Baby was deeply saddened by this. He found a shoe box and put an old kitchen towel inside it. He then placed Jake on the towel and closed the lid. We took him into the garden and laid him to rest in a nice, shady spot between the cedar trees. That evening, I went to work to find a grave marker and ran across the Buddha turtle. I knew without a doubt Buddha turtle was meant to be a part of the garden. I love the peaceful expression and think it fits perfectly.

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