Getting Patio Flowers, Friendship & What I’m Reading

I’m very much looking forward to next week when I think it will be safe to buy plants for my patio. I believe tonight is probably going to be the last night of weather in the thirties.

And if it isn’t, I have a roof over my patio and I could drag the containers inside. I’m not planning at the moment to deal with large pots. But I could change my mind.

Below is a photo of last year’s patio garden with geraniums and petunias at my old apartment.

I would first like to get some of those geranium pots like I did last year. They had a few other plants mixed in, like asparagus fern.

Those geranium mixed pots did very well for me and I’m going to look for them again.

I’d also like some petunias. I always get petunias.

I'm planning on getting containers of flowers and plants for my patio next week when the danger of frost is likely over.
Last year’s geranium mixed pots

Steve next door plants tomatoes and he’ll be getting his tomato plants soon.

We shared dinner last night, a take-out meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes and fried okay that is way more than enough for one person. So we split it.

He goes to bed around 8 so it was an early meal.

The Importance Of “The Talk”:

In case you’ve been wondering, Steve and I had what I call “the talk” about a month ago regarding our status as single seniors.

I initiated it because I was worried his adult children would think that us being friends might mean I was one of those divorcees looking for a widower.

And I’m most certainly not. I’m not interested in ever having a relationship like that again. I’m perfectly happy being alone (with Ivy).

He said he was glad we had “the talk” because he also isn’t interested in a relationship other than friendship.

Steve is quite busy with his volunteer work with children and literacy, his church, and other endeavors. He also has friends who take him out to lunch several days a week.


After all, his beloved wife of 53 years has only been dead a short time. They’re going to have a ceremony with her ashes on Earth Day.

So we can be friends and share meals and he can help me and I can help him with no worries involved. We are both relieved.

I told him yesterday that I’d very much like to hear about his late wife, stories he could tell me.

Because I know that oftentimes when someone dies, people don’t really want to hear you talk about your deceased loved one.

And that’s kind of unfair. People often need to talk about their loss and about the person they loved.

I’d love to hear all about her.

Ivy Staring At Reflected Lamplight On The Wall:

In Getting Patio Flowers Friendship & What I'm Reading, here's Ivy staring at a reflection on the wall

This is Ivy this morning staring at a spot on the wall reflecting lamplight. She always seems mesmerized by such things.

It is amazing to me, but in just one week, Ivy has changed so much.

She has completely stopped that mournful sound she would make when I turned the lights off in the living room at night and went to the bedroom to read.

Ivy would have one of those red and white curtain ties in her mouth and make strange sad sounds for about an hour every night.

That has ceased. She has also begun eating her canned food again with gusto.

What I’m Currently Reading:

Joy Fielding's novel Cul-de-sac

Last night I began reading Joy Fielding’s “The Cul-de-sac.” It is one of those books about a neighborhood and all the people living in it. I enjoy those types of books.

After reading nearly 100 pages, I made myself put it away. I don’t want to read it so fast!

The New Custom Boot:

I also wanted you to know that they called me and the new custom boot they ordered for me from my doctor’s office has arrived.

Monday I’m going in and we’re going to try it out.

I’m looking forward to that because it’s not like the heavy boot I have and may give me more mobility.

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  1. It’s wonderful that you have such a warm friendship with Steve, and that you both are clear on where you stand. I can’t wait to shop for flowers, but I’ve got another month to wait here in NJ. Fingers crossed that your boot brings relief and mobility!

  2. It must be comforting for you and Steve to share an easy neighbourly friendship, good on you for initiating the talk.
    Colourful pot plants sound like the ideal answer and will help during this transitional time and how exciting that your new personalised boot has arrived. Happy weekend Brenda.
    Kali x

  3. I’m so glad you have Steve in your life. A good friendship is hard to find. I hope you enjoy helping each other along life’s journey.
    I believe Ivy needs you as much as you need her. Take care of each other.
    Have a wonderful Saturday. I love your plans for your patio.

  4. Brenda, it’s interesting what you say about Ivy being clingier and needing more love and attention. Do you think on some level that she understands what happened to Gracie and is afraid something similar will happen to her? That would explain her seeming to need more love and reassurance. Just a speculation. I know whatever motivates her will be responded to lovingly by you so she will be okay. And you will be okay, too, as you navigate the map of grieving the loss of Gracie. Hang in there, dear friend.

  5. Brenda, how wonderful to have such a kind friend and neighbor. It is funny to me that people often times think that women want/need to ALWAYS be in a relationship. I am happy that you had the talk and that that is out of the way, now you can be friends. I am sure it is nice for Steve to have someone to eat with, talk to, and to help after a long and happy marriage.
    Good luck with the boot! So excited for you.
    Thank you also for your always kind comments. I work hard on my Friday post and it makes me happy to know that someone actually enjoyed the articles aside from me.

  6. How wonderful that you and Steve have each other for friendship and support and that you two were able to talk openly with each other about it. My mom is almost 82 and a widow and she had a male friend in her neighborhood. She’d make nice dinners and share them with him and they’d go for walks and talk. That’s it. They enjoyed each other’s friendship. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago. He left his sweet dog, Marley to her in his will. (This was discussed before he died.) She has come to love this sweet pup as her own now.

    I hope your custom boot is comfortable and will serve you well.

    I’m looking forward to spring flowers, too. Still much too cold here in Illinois to plant anything. We’ve had nothing but cold days and rain. I know you miss your beautiful pots of flowers and plants on your old patio. Maybe your friend can help you move pots and plant flowers for your new place, if you need his help. (PS – He goes to bed super early! Does he get up before the crack of dawn?!)

  7. How wonderful to have a friend like Steve for a neighbor. And nice that you are both on the same page in terms of relationship expectations. I think you were wise to talk openly about your preferences along those lines and glad that he concurred.

    Interesting how Ivy’s behavior has changed. Wish she could speak English and tell us all what she’s feeling since Gracie died. I think she may be resuming her place as an “only”. Maybe she always felt threatened by Gracie’s presence.
    No way to know for sure I guess but cats are definitely interesting–and inscrutable–souls, aren’t they?

    Can’t wait to see what flowers you end up getting. I am getting itchy to buy some myself but the garden centers aren’t open yet up here in Michigan. I love petunias but I find them high maintenance, needing to be dead-headed so often or they get leggy. I’ve almost resolved not to buy any this year. Don’t know if I’ll be able to hold to that once I see all the gorgeous colors they come in! Maybe just fewer than usual so I can manage to keep up with their care.

    Hugs to you and pats for Ivy.

    1. Ivy is much clingier than before. She needs more love. So I can’t be on the computer as much. And I never leave her alone long.

  8. I’m so glad you have found such a good friend like Steve! It sounds like he is a very nice man, which is just what you need right now! I’m sure he appreciates your friendship as well! Glad to hear Ivy is back to her old self again!

      1. That’s how Clementine has been since Monkey died. They are mourning, too and know that they’re now the only pets in the household.

  9. I think its great you were able to bring the subject of a relationship with Steve. I totally understand that you are just looking for friendship and knowing he wants the same sounds like you are on the right path. Good to have a good friend close by where you can help each other.

  10. I like the way we’ve all seem to have joined in online friendship here on your blog, Brenda. You have done this, and for that bond, I thank you. We’ve all shared,comforted,and laughed together right here.
    Your friendship with Steve is just right! A guy pal is wonderful.
    Hugs to all, to you, to Ivy girl.

  11. Brenda,
    This is all good news. Ivy is doing better and you have a good neighbor to share things with. This move seems to have been a very good thing for you in so many ways. (Not including the sad event of the loss of Gracie)
    The wind is pretty nippy in Tulsa today. I don’t plan on planting until a least the end of the month
    as it just seems colder than usual.
    The red buds are blooming everywhere!

    1. I’m probably just going to put pots of plants on the patio and maybe on the brick path area. I’m not planning on anything up on that concrete block area. Not carrying water up that thing.

  12. Glad you have found a friend in Steve. That is nice that you can share companionship and not have to be in an intimate relationship. Ivy seems very happy to be a only cat again. Happy Friday. Have a good weekend.

  13. Talking about your neighbor Steve and the talk made me laugh. I still remember starting a new job the day of the owners wife of 28 years funeral. He remarried 12 days later. Conveniently both wives had the same name Rose Marie.

  14. Good for you and Steve, clearing the air before it came to a need to have to clear the air! So refreshing when people can be open-minded and appreciate the direct approach rather than dancing around a potential issue to have to deal with later on. I had to laugh just a bit as I was reminded how the “hens” circled around my father-in-law upon the death of my m-i-l on the senior campus where they lived. The covid lockdown approximately two months later saved him as he did not appreciate their rather blatant aggressiveness. Sadly, coming up on anniversary of his death now in just a few days and want to say how touching so many of the comments were on yesterday’s post regarding grief. I just want to say “thank you” Brenda for sharing your grief that even in the midst of that pain, brought so many together yesterday in a healthy and lifting way. We need each other more than we know and Brenda, in your own sorrow, allowed us to relate, reassure one another. All here, be blessed!

    1. I know that happens. Steve mentioned he thought it happens here too and I’m sure it does. But not with me. I’m the friend who just wants another friend and we can help one another when we need it. I like things spelled out and no ambiguity. I’m not good with gray areas.

  15. It’s so nice that you and your neighbor can spend time together as friends, with no other expectations. It takes a lot of awkward pressure off of both of you. It gives a whole new meaning to the friends with benefits, lol! Instead of the traditional “benefits,” you have the benefits of friendship, platonic companionship, and a dependable helper/fixer upper. It’s a win win for both of you. He can tell you all about his lovely wife, and you can tell him all about your fur babies. I think it’s a great friendship! Is your new book scary, or just interesting, telling about the different lives of the families on the cul-de-sac? Obviously, it’s good, because you are having to try not to read it all too fast. I’m so happy Ivy is back to get normal self and is happy again.

  16. Everyone needs a purpose in life and it sounds like both you and Steve have days that bring meaning to them such a good meal to enjoy together without any hitches. A friendship indeed, whether it’s male or female. I think if he shares about his late wife it will help you too share some tidbits of Gracie too. Tears will fall as it’s the grieving process. It’s still so hard to believe she’s gone just as it must feel for Steve when he realizes every day his wife of that long is not talking to him. Take it easy this weekend. You worked so hard and so fast setting up your apartment, so please give yourself rest time.

    1. I know I WAY overdid it on decorating the apartment. I haven’t been on the stepladder in some time. I can probably ask Steve to help me with things that are high up. He’s tall. I want some type of garden so bad now that I’m very willing to accept my limitations.

  17. Well let me just say I’m a bit envious, I’d love to have a “Steve” in my life! I’m in my 60’s and have been divorced for many years after a 30 year marriage. My ex cheated on me and is now married to one of his mistress’s. I have no desire for a romantic relationship ever again, but I’d love to have a male friend to talk to, share a meal now & then, etc. I’m happy that you have Steve in your life and I’m sure that he feels the same way about you.

    1. It’s wonderful having a “Steve.” He’s going to be taking one of his daughter’s cats after Earth Day. So he’ll have an apartment companion.

  18. I love that you are so comfortable with Steve and you both cleared the air. And how wonderful you can share a meal and call on one another if need be. We may not think we need human engagement but I think mentally it is a necessary thing. Let me know when you want some sedum autumn joy❣️

  19. I got a chuckle about the talk! You are blessed to have nice, helpful neighbors and that was a smart thing to get out of the way. Our little group of neighbors work together and it feels so comforting and pleasant when we interact. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone treated each other like they wanted to be treated. Everyone have a good weekend.

  20. I know u can’t get out and roam, but if u happen to go to the grocery store or something try to take a drive through Woodward Park. The red buds and jonquils are in full bloom and it’s stunning this year. You could probably take pics from your car. Stringer also has a bunch of new plants in. It’s so cold today. Try and stay in. It will b warmer tomorrow and Sunday.

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