Nearly April Planting Time

It’s nearly April planting time. Well, planting time for me anyway. That’s when I get to work on my patio. It’s what I’ve been looking forward to since Christmas.

It is rainy here. I expect we’re about to hit storm season soon in Oklahoma. As you know from the old saying, April showers bring May flowers. And speaking of flowers, I’m seeing quite a bit of growth on my patio.

I need to get out there and get to snipping. The gardenia finally couldn’t take the cold weather and looks awful. I will be cutting it back and then hoping for the best. And then there’s the rose bush I haven’t pruned yet. So I have some work ahead of me.

The lemon balm is coming up everywhere, as is various forms of sedum. My, that’s sturdy stuff. They’re taking over some of the pots.

I also need to dig up my irises and plant them less deeply. Perhaps, as someone said, that’s why they don’t bloom.

My daffodils still aren’t more than about 3 inches tall. These are from a company that sent them to me in the fall, some new form of daffodil I think. They’re always trying to improve on the flowers, aren’t they?

But in their most simple form, wildflowers out in the fields are so beautiful. I need to get an idea of where out in the country I can drive to see them soon. There’s nothing more beautiful to me than miles of wildflowers.

Which kind of makes me miss the bluebonnets in Texas.

Also coming up are what I hope are cone flowers. I’ve yet to get them through a winter. Mint and ground cover and clematis is coming up too. The lemon balm is coming up though the crack in the cement just like last year.

Speaking of driving, yesterday I decided to go look at Hobby Lobby one more time. I purchased a galvanized and wood console I will use as a desk. Looks much nicer than the laminate desk I bought when money was tight and it was all I could afford.

I really needed more storage for crafts. My closet looks like a hurricane hit it and needs organized. At Hobby Lobby’s website, I saw a wood and galvanized piece that would cover the electrical cords coming from the desk if I placed them next to one another, and best of all it had three rows of inside storage with doors.

I have a “look” going on now. And I wanted to continue it. But the Hobby Lobby just two miles from me didn’t carry it. And after the latest debacles with online ordering, I wanted to see it in person and not have to have something put together. The fiberglass on the red piece kind of put me off of ordering and putting furniture together.

So then I drove to World Market. I really don’t know why I go there. I’ve never purchased a thing. I find their prices rather high.

Then I headed to At Home. There really aren’t many places you can go to find furniture already put together that is ready to take home and use. Their furniture was a disappointment. Pretty shoddy workmanship. And their prices were higher than Hobby Lobby’s by quite a bit.

So then I thought: Hey, why not check another Hobby Lobby. Now this is the Hobby Lobby in the same shopping center where I met my daughter for lunch at El Chico (which is kind of our main place to eat) a few years ago. And I got horribly lost driving home.

Well, I did it again. I found the piece I wanted, but driving home was a disaster, if I want to look at it negatively. Positively, it was not an unpleasant drive. My car is running like it’s brand new instead of 13 years old since I had the mechanic do recent maintenance work on it.

Here’s the console table turned desk and the cabinet. The cabinet is about 2 feet taller than the desk. And as Nathan said after he brought it inside for me and then saw the inside of it, “Boy, there’s a lot more room inside than I would have thought.”

So really, a waste of time and gas driving around willy-nilly, but otherwise that was it. I truly don’t know how I get so terribly lost. I’ve never had this much trouble anywhere else.

But I think the answer came when I pulled into a convenience store (one of probably three I stopped at to ask where on earth I was).

The man in the car next to me said: “I know why you get lost around here. Shoot, there are 3 names on every sign for every street.”

Well, that’s probably it.

Which is, I must say, confusing. You can be on one major street and suddenly it has another name, so you think you’re off the right path. Seems if you keep driving for miles and miles, often the name changes back. But seeing the wrong name always spooks me.

I didn’t want to drive on the highway because that is confusing as well. They put about 3 different streets on every sign too.

You’re going so fast on the highway that you don’t have much time to make a decision when faced with three ways to go. And you’re not at all certain which one will take you to your destination.

It got to be rather amusing. I’d go one way for miles, then figure out I was going the wrong way. On the return drive in the other direction, I’d pass a restaurant I’d just recently passed and say to myself: “Hello, Applebees. Goodbye, Applebees. Hopefully for the last time, Applebees.”

“Hello, At Home store. Goodbye, At Home Store. Don’t want to see you again for awhile, At Home store.”

Lordy Pete, I don’t even know how many times I stopped to ask where I was and how to get where I wanted to go. Driving home I wasn’t even sure I was on the right road until I start seeing familiar landmarks.

One place I stopped, a convenience store, had bars over the window where you pay and just a little slot at the bottom to transfer money. I looked around me. Had I drifted into a dangerous neighborhood?

Hard to tell around here. Just because you’re in a nice looking area doesn’t mean you aren’t in a dangerous part of town.

You see a lot of strange sights driving around for hours. One man was on the side of the road dancing crazily. And you know they’re either high on something. Or possibly on the other hand off their meds.

You see people begging for money, which is always a sad sight no matter how many times you see it. I felt so sorry for a man with a dog at an exit yesterday. But I never carry cash.

I’d lose my head if it wasn’t tied on, so no way am I carrying cash around town.

Lo and behold, I finally got home. Nathan was in the maintenance shed right outside my apartment and said to me: “Wherever you went you were sure gone a long time.”

I’m rarely gone long anywhere, as I don’t like to leave Charlie. So around three hours for me is a very long time to be gone.

I said, “Yeah, and I put about a 100 useless miles on my car while I was at it.”

I do believe my Pathfinder has now had everything done to it that should be done (according to the manual) for a vehicle not far from 48,000 miles. My mechanic tells me what needs done and I trust him.

A few weeks ago he changed the oil, flushed this, emptied that, added this, removed that, changed the windshield wipers, etc. I have no idea what all he did though it was written down. Might as well be Greek to me because I know next to nothing about cars except which pedal to push.

The price for all of it was just under $500. But I got in my car and was amazed how smooth the ride is now.

If it wasn’t for people hitting my car in parking lots and leaving the scene, the outside of my car might look decent too. But I have scratches and little dents here and there on my car because of that. Probably looking down at their phones and not paying attention to their driving.

In other news on the home front, Ivy is sleeping a bit more during the day. The vet’s office told me it wasn’t unusual for an adult cat to sleep 18 hours a day. Wow.

She’s 10 months old now, so not fully grown. But I tell you when that cat is awake nothing escapes her.

With all the cats I’ve lived with, Ivy takes the cake on getting into things. By a mile. Anything that’s put in a different place, or has just been brought inside, she has to check out.

She likes to get on every surface, sniff what’s there, and if she can, carry it off. Usually she puts it in the bathtub for some strange reason..

Remember the red and white Buffalo check curtain tie back she found the first week she was here and took a liking to? She managed to find another one just like it in the closet somewhere last week when I had the door open. And it’s like her teddy bear or something.

I’ll pick it up and put it in her red tub of toys. And she will immediately take it out and carry it around. Ultimately it ends up in the bathtub for awhile. Until she decides to take it somewhere else.

This cat is a hoot. If she could she’d climb the walls and check out the ceiling, I’m convinced. She’s much like a toddler. You don’t dare leave anything they shouldn’t have in view because they will automatically zero in on it. Well, that’s Ivy.

But you know, in the five months she has been here, she has crept into my heart with her little padded feet and burrowed into place there. I call her my pretty little Ivy. She isn’t at all little, but she’s still my little girl.

And Charlie’s my little boy though he’s 12 years old. They’re my babies. Like any mother I would protect them no matter what. That’s just what mamas do.

I surely didn’t know what I was getting into with Ivy, but life is never boring.


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  1. I love the look of the new pieces and can’t wait to see them all in place in your home. The bluebonnets are growing like crazy in some places and sparsely in others. Hopefully, they will come all the way in before too long! I hate getting lost, it is so frustrating. I end up getting lost even when using my GPS sometimes…which is very frustrating! LOL Love and hugs!

  2. I love your new purchases and I’m so looking forward to seeing your patio in bloom again with all the beautiful Spring flowers. Charlie and Ivy are just too cute for words; I love that they can share a bed together. I’m having foot surgery tomorrow so I’ll catch up to your new posts while I convalesce at home next week.

    Happy Thursday!
    Carol and Molly

  3. Brenda, how nice you are able to buy some new things for your apartment. The table/desk and the cabinet are great-looking. I think they’ll fit right in with your other furnishings.

    Sorry you got lost, but it sounds like unless you’ve lived in that city all your life it would be hard not to get lost with the crazy street names changing all the time. I don’t have a very good sense of direction myself and am apt to get turned around easily. It is indeed frustrating and unnerving when that happens. Was Charlie upset with you gone so long? Hope not. The two of them look pretty compatible on their cushy bed in the above photo. Maybe with Ivy being a bit more “grown up” now she doesn’t annoy Charlie as much. Or, he’s just gotten used to her antics, too.

    The weather has become milder here over the past week to ten days. Rain today but I’m hoping it will dry out soon. I am anxious to start cleaning up outside and getting ready to plant. I am flying to visit friends in Arizona on April 2nd for ten days and hoping that by the time I get back I will be able to begin gardening. I’m also hoping that my back, which has been giving me fits, will be rested and less painful. It’s really been cramping my style, so to speak. Speaking of pain, how is your neck doing?

    I love the photo of the tree branch and the evergreen bush third from the top of your post. The muted colors and contrast between the tree and the bush and background are so nice. They are framed so well, too. Beautiful.

    That’s all for now. Hope your weekend is peaceful and relaxing. Pats for the fur babes and hugs for you.

  4. Our snow is melting and the grass is starting to green up,Hi Spring,welcome back:)
    That Ivy is a hoot,she’d be a good crime partner with my little Buddy,mischief is his middle name,and Bella is the opposite,totally chill.
    Nice furniture choices,you have wonderful taste!
    If you have a smartphone,you can look up directions although I find listening to them distracting…

  5. You would be so thrilled with this season’s bluebonnets here in the Texas Hill Country, Brenda. A bumper crop of them and Indian Paintbrushes in our area thanks to our wet Winter!!

  6. I have little to no sense of direction but with Google Maps on my phone, I can go anywhere. It is awesome! I learned my way around a totally new town and can even navigate the freeway system. So easy!

  7. Lots of changes happening in your cozy little house, Brenda! I love the dining room piece you posted about yesterday, I tried to leave a comment but my computer kept freezing up, ugghhh. Ivy’s too cute with her weird little things she gets attached to, and putting her toys in the bathtub and in the water dish!!

  8. Making a map before you leave or printing one may help. When you see a sign to where you are going move to that lane. If I want to drive slow I use the right lane because there are people driving in from one side. The middle lane is faster but it is confusing with traffic on both sides and changing lanes. The left lane is fast and for passing. I avoid that one. Driving in the right lane is best until you know the area. A taxi driver taught me how to drive in the city That way. Be safe.

  9. I like all your new furniture Brenda. It suits a “country girl.” Looks like it will make everything have a cohesive look. I am glad you are getting new things for yourself.
    I think I told you once that I had a Pathfinder with over 200, 000 miles on it and was over 20 years old. It ran fine but I needed a different car for transporting my handicapped clients.
    I too think you should Google for directions, on your cell phone if you can; it will tell you when to turn, etc.
    It’s exciting to have some green showing up in the garden!

  10. Ivy must really like some companionship to lay so closely to Charlie. Never saw that from my daughter’s last dog and cat. They tolerated each other…that was it.
    So sorry you got lost…that is an awful feeling!! Would a GPS help? We rather rely on them these days. Though if I have been someplace a time or 2, generally I can remember. But I am not so brave as you…you are still driving!!

  11. It is frustrating and scary to be lost. I still get lost when I go to my son’s occasionally. Do you know your directions? I learned how to tell directions when I was a young woman and we moved to Houston. I got lost there a lot, and finally I learned directions, and it has made driving so much easier.
    If you don’t know which way is which, before you go out, google a map with the directions printed on it in both written instruction and drawn on the map. Then, google a map of Tulsa and figure out NSEW and where you are on the map. Then when you’re out, you know which way things are from you.
    Here in Memphis, we know the river is west, Mississippi is South, Raleigh is North, and Nashville is East. That’s how I’ve tried to train my granddaughter so she doesn’t get lost. She can read a map, which is amazing for teenagers these days. Good luck with your travels.

  12. I really like the furniture pieces you found. I get lost also so I use a GPS and it has saved me many a time. Ivy and Charlie are quite the pair. I’m so glad you have them in your life.

  13. I am so happy you got those Survivor Benefits from your deceased husband. You can buy yourself some new things. My car is 16 years old with only 26,000 miles . We bought it new. And I am keeping it as long as I can My husband always had a company provided truck. So we used it. When my husband retired 3 years ago I bought him a big new truck. We needed it to drive back and forth to our son and daughter in laws house in Florida. I pay for it from my Social Security. We are going to pay it off this year. I hate having a vehicle payment. Here in Ohio we can’t plant until the first week of May.

  14. I love seeing Charlie and IVy snuggled up together. It’s like having a best friend nearby that you can call on any time you need to feel less alone. A warm body nearby can be so comforting sometime.

  15. I love long posts like this, and I really like the table/desk and cabinet. I have a cabinet like this and it is very handy. I actually chalk painted it and the metal on the front. It’s a muted green with a gray look. Sometimes I miss the metal look!

  16. Awww… I do love that galvanized look !!! Little Charlie and Ivy are adorable !! … I love how they are snuggling up on the same bed !!!!

  17. Hi Brenda,
    I am glad you finally found the pieces you wanted but sorry you got lost. I use GPS to go anywhere these days. Little Charlie and Ivy looks adorable laying next to each other.

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