Room With A View

A Room With A View:

Below is the view I have from the couch. I can’t see much out the front window because the shrubs are always too tall. But there’s not much out front to see aside from the maintenance shed anyway.

So I am so happy to have this view out back.

patio view

Passion Vine Dilemma:

My passion vine has pretty much dried up in the heat. Odd too, because it is surrounded by big clumps of white alyssum. So I’ve cut it way back and we’ll see what happens.

I’ve read that passion vine can become invasive. I guess it hasn’t met our brand of heat.

Baby Sedum Autumn Joy:

sedum autumn joy

After I moved the sedum autumn joy out of the clematis pot and put it in its own big pot, this smaller one sprung up.

Last week when it got to about the size you see above, I repotted it in its own pot.


Kitchen Counter Top Fix:

The other day I was looking at my kitchen counter tops with frustration. I’ve been trying to declutter this area lately.

So I thought: Why don’t I just put things like my protein powders and sugar and such in the refrigerator?

And so I did. That cleared things off the counter pretty quick. I wondered why I hadn’t thought of this before.

Then I was talking on the phone to my sister in Texas, and she said she did the same thing. We’ve never even met, but we are a lot alike.

red flower

Words Of Healing & Loss From February:

February 1:

“I will take a small step – just one. In my mind’s eye, perhaps I can see my loved one nodding in encouragement – ‘Yes. Go on. You can. I am with you.”

February 5:

“The attempt to “be brave,” to “keep a stiff upper lip” and otherwise be controlled and poised in the face of grief, is a false god. How are we supposed to feel when our heart is broken?

“And yet we continue to extol those who do not show their grief in public, who receive condolences as though the occasion were a pleasant Sunday afternoon exchange.

“She was so brave. I was proud of her. She didn’t break down, not once,” we hear people say.

“For whose benefit is this ironclad hold on the emotions? For the griever’s sake? For the sake of the consolers, who may be fearful of being swept up into the grief, unsure of how they will handle it when their time comes?

“A friend said: “If someone cries in front of me, I consider it a gift,'”

February 16:

“I don’t need everyone else to be sucked into my grief, as long as I can claim my own space for grieving.”

February 19:

“With the help of these and other commonplace objects – with the help of the two big elm trees that shaded the house from the heat of the sun, and the trumpet vine by the back door, and the white lilac bush by the dining room window, and the comfortable wicker porch furniture and the porch swing, that contributed its creak…creak…to the sounds of the summer night – I got from one day to the next.” – William Maxwell

February 21:

“I’m for whatever gets you through the night.” – Frank Sinatra

February 24:

“Of course time eases our grief, provided we let it follow its course and give it its due. Few of us would want the intensity and desolation of early grief to stay with us forever. That’s not what we’re afraid of.

“But we may be afraid that we’ll lost the intensity of love we felt for the one we have lost.

“At first these two – the grief and the loss – are so wedded to each other that we cannot separate them. We may cling to the grief in desperation so we will be sure not to lose the love.

“Perhaps the grief and the love will always be wedded to each other to some degree, like two sides of a coin. But maybe after a while, when we flip the coin, it will almost always be the love that turns up on top.”

February 27:

“I will see the shadows of grief everywhere. And move on.”




  1. I like that you are signing your blog “Brenda and Charlie” these days. I’m glad you still have him. I keep looking at all the ads for dogs in the paper. This week’s Sunday paper had an ad for Standard Poodle puppies. That was enticing. But most of the dogs are too expensive for me and I really strongly believe in only adopting rescue animals. But, for now, no more dogs for me. Hard to accept.

    The view on your patio is scrumptious, Brenda. My deck hasn’t come anywhere near that beautiful. Guess I just need to keep working on it and making plans for next year. Even my morning glories are slow to climb the deck spindles. Come to think of it, I haven’t been watering them very much. Ha! That could be the problem!

    Hope your Fourth is peaceful. I ‘m already hearing noise from fireworks. I’m not gung-ho about celebrating the Fourth, actually. Take care.

  2. You can never show too many pictures of your patio or your house! I love to see what latest thing you have done. You are a great inspiration to me, and I have copied many of your ideas. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  3. I used some Sedum Autumn Joy in a couple of small whiskey barrels this spring – I’m hoping they come back every year. I also used Allium in one metal pot that’s kind of stuck into the ground in the perennial bed…it’s just starting to get buds and I can’t wait to see what kind of flowers it has. Praying that one comes back also! It’s tough with our cold winters to keep perennials alive in pots, which is a shame. Your view is lovely, you have really turned it into something you should be proud of.

  4. Your patio view is beautiful. Our back yard was all small gravel stones with no vegetation when we moved in 4 years ago and we have slowly dug out the gravel, planted just a very small patch of grass and filled the area with lots of tropical plants and potted shrubs/flowers. It is so nice now to sit outside in the back especially since we put up the bird feeders and the bird bath. Nature has its way of calming the spirit and providing its own entertainment. Just keeping my fingers crossed here in north Florida that this hurricane season is kind to us.

    Cannot wait to read your review of this book. I have read quite a few of her books.

    1. Did you place your potted plants on the gravel or do away with it all? I probably would have sunk the pots down in the dirt a bit and surrounded the plant with gravel. But since you’re in Florida, you don’t have to worry about freezes killing plants I suppose. I finished the book last night.

    2. Karen White is a wonderful author. I read every new book she comes out with and now I’m reading a paperback by Kimberly Belle called “The Marriage Lie” about a man who fakes his death. I can hardly put it down! lol

  5. There is the Gieko commercial on tv where people become their parents with actions and words but I have become my grandmother with watching the birds! She would sit for hours on her back rickety porch in an aluminum lawn chair and just watch them flutter around her flower beds in her small back yard. I remember sitting with her and wondering why she did that and now I know. It’s relaxing. Right now they aren’t flocking to the feeder as much I bought this year cause of berries and green stuff they look for as they fly around but it makes me incredibly happy to watch them from my sunroom windows. When she grew older and lost her pets, I would hear her talk to those little birds while they ate. I am proud to have that legacy to honor now not even realizing I was becoming her.

    1. I know the commercial you mentioned. I watch it and think: So what? They’re becoming like their parents. Comes with maturity. Not a bad thing I don’t think. I’m so glad you have these memories. So sweet to read them. I have always loved birds. Since my thirties I’ve been closely watching them.

  6. Your beautiful pictures of your beautiful plants and flowers are my “ view “ of nature, and I am grateful every time you share them.

    1. Sometimes I worry that I show too many photos of my patio space. I’m so glad you enjoy them.

  7. Your view is beautiful! I love hearing about your plants and your experiences becauseI do not have a green thumb at all and mainly stick to things I have planted in the past. Now I feel as if next year thanks to you I can branch out.

    Have a great night Brenda and Charlie.

    1. Well, Carol and Molly, I have the back of the strip mall I see whenever I go outside. It’s tall and I can’t hide it. So I just ignore it. Make your view what you can and what you want to see.

  8. Hi Brenda. I love sedum Autumn Joy. I once had some at a house long ago, then moved several times and went for years without it. I got some last year from a relative who really isn’t all that interested in plants and urged me to take some. I was so excited to get a clump of it again. I like the structure of the plant, and the rusty color of the blooms in the fall. Glad you have some to enjoy.

    I appreciate the words of healing and loss you’ve been sharing. There’s always something good to meditate upon.

    1. Reading and writing those words helps me. I enjoy reading other people’s take on loss. Because everyone has a different perspective.

  9. You were the one who said years ago that one should always have a pretty view out your windows – and that if you didn’t, to think of ways to make the view pretty. I was always discouraged by the view out our bedroom window…

    When we moved into this house 28 years ago, we had no next door neighbors, nor any neighbors behind us. We had a view of open land and woods out our bedroom window. So many times, deer would come out of the woods and be grazing in the open land next to our house. Fast-foward to now and we have nothing but houses on top of us and behind us, as well as all different types and heights or privacy fences. It’s so ugly and rather depressing. I remembered your words. I had Brian dig out a row of ground right in front of our neighbor’s ugly, weathered privacy fence that is our current view out our bedroom window. We then planted clematis, a peony bush and tomato plants. I also have two pots of cosmos on the tree stump by the fence. So now when I look out my bedroom window, I have a beautiful view! At least in the warm months. Still thinking about what I can do in the cold months.

    1. Good for you! I say always control what you can. Let the rest go. I have that ugly back of the strip mall. I just ignore it.

Comments are closed.