My life is surrounded with people, animals, and plant life. My home is shelter to the wandering soul. “Happy is the house that shelters a friend”, Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted. Midnight, Celine, Joe, and Pennylane … all adopted because someone else could not care for them. Our furry critters are family. Our Midnight wandered the streets of town late evening on Friday. A construction or utility person must have left our gate open. Thank God for the internet, digital photos, good people, and prayers. A group of teenage boys watched him as he paced back and forth near a busy road, contacted one of their parents, and then brought Midnight to the shelter of their home. We were rejoined with our Labrador by early Saturday morning after a series of FB postings. Well-fed and watered, he rather enjoyed is overnight stay at his new friends’ home. The boys renamed him “Hercules”.
Saturday afternoon Dean and I prepared the garage for our potted plants to be brought inside. The first hard frost seems to be delayed, but may come this week. Geraniums, succulents, a lemon tree, bird-of-paradise, ferns, spider plants, and moses-in-the-cradle create a jungle our cats like to prowl in from time to time. Over the coldest months between November through March, my green friends are somewhat dormant under the high power plant lights, and most survive to be brought back outside with the warmer spring days. One green friend gets some special treatment going into 2017. My arrowhead plant grew lushly green and full over the summer. Sensitive to the cold air, the semi-heated garage may not stay warm enough for it to maintain its brilliant green foliage. The arrowhead plant is sheltered near the mantel next to my palm until our room addition is completed.
I have the craziest allergy that makes winter quite the challenge. I am allergic to the cold. Cold air, cold water … It makes the winter feel like colder than cold. I wear my “Ivana hat” (see my previous post “Winter’s Chill” about this), gloves, scarf, tights or pantyhose under my slacks or jeans, socks, boots, and layered coats. I need a ski mask to completely cover my face, just holes for my eyes and nostrils. I have been itching all day and puffy with hives this cold Monday. Construction is underway in my work building, so heat is limited. Space heaters have been provided, but the radiator heat is much more efficient. Benadryl makes me wiry and irritable, so I limit its usage to more severe swelling. And an epie pin is kept in an emergency bag in our 18-passenger van or with me when I go swimming or camping just in case. Yes, I have the angiodema as well as the hives, swelling from the inside out. The weather changed again on Saturday. I loved the sunshine and 60 degree temperatures all day Friday and Saturday morning, and then it turned on us late afternoon on Saturday. Ice and snow, and those wind chills! Yes, it is January in Missouri, but love those thawing days. Saturday morning Dean worked on the screen for the back side of the greenhouse and the back door header. And I put my seamstress skills into use by tacking nails in between Dean’s original nailing to make such a neat pattern like the brass studded french seam of a denim jacket or a pair of cowboy/cowgirl jeans. Have to make the plastic liner more secure, yet fashionable, don’t you think?! Only a woman’s touch! While we are preparing the outer wear for our plants, they are currently housed in two semi-heated, artificially lit 2-car garages. The warm comfort of their heated greenhouse is long gone, though spring is about 2 months away. The perennials are green, yet somewhat dormant. Trimming and propagating will take place in 4 weeks. Bed designs are being decided along with seeds being ordered this week for the herbs and veggies. In about 4 -6 weeks we will be sowing. Dormancy fools you. While we think nothing is going on; really, life is continuing and a blossom and fruit will appear soon enough.