I got the first dose of my Covid vaccine yesterday. This is so exciting. It’s the first step toward freedom! I have to wait a month for the second dose and then two weeks more for full immunity, but the process has begun. We won’t return to life as we knew it before any time soon, but will feel safer going in some places while wearing masks and adding a few activities back into our lives.
The act of getting vaccinated seems so simple, but it has momentous results, for us and for our country. Things that we took for granted pre-Covid will be special treats now. For me, going to the library is one thing I am looking forward to.
If you had told me last March that a year later, we would still be isolating and wearing masks, I would have been hard pressed to believe it. Yet, here we are. It was actually a blessing that we didn’t have the foresight to know this would still be going on. I don’t think I could have done it, if I had known at the outset, just how long this would last. I would have been lost in despair. But we did do it. All of us. We have survived.
I can’t imagine forgetting this feeling and enjoying so many freedoms without appreciation again. Time will tell. It’s easy to think that you will never forget while in the moment. But life has a way of moving on and dulling memories.
Knowing that I am going through the vaccination process, changes my outlook and gives me new hope. It renews my appreciation of life in so many ways. I came home from getting my shot and it was nearly 70 degrees outside in mid-March. I took some time to sit outdoors on the steps by the side door to read the current issue of Yankee magazine and enjoy the weather. (I couldn’t sit on the patio because Zekie was in the pasture and that would have put me out of his sight kicking in his separation anxiety. Much barking would have ensued.)
While I was sitting there I noticed so much life. The spring peepers were singing on our neighbors pond. I love the sound of the peepers. I could listen to them all year. They are the sound of the spring thaw and a return to the growing season to me. Soon there will be daffodils, followed by budding trees. I heard birds chirping all around me. One was even rustling in the rhododendron next to me. Or it could have been a resident chipmunk.
I imagine I will forever tie the memory of my first Covid shot with signs of spring. In our state of Ohio, every adult is eligible to receive the vaccine starting on March 29, so I am not in an elite group and any can join me on this journey. I hope it means as much to you as it does to me.
It was nice enough to sit on the patio this weekend. It was enjoyable to sit and appreciate all the hostas and other plants that we moved into last year’s new raised beds. In fact, after a long winter and disappointing spring, we are enjoying many plants.
New growth is everywhere at this time of year. On a walk through our little township park, we saw many May apples. They remind me of little parasols.
The last of the viburnum blossoms overlapped with the first lilacs of spring.
And the large scarlet azalea is once again a showstopper.
The weather was sunny and relatively warm, so we got back to gardening and working outside today.
I transplanted blue flag irises, Solomon’s seal, a fern, and a columbine into our new raised beds. I also dig up narcissus bulbs that had multiplied so much that they didn’t bloom anymore from being so crowded, and planted them in various locations.
Then I sat on the patio and read, followed by a walk around the yard. The photos above are of my plum tree in bloom. We have yet to eat any plums from it. Despite being covered in blooms, it only yields two or three plums and the birds beat us to those.
The row of serviceberries is blooming too.
The redbuds are nearly ready to burst forth with their glorious pinky-purple blooms.
The hostas are well on their way for the season.
Even the oriental lilies are off to a good start.
I like to get lots of gardening done early in the season. It really seems to pay off. The weeds are still small and the garden is damp and soft so they come loose with an easy tug. And any plants that are moved when small, grow to be enjoyed later in the summer. Plus, it is not hot yet!
Shelby had her annual health check at the vet’s yesterday. She received her booster shots. Her fecal check was negative. Her heartworm check was negative.
And the portion of the test for Lyme disease was only faintly positive. This was a relief to me as it was strongly positive the past couple of years and she had a flare up the first year she had it that required a second round of antibiotics.
So, just a reminder that tick season will be right around the corner. (Ticks can transmit Lyme disease.) Stock up on those preventatives. You may want to do some research first, or ask your vet to recommend a preventative. Ticks have shown resistance to some of the products that I have used. I understand that fleas can also develop resistance to certain products. Be prepared!
Early spring always calls for a walk around our property to look for signs of life. And it is so exciting when you find some. It means winter is on its way out. And while I like winter, there is a time for everything and this is the time for gardens and warmer days. Above is the lungwort nestled amongst the vinca vine. It is a native perennial. You can identify even without the flower, by its mottled leaves.
These are the only trilliums we have. Trillium were once endangered in Ohio. They do not like to be disturbed so I have never moved them. They are also nestled amongst the vinca vine. The lungwort and trillium like to grow in shade. They reside in our pine grove under the tall trees.
Pale pink blossoms belong to the viburnum. The bush and its flowers are not particularly showy but the smell is amazing. Worth growing for the fragrance alone.
This is the beginnings of flowering on our red bud trees. I was not familiar with them before we bought these from the county extension office but I am a big fan.
These trees are also from the county extension office. They are river birches. It amazing what you can grow from sticks not even as big around as a pencil.
We have many plants from the extension office because we like the try new things. Their offerings are selected to do well in our area. We have several of these bushes from one such experiment. They are plum bushes that grow little football shaped plums. So far the bushes have only produced a few fruits and the birds enjoyed those before we had the chance.
Onward spring! I look forward to many more blooms.
We have many daffodils, and soon narcissis too. This is just a small fraction of the daffodils we have blooming today and they are just getting started. Many more to come.
This lady vase is special. She was given to me by a friend and former co-worker. The vase belonged to her parents and she chose to share it with me! I reserve the Lady Vase mostly for spring flowers which are special after a long winter. I keep the vase up on our living room mantel so it is safe.
This is why. Kitties love biting and batting flowers around. And I cannot be around 24 hours a day. So up out of harm’s way she goes.
May you have spring flowers to enjoy and friends to share them with!
This is what dogs do on a sunny spring day! It’s still only 42 degrees but the sun made it feel a little warmer. The sheltie girls, Shelby and Nikki, supervised from the sidelines. Shelby takes her job seriously and barks and chases the others for a short distance telling them to get it right. Nikki just sleeps.
All four of the dogs pictured above have been known to catch the frisbee, but mostly it’s Paisley and Baxter, each getting it about 50% of the time. They catch it and bring it back, over and over. Paisley is a tough little girl. She got rolled in the mud yesterday but still keeps trying for the frisbee every time. She weighs only 22 lbs. to Baxter’s 62, but she’s fast and agile. She’s also two years old to Baxter’s ten.
Here is what the dogs look like in action. You can even see Shelby playing referee from the sidelines. Their just happy to spend more time outside again.