Springtime Things


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(I haven’t written one of my random, all over the place posts in a long time, so I think that is exactly what I’m going to do today.)

-First, before I forget.  I keep meaning to mention that I am attending the Edel Gathering this year with a friend.  This is sort of an outside my comfort zone thing to do because I’m mostly an introvert and don’t really do parties unless I know everyone there.  Despite my introverted nature, I do have decent social skills (though I have a tendency to laugh a little too loudly sometimes), and I think I can manage to have a good time and not do anything weird like hiding in the corner with my knitting, or dressing in all black and pretending to be the event photographer.  Okay, actually no promises on not having my knitting and my camera, but I probably won’t dress in all black.  Are any of you going?  I’m really looking forward to it!

-Job and that Sharpie mustache!  Evidently he sat very still and cooperated while Keats drew it.  My first reaction was an overly dramatic, “Why!?”  I shared the photos last week on Instagram, but they need a home here as well.  A friend recommended coconut oil for removal of the permanent marker, and that mostly did the trick.

-Did you notice that the snake warning system is in effect at the beginning of this post?  Beatrix and her friend Nora insisted on having their photo taken with a corn snake at our local Earth Day festival last weekend.  I spared you all the one of Bea kissing the snake.

-I’m also sparing you from an entire post devoted to violets.  Our property is covered with them and they are blooming like crazy right now.  I love them.

-Yesterday I put in a long day in the garden.  My garden plans are finally coming together and I am wondering whether or not I might actually stay on top of things this year.  (There’s a first time for everything!)  Jonny built one of the gate arbors that he has been meaning to for a couple years now, and is promising to get the second one built soon.  (His collarbone is much better!)  We’ve already planted kiwi vines next to both.  I hope they survive.

-My kids have been playing an awful lot of Bird Bingo lately.  In fact, they’ve spent a lot of time playing every since they got it for Christmas.  I love games with staying power, an educational aspect, and the ability to be enjoyed by a wide range of ages.  Everyone but Job can play.  I just noticed that there is a Bug Bingo game as well!  Next Christmas…

-Finally, are any of you watching season four of Call the Midwife?  Jonny and I watch it on the PBS website.  We only watch a handful of shows throughout the year, and this really is the best one.  A friend told me once that she couldn’t knit while watching because her stitches would end up being too tight!  I find that for me, watching it while pregnant isn’t a good idea, but when I’m not, it pairs perfectly with knitting.  And salted caramel ice cream (Turkey Hill All Natural, in case you want some).  Though not anymore.  I’m giving it up.  Funny thing, it was my midwife who got me hooked on it to begin with….



  1. Love love love Call the midwife. I’m not good at figuring out gifts but I nailed it on the head when I bought the first and second seasons for my mother. It’s a show that I could watch every single day if allowed. Are there any other shows you enjoy? I keep trying other PBS shows but can’t seem to ” click”.

  2. I LOVE Call the Midwife, watching it on a channel out of Detroit, even though I live in Canada. I read the book years ago.

  3. Ginny, is that a Sweet Betsy bush? My grandmother used to have one in her backyard. It smelled just like sweet apples when it bloomed!

    • Yes, I just looked it up and I think so, though I haven’t heard it called by that name before! It’s Calycanthus floridus, also known as a long list of common names! It’s one of my very favorites and smelled wonderful until my goats ate most of it!

  4. Thank you so much for the asterisk! So thoughtful of you.

  5. Dear Ginny, as always, I love all your pictures. But someone is missing :)) in the green grass. I want to see him :)) please!
    thank you so much!

  6. I love the random posts too and your pictures are always so beautiful. I have a decent camera, but I never know where it is. I end up with phone pics or nothing at all.

    Quick question- Where do you get the bands for your weaving loom? My daughter was given a loom kit as a gift, and we haven’t been able to find more bands since she used up all the ones that came in the kit.

  7. Lovely photos and words! Could you tell me the name of the bush in photo #19 (the one below the cat photo)? My parents used to have one of those bushes, and I can’t remember the name–only that it had a nice scent. Thank you!

    • The latin name is Calycanthus floridus and it is known by lots of common names including sweetshrub and carolina allspice. It smells so good!

      • Thank you! I’ll be looking for it at plant sales.

      • I was going to ask that too. My grandfather is 88 and tells of his mother pulling the blooms in the pocket of her dress instead of cologne. My neighbor actually has some growing on our fence line and I love to go smell of it and think of the memories it evokes for him.

  8. mary aldrich says:

    What do you have growing in your garden beds now…the yellow flowers? Is it something to till back into the ground?

    I tried buckwheat at the end of last summer but I waited to long to plant it and it never got going – will try again this year.



    • I mixed turnips with my crimson clover last fall, and that is what is blooming yellow now. I’m not sure that there was much purpose, though I am loving the flowers and so are the bees. I had this vision of us eating turnips all winter, but that didn’t materialize. I’m mostly tugging it up now and composting it. I do a lot of buckwheat throughout the summer. It goes to seed pretty quickly and is also loved by bees!

  9. How have I never heard of Bird Bingo before?!! I’m putting it at the top of my birthday wish list!

  10. I always find myself ‘pushing’ with the laboring moms on Call the Midwife. I also did so when I was my daughter’s labor coach and she pushed for 2 hours with her first one. This results in a very sore tummy by the time it is all over. I can’t seem to not get so involved but love watching anyway.

  11. Sounds like a wonderful weekend away. Charleston is a beautiful city. Love walking the waterfront, past the beautiful mansions. Every home makes a statement with their iron gates and fences and the flowers! So do you have to be Catholic to attend this event?

  12. I totally missed the snake warning system.
    Eesh!! That Bea…she’s a brave one!!
    And the Edel Gathering sounds amazing. I’m not catholic, but it looks like it will be a really fun time. I’m introverted, too, but I think I read something about them making time for wine and even a hot bath should you so choose.
    Yes. I could endure a crowd if it meant wine and later a relaxing bath. 🙂

  13. Boy, that Edel Gathering would be way out of my comfort zone. My husband jokes that I obviously didn’t have a vocation to the religious life because I prefer hanging out with men and living with a bunch of women would have driven me crazy! The upside is I understand my husband and sons well; the downside is I don’t relate as well to my daughters. I was once told by a former boyfriend that I think like a man. I’m still not sure if that was a compliment or not (which is perhaps why we broke up).

    My youngest son decorates his face frequently with markers when he dresses up. Before he starts, he always anxiously asks, “Are these non-permanent markers?” (even though the only ones available to him are always washable). I think the word “permanent” scares him! Diluted tea tree oil works great at removing all kinds of stains.

  14. I agree your blog is the best one out there. Love it always.
    I also love Call the Midwife. Can’t wait to see season 4!!

  15. Thanks for letting me know about your camera. Much appreciated info. I have had a Pentax and a Canon.

  16. In school I often laughed at a joke the teacher or someone said, only to not realize just how loud my laugh would come out, and then have everyone stare at me! I guess I’m a loud laugher. So I can completely relate to that. 🙂

    Bird Bingo sounds wonderful! I put that on our wishlist. 🙂 And the bug one too!

  17. Hi, Ginny! Just wanted to thank you for the hint about Bird Bingo. I ordered it for my Mother’s assisted living center. They get so tired of regular bingo but look forward to new games. Thanks, again!

  18. Have read the books of Call the Midwife but haven’t seen the movies. Another couple of books I’ve read since that I feel ‘tie in’ as in midwives and then nannies in Britain is A Spoonful of Sugar by Brenda Ashford and her sequel. Nanny Brenda wrote these books when she was 92!!! and she was a nanny in Britain from just before WW2 for 62 years!!! Just love what she has to say,
    “I have puzzled many times over the ingredients for the perfect recipe for a happy home. It needs to be a place with parents who worship their children. Throw in some stability, a dash of routine and respect. Sprinkle with some fun and imaginative games and stir well.

    A vital ingredient in this recipe, I have concluded is the mothers. As long as the mother is happy the household will be happy. That was where I came in. I would go into the home prepared to do anything that a mother would do, be that the night feeds, housework, winding a fussy baby, or taking baby out so mother could sleep. By supporting the mother through smiles, gentle encouragement and hard work, she’d be up and about and on her feet in no time.

    The thrill of seeing a happy mother and in turn a happy, warm household was beyond measure. “

  19. As much as I miss Silas’ curls, he really is a little boy now, isn’t he? And growing every picture! Miss Bea and her wild girl ways–I am not a fan of snakes–but know that corn snakes are not poisonous and would love to see the snake kissing picture sometime.

    Keats looks to have the signs of being an excellent cartoonist–it was an excellent mustache and beard. You can’t get too angry 😀

    Hugs to you all. Has baseball started yet?

    • I feel the same way about his curls. And, yes! We’re two tournaments into the season, and it’s going to be a long one. Cooperstown isn’t until end of August!

  20. I enjoy your blog so much – thank you! Your photos capture so much beauty. There really isn’t another blog like yours. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I love your blog, it’s one of my favorites. However, you need BIGGER ASTERISKS!!! I nearly had a heart attack 😉 I forgive you though because now I’m going to watch Call the Midwife since I didn’t know season 4 was out 🙂

    • Oh no! I did wonder if they might be missed. Sorry! And season four is soooo good. We watched episode four last night and it was my favorite so far. I don’t think you’ll regret forgiving me. 🙂

  22. SO glad Jonny’s collarbone is mostly better! LOVE the violets! And the spring photos. Blessings to you and yours.

  23. Thank you so much for the spring photos! We have snow up here in NY so it’s great to see blooming things, even if it’s just on a computer screen.

    I would LOVE to go to Edel but won’t be able to this year. I’m hoping maybe next year. I sure hope you take your camera and take lots of photos so that we can experience it through your wonderful blog! (but if you get caught up in the fun and don’t get many pictures, that will also be wonderful because we’ll all just be so happy you had such a great time!)

    I just started watching Call the Midwife a month ago (we got caught up through Netflix) but decided I need to wait to watch the rest of season 4 until I have this baby in about 20 weeks or so. Once this baby is safely in my arms then I’ll excitedly finish the rest of this season. 🙂

  24. I’m just at the end of Season 3, so excited that season 4 is available on PBS. Thanks for the tip on the coconut oil too, tomorrow is mustache day – and while I’ve tucked away all the sharpies – someone always finds one.
    Your gardens are beautiful!

  25. I think Call the Midwife is the best show on TV, period. Also, if you haven’t read the books they are phenomenal. A great peek into the late ’40’s to early ’60’s London. I recommend them to everyone who loves to read.

    • I read the first one. Should I read the others?

      • I thought the second one was the best of the 3. I don’t think I really understood what the workhouse was, and the book is tragic and beautiful in its description of the conditions people faced there. I would highly recommend reading the remaining two!

  26. Oh that ice cream sounds amazing …

    If I were going to Edel, I would totally bring my knitting. 🙂

  27. Wow, I LOVE corn snakes, me and my sister haven’t persuaded our mum to let us have one …yet. The moustache is great, though sharpie is a job to get off. (I speak from experience.) The violets are lovely, we only have bluebells and some daffodils in our garden…

  28. Oh the sharpie mustaches! I remember a time when my kids always walked around looking like they hit puberty at age 3. I guess it is considered a right of passage!

  29. My three year old has been know to sharpie her lips perfectly with a sharpie (non permanent)She usually chooses black which is unfortunate!

  30. Try a little bit of rubbing alcohol to help remove the sharpie mustache. I was a teacher for many years, and this would usually work. I so enjoy your blog!

  31. I love your picture of reading the book with an apple! And Job looks quite dashing with his mustache!

  32. MotherOwl says:

    Love this post, and your snake warning ssytem. I love snake photos, so I use it opposite as it’s meant quiclky scrolling down to get my snake fix, then leisurely enjoying the rest of the photos afterwards.
    Violets are lovely. I also contemplated a post on them, we have white vioets – a self-contradidictory term – as well.
    Garden plans are wonderful, your garden is always at it’s best in may in your head 🙂
    Good that the collarbone is better.
    God bless you all

  33. Ha! I watched season 3 while pregnant, and no it wasn’t a good idea! Though I do love the show. Thanks for the link, I didn’t know season 4 existed!

  34. I think random posts are the best kind, personally. I love seeing snippets of someone else’s daily life. I’m nosy, what can I say? 🙂 I’m watching Call the Midwife. It’s such a good, well-written and well-acted show. I do have to say that I’m glad they’ve had less preeclampsia in recent seasons. As a two-time survivor, I was finding it hard to watch. I couldn’t really see the entertainment in it. But maybe it’s a comment on the changing times and the growing ability to diagnose it earlier. Otherwise, it’s a beautiful show and I’ve been hooked since the first episode!

    • I’m nosy too!! Also, I felt the same way about shoulder dystocia last season! The first episode we watched after Job was born (with severe shoulder dystocia–very traumatic) there was a shoulder dystocia birth. I sobbed.

  35. fun! all the best at the E….
    love these pictures!
    great about the game!
    love flowers… and your garden, and goats…
    glad Johnny is a lot better!
    yay for IG! (I just added you!) I am new to IG and am loving it!
    God bless you and your family this day!!

  36. Holly LaRue says:

    Call the Midwife… watched the whole series on Netflix in a week! LOVE IT!!!

  37. Your violets are beautiful!! I only have potted ones in my kitchen window. I love Call the Midwife. I find myself too engrossed in the show to knit (I still look at my stitches, can’t seem to do it well if I’m not looking).

    And the mustache is hilarious! My 5-yr-old was given a unibrow by her older brother as his April Fool’s prank. It wasn’t Sharpie, but shaving cream really helped to take it off. 🙂

  38. Oh please! Bring on the violets!

  39. I have been meaning ask you….what camera do you use. I have been wanting to get a decent camera above a point and shoot. I once did a lot of photography way before digital and would like to get back into it. Your photos are beautiful. Up here in CT it is still cold…30’s at night….Virginia looks so beautiful.

  40. we love call the midwife, my husband does some sort of grimacing during the show, I find that funny. I’m patiently waiting for the violets to bloom here in PA. Soon I hope 🙂 Have a lovely Thursday Ginny.

    • That is funny! Jonny is totally fine with the show. I’m the one flinching and squeezing my legs together. 🙂 I bet your violets will start blooming just as mine finish!

  41. Gwendolyn says:

    Love the garden, and yes I noticed the warning sign after I was scrolling down. Thank goodness nobody was around when I gasped. I’m so glad the kids aren’t afraid of snakes. I wish I wasn’t. Beatrix is starting to do the hotpads as well? Maybe I missed that earlier, but I thought Larkspur only worked on them. She’s doing a great job! My husband and I watch Call the Midwife as well…and have you caught the Mr. Selfridge series? That’s a good one as well. I can’t wait to see how you are doing on your Sweetiepie ABC’s sampler. I received mine this week, but haven’t started it yet…I’m too busy trying to keep up with you on your shawl. ha ha! Sounds like my daughter and her 2, 4, 5 year olds will be staying with us for a time so I definitely decided to get our gardens ready. It’s the perfect thing to do with little children. Ginny, enjoy the rest of your week!

    • Yes, Beatrix is making them now! I didn’t realize she could do it on her own until last week. And that shawl! I am having a hard time making the time to work on it and my sister’s baby is threatening to come early! I’ll never finish in time.

  42. Megan Wahl says:

    i would enjoy the post on violets!! 🙂

  43. I don’t mind oodles of posts on Violets! Our eldest is named the same.
    Love the arbor. My hubby plans the same for the top of a rock garden this year. We awoke to some big snowflakes falling so we’re halted on spring projects with this burst of cold air. So we live hoping by looking at yours.

  44. Call the Midwife is my favorite show!!!! and I knit while watching it, although not something terribly complicated.

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