A moment to acknowledge that ‘this’ is tough

Hi there! You are very welcome to my blog. I did not intend to skip a few weeks. I thought I was doing well and handling O.K., the news that Covid-19 was still in full control of our lives. But I guess that wasn’t truly the case, and I needed time to re-adjust. I have found ‘this’, the whole situation around Covid-19, to be tough. I have tried to not beat myself up about being a bit down and not getting everything on my ‘to do’ list done. I am actually getting through everything on the list, just at a much, much slower pace. Even with this post, I thought it better to talk about what is really on my mind than force a gardening topic.

So, have you hit a bit of a wall like me? Are you having a hard time with these long term restrictions? Please don’t get me wrong; I understand why we have the restrictions and I have no intention of breaking those restrictions. But it is much harder, mentally, to adjust to continue on this way well into 2021. Mainly, it is the fact that I can’t travel to visit my family in the States. That’s very frustrating. I am still quite thankful that my family here are all together and everyone is doing well. I think everyone is looking forward to real live people contact again, whenever that will take place.

Thankfully, my book club is meeting again, albeit on Zoom, and the timing could not have been better. Our meeting fell just as we were realizing that this latest set of restrictions were going to last much longer than first anticipated. Our get together was just what we needed in these tumultuous times! We are all so different and it is simply wonderful to chat and get everyone’s perspective and of course to enjoy that feeling of community. Despite living within three miles of each other, we haven’t seen each other for ages! (Where the crawdads sing, by Delia Owens, which I loved, was the book we read this month.) That Zoom call really helped to lift my spirits.

Another ‘lockdown’ activity that I recently started participating in is an ‘Instagram live’ gardening program with two Irish gardening experts. It is called Garden Conversations with Diarmuid Gavin and Paul T Smyth. Their current ‘course’ started last week and runs Monday through Friday at 7 PM for an hour every week and it really is a bit of ‘craic’ – as the Irish say (it is a bit of fun). They started doing it way back in March, but I’ve only learned of it recently. It is a wonderful distraction! They talk about different gardening topics and answer questions from us. They’ve covered soil composition, trees, pruning, aspect, and they’ve talked about garden design. It is great to pick up bits and pieces of interesting information in a fun atmosphere – there is a lot of banter between them. This is definitely not a classroom setting type of course! It is a great service that they are providing to the gardening community. πŸ™‚

One thing I learned on Diarmuid and Paul’s program is that when the ground is as wet as it is now – and boy have we had lots of rain (if it squishes when you walk on it – and the mud sticks to your boots when you walk in it), it is best to not work in the garden as you’ll do more harm than good. There is always plenty of planning to do for the garden, anyway. This is a great time for me to focus on garden design!

I hope you have been taking care of yourself, too. It’s gonna be a long haul. Good thing we’re in it together!

Stay healthy and safe.

In Peace,
Dana

Sunny Frosty DAY view of playhouse

We’ve had plenty of hard frosts so far this winter (more than usual). It turns the grass white – and produces a substantial ‘crunch’ sound when walked on it!

Snowdrops mid January

Life continues on in the garden! The Snowdrops have pushed through the soil and are blooming!

Frilly Isabelle hellebore January

Not all of my hellebore plants are blooming just yet. But this Frilly Isabelle is. I have to say that this plant had more flowers on it at this stage last year. We have had a very wet time of late, though, which I am going to blame!

ornamental grass frosty morning blue sky

I do like ornamental grass, no matter what the color! Better still when the backdrop is a beautiful blue sky.

Primroses

I have used some floral therapy recently. Small purchases of flowers which always brighten my spirits! Aren’t these primroses lovely?

Primroses in snow

And they don’t mind the snow!

birch trees sunny frosty Jan morning

I am so delighted with my new birch trees! This sunlight is mid morning as it comes around the back of the house.

Afternoon sunlight on playhouse January

Like so many people, I’m working from home. So I make sure to go outside a couple of times a day, even if for just a few minutes. I especially like taking pictures when the sky is blue! This is late afternoon.

fluffy chicken bums in snow

This is what my girls show me when I ask to take their picture… They sure have fluffy bums!

chickens-in-snow-1

The girls are fine in the cold. The snow usually melts before the end of the day. I give them more pellets to eat now, too. The rain is more of a hassle than the cold!

open field with blue sky

I try and go for a short walk in the afternoons. It is terrible how sedentary I’ve become since working from home! I am now much more aware and make an effort to get up and move every day! This picture of one of the fields I pass just reminds me of the ‘pick me up’ I got from my blue sky walk!

Lidl roses on desk

Here is another example of my floral therapy! For just eight euros I bought these two dozen roses from Lidl! They are sitting right in front of me on my desk and without a doubt they make me happy! I possibly could have gotten away with just getting 12 for four euro (but I’m so glad I went for 24!).

Winter scene of playhouse blue sky mid January

My favorite scene to photograph right now is our playhouse! This was still early morning sunshine, as there is still frost on the playhouse roof. I’m so thankful for the days that have the sun and blue sky combination!

It really is the little things that bring us joy.

Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to say hello! I’d love to hear from you πŸ™‚

Take care!

12 thoughts on “A moment to acknowledge that ‘this’ is tough

  1. πŸ˜‰ times are hard for some, I am still on the computers 12+hrs a day sometimes and folks don’t even need a mask on the .www (internet π”Έπ•Ÿπ•₯π•šπ•§π•šπ•£π•¦π•€ protection is recommended)

  2. Yes, I am feeling much the same as you with these Covid restrictions. We, just the two of us, have stayed more or less at home since last March. During summer we did walk a lot and are fortunate to have a very convenient walkway very close to us, literally within walking distance. However, we haven’t been out of home for the last three weeks, no walks and have groceries delivered so no shopping either. With the wet weather, gardening has been very restricted. I see you have a nice patch of snowdrops and snowdrops are a big feature of the garden here at this time of the year. We miss seeing grandchildren most of all, thought some live quite close to us.

    Hopefully, the situation will improve and the vaccination progresses quickly and we soon return to a more normal lifestyle.

    Best wishes!

    • Hi Paddy, thank you so much for sharing. I think sometimes it kinda feels that everyone else is handling it ‘just fine’! (Is it true that misery loves company?!) I’m not glad to hear that others are also struggling, but it does help me to feel not as alone in the situation. I do really hope they will roll out the vaccine(s) as quickly as possible so we can all get back to being with those we love! Take care πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks so much for another lovely post, Dana! I am glad that you are finding activities that are so important in the middle of this pandemic. My best wishes to your family in Ireland and in the US! It will take some time, but we will be able to travel again to see family and friends. Take care! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Fabio! It’s always so nice to read your kind comments. You are so right, the time will come when we can all be with our loved ones, we just have to be patient. I hope you and your family are also well! πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Dana, I just found your blog while perusing topics. Your post here is so beautiful, both in photos and in what you shared. Yes, I’m hitting another wall too. Normally I’m a hermit and introvert, and so there were periods that I was mostly ok with lockdown, but I’m definitely missing hugs from friends, just being able to go out and do simple things and enjoy being around others, plus my mother is ill and I’m sorry she must be at home with no visitors. (But gratefully, her husband takes excellent care of her). I don’t think we are alone in this feeling β€” I attend online meditation retreats with dozens of people at once, and my take is that many many people are having a very hard time. I really feel for everyone right nowβ€”my friends who live alone, teachers trying to teach online to young people, parents who are working and parenting at the same time, caretakers, nurses, and just all of us. …

    On another note, your snowdrops are exquisite and the playhouse so charming. Thanks for sharing! Here’s hoping we all take great care and come out of this soon. ~lisa from california/u.s.

    • Hi Lisa, Thanks so much for stopping by and for your thoughtful comments. I agree that we are all feeling the craziness of this pandemic (even those of us who usually don’t mind being alone!). The good thing is that we’re all more aware of what is most important in our lives (it’s people and not things!). I’m glad you liked my post and pictures. Take care! Dana πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Dana – I left a previous reply to your blog about the Tallanstown visit. Came upon it by accident while I was researching for a book I’m writing about my father, who lived there as a child. You have an excellent blog, and it encourages me to pick up on mine which has lain dormant for quite a while. Before we emigrated to California, we lived with our three children in Innishannon in Co. Cork. Your picture of your five birch trees reminded me of five we planted in the lovely garden we had there. We hired a landscaper to look after the grounds after we left the country, and came home to find he had lopped the tops off them! Horror! I can see yours will grow into a lovely cluster over time. Keep up the good blog. Derek

    • Hi Derek, It is so nice of you to write. What a big change it must have been for your family to move from Cork to California! I hope everyone settled in nicely. How interesting it is for you to be writing a book about your father! Tallanstown is lovely (and just a stone’s throw from me). As for beautiful tree, I can’t imagine lopping off the tops of those birch trees. What a shame! Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate that! Good luck with the book πŸ™‚

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