Friday, September 22, 2017

Becoming a New Widow

Though we do not dwell on it, the possibility becoming a widow is in the back of our minds if we are married, and surfaces now and then in our Senior years. And now it has happened to me. When it happens, it really does change absolutely everything, literally and because our perspective on life drastically changes. The former life is finished, and we have to learn to live a new life.

During the first week of August, my precious and beloved husband of 38 years passed away next to me somewhere between the time we went to bed at midnight and the time I got up during the night at about 3 am. The last sound I heard from him was laughter as we joked about something before going to sleep, and we had just finished a nice Saturday together. The weather had been beautiful, he spent time weed whacking with his new weed whacker, and we sat together on our deck overlooking the lake. It had been a beautiful, peaceful day. My husband had just turned 64 a few weeks before, but he had Diabetes and had had 2 heart attacks in the past 10 years and a few cardiac procedures. We were ready to embark on yet another good nutrition program come September, I worked hard on and off over the years to keep him healthy, as much as I could manage and he would allow. There was a big part of me that expected that something like this would happen, but it was a huge blow and shock when it actually did. I immediately called the local police and my brother who lives nearby, and of course my children, all came within the hour, and the rest is somewhat of a blur. We had a beautiful Memorial Service the Friday after. Many came, and our Pastor put together such a nice and meaningful program.

During the first two weeks, there was a constant flow of visitors, cards, and meals. After two weeks my daughter, sister and son took turns staying with me most nights of the week and there were some visits from friends. This went on until recently, now the overnight stays are occasional, and I am experiencing the many things that when combined make up the grieving process. How I would like to be done with the extreme pain and heartache that comes with such a loss, but my friends who have made this journey before me tell me that it takes time.

It took me a while to decide whether or not to post this on my blog, but then I thought my readers are mature adults like I am, and some may find my sharing on this topic helpful. Though I will continue with the lighter themes and topics we have started, I do want to spend some time sharing my grief and widowhood journey just for those who may be helped by it. The photo was taken a few years ago on a vacation in Maine....we always vacationed in September. Oh how I miss this man.

Updated 11/30/18

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Easy to Grow Vegetables TOMATOES

Tomato plants are easy to grow in the vegetable garden or in containers in a location that receives several hours of sun. You will get tomatoes in a location with difficult soil and a few hours of sun, but the quality and quantity will be less than a spot with richer soil and more sun.

On my property, I have many trees, and rocky soil. But by adding some composted soil to our rocky soil, I have successfully grown healthy tomatoes.

In recent years, I have been planting them in containers on the deck, which receives several hours of sun each day. I like to grow cherry and grape tomatoes as they mature more quickly than larger tomatoes and we can enjoy them for a longer time in the summer. I plant in mid-May, and the plants are finished for the season in September. I do use tomato cages right in the containers. Here are some of my grape tomatoes ripening on the deck during the summer:

This image was taken by me

The roots of the tomato plant tend to stay close to the surface of the soil, and though the plants tolerate dry soil to a degree, it is best to keep the soil somewhat moist between rain showers and storms. This is especially true for tomatoes planted in containers. 

As for feeding, my plants are fed about every two weeks. 

I have only started plants from seeds once, it's hard to do if you don't have a sunny location or grow lights to keep them happy. This is why I like to give my local garden shop some business by purchasing young tomato plants. I have thought of making a very small "greenhouse" like structure...more like a frame covered in heavy plastic, to cover and protect plants that I start from seeds on the sunny deck...time will tell if this project is ever done.

We are at about 900 feet in Northern NJ and planting season lasts from mid-may to mid-September, or a little later if we have a mild fall.   I harvest all of the remaining tomatoes at the end of the season, even if green, and put the green tomatoes in a brown paper bag to ripen, which they do fairly quickly if they are mature enough.

In only a few months gardening can begin! I can't wait.

Image Credit: Clare Bloomfield at 
Updated 11/30/18

Friday, February 3, 2017

Heart Shaped Flowers and Gardening

Today I would like to add Gardening to the categories that we have in the right margin, because it truly can be a restful experience. For some, just working in the soil is relaxing, whether it be in a flower bed or vegetable garden, or a container garden like the one that I have on my deck.

Some may not think of the actual planting as relaxing, but may find pleasure and relaxation just looking at gardens that have been cultivated by others.

Whichever you prefer, I hope you enjoy the new theme, new pages and posts will be added as the days go by. To start, in keeping with the fact that this month is the month of love and Valentine's Day, I have created a page about Heart Shaped Flowers. I hope you enjoy, and will visit the "Gardening" theme to the right occasionally to see what new posts and articles have been added.

If you live in a cold climate and are looking forward to Spring, we only have a month to go, and a couple to a few months until we can really get our hands into the soil. I can't wait!

Image Credit ~ I have had this image for years, the site
that I obtained it from is no longer available.

Updated 11/30/18