Needing Heartenment

After writing what was supposed to be today’s blog post, I was so disheartened that I decided to save it for tomorrow and post something a bit more heartening today. A lot more heartening, actually.

Although the yard is still cluttered with building materials and scrap lumber, and although the yard is still mostly dirt and dead weeds, there are a few bright spots, such as this gorgeous poppy. I’m not sure where it got that color because the seeds came from a red poppy, but I love the bright pink.

Most of the trees (twigs, actually) that the Arbor Day Foundation sent me aren’t doing anything, and a couple for sure are dead, but one crabapple is showing signs of life. Yay! Even better, the lilacs I received because of a different offer are all doing well for only having been in the ground a little over a week. I water them and shower them with love and hope that’s enough. I know that particular area of the yard has soil compatible with lilacs because there are two other bushes in the vicinity, so there’s that.

The cactus I transplanted from my neighbor’s yard that I thought was dead is alive and shows new growth. The poor thing was so white and limp I considered digging it up and throwing it away, but the thought of having to deal with the prickles stayed my hand. I am so glad! It looks so green and stalwart that it lightens my heart.

And oh, I so needed that today!

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Free Shipping!

Free shipping is so hard to resist.

I’ve placed a few orders for bulbs, more, probably, than I have the energy to plant, but after each order, I found a coupon (or was e-mailed a coupon) for free shipping, and so the madness continued.

I’ve been doing well resisting all the pretty flowers on my facebook feed (hint: if you want prettier things in your feed than the discord our current political climate brings, start googling bulb and seed companies). Then today, I got a coupon in the mail for free shipping this weekend on a $15 order.

What to do? What to do?

I could, of course, do nothing but, oh — free shipping!

So, what will it be?

Orange lilies?

Purple lilies?

Poppies?

Iris?

Peach-colored tulips and narcissus?

Or something else?

I’ve already ordered tulips and daffodils, anemones and bluebells, and a variety pack that include crocuses and a few allium.

As you can see, I don’t really need anything, but . . .

Free shipping!

(The photos come from the bulb company and are used without permission. I presume they won’t mind since this is free advertising, so let’s hope I’m right so I don’t end up with a hefty plagiarism fine that would negate the benefits of free shipping.)

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Hunting the Wild Poppy

I took myself on a trip to go hunting for wild poppies. To be honest, it wasn’t much of a hunt. I had a location, maps to show me the way, and a whole day to follow wherever the road might lead me. I generally get lost when I’m by myself — a map doesn’t do much good if you’re driving and can’t look at it, and non-existent road signs only exacerbate the problem. (A gps in my phone doesn’t help if the battery goes dead.)  Still, I took only a couple of easily corrected wrong turns. I drove on long stretches of desert highway, and then I saw it . . . a poppy nodding in the wind by the side of the road, and I knew I was on the right track.

Gradually, the poppy blooms increased — lining the roads with streams of color.

Off in the distance, the hills glowed orange, and my heart quickened at the realization I was in for a special treat.

Many people just stopped by the side of the road to take photos of the poppies, but I paid to enter the reserve and walk along the miles of paths. I heeded the rules and did not feed, pet, pick, or trample the wild poppies. The reserve is a natural habitat, with no artificial stimulation, not even any watering. The land is left alone to do with as it wishes. And this year it wished to shower me with color.

Oh, my. I’ve never seen anything like those swaths of poppies — it was as if a sunset had fallen from the sky and lay at my feet.

It truly is good to know that in all the turmoil of the world, in all the fights between industrialists and conservationists, in all the swirl of population growth, in all the land-grabbing and land-grubbing, there exists these pristine spots where we can refresh our souls.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

A Perfect Day for Hunting

The sun was warm today, but the air was cool and breezy — perfect weather for hunting. Armed and ready to shoot, I went out to the desert with a group of hikers to search for . . . wildflowers.

It wasn’t hard to find what we were looking for. Lupine and coreopsis lined the road.

lupine

Goldfields carpeted vast swaths of land.

goldfield

Patches of poppies and chia sprung up on hillsides.

poppies and chia

And dainty cream cups soaked up the sun alongside poppies.

poppies and cream cups

Most of the time, the desert seems drab, with little color to break the beige monotony, so today was a real treat!

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.