Thursday, February 24, 2011

Longwood Gardens Orchid Extravaganza

After our lovely brunch at Terrain, we all drove over to Longwood Gardens to see the "Orchid Extravaganza". It was a blustery day, so we didn't explore much of the grounds. The gardens in the conservatory were so beautiful! I had not been to Longwood since I was a teenager, so I had mostly forgotten what it was like. The banana trees and the succulents were my favorites. I'd love to return in the spring when it's warmer and the flowering trees are blooming.

I took many photos, all of which can be seen on my Flickr page...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chad's birthday brunch at Terrain

We went to Terrain over the weekend to have brunch at the cafe in honor of Chad's birthday. We were quite a crowd-- Chad, Andrew, Kathy, Rich, Erin, Matt, and baby Anabel were all in attendance. Our gifts for Chad have not yet arrived in the mail, but he did get some gift certificates, some fibers related books, an awesome cat t-shirt, and a head scratcher from China that looks like a whisk.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Get in the car, Diane! (our blooming Witch Hazel)

Last winter, our Dogwood tree in the front yard (unnamed) died a senseless death. The Snowpocalypse killed him.

I learned about Witch Hazel when Andrew and Chad took me to the Morris Arboretum one winter. They are one of the few trees that bloom in the winter. Their blooms are a welcome sight, signaling the end of winter and offering blooms during an otherwise dreary time of year. Witch hazel is used a lot for skin care, as the leaves and bark are astringent, but I wanted one purely for ornamental purposes.

Over the Fall, we headed over to our favorite Baltimore nursery, Valley View Farms, to pick out a Witch Hazel. We chose the last of a lovely red variety and named her Diane. I don't know why we chose that name or even which one of us called her Diane first. All I know is that we spent a good amount of time giggling with each other and screaming "Get in the cart, Diane!", and "Get in the car, Diane!". What can I say; we are easily amused and we like to spice up everyday household errands. Sometimes it's fun to verbally abuse your plants.

I was concerned that the shock of being transplanted would cause Diane to not bloom this year, so I've been following her progress with much anxiety. I was quite pleased to see the beginnings of blooms unfurling yesterday, and today some of the buds have completely opened. SO EXCITING!

In other news, I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I'm crazy. I was outside at 5:15pm (prime dog-walking time in our neighborhood, so a LOT of people saw me), wearing pajama pants and a sweatshirt with the hood up over my head, sitting on the ground and taking macro photos of this tree in my front yard. I got a few strange looks. Diane understands me though and that's all that matters.

Fret not, I have not forgotten my tales of the hospital blog post. I promise it is forthcoming. I've started writing it, but it's just so involved and my energy level is still not anywhere close to 100%. 5 rounds of antibiotics will wear a person out.

(Click on photos to enlarge the image)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Home from the hospital, a quickie

Greetings! I spent five nights and six days in the hospital last week, which was scary and humbling. I am now recovering at home, and once I get enough energy, I'll do an in depth blog about my hospital experience. But for now, I just wanted to check in and make a quick list of a few things I learned about myself while in the hospital:

1) I have a very high pain tolerance, even higher than I thought.
2) I am allergic to EVERYTHING. If you give me a drug, the chances that I'll have an allergic reaction to it or that I'll experience one of the rare side effects of that drug are very high.
3) I have amazing friends. They're even more amazing than I thought, and I already felt pretty lucky to have them.
4) If a surgeon offers to put you under to do surgery, you should take that opportunity instead of being afraid of anesthesia and insisting that they just use lidocaine and drain your abscess at the bedside.
5) Steph is a saint. She never left my side and for five nights she slept in a chair in my hospital room. She watched everyone and everything like a hawk and advocated for me when I was unable to do so for myself.
6) I have small veins that like to blow, thus necessitating a billion IVs and eventually a PICC line.

Photo Steph took of my IV drip in my hospital room, taken with my iPhone.