So Very Happy!

at magnolia park

I can’t remember when I have been so happy and felt so contented.  It’s so beautiful here at Magnolia Park.  It’s been in the 70’s, but a cold front is moving in so it will be in the 60’s for a while.

One of several large fire pits for youth groups.

One of several large fire pits for youth groups.

I checked the weather at Salt Springs (where we will be heading Monday) and today it’s the same temperature as here.  It is feeling like a perfect, endless spring to me.

No exciting news.  We shop.  We do laundry.  Walk the dogs.  Eat.  Sleep.  And I’ve been catching up on hand sewing in the evenings.  I had to hem the shower curtain yesterday because it dragged the bathroom floor a little — just enough to bother me.  And I’ve hemmed two pairs of Ron’s new jeans with only one more to go.

So peaceful!

So peaceful!

I was talking to Mom this morning about the miracle of Ron and I being in a 17′ trailer with two dogs for going on three months — and still liking each other.  🙂

Sunny has made a dramatic improvement. I am astounded.  If we take him out to go to the bathroom after 10:30 p.m. he is making it through till morning without accidents.  He has only had a couple of mild anxiety attacks.  I was really shocked when I took him to the vet to get more eye medicine and he trotted into the vet’s office without a qualm.  Then on the way home in the truck, instead of hyperventilating and shaking, he fell asleep on the truck’s floor.

Sunny asleep on the truck floor.

Sunny asleep on the truck floor.

He can even enjoy short walks again with us.

I think camping is very good for him.

Sheba is okay, but being tied up while we are not walking her is not something she enjoys.  But she seems to be tolerating it pretty well.

One more cool thing — I found the cutest mini colander for the Casita.  It’s just 6″ in diameter and it will come in handy for so many things.  I can also put it in a larger pot to make a steamer.

But the main reason I bought it was simply that it is so cute!  🙂

The cute little mini colander

The cute little mini colander

 

 

 

 

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Reveling in Spring!

Wild dogwood tree in our back yard

Wild dogwood tree in our back yard

It’s planting time!

Wild birdsfoot violets in the front yard

Wild birdsfoot violets in the front yard

I haven’t had a garden the past couple of years, and this year the urge is irresistible.  I’m starting with a micro garden in Earth Boxes.  Later I’ll get the raised beds cleaned up, reinstall the irrigation system, and plant them, too.

I also got pink caladiums and pink and white oriental lilies planted in a 3′ x 3′ planter.  Almost everything I plant has to be in raised beds as our ground is solid clay and white quartz rocks.

The trip to Coleman Lake tamed the cabin fever monster, so now we are back to our original travel plan for this year.  Camp within an hour of home for a week once a month and get all of our bills except the mortgage paid off in October!

Wild Stars of Bethlehem after an encounter with the lawn mower

Wild Stars of Bethlehem after an encounter with the lawn mower

We are planning to meet up with friend Peggy for 3 days in late April at a state park in NE Georgia.

I’m planning to get the Casita washed and shined next week as Peggy has never seen it.  🙂

I have lots more planting to do.  The seeds I started a few weeks ago should be ready to go into the ground next week.

This is the most heady, glorious season of the year!

Wild crabapple blossom

Wild crabapple blossom

Dianthus in Earth Box by the back door

Dianthus in Earth Box by the back door

Earth Boxes with radicchio, peppers and patio tomatoes. I have a total of 10 Earth Boxes.

Earth Boxes with radicchio, peppers and patio tomatoes. I have a total of 10 Earth Boxes.

I planted pink and purple impatiens around the hosta pot.

I planted pink and purple impatiens around the hosta pot.

 

 

 

This poor hosta has been in the same big pot for several years, and faithfully comes back each spring.  Maybe this fall I'll remember to divide it.  :)

This poor hosta has been in the same big pot for several years, and faithfully comes back each spring. Maybe this fall I’ll remember to divide it. 🙂

 

The square foot gardens-to-be

The square foot gardens-to-be

 

This Is Life

Romaine lettuce and Chinese cabbage sproutng

Romaine lettuce and Chinese cabbage sproutng

Sorry about the crappy lighting.  :)

Sorry about the crappy lighting. 🙂

My little seeds are sprouting faster than I expected.  I’ll have to rig up some kind of decent lighting for them tomorrow.

I got the first chemo hat finished tonight.  I’m happy with how it turned out, so will work at getting a dozen done before I take them down to donate them.  My goal is that each hat be pretty enough that the recipient will feel cherished.

My Casita parts arrived late this afternoon.  So tomorrow I plan to start trying to get the little trailer ready for its first trip this spring.

Still got the blahs, but maybe working on the Casita tomorrow will cure them.  🙂

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Scenes from a Spring Paradise in Florida

Hope's front door

Hope’s front door

After hearing me moan and groan about our cold, wet, dreary weather, my sister Hope sent me a visual spring tonic.  It is hard to express how powerfully seeing these photos taken in her yard impacted me.  There is hope!  There is beauty!  There is glorious life just one state south of here… and it’s headed my way.  Really!  It is!  🙂

Bee on azalea

Bee on azalea

These photos are a treasured gift.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Bee on Japanese plum flower

Bee on Japanese plum flower

Sulfur butterfly and orange

Sulfur butterfly and orange

Another shot

Another shot

Here he (she?) poses on an azalea flower

Here he (she?) poses on an azalea flower

Mama cardinal.  Hope said she raised a little brood of one in a nest in the azalea bush.

Mama cardinal. Hope said she raised a little brood of one in a nest in the azalea bush.

Here's papa cardinal.

Here’s papa cardinal.

Another little visitor

Another little visitor

This is the baby cardinal that the mama raised in the azalea bush!

I think this is my all time favorite.  She sent this one to me a while back.

I think this is my all time favorite. She sent this one to me a while back.

There are 5 birds in this picture.  Can you spot them all?

There are 5 birds in this picture. Can you spot them all?

This one was taken a couple of months ago, while it was still winter.

This one was taken a couple of months ago, while it was still winter.

Horse hair on fence.  Her rainy days sure are prettier than mine!  :)

Horse hair on fence. Her rainy days sure are prettier than mine! 🙂

Pear blossom

Pear blossom

Spring — Already!

Tiny little henbit flowers

I can hardly wrap my mind around the fact that spring is here again.  Or that I have lived here for so many years and photographed the same little flowers– or their parents — for so many springs.  Yet, their welcome little faces are always new to me.

White daffodils

Everything is very early this year due to our non-winter.  The daffodils are almost finished.  Only 3 blooms remain.

Hope you enjoy the familiar nature show.  🙂

Perennial vinca comes back every year around our front porch.

Sweet little bluets carpet the open woods

These tasteless little Indian strawberries have almost completely crowded out the delicious wild strawberries.

Not sure what these are. I think they are crabapple flower buds.

New fig leaves

New rosebud

Last year's green onions are blooming

 

A bumper crop of dandelions is on the way!

Moss on an old plum tree

The white plum flowers have fallen. Now baby plums are on the way.

Cool Campers & Spring Flowers

Trillium

We’ve seen a couple of intriguing campers here.  The first is an old Trillium.  I think the owner said it was a ’72.  He got it when the previous owner’s wife died, and the guy didn’t want to take it out camping any more.  It’s in beautiful shape, and I do so love the jalousie windows that can be left open in the rain.

The second one is a home built rig.  I can’t remember if the owner said they have been fulltiming in it 6 or 8 years.  But they started out with a truck camper, but their truck was inadequate to carry it.  So they bought a Sprinter flat bed and mounted the camper on it.

Home built rig on a Sprinter flat bed

But they had a big dog, and their dog had nowhere to ride.  They said the Mennonites sometimes salvage old sleepers off trucks for various uses around farms.  So they bought a sleeper from them for the dog to ride in.

But, even though they cut the sleeper down, they still had to raise the truck camper to fit… so they built in a storage basement.  Then they added the cage on front to carry their generator and supplies.

This shot shows the storage area open

Later on, their dog died, so they converted the dog “room” to storage.

She also said they were in a park one time when a terrific storm came through.  So both of them climbed into the carpet lined sleeper with the dog and rode out the storm together.  🙂

I can’t remember all the details, but it was fascinating listening to her explain how their unusual camper, that is perfectly suited for their way of travel, came to be.

The catfish catcher

The people here are amazingly friendly!  Such a pleasure to meet and strike up conversations with them.

The fisherman in the photo and his wife have caught several nice size catfish.  The park has a great screened fish cleaning station.

I have been loving seeing the tiny little spring wildflowers that are blooming down here.  I don’t know the names of most of them, but they delight me.

Yellow clover

Little bluet & common laccaria mushroom

And a sweet little dandelion 🙂

The shelf Rob made me is turning out to be much more than just a coffee shelf! I've started leaving it up during the day, too.

A hint of a sunset

Spring Garden and Woods

Ron digging chickweed out of our square foot gardens

I really can’t say I am ready to get back into gardening again.  Camping and travel remain my dearest loves.  But the season beckons.

We will probably not go anywhere this month, but do plan to meet up with my sister from Texas at Mom’s place in May.  Taxes hit us hard enough this month to wipe out this month’s travel budget.

Spring in the woods is irresistible, though.  I am posting way too many photos today, but wanted to share the glory of spring in the northwest Georgia hills.

On edit…. I did get an identification on the strange red growths on the leaves pictured below.  Click here for the explanation.

Blooming dogwood branch

Dogwood flowers

The back side of dogwood blooms

Wild Indian Strawberry flower opening

This is really odd. It looks like some kind of plant that is a leaf parasite. I have not noticed this before.

A closeup of the leaf parasite (?)

Some leaves have a lot of them.

These litter the forest floor. I think they are maple seeds, but am not sure.

Tiny flowers on a shrub in our yard.

Onion flowers are blooming in an Earth Box

A violet bloom emerging in the woods

Soft moss makes me wish that I was barefoot. 🙂

Unknown flowering tree. I just noticed that if you expand this photo and look at the leaves near the bottom left corner, you can see some of those strange red growths (fungi?) that are pictured above. (On edit -- it's a black cherry tree.)

Unusual green and white wildflower. On edit, a blog reader identified this flower as a Star of Bethlehem. Thanks, Evan!

Wild crabapple blossom

Baby plums on our Japanese plum trees

Spring creeps into my yard

Daffodils in our front yard

Spring is finally making herself at home in our yard.  I thought I’d share a few photos I took this afternoon.

Front view of their sweet faces

Crabapple buds

This one is ready to pop open

In an EarthBox, onions bloom

Little wild henbit flowers

And then my new camera ran out of memory, so I will have to order more this evening.

Ron and I definitely decided last night that we will order a Casita Liberty Deluxe travel trailer this fall.  It’s the only one that meets our need for excellent, lasting quality in a size that we can tow with our 6 cylinder Chevy pickup.

Now that the decision is made, the pressure is off.  Just have to pay off the Aliner and save up a nice down payment!

Heading Home Tomorrow

1923 Ford owned by one of the campers here

Our lovely vacation is drawing to a close.  Tonight’s our last night camping here at Indian Springs State Park.  We left winter weather behind and enjoyed seeing spring arrive during our month-long escape.

We feel as though the camp host, Dick, has become a dear friend.  And we met some wonderful campers.  Kathryn and Albert helped me search for a lost wallet —

Rear view of the 1923 Ford

which Ron later found in my jacket pocket after I had called the bank and canceled my debit cards and was on hold to cancel my credit cards.  So glad I had a long wait on hold.  🙂

And we really enjoyed meeting Virginia and Danny who were on their first outing in their new-to-them Shadow Cruiser.  They weren’t aware of the America the Beautiful Senior Pass that gives a 50% discount on camping fees at federal campgrounds, so it was our joy to share that

Beautiful proof that spring has really arrived!

information with them.

So now we will head home.  I’ll do some maintenance on the Aliner and probably put in my square foot vegetable garden and some flowers, and settle back into everyday home life.

But we will still plan on getting out for a week long camping trip each month.  Maybe we can make it to the Blue Ridge Mountains to cool off  in July or August when the weather is  really hot this year.

Sparkly rocks found down by the lake.

Hopefully I’ll get the Aliner paid off in July and start saving for a nice down payment on a Scamp 5th wheel, which is the larger camper Ron and I have decided would work best for us and our 6 cylinder truck.

We did go fishing this afternoon.  We didn’t even get a bite, but did enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery from the fishing dock.

And tonight there is a bright moon and beautiful stars in a clear sky.  So it’s the perfect ending to a very good trip.

Redbud trees are bursting into bloom all through the woods.

Cold, windy day at Indian Springs State Park

Ron and Sunny near the spring house

Today was chilly with cold wind, so we didn’t spend a lot of time outside.

We did get out and look around the park.  There is much history here, but I’m not energetic enough to type it all out this evening.  The stone buildings, as is common in state parks in the region, were built by the CCC under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The swimming and boating areas are beautiful.  Picnic shelters and areas are very

The spring house

The spring itself with a whopping 1 gallon per minute output 🙂

Swimming/boating area

Picnic tables near the spring

One of the picnic pavilions

Playground near the swimming beach

More of the stone buildings built by the CCC

attractive, and there is a nice playground for children, as well as miniature golf and a museum in season.  Unfortunately, it’s not in season now.  🙂

The spring, touted (and marketed) in the past as having medicinal powers, puts out an underwhelming one gallon per minute year round.  Even so, in the early 1820’s, the area grew into a resort community.

An illegal treaty that dispossessed the Creek Indians of their Georgia lands was signed here, as was a later legal treaty.

According to park literature, the mineral spring has been open to the public since 1825, making it the oldest state park in the nation.  But there is also a warning in the brochure that the water is not potable!