Today I felt my head clearing for the first time in days. I thought that I’d beat my son’s flu, but no such luck.
Hopefully I’ll remember how this felt and get a flu shot next autumn.
Since I was in such a good routine of walking the dog for longer
stretches and going to the gym before this, I hope I can pick up where
I left off. If only it was as easy to get into, as it is to get out of,

I spent much of the past few days dreaming about trees in
leaf (without tent caterpillars), flowers of every colour in bloom (no
bugs) and walking down the garden path in sandals. Just enjoying the
Amaryllis (above) was enough to take me off into my rosy world of reverie.

I love above dreaming of my garden, is that the flowers are always
brilliantly coloured and somehow blooming all at the same time.

afternoon, I was out in the back garden checking to make sure the
garage wasn’t flooded. The temperature rose farther above freezing than
predicted, so the snow was melting quickly.

I was by the garage, I had a look at the stenciled garage wall. It was
so good to see that it has emerged from the winter unscathed. I was
almost afraid to look in case the protective coating had cracked or
discoloured or somehow the stenciling had all disappeared. Thankfully,
it looks just as it did before the snow arrived.

You can see a
corner of the wall in the above photograph with Lytton, the dog. Hope
springs eternal with him. He was sure I’d let him out to romp in the
back alley. He doesn’t understand the meaning of the word, ‘later’.
There’s no finer a master of the dejected look than Lytton.

we toured the front garden, I had a moment of sheer happiness when I
saw one of my favourite flowers, Dianthus superbus, had emerged from
the snow – the first green of the year in this garden.

Then my
son arrived home with news that he had passed the written part of his
learner’s driving permit. It is hard to get my head around the idea of
my son with a driver’s permit, especially when earlier I was recalling
how he loved repeating flower names almost as soon as he had learned to

Reveries and memories … and my wall survived.

7 thoughts on “Reveries

  1. Diana said…
    Kate – so sorry you are under the weather still. Sleep, drink tea, get well. It IS exciting to see the first green in your garden. You carry us along with you on your winter journey and I think we’re as excited as you are! Dogs are amazing at communicating with us — WHEN they want to! Good luck with your son’s permit – have faith – and trust him. They do eventually figure it all out and grow up to be nice adults!
    18/3/08 22:03
    ellen said…
    I found my way here through Caroline. What a lovely surprise for me.
    I love how you are experiencing spring in all of her shyness and reluctance in your part of the world. I also love hearing about your son and your recollections of his repeating flower names.It takes me back to introducing my grandson to the herbs that I love…rosemary, thyme, lemon balm, lavender..on and on. Thanks for such a great visit.
    I’ll be back to catch up on earlier posts. I love to trace a person’s path.
    18/3/08 22:15
    cake said…
    i’m not convinced the flu shot would have helped. still, sorry to hear you’ve been sick.
    my son was obsessed with flowers before he could really say much. he loved to point them out on walks, pretend to sniff them…one of his first words was flower (pronounced “o-wah-wah”).he’s only two now, hard to picture driver’s permit…
    i tagged you, hope you don’t mind. i thought it was a good one. see details at:
    18/3/08 22:16
    Karine said…
    Life is good, especially when you begin to recover from illness!! My ears are still plugged.
    Love the photo of Lytton. I don’t know how dogs get that look of dejection down so well, but they do. Pono isn’t half bad, either.
    There is nothing like that first hint of green under the snow. SNOW! What a concept!
    18/3/08 22:35
    Owin & Irena said…
    get well soon, kate. great news about your favourite flower and your beautiful wall.
    18/3/08 22:37
    kris said…
    Hi Kate – what a treat to see your lovely amaryllis – thank you! And the stenciled wall – after seeing yours again, I’m very sure I have to try something on my shed. Maybe not this summer, but sometime. Lytton makes me smile – my pooches do the same at the gate leading to the lake – they’d go for 20 walks a day if I had the energy!! Pretty exciting for your son to have his learner’s permit – but we moms aren’t really prepared for all of these milestones, are we? Hope you’re feeling better soon!
    18/3/08 23:24
    Annie in Austin said…
    I’m sorry you got that flu, Kate! Medical news items said the strain that’s been so bad wasn’t even included in the vaccine…guess being efficient would not have helped. But a clearing head is a good sign. When mine is like that only salsa will help.
    Yay for the wall – it was fun to watch you make it last year and good to know you can enjoy it this spring.
    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    18/3/08 23:41
    gracia said…
    such perfect blooms in mirror image… so lovely.
    Happy gardening, g xx
    19/3/08 01:26
    Cottage Smallholder said…
    I had the flu shot the winter before last and never again. I felt dreadful all winter and dragged about feeling weeak for months. I’m a fit energetic person normally. Now I’d rather have flu for a week than face that again.
    Good to see that the wall has survived the winter snow.
    19/3/08 03:41
    Lisa at Greenbow said…
    Whooo hooo…lovin that first bit of green. Seeing that pillow of snow in your blue wicker chair makes me think it won’t be long until you are outside sitting in your chair enjoying those flowers you have been dreaming about.
    Soo sorry to hear you are battling the flu. It has been a rough year for with the onslaught of flu.
    Poor Lytton, he has probably been cooped up a lot since you have been sick. Luna sends him her best. She would love to romp with him if she could.
    19/3/08 03:45
    Sarah Laurence Blog said…
    So sorry to hear you had the flu. Good to hear you are feeling better!
    A teenaged son driving? I dread that day myself in 3 years time – good luck! Hopefully he’ll remember road signs as well as flower names. With you as his teacher, I’m sure he will.
    I really enjoyed the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day (your post below). Thanks for telling us. What a great idea! I’ve added a comment to her post and posted one of my own. Here’s the link: London Art and Gardens.
    19/3/08 03:48
    gintoino said…
    I hope you get well soon kate. I looks like spring is finally arriving there, doesn’t it. You will have flowers in your garden i no time (says me, the one that has never lived with snow 😉 )
    19/3/08 07:05
    Entangled said…
    Hope you’re feeling better soon. The sight of your beautiful stenciled wall should help 😉
    Just yesterday I found flower buds on my ‘Rainbow Loveliness’ dianthus.
    19/3/08 07:57
    Frances, said…
    Kate, I went to leave you a message on Blotanical but had a little trouble finding you? So very sorry about your illness and hope you feel better soon. I got a flu shot like I always do, and was smug as usual that all the reports on the news about the shot not being the right strain would not affect me. Wrong, I am in the middle of it while the flowers are blooming here and don’t feel well enough for more than a little weeding, than back inside. Thanks so much for the comment to check out garden author and Simon P. Squirrel, it was great. Lytton and your stenciled wall look so good together, two for one! Get well soon!
    Frances at Faire Garden
    19/3/08 08:14
    Kylee said…
    Hope you’re feeling better, Kate. The flu has been especially brutal here this winter. You’re seeing green in the garden! Yay!
    19/3/08 08:39
    Kelly said…
    sorry you’re not feeling well…hope it passes quickly. spring is springing, that is good medicine.
    19/3/08 08:51
    grannyfiddler said…
    rest up, and soak up all the sun you can.
    19/3/08 09:21
    teeni said…
    Congratulations to your son on his driving achievement! Soon he will have more responsibilities and freedoms. I hope he respects and enjoys them. Your amaryllis is gorgeous! Poor Lytton! What a sad face. I’m so glad your wall seems to have survived the winter. I can’t wait to see it in photos again this year! I just didn’t get enough last year! It is such a lovely backdrop! 🙂
    19/3/08 09:54
    A wildlife gardener said…
    Get well soon, dear Kate. Cuddle Lytton and he will transmit his own special magic into your soul to uplift you and make you smile 🙂
    19/3/08 10:53
    Tammy said…
    Hi Kate, this flu was a nasty one so take it slow.
    We felt spring as our daffodils began to bloom so we planted geraniums, cyclamen, pansies and azalias. Then 2 inches of snow hit…oops! LOL
    19/3/08 12:15
    Sparkling Red said…
    I’ve never seen such a beautiful garage! The stencil wall survived so well that initially I thought it was wallpaper. Amazing!
    I hope you feel all better soon.
    19/3/08 13:16
    Bejeweled said…
    What a beautiful blog you have! And what gorgeous photos – every single one of them!
    Spring is coming! Soon the last bit of winter will be gone and flowers will be everywhere. Your Dianthus is just the first glimpse of Spring heading your way!
    And I just love that bit of the stenciled wall! Guess I’ll have to stop on by again to see more shots of the rest of it 🙂
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your lovely comment!
    19/3/08 14:55
    Rosehaven Cottage said…
    I didn’t realize that you’ve been sick! Oh dear. I can only imagine how horrible you’ve been feeling. I truly hope that you’re on the mend soon. Dreaming of flowers and the garden are nice things to occupy your mind when you’re feeling bleary headed and nasty. I love your stenciled wall and am so glad that it weathered the winter. Yay!
    Hugs and wishes of wellness,
    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage
    19/3/08 16:11
    kate said…
    Hi Diana – It is exciting to see the first green of the garden and I’m glad that you don’t mind seeing our excitement with the stirrings of spring.
    How right you are about dogs – it’s all in the ‘When they want to’! I need to get used to the idea of Benoît behind the wheel. I’m feeling nostalgic for those days when he was riding a tricycle!!
    Ellen – Thank you for visiting my blog. I made a visit to yours and enjoyed your post on Bach. It is wonderful to see little children enjoying and learning about flowers, veggies and herbs.
    Cake – I suspect a flu shot wouldn’t have helped this year. I just wish I could get rid of this. I feel as if I overdid it yesterday and am back to being feverish.
    I used to laugh when my son would point at flowers and say ‘scab’ over and over again – for every flower. One of my neighbours who grew roses was a bit concerned when he’d point at her prize blooms and yell, ‘scab’. (That’s because I kept telling him that I loved Scabiosa flowers the best!) Thanks for the tag!
    Karine – My one ear got plugged up again since last night. Grr… I think most dogs have the dejected look down pretty well. Snow probably seems like a distant memory for you now … I’d much rather be looking at Joshua trees than snow!!
    Owin & Irena – Yes, it was great news and better – it is warmer and sunny today. Our roofs are starting to dry off which is a good sight … there was so much snow and ice on them that I thought it would take much longer.
    Kris – I hope you do some stenciling on your shed when you have time. With both Kobie & Tess, you have your hands full. Lytton is 7 now and starting to sleep way more than he used to. I don’t think we are ever quite prepared for our kids hitting milestones. And then we adjust … the good thing is that soon I’ll be sending him off to run errands!!
    Annie – That’s what I’ve heard, so I doubt that I could have avoided this. I’ve never seen my son as sick as he was last week. He couldn’t even get out of bed to have birthday cake on my dad’s 83rd birthday. That’s when I knew he was really out of it.
    Seeing my wall yesterday was such a lift to my spirits. I also kind of marvelled that I did all that work. I can’t wait to sit outside in warm sunshine and enjoy it fully again.
    Thank you, Gracia! As you head into autumn, our world is awakening… thankfully, you don’t get the kind of cold and snow as we do.
    Cottage Smallholder – That is why I’ve been reluctant to get a flu shot. I’ll put more pictures of the wall up when the weather’s better.
    Lisa at Greenbow – It amazes me how exciting it is to see those first bits of green. I have been enjoying watching the snow pillow in the chair disappearing … today it is about 1/2 the size as it was in the picture from yesterday afternoon.
    I realised when I woke up this morning that I haven’t beaten this flu yet. Lytton would be overjoyed to have Luna run around with him. He is currently giving me that ‘woe-is-me’ look. Poor guy – later B. will take him down to the river for a long run.
    Sarah – When our sons are small, the idea of them driving seems like such a faraway idea. Suddenly, the day is upon us. It hit me more even than when I started looking up … and up … toward my son’s face.
    I’m glad you added your post to the Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. Thanks for the link!
    Gintoino – Your comment made me smile … even if you haven’t ever lived with snow, you know it will go eventually. I am so looking forward to seeing the first blooms.
    Entangled – The wall does help! Now I’m totally envious – flower buds on your ‘Rainbow Loveliness’. I am
    Frances – Sorry that you couldn’t find me on Blotanical. I opted out last week and am back to my former ways of reading blogs and staying in touch with blogging friends.
    I am sorry to hear that you got hit with the flu, even with a flu shot. That’s no fair! It must be even more irritating being sick when the garden is bursting forth in bloom. I sent another blogger over to read your squirrel tales as well. I thought they made such a great contrast – from the genteel sisters in your garden to the marauding army of Simon in Deb’s garden.
    Kylee – It has been a bad flu season and I will be glad to see the end of it. Finally, yes, green in the garden! There are few sights better at the moment!!
    Kelly – I hope it passes quickly too! Spring springing is the best medicine!!
    Grannyfiddler – Thankfully, the sun should be shining for the next few days with above freezing temperatures too!
    Teeni – My son was pretty excited to pass his test. He’s a pretty cautious guy, so I hope that carries over to driving. Lytton’s a master of the sad face! It was great to see that the wall survived snowstorms and the cold winter.
    A Wildlife Gardener – I think Lytton will be happy when I’m feeling better. I keep hugging and patting him. Sometimes I think he’d rather just be left to sleep. He does transmit his own special magic! Thank you.
    Tammy – I discovered that this morning … this flu hangs around longer than I realised. Oops… sometimes snow doesn’t do much damage to our newly-planted flowers. I hope that it didn’t damage your flower and they rebound(I did the same thing the first time I planted my own garden. Amazingly, everything recovered.)
    Sparkling Red – Thank you! I will post a ‘before’ picture soon so you can see what the garage wall looked like after I removed the grotty white vinyl siding.
    Bejeweled – Thank you. I am glad that it is spring. Finally – this winter seemed to drag on and on.
    Yes, please do stop by again and see the stenciled wall. It was great fun to do it last summer. It took all summer and well into the fall!
    Cindy at Rosehaven – Dreaming of flowers is what has kept me going these past days when first my son was sick and then I got the bug. I’m glad you like the stenciled wall. I’m now about to start stenciling a whole bunch of painted flowerpots. I had planned to do them over the winter months. Oops.
    19/3/08 16:28
    San said…
    Beautiful post, as ever, Kate. The flu–major yucks. I’m sorry. May you emerge as unscathed as your stenciled wall!
    A son with a driver’s permit. Been there. Done that. You’ll emerge unscathed from that too. Your knuckles may be a little whiter though. 😉
    Congratulations on a fine young man who is coming into his own.
    19/3/08 16:30
    bs said…
    i’m glad your wall survived! sometimes i think i miss the seasons but i’m probably fooling myself. you make the spring there look so sweet and welcome! i hope you feel better soon, so you can go enjoy it all properly. i second annie’s salsa prescription, and personally i think there’s nothing like pho when you’re sick. yum!
    19/3/08 20:11
    Mary said…
    Take care of yourself Kate. When I see the mounds of snow still there, I can only imagine how you are anticipated spring. Poor Lytton…I know that dejected look :o)
    And your son will be driving. It’s a shock, isn’t it?
    19/3/08 20:13
    Willow said…
    Get well soon! And yes, you can just pick up where you left off on your walking regimen. I stop and restart regularly. Every step is a good thing!
    Oh the dianthus! Yay! Green!
    19/3/08 21:11
    Karen Hall said…
    Hi Kate,
    for some reason my rss reader has only just caught up with you – sorry to hear yo have been under the weather. Loved your post. I know about our childrens milestones, one of mine is getting married over Easter.
    Artists Garden
    20/3/08 04:30
    WiseAcre said…
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting at my place. I hope that means you’re fully recovered. You’re going to need all the strength and patience you can muster. I left footprints in the dashboard of our car when teaching the kids to drive.
    I’ll combine my wishes for a tent caterpillar free season. Hopefully it helps, the last couple of seasons have been bad and Maple Syrup producers are very concerned.
    Meanwhile I’m still waiting for the snow to melt. If spring was just around the corner I’m afraid it made a wrong turn.
    20/3/08 08:11
    cooknkate said…
    I am always full of gardeners anxiety each spring as I approach the beds when the snow melts; what will I find? Who has been here all winter? What will I have to do once the ground dries out?
    Surveying it the past few days has lifted my spirits, also suffering from sickness- prolonged and annoying. A good batch of healthy soup has helped me, as always.
    Benoit has a permit? I feel your pain.
    20/3/08 09:12
    Sherry at the Zoo said…
    Hi Kate,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your wall (what I can see of it in your picture), and your indoor blooms are gorgeous! Your dog looks so eager to go out and explore…he smells spring in the air for sure.
    Hey, I’m a nurse and I don’t get a flu shot. Long story. But, I’m not sure it would have helped. Hope you are feeling better soon!
    20/3/08 10:56
    Connie said…
    Hang on….spring is sure to come.:-)
    Our wildflowers are returning on the mountains…a real cause for rejoicing!
    So glad your lovely wall survived the winter elements.
    20/3/08 12:14

  2. Hi San – We’re both doing much better now. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll both emerge unscathed!! Benoît is a good kid.
    BS – I think I might miss seasonal changes eventually – but I can’t imagine it now. I tried the salsa tonight with refried beans with tons of onions and garlic added … and made guacamole too. I’ve never tried pho when I’ve been sick!
    Mary – Lytton has an amazing ability to switch from dejected to overjoyed in minutes. It doesn’t take much to make him happy – a biscuit, an open gate, a hug. It is a shock, this driving, but I am glad that kids can’t take their driver’s exam until they have eight months of practice from the time they get their learner’s permit.
    Willow – That’s what I keep telling myself. Once I’m back into walking, I enjoy it so much that I’ll stick with it. Yes to Green! It’s my very favourite colour at the moment.
    Karen – Now that is a big milestone – a child getting married. How exciting that will be. I hope the wedding goes well!
    Wiseacre – I suspect I’ll probably be similar – and emerge from the car with permanent white knuckles. Let’s hope there aren’t tent caterpillars this year. I’m hoping that the temperatures were cold enough and the snowfall substantial to have done them all in. At least I’m not the only one waiting for the end of the snow! Spring seemed to take a wrong turn here this morning too.
    Kate – That is something I experience every spring. What plants will return? At least I don’t have this horrible recurring nightmare of finding that none of my perennials returned. I hope you are feeling better – soup always helps, as does tea. Griffin will soon be taking driving lessons too. They grow up way too quickly.
    Sherry – Thanks for stopping in for a visit. My dog is always up for a trip down the back lane, especially in spring. He’s an escape artist, so I have to be careful. I’ll post more pictures of the wall and also the sitting area – I haven’t quite decided what I am going to do with the landscaping there. I hope you return again!
    Connie – One of these days, the snow will be gone. We had more overnight and it is still here. Tomorrow should be warmer, so hopefully it will soon end. I’m glad the wall pulled through without any damage.
    VP – I hope you have a good Easter too!!
    MedaM – I thank you for your visit. Your photographs were a treat to see. I will keep on checking spring’s progress there.
    Deb – Yes, thankfully, I am feeling much better today. The amaryllis is spectacular – 5 perfect blooms. I think Lucy and Lytton would happily wander off together if they could. Lytton never gives up hoping for an opening – he’s a master at nudging doors open with his nose (that is, when he isn’t busy crashing through them!)
    Allegedly is a good way to describe the arrival of spring today.
    Barbara – I’m glad spring is there, even with the snow. What I love is how high the sun is climbing in the sky. It makes such a difference in the quality of light. Happy Easter to you too!
    Amy – Yes, this flu is one of the worst. It takes ages to get over it. My son is still not 100% yet. Let me know if you want any ideas about stenciling on concrete. It might be a great project with your kids.
    Di – Spring is certainly taking its sweet time about arriving. The only good thing is that it is melting slowly here, unlike last year where my basement leaked after one hot spring day. Your crocuses will be there soon …
    Jodi – They certainly are naughty about that – suddenly, they are tall, their voices have changed and then they will be driving. I will be interested in seeing if Benoît will be content to wait for awhile before getting his driver’s permit. The hints of green are definitely keeping me going these days… We will make it through. You’ve had a hard winter of wacky weather!
    Shady Gardener – This Amaryllis has been one of my most spectacular. It took ages for this second stalk to bloom, but now it has, it was well worth the wait. I’ll stop by your blog over the weekend to see yours! It’s good to have some indoor blooms when the outside is still so white! Thank you for the tag – I will check it out!

  3. Amaryllis are just amazing, and great colour when we need it most. Your stencilled wall is so pretty and I am pleased it survived the poundings of winter snow. x
    Amaryllis are so beautiful and bloom, true, just when we are in need of colour. I was glad that the wall survived through the winter.

  4. I am having a moment … enjoying what I hear in the stenciled garage wall. What it says of Kate. It sounds so good to my Spirit’s senses. I like who you are, Kate.
    Hi John Michael, the stenciled wall has all sorts of meanings behind it. I’m glad it sounds good to you and thank you!

  5. Hopefully you’re feeling much better now Kate. I love the stenciled wall. So pretty!
    Hi Linda, Thank you! I love my stenciled wall. I’m feeling much better thankfully!

  6. I’ve been busy of late – and stopped by – and wow! Changes all around. I hope that by the time I say hello here that you are feeling much better (and that some of that snow has melted!).
    And as for the perennial optimism of dogs…I wish we could bottle it, or pour it into a glass, and sip on it throughout the day. Wouldn’t that be just the best?

  7. Hi Kate! I’m hoping you are feeling better by now. Everyone I know has been sick — including me (I’m still feeling crummy). I’m so glad your stenciled wall survived the winter — what great news! And also congrats to your son about his driving test. Time goes by so fast. Your blog looks great!

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