We haven't really gone into detail about what we have been up to since we've been gone and come around again. We've laughed, we've cried, we've been frustrated, we've been funny, sad, happy and just about every other emotion in between.... So without further ado here's some of what we've been up to in a nutshell...
The blossoming part was also quite accurate, because for the first time in a long time, I've been able to pursue one of my lifelong favorite hobbies with ChinaDoll...gardening. Though it required some backbreaking work, massive amounts of soil, numerous hours in the summer sun, and lots and lots and lots of stonework, we've completed a massive garden upgrade. The front, side, and back porch of our house is still awash in vibrant colors, colors that will be accented further next growing season. We hope to add a stone border in the front and perhaps a water feature in our cottage garden.
Mid-summer nights brought late nights at the pool, fireworks, back porch BBQ's and honeysuckle-scented air full of fireflies. The kids enjoyed summer and after all they had earned it... Sadly summer seemed all too brief this year, the kids went back to school in early August and somehow that doesn't quite seem right. When I was a kid, you got out of school in June and didn't even think about it again until Labor Day. I guess times have changed, but I'm glad that they got some time to enjoy themselves.
ChinaDoll and I have also had some wonderful opportunities to get back in touch with what makes us...us... We've slept in, made each other our favorite meals, made love, and given each other our hearts again. After leaving the service... I was experiencing some difficulty in coming to terms with my identity. I served for 12 long years, and suddenly I found myself a civilian again. You can take the man out of the military, but you can't take the military out of the man.... As the saying goes, I found myself still hanging onto some vestiges of my uniformed life. While not always positive, I find myself at ease in my home now and no doubt the military has given me an independent if not always moderate view of life and what it means to have such a wonderful home.
Late summer up to the present day has seen a period of renovation and preparation in the Guardian/Chinadoll household. We recently bought new appliances including a new upright freezer, High Efficiency Washer and Dryer and installed new industrial shelving in our garage to improve our storage options. If winter is anything like last winter was (and they are saying it actually may be worse,) Then we will be prepared. We've been pickling and cheese making, apple-cobblering, pumpkin-patching and generally enjoying the kaleidoscope effect of the autumn leaves.
So there you have it. Our blessed, cozy life in a nutshell. Still lots to be done before the holidays. Looking for work, and working on minor improvement projects while planning major ones. Thanks for stopping by to read and stay tuned!
It's also wonderful to have someone with an eye to the future. I've always been told I shop like Noah, two by two - one to use and one to put back, just in case. Daddy understands that and we are now stocking our freezer with homemade healthy meals for those rainy days. And it is amazing to sit down every single day for family dinners, all of us around the table.
Part of our gardening has been fig trees (my absolute favorite fruit, so decadent fresh, fragrant, halved and drizzled with local honey) and kiwis. Next year we plan to add blueberries, blackberries and raspberries - my other favorite fruits. We're also investigating pallet gardens and vertical gardens to give us fresh veggies and salad greens.
Having Daddy here all the time gives me free-time....and I feel guilty, lol. I actually had time to knit a blanket for a dear friend who is expecting a little miracle after years of waiting, and catch up on that pile of reading that I have had next to the bed. I'm not used to that. And sometimes a little resistant, it seems foreign, but Daddy says that's part of letting him take care of me, and I have to fight the thought that it's just me being lazy and self-indulgent.
We're loving life, and stronger every day.