Kara called me early yesterday and asked if I wanted to come up and go nursery hopping and mall shopping with her and then spend the night. Adam was leaving after work to go to Chicago with friends to see the Cubs play the Cardinals at Wrigley Field today. (Lucky Adam! I got to see a Cubs game from the rooftops two summers ago. It was GREAT!)
At first, I said no to Kara because I had to be at work at 7:30 for OSHA training. That meant I would have to leave Kara's house by 6:30 and not being a morning person, that didn't really appeal to me. But I love spending time with her and was pleased that she wanted to spend time with me, so I decided to go anyway.
When I first got there, we did the usual - took a tour of her yard and gardens. She is a talented gardener and has a greener thumb than I do. She thinks she doesn't know much about it all, but I can see that she is a quick study and knows more than she thinks she does. She doesn't fuss over her plants nearly as much as I do, because she doesn't have as much time for one thing, and I think maybe her things do well because she lets them do their thing without much interference from her. I'm especially envious of her Martha Washington geranium (Pelargonium x domesticum).
They have a nice deck at the back of their house and we've enjoyed spending time there several times over the summer. Adam recently stained it a red cedar color and it looks really nice. Kara has several potted plants there and clematis that vines up and through the railing.
To the south of their house, they have a fire pit, hammock, and flowers dotted all around. There are several very old tall trees (oak, I think) and this part of their yard is very inviting. Near the street, Kara has dug a square flower bed and it has several annuals as well as perennials and a stepping stone that was a gift from one of her girlfriends.
This dahlia is a stunner and I was with Kara when she bought it on one of our plant shopping trips. I was tempted to get one, too, and didn't. I will get it next year, because it has been a prolific bloomer for her and I love the color combination and the flower form.
She has the cutest whimsies here and there and knows just how to place them. Here is a case where art imitates life - can't you just imagine the sun really smiling down at these Black-eyed Susans? :-)
She has 'Heavenly Blue' morning glories vining up an arbor, but they weren't very open while I was there. They are the most wonderful shade of icy blue! I'll have to remind her to save the seed from them and maybe she'll share some with me.
After we walked through her yard, we took off for Meijer, Lowe's, and Bath & Body Works. At Meijer, I bought two 'Queen Charlotte' Japanese Anemones for half off, plus a Coreopsis rosea 'Sweet Dreams.' As Kara and I were checking out, she noticed some plants that were marked 50 per cent off and said, "Mom, aren't these the same as what you're buying?" I walked over, and sure enough, there were two anemones exactly like the ones for which I was ready to pay full price. I asked the cashier about it and he said, "Our department manager goes through and pulls out plants that don't look so great and marks them down to half off."
Other than a few dead leaves, they didn't look any worse for wear than the ones I'd almost bought. They had healthy new growth, so of course I bought them at $2.50 each and they are now happy in my garden, next to the three small ones just like them that I already had.
My main reason for going to Meijer was not to buy plants, however. (Funny how I always manage to find some that I need, though.) When Kara and I were here the last time a couple of weeks ago, we had seen kiddie pools for a dollar. She asked me why you couldn't sink one of those in the ground and make a small garden pond out of it. Huh. Great idea! I had gone home and asked Romie what he thought about it, and he agreed it was a great idea, too. They still had some of the pools, so I bought one. A dollar!
The pool was blue, so we needed some plastic to line it because no pond I've ever seen is bright turquoise. I bought a brown-colored tarp at Lowe's for $10.50 which was considerably cheaper than the regular pool liner plastic or black contractor's plastic. All we want it for is to change the color of the pool, so it will work fine. I did NOT buy any plants there, which was miraculous.
Next, we went to the mall, where I bought some antibacterial liquid soap at Bath & Body Works. They have them 5 for $15 right now, plus I had a coupon for a free product with a $15 purchase. I got those and was ready to leave the mall, but Kara wanted to go to another store.
As we walked down the mall to that store, Christopher & Banks was calling to me, so I answered. Half an hour later, I was the proud owner of a new sweater with little kitties on it and matching linen capris, bought at a greatly reduced price.
There was a denim shirt with kitties also, which I hadn't noticed and the sales associate was only doing her job by showing it to me. While it was not marked down, the manager thought I needed it and made me a deal I couldn't refuse (*cough*$15 off*cough*). These clothing purchases were all Kara's fault.
We finally found our way to the mall exit, stopped at Walmart to get chips and salsa for snacks and went back to Kara's and got comfy. I had brought a movie, The Girl in the Cafe, which had been sent to me by Kate in Canada. The DVD is traveling around the world being viewed by bloggers who then comment on it. Kara and I munched on our chips and watched the movie together. I'll blog about it soon, but I'll say here that I really liked this movie and the way it made me think about some things that I'd never thought about before. I love movies like that.
I got to sleep in the Paris room, which is a guest room decorated with a Parisian theme. Kara has been enamored with Paris for years and one day dreams of going there. (Me too, Kara.) Oreo kept me company through the night, sleeping at the foot of the bed. Oreo is a brother to our Baby, Boo, and Luna, and came to live with Kara and Adam shortly before they got married. Kara has another inside cat as well - Cali the Princess. Cali actually let me pet her while I was here! I feel so honored.
I got up this morning at six and was out the door in plenty of time to get to New Haven on time and I'm really glad I changed my mind about spending the night at Kara's. It's always fun to hang out with her and do girl stuff. Love you, Kara!
Photo of Cali and Oreo by Kara Fritz.