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Mission complete!

I’m pleased to report that after a few weekends of concentrated effort, our lovely back garden has been returned to it haven-like state.

I’m now more familiar with power tools than I ever intended so there’s no escape for me when Mr D comes up with next year’s plans to renew some fencing panels! That said, I’ve very please with my power-tool prowess. I’m now an expert on lining up fence posts, leveling them, and fixing trellis panels to them!

The job of laying in some galavanised tin edging strip fell almost entirely to Mr D. I made the initial cuts into the turf and he had to follow up with a long-bladed spade and a balletic jump into said spade in order for the strip to slide into place before being whacked down the last inch or so to make it level with the grass. The idea is to keep the plum slate chippings separate from the grass to make trimming the edges much easier. We may need to reinforce this concept with the pup. She sees her role as the random slate chip dispenser! If only we could train her to move the contents of the bulk bag to the new flower borders!

The final touches are down to me. I was going to plant up my new evergreen climbers but after working solidly all weekend, I ran out of energy. Well, if you must know, the call of an ice-cold beer was louder than the call of the planting spade! After I sat down to do some visual gardening (a.k.a sit back and admire handiwork whilst slaking thirst with the aforementioned beer) I found that further exertion was impossible. With barely enough energy in the tanks to shower and change, I made it into the jacuzzi and didn’t move for another hour. Well, these visual gardening sessions take time.

The climbers are relaxing in my greenhouse until I muster up the necessary drive to plant them, or they crowd out the greenhouse and I have to hack my way in!

Wishing you all a marvellous Monday.

Cath xx

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When the end result is better than you imagined

As you lucky regular readers know, Mr D and I had to do a rapid rethink of our back garden following an overzealous removal of hedging trees… my beloved haven, the sun deck, was no longer positioned nicely.

This weekend, following last weekends ground work, we sawed, drilled, shovelled, and repaired. The new plum slate planting area looks magnificent, just in need of a few plants to finish it. The extension to the deck is done. Mr D and I worked in perfect unison. He drilled the pilot holes and I followed up with the decking screws and a power driver! All the planks are laid. Even the edge planks are in position with little blue LED lights inserted flush to the surface.

Fortunately for Mr D, I’m a total wiz with electrics, and soon had everything connected, tested, and plugged into the timer switch. As 9pm arrived I was quietly impressed with myself when everything popped into life.

It’s a far cry from a few weeks ago when I told you all about my heartbreak.

As a finishing touch, I’m going to buy Mr D a steamer deckchair for his birthday, and woe betide the pup if she thinks about making it hers!!

Wishing you all a blessed Monday xx

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Magic Monday

The weekend was epic! Mr D and I were poetry in motion as we worked together to create new foundations for the deck joists to fit on top. Drilling, screwdriving, sawing, levelling, concreting. You name it, we did it. I can now see what the finished product will look like. Pretty much what I had in mind. I guess we were fortunate to start our new project in alignment with the new moon. Very auspicious indeed.

To ensure no more damage happens to any more plants and trees I concocted a protection spell.

Into a clean tin or jar add a teaspoon of whole grain mustard, some rose thorns and some nettles, the stingier the better. As you add the ingredients and close the lid set your intentions. In my case, as I was setting this up for my garden, I used the following –

‘I ask for protection for all my garden, not just this spot. Mustard seed do your deed.’

The jar is now buried under the new deck extension, right on the border with our chainsaw-happy neighbours.

Now to find a good spell to encourage the new plants grow strong and quick!

Wishing you all a magical Monday xx

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One-liner Wednesday… When the going gets tough

… the tough arms themselves with forks, wellies, drills, saws, and plans!

After the good deed gone bad over the weekend, I have repair plans in progress.

Here’s another one-liner, two for the price of one –

“Every cloud has a silver lining.”

The repair plans include an extension to our sun deck and a new flower bed to plan and plant. I do love an outdoor creative project.

This week’s One-liner Wednesday will be sponsored by our local lumber yard, our local garden centre… and a beautiful picture on Linda G Hill’s prompt page, giving me inspiration for planting.

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When a good deed goes wrong!

Here’s the background. Our neighbours moved into the property next to ours last year. The house and garden had not been looked after well for quite some time. We had tried our best to keep the hedge and trees between us under some sort of control. Our village is extremely rural, with hedgerows, trees and other flora abound.

Over the winter we agreed between us that we would take down a few of the hedging plants to allow more light into their garden. I knew this would involve a little flower border redesign or our part and was quite looking forward to the project.

This weekend work began. Our neighbours came round to help. We shared food, drinks and child-sitting dirties while the heavy lifting went on. By the end of Saturday we were nearly finished… at least we thought we were. I didn’t want to take out all the hedges as this would mean a sizeable gap to the side of our sun deck, (it’s a corner deck) making it look as if we had built it out of place… off to one side of the corner.

Sunday morning dawned bright and clear. Mr D and I started the clear-up operation, figuring we only had a couple of plants left to remove. As we started working at 9am, we figured we’d be done by lunchtime. However, we hadn’t factored in the wife and her parents coming over to ‘help’.

By 5pm Mr D had run out of patience and energy. Wife and parents were not taking the hint to stop removing hedging and to stop removing large chunks of our trees to raise the canopy. In the end, we had to just say stop! When I caught sight of the result I was horrified. Wife and parents, on the other side of the fence were saying how great it looked. All I could think of was how horrible my haven looked.

I’ve lost privacy, sound barriers, and wildlife environments, and worst of all, my beloved deck looks awful with the hedging missing from one side. I rushed upstairs, pretending to head for a shower. All I did was look out from my window and sob my heart out.

We gave an inch, and they took and mile, and the rest!

So what started out as us doing a good deed has cost us our lovely garden. Now we need to build a 5 square metre extension to the existing deck to balance its position in the corner. I need to buy fast-growing climbers to replace the missing hedges and work out how to regain our privacy and sound muffling.

I feel a protection spell coming on, one to ensure no further damage to our garden, and to restore the tranquility we worked so hard to create.

Hell hath no fury like a garden witch whose garden has been pillaged!

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Ending and beginnings

Today my weekly sessions with Dr Siskin ended. As you would expect, I had mixed emotions. Happy that I’m in a much better place, better equipped to keep my mind (and body) healthy, and sad that the protected time with the good doc is over.

An ending this undoubtedly is, but it also marks a new beginning. I’m beginning to trust my own intuition, to enjoy more spirituality (even though my family thinks I’m bonkers. Well not my daughter so much. But the boys certainly think I’m batty), and to take the time to be a human being, instead of a human doing.

But what to get Dr Siskin as a ‘thank you’ present?

The ubiquitous wine and chocolates combo just didn’t do it for me. Then I remembered the packet of unknown seeds from our neighbour’s wedding. We were instructed to watch the love grow.

Perfect. I would ‘share the love’.

Like Samwise Gamgee, who couldn’t keep all of Lady Galadriel’s gift to himself, (and no, I’m not sorry for the nerdy LoTR reference) I decided to share the seeds. I sowed them last week, found a lovely pot to display them, and watered them in with rose quartz charged water. How much more love could I squeeze into one present?

It was fun to hand it over, even more so when I told her I’d no idea what would grow. We’ll have fun watching the seedlings emerge, and more fun trying to identify each plant. I know I will think of her whenever I check up on my pot. If I’m lucky, the plants may be perennials, in which case neither of us will forget the other.

I’ll finish off with a quote I wrote in her card –

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” – Eckhart Tolle

Wishing you all a blessed Thursday xx

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All things come to an end…

… and so it is with therapy with my trusted psychologist. Dr Croskin has been more than a psychologist during my transition into post-menopause. She has been my spiritual guru, my menopause buddy (been through it all herself) and occasionally my gardening guru.

During my treatment-

I have learned to stop fighting with myself and to go with the flow.

I have learned to share my feelings with my family (not something that comes naturally to me).

I have learned how to work with Dr Croskin instead of folding my metaphorical arms and being stubborn.

I have learned to be brave and talk through my childhood and early adult trauma… better out than in.

And finally, and most importantly, I have learned to have faith. Faith in God and faith in myself.

I feel a Nanny McPhee quote coming on –

“When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go.”

So here I am, ready for this afternoon’s penultimate visit, filled with mixed emotions. On one hand I do not need Dr Croskin’s help anymore and I am so proud of how far I have come since the first day I walked into her consulting room. On the other, I will miss our weekly visits and am filled with sadness that they are coming to an end. I know that I can pop back to see her in the future if I feel I need to, like a safety net, but I am still a little scared to fly solo.

During my last visit I was given homework – to work out what scares me about therapy coming to an end. I’ve had two weeks to think about it. I’m running out of time and my homework is due in a few hours – I got nothing!!

I don’t think I am scared, just sad, and I don’t know why I feel sad. I should be elated.

I’d welcome anyone else’s insight please!

Wishing you all a fabulous Friday Eve!

Cath xx