Tuesdays and New Geraniums: A Semi-Illustrated List of Eleven Things

White geraniums? So much new.White geraniums? So much new.

So maybe I don’t have the right to just sit down after a year’s absence, or near enough, and begin posting again like nothing happened. And believe you me, things happened. I’ll have more to share once I clear these lingering bits of literary laryngitis. For now, I invite you to note that it is Tuesday. And Humbled Sheila is not writing about grandfamilies. I am no less passionate about our beautiful blended families, trust me on that, please? More on that topic later. For today, I am warming up with a quasi-random list.

  • You know how sometimes you hear someone say something, and you nod inside and think to yourself, yes, yes, that’s certainly true! It happened to me the other day on hearing the phrase, It isn’t home until you plant some geraniums.

    Only this time, the someone saying something was me.


  • I needed to plant geraniums because we moved. Rich and I packed our stuff, sold our house in California, and bought one in Arizona. We now steward a little over an acre in a rural corner of the valley surrounding Phoenix. Our neighborhood includes cotton fields, alfalfa fields, fallow fields, horses, rabbits, cattle, goats, sheep, and of course chickens. I would like to raise chickens, once I learn more about their care. We also have a swimming pool. For now, we have hired someone who knows about her care. (I’ve decided the pool is a girl.) After a lifetime in California, Arizona feels smallish and friendly and cozy. And dusty. So far I love it.

Look! This plucky little white geranium is preparing to bloom!Look! This plucky little white geranium is preparing to bloom!

  • I am pretty sure nobody plants geranium. I planted a pair. Lefty is not quite as settled as Righty–she hasn’t budded yet. But she will. I have faith that she will. I–Rich and I, rather–must be blessed with abundant faith, to pick up and move to a new state, just like that. Well, it feels just like that, anyhow, even if we’ve discussed it in general terms for a while. And yes, I know other people do it all the time. I’m a Navy mom.

Lefty the white geranium. No buds yet, but just look at those healthy new leaves! Lefty the white geranium. No buds yet, but just look at those healthy new leaves! Purple stock nearby to keep her company. And some seedlings—likely weeds.

  • I work from home now, for myself. I have created my dream offdio (that’s office/studio). It’s pink. And girly. And could easily provide sleeping quarters for a few visiting grandlittles–or even adults. The offdio is a tale for another day.


  • Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I am the boss of Thanksgiving in my family and I can’t wait to put my new kitchen through its paces cooking for my loved ones. But first, we hired painters to paint our home’s interior (they’re almost done, and did gorgeous work) and other painters to paint the exterior. They begin later next week. Now, I must tell you that Rich is an excellent painter. He also has a full-time job and is busy tackling several other honey-do crucial home improvement projects. We decided to hire painters to ease his new-house burden. So when family and friends arrive (we have two guest rooms–two-and-a-half if you count my offdio) for Feast Week–and for most of them, a first peek at our new digs–everything will be fresh. And maybe Lefty will set some buds before then.


  • Arriving in a new place is easier than leaving a familiar place. Nobody cries when you show up (hopefully!) Taking our leave of our SoCal family, along with neighbors, friends, and church family in Trabuco Canyon was hard. Leaving the home where we began married life, fostered memories, and nurtured relationships felt nearly amputatory.


  • If you are fortunate, the really important stuff goes with you when you move. My husband and our three dogs, for example, all made the migration with me. Then there’s that box with the crucial documents–the papers that prove you exist, that name you, that spell out where you keep your money, stuff like that. There are the memories, which took up no space in boxes but crowded into my grateful heart until I thought it would burst as I walked through our old house one last time, turning off each lamp and locking every door before we began our drive to Arizona.


  • Time changes how you see. One day early this summer, as we were preparing to list our old house for sale, I came home to discover these intriguing plant stands that appeared to be made from rebar and heavy wire. Where did these come from? I asked Rich. They’re amazing! My husband chuckled. They came with the house, he said. You didn’t like them when we moved in here. They’ve been in the basement. I said, They’re CHICKENS! How could I not adore them?! My husband, who knows me deeply, smiled and chuckled, and said nothing more.  The chicken planters came with us to Arizona. In fact, the man who runs our irrigation district (our property is irrigated–a handy thing when you live in the desert!) welds as a hobby. When he came by to explain the irrigation gates and valve, he noted the chicken’s miserable state and took them home. There, he beefed up two joints that had dewelded themselves during the migration, returning them good as new–as a kind gesture, not a paid service.

Chicken planters.Chicken planters.

  • In late July, I fell down and conked my head but good. I was confined to home forgetting things for two months, and I still have symptoms. Take care of your brains, Friends. It’s no fun at all when they malfunction (though apparently, I came up with some interesting neologisms in the early days–like inchwheel in place of measuring tape). Might I state here that when you are the household’s chief of logistics, it’s poor timing to suffer a brain impairment whilst in the midst of buying a home and selling a home and transporting a family across state lines.  However, this development provided an excellent opportunity to be reminded of my dear husband’s tremendous competence, reliability, trustworthiness, patience, and kindness. Might I also state here that the overwhelming kindnesses at the hands of family, neighbors, and church family didn’t make leaving any easier.


  • If you’re looking carefully at these photos, you might understand why we are painting the exterior. The paint is worn. And the color consultant at the paint store commented, upon seeing the photos we brought her of our house, that the colors on the exterior were, um, extreme. Our last home had been freshly painted when we bought it (and the color was acceptable), so we didn’t paint until it needed it. Our new home needs it, and I am ever so glad to have that justification for painting it now. I am pondering painting as a way to claim a thing (a house for example) as one’s own. I’ve also been thinking about the assertions that inhere in rearranging the furniture, but that is a story for another day.


  • In the middle of all this life happening, Rich and I marked a decade of marriage. Our anniversary landed on Labor Day Weekend, as it did the year we married. We spent the weekend in Arizona looking at two more houses. It wasn’t the cruise to Alaska we initially contemplated. It wasn’t the road trip between South Carolina and Virginia we had considered. It was time spent together, deliberating over closet placements and garage sizes and kitchen appliances and all the other accoutrements of the home that will stand as shelter and stage for the next chapter of this life we’re making together. And that seemed like exactly the right way to mark an anniversary.


rabbit conga

18 My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
    in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
19 And it will hail when the forest falls down,
    and the city will be utterly laid low.
20 Happy are you who sow beside all waters,
    who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.
Isaiah 32:18-20 (ESV)


  1. Welcome back, friend!! I live this!!!! (And those chickens!)

  2. IG … LOVE this

  3. Great to see you blogging again!!!

Leave a Comment