First bloom

Yes, I know, I post a photo of a yellow rose every year.  This year is no exception.  We saw our first bloom on the yellow rose bush today.

First bloom

And there are more to come.

Rosebud

“The Rose is without an explanation; She blooms, because She blooms.”  (Angelus Silesius)

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Solar chicken

It’s supposed to be a solar-powered light that comes on as it begins to get dark outside. Unfortunately, the light no longer works, but I do love this solar chicken.  The colors are so vibrant and cheery!

Solar chicken

 

See more odd ball photos or participate in Cee’s challenge here.

Odd ball photo challenge

The beauty of the butterfly

We saw no butterflies in our garden last year until the end of summer.  This year, they have arrived in April, and so far they particularly love the azalea blooms.

 

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.  (Maya Angelou)

Fabulous Friday: Sweetshrub and happiness

Sweetshrub always made me happy when I was a child.  I loved the spicy scent and the color of the blooms. We have two sweetshrub bushes in our garden and they’re blooming now.

 

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. (Omar Khayyam)

HAPPINESS IS CONTAGIOUS!  LET’S INFECT ONE ANOTHER!

Linked to Woodland Gnome’s Fabulous Friday

Dance upon the mountains like a flame

Flame azaleas grow wild here in the mountains of North Georgia, and I always look forward to seeing them bloom in the spring.

Flame azalea 1

Flame azalea 2

Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!  (William Butler Yeats)

Linked to Cee’s Flower of the Day.

 

 

Witch Alder

In the 21 years we have lived here in Northeast Georgia, I have never seen our Fothergilla bloom as it has this year.  Commonly known as Witch Alder or Mountain Witch-Hazel, the Fothergilla is a slow-growing shrub that is native to the southeastern United States.  The flowers are brush-like and bloom from April to early May before the leaves fully appear.

The name Fothergilla honors Dr. John Fothergill, an 18th century English physician and botanist.  I don’t know why the shrub is known as Witch Alder. Does anyone know?

Linked to Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Pink and green on blue

What a lovely contrast between these two trees budding out in pink and green against a cloudless blue sky…

Pink and green on blue

Spring heralds the return

of the sun’s warmth,

the renewal of life,

and the reappearance of green

and color everywhere.

(Jean Van’t Hul)

 

Stroke

It’s amazing how the brain can heal after a stroke.

Many of my blog followers may remember my posts last February after my husband suffered what the doctors said was a major stroke in his brain’s left occipital lobe.  The process of healing was very fast in some regards.  He regained some of the strength on his right side very quickly, although the right side still remains weaker.

In other ways the healing has been slower.  Expressive aphasia, which is the inability to formulate speech, is still a problem.  Knowing what one wants to say and being unable to come up with the correct word or being unable to name an object is very frustrating for my husband.  He was given speech therapy in the hospital during which the therapist would sometimes begin a sentence and my husband was supposed to finish it.  Rarely could he finish the sentence.

However, one day on a whim I began a short sentence in German, “Das ist…” and he finished it!  “Das ist nicht gut.”  I was amazed because my husband’s first language is English, and the only German he ever learned was from his grandfather who immigrated to the U.S. from Germany as a boy.  Then I tried the only sentence we know in Polish, having learned it from Polish friends many years ago, and my husband could finish that sentence!  He couldn’t remember English, but he could remember German and Polish! The speech therapists were intrigued to say the least.  Now, almost seven weeks after the stroke, the aphasia is lessening but sometimes is still a frustration.

In still other ways, healing is coming about very slowly indeed and, we are told, may not come about at all. The stroke left my husband with a loss of half of his vision in each eye and also the inability to read or write.  He is determined to read and write again and practices most every day, but progress is slow.  The vision may never return.  Still, we hold out hope.

The stroke seems to have been the harbinger of a host of other problems that we did not know existed.  My husband now faces two and maybe three heart procedures and three to four procedures on his esophagus, each of which carries its own risks.  We pray that each procedure is successful and that healing will continue.

Quince

Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. (Jeremiah 17:14)

Linked to The Daily Post Challenge: Heal

Three years ago today the journey began

The latest post on my blog about grandson Ben…

Believing for Ben

Grandson Ben’s dad reminded us that it was three years ago today that 6-year-old Ben’s medical journey began.  This journey would see him diagnosed as a 3-year-old with dural arteriovenous fistula, a vascular malformation in the brain that was potentially fatal.  And it would take him to several hospitals and through 3 brain surgeries.  Today, he is a happy, healthy, thoughtful, kind young man who plays sports, enjoys school, and is about to celebrate his 7th birthday.

Here is what Ben’s dad posted today:

Capture Note: TC Thompson is the children’s hospital in Chattanooga, TN.  Scottish-Rite hospital is part of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

And here is Ben (with dark hair) with his dad and his friends Carter and Cameron:

On April 6, 2014,  I posted my first article about Ben’s medical condition.  That was on my original blog unexpectedincommonhours.wordpress.com.  The article later became the first post of this blog which is…

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Cherry blossoms: A bowl of pink sunshine

From my “photos only” blog…

captured for a moment

Pink sunshine

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