Monday, January 22, 2018


It has been a brutal January… brutal in many aspects of my life, and this old body does not like winter either.  In the innermost part of my soul it’s been snowing for a while now, and outside is cold and windy and it is the usual January of my yesterdays.  

There are nights when I question our decision to return over and over, and there are days when passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, daunting from a distance. 

We have been working in the garden step by step—mostly, doing some aggressive pruning on everything that somehow still remains alive out there.  We have eliminated one of the wild grapes, and although we were not able to remove it in its entirety, and roots are still deeply set in the ground, I will make sure those awful shoots won’t stand a chance again. 

There’s yet one or two more grapevines I want to remove as well, and I have cleaned out parts of the flowerbeds where the big fountain now sits.  There's much more to be done in that area, and I will have to pull out from its roots all that groundcover that has taken over everything.  But it will have to be at a later time, when it starts growing again, and I can exactly define where their roots are.  

The roses, including all the climbers, are now pruned down to the ground, and what a respite this has been... to see unpleasant canes gone and cleaned walls ready for a new beginning.  We still have to decide who’s picking up all this trash and debris out of the garden, and I hope it isn't me, because it won't be just a single trip to the dump, and all those long, prickly canes are a most treacherous of things, and the garden is the ultimate most discouraging little place in the whole wide world right now.

If one thing I’m doing differently this time in my garden without the least of remorse, is the callousness under which I’m working.  The affection, the tenderness, all is gone.  I’m pruning aggressively, cutting away with total indifference, and if whatever is left in the garden dies under my brutality, then let it be.  Nothing could be worse than what already is.  So, let be it.     

People ask me why I keep changing things in my house so often and so radically, and perhaps it all has to do with the emotions that are controlling me these days? 

I need to be busy, be occupied in something I love.  Our nest is clean and organized, and I can only do so much outside for now... 

To reconnect with my inner peace, I decorate and redecorate.  My little gypsy room has been the scapegoat of all this craziness going on inside me… this is where I spend a lot of time playing with pretty things... and changing things around again again and again…


I had forgotten that when we went to Israel last summer I had brought home with me a lovely assortment of silk scarves that I'm using for different purposes around the house, because they are so big and lush and colorful and pretty!... now, they are embellishing this sofa!

This little corner here is my favorite... 

I love going through pages and pages of home and garden books sitting on the floor...

Plants make me so happy...  so I keep pilling them up!

Every time you see pictures of this couch and this room, I have changed everything about it.  But I think they all look beautiful.

Today, I brought a dead tree from the garden in here... it is to be my magical tree now, and I have embellished it with fairy lights and whatnots...  I will be showing it to you later so I won't bore you.  In the meantime, I will keep busy thinking of whatever else I can do here to keep my sad little heart happy, until the sun comes out again and much needed warmth fills the earth with mirth and joyfulness again...

See you soon my friend!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The lost garden

On Saturday, January 13, I started working in the garden.  And who would have thought or dreamed of working the grounds in January years ago?  But yes, climate is definitely changing. I remember how it snowed and snowed, the whole world over from December to February, and even more.  Snow swept the world from end to end.  But not anymore.

In any case, we are having a mild winter–alarmingly mild. Yesterday it reached 35 degrees. It’s not unusual to have a January warm-spell. But what that usually means is a week or two with highs in the mid-30s. The snow is gone, except on the north-facing slopes and where the plow has piled it high.  But this is still winter! 

Nevertheless, I’ve started pruning roses and cleaning debris off flowerbeds.  The ivy that remained from years ago when I took them out had regrown, and it has expanded and their roots are so deep in the ground, and so hard to pull, that I wasn’t able to eradicate them for good this time.  Seeds floating in the wind have planted themselves really well too, and there are some type of shrubs or little trees growing everywhere.  Thankfully, they are easy to pull out.  What a total mess this is!

Overgrown vines are the worth of all!  The wild grapes and Virginia creepers have been left to grow unchecked, and are now climbing rampant on shrubs and trees.  The long, thick branches of the wild grapes have created some very thick canopies on nearby shrubs and trees, shaping them almost into a huge mass, and causing damage and breakage of limbs.  The beautiful old lilac tree is in a most disarray too, some of its branches are broken and the weight of the vines on it had caused the trunk to split in such way, that now part of the tree faces east and another part west. 

I have been doing some aggressive pruning on the roses, cutting them almost to the ground and cleaning their spaces out of debris and unwanted grasses that have populated flowerbeds.  All the roses are in very poor condition.  Some of them had died, and must be pulled out and replaced. I used to have a list of all my roses, with names, and specifics such as date of purchase and such.  I don’t know where that list went and I have forgotten all of their names, except for some. So now I’ll have to start from ground zero and I might even have to give my roses new names.  Names, of course, I will choose for myself this time as I see fit.

In those parts where the snow has withdrawn, the grass is green and brittle and all over the flowerbeds there is a thick layer of matted leaves, pressed down by the weight of the snow, and debris of all sorts. I'm sure my dear little creatures and fairies are not liking what they see...  who would!  It's overwhelming, really.

Here is what weather means now.  Days like these come as a gift–a respite, a precursor of spring, but you can never be too sure.  

Oh, and have you noticed too? I know I have!  “The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer.  Minute by minute they lengthen out.  It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change.  It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise, we realize that we can stay out of doors in a twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour." Vita Sackville-West.  Isn’t that wonderful!

Hoping and waiting for a beautiful, promising spring and a renewed garden!

Sunday, January 14, 2018


January 14… is been a month today since mom died.  And all day today I’ve been living with her in my mind, and in my heart, and my soul had been weighted down by a quieted sorrow. 

Coincidentally, today we discovered something very strange that let us to believe that must probably our mother died of negligence by the personnel of the assisted living facility where she was living. 

The night before she died, dad took her blood pressure, which read very high.  Upon informing the employees who were taking care of her that night about it, the owner was called.  Our father was told by the owner that there was nothing to be worried about because mom was already taking medication for high blood pressure.  The following day, she died. 

After we buried our mother our father went back to the facility to collect mom’s belongings, but her blood pressure meter was not there.  He was told by one of the assistant that the owner had come by the night of mom’s death and had taken her blood pressure meter with her… The meter was returned to our father a few days later.  Dad never opened the case where the meter was kept, but today my sister was visiting dad, and she wasn’t feeling well and upon asking dad for mom’s blood pressure meter she discovered something very puzzling.  The meter’s memory had been wiped out (must probably by the owner herself).  But someone had taken the trouble to write by hand on the box our mother’s name and last name, the last time when her blood pressure was checked (that night before her death), and beside all that, it was also written: “Blood pressure 260/130 –she died the following day”.

Was someone trying to tell us something?  Perhaps her nurse, the woman in which arms mom died that following day?  By the way, that woman left her job right after mom died.  A total mystery to us.

Now we’re sure that mom died of an uncontrolled blood pressure that lead to an impending end-organ dysfunction and a heart attack.  Everyone at her assisted living facility should had known that hypertensive urgency indicates that the blood pressure is high enough to cause serious risk of sudden, life-threatening events, but no one worried about it or did anything.  Perhaps our mother didn’t had an organ failure or other immediately life-threatening conditions that very night, but because her blood pressure wasn’t quickly brought under control, it quickly developed into her death.

We were told that our mother died of a heart attack, but it could had been a number of so many other things… “Neurologic end-organ damage due to uncontrolled BP may include hypertensive encephalopathy, cerebral vascular accident/cerebral infarction, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and/or intracranial hemorrhage. Cardiovascular end-organ damage may include myocardial ischemia/infarction, acute left ventricular dysfunction, acute pulmonary edema, and/or aortic dissection. Other organ systems may also be affected by uncontrolled hypertension, which may lead to acute renal failure/insufficiency, retinopathy, eclampsia, or microangiopathic hemolytic anemia.  The history and the physical examination determine the nature, severity, and management of the hypertensive event. The history should focus on the presence of end-organ dysfunction, the circumstances surrounding the hypertension, and any identifiable etiology.”

But we don’t have any history, or medical report because an autopsy was never done.  I don’t know what to do, if left things as they are, if open an investigation or what… I’m grieving, and I think of her constantly.  Should I expand into sad events, into death or should I give thanks for how quickly and painlessly she departed this life?

My mind is in chaos my heart a dried rose.  I take comfort in knowing that the darker the night, the brighter the stars, the deeper the grief, the closer is God…   or is it not?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The gypsy room

Today, January 13, I decided to toned down a bit my GYPSY ROOM What’s with me, you may ask!  Well, I don’t know! ;)

The thing is, I can crave and love crazy colorful things and a room overfilled with stuff one day, and almost immediately my mind will turn around and I’ll have to go back to muted colors and a less cramped room.   

So, I put some things away, and changed furnitures around...

I decluttered the room a little bit, swapped the teals and orange colors for black and white and added a small black and white area rug I really love...

I also moved favorite princes and princesses to another wall and put some others away…

My favorite boy stays, of course! ;)

I kept the orange dresser for a pop of color...
A embroidered shawl on top makes it look prettier!

I also changed the flowery orange curtains for some sheer plain white panels with cute tassels on the trim.  I love them so much!  Simpler and soothing to the eye!

Can't wait to fill vases with real roses from the garden!

I should name this girl with long braid here... but what?
She's so pretty!
Vintage, eclectic, and so bohemian!
My most recent thrift store treasure...

Hand with gypsy rings and gypsy girls!

I added a new live plant and will be bringing in more...
I want a Prayer plant, a Rubber tree plant and an Areca palm
and and and...

My favorite room may be a little less interesting now; perhaps a bit more boring, but I prefer it this way!  OK, for now anyways! ;) 

I had some colorful gypsy fabric covering this small dresser, but I think I like it better without it.  It is white and gray, the top is covered in a patterned fabric in the same colors, and it matches with the overall atmosphere of the room.

The good thing about my mood changing decorating folly is I can always redecorate this room as much as I want, any time I want! Oh, I think we should all have a room in our house designated just for ourselves!  Even if it is a tiny corner where we could play! Don’t you think so!

Ciao bellas!