My second anniversary was Sunday, April 4th, 2010. Anniversaries are a funny thing and you must be careful in how you look at them. At first, you think about them in terms of how your life changed. You tend to remember what you used to have and be able to do, not what you DO have and CAN do. Some people say anniversaries are hard. I was around some of that thinking early on, and guess what, they were hard. By the time I got to a year, I had changed how I looked at things and I refused to be influenced by anyone else's thinking. So, I decided that on April 4, 2009 that I would CELEBRATE my first anniversary. I thought about what I loved to do the most in this world and decided that was to be out taking pictures on a beautiful day finding the beauty in the worlda nd trying to capture it. So, I went to a couple of conservation properties to take pictures for the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee calendar that I do. That day I took one of my favorite pictures of 2009, Redbuds and Scooters. It's this month's (April 2010) shot in the calendar. It was a glorious spring day and I reveled in being alive and able to appreciate it.
Redbuds and Scooters (click for a larger view)
While I was there, I took a pictures of the lambs. They are so cute, who could resist? (click for a larger view)
This year, when I thought about how to celebrate my second anniversary, I thought about gardening and photography, so I decided I would do both. We are turning our back yard into organic vegetable beds, so I worked to finish the last 5 of 12 beds we are making this year. The other 7 have already been planted.
After edging and rototilling the grass, it's time to rake it and remove it. Look at that left-hand involvement! I had a right-side stroke, so my left is my affected side. I try to use my hand and arm in everything I do, rather than let it hang there. photo by Deborah Thomas
Once the grass is gone, it's time to till deeper. I've found that mowing the lawn, roto-tilling, and other yard work that uses both hands is good physical therapy. If you are in stroke recovery, your spouse will be glad if you take in up for PT!
photo by Deborah Thomas
We have 4 cold frames that we grow lettuce and arugula in. We use old sliding-glass doors for the covers. They have double-pane glass and are fairly easy to come by. We have fresh lettuce right through the winter. I've scraped snow off the ones we had in the NC mountains and picked arugula in February!
photo by Deborah Thomas
For the photography portion of the day, I decided to fo to Brookgreen Gardens and take pictures of the spring flowers and their new butterfly exhibit. Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park are across the street from each other and are Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington's gift to the world. After the Cowee Mound in Franklin, NC, it's my favorite place, and just 3 miles down the road from our house. I took my own advice from my speech to Life Care Centers of America and went to "find the beauty".
The Oak Alley at Brookgreen Gardens, formerly Brookgreen Plantation. These live oaks are hundreds of years old. They are traditional in the alley from the road to the plantation house. April 4, 2010 (click for a larger view)
"Sampson and the Lion" with Iceland poppies. April 4, 2010 (click for a larger view)
Painted Lady on an apple slice. April 4, 2010 (click for a larger view)
Painted Lady. April 4, 2010 (click for a larger view)
Zebra Longwing or Zebra Heliconian. April 4, 2010 (click for a larger view)