Bug,  Family Matters,  Life Lessons,  Moody Blues,  the sticks

rest and reprieve

spring in the sticks

It’s been a couple of rough weeks around here. First the week of endless puking and then some business paperwork stress that has taxed my brain so hard I have almost considered giving up being a freelancer all together. But that’s neither here nor there. The good news is that my mom’s house is only an hour and a half away and I’m welcome there anytime.

mom's chair

Running away to my mom’s house is not always a vacation. They always have some sort of drama going on. But this time my mom forced me to stay home while she and my sister-in-law went galavanting around town running errands with my kid. I worked for several hours in perfect peace and quiet and then I went and sat in her backyard. It was just what I needed.



Spring is here in Southern California and it is so pretty. The grass in my mom’s yard grew about three feet from all the recent rain we’ve had and desperately needs to be mowed. Of course a lawnmower is nowhere to be found since my mom has her belongings strewn between two properties. Whatever you need is always at the other house.

putting in a rose garden

Later when my family returned, I couldn’t stand it any more and I broke out the shovel. The soft earth was just calling to be tilled. We put in about five rose bushes that had been sitting soaking in a wheel barrow for about three weeks. Those poor roses. They were very happy to finally have their roots in some real dirt. It felt good to actually break a sweat and do some honest work. I need to do that more often.


Even though my mind has been heavy with worry, I feel like I’ve had a few moments to rest and recharge out here. The problems of the world are not solved but at least we have enjoyed the weather and each other. That’s all we really have.


  • Clover

    It does feel wonderful to get outside and do something physical! It’s below zero here in upstate NY this morning, though, so I’m envying your green! Beautiful pictures, as usual.

  • Spandrel Studios

    Ah, to live in Southern California… Last week, the bulbs here outside of Philadelphia were just starting to poke up through the soil, but tomorrow we’re slated to get hit with 8 to 12 inches of snow! (We really need to move someplace warmer.)

  • Uncle George

    SAJ, I’m sooo glad you got some “Me” time by yourself. You are one tough cookie, with all you have been through. I didn’t make it any easier, exception being the Otter Pops. EGBOK.

    You have the most wonderful family, I love their place out in the hinterland, it’s great to see you and BB having fun there.

    Yeah, mom’s tulips are blooming up here on the North Coast, and we have Daffodil Madness, everywhere you go.

  • BethanyInBoston

    Sun an flowers are good for the soul! They always make me feel better, too!

    The only problem is that I can only dream about Spring. Here in Boston it will snow for the next three days and probably several more times before Spring fnally comes.

    Thanks for your Spring pics. They ake me hopeful!

  • BeachMama

    Oh Spring, is it really close? Thank you for sharing your photos with us, help us through this last bit of Winter. Hope you get everything done and you are stressless soon.

  • Gayle

    What beautiful photos. It makes me yearn for spring to arrive here. We’re getting snow later today and tomorrow. Spring will be here, but not soon enough for me!

    You are so right, that is all we really have.

  • Anna-b-bonkers

    You are so right. That is all we really have…family, no matter what.
    I hope things get normal again, whatever that might mean. I am feeling the same.

    Your mom’s yard makes me yearn for being out at the lake. I am dying to plant bulbs and have gone and planted hundreds of little seeds in hopes of some fun planing with the kids.
    Yay, spring!

  • DeeJay

    Oh, so wonderful to see you enjoying yourself. Yard work always seems to help me to keep a clear mind. Lots of thinking and deciding happens during those times.

    Husband and I had a heart to heart and are changing up how we handle household finances. We are attempting to do them together…in a way. He loves doing the finances, and I don’t. But I can’t just let go either so we are meeting about 3/4 of the way down the road. Blah blah, eh?

    Anyway I hope that when he and I are able to come play in San Diego that we can find the time to meet up and play in the yard, paint pottery, go to a museum or aquarium and have a latte together. Maybe not all, but one or two of the above.

    I have been reading your blog for so long now that I feel like you guys are my relatives. Whacky, but you guys are in my thoughts and prayers always.

    Please know that you do have a confidante in me if you ever need one. You also have a friend if you ever need another.

    Be well and remember that tomorrow is a new day.

  • Jillian

    Love the banner also. :)

    And sorry for the totally random question, hope you don’t mind my asking – what shoes are you wearing in the first pic? They look really comfy and like they could go just about anywhere. (And if that is too strange to ask, my apologies!)

    SAJ says: Not strange at all! They are actually Earth shoes that my mom bought. I didn’t like them at first but they are terribly comfortable.

  • Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com

    A) I love the new banner.
    B) It looks like Bug is doing SO MUCH better and that’s great! =)
    C) Our grass grew three feet overnight too! Seriously, what’s with this whole spring thing? Why couldn’t it disperse the grass growth a little more evenly?

  • Mrs. Wilson

    LOVE the new banner! (I love all of them, so I guess I’ll just keep saying that every month.)

    I’m so glad you got a weekend away. Seeing photos of BEAUTIFUL WEATHER makes me long for summer. It’s -27C here right now. Yucky.

    ps. you take beautiful photos.

  • lynne

    I’m sorry that you’ve had so much worry recently. Losing a family member is hard. Take as much time out as you need to recuperate. Look after yourself. Big Hugs.

  • Sarah

    Oh that sunshine is just what I need! I can’t wait for spring to make its way up here to the northwest! I love the red chair

  • Erin

    I am actually physically aching for grass. I need some spring, too. Out here in MA we’re covered in snow today. Spring, come soon!!

  • Nicole

    That sounds wonderful!
    I took a getaway to my mom this past weekend as well. Not quite as close but worth every hour in the car.