Around the House and Garden




Hello lovelies.  How have you been?  Tell me everything.



I took a little walkabout in the garden the other evening and took a few snaps.


If I am not at the hospital or a pharmacy, I am almost always in the garden.  Despite my allergies I just have to get digging, raking, clipping and talking this out with God. 



But the truth is nothing is normal anymore.  It is a heartbreaking situation.




I remain grateful for all I have and all I don't have.  I love you all. xo

75 comments

  1. I know first hand it is a heartbreaking situation. I'm still sending prayers your way.
    Linda

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  2. How sweet of you to ask how we are! Though I only know of you through this blog (I only follow two blogs) I think of you often and am always checking back to see things in your world. Your garden is beautiful as is your home. My world is just now beginning to warm up--we had a blizzard four weeks ago. My son is graduating from high school...all my precious children and my granddaughter will be coming in to overwhelm the house next week. I can't wait...we only get to be together once or twice a year if we're lucky. And there's a graduation party with chicken and waffles. Know you're in my thoughts, though. All happiness is tinged with a bit of sadness isn't it? Or is it the other way around?

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  3. I know exactly how you are feeling. I pray God will give you both strength. Enjoy every minute together. I spent the weekend watching the royal wedding and it did not disappoint. I loved every detail. The flowers were amazing. I think of you often. xo

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  4. Dear Janet,

    I hear you. Please keep sharing your journey in all of it's joy and heartbreak. Holding your family in the eternal light.

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  5. Long time reader, first time commenter. I know a bit of how your current situation feels and, oh, the exhaustion. Continue to soak in whatever joy you can. Sending best wishes and healing thoughts for you and your beloved.

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  6. Janet, I hope you find solace in that lovely garden. Hoping, too, that Larry is comfortable during this break from treatment that you mentioned in your last post. Here in Michigan we are getting LOTS of rain with some sunny, warm days thrown in; bringing forth lush, beautiful greenery. It's a beautiful time of year...good for the soul. Hoping you feel all the love being sent your way. xo

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  7. Right now, in your beloved garden is probably one of the best, most comforting places for you. Your roses are gorgeous. I had to give up roses. It's too hard here, they don't like it here. My peonies are about to burst. My lilacs are all but gone. My iris are happily fragrant. I just returned from visiting my in laws who live north of me 500 miles in Minnesota. You know what they have that I don't have here in my corner of the prairie? Beatutiful rocks! They ran a gravel business. When my hubs and I go up to visit, I always pack some rocks in my car to bring home. Rocks are so expensive here. My I laws just laugh at me. So, my husband figured out years ago to just go along with it. He is sure to pack them to minimize any dangerous rock movement while traveling. I can't bring great big boulders, I have a Subaru Forester, so I can haul some nice size specimens. They are beautiful to me, part of my husband's heritage.

    Goodbyes are hard. Take care and know a friend here in Nebraska is praying for you.

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  8. Oh Janet...as one of your many readers, we are heartbroken along with you for your loss of what was once normal. Sometimes in life we must be willing to accept a new normal. It isn't always worse, but different.

    I spent the day in my gardens, along with mowing. A gorgeous day here in eastern PA. Tomorrow, not so much. But like life, we must take the good with the bad. I pray the respite from treatment will be therapeutic for both you & Larry. Treatment is necessary, but a break to try to get your breath is a gift. We are all praying for you & I personally believe in the power of prayer because I have seen it in action. Your talks with God are good for you & He loves hearing your voice. You are not forgotten.

    I have to comment on Amie's comment, because it reminds me of my childhood when every trip included rocks being hauled back home to my mom's garden. I was a good student, & love rocks as well. Where I live now is rock heaven...in the creek, in the ground & just lying around. They are the common components of all my gardens.

    Godspeed Janet & Larry. We will hold you up when you haven't the strength on your own.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek
    ...all is grace!

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  9. Your home and garden are perfection. My few rose bushes are blooming. One is a tiny pink runner that's so sweet. My two tomato plants are growing but my lettuce didn't bother coming up.

    I hope you and Larry can enjoy the break from treatment. I'm praying for a full recovery and sending love to both of you. 💙

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  10. This is what gardens are for, no? We are here for you Janet, and I hope that brings some strength and comfort.

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  11. I found you on instagram and made my way to your blog. Other readers have so beautifully expressed empathy and I too, would like to add that I have been in your shoes. Dig, muck about, wipe the sweat from your brow...it is all good for the soul. You will find joy in the broken places and the light will find its way in, somehow. I remember clearly those days that I could not carry myself and yet, the prayers of others kept us afloat somehow. I pray that both of your needs are met at every turn. God bless.

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  12. Reach out. Hundreds of warm, strong hands stand ready to hold yours and Larry's. Speak what is on your mind. It will become more bearable.
    Thank you for the tour of your lovely garden . . . your concern for "us"

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  13. Heartbreaking. You have such natural access to beauty, how you write, what you see, what you arrange, even in a time like this. I am so sorry, I hope for the best.

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  14. Your garden is beautiful, and I glad you have that to spend time in. When you said ‘nothing is normal any more’ it really struck me. That’s exactly how I felt when we found out my husband was sick..and not until I read your post a few minutes ago did I remember that it was exactly two years ago today that he was diagnosed...and not a day has been normal ever since.
    I’m sending wishes for strength to both of you!

    Andrea

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  15. Dearest Janet,

    The path you and Larry are on is scary, uncertain, and heartbreaking, I know. I am so glad you are talking to God. It is what He wants! During my cancer journey, I have found comfort in God's Word, but these two verses from Psalm 91 have been my signature claim. "For He will give His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone."

    What's up with me? I just had revision surgery on my breast reconstruction. I had what they call a tram flap. Fat and skin were taken from my belly and new "breasts" were constructed. (because I had radiation, I could not have the more common implants.) That first surgery was the hardest thing I have ever done--14 hours in the operating room and 5 days in intensive care. But I went from a mutilated mess to pretty good looking new breasts. Next my surgeon will actually tatoo nipples on! I am so greateful for the amazing skill of my plastic surgeon and for all the comfort and care I have received from the medical staff at my cancer center.

    I now feel that I can begin to live my life again. You and Larry will be there someday too. You have to walk through it, though. Do we have guarantees? No, none of us do, really. But take each day as it comes, and keep your eye on the One who gives healing and life. His promises are sure and true!

    Isabella

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  16. Always so glad to see a new post from you, Janet. You are daily in my thoughts and prayers. You have brought me so much joy during the time I have followed your lovely blog----especially a few years back when I was going through a health crisis. Thank you for keeping us updated. I continue to pray for healing for Larry and comfort and peace for you both.

    Judy

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  17. My dear Janet, I admire your strength and your grace so very much and understand why sometimes you come to us for a chat. Normal jumps out the window when illness comes a-knocking at,the door and I've found Blogland is my chosen fix of normal when needed.
    I'm embarrassed to say that during hubby's recent hospitalisation I zonked out indoors when not with him. The result is a totally abandoned garden, so I've had to call a gardening firm in to fix it. Again. It's a mess now and they don't have a slot for a few weeks so I dread to think what it will be like then! But I'm getting them to remove all the aged leggy shrubs and palms and the invasive echium, agapanthus and crocosmia, leaving me with a cleaner space, albeit rather bare!
    Hugs my beautiful friend, your garden looks beautiful and is clearly a great friend for you right now, x.

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  18. Au courage, as the French say. Wishing you strength.

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  19. Gratitude even in the darkest moments is the key. I love it that so many people who’ve not met you and L are praying and sending love and strength. One of your first posts I read said in your darkest moment your garden saved you. Me too. Sending love whiskey chewing gum and re hashed old jokes because I can xxx

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  20. Sending you love and healing . It’s nice to see the loving support you have.

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  21. Your comments reminded me of my late mother's solution to anything that was troubling her, was to go outside. If were were sad, or hurt or had a disagreement she insisted that we go outside. Everything seemed different and possible there, it still does. Best to you and your husband.

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  22. Janet, thank you for touching base with us. I hope that all the love in the comments (mine included) helps to buoy you up during this difficult time.

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  23. Janet- if I could live anywhere in the world, in any kind of home- I would choose your cottage and garden. There is something so beautiful, serene, and comfortable about it which I suspect is a reflection of you. I think of you and Larry often. I pray that Larry has a full recovery and send my love to you both. I started gardening for the first time this spring and wow is it a difficult thing to do. Feel like I need a whole lot of patience which was never my strongest trait! But I already feel a sense of relaxation when digging, raking, pulling, and planting. I am glad you have your gorgeous garden during this difficult time. Take care, always.

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  24. Sending my love and prayers during this difficult time. I am a 23 year ovarian cancer survivor. Your pictures and the garden are beautiful.

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  25. No words, just feeling your pain. Hugs......

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  26. Over the years I have found that there is nothing more healing or comforting than a garden. In the past my garden has helped me get through some very difficult times. I completely understand your need to be close to beauty and the natural world during this time.

    Send my thoughts and prayers.

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  27. Dear Janet, It is such a testament to your kind & gentle spirit that with all you are going through you ask about us! I always get such solace & peace from being outside in my garden. Where else can you find such serenity? I always remember my dear Grandma telling me in Springtime, when the crocuses were poking up through the snow or when bulbs were blooming, that the "magic" was happening again! Is it any wonder that I love gardening as she did! I am so glad you have such a beautiful place to find peace & strength.

    I love these words by St. Thomas Moore:

    "I have a garden of my own,
    With flowers of every hue.
    I love it dearly on my own,
    But I shall love it more with you!"

    Thank you for sharing such lovely snaps of your garden! I think of you & pray for you & your dear husband so often but will especially pray for you both when I am "in the garden." Sending a big hug & so much love to you-

    Kathy Bunge

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  28. Oh child. Your heart is broken, exhausted and depressed. I want you to know that I started pressing leaves in much your same situation. The payoff [for me] was a new sense of artistic focus amidst chaos. Try it. Go outside, snap a twig of leaves that appeals, come in and set that twig between sheets of newsprint, plop a book or two on top. Come back later, changeout the dampened newsprint to dry. If you feel confident, tackle flower petals along w/ the leaves. When dampness no longer shows up in your newsprint, mount the speciman into a pretty arrangement on cardstock. [I got a pad of newsprint and some cardstock in the Walmart crafts section. And a can of spray adhesive for mounting.] You're surrounded by greenery and flowers, just try doing one. See if you like it. Google "pressed botanicals" for inspiration. With so much love to you, Janet.

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  29. Dear Janet - just keep putting one foot in front of the other: it's all we can do. Sending love from Kent, England.

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  30. Your home and gardens are stunning. I find peace and comfort from being outside in a quiet spot or digging my hands in the dirt, too. I have a close friend going through the same situation as you (husband with cancer) and I feel so helpless. I send both of you my love and prayers.

    ~ Melanie from northern Illinois (USA)

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  31. May God bring you and Larry strength and courage.
    Claudia

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  32. Oh Janet, I have just found you again after having wandered off course for a while and I am so sorry to hear this news. All I can do is send you a virtual hug and some healing thoughts. I only just realised quite how inspired I have been by your blog - i finally turned vegan in November. Thank you, and blessings to you both, Suzie in Wiltshire, UK xxxxx

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  33. God given courage for the day .... hour by hour.... I totally get being in the garden... digging in the dirt ... enjoying the beauty of those flowers... and just breathing in a little peace... Hopefully.... Blessings to you both...

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  34. You are such a joy Janet and I wish I could make things normal for you. I've been down today and you are reminding me to keep things in perspective and count my many blessings. Lots of love from the rainy Midwest.

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  35. Praying and thinking of you. When you come into my thoughts I stop and pray. I find peace in the garden too, I talk to God, work out my heart with him and it's where I feel closer to him. Sending you a hug. xx

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  36. It's been wet...wet....wet...and hot here in the southeast. My herbs love it, my potted geraniums are about to give up. But I rest my head to a symphony of tree frogs and that's pretty wonderful. Your home and garden inspires me so much to keep trying so that some day I'll have a little place all my own. Right now I'm calling my wee pink cottage rental my practice house. Always keeping your family in my thoughts and sending love and light.

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  37. I hope you find peace and comfort in your garden. And that your husband does, too.

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  38. I think your statement "I remain grateful for all I have and all I don't have" is key. You have simplified your life in so many ways. It's probably such a good thing to not be encumbered with too many things to maintain in your life and home. You can focus on your sweetheart. It definitely brings a change of perspective doesn't it? Praying for strength as you process the hard things and that God speaks to you in whispers as you prune and dig.

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  39. hello darling AJJ
    i have lingered over the garden and i have read every comment.
    you are loved. and now Larry is too. and the two of you have a special place in our hearts and prayers. try to laugh each day. that should be a prescription. and if you can ... even a belly laugh 'doeth good like a medicine!' XO

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  40. “We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it is our garden that is really nurturing us.”-Jenny Uglow
    You and Larry are in my thoughts.

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  41. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU...............ARMS ARE WIDE and I LOOK forward to YOU coming to VISIT ME ANYTIME!We will sit in the GARDEN and compare roses and dirt amendments!Banksy will KISS your toes and Winston will BARK SWEET NOTHINGS TO YOU!
    XOXO

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  42. I can understand what you mean about finding solace and some peace digging in your garden…My family went through a tough time last year that wreaked havoc on our peace of mind and I turned to my flowerbeds to work through it all. Even though I only know you a little through your blog, I think of you and your husband often, and pray for comfort and peace for both of you.
    P.S. Your roses look amazing!

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  43. I have been reading your blog for a long time and this is the first time that I have posted. I am so sorry that you and your husband are going through this stressful time. I wish I had the words that would make life better for the two of you. Recently I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer and from the time of diagnosis to his death was less than 3 weeks. So I sort of understand how challenging a stage 4 illness can be. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. May these comments offer a degree of comfort to you.

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  44. Oh Janet we’ve never met, I won’t say we never will because too many times I’ve been shocked how small the world is, you’ve been on my mind and include you and Larry in my daily prayers. Life can be beautiful one minute than so scary and challenging in a blink. Praying for health, strength and peace for you.
    Much love,
    Kathy Kcarracher instagram

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  45. In a garden, all our plans and efforts don't always work out the way we thought they would.
    Kind of like life.
    But working in that beautiful place can allow the noise in my brain to slow down to a dull ache. In that stillness, I can talk to God and take time to be silent, to hear what He wants to tell me.
    What does He say?
    I love you, my child, I will always love you. You are never forgotten. I am with you; let me give you my peace.
    Praying for strength for you and Larry.
    ~skye

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  46. Everyday I "Check" to see if Janet is in....sending you all the HOPE in the world x

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  47. Dearest Janet,
    I know that you are feeling the lift of the updraft of love and prayers for you and Larry. Having cared for ill loved ones, I know these difficult times are also a gift for us where we are strengthened anew by the caring of others and by God's love.
    I heard something recently that is both simple and profound, and that has been much in my thoughts on our human connection: a military medivac pilot shared that the vital signs of the wounded awaiting transport improved at the sound of the approaching helicopter.
    Our human connection and our abiding help make the difference. Hope, in whatever form it takes, sustains us.
    With love and prayers for you and Larry.

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  48. Dear Janet, wishing you both all the best. Your garden is the perfect place to provide some degree of sanity as you adjust to your new normal xxx

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  49. Miracles do happen, and I continue praying for one for Larry and for you and your family. All my love and support my dear friend. xxoj.

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  50. I get "nothing is normal anymore". It is hard when normal changes on a regular basis due to illness. At the end of it all, love, care and relationship are what remains. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

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  51. Gardens have such an amazing way of helping us through troubled times....
    I have ventured into to my garden for solace...its almost instinctive.
    Performing those simple chores seems to soothe our flagging spirits...
    Take care Janet and I do hope that you and Larry will look back on this difficult patch soon.
    XO

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  52. Dear sweet Janet
    I am sending love to both you and Larry.

    XO Bernadette

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  53. Ohhhh I just love you Janet. You teach me so many things. I hope in a small way we help you too. I think of you and Larry daily and I ask the Universe daily to help you. Jen in Boise xoxoxo

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  54. Oh, those roses are so beautiful! Love walking through your garden, and hoping that the sense of Peace you have while there will strengthen and carry you. Keeping you and Larry in my prayers. So many souls singing together is as beautiful and powerful as a rose bouquet.

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  55. I wish you peace in this storm.

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  56. Janet you and Larry are always in my thoughts. Sending lots of love xx

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  57. I know well how being outside and working in the garden is a help in dealing with difficulties and grief. One step at a time, one moment at a time . . . Peace, hope, and healing to you both, Janet.

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  58. Bend over Mother Earth and tend to her. The flowers and weeds, yes weeds too, offer a healing that cannot be described. Let your soul be comforted by the soil, the warming sun and birdsong.

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  59. So great to hear from you. You are in my thoughts with lots of love.

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  60. I think of you and Larry nearly every day and include you in my prayers. So glad you have a beautiful peaceful garden to tend during these difficult times. Sending you and Larry lots of love.

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  61. Gardens are the best healers of the soul. Yours are so beautiful and thank you for sharing. Sending much love to you and Larry and may healing, peace and strength be there for both of you.

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  62. You both are always in my prayers, your garden looks so serene and peaceful ❤️

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  63. Dear Larry and Janet,
    You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I know you are both strong.
    Then I can look forward to your visit to Umbria.
    Lots of love, Robin

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  64. Everyday, I send up prayers and good wishes for you and Larry.

    Thank you for checking in with us and your garden is beautiful!!

    Renee in Northern California

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  65. I’m so sorry. Prayers for you and Larry continue.

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  66. Hi Janet, I'm glad you can find solace and comfort in the garden. Your roses are just beautiful. Thinking of you both daily. You are one strong woman, Larry is a very lucky man to have you by his side through all of this.

    Linda
    xo

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  67. Your garden looks gorgeous, Janet. Gardening is therapeutic in times of trouble and grief. I'm thinking of you and your husband. Sending strength and hugs to you.

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  68. Hi Janet, I’ve been thinking about you of late. I needed to stop by and take in some of your garden beauty here. I wanted you to know that your Larry is heavy on my heart, and you my dear I pray you have strength to endure every hurtle you have to jump.
    Yes, enjoy the beauty God planned for you knowing he hears every silent thought your thinking. May comfort come over you knowing there is a complete healing ahead of you. This is God’s plan.
    Xx
    Doré

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  69. Your surroundings are so beautiful among circumstances that prevail.
    I too have enjoyed digging weeding and stepping back to enjoy. I've been watching the sunsets over the small pond out back.
    I continue to organize n rid out. Thank you for always showing us that less is more.
    I will continue to pray for your dear husband and family.

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  70. The garden is very healing. Somehow it eases the mind. I have found this over the last 9 months since losing my husband. Take solace in your garden when all else fails. I will think of you and yours as I potter, dig and weed. But do not forget to stop and smell the roses.

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  71. Janet,

    I have followed your precious blog for many years. I don't know you, but feel such a strong and emotional "tug" for you and Larry. I am very sad that you both have to contend with this. I know some of what you are going through, having walked through it myself with my father. I know that you have much appreciation and gratitude for many things in your life, gardening being one of them. I hope that you continue to find respite there.

    I am thinking of you and Larry. I wish there was more to say. xo

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  72. Well, I've resisted commenting for no good reason, but I can't anymore. Your posts display your kindhearted personality and love of beauty. They defy many decorating/home posts b/c your home is for most of us - attainable. It is this that makes me aware that your suffering during this time is also common to us, at one time or another in life. So I will "tell you everything." I am praying for you. When in deep distress, I often googled "clean jokes" in the middle of the night. It helped to laugh out loud. Umm, let's see. I've been working in the garden, barefoot. I'm trying to regain, recover, and rediscover one of my great joys that I let go when it no longer held joy for me after several losses. But you know our gardens - they call to us. Four large bags of thorny sticks and wild grapevine later, one rose is almost ready to re-tie over its arbor. The chickadees complained. Everyone else went about their own business, flying to and fro. I've finally been out there enough that almost everyone ignores me now. As I clipped and broke, sweated and listened, hoped and watched, I thought of you.

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  73. Thinking of you and your lovely home and garden and family.
    You bring beauty where you are.
    Praying for Larry and you.

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  74. Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden. I also find gardening to be quite therapeutic. Sending prayers for you and your husband.

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kindness is never out of style.

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