** Thank You **

comments: 13












Thank you so much for all your kind words about Clover. We read every comment and were moved to tears several times. I am so touched that there are still so many of you who remembered when we got her back in 2007 (and even those of you who remembered Audrey). I find it just so touching that people take a little moment to think about a little dog they've never met in real life, and wish her well on the next part of her journey. Thank you for doing that, and sharing that with our family. It really helped me and I am grateful for your gentle kindnesses here. Thank you.

We have been working like crazy on our yard. I was sitting in the hot tub a few mornings ago just staring out at the backyard, feeling proud of what we have done. I realized that both the front and back yards felt a bit like the secret garden. We had kind of neglected the back yard, especially. Dead leaves, dead plants in pots, yucky hydrangeas covered in old brown blossoms, broken pots. A very gnarly porch rug covered in black stuff. Empty planter boxes on the porch. A ton of crabgrass in the front borders. Almost nothing but strawberries, a few calendulas, and a forget-me-not in the raised beds in the hellstrip. I mean, it happens, over the winter. This is all pretty standard. But it had been a while since we'd really done a thorough accounting of our plants, and really tried to get nice stuff (even a few perennials) into our many pots (I counted a total of 31), and had bought compost to mulch the beds. So we started cleaning out old pots, going to the nursery to get a few things every week to plant in them, moving strawberries from the raised bed into pots in the backyard, planting the planters with stuff that will be pretty in a month or two. We ordered two yards of compost and had it delivered to the driveway, and Andy spent the weekend covering the beds in brown paper bags to keep down the weeds and topping it all off with several inches of compost. Trimming back the ornamental grasses, which have grown monstrous and probably need to be divided. Planting a few clematises to replace our big one that looks mostly dead. (They often looks mostly dead in spring before they leaf out, but this one looks particularly dead.) Amelia and I started a new hobby of constantly checking NextDoor (neighborhood app) for new postings of free plants and, when we saw something good, jumping into the car and hauling across the neighborhood to be there first (and, we often are!) So far we've gotten a clump of pink phlox, a bleeding heart, and, yesterday, a whole bunch of purple alliums! That said, you get what you pay for sometimes — by the time we got to the bleeding hearts, the plant had been completely run over by a car and was smashed to smithereens. We still took it home and planted it. I even got that darling green table for twenty dollars! So, everything was looking so pretty. The apple and dogwood trees were about to bloom. The tulips were in full flush, the daffodils were finished, the magnolia was flowering, the hydrangeas are fully leafed out. And then at 3:30 a.m. I woke up to go to the bathroom and look at this:




SOB! Noooooooo! Oh my stars. Absolute chaos. I had heard rumors of this in the forecast but never thought it'd hit us here on the valley floor. It was literally 76 degrees three days ago! And now it's 36! We hardly get this much snow even in the middle of winter, let alone almost mid-April. So, school is canceled today, even online school for us, due to many power outages around town, and I know there are many downed big trees from the pictures I'm seeing on the news. I mean, many trees are fully leafed out or heavy with cherry blossoms or other blossoms right now so, oh my. They say we haven't seen this kind of thing in eighty years here. Quite unusual and I won't lie, I want it to melt immediately. I was absolutely and totally ready for and indulging in spring.

I have my April design for A Tender Year ready, and I just need to proofread it and then post it. I will do that tomorrow or Wednesday, I promise. I got behind in my work and Amelia got really behind in hers while Andy and I were busy with Clover, and it was a unique kind of challenge (I don't want to repeat) trying to get her caught back up. She was about eleven or twelve assignments behind and wow, that was a first. Do not recommend. Anyway, my April design is ready and has been photographed and I just need to get back in my swing. I was able to send another check (for $110 this time) to the Ukrainian Bible Church last week, so we altogether sent $360 to Ukraine for the month of March. The war continues to rage on in a horrendous way. It's just terrible. I pray for peace daily and it's just . . . absolutely heartbreaking.  I can't even find words.

I am reading The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman and it is very compelling. I am only about halfway through it. At night, I've been watching a lot of Monty and Gardener's World and also these two very light shows that I just absolutely love: One is Baby Ballroom, about little kids (and some tweens) who do ballroom dancing in England, and Old Enough!, about toddlers running their first errands in Japan. I think they are both on Netflix. If you can get a chance to watch Old Enough!, try to watch Season 1, Episode 7. Or also Episode 4. I'm only on Episode 16 myself (they're short, probably fifteen or twenty minutes each). Oh my gosssssh. I am fascinated.


Your photos are gorgeous! I love them so much. I live in Southwestern Ontario, so spring here is definitely later than yours in Oregon.

We have had surprise deep snowfalls this April here as well. *** extra moisture for the green-growing things when it melts *** I am waiting for after this coming rainy week to overseed the grassy parts of my yard.

Hugs to you!

Wow! Just... wow. It looks like an absolute wonderland, a classic depiction of frosted twinkle cottage magically sparkling wonder! But, I get it: Terrible, no good timing. For us, it's been unseasonable heat. Hotter than summer, for a day, maybe two, then cool, again. *sigh*
(I'm lingering here, trying to think of anything else I could say. I think it's because the news is heavy, and life has been surreal and shaky for such a long long spell, so one wants to hold on, slow down, sit in the midst of baking, gardening, chatty posts about television, and the weather. It's almost as though I am inviting myself to sit for some tea. I could fold a basket of laundry, watch a quick episode of something.)

tracy mchugh says: April 11, 2022 at 04:06 PM

dear, dear ones,
our dogs make us better people, don't they? that love shared is unique and so pure. i am sending many hugs and my sincerest condolences. she seemed like the sweetest treasure, your darling Clover Meadow.

xxx tracy mchugh

Oh no re: the spring snow! I hope at least some of your pretties bounce back. We're in central west Tx & we've been bouncing between 90s & 70s; typical spring yet we're never ready for the hot days. Sending you the warmest thoughts about Clover. I remember Puppy Clover and the light she brought to you all after Sweet Audrey. Gosh, how has it been that many years?!! I so appreciate that you've continued to blog. Thank you for the Netflix suggestions. I just finished reading The Guncle yesterday and I wanted to reach into the book and hug everyone.

Since I've never seen snow (I'm from Puerto Rico), I have never been through the struggle of dealing with it. So as soon as I saw those pictures of your 3 am winter wonderland, I thought it was absolutely beautiful, lol!
I absolutely love your pictures; especially the cookie dough one, it looked really appetizing omg

The green table is a treasure! May I suggest putting something under the feet to slow down rotting from being in contact with the soil - maybe bricks or flat stones. Happy Spring!

I've just read about poor Clover, such a sad news. I still remember her being a cub and I actually still remember Audrey. That days corgies had been an exotic in my country and especially black-and-white ones. Wow, I'm following your blog for so, so long now.
The snow looks fantastic on the blooming tree, a bit surreal, but I love this unexpected nature jokes. They always let you really feel the season, the beauty of the moment.

I've been hugging my dogs a bit tighter since I read about sweet Clover. They must think I'm insane, but I give them treats every time, so it all works out.

Ugh, I would have screamed if it had snowed here. I'm originally from Olympia, WA, lived in Seattle for 15 years, then we moved to Vermont a few years ago. Absolutely nothing is blooming yet here, but at least the snow is finally gone. I miss those early Pacific Coast springs...here, everything explodes in about 2 weeks in May, then boom! Summer.

Having followed you for years (at least 10!) I know you love British TV and gardeners, but have you discovered Carol Klein? Her 2011 series "Life in a Cottage Garden" was so soothing and gorgeous, following the progress of her Devon garden over the course of the year. The whole series is up on You Tube. She's often on "Gardener's World" with Monty and also has a series called "Gardening with Carol Klein." I think you might like her. =)

I read somewhere that here in the UK we are statistically more likely to get snow at Easter than at Christmas (or even january). A quick flick through my photos confirms this! Like you, i'm ready for spring. There are few things more satisfying than tidying up the garden i think, I just keep staring at it and patting myself on the back, ha ha!

I grew up in VA but have been in Seattle for 8 years. We went to NC last week and it was in the 70s and sunny. We came back home and it’s in the low 40’s and rainy. And windy. So cold. And it flurried and hailed the last 2 days.
I forgot what my first 30 springs were like, and now that I remember I want that weather!! Forget this silly cold, wet thing we have in the PNW!!! I’m boycotting it!

Such a beautiful post, Alicia. I love your series of embroidery pictures--I need to order those soon! I also love that green table--it looks exactly like the one I had years ago. It used to be orange as my mother painted it in the 70's, then she gave it to me and I painted it green, and then I passed it on to my granddaughter who moves a lot and probably couldn't take it with her. I can't think of anyone I'd rather see have it than you and your family! I am so tired of being cold and bundling up, even in the house -- 1oo degrees looks pretty good right now. My flowers are a determined and hardy bunch and they came through the snow okay. I too remember your sweet dog Audrey, and then Clover Meadow-what beautiful dogs they were! We had 3 of our elderly pets die last year and we buried their cremated remains in the backyard in a little graveyard, complete with their own little plant and a laminated picture of them so I can remember sweet memories as I water the yard.

SO much beautiful goodness in this post!

Bleeding heart are pretty tough. I've been ripping it out every year. A bit of root left behind will regenerate.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com