Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Family

There is no two ways about it, losing my Dad has been difficult. However, I feel indescribably grateful for my family right now. It could have been a whole lot more difficult without them. 

My aunts (his sisters) cared for my Dad through the end, tirelessly. My Aunt Suzy barely slept. She was there day-in and day-out. My Aunt Gayla stayed with him night after night. My Aunt Cathy and Aunt Barbara gave Suzy and Gayla breaks. Caring for someone that you love when they are dying is not easy. They did their best to make certain that he was as comfortable as he could possibly be through out his final days. Now that he is gone, they have been helping guide me in making decisions about his funeral. I don't know that I could ever thank them enough.

My Grandma told Josh and I that she felt like she should be the one taking care of him. At 85 years old, that just isn't a possibility. Josh told her that in many ways she was doing her part just by being. My aunts were able to draw strength from her. I really liked that. My Grandma Hardin offers the kind of love that envelopes you. She doesn't even have to hug you to feel hugged, although she does give really great hugs.


My half-brother Tim has been incredibly agreeable and thoughtful. We are making some really tough decisions, at lightening speed, and we've been able to work together without fail. I've seen what happens with brothers and sisters don't agree on things and am so glad that we've had such an easy time of it. 

I asked my Mom to attend the services with me. She immediately changed her schedule to make it work. I figured, the more the support the easier it will be. It made me feel so loved that she would drop everything and fly from Montana to Oklahoma to be there with me. That is love.

Last, but most important of all, Joshua has been a rock. He's there for me when I cry. He's there for me when I need shoulder to lean on. He's even there for me and patient when I'm ridiculously cranky. If there was ever a doubt (and there was not), I couldn't find a better choice for a husband. 

I am so appreciative of the messages from extended family, friends, co-workers and more. Thank you to all who expressed interest in helping in some way. We have someone staying at our house over the weekend and watching over Honey. I can't think of a single thing that we might need right now.

My Dad will have a viewing at Mercer Adams (3925 North Asbury Avenue - Bethany, Oklahoma 73008) tomorrow through Saturday morning. On Saturday, we'll have a small service at 1pm at the Bethany Cemetery (63rd and Rockwell). He will be buried near my Grandpa. Then, my family will gather at my Grandmother's home after. 

I've had a few people ask about sending flowers. We'd really prefer that you make a donation to the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) in the name of Robert Hardin. My Dad served in the Navy and the DAV did a lot to help him over the years. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My dad on hospice care


This is hard to write, but there is no getting around the truth. I might as well say it here so that I hopefully won't have to repeat the story over and over and over again. I received the call last week that I've been dreading. My dad is dying. He's been sick for a very long time. Josh and I jumped on the first flight to Oklahoma on Thursday afternoon to see him. I have to say that I don't really know how I would have handled it without Josh. He booked our flights, our car, and our hotel. He watered the plants, organized himself and me and got us to the airport. He was so calm and so patient with me. I was (am) a mess. My dad was non-responsive the entire time that I was there. My aunts are taking turns caring for him with the assistance of hospice. There are not really words for how terrible it is to see your father at the end of his life. I won't drone on and on about it. It was terrible. Josh and I flew home on Sunday night. We figured that we had better handle a few things before we go back for the funeral. I'm overwhelmed....school, work, book, wedding, house, yard, dog....funeral. If you pray, please say a little prayer for my dad and for my family.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple


Joshua and I headed down to ASU this evening to see Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, speak in a small lecture hall. You could hardly beat the intimacy of the setting with such an impressive speaker. It was very interesting to hear the details of his life and the start of Apple. He seemed like a very grounded and kind person. 


Best of all, after we had dinner, we ran into him again on Mill Avenue. He was be-bopping along on his segway. We were able to capture of picture of him with Joshua. 

Both Josh and I were so glad that we were able to take advantage of this opportunity. It was a really neat experience. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pomegranates, roses, trumpet vine flowers, a strawberry and a bird in our orchid tree

Our new yard offers me hours of entertainment! I feel like I never know what I might find when I wander around each week. Now that the majority of the hard work is done until the end of Summer, I can go out in the evenings and just enjoy!


The little red flowers are growing in number on our pomegranate tree. Some of the first blooms have lost their petals and are starting to balloon into baby pomegranates. I read online that they will fully ripen in the Fall. I'm day dreaming about making pomegranate syrup for pancakes and waffles. Doesn't that sound good? I'm definitely going to try to make my own marmalade next year from our orange trees. Yum!


The rose bushes are growing leaps and bounds. They all look wonderful due to Joshua's tender loving care. Tonight, we are going to a meeting of the Phoenix Rose Society. Being that we have at least a dozen bushes, we felt like it might be nice to meet some fellow rose lovers. 


Our purple trumpet vines are quite pretty too. They flower in bunches. We have one that grows along our front yard, west end fence and one next to the wisteria in the back yard. Very pretty!


Last but not least, I spied our first strawberry. It is still a little guy and I should probably get some netting so that a bird doesn't steal it away. Isn't he cute!?

Speaking of birds, I finally got the best night of sleep that I've had in the last week. We've had a bird in the tree outside our bedroom window that enjoys chirping between the hours of midnight and dawn. Thankfully, last night, we were given a little break. The bird still showed up to chirp, but it seemed to arrive around 4am. I can totally handle that. There is something too strange about a bird chirping in the middle of the night. It is unsettling to me. Don't birds sleep at night? I read online that this is actually a somewhat common issue. There are lots of theories as to why some birds will chirp at night. First, some birds call for a mate at night. I joked around with Joshua last night that perhaps our bird friend finally found a girlfriend. Some are  protecting their territory. And finally, a few suggested that the light of the city confuses birds into feeling like it is not truly night time. I have no idea what it is, but I do know that I sleep a lot better when it is quiet. Just for the record, Josh likes the chirping at night. I love chirping, I just prefer it during daytime hours. Can't they work around my schedule? Hahahaha!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Time flies when you're having fun....


Is the weekend already over? Is it really already mid-April? Sheesh, time sure does fly when you are having fun!  


This afternoon we had our friends Chris and Alexa over along with their little ones for a picnic. It was really nice. Here they are jumping in a puddle on our patio. So happy!

Otherwise, the weekend was a whirlwind of homework, yardwork, housework and a little bit of down time watching the PBS series Downton Abbey. If you are looking for something good to watch, I highly suggest it. It is available on Netflix streaming. It had a similar feeling to one of my favorite stories, Pride and Prejudice. With all that, I still somehow fit in breakfast and a pedi with Erin. It was a very busy weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Hall of Dames


Joshua and I got a treat for lunch today. We got to see 3 out of 4 of Arizona's female Governors. I was particularly taken by 88 year old Rose Mofford. She is absolutely delightful.

"If you don't have humor, you can't have anything. It helps you through difficult times. You can't always look on the dull side. People would rather laugh than cry." ~Honorable Rose Mofford

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grand Tour of Gardens in Phoenix

Joshua won tickets for a home garden tour. It was really neat. We saw 6 home gardens and each one is was unique and different. Here are a few highlights. To see all of our pictures, click here to visit flickr. It was a really nice way to get ideas for how we can eventually design our yard. It is just fun to see how people choose to use their space. 

Mid Century Modern




Arizona Style





European Country






Mountainside Retreat





Desert Twist








Organic Contemporary







There were things that I loved about each house but when pressed I think that both Joshua and I liked the European Country yard. It was probably the smallest space but it all flowed really well. It was very comfortable and homey feeling. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?


Instead of hauling our pile of scraps from pruning to the dump, we decided to rent a wood chipper and reuse the scraps as mulch for around our roses. This seemed like a fairly simple task in theory. It was much more difficult that we anticipated, but we were able to get through our entire pile. It didn't help that it was 93 degrees today. 




I can see our side yard again. And thank goodness because we have our first irrigation of the season tomorrow night. Our yard is dying for water, literally. We missed our first opportunity for irrigation. Our trees really need a good watering.


Josh's uncle gave us a nice table that belonged to Josh's Grandma. We purchased two comfy chairs and placed it on the east, shady side of the house. It has been nice to have another place to sit and relax. 



The east sideyard roses are looking lovely and blooming like crazy. Since they were the first to be pruned, they have been the first to bloom.



Our pomegranate tree started to bloom yesterday. The blooms are a bright orange-red.  Very pretty!


Sadly, the wisteria has lost most of its blooms. It came and went in the blink of an eye.  We'll look forward to seeing those blooms again next year. 

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