Strange Days

I don’t mind rain–good for the flowers–and I enjoy a good, wicked storm. But.

We had about ten days of solid rain here, along with most of the East Coast. Drenching, drowning, flooding rain day after day. With seriously wicked storms at night. Bombs of thunder. Parker, never bothered by storms, took to sleeping on the floor by BW instead of on his doggie bed.

Roads flooded–and one just a couple miles from me, buckled under the endless attack.

Buckled road. Photo by SAB

As a bonus, BW brought home a souvenir bug from Derby. The second generation thereof (passed to me) kicked my ass. Thursday after Derby while working out–huh, a little tickle in my throat. An hour later? Throat on fire! Ears slammed shut, vicious headache, low grade fever, dry, hacking cough. And the rain, rain, rain (low barometric pressure) added to the fun.

While I was able to work Friday, I knocked off early, crawled into bed. Saturday, we hit the nursery (fever broken) for the few flats of annuals I needed to finish my pots. Finished pots, crawled into bed, and pretty much stayed there until Monday. Hey, it’s raining anyway.

Last week a bit better, and able to do a workout on Tuesday–then slept about ten hours. Jeez, some souvenir. Finally down to the hacking and blowing portion of our program, and able to deal with all the crap around here that piled up while I was down.

The house smells of must and wet dogs. Light many fragrant candles.

Saturday? How about some rain? I actually made soup because rain and because Friday night, hmmm, little toothache. Saturday, bigger toothache. Why do these things happen on weekends????

Sunday, at last, at last, Here Comes The Sun! BW and I spent all day working outside–me, thanks to Motrin keeping the stupid tooth tolerable. Gardens are gorgeous, sun and warmth is a balm for the soul. Weeding is Zen. Pots and planters are filling in beautifully. I see little yellow blossoms on our tomato plants, and peonies waiting to open and scent the air. 

Filling in.
Happy pots.
Just outside the kitchen window.
Nasturtiums starting to pop.
Just outside back door.
Sunny spot.
Color down the driveway.
Herby goodness.

And my first stupid snake of the season. I’m not pleased by this sighting, tell BW. He, as always, asks what kind of snake. I get it’s important because we get copperheads and they’re poisonous, but snake is enough for me altogether. I tell him–black snake, yellow stripe. Oh, that’s nothing. Show him where I saw it–just the end of it slithering (shudder) under the spirea at the corner of the garden wall, outside the kitchen–where I often walk on the path, or weed.

Oh, says the MAN, yeah, they live there. They what? Why has this information never been passed to me before? They’re harmless, blah blah blah.

They are snakes. He may not understand my phobia, but it’s real.

Anyway, any weeding that needs doing in that area is now his job.

Despite the snake sighting, it’s amazing what a day of sunshine, gardening, just being outside can do for the body, mind, spirit. And seeing the results of the work we’ve put in over the years is so, so satisfying.

Monday (still hacking and blowing), I switch my regular dentist appointment–set for next week–to Wednesday with time worked in for my guy to take a look at this problem tooth. Dentist is out sick Monday or I’d have gone in. I betcha it’s the same deal I had.

Wednesday works as the tooth’s better, now just weird but not really painful. And after Monday’s work, after workout, I get to take my habitual walk around the gardens with wine and dogs. Ahhh.

Now, as I write this, it’s raining. I’m trying not to be annoyed, and won’t be as long as it’s just today.

Hear that rain gods? I have a lingering cold and a bad tooth. You don’t want to piss me off. Do not mess with my wine, walk and dogs.

Do not.


63 thoughts on “Strange Days”

  1. Hope you are feeling better Nora. Love you garden. Wish I had your green thumb!

    1. Feel better ; Nora. We weren’t any better up here in the Delaware Beach area. Got out today to walk the boardwalk. It was a pleasure to say “I’m hot!

  2. Oh my, what a couple of weeks you have had. Bad crud and toothache.
    What do you have your tomatoes planted in? It looks like some kind of burlap but that can’t be sturdy enough for the tomato cages, can it?
    Will try sending you some warmth and sunshine from Missouri (I just sent some to a friend in Michigan, but I’ve have just enough to share with you, too).

    1. They’re sturdy bags–that can be ordered with the cages–specifically for tomatoes, peppers. They come in larger sizes, more colors, too. They’re great–been using this sort of thing for years. I can move them around easily so they get enough sun.

  3. Sorry you are not feeling well. Spring colds are the worst. You have a gorgeous garden, looks like a great place to sit and relax and read a book!

  4. Dreary rainy days are just that, especially when they last forever! We could sure use some of that rain as we haven’t seen any measurable moisture in over 1 1/2 months. Haven’t tried to do any planting yet as everything is so tinder dry. Hopefully soon. Your garden is beautiful!

  5. Feel better soon, Nora. I just finished The Search and enjoyed it again. Take care!

  6. I feel your pain Nora! I went to watch my grandkids this past Sunday and woke up very early this morning with a stuffed up nose and sore throat…thank you daughter of mine lol! I’m planning on drowning it out this week with meds as I’m traveling over the long weekend. I shall prevail! ? As much as I love gardens I have no ambition to do it myself, so I will live vicariously through you and your amazingly beautiful ones. ?

  7. Haha,

    Nora, you can even make misery sound delightful.

    I hope you are feeling better and tomorrow sees a resolution for your tooth.

    Wishing you dog filled sunny days!

  8. Your written word is a delight even when you are not feeling 100%. Thanks for sharing and hope the rest of your spring/summer are more enjoyable.

  9. I have just finished my ark down here in College Park. I know we needed the rain but did it all have to come in one go? Your garden looks fabulous, I do wish l enjoyed grubbing in the dirt.

    [Fixed that arm for you Anne! – Laura]

  10. Our April was an extension of winter until the end of the month when it went from33 in one day to 84 the next! And now the rain…every third day as if a penance for two days of sun! Thankfully, we have not had the sodden denching downpours the East Coast as had! And then the Preakness where the horses were invisible for parts of the race…I have this feeling that it will be sunny for the Belmont, and Justify will stand on the track stupefied by the light!

    Time to towel off the dog and contemplate laundry…too rainy to be outdoors.. Yesterday, when it was sunny…I was indoors awaiting the plumber! Thankful for Nora as I passed the time Entranced!

  11. Lots of Rain here on Cape Cod, too. No problem for me since I broke a bone in my right wrist and can’t do much but growl about not being able to do much.
    However, I do have the complete set of In Death books so I’m wallowing in murder! Great way to pass the time.
    Hope you are feeling better by now.

  12. We have had the daily rain here in NC. I wonder if that’s why the snakes are coming out. My neighbor had a big black snake in his driveway. Saturday we were watching a movie and my husband saw something moving around outside our front window. It was a baby black snake trying to crawl up the window screen. Gave me the creeps. I will not open the windows. One of my friends saw a copperhead Sunday. Go away rain, go away snakes!

  13. I’m in NC watching that same system here. The only good news is no Derby Bug. I sit on the back porch and watch the birds as I knit. Baby groundhogs come out and feed on the clover. The crazed squirrels hang upside down on the caged woodpecker treat to gnaw because gravity helps. We don’t have a yard. We have a habitat. My dog and I go for short walks of a mile between rain showers. Usually it’s two miles twice a day. The rain this year is a pain in the butt. Your garden is beautiful. It’s good that I love the wild because I kill domesticated things. I still try from time to time. I think I over-water. Like this rain we are having. ?

  14. You had the trifecta- creeping crud, toothache and snake. I’d be into the wine to kill off the germs and dull the memories of snake. Take care of you, put your feet up and BW can look after things.

  15. We are enjoying some rain here in Indiana too. Not near as much as you though. Great for my husband’s crops and my veggie garden and flowers. I had a slithery visitor the other day too. Grandkids notified me and I quickly grabbed my hoe! He was quickly chopped into several pieces. No room in my yard for the two of us!! I had flashbacks to my grandmother doing the same thing when I was a child visiting her here on the farm where we live now!!! Hope you are feeling much better soon.

  16. I feel your pain! The constant rain has kept me in Migraine Land, my. Daughter also, we react to barometric pressure changes, plus the arthritis in both knees were on fire. My visit for injections was put off a week, as my doctor broke her foot and couldn’t walk on it for a week. Thank goodness back today, but as I was being driven home, it started to rain AGAIN!
    Your garden is beautiful. I don’t have a green thumb. Trying to grow my own herbs on the windowsill, hope it works out.

  17. I agree with you entirely ! I don’t know how teeth know it’s the weekend . Mine are a constant battle as well. Love your garden pics. Sorry you did not bring home a more memorable souvenir from the derby . Patiently waiting here in Missouri for Shelters release. Can’t wait ?. Have a wonderful summer!

  18. You can send some of that rain up here to the Canadian prairies! We are desperate for the stuff! ? Hope the sick is gone soon. I envy you your gardens. I just have a balcony, but I do manage a couple of planters.

  19. Nora – where did you get the weeping angel that is in your garden? I have been looking for one like that for my sister. Thanks. Hope you are feeling better! Nothing worse than a toothache!

    1. I think it came from Toscano. I’ve had it for years, but pretty sure.

  20. Hope you are feeling better and the tooth is fixed. Love your garden. My planting consist of pots both flowers and tomatoes and they are doing amazingly well. My friends tease because I do not normally have a green thumb. I also understand the snake phobia. Was walking around the yard with dogs and in their favorite potty spot was the largest snake skin I have seen in years. Yikes! I don’t mind them outside my yard but inside the yard they’re toast if found. Thanks for your wonderful books!

  21. I’m sorry you have been under the weather. I’m with you on the rain. So done. My back yard (just shy of an acre ) is now called my grandkids mud puddle. I sure hope my grass survives to mow.
    Take care and feel better. Your pics are amazing.

  22. Your garden is so pretty. I have NO green thumb. My husband usually put out wave petunias at the old house but here the deer would eat them up. Makes me sad that we didn’t know about the herd that make this neighborhood their home before we bought it. I miss his flowers.

  23. It’s foggy on Camano Island this morning, hopefully it’ll burn off. I know how you feel about rain since Washington gets lots! And I’m with you on snakes; hate them. Hope next week is better for you. Love all the flowers.

  24. There are three things in my medicine cabinet I cannot do without: clove oil, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. Clove oil for tooth pain–numbs the nerve endings.

    Any snake which crosses my path is dead–as long as I don’t have to touch the dang thing. If GOD wanted it to live, the snake would not have crossed my path. Hate them.

  25. Here on the western side of the Rockies, the barometer has been wreaking its havoc. One day rain, next day humid, next day sun. Make up your mind, please.

    On a stranger note, husband and I were able to get in some fishing on Sunday last. Lovely. While at the fish-cleaning-station, while he did his thing, I played sous chef (boring) and chatted up the other fish cleaners (much more fun). I was wearing my “NYPSD Lt. Dallas” ballcap, and one of them started talking to me about my choice of headwear. When I started to explain, he finished my sentence, tossing in what he knew about Eve, Roarke, and company. It was fun discussing the books with a guy, first off, and one from another state (I’m in Utah [hey, don’t hate], he’s from Washington state, visiting) who knew about the series. The rest of the fish cleaners, husband included, just stared at us like we were odd. Perhaps. But it was fun.

    Well, get better soon so you can enjoy your beautiful slice of heaven. Today, my T-shirt says: “All you need are books, wine and a dog”. You dang betchya. Have a good week.

  26. Seems you’re in one of those (bad) rolls.

    I guess the bug is pretty normal, more if weather stands (or doesn’t stand ;)) as it should.

    Here we have a similar pickle weather-wise 😀 one day is 86 and up and the next is 50 and showers.
    Flowers like it but fruits (I have some trees in my garden) not so much. I don’t mind the mayhem because I love storms and the unpredictability of not being in charge 😉

    You lost me after the snake mention… I not even care to know if they are poison. I don’t care to learn the color or if it has stripes. They slither and I’m dead, even by the power of possibility thought ;). The mere thought is terrifying. Going, gone…..

    Be well. Be better. May the Sun Shine soon in your beautiful garden ?

  27. Boy, can I relate ! We went to an area Home Show the first weekend in April and I came home with a 2-week head cold. Then it morphed immediately into 6-week seasonal allergies. I’m so tired of taking pills.

    And, I had a crown come off my tooth in the middle of all that.

    And, I absolutely, HATE snakes. Cannot even look at a photo of one.

    Cheers! We’ll both feel better soon…..knock on wood.
    Maybe our new modular home will be done soon.

    Nancy, Milbridge, Maine

  28. To answer your question-Why do these happen on weekends? It’s because of a prolific author named Nora Roberts- she works all week, even when sick and under the weather. So bad things have to, happen on weekends, so not to mess up her writing schedule!

  29. I so totally share your dislike of snakes. I simply cannot be one of those “live and let live” and “all God’s creatures” when faced with one of them. After all – look what happened in Eden! Mostly I am miles away in nano-seconds if I see one!

  30. Nora
    Whenever I get a tickle in my throat or feel a cold coming on I immediately go for Zicam. This product contains zinc and may make your tummy a bit ucky but well worth the pain. My wonderful granddaughter shared her Type A flu. I used the spray when I felt the symptoms coming on, and was the only one who did not come down with it.

    1. At the first sign, I took Airbourne. When I realized it was getting worse, hit the Zicam. One or the other usually works. Not this time! This one wouldn’t be denied.

  31. You’re many days ahead of our growing season – I haven’t even dared put out the seedlings! It all looks lovely. A friend of mine claims the gift of teleportation any time she comes across a snake in her yard (we’re on the arid side of the Rockies), usually a red racer. I’m willing to let snakes and spiders do their job in nature, so long as they don’t cross my path or enter my house. That’s game over in my book. Outside, I cede the field. Inside, they die. No negotiation.

    1. Paula, I’m with you on the snakes and spiders. Let ’em stay outside, where they don’t bother me. I tend to just let ’em be, as we have an irrigation canal adjacent to our property which makes it prime country for water snakes. As long as they stay away from the window wells, great. Spiders too. My husband, on the other hand, tends to agree with most of the posters here: he HATES snakes. Kills at least one a season.

      Hope your side of the Rockies is full of sunshine!

      1. Thanks, Julie, the same hopes for you! After reading how many gnats, flies, etc., a typical spider eats, I had to give them leeway. Snakes, too, but I’m sure a wary one in my perennial garden – lol.

  32. Snakes, rain, toothache – bad trio for you. When my sisters and I were young, we played with garner snakes, pretending to be snake charmers – we brought them home in our little red wagon. Learned later in life that my father had a snake phobia, but didn’t want us to develop one. Brave Dad. I no longer care for snakes, they don’t terrify me, but they are in a class with those pesky spiders. Cold/flu bugs – yuck, yuck, yuck – hate, hate, hate. My teeth problems are usually related to losing an old filing or my teeth just getting old and cracking. Still, yuck, hate. Love your garden and related stories. Please feel better. The sun will shine soon… Promise.

  33. Wish I had something interesting to write… oh, I do! I have also been down a couple of weeks, but with allergies!! But then , I’m old as dirt!!! Got Come Sundown for mothers Day!! It was awesome, of course…. Hope you are healthy now!!!

  34. Hi to south county from mid county. 10 inches of rain in Sharpsburg. There is a parade there on Saturday. Need to get more plants in my planters also. Crude bugs are no fun at all. Hopefully after Memorial Day weekend the weather will be better. Love your gardens

  35. Glad your feeling better. I am going to try your tomato sack deal. I move mine in the ground every year to a different spot and still end up with blight, bottom rot or something Ugh.
    Raining in Michigan as well hope it stops before the grass grows another foot.
    I Loved Obsession had a reading gap before your new one. I bought Linda Howards The woman left behind also excellent. Take Care Nora. Thank You for the stories.

  36. I hope you feel better. You’re side of the country seems to be getting slammed this year. As far as the snakes? I’m in complete agreement, it doesn’t make what kind. I run the opposite direction , screaming my head off. I don’t care what kind it is. My grandchildren think it;s hilarious. So does the man. No matter how much they tell me the snakes are harmless, I’m not changing. Think of the garden of Eden and what one simple snake accomplished. I hate the little buggers

  37. I’m sorry you are still sick. That is the pits. Your reaction to snakes is the best answer to why you weren’t told about it. That being said, I would have reacted the same way. Snakes are one of the few animals that I do not like to be around. Hope you get to be 100% soon.

  38. Many years ago when I was still volunteering in the Cincinnati Zoo Kids Gift Shop; I noticed a little girl digging thru the rubber snake bin (very realistic; I’d buy them to put in the garden to scare away the birds); and she’d pull one out, hold it up to Dad (assuming) and chatter about it. He’d respond, she’d go back to digging in the bin, and he’d get this really weird look on his face. So I stepped over to check if he was okay. His response: “I’m deathly afraid of snakes, but I’m trying to not affect her.” I told he was a good Dad!

    I’ve seen a couple garter snakes over the years; just let them go their way. Threw myself backwards onto the ground once; almost stepped on it while barefoot. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!

    I have grass seed to germinate; I’ve actually liked the rain the last week or so. We’re dry for several days now acc. to forecast; I’ll have to get the hose out!

    Hope the tooth is taken care of & that you continue to get better!

  39. Hope you are feeling better, Nora. I live in Maryland too and experienced all that rain. Had a little more yesterday too. Love your container flowers. So pretty. I’m on book #2 of the Circle Trilogy. Love it. I never thought I was one to enjoy witches and sorcerers but I was wrong.

  40. I’m glad you’re feeling better. You plants look very good. We’ve had a lot of rain in SC too. Getting tired of it now, but not going to complain too much because in the late summer, around here, we will be begging for some.
    I’ve said over and over that I have a black thumb, but this year I’m testing it out yet again. My handsome son planted me six different tomato plants and some herbs and made me a tiny garden. Jasper, my 5 yr old grandson made me a sign to put in my garden and wrote it himself, it reads ” Grammy’s Garden” he thought it up and did it by himself. It made my whole year!!! Lol
    Zoey just ran around playing in the dirt, but she had a wonderful time, I’m told.
    I was a work while they planted my little garden, Dear lord, I hope I don’t kill them lol.

  41. I enjoyed your post and loved the pictures of your garden. I love flowers, but as I tend to be absent-minded, I need ones that can survive me.

    Please get your tooth taken care of. They can be bad news untreated. And I’m way too familiar with how they can hurt.

    My husband and I have the same conversations regarding snakes, except I’m the one who asks what kind. I saw one by our pond this weekend, and I think he asked me twice if I was sure it wasn’t poisonous. My phobia is spiders.

  42. You are lucky you can have plants outside, we are still getting frost and will into June. Can’t really put anything in garden until mid June. Flu seems to be making rounds here as well, just won’t go away. Hope this is the last of it for you. Love your gardens..

  43. Beautiful garden. Love it. I used to garden butmo longer be able to do it myself so just admiring other people instead.

    Snake and I don’t get along either. Luckily we don’t have snake here in New Zealand. Move your home here. No poisonous animals here. Love your books. Thanks for writing them.
    Twee Robinson

  44. Reading your post and the rhythm of your words, it sounds to me like it is Eve Dallas talking. So funny. I know is Nora, but the voice is Eve’s. Can’t wait for September.

  45. Sorry your not feeling well! I too hate snakes to matter what, but you are better than me as I would not have gone there to show him only told him and let’s see,hired exterminator to rid the area within lots of miles of them. Anyway, get to feeling better!

  46. Please send your excess rain to us here in Australia. At our place October last year was the last time we had any rain at all.

    According to my family I have a snake scream. They’re the only thing I scream about, but even the neighbours (2.5kms away) have been known to hear me when a snake is anywhere near me. I just can’t function around them.

  47. Feel better! (and send some of that rain my way. Fire hazard is EXTREMELY high here. Spring is postponed until we get some damned rain! I have all my flowers in my garden window… We can get frost here as late as 2nd week in June.)

  48. We had rain for days in a row, also. Hope you are feeling better and your tooth is not bothering you as much. I love your books, both yours and J D Robb’s. This is first time I have written on a blog. Your gardens are great.

  49. We’ve had a lot of rain in Oklahoma too. Storm season is here. I love dreary days and feel energized by them but I do hate the wind and threats of tornadoes.

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  50. Thank you for sharing your garden photos – they inspire me to get my gardening finished!

  51. Smiling right now. Because Nora. Because funny. Thanks for making me laugh at all the things that of been irking me too, lately.

  52. I know what you are going through with the tooth had one of mine extracted 9 days ago and my jaw still feels a bit sore as for the rain we’ve just had a week of on again off again thunder storms (most starting around 2 – 3 in the morning) and as I type it’s raining again, but at least we’re not getting the snow other areas are.

  53. Oh boy. Feel better Nora. That is a lot of rain. We have been propelled into summer here in Brampton,Ontario, Canada. No spring, going from the cold straight into summer. Yesterday the thermometer showed 98F and we already have our first aid pollution warning :).
    Sending warming temperatures your way! Take good care if yourself.

  54. I guess the phrase “When it rains, it pours.” was made for you Nora. I sincerely hope by this time the rain has stopped, the toothache is gone and the man has dealt with your snake. Here’s hoping this week will be better. 🙂

  55. Commenting very late on this post because I am at the hacking and blowing portion of a summer cold and looking at your beautiful garden pictures makes me feel better. 🙂

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