favorite flowers - what are they called?

What are these flowers called? They are my favorite flowers and must be an old-fashioned favorite because you see them in the yards of old houses around here.

Theo is mesmerized by the sparrow cheeping just outside the window. He just realized in the past couple of weeks that there is an real outside out there, I think, now that the windows are open and he can smell and hear it directly. We also think that he used to be an indoor/outdoor cat, because now he howls at the back door from time to time. That would also explain his habit over the winter of scratching at various closet doors and closed windows, trying to figure a way out, I guess. He won’t be allowed out of the house, though. I’m sure that he would be a major rascal. He already has the raggedy ear of one so he has been tagged.

Sandy and I just went for a stroll around the block. He got home from the hospital mid-afternoon yesterday. The walk took ten minutes, so it was a little too long. He is supposed to walk five minutes twice a day, then add one minute each day as he builds up his strength. He is doing very well and will probably be allowed to drive and go back to work a week from Monday, pending a doctor’s evaluation on Wednesday.

Last night, we received two reality checks:

1. A month’s worth of medication, with insurance, was over $300. (One prescription couldn’t be filled – it could go to over $400.)

2. There was a code orange air quality alert, which means that he couldn’t go outside until after 9:00.

But hey, I’m just a whiny liberal environmentalist who is anti-business because I want affordable health care and clean air to breathe. Very likely a lazy socialist. Of course, neither of us works hard enough because we expect others who work much harder to pay our way.

Seriously, one fortunate aspect is that both of us are planners and pretty frugal. Sandy has a high deductible but he had a health savings account that has almost enough in it to reach the deductible. I was able to use the card for it to pay for his medication last night. And since I could tell that his health wasn’t great, I took out a secondary insurance policy for critical illness that should help out a lot. We are lucky that we make enough to get through this thing intact, but part of it is that we don’t live beyond our means and don’t live on credit for the most part, other than a mortgage and one car payment which are both paid ahead.

It helps that we are childless and don’t have kids to worry about, although it did strike me in the middle of it that a little family support that was in town could have helped some, but I was able to handle it. I don’t know, if we had kids they would probably live far away to get away from us. I can’t imagine that either of us would have made a good parent. And we’re fine with that. That’s why we made that choice early in our lives.

My friend and co-worker Kristina came to sit with me late on Tuesday night at the hospital. My sister and brother-in-law would have come from Chapel Hill, and I would have called her if the situation had been worse or expected to last longer, and God knows I had plenty of offers from friends and neighbors to help out. Sandy didn’t really want visitors at the hospital. He was tired and needed what snatches of prolonged sleep that he could get. The knowledge that we had emotional support and potential physical help was enough. So we are blessed in many ways, as people often find out in these situations.

Anyway, the pollen is high but the temperature and humidity is perfect outside. I’m going to get out in the garden and plant some beans, I think, and maybe some okra under plastic bottle greenhouses. Carrots are sprouting and some volunteer tomatoes and dill. Maybe I’ll transplant these volunteers to bottle greenhouses too. I love the mystery of volunteer tomatoes. I hope to have enough lettuce to make a salad by next week. I decided to give the asparagus an extra year before harvesting since I lost a good bit of it last year.

Update from 5 p.m.: planted Henderson bush butterbeans, less than ten Borlotti beans (hope they survive and produce a lot more: they are the last generation of the ones I brought from Italy), more Little Marvel peas and a mystery pea that I think is Dwarf Grey.

I’m thinking about returning Squirt and Mama Kitty’s ashes to the earth beside Miss Peanut today, beneath the fig tree. I think that it is time.

I worked on the cardoon embroidery a LOT while I was sitting in Sandy’s hospital room and will post a photo a little later. And I did get accepted to be a vendor at Shindig in the Square on May 2 in downtown Greensboro. My right hand is going numb quite often, so it is a bit iffy as to how much I’ll be able to make by then. I should have some handbound books and a small amount of handwoven items for sale, though.