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Life abundant and beautiful

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The barn and yard at fireflys farmWhen my husband and I married two years ago, he flew to Los Angeles to pick me up. We stuffed my Ford Explorer full of as many of my belongings and as much of my clothing as we could possibly get it to hold, secured everything else in my storage unit and headed off toward New York on a nine-day cross-country honeymoon drive. We arrived at the farm in Western New York in the evening on May sixth, where our new life together began with a relaxing night of sleep with the sound of peepers in the background as I drifted off, and song birds in the morning as I woke. Though we were tired from the cross-country trip, my husband hoped I would go with him to church because, as he said, he wanted to show me off. Mind you, he had not told anyone other than his sister and other immediate family members, that he was getting married. No one where he worked knew what he was up to on his "vacation", nor did anyone at his church. His church, our church now, is a small tight-knit congregation of the most loving people you could ever hope to know. He has known them since he first started going to church many years ago and they are like family to me (to me now as well). The congregation is predominately older than we are, and the ladies there all loved him as if each one and all of them together were his mother. Flowering crab apple tree on fireflys farmWhen we arrived at church that morning, we began mingling around in the fellowship hall and I came to know something about my husband ... he doesn't introduce me to people. He has very good manners, but he is a quite and private man and is not accustomed to introducing people to one another. So, I started introducing myself as people came up to welcome me ... "Hello," I would say and then I would give my first name and my new last name. One lady in particular, Grace, said, "Hello ..." and then her mouth dropped open and her eyes became about as large as Florida oranges as she said, "You mean ... ????" "Yes, yes ... I am his wife. We were just married a few days ago." Well, that started quite a hub bub. Private man though he is, he was smiling and chuckling at the effect he had created on his church family by lobbing a surprise wife right into the middle of them all. I fell in love that dear group of lovely country people that morning and now, some two years later, it feels as if we have been good friends for years and years. A full view of the flowering crab apple tree at fireflys farmBack at the farm, later in the morning, I started the long process of getting to know my new home both inside and out. Outside of course there was the barn, and then I came to realize the grandeur of our huge willow tree out toward the north east end of the lawn. My husband pointed out the various trees on the property and told me the names of the varieties and gave a bit of a rundown on when any flowering trees would be displaying their wares. Centered in the midst of everything between the barn and the outlaying trees was a scrumptious delight ... a flowering crab apple tree. Tall, full, and lush it was the epitome of life abundant and beautiful. The flowers don't last very long--only a week or two--but my, oh my what beauties they are. The petals are a deep pink-red, with a richly divine texture that makes me want to eat them. I fell in love with all of the trees around the farm, but I have to say the flowering crab apple won an especially dear place with me. Last year, just as the crab apple began to show opening buds we suffered a hard frost and the tree made almost no showing of flowers at all. It was sad, and an unfamiliar experience for me because in the Los Angeles area you can pretty much depend on a flowering tree to flower each year. Fireflys crab apple tree in golden morning lightThis year I hoped and prayed each day of spring as I saw the crab apple begin to show her buds. The tree was literally covered in wall to wall buds and I hoped, hoped, hoped and dreamed that this year a frost or freeze would not come take them all away. Please, please, please ... My prayers were answered and the crab apple, as you can see from my photos, is lush and deliciously covered with scrumptious blossoms throughout her abundant canopy. I have actually noticed that all of the flowering plants this year have many more buds and blossoms than last year. Rhoda, the tree peony, has close to thirty buds this year (I might have already told you that in another post). Our lilac tree out behind our barn is also showing signs of being heavy with blossoms. Everywhere around the area lilacs are beginning to show in wanton abundance. I even have an abundance of flowers inside. My husband brought home the most wonderful bouquet of flowers I have ever received. A while back I gave him a list of flowers I like, and some notes about flowers for me indicating that I most love wild flowers. He took the list to the one florist shop in the village where he works and this past Valentine's Day the girls at that shop did a fantastic job of creating a bouquet just for me that matched me to a "T". For our anniversary he went back to the same florist and said, "It is very important that there are daffodils in it ... and, add some other stuff too." Closeup of crab apple blossom on fireflys treeThe result was a magnificent bouquet that was even better than the Valentine's Day bouquet, and it could not have been more perfect for me. Delightful bonus of all -- the bouquet stayed fresh and beautiful more than a week. Though some flowers have of course faded there are still many in there that look as fresh as the day he brought them home, almost two weeks ago. Sometime I have to stop in at that florist shop and thank the ladies for their craftsmanship. Yesterday we hung the two new paintings I completed at Zambistro Restaurant. The chef loved them, and they do love very nice on his walls. I also completed a smaller painting (10" x 10") which I am calling "Corner Bistro". I'll post it on my painting blog later. For your info, I recently started an Esty shop as an experiment in yet another venue for selling my art and related products. I listed the "Corner Bistro" painting there this morning as well as some note card sets I put together featuring some of my artwork. You will see note card sets with paintings from the "Beginning with Barnum" paintings, some of my newer pieces and even a set featuring the monochromatic painting from last year of beautiful "Rhoda". Speaking of flowers, I am now going to shift gears and paint two large paintings of sunflowers for the restaurant. I also plan to do some watercolors as well as oils of some of the flowers around here on our place. It should be a beautiful adventure. Hope you have a beautiful adventure this weekend, coming up. Most importantly, happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who read my blog. May you always be treasured as the beautiful flower that you are. I dedicate today's blog to my dear, sweet mother ... she is the loveliest rose I have ever known. ~firefly

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