Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lots of Pictures - But Warning - It's Not All Pretty

***Warning to New visitors*** Please beware this is not my ideal post for a first meeting. I hope you'll stick around and visit again. They're not always so dark.

Mercy, Mercy Me. I've got pictures today but it's not going to be easy. You've got to work, I mean read for them. And they are not all going to be pretty. So you're getting the good and bad.

Anyone else getting Spring Fever. I've been bite. But there's a problem. A couple of big problems. Number one is HUGE.......I've LOST it. You know ~ IT. I used to have it in spades. Ya'll still don't know what I'm talking about do you. I have lost my UMPH! My get up and go, my energy, my mojo. Yep, it's gone.

But hey I did replace it with something! Un hun, I sure did. I replaced it with an extra 15 pounds ~ fifteen pounds of ugly, energy draining fat. You didn't really expect me to say something good did you. Remember this is all about my problems. Today is TRACY'S SELFISH DAY. I know I should be ashamed to be admitting all this, be ashamed for not putting on a happy face. The one that says I'm faking it until I make it or at least till I believe it and feel better. Hanging my head in utter shame. Well, the shame's there but don't expect me to hang my head. There is not enough energy for that. And just why is that? FAT, BIG UGLY ENERGY ZAPPING FAT.

Now lets take a deeper look. Hum, why did I give away my energy for fat. I have several reasons for that.

It all started with depression. Neil lost his brother several years ago and has never really recovered. After awhile I became overtired, worn out, even angry, and of course depressed. Nothing new, I've battled that for years. But this time I gave up. Do you know what happens when you give up in a HOT, HUMID (I'm talking dripping wet humid) state? Well you might as well give it up till winter and start training for the heat again so your ready for summer.

I lived in the yard. I was out there from early morn till dark nearly every day. I not only mowed, planted and took care of our yard, I also went over to my MIL's and did the same. Not a small yard at either house. I landscaped hers as well. Don't get me wrong before William died Neil was out there helping me dig and plant. He's always done the weed eating and things like that. I had muscles you wouldn't believe. I could pick up things some men couldn't. I'd been knocking interior walls out of our house and wheel barreling tons out for several years. I could work all day long. Which was quite a switch for the petite little makeup on all the time me.

Well now the energy has been gone for several years. I do think the extra pounds aren't helping. Plus I've always pretty much lived on sugar. Which didn't hurt when I was working around here all the time. But you can't actually eat a ton of chocolate and coke and any other carbs and sweets within a 20 mile radius while sitting at the computer all day. My skin's showing sugar effects too. Sugar causes it to sag and look shallow and in general unhealthy, not so pretty. There are so many more bad points I could bring up. I'll let ya'll anticipate with baited breath me telling ya'll more about that another day. LOL. So here I sit sluggish, tired, just wanting to do nothing more than sleep. And now you can see the vicious circle I'm running in. Yep, pretty much feel like a dog chasing his tail, not smart enough to stop.

No Exercise = No Energy!!!!
Lots of Sugar and Carbs = No Energy!!!
No Energy = Depression. UUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Oh let's add to that pre-menopause. Oh yeah, it's coming, it's started.

Let's add to that the economy. An unfinished house and nope, I'll just save something for later. I don't want ya'll to run for the hills.

So what to do? Well I know attitude is everything, well maybe not everything but a huge part of change. Attitude is hard to change. But I have changed my attitude somewhat already this year. I spend a lot more time in prayer and search of the Lord's will for my life. It has made a difference. Now I need to also work on making healthy choices so that I feel better. Feel healthier and happier. I'll be writing a little more about my search for happiness, health, aging, and CHANGE! I'm on a mission to find my silliness again, to jump out of the box. To punch 50 right in the smacker and keep rolling right over it. I'm going to be asking for your ideas, your opinions and your suggestions. Remember these words OUT OF THE BOX. Does anybody remember the little red paperclip? More on that later. I need you all. Help me and please be apart of my change. I'm looking for mentors. I'm looking for miracles!

Well this post really got off track. This was about my yard and gardening. I used to be so proud of my yard. Just a few or more short years ago. We completely transformed our yard. Planting hundreds, well over the years with annuals thousands actually of plants. I felt good about it. Working in the yard, the fresh air and sunshine does that for you, or me at least. I would have strangers stop and get out of there cars to talk about my yard and the view. Neighbors said it looked like the entrance to a country club.

I would plant huge masses of inpatients. The flower beds that surround the foundation of my house would have pansy's and snapdragons lined up behind the border grass the entire front and side, including the bed by the mailbox that encloses the yard. Pots overflowed on the porch, Mums in fall, poinsettias at Christmas even lining the steps with them and other plants in the spring & summer. Every tree on the riverside was surrounded with plants and mulch. I was very proud but also proud in a humble way. It did lift my self esteem to feel like I could create something so lovely.

Don't get me wrong. I was grateful to God then and am just as grateful for the problems I have now because there are so many with such bigger problems that mine are indeed trivial. Thank you Lord for everything you bless me with and for every lesson you teach me.

Now I'm overwhelmed. Everything needs doing again and I don't see how I can do it all myself. Neil has his own things he needs to work on, the yard is not a priority for him. There's no money for me to hire someone to come in and help me get the basics done or even for me to buy mulch once I do all the weeding. I know if I don't start soon I won't be able or acclimated to the heat and I'll miss a whole nother summer out there. I'm just overwhelmed. I painted the house a few years ago. It needs it again. We used to have a pressure washer. Someone decided they wanted it this year and took it right out of the back yard while we sleep. It had to have taken 2 guys to load it up, it's on wheels , it's a big commercial pressure washer. Two years ago someone decided to go in the shed and take my tiller and weed eater and a few other pieces of yard equipment. And we have always lived in a very safe crime free neighborhood.

Well ya'll have listened to me go blah, blah, blah long enough. Let's get to the pictures.

The picture below of the bougainvillea was taking only about 2 months ago. Isn't is gorgeous. The bee loves it!

This is that same bougainvillea after our record breaking freeze. And being on the water we never even have frost on the ground at my house but these are definitely tropical plants.

I can't remember what this plant below is called but had to have it when I saw it. It's just such a soft pretty pink.
The plant below is called Chenille plant for obvious reasons. It's so soft a fuzzy. It's more like a ground cover. It works well in hanging baskets too. It dies back and returns every spring. I got about 10 little pieces out of someones yard and it really took off. I love plant sharing.

This pretty purple plant is kinda like a weed. They just spring up in that same area. I grabbed a hand full of these from the same yard. I have no idea what they are called but they are so pretty. They don't really last a day as a cut flower though.

See these orange/yellow beauties. I think they are cosmos, not sure. I have no idea how to plant seeds and make them grown into plants. I know you are supposed to cut them so they fill out. Nope not me, I toss them in my wild bed and that's it. Well it looked like a giant weed. Pretty ugly all summer. Neil kept wanting to cut it down. In secret I wanted them gone too, but I told him no way. I suffered all summer looking at those weeds and I'd be danged if I would cut them now. Well they don't bloom until August or September. But they're so pretty once they do. They don't last long in a vase either but these suckers were 7 feet tall - they were a bright lovely mass when they did finally bloom.

The picture below is one of those when I was spending lots of time (and money on fertilizer) in the yard. On just the waterside Neil and I totally changed the topography of the land building it up and planting 14 pallets of grass (in Florida it comes in square sheets) by ourselves in about 3 long 12 hour days. But it was pretty. I'll explain the 911 terrorist scare later. The picture below is what the yard looks like now. Sad and sorry. Well it actually looks worse now. This photo was taken about 3 weeks ago before the record freeze we had. See the green plant inbetween the 2 bedroom windows? That's the beautiful bougainvillea before the freeze but after the blooms fell. I was working on getting it higher than the windows so it could drape over.
Well that stick looking thing called a plant by the far left column is also a bougainvillea that was beautiful but is totally brown from the frost. I hope I can cut these way back and have them make a comeback again. Our grass of course always turns brown in the winter but let me assure you all that beautiful green grass from those other pictures was not there last summer it was mostly the hated dollar weeds.
I do love our beautiful canopy's of oak trees dripping with moss. The dirt area behind the saga palm was filled with thick curving beds of inpatients in bold beautiful colors.

So now you've seen one of my true loves and also the bain of my existence. I love a beautiful yard. It just makes me feel good. I used to take pride in taking the worst and working my but off to make it better. I'm usually the one that says it'll be easy & we'll make it look beautiful. But this is the first time I can remember thinking I just can't do it. I'm overwhelmed, I can't see the tree for the forest this time (instead of the forest for the trees). Can everyone come help me for the weekend including the curb appeal show? Of course that's after I finish with a healthy, beauty makeover reality show first.

I wish I had taken pictures of everything when it was prettier.

Lots of love for listening to all the whining girls (and any guys) who may be reading.

Hugs....Tracy :0

BTW - if you have any bulbs, plants or seeds you'd like to trade or share (I'll pay postage) I would love to hear from you. I love, love, love zinnia's and dahlia's they really take our heat but I'm a fan of iris' and everything in between. Anybody need any ferns, cast iron plants or African Iris'. I've got lots of those - LOL.


  1. Tracy, the photos are gorgeous, sugar! No need to worry about that. I see what you mean about the grass though. I'd sit right down and cry, honey, if I wasted the money and time and this happened. Would the grass come back though? Ours does in Idaho. Dies out in the winter and comes back lush in the spring.

    I don't see any whining here, chick! ;-)


  2. Oh hunny...I'm in the same boat as you. YOu row one side and I'll row the other. I actually got outside and walked today...and it felt good! YOu do what you can, but it's really har to stay away from chocolate. P.S. You added me to your blog list! Thanks heaps!xxxooo

  3. It might not always be "pretty", but I've discovered that this wonderful, blogging family is simply incredible when it comes to reaching out and being supportive.

    It all gets overwhelming at times, and that's when we just need to be allowed to unload and have someone listen and say "I care."

    I hear ya.
    And I care.


  4. Tracy, girlfriend, I just now finally got into menopause at 56! I am here to tell you that it gets so much better when you finally get there. I finally gave in and took some bioidentical hormones the last year before I finally stopped the menses and it helped tremendously. Everyone I know will tell you that I was miserable for two weeks out of every month for the last 10 years during perimenopause until I started taking those hormones. I couldn't stand myself and like you I lost the will to help myself by taking care of my body through eating right and exercising. I rationalized that I deserved some comfort for all of the misery that I experienced. You are on your way out of this mess--take my word. Growing in your realtionship with Christ definitely helps you love yourself and others in spite of your misery.Speaking the truth of where you are is healthy as well. We ARE here for you...tie a knot in that rope and hold on. XXXOOO's

  5. I hope it made you feel better to share with us..It is nice to know others go through things we do...I had an awakening last year...lost over 75 lbs. boy do I feel better...didn't realize I felt bad till it all came off...my poor yard has suffered....but I'm making it a simplier place...I used to spend all weekend working on it...and it just got to much....now I'm scaling back...I still have a lot to do to make it look good...I avoid eye contact with it when I pull in the driveway...but it will get better...

  6. Tracy,
    Popped over to say hello, and I am so glad I did. I think we all get that way... And especially after a devastating blow like the one you have had. The nice thing about blogging is that you have all these people who are in the same boat, and then others to give wonderful support and help haul that boat to shore.

    You take some time to just be. Be whatever you need to be.

    Then go back and read all your lovely comments about how great you are. How friends are thinking about you, and praying for you to have a beautiful weekend.

    I hope you get to go out and take a lovely walk for me. I am buried under a think blanket of snow, and I love listening to it crunch under my feet as I walk. What sounds are you going to hear?

    Take care, my friend. I know you are going to be surprised by a lovely weekend! I can feel it!!!

  7. Hi Tracy,
    saw your comment, and am working on trying to edit/delete it, but I have no clue as to how!!! I am so terrible at computers. It does make me laugh though, I thought I was the only person who did things like that!!! Have a great day, and really, please enjoy that walk for me. Soak up some sunshine, I do have sunshine, but it is bitter cold, and the wind cuts like a knife! What I wouldn't give to hear lovely birds singing about now!!!

  8. Dear Sweet Tracy, I now know of you. You have always been someone who left the kindest comments on my blog, but your blog was about wonderful giveaways mostly. May I tell you that the ninth year of ten is always the most difficult. I promise with all of my heart that when the 50th year comes, much of this depression will leave. You began reading in my 49th year and have seen the changes for yourself. The reflections of childhood stories, the meltdown, and the happiness that now comes through my words. The 50th year is the time to prepare the way for yourself. I too had a yard filled with flowers. When depression follows you like a shadow; however, joy becomes work. Time to downsize to what you can easily manage. Menopause is called the "little death" for a reason. You will mourn a part of yourself. You are on a journey of discovering who you will now be. You were there for my journey, I will be here for yours! Love and Prayers, Elizabeth

  9. Hi Tracy,thank you so much for stopping by my blog,I can't remember where I saw your blog first but it would have been on some ones blog roll..I tend to check out blogs which have names that appeal to me and I just love your blog name!
    I love all your lovely outdoors pictures,I unfortunately don't have much of a garden just a small yard with some plant pots in the summer so I always enjoy looking at other peoples gardens and hearing about what they are growing etc.
    I only learnt to crochet last year and I've never had a hobby I love so much..I find it so theraputic to sit listening to an audiobook with my hook and wool!!
    I am determined to visit the U.S. this year sometime,I have family in Illinois who I really want to visit as We haven't met up in over 30 years and also there just seems to be so much of interest in your country I can hardly wait to get out there.
    Looking forward to some lovely flowery goodness reading your blog this year!!
    Em xx