At last, there was some sun this morning… hard to believe somehow.

The last few days were cool, murky and rainy again. On Monday Boris and I were out walking, when suddenly torrential rain and hail started, with “rivers” flowing down the streets. We were soaking wet in minutes, and we looked for shelter below the eaves of a building. Nick came to fetch us with the car, and he brought us some dry clothes.

The forecast says that summer is finally going to begin. I really hope so, because this weather was getting a bit too much.

At that time last year, there were tropical plants blooming on our porch.

This tigridia bloomed in the middle of last June, which was a happy surprise. I did not hope too much to grow such an exotic flower successfully, but there it was.

And now the only plants blooming outside (from those that I grew from seeds or bulbs) are platycodon and dahlia “Sunshine”.

Platycodon is one of the plants that “sleep” during the winter. I had several – not all of them made it, but still some did.

I got the dahlia accidentally, as a part of a color coordinated set of bulbs. I thought I could not grow dahlias in these conditions – I planted a “Karma Choc” last year, it grew taller than me but never flowered. Now here is this small plant, which grew very fast, and now some blooms started to open. They are not quite big and bright yet, but I am still happy to have them.

That yellow/orange set from “the men’s mall” contained some orange gladioli bulbs too.

I have this strange relationship with gladioli. I thought I disliked them – I had seen a lot of huge bouquets of them as a child, and I considered them too stiff and formal. But then last year I got another color selection of bulbs in purple/blue, and I decided I could plant the gladioli and see what happens. They flowered abundantly, and they were actually beautiful.

After they were overblown, I divided the bulbs between two of my artist/gardener friends, Shve and Yulita. This spring I planted these orange gladioli, and now they are already preparing to bloom.

I think this is strange too. Last year the purple ones flowered in July, and now I would expect the orange ones to take even longer because of the weather. I even left them outside, the greenhouse is too small to hold all plants. But still they would bloom earlier than expected.

I got the rest of our flowering plants from our local small gardening centers and that big roadside stall on our way to the supermarket.

My latest favorite is this gaillardia, it makes a nice mix with the pink plumbago.

I am not quite sure it is the exact variety, although the guy in the stall named it so. I had only seen blue plumbago before, and it looked quite different. (To be honest, I have a hard time remembering the names of all these plants, so I have to check constantly. I use that nice Google feature for looking up similar images.)

At least there are enough flowers in my projects. I started making two up-cycled white cotton vests, adorned with embroideries, crochet lace and mother-of-pearl buttons.

I lost a lot of weight since the autumn of 2019, when I started my intense daily workouts. Sometimes I think it’s too much, but I am not giving up.
I have struggled with my weight ever since I was a teenager. I think at one point I was even on the verge of an eating disorder – but still I could never control it for too long, especially in the years after Boris was born. Then I thought I’ve had enough, and I finally got over my reluctance to practice sports. I think at this point there is no other way to reach my goal. Now I feel much stronger – I even set the exercise bike to a higher level of intensity, so now the workouts don’t take too long. It is really unbelievable for me, I was never a sports kind of person. I still made it somehow, and I love the result. It takes time and effort not to let the process be reversed (which often happens for a few days), but it is totally worth it.

We met some friends for the first time in a long while, and I got some more birthday presents (and a song!). They were all coordinated around my “spirit animals”, squirrels. It was really sweet, and I was thrilled!

The most exciting among the presents was this solar lamp. We left it to charge on the porch, and it was able to shine, although there was actually no sun in sight. Turn on your love light!

The groovy chick Nina received our “Peace Tapestry” mug. She posted these happy pictures, with the caption “All we need is love!”

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