A Good Home

Gardening Scenes To Uplift

My favourite moments are my granddaughter’s smile and the sound of my family members’ voices here beside me or on the phone. Joy is made up of such things.

And when I open the back door and look out at the garden, I know that the trees will get their leaves within weeks and the flowers will bloom.

Our lives are made up of moments of fear and uncertainty, yes, but also many moments of joy and certainties. 

Blog Photo - Spring Rodos2
Blog Photo - Trillum Group

Sharing some favourite garden scenes to uplift you and me too.  Not the best composed photos, but reminders of lovely moments in Spring and early Summer.

Blog Photo - Garden and pot and chair

Blog Photo - Garden Mug on Chair

Blog Photo - Garden - Blue Pot and hosta and flagstone

TWIGS Cover2

Blog Photo - Spring Trees and Flowers

Stay safe, everyone. And seize joy! 




A Good Home

Angie’s Last Spring



Spending a Spring day in the park is so rejuvenating with its promise of abundance. The forest is alive with small residents and flowering woodland that have withstood the darkness and frugality of winter. The cycle begins anew.

Blog Photo - Rita and Angies Walk - Angie

Angie would strain against her leash, anxious to be free to chase the little creatures, chipmunks and squirrels, scurrying about, now and then a deer would surprise us as it came bounding across the path a few yards in front of us and disappear in the forest.


The trees are erupting into varying shades of green. The Hollies are shedding their old leaves as new ones appear giving the trees a fresh shiny new look adorned with clusters of tiny white flowers some tinged with pink.

The sun so bright and warm, beams down through the scantily clad trees and greets the new sprouts peeking up randomly through the rich soil seeking the sunlight.

The ground is covered in a fresh green carpet woven with pink Spring Beauty, White Star-of Bethlehem and Red Clover. The air is fresh, filled with the earthiness of the damp park floor.

The dogwoods swollen with buds are ready to show off their blossoms, there are hints of yellow from a random Forsythia bush revealing its presence.

Blog Photo - Rita and Angies Walk - Forsythia shrub

The creek is rushing through and over rocks as Angie and I go to her favorite beach. She approaches cautiously, sniffing about ensuring that it’s safe to continue she eases into the shallow edge for a drink. After a pause, we continue our walk, listening to the birds calling, announcing their arrival and readiness for a mate.

Among this cacophony I see cardinals, blue jays, robins and of course sparrows, all eagerly seeking a mate. If we’re lucky we’ll see a family of wild geese, a mother and her fledglings, swimming gracefully in the creek. When that happens, even Angie becomes still as she watches them float by seemingly without effort.

Blog Photo - Rita and Angies Walk - Angie 2

Sometimes Angie would join me when I sat on a log listening to the sounds, inhaling the aroma of the awakening earth while experiencing the splendor of the park in the spring.

How I enjoyed those walks of nearly a year ago!  I miss her.  Angie passed away on May 11, 2019 at 13 years old.

A Good Home

Social Distancing

Dear Blogger Friends:

What a strange time! I hope you and your families are coping well as we all do what we can to stop the coronavirus from spreading.   

Public health officials emphasize Social Distancing — keeping a physical distance of 6 feet from others, especially those outside our own homes. In the last 12 hours, I have also seen pleas from individuals in Italy and The Netherlands, urging us in other countries to practice social distancing before we reach the high levels of infection they now have.

Here’s a chart that illustrates the need:

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Stay safe!


A Good Home

Miss Claire

Ever had an older friend who dazzled you with her independence and unique style?

Claire White was that person for me in my teenage years. 

Widowed young, children now grown, she lived alone, grew flowers and herbs, read tea leaves and tarot cards, and was unlike any other woman I had ever met.  She had an ear for the divine and an eye for magic.

Miss Claire became my mentor.  She both supported and challenged me, an extremely rebellious girl living in a town that was the staid and stultifying British heart of Jamaica. Her house and gardens were my second home, especially when I had tested the system and its traditions one time too many.

Years later, I wrote about her in my first book, A Good Home.

Blog photo - Miss Claire and me

I helped her to complete her own book and publish it. And later still, I visited her as she struggled with dementia. Despite her memory loss, the love and respect between us were as strong as ever. As were her elegant manners mixed with that sense of mischief that was the quintessential Miss Claire.

I never was able to visit her again before she died, but her spirit is part of mine.

Thanks for loving me, Miss Claire. And for challenging me each time I needed it.


This post is dedicated to caring mentors, and to Andrea Stephenson at Harvesting Hecate, who also has an ear for the divine and an eye for magic.