Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

Not that we ever had a real winter this time around, mind you, but that's another story.

However, speaking of winter, Astrid loves to bring Mother Nature inside the house when it's cold outside.  It's soulful to her...and to me, because I get to see, smell, and take pictures!

If it's not hyacinths, it's narcissus bulbs, as in this case, on our koffie table a month ago. 
The Dutch call daffofils narcissus!

They stand so tall without any support whatsoever.  How is that possible?
And even though these aren't the typical yellow daffodils, they are still...daffodils.

 And of course, Astrid's orchids grow all year 'round, no matter what the season.

We both feel like kids in the candy store when they bloom like this.

But show what weird weather we've had this winter...
these hyacinth bulbs on the balcony, planted last fall, shouldn't be up till April.

But what can you do in temps from 40-55 F!  They're doing what they should do.

 There's nothing we can do but enjoy them now.
This pink one is blooming today; the other colors will come later....
All that without stepping outside!  Astrid's green thumb is such a joy for us both.

  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Once we do step outside, which we did last weekend in earnest, oh me, oh my!  Spring really has sprung!

As soon as the sun comes out, the Dutch are raring to go.
You can get an entire family of 4 or 5 on two bikes.  Seriously.

You know it's spring when the stork is in its nest.
It still tickles me to see the nests atop so many a wee sermonette?
This is the Dutch Reformed church in Ottoland 7 miles from our apartment.
It even has a postage stamp made of it.

Those fastidious storks really do bring children into the world!

Speaking of children, how's this for a spring fling!
We waved to the little girl when she drove past us, to which the man said,
"She's not allowed to wave because she has to hang on!"
(They went from one driveway to another...and not in horrendous traffic, of course.)

See what I mean about the Dutch going outside when the sun shines!
We LOVE driving the back roads...and stopping for ice cream whenever the farmers have it.
Did you know that ice cream on a Dutch farm is some of the best-inspected anywhere in the world.
We never say NO to that.

Now pay attention...and get your education with me!
While I was processing these pics, I suddenly noticed how NOT REAL these swans are.
You can see how far away they were, picked up by my new camera.
They're totally fake because they're giving the message to real swans that 
The neighborhood probably has children who are two young for angry daddy swans 
who can get real aggressive if mama swan is trying to protect her babies.

 Another sign of spring is the renewal of thatched roofs.
Another education for me!

Weathervanes, water towers, windmills...all year 'round.  Old hat, right?

But the spring flowers do tug at the heartstrings, don't they.

 This is one of my Vision and Verb greeting cards coming up for our summer gallery.
Happiness really IS an inside job, isn't it, sometimes helped along by SPRING.


  1. What a fabulous post! I love it all...and one day I'm going to get some of that ice cream!!

    1. Thank you, Robin...and YES, one day!!! We can hardly wait till you come back again to see everything you missed. HA!

  2. same here, we didn't have any winter to speak of. the bulbs are simply precious.

    1. Too bad winter couldn't have been spread around a bit, Maria, right? Sister Ruth in Michigan was in the middle of a snow storm yesterday when we Skyped and wasn't able to go to work. If only she could have sent it to ME!

      Astrid will love seeing your comment about the "precious" bulbs. She LOVES them! :) So do I.

  3. I love to have those bulbs inside and I always choose a special fancy one. Every time it amazes me that from such an 'ugly' bulb, a wonderful flower will grow.
    Great post about what 'we' do when the sun is out..... we follow suit.....
    Happiness is an inside job, I agree and when the job is well done, it shows on the outside (smile)
    Thank you for taking these wonderful pictures of our flowers.

    1. It's important to me to document what you do inside our home for our mutual pleasure and joy, MLMA. Thank you for the tender, loving care you put into these generous acts of kindness every year. I never take it for granted and I wanted you to know!

  4. Ginnie, Astrid does indeed have a beautiful green thumb. Growing orchids and forcing bulbs with ease is amazing. And I love your wonderful tours...storks, swans, thatched much fun to see.

    1. Heaven both inside and out, Donna. What can I say! :D

  5. Beauty and inspiration! I had no idea Astrid had such a green thumb and that she provides these beauties in your home. Just splendid. It is so good to see spring springing for you in your wonderful photos. You know who the man and child on the tractor remind me of, don't you?

    After our latest snow storm with 6+ inches of new white stuff Wednesday, then yesterday temps down to -4°F, today is supposed to rise to 50°F! We all feel a little numb over the weather, figuratively as well as literally. I've been dreaming of crocus and daffodils (my current quilt project theme actually), so this post is eye candy. I absolutely love that particular narcissus you have with its creamy ruffles.

    1. Now you know something new about Astrid!! Her abilities score off the charts. HA--I think she could do anything, and do it well! :D

      I still can't believe another snowstorm for you...and now your springlike temps just a couple days apart. No wonder people get sick! Hopefully you'll stay well and will have a delightful weekend. Keep those creative ideas flowing because your quilts are out of this world!

  6. My head has been buried inside a book project for family for the past month, and all other chores and pleasures have taken a back seat. I'm hoping to have it all done this week,. Also, no spring here yet, so it was good to see on your blog that it's really coming, and I love those stork pictures. ...and a witch weather vane!!! Cool.

    1. Priorities. Priorities, Ted. We all have them. Much success to you and your book project, especially as spring is rounding the corner. Thanks for taking the time to stop by here!

  7. It was 78 F last Tuesday when we went to the quilt show in Roswell and I thought spring was here – but today – rain and only high in the 40! I saw many daffodils though. For me daffodils are the yellow flowers and the narcissus are the white ones which have been cultivated to have a strong fragrance.

    Every time we went to Trader Joes’ since last month I have been buying a small hyacinth plant (first I got two in water vases and now in pots) – we have a blue one right now. Can you ask Astrid what I should do when the flower is gone? Should I keep the bulb? Where? In dirt – or in a box until next year? I also really like the picture of the horse with his braided tail – looks good.

    1. Atlanta can be crazy like that, Vagabonde, I know. Just don't get sick because of it! And now that you have made the distinction between the yellow and white daffodils, you may be onto something. However, Astrid calls them both narcissus.

      As for the hyacinth bulbs afterwards, Astrid just throws them away. She says they never come back with the same beauty, so she has no problem tossing them. They're so cheap here, too. She's one who saves and reuses things, too, so I'm just taking her word on this.

  8. Hi Ginnie. I'm so glad to find you. I discovered your blog from Donna's Gardens Eye View. My daughter and I enjoyed reading your blog together... especially your shutterfly book about Holland. She will soon be going to Holland to live for 18 months. We had such fun pouring over your beautiful images and imagining what her life will be like there. I've added you to my blogroll and my BlogLovin so I can stay "in soul" with you.
    Your Spring looks divine... ours is pokey slow.

    1. Wow, Carolyn. You have totally made my day! It's a small world after all, isn't it!!! I'll try to get in contact to learn more about your daughter, where she'll be living, etc. Thank you for taking the time to look at my Holland book. And to think we have seen so much more since then...but I do show it all here in my posts. Thanks for following me and staying "in soul." Please let me know if you ever have any questions.....

      As regards our spring, we never had winter. So in that regard, we would have been much happier with a pokey slow spring!