This had been a sticky, sticky week! With temperatures hovering in the low to mid nineties and humidity hovering in the 70-80% range I feel like I am constantly dripping wet....and with the perspiration that drips off my face I think I'll use a whole roll of paper towels in less than a week! My co-worker at the office showed me where to find the heat index and it has been interesting to check that every day. For instance, right now it is 82 degrees and 79% humidity! Here's where that is found on the heat index.
Looks like we are hovering at about 88 - on the edge of extreme caution. I talked to a lady at church this morning and she said it is way to early for it to be this humid - this usually doesn't start until August. An unusual amount of snow in the winter and an unusual amount of humidity in the early summer - guess I have to pay those prices to be blessed with all the beautiful flowers!
Over the past couple of months I've posted a number of photos taken of the courtyard at the church. It has some pretty flowers but was certainly in need of some cleaning and care. Earlier this week I noticed some new plants in the courtyard and also noticed that some of the old plants had been pruned back and fresh mulch added. It was/is looking really nice!
There are two of these large plants with the pretty white trumpet flowers. I think they are beautiful and look so clean and pure.
There are also several new plants with tiny, delicate deep purple flowers on them.
This was a week of Zone Meetings for the mission. Elder Ashton, assisted by some zone leaders, has been doing car inspections at all of the conferences and awarding a license plate surround for the cleanest car in the zone. The conference for our zone was held on Wednesday and I had an opportunity to accompany on the piano. When we filled out our mission papers I did not list that I could play the piano because the neuropathy in my hands is usually bad enough that it makes it pretty difficult to tell which notes I am hitting. However, on Monday the President asked me if I thought I could play well enough to accompany and I told him I would give it a try. I practiced a couple of times each day and did OK - made several mistakes but it wasn't terrible. The songs were not the usual ones that we sing which made it a little more difficult, but I was glad for the opportunity to play and to be in the meeting to hear the speakers and the thoughts/testimonies of the young missionaries. The closing song is one they have adopted as the mission hymn, partly because of all the lighthouses in the area, and partly because of the message. I LOVE the message about us keeping the lower lights burning for our brothers and sisters.
Later Wednesday afternoon as we were preparing to leave the office, we looked out the window and noticed this duck couple. I told Elder Ashton that although the female may not be as flashy, I like her coloring the best - it is pretty intricate.
Most of the day on Wednesday we could hear saws and hammers - as they work to remodel some of the building. Then Thursday, a couple of landscaping men came through and said they would be adding more plants to the courtyard that day. Later in the afternoon when I took a restroom break, I noticed two of them walking through the chuch with wheelbarrows loaded with mulch and I had to tell them that was a first - I had never seen that before! Just before leaving for home, I walked down to the window that looks out over the courtyard to see the finished project and was pleasantly surprised to see that all the clean-up and new plants was the result of an Eagle Scout project. Nice!
Lots of new plants, the weather vane, the bench, and the small statue were all added along with the placard outlining the history of the building. If the weather were just cooler this would be a great place to take a short break from the computer screen!
We pass this pretty conifer several times a day as we go back and forth to the office. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed white pointed buds on the lower branches of this tree and was REALLY surprised and excited. I had never heard of blooming conifers but it looked like this tree was going to have some nice white blossoms on it. I've seen so many new plants here in Virginia that I was sure I was in for a real treat.....and I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting........for the buds to get bigger and open up. Imagine my shock when we were stuck in traffic the other day and passing by very slowly and I realized that the big white buds were really big white Christmas lights!!!! No flowering conifer - but I bet I will like those big white lights when the holidays arrive ;-)
Lots of things are in bloom right now, including our tomato plants.....and we have a couple of baby chili's on out plant. Maybe we will see actual tomatoes in a few weeks.
Remember my pretty green plant that is right outside our office door and it had some clumps of green buds on it a couple of weeks ago? Look at the beautiful hydrangea that bloomed this week!
And just down the street a bush full of beautiful blue hydrangea!
Crepe Myrtle trees are beginning to bloom. I think the majority of them are white, but there are also some pretty pink blooms and I am anxiously waiting for a purple one to bloom at the church.
We were busy with chores and with moving mission furniture out of an apartment on Saturday so didn't do much exploring. But I did run across an interesting "outdoor living" idea here in Portsmouth. For those of us who live in small apartments and don't have a front porch like many of the homes do, this group of apartment dwellers came up with a solution.....an outdoor living room where they gather together to chat :) It's even nicely decorated with potted plants and statuary.
Really looking forward to visits from Quinn, Michelle, Levi, Brycelyn, Mimi, Colby, Miranda, Cooper, Tucker, Duncan and Grady this week!