Saturday night was a rough one.  Jeff and Marshall (my oldest) slept in a tent set up in our backyard, so that meant I was on overnight diabetes-duty on my own.  For those who don’t know, Calvin, our youngest is a type 1 diabetic.  This is just a normal part of our lives and we all work together to manage it, but the most wearisome thing about diabetes is it never takes a break.  It doesn’t sleep.  It doesn’t care if you’re traveling or if you want to have a special treat on a holiday.  It has to be considered and dealt with all the time.   And Saturday night, it was demanding.  His equipment wasn’t working, so I had to test his blood sugar every 1.5-2 hours and try to sleep in between with alarms sounding.  I woke up grouchy, groggy, and with a headache.

It felt like jetlag; like I just got home from Italy and needed to focus on staying awake all day to try to get back on my local time.  Except I wasn’t on a high from going to Italy!  I was on day 39 of abiding by our state’s stay at home order.  I sat out on the deck for a while to soak up the sunshine as if I were solar-powered.  I told Jeff that I either needed to go all day or take a long, hard nap.  There was no in-between.  I chose to go all day, so I busied myself with household chores, worked on a few organization projects, and painted.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve mentioned how much I miss plants and fresh flowers to Jeff. My friend, Cheri, brought me some flowers last week.  I enjoyed them so much and did everything I could to extend their life and enjoy them, but cut flowers will only last so long.

flower cuttings | pick-me-up plants |

Additionally, this is the time of year when I’m usually hitting the nursery to pick up some herbs, adding a few new houseplants, and buying some ferns to flank the front door.  I felt like none of that would happen this year and I was mourning that.  I’ve been snooping around online for plants, but never actually ordered any.  In the early afternoon, Jeff suggested that we go out and get a few plants.  We would wear masks, just shop in the outside area, and be quick.  We would also turn around and go home if the store was too crowded or the lines too long.

I waffled about it for a few minutes but decided the risk would be low and it would be a good pick-me-up.  I would have some herbs to grow and plants to tend as well as some flowers and greenery to use in photoshoots.  So, we went.

We experienced the surreal new normal of everyone wearing masks, waiting in line to get in the store, and the awkward tension hanging in the air as we’re all trying to navigate the changes.  I grabbed plants as quickly as I could, made some split-second decisions, loaded up the bottom of the cart with potting soil, and checked out. It was a strange experience, but worth it just to be out of the house for a little while and have a van full of living things to bring into my home!

topiary | pick-me-up plants |

I bought a couple of topiaries just because I liked them!  Those were the split-second decisions!  I wasn’t sure where I would put them, but I knew I could find a place.  I put one in my studio in an antique white bucket on a stool.  It’s a corner that gets a lot of light, so hopefully it’ll do well.  I also grabbed a potted hydrangea.  I’ll keep it in here a bit before I transplant it to a larger pot and move it to the deck.

topiary antique bucket | pick-me-up plants |

topiary close up | pick-me-up plants |

plant aesthetic | pick-me-up plants |

The other topiary ended up on the deck to add some height behind the wash tub herb garden.

topiary in wash bucket | farmhouse style | pick-me-up plants |

Our nights are still getting close to freezing, so I’m putting “cloches” over them at night to protect them.  I’m using a cake dome and a quart-sized canning jar!

cloche | pick-me-up plants |

We started cleaning out the garage this weekend and I decided to move this oak desk/table to the deck.  It’s been hanging out in the garage waiting to be painted and/or sold for a while.  I thought it was better to put it to use.  It’s definitely going to get weathered out here, but that’s okay.  It wasn’t an expensive piece and it’s nice having a table under the window to act as a little potting bench.  And I’ll eventually see some plants from the window.

potting bench | farmhouse style | pick-me-up plants |

I planted some lavender and rosemary to put on the table.

I also bought a flowering plant for the center of the iron table.  It makes our view out the sliding door so much more inviting.

lavender and rosemary | pick-me-up plants |

Since we moved in, our deck has been a bit of an eyesore, which is why you don’t see it very often.  The deck was sloppily painted in a rust color that has been slowly peeling for almost three years.  The peeling has gotten worse over the last year and it now flakes off when you walk on it, when it’s windy, when you try to sweep, etc.  We even track flakes into the house!  In addition to the peeling paint, some of the railings are getting wobbly, the steps are crooked from settling, and some of the boards are starting to rot.  The paint is just cosmetic (and a bit messy), but the other issues are concerning given that we’re two-stories in the air when we’re on it.

As I was walking around, potting my plants, I heard a crack and felt a board give under my foot.  I let out an involuntary gasp and imagined one of my legs dangling through a hole in the deck!  That didn’t play out in actuality, but it was enough for me to call Jeff out and start a more serious conversation about replacing this deck in the future.  We can at least start getting some quotes, so we have an idea of how much it will cost and bump it higher on the home improvement priority list.

deck | pick-me-up plants |

Anyway, back to the plants.  I also bought a few thyme plants to nurture inside.

thyme | pick-me-up plants |

thyme | farmhouse table | pick-me-up plants |

I puttered around most of the afternoon, potting, watering, and making sure everyone was set up in their new home.  It felt almost like a normal weekend and was just the pick-me-up that I needed.

plant therapy | pick-me-up plants |

What’s been a good pick-me-up for you these days?


  1. Robin Bentley

    Your paint classes. That is a great pick me up.

  2. Patricia

    Many days I read to my grandchildren on Alexa. We’ve read a couple of American Girl books and we read Matilda. The boys have their favorites and the oldest girl has hers. It lets me see them and be a part of their lives. Missing children in another state is by far the hardest part of this virus for us.
    And we live in Colorado so getting out and walking or hiking in the mountains makes life feel a little more normal, while providing Vitamin D and companionship ( at a safe distance of course !) .

    • Jane

      Your plants are perfect. I love how much plants make a space so inviting! Things are opening up here I Georgia, I still feel the need to shelter in place with a medically fragile baby in the family. Stay safe!

      • Karen

        I too, have been planting… So rewarding. I have a front porch-I call it my ‘Thinking Porch’.. It is loaded with ‘color’.. A Cuppa Joe in the wee hours of the morning with my 19 year old dog always starts my day on the right path.

  3. Sharon

    Lots of ice cream!!

  4. Teddee Grace

    I get out every morning and walk with a woman friend from down the hall in my apartment building. We wear masks and walk for an hour. I’m 76 but haven’t felt in any danger from the virus and I think perhaps this activity has made our state stay-at-home order extremely manageable, almost pleasant. It is so nice and quiet and the air is so clean. I drive to the supermarket every ten days or so, again wearing a mask, and it is always nice to get out and about. I took an elderly cat of a friend who died two years back and realize that just having another living creature in my apartment has made a difference. Other than that, I’m doing what I’d be doing anyway…reading, crafting, cooking, enjoying pleasant meals and streaming movies since I don’t have television…and saving money because I haven’t been able to thrift shop although I saw yesterday my favorite shop had opened and is reserving the first hour each day for seniors. Life is what you make it.

    • Jeffrey Favreau

      WOW Teedee Grace you are a inspiration. I love your style and feel that you have in braced the moment when the earth has told us to take a break for a while . You are wonderful in my book.

  5. CarlaS

    I know how you feel. I love to go to garden centers and wander around looking at all the plants. It’s just one of those spring activities that gets you motivated for the warm weather. We’re going to go look for a hemlock this weekend so that will be nice. I love your galvanized tub and pots inside. The area under the window is beautiful! I’m always paranoid about bringing plants inside because of the cats. You might want to move the hydrangea outside because it’s poisonous.

  6. Ruby

    I have not ventured out to shop in 7 weeks, my grandson has been doing my grocery shopping. However, with the weather so beautiful and not incredibly hot and humid as Florida often gets in May, I wanted to garden. So, like you I donned my mask and out I went. I spruced up two planters by the font door and bought cosmos just because I needed bright colors. Potting those plants gave me so much joy!

    PS After reading your blog, I regret not picking up some rosemary and lavender.

  7. Marc

    Gardening. Transplanted heirloom tomatoes (started from seed earlier this year,) into one gallon pots. They should be ready to go into the ground in a couple of weeks. Arugula, cilantro and dill are going strong and some basil is just starting to sprout. Turned the compost from both bins into the ground where the tomatoes will go and started two new batches. Ordered soaker hoses for the bamboo hedges.

  8. Sandra Vigil

    Good for you 🙂. I also took a risk last week to visit the local nursery and that is just what I needed as well. It’s amazing what a pick me up the beauty of nature will provide! I pray Calvin is doing fine and that God will strengthen you. Have a lovely Mother’s Day💐

  9. Jami

    We built several raised beds, and since I’ve been working from home during the pandemic, gardening has been mine. They’re just large enough to be productive, but small enough to work without being overwhelmed. Seeing the tiny tomatoes forming, and my squash flowering becomes a joy that is fully appreciated in these trying times. And happy Mother’s Day!

  10. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things

    Back in March, when we were first asked to shelter in place, I ordered 6 tomato plants and 3 basil plants from Burpee online. They were delivered the last week of April. I planted them outside in my raised garden beds. I still want geraniums for my front porch, but feel leery heading to the garden center.

  11. Judeth

    I pretty much did the same thing you did, minus the diabetes. I know what it is like my boyfriend’s son is Type 1 also. Very worrisome at times. I love playing with plants there is just something about getting your hands dirty and being one with nature. I know I world will never be like it was this could be the new normal, but we all have each other and your blog. Thanks for always being you.

  12. Mary

    My daughter also is Type 1 and has been since 10 months old . I unfortunately know the stress, worry and fear that a parent has for just the smallest things in life that goes with it . Kendall is now 26 and last year we were able to get the Dexcom glucose system and it has changed her life and ours . If you don’t already have it for your son … please research it and see if it’s something you all would be interested in . It is pricey but it is worth every penny . Your blog is the only one I follow and it makes my day . You have taught me so many things . Thank you Marian and God bless .

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! We’ve had the Dexcom for him since he was five (he is almost 12 now) and it has been so amazing! It wasn’t working on the night I was awake and he was running very high (over 400.) I had to change his insulin pod and kept giving him corrections and had to keep checking his sugars to make sure he didn’t drop too low with the corrections. It was just a tough night.

      • beth

        Love the plants! want to visit my local nursery soon. Btw, my Type I son (diagnosed at age 2, he’s now 23) switched from the omnipod to Tandem this year and WOW what a difference. It shuts off if going too low too quickly and if you want it to will add insulin if you are going too high. He actually just started working with the company he loves it so much. Nighttime highs and lows aren’t so much of an issue now. (Of course it works with Dexcom so if that is out then it’s the same problem you had last night). Just thought I’d throw that out there, it’s made it so much easier for this momma not to worry as much.

        • Pamela

          thx for the info on Tandem. Our T1 son is 35 & uses omnipod and Dexcom. the nights are the WORST, even after all these years. Marion, our son has been running super high too, the stress of COVID has affected BS, plus full moons mess with his BS. He has been staying w/us thru most of last 7 weeks so we are super careful about going out but when he went back to his apt last week my husband and I went to a nursery for plants wearing all our protective gear. People look at us weird but we want to protect our son and asthmatic granddaughter so feel everyone should shelter in place and wear masks. My mom, 91, resided at a nursing home and died 2 wks ago from the COVID 19. It is real.

          • LAURIE

            So sorry to hear about the loss of your mother.

  13. Charle

    Replace your deck before summer with Trex or similar synthetic boards, no need to repaint. More expensive than wood initially but minimal maintenance evens out. Big safety issue

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, we’re going to get some quotes and take care of it sooner rather than later. And yes, we are going to go with composite boards. The weather is just too extreme here in MN for wood.

  14. Barbara Zidek

    It’s difficult having a family member with health issues on a regular day, but with this virus there is an added level of fear. I am amazed at the number of people walking around in Walmart or the grocery store without masks – I took two days last week in an outdoor garden shop with my mask on and bought herbs – thyme , lemon balm, lavender, and all the seeds for our vegetable garden – am planting the last container plants today – lantana (reminds me of Hilton Head and my mother) – plants, indoor and outdoor, add so much to my quality of life.

  15. Dara

    Sadly your day sounds like mine except for the trauma of a child with diabetes….as an RN I understand your night shift. I meant the sorrow of holding ip in the house. Ive been here since feb 15. I have yet to brave going out with my mask but like you the garden center might be the first place I try.
    Next week maybe….its going to snow here this weekend…..oh my!

  16. Andrea

    Being at home has allowed me to catch up on years of garden neglect. I’m thrilled having a peaceful oasis in my own back yard, with all the flowers, herbs, tomatoes and squash that will come in summer. The only downside is more money spent on projects than expected, but what a payoff!

  17. Kathryn Richter

    Reading my Bible everyday has given me a lot of peace. They dealt with a lot of plagues and hard times, too! Getting lots of sunshine helps my moods, even though the Minnesota gloom seems to linger this year. My garden is full of seeds, but not the tomato and peppers. Plants will have to wait a week or two as we have one more cold snap and possibly freezing temps. I am excited to clean the garage, although the Good Will is still closed! My donation pile in the garage is growing with no place to go! Thanks for the beauty you bring to the world.

  18. Cindy Williams

    On a “deck” topic, when you get ready, if you can afford it, I would recommend something like Trex for your decking. It will hold up way better than wood, I believe!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, we are going to go that route. The weather is just too extreme in MN for a wood deck. This one is only about 15 years old and it’s in pretty rough condition for that age.

  19. Rochelle

    I’ve held off buying any plants because we’re looking at a substantial frost this weekend, but after that, I’ll be out looking for some plants to brighten up the garden and the deck.

  20. Jean M Clayton

    My husband helped me build a cold frame for my two raised beds! Gardening and being outside with my grandchildren keep me grounded. Thanks for writing Marian.

  21. Jody K

    My husband and I go to Home Depot every once in a while, and when we do we make it a date by drive-thru ordering Arby’s or White Castle and eating in the car. We also have our morning drinks (coffee for him, tea for me) outside weather permitting. A weekly Zoom meeting with the entire family and WhatsApping with the grandkids has made the quarantine tolerable. And of course IG and blogs with my “imaginary friends” like my daughter calls it. We have to grab our small pleasures when they come!

  22. Susan G.

    Hang in there, it does get easier as they get older. There were nights I slept in her bed to be close enough to check her blood sugars. Those were the nights we had to fight to keep her on the plus side of 40. I thought I would never sleep again.
    Now she’s a young adult attending college and managing on her own. The worrying doesn’t stop just gets a little easier as she is in charge now.
    The little things getting me through are the extra time I get to spend with her during this quarantine.

  23. Amy

    My college aged daughter and I have been on a quest to find our favorite chocolate chip cookie! Since we don’t really need to eat a gazillion cookies, we take some to the neighbors, who have also started voting:)

  24. Chris Tigges

    Thanks as always for the sunshine you bring in your emails! A couple of questions…. was this stop something like “Lowe’s” or a nursery? Also, the precious clay pots that you placed your thyme into. Where did you find these? Also, I really need something green for a container on our great room mantel. Is it best to stick with an artificial plant? If so, where you found the most “real” looking topiaries or plants that maybe look like thyme but are not real?

    Thanks much!

  25. Diane

    Plants always give me a pick-me up. We ordered on line and the nursery put them outside for us. There was no one there when I picked them up, but still wore my mask. I am so happy we did that my herbs and lettuce are growing!
    I hope you were able to get the equipment working.
    Happy thoughts, Diane

  26. Marylisa

    You have to keep that desk! It’s perfect as a potting table and don’t worry about it aging! Looks great!

  27. Sue

    I have been learning and practicing watercolor.

  28. Diane

    Marian, I so enjoy your blog. My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 5. I was a wreck and thought his life as a normal child was over. He is now 24 and lives and works in New York and has a girlfriend who is also a diabetic. It does get so much easier, and over the course of 19 years, we have only made 2 trips to the ER! Pretty proud of that!
    You are an inspiration and an encouragement to everyone who follows you…

  29. Nancy Frisch

    A good pick me up – I have to say your oil painting videos. I am very impressed with your work. It has been so inspiring for me just watching and though I haven’t tried oils, my order for the supplies is ready to go. (I am learning to be patient during the stay at home with everything ordered online. Our local stores are all out of canvas panels!! Somebody is painting!) Your obvious joy in creating each painting is wonderful to watch. Thank you for your generous outlay of time and effort. It is so appreciated! Best to you, Nan

  30. Tracy

    My pick-me-up has been watching your painting classes. I painted my first ever the other night and I’m thrilled it actually turned out ok. Thank you!

  31. Eileen in Fla.

    My thoughts are with you and your son. Glad it turned out ok. You see those TV ads and think diabetes management is easy, but those mechanical devices add another level of anxiety with their limitations and malfunctions. I’ve been Type II for 33 years and every day is challenging. You’re doing a great job and did exactly what was needed. That should give you and your son alot of comfort. God bless.

  32. Tracie

    Hydrangeas are my favorite! I learned this tip from another blogger @holycitychic to revive hydrangeas when they start wilting. Cut the stems on an angle. Boil water and put into a vessel that can hold boiling water. (I use a 4 cup Pyrex Measuring cup.) Place flowers in boiling water and set aside. In 3-4 hours flowers will look revived! Try it – really works!

  33. Tracy

    Your paint classes and blog posts, along with working in the garden

  34. Sheri

    I wish I could garden more. Having osteoarthritis in my knee’s really hampers that. I’ve been waiting for several years for a raised garden so I can garden….but it’s not high on my other half’s to-do-list I guess. It’s so therapeutic when I can!

  35. jean

    Pick me ups: Hydrangeas about to bloom ( well, in a couple of weeks really), creating paint charts, knitting socks (I make wool socks for friends going through chemo), reading, walking and Chatting with out Grandsons on FaceTime, counting down the weeks to retirement — 6! We usually go to Michigan early July – that might not happen this year but planning that is always a pick-me-up!

  36. Kathy

    Painting has gotten me through this. I tried oil for the first time after watching your clouds tutorial. Now I’m hooked. Having to wait for the supplies to arrive is driving me crazy. I still don’t know what I’m doing but I’m excited about it. I am also taking watercolor classes from our local art league. Don’t know what I would have done through this without painting. I have also moved art work around in our house to work in pieces that I’ve done. When the weather is nice though, I’m out! Biking or planting.

  37. Susan

    I have had a wooden potting table on my back porch in Wisconsin for years. It has a thin layer of zinc on the top which really helps it hold up. Maybe you could find a sheet of metal to put on your table.
    Thanks for all the work you do to stay in touch with your followers. You always seem to strike a tone I can relate to.
    God’s blessings to you.

  38. Linda Rudman

    We went to a nursery this week as well and it was my first time in a store for over 2 months. Such a weird feeling. My pick me up is our daily (weather permitting) afternoon walk. Our state parks and conservation land remains open for walking only and since I had two knees replaced, I must exercise them. With gyms and the Y closed, walking is it. I have come to love walking on the well worn trails in the woods. For that hour or so, Coivid doesn’t exist.

  39. Cynthia Johnson

    I hope you will feel rested in days to come. It’s one thing to have malfunctioning medical equipment and another to have a child
    depending on your knowledge at any given moment at all hours, night and day. I admire how your family manages Calvin’s diabetes as a tribe.

    I took my first outing in 6 weeks today and went directly to the garden store. I told myself I could buy whatever I wanted. I wandered a bit longer than I should have but I needed to get filled up by the color and beauty around me. I really needed it. Tomorrow is my birthday so I have the perfect day planned 🙂 I know I’ll go to bed very sore and tired!

    Happy Mother’s Day Marian and to all the moms out there 💕

  40. Kathie B

    With the virus, we have purchasing limits on certain grocery items as I’m sure most places do. Signs at the grocery stores outline these so I had a laugh when I saw the sign outside our local nursery that read “Plant purchases limited to one truck load per customer”. 🤣

  41. Cindy Jensen

    My solace comes from my garden. Myself with my dogs is my time to reconnect with God and my spirituality. To watch things come alive in the spring renews my belief in something bigger than just myself. I need it more than ever with all that is going on in this world now. Not the corona virus but the hate and selfishness that seems to be wherever you look. In my garden, I have recently added an area that is native mostly which makes me feel more connected to the earth and helps me to believe that I am helping our world just a little bit. And being in the sunshine and tending my plants helps my mood no matter what goes on. Not to mention shopping for new flowers! I don’t have veggies but my plants give me so much pleasure. Truly special in my life.

  42. Jennifer

    That sounds like a wonderful pick-me-up! Your plants are beautiful! 🌸 I am sure I need of a pick-me-up. Unfortunately I am the one who is at risk, so there hasn’t been any nursery trips yet. Hopefully soon! There is nothing sweeter than the smell of a greenhouse in spring! 🌸🌼🌺
    PS. I loved seeing your son in your video! He has grown so much!!

  43. Patricia Kasparian

    Being in mid-state NH, the cold weather was def getting trying. Spring seemed to finally arrive last weekend, so now the outdoors, which always is my pick-me-up, has become so much more enjoyable. And I love my favorite bloggers’ posts and good food.

  44. Kathie

    I feel the same way about plants. Since selling my house and moving to a condo, I miss my garden so much. But I took a chance, wore a mask and, like you, made a few quick purchases the other day at a local nursery for my small deck. Lifted my spirits. Hang in there. Enjoy time in your beautiful home with your loved ones. Times will get better eventually. Btw, your blog is one of my favorite pick-me-ups.

  45. Julie | Home On The Hill

    It’s late Autumn here in Australia 🍁- so we are heading into cold weather territory – no snow here where I live but cold enough with some Winter nights down to -5c (23F), but today is a glorious warm sunny day after a few colder cloudy ones so it’s my pick up. 🌞 Plus we had a sweet baby alpaca born yesterday 🦙- always a good feeling to watch a new life discover it’s world. 🙂

  46. Mary S

    Hi Marian,
    I’m almost finished with a huge project I started in my back yard. This is my 2nd year in this house. The back yard was a complete horror show. I’ve aerated, seeded, watered, fed and you name it, but still have a lot of weeds. It’s never ending, Plus I stripped 3 beds, all are about 4 feet wide and 6-8 feet long. I have plans to put Crepe Myrtle in them, but am still waiting on my plants. Today I moved one half of a 1 cubic yard of mulch. The rest is going in the beds.

    But what I want you to know, is that you can go on the internet (I’ve had the greatest luck with Home Depot) and order what plants I want and they ship to my door. Don’t be afraid to hunt for what plants you want and shop prices and order them. One of two things will happen. They will ship to your home or they will ship to a nursery you designate in your area and you pick them up. Proven Winners and many others all operate this way. Give it a try. I just ordered 2 Limelight hydrangeas for my church from Home Depot. They arrived today in 2 gallon pots and were planted early this afternoon. And they were lovely!

    Hope this helps!!

  47. Debi

    I paint acrylics and watercolors almost every day and I am redecorating a couple of rooms, so that has kept me busy. But yesterday I finally donned a mask and ventured out to buy herbs for my window boxes and some new inside plants. Now the herbs are sitting in the garage again tonight after spending the days in the sunshine—we have a hard freeze coming tomorrow evening & the weekend so I decided the planting can wait a few days. It always refreshes me to get my hands in the dirt and I love seeing the herbs and flowers from my kitchen windows. I also tackled and completed a couple of those dreaded little projects that I kept putting off—like finishing up some drapes for a guest room and framing some paintings. Come to think of it, I really have enjoyed being home without the interruption of all the errands that had to get done. It’s been nice painting, cooking new recipes and working on projects without having to schedule my creative time around other activities.

  48. Joyce

    Thank you for sharing your life and creativity with us, Marion. I teach 5th grade at a charter school, and our motto is that we are learning to “pursue truth, beauty and goodness.” I see all those things in your blog.

    On another note, my husband is a pastor’s son and has had type 1 since he was 8. He is 62 now and is in very good shape. Type 1 is hard on the person himself and all those who love the person, but be encouraged, he can still have a wonderful life and do great things he wouldn’t have expected.

    Blessings on you and dear Calvin,

  49. Karla Sanders

    Use Behr Deck Over. It works.
    Glad that you were able to get some plants!

  50. Michele M.

    A few summers ago I was with my sister, my children, grand and all my sisters family at their wonderful lake house for an extra long weekend.

    We had that exact thing happen to my huge 6’3″ tall husband…..except his leg DID fall through. Scared him to death and soon as I could say bibbity bobbity boo we had a new deck. That couldn’ve ended up so badly. Thank God it didn’t.

    Happy you got out. I haven’t been anywhere outside my home in 2 months (high risk.)

    We have a cold snap going on right now and had to put the lilac bushes under plastic, all the plants we could in the covered porch and pray for the rest… is rumored it may snow tomorrow and Saturday. In May. What the heck!??

  51. Ellen Westerholm

    My 2 youngest grandchildren live close so I have been doing some babysitting while their parents work. I’m Been their only playmate for the last 6 weeks! We are having fun in the yard gardening and walking and playing. Our weather in Florida has been really nice. Watching your live videos has been fun. I’m not painting as much but I’m organizing and doing some sewing. Watching documentaries on TV and reading. Meeting on zoom with friends has been fun too!

  52. Debra Vessels

    Living in a small town can have it’s advantages. I was able to make an appointment at our family owned Nursery, 2 people every thirty minutes, it was like that breath of spring air we need. I gathered up what they had that was on my list of most wanted. Fortunately our weather in the Texas Pandle has been warming up, so I have been able to work in the garden. I also bought thyme, german and lemon, dill, and other herbs to grow inside. I love having some green plants inside, as long as they are not too needy.

  53. jenw

    We did the same thing over the weekend! We hit the garden center very early and grabbed some plants for the front porch. I didn’t take time to explore everything, but chose some things quickly and headed back out. Just getting our porch cleaned off and some things in my pots was a huge pick me up! Even our 10yo got in on the action and planted the flat of impatients I snagged! I’m hoping this makes him feel more invested in watering come this summer! 🙂

  54. Babs

    Walking everyday has helped greatly. I also am enjoying your painting tutorials and I watch lots of you tube painting sessions. Baking bread and watching old, old movies on tv…that’s about it. I want my life back.

  55. karen hines

    did you put holes in your wash tub to plant the herbs? or just put stones in the bottom for drainage?

    • Marian Parsons

      I drilled holes in the bottom of the tub!

  56. Betsy

    Oh yes, lots of gardening… planting seeds, picked up a few flats of flowers and herbs at a friend’s greenhouse a couple days ago. We run a business out of our house so still so much to do! Etsy shop has exploded! And my husband still has his job. Missing family from out of state, and my little boy still asks every week if we can go to church ☹ We got together with a handful of church family last Sunday which was a HUGE pick me up!

  57. Cyndi

    Since I am teleworking, I don’t have tons of free time during the day but when the weather is nice and warm, I try to get out on my deck for breakfast or lunch and definitely out in the yard on the weekends. I also went to a small local nursery for my flowers, (by appointment, half hour by myself in the greenhouse!) Can you imagine!? I didn’t want to leave. My sweet daughter pick up my herbs at a different nursery. Everything is in pots and seems to be thriving. We are expecting low overnight temps on the east coast so everything is inside for the weekend.
    Enjoy your Mother’s Day!.

  58. Kate

    When I went out to do my big shopping expedition last Friday, my teenage son drove me for driving practice. I found out at the last minute that a local nursery was open and had him drive in on the way home. I was just going to shop quickly, but I ended up leisurely strolling around. I may have gone a bit overboard on plants. There were not many people there and almost no one in the green houses. I bought pansies and petunias to brighten up the porch and a few other annuals and herbs. I still have my tender herbs like basil inside because the Ohio spring has been too variable. If you can, get a lemon verbena and a rose geranium. Every time you pass by and caress them, the smell will make you happy.

  59. Vanessa

    Different times indeed. Oh so I miss my usual “before mother’s day plant shopping”! But I try to hurry too , because I know there’s a line of people outside the hardware store.
    I love all of your pots, they are beautiful. We can do this. I hope your son equipment is working properly and you can rest better. Virtual hug.

  60. Cheri

    I’m glad you got out for a bit! I’m heading to Home Depot today — and will definitely be looking at the plants! The deck looks so pretty with your additions and touches!

  61. Darlene

    Having lived in Texas my entire life, it is hard to imagine there are still freeze opportunities for the garden. I was able to plant my vegetable garden in early March before the city closed down.
    I’m enjoying the daily visits to my garden for picking veggies, see what’s growing, and watering.
    I find myself shaking my fist at the crows and squirrels, who are enjoying the fruits of my labor. They invariably get the first ripe tomato on each plant.
    It’s been remarkably cool in the evenings here in San Antonio so we enjoying relaxing in the yard in the evenings.

  62. Vikki Jo

    So funny, my deck is in the same condition. I just got done pressure washing it and painting it hoping it will last another year or so until we can afford to fix it properly. I did fall through one board (which we did replace), that hurt! I have loved painting with you but my biggest joy is reading. Now that my deck is somewhat better I can get my hammock up and sit outside and read. Need to get me a couple of plants too to brighten up the place. 🥰

  63. Lee

    I always enjoy reading your posts.
    I am 73, retired over 10 years and my home is in Georgia. We are fortunate that the weather here is perfect now for planting and working in our yard.
    We ventured out to a local home/garden store for plants about a week ago.
    Of course, we wore masks, practiced social distancing and used sanitizer on our hands and everything else we touched getting back into our car.
    I enjoy every day and try to make the best of any situation. This too will pass, but in the meantime find something to do that brings you peace and happiness.
    I like to keep busy and enjoy sewing, so I have been making masks for family and friends.

  64. Rita

    Working from home home has been very different. But my oldest has been home from college for a while and we have been spending more time together playing cards, board games and having bon fires. I was hoping to do some gardening and landscaping, but we are waiting for some loads of dirt and some excavation work. I’m at least planning it.

    • Diana Risteff

      I agoodm always amazed at your talents. The first time I saw your picture, I was surprised by your yout

  65. Peggy hunt

    Marian I really like what teedee is what you make it.these words are so true.
    When my beautiful daughter was twelve years old she was diagnosed type one.
    I have to tell you it broke my heart.
    Unless you have lived with this disease you can’t understand how challenging it really is.
    That was almost 30 years ago.
    Now just last week I found out my grandson age 10 is also type one. He is the smartest and most handsome little broke my heart again. And here we are all cooped up and fearful to leave our homes. It’s enough to make you scream.
    But I am grateful that we live in a country with health care.and even the small things like watching the moon come up are a treasure to me. I painted along with you today Marian and it was heaven just to get my mind off things. I bought a little hydrangea and oh how pretty the color is.there is still beauty all around us.
    Be good to yourselves people.
    Peggy hunt

  66. Michael Wurm Jr

    Beautiful planting choices. Shopping for plants and flowers might be one of my favorite things. I know for certain it will feel and be different this year. (Just like pretty much everything else.) Thanks for sharing a little beauty today!

    xo Michael

  67. Karen bahr

    I have just been reading all of the comments from your readers.Wow! Heartwarming to read. Such nice people out there.Love gardening and planting also. Have followed you for years.You truly are an inspiration to so many.So gifted in so many ways.A true blessing.Cant help but feel God has blessed you.

  68. mary m

    Here in NH you are not truly safe with outside planting till May 30.
    About the diabetes. My uncle John came down with type 2 when ne was a newly wed in 1940. at that time management diagnoses was slm. his two daughters came down with type 1 when they were three and four years. Eileen my cousin was my age and lived to be 68. She said to me once that today chilcren are taught from an early age to give themselves shots etc and feel so much better about their self confidence. she said she never gave herself a shot till she was 18. She liked the idea of children being part of the treatment. My uncle lived to be 80. He also survived TB as well and has to go to a sanitorium for two years. I am sure your son will be fine with all of your TLC.

  69. Maaike

    Would you mind sharing where you went plant shopping? You picked out really beautiful plants. I know that I live close to you because you guided me to your church a few years ago. Thank you for that. We (my husband and 4 kids) have been going for almost 2 years. We were attending the Sunday morning service.. until this all happened. (Now it’s our TV)
    I’m sorry I hadn’t shared that with you sooner. But thank you for guiding our family to Crosswinds and all the replies that you do to everyone. It’s really neat that you take the time.

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      Oh, I didn’t know that! I’m so glad you shared. 🙂 I go on Saturday nights, so that’s probably why we haven’t crossed paths. We’ll have to have you over some time when all of this passes!

      As far as plants, I just got them at Home Depot. I usually go to Sargeant’s, though. They have beautiful plants.

  70. Charlene

    Next deck stain don’t paint.

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      Well, we didn’t paint it! The next deck will be composite.

  71. Maaike

    We would love that! Thank you for the reply. I will have to go to the home depot..I had no idea they carried such beautiful topiaries!

    • Marian Parsons

      You have to hit it at the right time. Costco usually gets some pretty lavender topiaries around this time of year, too.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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