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As a native Hoosier, my tendency is to be hospitable.  My mother always loved to have company, and it didn’t matter when you came, if she was home, she would get you a glass of iced tea or Pepsi, and you all would sit down and visit.  At Grandma’s that visit also included a walk through the yard to see what had bloomed since the day before when you were last there.

The cherry tree is a hybrid, and one side has cherries, the other doesn't.

The cherry tree is a hybrid, and one side has cherries, the other doesn’t.

I guess I haven’t outgrown that upbringing.  Even when Vince and I don’t have company, we still walk around the yard almost daily to see what new things he planted or how his garden grows.

TC BV 2013

Don’t complain about the fence being unpainted. Vince likes the “cottage” look.

When we bought our home 12 years ago, we named it Bellavista.  At the time the house was more of a shack, and the acre a blank slate than a beautiful view, but for 12 years my husband has worked on creating his own bella vista.  I have to admit that most of my contributions have come in the form of praise, which he adores.

Vince likes to decorate with old furniture in the yard.  He planted this bed in memory of his mom.

Vince likes to decorate with old furniture in the yard. He planted this bed in memory of his mom.

Two days ago we went out, because he wanted to try my new Tameron lens.  Unfortunately, I forgot to put it back on automatic focus, and I took some of the pictures with my vision corrected differently, and Vince took some of the pictures, and his vision is different from mine.  So some of them are just not as sharp as the lens is capable of producing.  At least I know what was wrong with them.  You get to see life the way my lasik eyes see things unless I correct my distance vision.  It’s not as good as walking a mile in someone’s shoes, but the idea is the same. 🙂

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Hoosier, by the way, is the blurred way we say, “Who’s there?” in Indiana.  I don’t have much of a Hoosier accent, but I do blur my words as well as my pictures sometimes, according to Vince. hmmmm  Hope you’ve enjoyed our spring walk around the front of the house.  Now, what shall we talk about?  It’s open.  I’ll chat if you will.  🙂

94 replies »

  1. Very, very emotive for me, cursitating about those lovely floral images, a yard flushed with the vibrance and beauty of a well-tended garden. What a haven. How it evokes such memories of the garden my mum, Sir, and I all tended together, and then dragged poor victims all through the yard every chance we got to show them how many centimetres the wild ivy had grown, how many new blooms had opened up on the butterfly bush, the new growth on the red cherry tree, how much taller the blue stem had gotten….how many gold finches were abiding in the cerviceberry and whoa I cannot spell….I think serviceberry looks better, yes….ah and then to horrify those very victims, (ahem, this would be my doing alone) by revealing the giant spiders I had fed over a number of months and were about the size of a small child’s hand. I was so proud of those spiders. They were my little darling gang. There were about seventeen of them there in their webs, eyes glistening, awaiting their evening feed of grasshopper nymphs…ah…those wild prairie days. I don’t understand it, why anyone would dart off screaming from those darling lemon-lit little spiders, my sweets!

    I just adored this entry, BEAUTIFUL! I could live in this post! Well done! Both you and Vince have created a place of love, of peace, a true sanctuary!

    -Autumn Jade


    • Dear, dear Autty, I have to admit something. Vince is the sole perpetrator of the yard’s beauty. My only contribution, for the most part, is admiration. Years ago, I thought I would plant and grow things, because I love to do that, but V is pretty specific about how and where he wants things done and put. I do not take “directions” well, as I am an enormously self-directed person. The result was that I leave him to do all the planning, planting, pruning, and prissing in the yard, and I sit on the many benches he has placed around the yard and make appreciative comments – which, BTW, I genuinely feel.

      The other day one of my adopted grandchildren came by to go for a swim, and she said, “You are SO lucky to have Vince as your husband. You live in a park.” She’s 7. I had to agree with her. 🙂 M 🙂


      • Nothing more grand than living in a park!

        Yes, yes, of course, I was aware of that, but your contribution in my mind is just as tremendous. What would be V’s motivation without you?? How could he conjur the will, if you merely barked at him blithely with heavy over-laden frog eyes, “Oh….that’s nice…” and then merely stomped off?? He would be crushed….he’d be puling in the freshly-dug earth, warm from the sun, and may even be tempted to fold himself inward into the earth and…gently inhume himself….oh the horror! No your praise and love flows readily through your lovely paradise, keeping it together, helping it to flourish, as I’m sure there is nothing so sweet to V’s ears than the sound of your praise, admiration and love. MANY cheers,

        Autumn Jade

        P.S. I would have loved to have seen that little swimmer say that, TOO cute!


        • You would have loved hearing Taliah. She’s adorable. Thanks for the words of encouragement about my meager contribution to our yard being useful. I think Vince is fairly self-sufficient – even where praise is considered. He is funny about it, and always takes time to admire and talk about his handiwork, and review what he has done over the years. It’s almost a ritual for us, the before and after discussion. It’s good to remember the before because it is so different that what it is now. It kind of astounds both of us when we think back together about what the house and yard used to be. He has almost single-handedly accomplished a complete transformation from weeds and barrenness to a park! 🙂


          • Taliah, gorgeous! Yes, I know I would greatly enjoy her banter. Have I ever informed you that I am an aunt? My niece is named Breanna and she is almost blasted 13 great scott less than a month away now. She lives across the country. I adore her. (Here is where I would then proceed to go ooooon and ooooon about all her talents and charms, but I’m going to resist- difficult, but I CAN do it, I do have SOME self-control!).

            Ah ha! You won’t corn-vince me that you have not had quite the influence, I won’t have it! Ah, I see V is quite the artist indeed. Aye, I can relate. My mum and I (with Sir’s help) created an absolute paradise, completely transformed from the hard, barren, clay-and-rock soil yard we began with. I miss it. Me mum was an artist, and like V self-sufficient. I am rather, too, for that matter. I think that makes another’s appreciation all the more sweeter- when you do not need it, do not necessarily expect it, it becomes a most valued gift indeed, and I’m really not quite sure what I’m blasting on about so I’m going to stop here.

            Right. It is late and I’m still bombillating about, need to dash. So grateful to be back in your blissful blog again, cannot wait to delve into more entries. Ta la, much love,

            Autty J.


          • Hi Autty J. I would love to see a post of your beautiful handiwork. How fun would that be. You must have some pictures! 🙂 Your niece might not even mind a mention on your blog! 🙂


          • P.S. I would just love to see Vince go through that ritual. Haha, me mum and I did the same, I would say just about every night. Oooo I miss that feeling, those evenings were divine. Why am I still here? So blasted difficult to leave! Right, I’m off!



          • hahaha Sorry Autty Babs, you can’t hide from me. I know know the REAL you, and I have BLASTED it to the WORLD! You’ve been caught – hands down! YOU are SWEET!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂


          • Ooooo you are tormenting this old SOUR SALT (Nothing….*swiveling swoon* “sweet” about this one!) I just had a lapse, a momentary flicker of some sort of terrible mawkishness brought on, yes, you know precisely, a lack of lime-water. Aye, dehydrated craggy, sour, gritty, and exceedingly harsh and bitter old salts can SEEM sweet sometimes, sadly, but it is an illusion I assure you! ARG ARG ARG!


          • SWEET GIRL??? You just called me a SWEET GIRL??? ME????!! My dear lass, you must not be in posession of your proper senses- something is awry, all askew, perhaps you need 14 glasses of water, or perhaps a yoga (or yoda) session will reassemble order in the chaos of your poor suffering mind, whatever terror has taken over and induced you to….dub ME such a thing as a…I cannot say it, I cannot think it…water to the witch it is, BURNING!ooooo that brutal phrase, it is lacerating me!!! I’m a burly craggy-faced old toad! NOT a sweet girl!!!


          • Oh yes, dolphinitely need water then lass.

            Wrong mirror? Oh it is the most correct and fabulous mirror I’ve ever known. It reveals the ideal visage of the ultimate BRUTE- a taste of Jane from “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”, quite a large amount of toad, a mite of the ogre Terry from “A Streetcar Named Desire”, a tinge of Darth Vader (perhaps minus the helmet), a wee taste of the “Bad Seed” lass, a bit of a conniving leopard-toting Suzan from “Bringing Up Baby”, a great amount of the suave and spooky Leon from “The Professional”(especially in shades with a billowing trench coat, identical!!), a flare of the sallow-faced and sharp-eyed Death personified from “The Seventh Seal”, and finished off with the craggy, pitted, weathered face of the Mariner from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”- all converged. Oh yes, of course, and perhaps a bit of Irish lass in there, the sort with wild Einstein hair, playing a lyre and tricks everywhere she jigs and snickers about, falling and spilling things incessantly, tripping and bumbling about through life. All those merged into one mug is what I see in the mirror and, really, could anyone conceive of a BETTER face? And there’s NOTHING ugh…this word… “sweet” about it!

            Star Trek eh? How was it? I noticed they did a “Great Gatsby” adaptation, too, that is also out. Always wanted to read the book, not so sure I’d like to gawk at the film, however.

            I have not seen a new film in years. Hope you had a grand groovy time! Sir has been sniffing about at the S. Trek film, wanting to go I believe. I am sure it will make me weep. It seems sadly the delightful villains often perish in many films which always depresses me, naturally, being a NON-SWEET brute. Last new film I went to was “No Country for Old Men.” Now there was my sort of neo-noir, where my precious “villain” waltzes away and dances into the sunset of his “depraved and evil ways” practically unscathed. It was precious. Only film that would be more precious would be one about leopard seals, sharks and alligators. Preferably all of them, all at once, constantly swimming about, with me amongst them, that would be the grandest film on the planet…ah to dream….

            Now, now lass. I do hope I have properly elucidated you and you now understand that you are talking to the ultimate villain, the Supreme Depraved, the most picaresque of them all, the most horrid being of the worst night terror??? If so, I am MOST gruntled and pleased, and will perhaps even proceed to purr through my spiny black helmet as you gently touch the piercing spikes and coo, “There, there, you terrible, most abominable and atrocious BRUTE!”. Nothing sweeeeter to these ears than those delightful words!

            Do you want to know who IS genuinely sweet, and I know this just because I can stolidly observe and decipher facts, maintaining my brutishness all the time- YOU ARE! You are sweet, and so is Vince, and Sir, and our Ralph and ALL your blog readers (except me, of course), and all the pals you share about in your blog! Ah…it is your own sweet nature that is blinding you to noticing my fiendishness (or you are just fond of torturing poor monsters like myself by dubbing them…that terrible name I cannot repeat). Well, I’m helping you to see properly now. You have the guidance of an old fiend always there to help you through, so all is well! 😉

            -A Jade Toad
            p.s. how much did I just blasted type??? I fear it was A LOT…blast!!


          • You get the prize today for the most word, my dear friend, Smiling. You know, as long as you are being toady, you could have made yourself frowning, but NO! You wouldn’t do that because deep down, there’s sweetness! You are just going to have to change your entire avitar name, Smilingtoad, if you want to remove EVERY sign of sweetness. Sorry AJ. You can’t have it both ways! 🙂 SO admit it, YOU’RE SWEET! 🙂 Here drink a chocolate soda from the fountain, and spin around on the fountain chair. 🙂


          • A prize, astoundingly, I was not aiming for. Can you believe I actually managed a two-word comment to Ralph a couple days ago? I was so very proud. Now look at the state I am in…

            What is THIS rubbish?! Of course I’m smiling, at all the devastation I cause wherever I reside, and all the terrible plots and schemes I am incessantly tossing about in my dark, turbid, miry, swampy argillaceous brain!

            Chocolate soda?! What on Earth?! I will stick with my brine and lye, with sides of pummice and granite, thank you. You poor lass, you are still encased in some silly fairy-tale, “oh look at the ogre troll there chomping on innocents merely passing by, that is really just a lil’ sweetie inside!” NEVAH! ARG! Oh and now you expect a brute to swivel around in fountain chairs? What, with pigtails and freckles, giggles, blowing bubbles and all that sort of thing. They actually make chocolate soda now? How long has this been going on? The horror!


          • I am laughing so hard that Vince just yelled from the kitchen, “What are you laughing at?” I have tears in my eyes, and I can hardly type. He just brought me a home-grown tomato – my first! How can I not have a pigtails and freckles, giggles and bubbles floating across my vision whenever I look at you! 🙂 Vince was seriously telling me about his sprinklers that he was making sure work, and I started giggling. I couldn’t stop. You have ruined me for the day! 🙂


          • My dear lass, you have DONE SOMETHING to Ralph! He was calling me the same terrible word…in a comment…in all capitals just be sure I could feel the torment!!! And then, ANOTHER blogger called me….a….a….SWEETHEART. I don’t know how you got to her….I don’t believe she is one of your blog readers…do you have some terrible cyber magic that is spanning over the entire net of bloggers, telling them to call me….OH THAT TERRIBLE WORD?! …this is like some sort of terrible twisted, warped Twilight epidsode….I’m afraid to go to the beach, for fear of serial “sweetheart”s and “sweet girl”s shot at me from every direction….I would so much rather be called a “whale” or a “terrible aquatic baboon”, just not that terrible….word!! This is a horrible NIGHTMARE!


          • Dearest Sweet Whale and terrible aquatic baboon, What in the world has soured you on the word sweet. Do you hate chocolate? Do you hate vanilla ice cream? Have you no respect for sweet tarts? Autty! If it doesn’t taste like dead squirrel, you don’t like it?????


          • Well…you are getting a little better. At least you threw in whale and terrible a.bab. A start.

            Dead squirrel? Not sure what he’d taste like, but if I found one, I would bury him, dig him up months later, and keep the skull as a nice little decorative item, so I still wouldn’t know… Did you know I have a cute lil’ raccoon mollar? I found the skeleton in the woods and I just had to snag a mollar. It is beautiful. I was thinking of either gluing it to one of my fedoras or to my neck collar. Oooo I just adore bones and teeth.

            Yes, sweet is not my flavour. Childhood friends will confirm this ardently. They still complain about all the “abominably bitter things” I gave them to try. In fact, one was silly enough to visit me a couple years ago and was astounded to find that my bitter-pushing had only increased. I gave her a very, very bitter tea, called Horehound (it’s not even the most bitter tea in my stock, come come!), and she took one sip and her face turned into some sort of demonic painting. I think she wanted to inhibit my breathing, but I just bounced away from her with ease. When she found she could speak again, she started to complain about the time I gave her club soda with a bit of very sharp cranberry concentrate in it- it created purple foam, very nice I thought, my favourite drink. 😉

            Me mum loved chocolate 🙂 Sir too


          • ok, Autty, I think you need a visit to see Dr. Ph.UN on Ralph’s site. Anyone who doesn’t like chocolate and cookies instead of cranberry club soda seriously needs a good therapy session. A nice brownie with caramel laced through it, doesn’t appeal to you? Maybe a strawberry shortcake, or my personal favorite snickerdoodles?


          • Sounds like torture, but yes, I do need another Dr. Ralph PhUn visit indeed! And I think I will put together a nice sibilant frothing cran-concentrate club soda to go with my wonderful imbibing of BlueFishWay. 😉 Nothing better!


          • P.S. Homegrown tomato?? FANTASTIC. It was absolutely fabulous, was it not? Still warm from the sun, and a flavour that nearly topples you out of your chair, yes? Or was that the laughter…??

            My mum and I grew them. I found one of those delightful “tomato hornworm” caterpillars on one of the plants once (I monitored them every day). I collected the delightful creature, kept him in a tank and fed him tomato plant leaves that I specifically chose so he would not devastate the plants. Why am I telling you this, you’re going to call me some terrible word again. I also raised GIANT spiders, don’t forget that, and terrorised everyone that came near! Larger than a child’s fist, remember?!!! I’m NOT that word you were trying to conjur up again!! One time I even dangled one in the face of a archnophobic! I’m EVIL not SWEET! Just a wee reminder. 🙂

            Autumn Jade


          • My first husband, who was a pastor, may I remind you. When he was a boy, his parents ran a corner store. One day he put a plastic dog poo poo in the freezer on top of the frozen vegetables. Now that was SUCH a bad boy! 🙂


          • Naughty. Beege did a similar stunt once, only, I fear it involved the real thing…never seen any humour in anything like that. Beege thought his stunt would horrify me, it merely annoyed me and lowered my opinion of him….temporarily.


  2. Oh I love it ALL, Marsha! (and I love your profile pic, too!) Beautiful photos and I cannot pic a fav ~ When I saw Bellavista…I was reminded of when we lived in Bella Vista, AR. The place I’d like to retire one day as it is “that” special….just like your place 😉


  3. Not a lover of gardening … but I enjoy beautiful gardens .. and I’m so glad that people like you and your husband put all the afford and work into your garden, so I can enjoy it. Stunning garden you have! Thanks for taking me there.


  4. Whew !! I thought this was going to be a post about stockings, so I am enlightened to what a hoosier means. 😀

    Well done Vince. A great garden 😀 Ralph xox


  5. It is so lovely and looks very big. I love old furniture or wheels in a garden. We used once an old toilet to put flowers in in our school. it looked lovely! 🙂


  6. That was a lovely stroll, Marcia… You were commenting recently about your artistic lawn paraphernalia; I must admit, I couldn’t envisage some of the pieces you mentioned yet, how good does that bed look; and what a wonderful reason to have it..!
    I love the more ‘natural’ look; my man likes a somewhat pristine appearance. Somehow we meet in the middle and I think the end result (which is going to take a few years) will suit us both.
    Arrrr, a garden. What better place to breathe…


  7. Oh my … it is fantastic! Can I come over … stick the kettle on as we say in NZ! Also, I have a bit of a news for you and here it is: I have just nominated you for ‘The Word Press Family Award’. If you choose to participate all the ‘rules and regulations’ are to be find here:

    All the Best,


  8. I was going to ask what a Hoosier is but you answered that question at the end. I was also going to say that I’m looking forward to seeing Vince’s wonderful garden in person one day and then you had to go and mention rattlesnakes again…


    • Don’t worry. We have cats and they are on rattlesnake patrol day and night. However, that being said, we are very careful. We don’t have anything growing close to the ground and nothing close to the house. Vince keeps the yard immaculate. So don’t stay away because of them. I have seen one rattlesnake on our property, and the cats had it cornered under the truck, and Vince took care of it.


    • hahaha Darla, just try to paint it. It is cursed. I painted a small part of it last summer, and it is peeling down to bare wood already. I used expensive primer, and everything. I think this fence is a lost cause as far as painting is concerned! Vince designed and built the fence, too. I painted most of it in the beginning, and unfortunately I didn’t do it before he assembled it!


    • Yay! You are back on my “able to reply” list. That was the craziest thing. My cursor slipped over as I was pressing “reply,” and the word reply was lost on all your posts for a while. But you’re back! Whew! Thanks for the compliment! Vince will love reading it tomorrow. 🙂


      • Wow, I’m glad I’ve never experienced that, I would have given up. I can’t even figure out how to view my own pages unless I accidentally end up on them. I usually have to go to edit and then there is the option to view at the top. I can’t just click on word press and view my site. it takes me to dashboard or some other place.
        It is the most un user friendly site. I can’t do half of what I see other people do!
        I’m glad you got me back!


  9. Living in HK very few people have yards or gardens. We are lucky and have a very small one but I truly miss the luxury of space and the fun of experimenting with plants. It is wonderful to see your space and I hope it attracts lots of wildlife visitors.


    • We are very attractive to wildlife here. A neighbor’s visitor got bit by a rattlesnake yesterday. We are very careful. She also had a mountain lion in her yard. We have raccoons, skunks, kit foxes, which are endangered, and way too many gophers and squirrels. 🙂 I could send you some, if you like – in photo form, of course!! hahaha 🙂 Your life sounds very interesting, and you have lived in lots of VERY different places, if I remember correctly! 🙂


      • Marsha, I have only lived in a few places- Britain, Germany, Hong Kong and briefly Singapore. I have however visited all 7 continents and I guess I would be regarded as well travelled. I hope the rattlesnake bite is not too bad – are they life-threatening or is the anti-venom very effective? Here many people kill snakes but the truth is we are encroaching on their territory. We have a telephone number to call if we find one near the house and the police will come out and bring dave the snake man with them. He removes the creature to a safe location for both sides. No lions here. Historically we had tigers but the biggest mammal now is the wild boar. They broke into the veggie patch one year but otherwise don’t trouble us. Do post some wildlife photos!


        • I try not to get too close to snakes or skunks or mountain lions! Let’s see, that leaves squirrels and gophers. I don’t like gophers, but I did take some good and some bad pictures of squirrels last Saturday. Go visit my Facebook page to see my best squirrel picture. Rattle snakes are very dangerous. After 20 minutes this little boy’s arm was swollen and black. Had he gotten too upset and excited, he might have died. As it was, he is still in the hospital, and he has received I think 4 anti-venom treatments. The swelling is going down. 🙂


  10. Love the literal flower bed! Was the bed his Moms?
    And I love that you two take time each day to enjoy the yard, and each others company.


    • Thanks Guap. No, the bed he got the bed at an antique store on Main Street, Visalia, CA. All the goodies in our yard are purchased, not original to us. We have an antique tub that we got at a yard sale, a bathroom sink that is now sitting in the garden – no toilet, though, a very old stove…. I think that’s it. 🙂


    • Thank you Amy. He is a very creative guy, for sure. This evening when we were on our walk, I noticed that the flowers weren’t as pretty. He commented, “The close up at night.” I had never noticed that before. Not all of them were closed, so I always just assumed that they had gotten too much sun. I’m so observant! 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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