Friday, May 30, 2014

We said goodbye to Karen late last night

This post is to celebrate having known a wonderful person, who was there for me during Handsome Partner's last illness and death and after, and who had such a full on approach to life.  She brought her sisters into my life, too, and I've become an honorary member of the family.

I visited her every day in the last days since she came home from a hospital stay, and did a lot of backup for her sisters, to save them some stress.  And just two days ago I picked fresh herbs and took them over, pinched and let her sniff and enjoy, and smile a little. That was the last time we were able to talk.

I got the text late last night and went over to sit with her, along with her sisters and arriving relatives.  She still looked beautiful even in death.

She loved the labyrinth, and I was glad to have introduced her to it as a practice.  And she used the finger labyrinth I gave her when she couldn't walk it.  Lovely spirit, so big a part of the neighborhood.  Constantly making me try new tastes and fancy new foodie items!  happily making plans for our joint gardening ventures this year.  Bravely struggling back into work for a couple of final days a few weeks ago.  Many people will miss her.

Celebrate with me, walk the labyrinth if that is your practice, prayers if that is for you, good thoughts if you have other ways of marking this time.  Thank you.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pow! the first iris explodes into color

I always think that flowers like iris actually make a bang when they open suddenly.  Moonflowers literally do make a pop, which I've heard one evening as they opened their buds, unwinding themselves in a wonderful demo of nature and math at work!

Anyway, here, finally, late this year, the first iris appeared.  A freecycler who was picking up the other day noted the lovely bicolor so longingly that I offered him divisions in the fall. And he will come dig with me, bringing some solid purples from his own garden.  Garden freecycling!

So here are pix of my first iris in its bed (there's another bed on the patio, and yet another outside my fence, as well as exports to various neighbors' gardens).  And there's a longer view showing you the parents of my flowers.  They originated on a friend's parents' farm, and after the house was sold, she preserved some as a memorial to them. Click to see better.

I like memorials in the form of flowers, and this is a good weekend to have friendly thoughts of remembering long and recently gone friends, and the flowers we have from them.  Some flowers have been planted as a memorial, others just function that way since the friend has departed.

And we can also remember friends still with us, in the plants they have exchanged with us.  Better than glorifying war, as long as we remember to thank the people who gave everything for us all.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Boys with Toys and Dollivers with Hard Hats

Today, after much sturm and drang and moving of cars somewhere, anywhere, because a lot of our parking was closed to reseal the surfaces, the work began.

The Dollivers, complete with hard hats, though they firmly refused to go outside and risk getting dirty with that black stuff being sprayed, and Elton who figured he might as well have a hard hat, too, on top of his topper, took up supervisory positions in the window.

As Elton played along, a medley of Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Off to Work We Go, Sixteen Tons, I've Been Working on the Railroad, and other such ditties, would be amazing if anyone of them ever had done any of these things...the Ds watched people work.  One of their favorite occupations.

They did note that the hard hats could also work in Viking costumes and are jonesing to google on Viking clothes to see if they involve beads.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thriftie Joy

Before I launch into my brag about my thrift score this a.m., I have to explain the title.  A while back a lovely Raveler sold me at a very good price a whole raft of beads in sizes I can use.  She needed to know my address for shipping, and in the answering email, I used the subject line: Bead Joy!

After a day or two she said, well, I do need an address to ship to, and I explained I'd already sent that, but anyway, I resent the email, and she said, OMG, my husband saw that subject line, assumed it was porn and deleted it without opening!  naive me, forgetting the other possible connotations...

Anyway, the joy I refer to today is my Grand Success in find a pair of jeans, perfect condition, right color, right make Gloria Vanderbilt, which always fits me, right size, not a petite, but I can shorten a bit.  My reward for scanning an entire rack of jeans, mixed up sizes.

And a whole trove of great decorative thread which I can use in beading and in embroidery.  

Note the prices.  Change from $10. This is a good thrift day.  Happy Dance!

Monday, May 12, 2014

First wave of campers arrives

Houseplants, that is, on the patio for the summer.  Finally the weather seems settled enough to try them outside.  This is the first wave, from upstairs, to be joined later by downstairs ones including giant ficus tree, which has to be guyed to a fence or other tree because of wind issues in summer, it being top heavy.

 Pony palm in the left corner, then begonias among the cherry bushes, crown of thorns under the hanging boston ferns.  Just out of the pic to the right is the spathiphyllum.

The shade situation is different now that yet another section of the wild cherry is gone in a winter storm, so that's part of the thinking.  The ferns are a bit exposed ,but we'll see how they manage.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day to everyone, mom or not!

Happy Mother's Day to those in the US who celebrate it, and Happy Sunday to everyone.

This morning, call from Handsome Son to wish me, and treasured text from sick friend K wishing me, so generous, with barely enough energy to text, but she still did.

This afternoon HS will come over bearing his homebaked cookies, to have tea with me on the patio, Marigold supervising through the window as you see

where the cherry tree is in full bloom, bees all over it, wonderful orchestra going, and the chaises are out in readiness.  Sunshine, and let's hope it stays that way!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Weeping cherry trees abound


Lovely weeping cherries arching over the path, so you walk through a pink snowstorm when the wind blows.  We will have heavy rain tonight, so this might be the last of the blossoms for the moment.

Click to enjoy more.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Play with your food again!

It's been a while since I played with carving fruit and veggies -- remember the scowling oranges and the bunny made from a giant olive, courtesy of Jacques Pepin?  here's a nice little clip (caution, the sound background is terrible, mute your speakers) showing Ray Duey at work on various fruits and veggies.  He makes animals and flowers and birds out of various edibles.  

This makes me want to try it again!  watch this space...

I have some odd reluctance to carve into food, even if I end up eating it anyway, some remnant of rationing in childhood and the reverence for fresh fruit, I expect.  But it's still fun.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Early spring walk around the house

This morning, despite still being surrounded by roads closed for floods, bridges washed out and other spring phenomena, the flowers are still doing their best, and I took a little walk around the woods and neighbors' gardens and my own first effort at aquiplegia or whatever it is. 

Marigold seized the opportunity to sleep on my newly discarded best cashmere sweater, the day having got warm, and firmly declined to be interested in spring scenery.


So here's a virtual walk.  No prizes for matching pix to names:  pansies, English thyme, lemon thyme, grape hyacinth, dogwood, aquiplegia (must check that, it sounds like a medical term meaning inability of limbs to function in water, which would be me, but I digress), sedum.  

This may or may not be a treat  for readers whose spring has not quite got there yet, or readers who are heading into fall...but oh well.  Enjoy anyway!

So I hauled myself out to check and it's aquilegia. Ah, that's better.