A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day


 My son took the dog in with him last night.  Seems like a small thing.  I love my puppy.  Yellow Lab.  Watercolor hair blending from white to raw umber; overdid it a little on the black eyeliner but on him it works.  110 pounds.  2 1/2 years old.  I'm starting to see a glimmer of civilized emerging.  But he still believes, with all his heart, that I am the ONLY person in this family who actually knows the correct way to take a dog out for toileting.  And so, when he sleeps in my room, I can count on an early wake-up call (in addition to possible calls throughout the night).  It was a lovely Mother's Day gift to wake up on my own time and read without interruption.  And to sit here, to write this, without a huge yellow head with begging eyes resting on my lap.

I finished another Anne Lamott book this morning.  I haven't read so - I dunno - VORACIOUSLY - in years.  My sister-in-law gave me Grace, Eventually a couple of weeks ago, saying it was written for me.  She was so right.  I finished Grace... and went on to Bird by Bird.  Twice.  Then Traveling Mercies, and today I finished Plan B.  I'm a little sad.  I think I've finished the "faith" books.  The "sermons."  I've loved every one.  Am still amazed that I found a bit of myself, a bit of encouragement for the me that I'm becoming, in every chapter.  But, I have a stack of her novels to tempt me, so I won't be grieving long.

Once I finished Plan B, I moved on to Plan A for my day. Just doing whatever I feel like, when I feel like it.  First I felt like checking on the fairy garden outside my window.  It was hard to decide where to look first, so I started on the west end.  I didn't plant those nasturtiums but they are - as they say - rioting at the end of the garden in yellow and orange.  How can you not love them?  Such cheery informality.  And at the feet of the lilac - Declaration - that is putting out another round of deep purple blossoms.  It's a dignified plant, standing appropriately at attention like that.  The nasturtiums look like rowdy little children bent on irritating their elderly great-aunt with their smudges and runny noses.  She's not having any of it.

Next to her, my climbing rose, Cecile Brunner, is in bloom.  Because this is a side-yard garden I have to keep her under control and so far she's cooperating pretty well.  Her flowers are like perfect little miniature hybrid teas from bud to blow and they smell divine.  One of the branches has grown sideways behind the passion vine trellis, then through the trellis to my side to make a backdrop for the fairy fountain that I use as a sculpture.  Next to the fairy sculpture is an unintended hodgepodge.  The pink and purple fuchsia that I thought would die is thriving and blooming all over the place.  In front of that is the columbine that I THOUGHT would be shorter but is actually the taller of the plants.  Things are not what I planned, but I suppose that is the way of faeries.  They like to have their way.

All over my yard the Labrador violets have seeded and germinated and matured and are now blooming.  If you've read here before you may remember a post last year when I grieved for my lost violets (I was away and they didn't get watered), then saw the tiny seedlings in rebirth.  It was such a hopeful moment.  Now they thrive and the next generation blooms all over the place.  There's even a tiny blue flower that grins as me from the string-of-pearls pot that hangs at eye-level in the front.

  The passion vine on the trellis (placed to feed the gulf fritillary butterflies that should be on their way here now) is taking over.  Hooray! Coral Bells still blooming.  Blue columbine has a flower. Miniature roses in bud.  Two brugmansias are in bloom (Peach and Creamsicle), their graceful trumpets much larger than last year.  I lost one dicentra ("bleeding heart").  Went out one day and it was lying, shriveled and brown on the ground.  I looked for it to be outlined with chalk like on one of those crime shows, but I guess the police don't bother with planticide.  The other three were spared, however, and while not currently in bloom, they are growing quite nicely.  Canterbury Bells have put out another flush of gorgeous pink blossoms.  Hangy-downy plants are creeping over the retaining blocks.


The Dutchman's Pipe is making its way up the trellis.  There's something satisfying about watching a plant that seemed to be dead in its pot respond like this to being finally planted.  This flush of green leaves, the slow ascent up the face of the trellis.  At those times when you wonder if anyone appreciates you at all, you see smiles in the healthy green leaves and happy flowers and say to yourself, "At least I did this right."

On the other side of the garden, under my window, live the hydrangeas.  The white "waterfall" type are in bloom and the others are covered with buds.  Two will be pink.  One is maroon.  And the third may be pink or blue or - like last year - pinkishpurpleblue.  I do give it a dose of aluminum sulfate to push the blue.  But you're supposed to dose them every week or so, and that one dose is all I managed this year.  Same last year, and I got rather schizophrenic but lovely mottled pink and blue bracts around brilliant blue flowers.  I rather liked it.


No goldfinches yet this morning.  I've noticed grasses in seed everywhere so it may be that they are happily gnoshing in the natural foods eateries while the gnoshing is good.  They'll be back to my food share feeder when the pickings get slim.

I love spring.

And the rest of the day sits in promise.

My biggest problem on a day like this is to unravel the challenge of what to choose to do.

Last night I watched my "friends" at Visions Fantastic broadcast from the black carpet at the Disneyland premier of Pirates...IV.  I thought DaddyB asked wonderful questions.  The VF audience is rather young, and Brett spent most of his time talking to entertainers that appeal to the younger set.  He asked them fun questions, and it was a kick to watch them warm up to him and give him great interviews.  I was impressed with these young actors: charming, articulate, mannerly.  This is the second Pirate premier at Disneyland that I've watched and Johnny Depp always touches me.  You always know when he's coming because there will be a huge, boring gap in the festivities.  He takes forever.  Then, from the media side we never see his face.  Why?  Because it's all about the fans.  He takes his time, walking slowly along the fan side of the carpet, giving autographs and speaking with fans.  Isn't it lovely, when you're a fan of someone's work, to get such happy glimpses into a fine human being as well?

Anyway, back to today.  While I watched last night I got a little stitching done.  So I could actually finish that piece today.  If I wanted to.

Yesterday I went to the Santa Monica Mountains Native Plant Sale and bought eight (EIGHT!) plants.  I could and should plant them.  (Something about buying native plants from National Park rangers while IN the mountains that screams, "Don't kill us!")

I skipped laundry last week, so if I'm to have anything to wear next week laundry will have to be on the agenda.  And while I designed this room with minimum open spaces (because I will only fill open spaces with clutter), there are some and they are - SURPRISE - filling with clutter.  I love to putter in my lovely sanctuary so there may be some clutter putter going on.

And CRIPES!  I'm glad I wrote this, 'cause I just reminded myself that I have to go to Staples and get a display board.  The award banquet (did I post here that I won a teaching award?) is Wednesday and I have to do my display.  Totally forgot.  That has to go on the list, too.

Guess I'll mosey on to the next stage.

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