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She’s one of my new little girlies.

Djinjer

 

Djinjer2

tulip

The first financial bubble on written record occurred in the Netherlands in the 17th century, as Tulipmania swept over Holland.  During the peak of speculation, a single tulip bulb cost more than an average home.  Bulbs for “broken” tulips, like Semper Augustus and the Viceroy,  were very hot commodities and went for a fortune. A broken tulip had a striking pop of color that contrasted the base hue of the flower’s petals.  The color break was caused by a mosaic virus (of all things), spread by myzus persicae, a type of aphid.  The infection weakened the bulb and slowed the plant’s propagation.  This is why varieties like Semper Augustus and the Viceroy no longer exist. When an outbreak of the plague prevented a bulb auction, a cascading effect of other cancellations rippled outward, which eventually lead to a collapse in the market in Holland.  Many tulip traders went bankrupt.

“…any tulip thus changing its original colour is usually ruined afterwards and so wanted only to delight its master’s eyes with this variety of colours before dying, as if to bid him a last farewell.” 

–Carlus Clusius, Botanist

Today,  the tulips that have a broken effect are cultivated without the virus. These flowers are known a “Rembrandt tulips,” after the artist.  You can see a broken tulip in Rembrandt’s portrait of his wife painted as Flora, the Roman goddess of Spring and flowers.

I was inspired to plant the orange lovelies pictured above late last November after reading Michael Pollan’s chapter “The Tulip” in his book The Botany of Desire.  As Pollan put it:

“…the wayward color loosed on a tulip by a good break perfected the flower, even as the virus responsible set about destroying it.”

–Michael Pollan

crocus

“Like the crocus that pushes into spring willy-nilly, the artist also pushes forward into growth. The crocus lies beneath the snow waiting for the slightest touch of warmth to spring forth. Like the crocus, the artist does not pause to ask if his work is timely or welcome.  Critical reception will perhaps be chilly like an unseasonal snow, but like the crocus, the artist survives.”

–Julia Cameron, Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance

 

May you be safe and healthy and continue pushing forward into growth.

birdhouse

A bluebird couple caught my attention yesterday with their noisy fighting and flapping above the birdhouse. The male flew off to perch on the trellis several feet away. He lodged his complaints to the raspberry vine in a grumpy sequence of whistling, squeaky chirps. The budding vine listened patiently. Bluebird arguments are adorable.

IMG_3090

Um…hello lettuce, you little renegade. That is not where I put you to bed.  That sneaky wind put you up to this, I bet. You are thriving in the rocks and sand, of all things! I didn’t even know that was possible. And yet here we are.

IMG_3088

I’m pretty sure that yellow-flowered plant is spinach. At least it tasted sweetish and spinach-like even after it bolted and bloomed.  It looked like it could be broccoli when it started bolting. On my garden map I wrote “beans” in that location.  It’s definitely not beans.

flowers

The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grab at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.  

–Robert Louis Stevenson

What are ya’ll making out there?

dot journal march

That’s the start of my dot journal goal-tracker and summarizer for the month of March. I’ve been doing Julia Cameron’s 12- week program, The Artist’s Way, since December 21 and I have just under two weeks left to complete it.  It’s been ridiculously effective, centering, fun, and challenging.  I don’t want it to end! So I’ll probably just keep going…or see what else she has to offer.

Also, it’s garden time again!   I’ve already gone crazy stocking up on flower seeds and bulbs.

The kale, arugula, and lettuce planted in September are showing their colors – purple, red, and green – so pretty! The thyme and lavender survived the winter. I apparently planted something else that is also doing great — I thought it was spinach upon first sight, but it looks suspiciously like broccoli at its center. I don’t remember planting broccoli in the fall.  I’ll have to consult the garden journal to confirm what was planted in that spot.

The Lenten roses and the daffodils with small blooms have been showing off for two weeks now and the crocus are in bloom.  The big-bloomed daffodils are about to pop open.  The pear tree is a big show-off with all the white flowers festooning the branches.  The key lime tree, an anniversary gift,  survives winter indoors. She bloomed a couple weeks ago and smelled amazing. Two key limes now grace her branches! That’s the first time that’s happened in the three years since we got her.

I planted microgreens indoors yesterday. I’m so ready to get outside and play with the worms in the dirt.  It’s still too muddy though, so I guess I’ll break out the graph paper and start dreaming and scheming on how to flower up my world today instead.

Dear People of the Web,

I’m falling into my hibernation period and snuffling around for something new to keep myself occupied in the cave until the world thaws and the crocus sprouts.  So I’m wondering, how do you do Christmas? If you would be so kind, please pick a question or two and share your answer in the comments below:

What holiday songs do you have on repeat?

What Christmas movies are you binge-watching?

Are there fattening recipes you’re making that we need to know about?

What wish-list books are you gifting or re-reading or hoping Santa brings?

 

 

Δ My Answers Δ

Δ Music Δ

As for songs, I can’t help but love The Murdering Crow’s version of the Snow Miser Song:

Δ

Δ Movies Δ

I haven’t made it through the movie The Year without a Santa Clause yet.  Maybe this is the year.

The Nightmare before Christmas gets played nearly every year. Lines are quoted; songs are sung.  “There Goes Christmas” is what we tend to say around here in a cartoonish voice at the slightest disappointment or provocation. It never loses its funny.  I’ve also been known to mechanically chant, “Making Christmas. Making Christmas. Making Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiistmas….” with a blank stare while wrapping presents.

Δ

Δ Food Δ

I don’t cook as a general rule, but when I get a wild hair around this time of year I make my Kiki’s banana bread.  When inspiration really strikes there could be pumpkin pie or banana pudding.

Δ

Δ Books Δ

“It makes one’s mouth hurt to speak with such forced merriment.

–David Sedaris

David Sedaris’ Crumpet the Elf from Santaland Diaries is fun and available on NPR.

Last December, my near-and-dear read me nightly bedtime stories from one of his childhood books, The Animals’ Merry Christmas.  Published in 1972, its pages had a rich and musty scent and were embellished with drawings, dialogue, and musical notes from his 7-year-old hand. The Animals Merry Christmas.jpg

My favorite character was Pussy Cat Smart.

Come here Lion

It was a super sweet gift.

I bought this painting today because Bree Merryn clearly understands goaty goodness.

goaty goodness

 

Tumbling-hair

              picker of buttercups

                                                 violets

dandelions

And the big bullying daisies

                                  through the field wonderful

with eyes a little sorry

Another comes

                         also picking flowers

–e.e. cummings

iris 2

 

roses2

journal

It’s been a busy spring filled with seeds sewn and flowers bursting. Seeds were planted in so many places I can’t keep track of it all in spite of my journaling,  mapping, and labeling.  I get impatient. If a seed doesn’t sprout within a few days a different seed gets popped into the same tray.  Nature has her own rhythm and won’t be rushed.  Suddenly there are multiple things growing from the same cell.  I am no longer sure what’s what.  The rain has washed away the ink from my labels.  The garden will be full of surprises.

Life is not all fuzzy sprouts, sweet-scented petals, and swirling cursive. The concrete spillway leading from the pond collapsed and caved in from erosion over the last few years. It needed immediate attention.  Hours upon hours were spent in the pit with mud in my hair, in my ears, and under what was left of my jagged fingernails.  Digging rocks from the mud and moving them from here to there is prison work, I tell you! Then there was the construction on the learning garden and the hauling of poop from here to there.  It is almost complete.  So worth it to see he beans already beginning their ascent to the top of their tee-pees.  I can’t wait to show you!  Until next time…


Hawaii Feet April 17, 2019

Wherelings, whenlings

(daughters of if-but, offspring of hope-fear, sons of unless and children of almost),

never shall guess the dimensions of him

whose each foot likes the here of this earth

whose both eyes love this now of the sky.

endlings of isn’t shall never begin

to begin to imagine how

Him whose each foot likes the here of this earth

Him whose both eyes love this now of the sky.

(only are shall be were

Dawn dark rain snow rainbow

and a moon ‘ s whisper in sunset

Thrushes toward dusk among whippoorwills

or

tree field rock hollyhock forest brook

Chickadee

Mountain. Mountain)

Why-coloured worlds of because

Do not stand against yes

Which is built by forever and sunsmell.

(sometimes a wonder of wild roses sometimes)

with north

over

the barn.

 

e.e. cummings

20/50

My electronic archives have been neglected this year as I took a turn back to the old ways, to relish the dying art of handwriting and its ancient tools, and to savor the privacy, tangibility, focus and flow that these tools afford. 

For some reason, this seems like a good time to share a gratuitous picture of a turtle I met this year.  Or maybe she’s not so gratuitous. Maybe she was a little spirit companion meant to remind me the value of slowing down, grounding, and seeking solitude.

turtle

But I didn’t come here today to share turtle pictures.  I wanted to show you one of my most prized possessions — a garden journal my sister made for me.

 

journal

 

She calls it a “junk journal,” though I don’t think that’s a fitting description. Every single page is embellished with awesomeness.

 

iris

There are all sorts of nooks and folds in which to tuck notes, thoughts, dreams, and ideas.  And she stocked it with seeds, charms, a vial of dandelion fluff upon which to make wishes, and all sorts of magic.

seeds.jpg

And these pictures do not even begin to do it justice.

butterfly.jpg

With this journal I am a garden wizard!  Next year, I should be able to grow a beanstalk to climb to find the goose who lays golden eggs.

It makes me happy.

The video below is her doing a complete flip-through of the journal in case you’re interested:

And if you want to see the other journals she’s created (e.g., Murder on the Orient Express), here’s a link to her channel:
Recycled by Skattur

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