Category Archives: Home & Garden

Big cloth, small glass

In progress, all over the living room: the six panels for First Born’s bed-sized quilt.

Will I finish in time for an upcoming birthday? Probably not. But finishing is the goal.

I keep finding glass from the shattered tumbler — in the dishwasher, on the floor.

I canvassed for Warren yesterday. The NV results were discouraging but here are three ideas to remember (cling to?):

  • Bill Clinton lost IA, NH, and NV;
  • the 75,000 early ballots in NV were cast before the most recent debate; and
  • Warren raised $12MM after that debate.

My last bday celebration took place across town last night with two long-time friends — one a fellow February baby, the other the host and a terrific cook. We’re all getting older. Actually, we’re all terrific cooks, too!

We sat by the fire and talked about all kinds of things, including — ESG-filtered investments, dating apps, grandchildren, Harriet Tubman, the NV caucus, butter beans, and how to survive in a wholly altered America.

“We only have each other. Small, local communities.”

I wonder: what kind of paperwork does one need to live, say, in Montreal?

We swapped inspiring links. I offered up the Future Primitive podcast link about regenerative design and B gave me (another) terrific astrology link as well as this:

Trash to Treasure

So if as Maddow says this is not the threat of dark times but the dark time themselves, it seems incumbent upon all of us to document gratitude and small miracles.

This orchid seems poised to bloom. It’s a kind of miracle if you ask me — especially because I know nothing about orchids or what they need. There’s a sky light, so maybe that?

The orchid was a long ago bday gift from D, who cooked dinner last night. From Georgia. The butter bean expert.

Friendship is a kind of miracle, too, don’t you think? Connections local and, I would add, connections, here. Much gratitude for these. For you.

 

Home, prison, companions

Continuing with Collage Month.* Sort of.

Prompt #22: Breathe deeply and visualize a place that you love. Send it a Valentine.

It may be trite to say that home is a place I love, but it truly is. What follows is a little bit more of a meditation than a valentine — one that includes ‘home’ as well as intellectual/heart preoccupations that have taken place within its walls. Maybe a valentine is to follow.

The nest: a classic symbol of home. My nest is empty now, but it hasn’t t always been.

I put the photo of the prison work force picking cotton behind the nest as a way of saying that from the comfort of my home (and my white privilege), I’ve been able to delve into the darkest period of our nation’s history — a history that some would say hasn’t really ended because ‘slavery didn’t disappear, it evolved’ — unpaid or barely paid prison work forces who are disproportionately black standing as one piece of evidence.

When I noticed what looks like tufts of cotton in the bird’s nest, I thought, “how appropriate,” offering symbolic testament to how the comforts and ease of my life are facilitated by the color of my skin, purchased with black sweat and suffering.

It is my belief that once you truly internalize this, you cannot help but support reparations. (See the Atlantic Article on sidebar).

Home (below), from this morning.

BTW, that first shot is not a double exposure but created by shooting the glass case of a cabinet.

Then I went to find a companion for the tree as directed by Acey in Prompt 21, only to discover I’d already inserted one.

Before discovering Stag Boy already glued in, I’d had the impulse to add a fabulous couple, clipped from Vogue or Elle ages ago. It is the only SoulCollage card I’ve ever made with a single clipped image. I love them so much.

But then my printer went wonky and even after replacing the color cartridge, produced some bizarre and intriguing results.

It’s weird how the stripes continued the reference to prisons.

Prison vs home.


And then, because it came up, here’s an old SoulCollage card about America. You’ll recognize the lead from True Blood.

Not sure you can see, but there is a tear falling down her cheek.

Okay, one more. A less literal more Feeling State card about America.

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.

 

Weirdly stymied

Hope tomorrow is a day to “get back at it.” Social media? Blah! Just made a mango, pineapple, Red onion and cilantro chutney. So things ARE HAPPENING, just not here online.

To re-enter, how about some pix from the writing retreat in Hawley, Mass? It was waaaaay cooler than last year and also amazing, profound, and a blast. Heard the most amazing writing. Got three more scenes to balance out end of my manuscript.

And then — here are some pix from the garden. Today I sweat and sweat and remembered how much I used to move plants around, and loved doing so. Still love doing so, as it turns out. Lately all I’ve been doing is weeding.

What did you do this weekend?

Bounty of the garden

The bounty of our garden never includes vegetables because we have too much shade — but oh! Everything else!

Rhodies bursting into color. Comfrey stretching up in regal glory. Ferns gone wild.

Tidying the front bed a little. Planted two creeping junipers.

Everything (almost) dies under the front black walnut, so this year I’m going to plant some tall grasses in containers for a little screening.

In between ruining my hands weeding and planting, work is getting finished.

Cupcake pin cushion construction learned years ago from artist whose name I’m sorry I can’t recall but does it matter when there are thousands of tutorials on it now and Pinterest pix in the millions?

I like this new one because the open frets of the vintage button offer an easily identifiable spot for needles.

Shovel and sweat

Just worked up a sweat putting a few plants in the ground (hyssop) and transplanting a few others (the rudbeckia that is asserting itself in the front bed). I’m done in! Not even as hot as it’s been.

Fortunately, I have reserves left to pick up a pen AND GO. And, to read.

PS. The full fat compensatory strategy to help eliminate sugar is, not over, but going to be subject to scrutiny now. Just joined Weight Watchers online (again). This morning while merrily munching away found out that half a cup of cashews is almost half my day’s allotment of points. See? Better to know these things.

June flourish

We planted a new bush out front — a Sweet Bay Magnolia– to block a fairly recently denuded corner.

And look how this new Arbor Vitae nearly completely screens out the neighbor’s car! This is the view out our living room windows, so it matters.

I succumbed to an ad inserted in my Instagram feed. Yikes! What’ll happen next? But look at the sweet solar powered bird bath bubbler I got for under $15. After just a little sun, it shoots up a five or six inch spray.

So many plants thriving, I’ll try not to get too hung up on the climbing hydrangea that died this year (another victim of the black walnut?). Out back, we splurged and planted some decent-sized birches and a lovely large pine. They’re all beautiful and functional as screening and, as it turns out, economical because I no longer feel any urgency about replacing our fence.

Ciao! Off to watch the Belmont Stakes.

New grass, new quilt

K did an amazing job on the lawn. I helped a little. Believe it or not, it only took about three hours to lay down.

Today, for Mother’s Day, we had tasty Japanese food at the swanky mall down the road.

While there, I bought a cardigan to replace the one K shrank in the wash last week (yes! He does the laundry).

There were two phone calls and a big bouquet of flowers from the boys. Very nice.

Also: I gave myself a few hours in the studio and made this little piece (and half of another).

But here’s the main thing: I came into the weekend absolutely exhausted by the ever-present swirl of commentary about race and culture. About white people staying in their lane. Hands off this. You’re not allowed to do that. The debate really deserves a thoughtful post but I can’t guarantee I’ll write it any time soon. I’d rather focus on my writing.

PS. Some of you will recognize one of Jude’s indigo resist moons. I keep finding one here and there in my scrap baskets and it’s like Christmas every time.