Archive for May, 2010

nurture, by nature

Bought my first ever rose bush yesterday. Not some cute little supermarket miniature thing. But an honest to god, prune it back once a year and feed it coffee grounds/eggshells/banana peels/filet mignon and oysters on the half shell thing. This is serious. She (aren’t they all she’s?? I think they are.) is  a fuschia colored lady by the name of Rosa Knock Out. Sounds like a collision with a tomato.  Actually, more like a stripper, right? C’mon, you thought it too. Rosa is purty. And blooms all summer long. That was the seller.

I’m not by nature a rose lover, never have been. I like flowers for scent, mostly. Lilacs. Lily of the valley (so delicate and demure. Woodland). Or texture (poppies, so paperlike…showy, but kind of shy looking. Soft.). Foxgloves and spires like salvias, speedwells, and royal candles. Soft, green mosses and ferns. The garden this year has become a project. A mission. And it’s not about me. But, with almost anything I undertake, it has to be about something.  This is about someone. A she. Who happened to like roses. And irises (I do too. There will be irises. Many irises). And the second it became about her, the more passionate I became about this.  I knew exactly what to add, subtract, compose, compliment,  and so on. So a showy, fuchsia number; a flower with a sort of status and tradition, and with a  romantic girly-girl, queenly sort of rep seemed a fitting ornament to my memorial.

I don’t know a lot about roses. I have read that they are fussy. And don’t like to be planted where other roses have died (however do they know such things??? Supernatural Oiija  boards???? Esp?). I laughed at myself as I roamed the two plots, looking for the perfect spot. “You’ve gone and gotten yourself something else to take care of,”  I said to myself. Hover over. Pamper. Nurture.  And, predictably in this life of mine, in timely fashion.

The kiddo, at long last, has started to assert herself. Mature. Take initiative, as they like to say in school. She doesn’t rebel (unless it’s over yet another beloved pair of black, holey pants). She hasn’t rejected Mommy (unless she spies Mommy waving idiotically, enthusiastically, as the bus pulls away in the morning….then my dearest pretends she doesn’t see me)…but there’s that nice big bed she likes to wander into, and the weekends with Mommy, all to herself (heaven on earth, actually for both of us).  But I don’t have to ask her to do things anymore. She does them as a matter of course. She doesn’t need mommy outside, not with a passle of boys to run around and rough house with. Mommy is for the occassional cuddle.  Or for doing things she doesn’t feel like doing, if she can get away with it (SWEETIE!!!! Turn that television down! I can’t concentrate! To which “sweetie” replies, without a trace of rebellion, quite matter of factly…almost diplomatically: “Welllllll, YOU’RE the one who wants it turned down….why do I have to do it???” Nice try.).

Yesterday she pattered into the house, announcing her hunger. What did she want???? “I know”, she answered, as she rummaged the kitchen’s contents. “Well, what can I get you???”, I pushed. “Don’t worry about it”, she sang, as she pulled out two spoons, and a loaf of the despicable white bread she insists upon. I nodded. It was quiet. I approached the kitchen and found two jars; one of pb and one of jelly. “That’s a little too much jelly, sweetie. You’ll end up wearing it”, I said, holding myself back. “Oh. okay”. Two tablespoonfuls came off. And that was that. She let me get her a plate, then she trudged over to her chair and munched away. She did end up wearing a dollop of jelly, after she tore her sandwich in half and chomped heartily into the heart of her creation (she doesn’t like crusts. But didn’t even bother to ask Mommy to crimp the white meat of the sandwich with the special Pampered Chef cutter. Sniff!)She was so proud.

I hope it was the best pbj she ever ate.


Something about this one calls to mind the nature and motivations of humankind, perhaps since the very beginning of time. It’s from Elizabeth’s Bradfield’s Approaching Ice.

Why They Went

by Elizabeth Bradfield

that men might learn what the world is like at the spot where the sun does not decline in the heavens.

—Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Frost bitten. Snow blind. Hungry. Craving
fresh pie and hot toddies, a whole roasted
unflippered thing to carve. Craving a bed
that had, an hour before entering,
been warmed with a stone from the hearth.

Always back to Eden—to the time when we knew
with certainty that something watched and loved us.
That the very air was miraculous and ours.
That all we had to do was show up.

The sun rolled along the horizon. The light never left them.
The air from their warm mouths became diamonds.
And they longed for everything they did not have.
And they came home and longed again.

baking goodness

These whole wheat strawberry banana muffins are sooooooooooo good. I throw in ground flax seed and leave the bananas kind of chunky. Taste even better the next day when all the flavors bloom. Awesomeness.

etsy love…

Whitefly! look at these goodies:

Hand cast goodness!


“Can I help you with anything?”

“Sure. I’m looking for a good red for sangria.”

I’m in a new-to-me wine and grog shop in my neighborhood, looking to spend some of my Mother’s day money. My sweet angel of a brother did say to treat myself. But other than good wine and yarn, I never really want anything. When in doubt, always opt for wine. I drink white wine almost exclusively, but I’ve been looking to experiment and broaden my palate. I’m willing to admit that I need help, though, especially after a tongue-curdling dosey-dohhhhhh(!) with a Greek red at my mother’s day dinner just two days prior.

“How much do you want to spend?”

“Not a lot.”

“Welllll, good and cheap don’t always go together.”

Oh reallllly????? Is he really that much of a snob? Or is he just that much of a cheesy salesman? Do I really look that naive????? I believe the point of a sangria is to enable a wine that hasn’t quite seen its day to taste perhaps, better. One wouldn’t pour a Rothschild into a sangria, for instance. What would be the point??? I don’t believe in shelling out alot for any wine, unless it’s for a very, very special occassion. And, no, expensive doesn’t necessarily equate good taste….just sip some Dom Perignon, if you have a chance. Tastes like sawdust. I much prefer a Perrier-Juoet, preferably in the pretty lily decorated bottles, but I’ll even take their lower end offerings, or, hell, a Washington sparkling wine over Mr. Perignon (though, to his credit, he came up with this quote, upon discovering champagne: “Come quickly, I am tasting stars!” I suspect it sounded even more intoxicating in French. But that’s where I like to get when I’m partaking in wine…actually, to be more apt, I like to feel as though I were out there, floating among the stars…bibble-di-bobble-di-boo, and la-di-dah).

Anyway, this guy must be a cheesy salesman, because the dude disappeared right after tossing off that cheaply offered reply. Fucker! You know, you might expect this sort of bullshit when shopping for, say, a car (which I generally avoid. My last automobile purchase was negotiated by no less than an angel (I shit you not), or, say, a diamond (equally avoided). But a freaking bottle of wine??????!!!! Sheesh. I wanted to spit on him. I peered briefly at the reds, then opted for an inexpensive but well regarded Reisling (my usual standby. Almost like an old lover, comfy and reassuring. Because I have a sweet tooth. Sweet men, sweet wine, and I’m a happy kitten), and a dirt cheap Moscato. And like an old lover, I start to miss my usual haunt, The Cork, where the help treat you like a favorite student, patiently explaining the subleties of a good wine, unembarrassed to mention value. Because asking for assistance doesn’t mean one is stupid. But it’s way, way up on a steeeep hill (topographically speaking, I probably live in the San Francisco of Connecticut, where you can’t turn right or left without encountering a steeeep climb), and I’m on my sweeeeet bike, but without my “legs” yet.

Needless to say, unless I’m desperate (highly unlikely), I won’t be back.

May 2010
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