Saturday, March 31, 2007

Peaches and Cream

On nothing days like this, I wander aimlessly around the house. I spend ridiculous amounts of time staring into the refrigerator, hoping something delicious might magically appear. After I give up on that idea, I go back to pacing and feeling sorry for myself. You don't fully appreciate me until you see how melodramatic I can become when life takes a wrong turn.

It is not lost on me, that all my little buddies are working overtime dragging me back to a happy place. (I'm getting there. Just kickin' and screamin' all the way.) Take this little gal, for instance. She's a Christmas Cactus who has suddenly decided to be an Easter Cactus, as well.

You can make yours do this, too, by doing the polar opposite of what you think you should. She was sitting on the sill of an open window, where night temperatures probably cooled her down to 40 degrees. Cold temps, and a little plant food, inspire these gals to rebloom every couple of months. Give it a try... She can drag you back to your happy place, even when it's the last place on Earth you want to be.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Some Like It Hot

On the plane Sunday night, I closed my eyes and tried to visualize what I miss most: salt air, crashing waves, blue skies and Jo… dear old Jo teaching me how to pluck mussels from the rocks, knocking off the barnacles and storing them in our salt water bucket. She boiled up a batch and we sat on her deck overlooking the bay, eating our catch, not saying much of anything. Moments like these don’t require words.

Funny how something so inconsequential as losing a laptop can send the world into a tailspin. Yet, it does. That's the mystery of life. Can't really say it's the beauty.

I did something mean, accidently, while I was gone. I left my little cactus unwatered, sitting squarely on a furnace vent to be blasted with hot, dry air for a full week. Instead of getting angry at my thoughtless behavior, it got prettier than ever. Maybe that's what we all should do.

I've never seen my cactus bloom before. Yet, bloom it has and if you look close, it's got the cutest little two-eyed alien thing going on.

Anyway, the thought for today is about how we all have times when we're thought-less. And while you can look back with deep regret, it's hardly worth the effort. For better or worse, there's no controlling life. It's how I react to it that is the true measure of who I am.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

In My Window

Life, for me, it ebbs and flows. I'm up above, then down below.

That which doesn't kill you, will only make you stronger. My Dad used to say that. And, so do thousands of other people. (Personally, I think it's a load of crap.)

While I was racing around like that proverbial farm animal with her head lopped off, something magical was happening in my window. The snows up here, they last forever. In March, the grey palette of a too-long winter exacts a heavy toll.

I am regaining a sunny disposition, though, thanks to the heroic efforts of my pretty flowering friends.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mean Full Moon

Scientists swear there is no truth to the idea that a full moon makes people nuts. I have always wondered just how much empirical evidence they need. Fights at work, people on edge, dogs and cats acting strange... First one friend calls, victim of a heartache, the following day another friend is dealing with the same darn thing. Lovers are dropping like flies during this particularly mean moon. Which is one reason why I'm laying low...

My neighbor talks to me of moons. They have names; I didn't know that. For instance, April is the Pink Moon. The last one was the Hunger Moon.

This one is the Worm Moon. Hiking underneath it, I think I know why. Worms like the dark and this one casts a poor light.

In winter, we take a snowshoe hike in the brilliant brightness of each full moon. Some nights, it's a riotous good time. Other times, it's a night when we need the companionship of others, but not the conversation. Heather is feeling lost and I have no good words to offer when life begins to unravel.

But, I know a place up there I haven't told anybody about. Not even her. A long, flat rock that doubles as a dining room table. I brought a big 'ole bottle of wine and we came pretty close to solving all the problems of the world.

Did you know?
Plants respond to the same gravitational pull of tides that affect the oceans. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it also pulls the subtle bodies of water. Scientists may argue about it's effect on us but tests have proven seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon - and germinate faster during this time in the lunar cycle.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Black-Eyed Susans

We were goofin' around on the slopes, today, when I ran into this guy in a yellow and black jacket. He was all upset 'cause I bumped into him and he fell down.

While he was hollering at me, I started thinking to myself... he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me...

Oh, I wasn't the slightest bit interested in him. It was the jacket that got me going. I started all my seeds this week for the Fabulous Daisy Garden that will pretty-up the ugly half of my backyard.

The yellow and black of his jacket reminded me that I had forgotten the most important 'Daisy' of all. The predictor of love and so much more...

Rudbeckia hirta is a Black-Eyed Susan that grows wild from British Columbia to the southern tip of Texas. It's an easy-going sun-worshipper that thrives on neglect so it fits perfectly into my garden plans.

Magnificent yellow petals with brilliant black centers make this one of my most beloved wildflowers. This evening, I squeezed 36 more pots onto my already over-crowded window sills. Each one filled with Black-Eyed Susan seeds. Maybe this is the summer I can pluck the pretty petals and resolve that age-old lover's question.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Lucky Charm

When we were having our nails done the other day, the guy working overtime on my beat-up gardening hands blushed and said, "You should have had many more daughters."

I get that a lot. And, I must say it's a little disconcerting when men my own age start acting giddy when she walks by.

Today is her birthday.

She had it planned out perfect. So, of course, it's falling apart at the seams.

There is a hard transition when it comes to growing a child. It's the day when a Spiderman Band-Aid doesn't do the trick anymore. The day she's hanging on the end of the phone, in tears, hoping for some wise advice. Most times, I'm making it up as I go along.

Our best talks have always happened in the garden. Flowers, I think, soften most anything. She'd sit in the grass while I was pulling weeds and slowly but surely open up to me about what was causing her pain.

On this day that she is officially an adult, I can only hope that I've done right by her. As right as she's done by me.

Because if she'd never shown up in my life, I'd be some dumb secretary in a crappy office building somewhere. I had no aspirations whatsoever until the nurse brought her into the hospital room and then crabbed at me because we put the diaper on backwards.

I have probably made mistakes. Hopefully, I've also made amends. What I do know is that she is now, and always has been, way more than my girl, my odd clone, and my best friend. She is my one and only lucky charm.

Happy Birthday, L. It will all work out. It always does.

* And, when things get crummy, you still have your Mummy.