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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy Stuff: Canna Preview



Yesterday at the garden I noticed that several of my Canna plants are about to bloom. I’ll share a photo after the flower blooms, of course. But for me, seeing this plant right before it blooms is exciting, too. It’s a preview, an appetizer. At the same time it’s also a reward. Things happen slowly at the garden. You visit, water, weed, visit again, look, wait, and finally you’re rewarded when you notice that something is about to happen. That discovery makes all the waiting worthwhile.

Who knows? Maybe tomorrow is the day there will be a fiery red flower atop the Canna leaves. I’ll keep ya posted.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Rorschach Test


Tonight while I was watering plants I accidentally spilled a little water. (Sorry, planet Earth. I am trying to conserve!) First the spill looked like a hand with three fingers, and then two rivulets of water joined and suddenly everything was clear. My water spill was Bart Simpson, screaming.

 

 
See what I mean?!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Struck by Lightning

It’s not that I’m obsessed with sports. I’m interested in everything, to some degree or another. But this is a photo worth sharing. I had a funny sports moment recently, a nod to our San Diego address. Among our Easter treats we found a jelly bean that is determined to be a Charger fan when it grows up. I like its enthusiasm!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Stuff--Eggs

This week I colored some eggs using the technique I discovered last year at this time: silk dying. Hubby gave me the thumbs up to cut up a silk neck tie he hasn’t worn in over a decade. I wrapped pieces of it around eggs, put them into boiling water and let the silk work its magic. The material was dark with orange flowers, and I was delighted with the results, which showed a lot of contrast.
 



Yesterday we had twelve kiddos bouncing around our back yard, hunting for eggs and squealing with excitement once they spotted them. Some of our neighbors don’t celebrate Easter but still brought their kids to participate in the hunt. I like that people from various backgrounds and different countries came together over the common theme of being happy watching their kids be happy. It was quite a multi-cultural event and I loved it. It makes me happy to do something that brings joy to the kiddos.

It’s a picture-perfect Easter Sunday here: sunshine, chirping birds, blooming flowers in bright shades. Everyone’s having a good day. I can’t say that this week’s fixation on eggs has helped me solve the dilemma about the chicken and the egg and which came first. But I’m not worried about that right now. We’ll get to that another day. Today, I’m simply content.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Cheer

Let’s talk Spring. It’s such a beautiful season, full of life and growth and change. Flowers are blooming. The backyard weeds native plants double in size each night. The days are warmer and longer.

Spring includes Easter, too. Not everybody celebrates it, of course. But I’ve been hanging colorful plastic eggs from the front tree. Any excuse to decorate!

My spirited neighbors decorated their pumpkins in a super cute Easter theme:

 
I know that some people don’t like Easter to be depicted through cartoony bunnies because they don’t want such a serious event to be hijacked by plastic eggs and the like. I get that, but I don’t think eggs and chickies take away from the big picture. If Easter means rebirth, then animals and eggs and happy colors can be part of all that. Furthermore, if cheerful ornamentation reminds people that Easter is coming, how can that be bad? If fun decorations make neighbors smile and feel happy, that’s a win-win.


This Sunday I will celebrate Easter for its deeper meaning, but you can bet I’m also excited about decorations and chocolate and plastic eggs. Happy Easter, y’all!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy Stuff--Icelandic Poppy

I usually do not have the pleasure of watching a flower open. I check out my home garden each day, but I’m not sitting in front of each plant for hours on end, waiting for the big reveal. If I had that kind of spare time, I’d bottle my secret and sell it online. But like everyone else, I have lots to do. My flowers bloom when I’m doing laundry or scrubbing Sharpie scribbles off the floor and I discover the changes after they happen. So it was an extra happy surprise to have a front row seat to the blooming of a beautiful red Icelandic poppy this morning.

The rectangular pot where the poppies live is near the front door, so I pass it a number of times each day. For the last month I could tell that the poppies were growing but I had no idea when they’d bloom. But this morning as I walked past them, I saw that something red was peeking out of its green hood. Exciting! And much to my delight, changes happened quickly and I was around to witness them:
 
7:45 a.m.

 8:30 a.m.

9:30 a.m.


Thanks for the show, Mama Nature. You’ve done it once again!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy Stuff--Azalea


You can’t choose your neighbors. And you can’t select what they’ll have in their front yard. But sometimes you luck out and you’re surrounded by kind neighbors, as we are. And sometimes what they have in their front yard feels like a present, chosen just for you. Every day when I go out, I see something full of color and life, directly across the street. My neighbor’s azalea is right there, bright and beautiful. It’s just a coincidence that the former owners planted that azalea where they did. But it brings me some cheer and I feel lucky, in so many ways.
 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Happy Stuff: Fun Mailbox

Oh, I love turning a corner and discovering something unexpected. I also love personal, creative touches inside or outside people’s homes. So imagine my delight when I happened upon this wonderful mailbox outside someone’s house.


 
It reminds me of the dollhouse I played with as a child. I spent many hours sitting in front of it, rearranging the rooms, lost in my own world. A small house is irresistible to me, whether it’s a bird house, doll house, or play house. This mail box house hits it out of the park for me. The neighborhood where I discovered it is an older one where you find Victorians houses and other homes with charm, character and history. So the mailbox references the style of the neighborhood. I love the playfulness of it, too. Most mailboxes (including mine) are quite utilitarian. They do the job but aren’t memorable. This one shows that the owners have a lighthearted side. Personal touches like this not only bring the homeowners a little joy, but they also give passersby a happy surprise.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Stuff--Poppies

It’s April first, and it’s raining in San Diego. This is not an April Fool’s Day joke. It really is raining here!


This is ironic because our sunny city was shorts-weather warm all winter (yes, our tough Southern California winters) and now that it’s officially spring, it’s pants weather and raining. Wacky.

Today’s happy element could be that my plants are getting a gigantic drink of water, and will be inspired to bloom like crazy in the next week. But for my Happy Stuff post today, I will share a photo taken on a sunny morning a few days ago.
 
 
These poppies were growing out of a crack in the pavement. They surprised me, which always adds to the happy factor. And they’re such a sign of hope. I love that plants can and do grow under surprising circumstances. All they need is a pinch of dirt, sun and a few drops of water. They are resilient that way. Sometimes we humans (me included!) overthink everything and worry that the conditions aren’t quite right and we fret over details. Not plants. They see an opportunity and they start running with it. I love their hardiness. Go, poppies!