30 June 2008

garden orb

one of my earliest memories is of my grandmother's glow-in-the-dark rosary beads. i would take them into this little room, a closet perhaps, behind some sort of curtain and wave them around and marvel at their glowing greenness. and what does that have to do with my garden, you ask? i believe that early experience made me the sucker i am today for anything that glows in the dark, and this garden-thing-on a-stick is supposed to do just that. subject it to sunlight by day, says the tag, and particles inside will glow thoroughout the night. i have yet to see that happen but am chalking it up to all the afternoon storms we've had. today, however, has dawned bright and sunny - so i'm hopeful that tonight may be the night! i'll let you know...

25 June 2008


this is comfrey, an old fashioned herb, left in the yard from days when i sought to use herbs for medicinals. comfrey has natural healing properties and makes a good salve. but these days it just makes a good bush - tall as me with deep green leaves and these purple bell-like flowers.

23 June 2008

in the dill

observed this evening crawling on the dill plant. i wonder if he's going to eat this herb or just hang out there eventually in a chrysalis.

21 June 2008


a perfect first birthday party: puffy fair-weather clouds, kids big and little, presents wrapped in tissue, chubby knees crawling in the grass, a single happy birthday balloon batted by babies like a ball, book inscriptions, delicious burgers, carrot birthday cake, and sticky little fingers covered in crumbs. happy birthday baby girl!

19 June 2008

how to tell when you're too busy

you realize you've not only had morning and evening caffeine, you've also eaten both breakfast and dinner from dunkin donuts. in your car. between destinations. and that's not good.

18 June 2008

the happy birthday cake plate

this is the happy birthday cake plate, given to me when the girl was a baby. the metal surface is scarred and scratched from many celebrations but, when the pedestal is wound, the plate still revolves and plays "happy birthday" in tinkling music box tones. this cake plate came to me by way of a colleague who had used for her own children. she must have recognized the traditionalist in me even back then, and passed it on that i might continue to use it to create happy birthday moments. and for all these years, i have. but this week i pass it along to the girl herself. she will begin to create her own memories as she uses it for the baby girl's first birthday cake - today.

16 June 2008

cheap gas

three-ninety-three a gallon. lowest prices in the area. so i filled up - and was aghast at the total. i remember when forty-five dollars fed my family for two weeks. when it was my monthly utility bill. and now it fills my tank. how much more can we take? when will this end? time for a bicycle, skateboard, heelys, any mode of transportation but a gas-guzzling one.

13 June 2008

dress up

growing up, the girl was not a big fan of dresses. it's not surprising, then, that the baby girl has never worn one. in the girl's defense, dresses for infants are not very practical. they're drafty. they're itchy. and drooling on a dress is somehow much worse than drooling on, say, a onesie or a playset. but with the upcoming birthday also comes a special gift giving opportunity. i have been eyeing this smocked seersucker sundress for months and finally, i just caved in and bought it. will the girl let the baby wear it? i hope so. will the baby girl like wearing a dress? i don't know. will she be able to crawl in it? probably not. but she sure will look adorable in it - even if there is a little drool down the front.

10 June 2008

thunder & lightning

tonight while i work, i track the impending storm. severe thunderstorm warnings for our area - threats of damaging winds, frequent lightning, and penny-sized hail. i update the animated radar map frequently and watch as the storm approaches. soon enough i hear the rumbling of distant thunder. standing in the open doorway, i watch far-away lightning in the west illuminate the sky. i rush to shower, to finish the dishes, to close down the windows. as the storm begins to rage, i sit safe on the couch in the very center of the house, away from windows. i mean to read but instead watch the fireworks in the sky and try in vain to count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder.

08 June 2008

god's rays

when i was much younger, i believed that sunlight like this, streaming in rays down to earth, was evidence of god's existence. god shining down on us all (cue the organ). as i grew up, i learned the scientific name for this phenomenon - crepuscular rays, occurring when clouds partially obscure the sun's light. in order to see these rays, the atmosphere must be hazy or dusty enough so that sunlight in unshadowed areas can be scattered toward the observer, as in this picture shot shortly after today's spring shower. but now that i am older, i wonder if this sight is the result of a joint effort: a breath-taking natural event made possible by the presence of specific atmospheric conditions - all orchestrated by god.

06 June 2008

old meets new

how absurd does this look? light from such a new fangled bulb emanating from such an old-fashioned looking lamp. this one's made from an old bobbin, with thread still wound around the spindle. thankfully the lampshade still fits over the bulb and conceals it. the integrity of the cute little lamp is not compromised and no one will even suspect that i'm conserving energy.

02 June 2008

braiding down the daffodils

after daffodils bloom and the flowers are spent, the green leaves remain and eventually yellow and die. this dying back into the bulb is necessary for the success of the next year's blooming so the leaves cannot be cut off or mowed down even though they get pretty unsightly. so i gather up the narrow leaves and i braid them, then wrap these braids around the base of the plant to die off there. each year this quiet task saddens me a bit. in the midst of new growth all around, this plant has already lived and died.

01 June 2008

tilling the garden

this afternoon's turning of the compost into the soil of the vegetable garden produced all sorts of interesting items. broken shards of pottery, a big rock for the wall, plastic plant sticks from numerous greenhouse seedlings, a nasty looking nail, and wonder of wonders, these tiny radishes!