Tag Archives: flowers

Thought-Collage Thursday // A Bountiful Bunch of Dis-jointed Reflections

I don’t even know what that title means.

In the back yard yesterday 1

In the back yard yesterday

Except, I do have thoughts. That is why – this blog.  But sometimes life is careening with such force and speed, the thoughts, the observations and ideas – well, they just zoom on by and I can only retain the barest interpretation of them.

Such is this week.


I get so romantic about the autumnal  season

In the back yard yesterday 2

Also the back yard yesterday. No kidding – I got to see all these colors including that Colorado blue sky!

I go out in the cool breeze of night and watch the leaves drifting down and start composing silly poetry in my head like this:

When the breeze picks up and the leaves fall down

And the Jack ‘O Lanterns are scowling all around town…

There is actually much more, and maybe one day I’ll share it with the grandbebes, but I’m no poet. I know it.  ;) So for today, we’ll leave it here. Bet you’re wondering what was going to happen, aren’t you?

In the back yard yesterday 3

Which leads me to this question: Would Dr. Seuss be able to find a publisher these days? I mean – he just made up words to make them rhyme.

See how random things just barrel through?


The song of the month: Autumn Leaves {of course}

I love the song. I first loved the song, as a child, when I heard Roger Williams piano version (my Grandma gave me his album). To find it had actual words, not that many years ago, was a bonus. It was originally in French (1945), and all the greats have recorded it. Jo Stafford (one of my favs) was first, but then Edith Piaf (who did both an English and a French version), Diana Krall (she makes all songs amazing), Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton – they all have recorded it. Eva Cassidy, too.

In the back yard yesterday malakai not wanting to pose

Kai did not want to model

And I have spent the entire month of October singing it and plunking around on the keyboard playing it. Rocky told me to come to his office and he’d play the guitar and mix my voice (read: tune me up and make me sound good) in his studio. But who has time for that? Neither he nor I.


I get more wordy and gooey each autumn

I have been blogging since 2006, so you’d think by now I wouldn’t have a clue what all I have said. But I always do recall, each fall, that I get a little more, shall we say, descriptive, come autumn. I become quite melancholy and overcome with passion for the season.

i feel like


  • I ponder autumn red, quote Marilyn Monroe and dissertate on being a woman in the autumn of her life. {{see here}}
  • In “Delicious Autumn,” I quote George Eliot and tumble head-over-heels into a sensory love affair with nostalgia – the sights, the smells, the tastes, the feels, the sounds of youth faded…while visiting my parents. Haha. {{see it here}}
  • I’ve often written about October being orange. But in looking back, I do also pay my respects to the reds of October. This one is an homage to red, to “a fully florid, cherry, sanguine scarlet.  A puce, a rufescent russet,  a bloody, blushing, gushing, infrared hot pink mixed with flaming chestnut and rubies and gleaming copper, all at once…shimmering and iridescent fuchsia, yet dense and heavy garnet, a ruby…bittersweet in both color and the evoking of raw autumn melancholy.” And etc! :)  {{see it here}}
  • Two years ago this very day, {{THIS}} was happening. The grandbebes and a little weather forecast.  I remember that light, those leaves…

kids in leaves 2012 10 23

Oh, there are many more fall, autumn, October posts. Some November, too. And miles of words down roads of the romance of the season. But I’ll let this part go with those few examples.


I voted.

Oh how I love getting to vote in the convenient  location of my home. And mailing it in…wait, did I remember to mail it? I will say that I wish I could change one of my amendment-issue votes because I researched a bit more later and I think I may have been…*w*r*o*n*g*!??

That is (1) highly unusual, and (2) growth for me…to think that I maybe/might have been/possibly was/super-small chance that I was ever-so-slightly wrong, but instead of demanding a fresh ballot, I’m just going with the flow. It is what it is. And really, in light of SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE VOTING WRONG ALL THE TIME, this one minor issue is of little consequence.  Just kidding…about other people’s votes. Maybe.

So now, if all the political ads would kindly remove themselves from my presence. Thank-you very much.


Loved her book!

Oh, and I won’t tell you how I voted. No. You couldn’t guess if you tried because I am an independent. Do not try to fence me in!

BUT if she wants to hire me for her campaign, “Carly Fiorina for President!”  On women, 53% of voters: “We are not a special-interest, single-issue constituency. We are half the country.” up-project.org


I was in the country the other day

In the back yard yesterday 5

The burning bushes are on fire!

The cows were mooing and a tractor was motoring by. The smell of manure was in the air and a pretty gray cat with grass-green eyes came by to say hi {totally unaware that I am not a cat person, apparently}.  The sun was sweet and you could see miles of mountains from there. And even though life was happening all around and “town” was just 3 miles away, it was quiet. So quiet. I think I was made for the country.


A {Country Baby} came to see me.


Sawyer with Guini and Gemma

Two of them in fact, with their parents. Sawyer and Wryder were here visiting from Holyoke. That is country. The term Country Baby comes from one of my fav old movies, Baby Boom, with Diane Keaton. Do you remember that movie? I think that is a good movie to watch near the end of October.


Arsenic and Old Lace

arsenic cary grant

And always-always-always try to view Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace near Halloween. Because. Cary Grant. He is hilarious in it and scary-good-looking!

It s such a great old black and white flick!


I miss my mom over there in Hoosier-land.

me and mom oct 6

I have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to tell you a million little details about my time in NW Indiana recently (in Chicago-land). It was so windy the last day there, but I held on to my mamala for dear life. In this photo I was thinking, “Oh I love her and I will miss her.” And I was so right. On both counts.


Since the Cardinals did not make the World Series, we are for the Kansas City Royals.


Got it? OK!

I love baseball. I miss my dad, too, because we watched a lot of baseball while I was there. But he can’t take seeing his teams lose, so we missed some great comebacks. Oh, pops.  ;) Cardinals forever, anyway!


I threw caution to the wind and listed my Jeanie-green ornate, Baroque, Italianate, solid wood, custom-built green coffee table on Craigslist.


I think I am changing my mind. Because, I mean – even the paint was custom-mixed for ME, to match a sliver of a piece of one of the grandbebe’s art pieces. I don’t know if I can let it go?



A thought about relationships…

Tara brought me a bouquet of flowers just before my birthday, more than 2 weeks ago. It was a huge bouquet of purple lilies, hydrangea, lavender statice, various mums and Gerber daisies.  Stormie brought me a big mums-filled bouquet a couple of days later, as seen on the coffee table, above (those fall mums will go on forever!).

purple bouquet, day 17

At day 17, the purple bouquet from Tara – a third of its original size, yet still lovely.

I have never been one of those women who needs her husband to bring her flowers, though I enjoy the surprise of them, like anyone. I get joy from growing things in the ground.

But both of these bouquets made me so happy and are still bringing me a smiles, light, bright joyful remembrances of warm thoughts and pure love shown towards me.

And while a fresh bouquet is glorious, people often throw the whole thing away when a few of the buds begin to age or drop. But you miss something when you do that. There is still so much beauty there. Yes, the “fussier” parts of the bouquet are long gone. But in just the minute or so it takes me daily to tend to the arrangement, to remove drooping leaves or a dead-headed flower, then to snip the ends and add fresh water, in less than a minute, I have revived the bouquet. It looks a little different each time, some of the filler going away, but its beauty remains and I get to enjoy them much longer.

It is the same with the people we love and the relationships that mean something. Even if things are different now than they once were, a love or friendship worth having is worth tending regularly.

You could just let it go to waste, throwing away wilting expectations and brushing off the dust of disappointment. But you could also decide to spend just a few minutes tending and repairing, loving and caring. And in a very short time you might be made glad by the beauty of it again. Maybe it won’t look like what it once did, as busy and full, but that is OK, too, I think.

Love with all you’ve got while you can.


There are so many leaves falling in this post, you may have to rake now.

I shall bring this to  close (I’m a preacher’s daughter and that’s what they all say), but of course, you NEED an autumn quote, yes? Then this, from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Life starts all over again, when it gets crisp in the fall.” Remember, I told you? October is the new January!

life starts again

Happy Autumn and Magical Thursday to you!

See? Too many words! I just cannot stop myself…


Dare to be Disciplined

I heard Joyce Meyer say this 20 years ago:

Jesus said if you don’t bear fruit, you’ll be pruned.  And He said if you do bear fruit, you’ll be pruned so you’ll bear more fruit.  So, I figure, you’re pruned if you do and pruned if you don’t – so you may as well let the Lord prune you.

It looks almost cruel.  And I am not even done yet.  Every year in July I have to do it.  I don’t want to do it and I think of every possible excuse.

For two weeks now I have known I needed to cut back the petunias and some of the other annuals.  Each day I’d think: I just can’t right now because they are so beautiful and flowering like crazy.  I will wait until they aren’t flowering so much.

But during this time of the summer, they are in their glory.  They are fruitful, they are going to flower.  They are flowering like crazy and they are going to keep up the pace until suddenly  – they can’t anymore.  Because it is what they do.  It is what they were created to do.  It makes them happy.

petunias in the trash can

But if they don’t get pruned, a month from now they’ll be long and leggy and weak and start to go to seed.  Their leaves will yellow, tired out from the heat and from producing so quickly, so profusely.  They won’t go into the next season healthier and fuller and stronger because they will have spread themselves completely thin just being their beautiful selves.

I finally just have to be courageous and pick up the flower-heavy handfuls of leaves and stems and soft petals and lop them off quickly, no looking back.  Pruning has to happen.  Pruning has to happen I meant to say that twice.

By pruning them now, in the height of their glory, I am actually securing a future for them with more leaves to take in more sunshine, roots that plunge more deeply for the trauma.  I am making sure that a month from now, there will be twice as much flowering, healthier, stronger plants filling my pots.  The fragrance will be deeper and sweeter, rather than barely perceptible from an over-expenditure of energy now.

pruned petunias

The pruning is necessary for the good of the flower.  It isn’t cruel.  It is my love for these spicy, ambrosial, purple petunias (and the others) that causes me to finally take the cutting edge to them.  It is my care and because I know the future for them.  Four weeks from now, 3 maybe, they will not only have recovered, they will be amazing.

I cannot help but see the application.  I have been pruned and I struggle to believe it is not a punishment for doing the very thing I was created to be and to do.  It stinks.  I never like it.  But…It is strengenthing me for what is next.  Dang it feels cruel and unneeded and what the heck – so many things, beautiful offerings, are in the garbage can.  I probably will never like it as it comes around seasonally, again and again in life.

But I caught a glimpse as I threw a handful of my treasured, silly little annuals in the trash today: This is for you, this will make everything better.

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
    but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
    the child he embraces, he also corrects. Hebrews 12.5-6

Prune away, Lord, prune away.



A little crazy

Have I gone a little crazy with the sweet-potato vine?

Oh I have.  You know, I really think they are just so sublime.

They are green and they are bright and they are full and they cascade~

What a shame to eat the root when I think of all the leaves they’ve made.

I have them here, I have them there, I have planted every possible pot

With springy-green potatoes’ sweet

I love these vines.  I think they’re neat!


From purple petunias in pots on the patio to the wildflower borders edging the yard, I tucked sweet-potato vines into every possible space!


The pot on the left was once full of pansies and begonias, shaded by the tree.  They are still in there, now just shaded by the vines.

Yes, that’s right.  Not only have I planted cascading sweet potato vines, I have planted them everywhere.  I have the burgundy version, too, but I really love the bright spring-green version.  They sort of outshine the flowers.  And I love them so much they make me write silly things.  But they are taking over the whole potted world in my universe.


On the right you are getting a bonus peek of the sweet banana peppers, but above, cascading from a higher pot: you guessed it!  Sweet potato vines.


In the photo above on the right, behind the vines, is a 5-gallon Terra Cotta planter filled with snapdragons and spikes, stock and petunias, celosia and carnation.  But they are certainly being crowded by the vines.  This is a major wasp-mafia hide-out.  Boo.


The burgundy version is on the left.  It is doing very well, too.  On the right, you can see that despite the overabundance I already have, I still tucked in a young plant just recently.  This is how they start!

A bonus photo:

Miss Zinnia asked if she might say hello to my readers.

“Gladly, my pleasure,” I assured her.

Teasingly she chided, “Do you work for Chick-Fil-A now?”

“They do not own ‘my pleasure,'” I smiled back.

So hello from Hot-Pink Zinnia, making my summer sweeter.


Remember Me // e.e.cummings

“in time of daffodils (who know

the goal of living is to grow)

forgetting why, remember how)

in time of lilacs who proclaim

the aim of waking is to dream,

remember so (forgetting seem)

in time of roses (who amaze

our now and here with paradise)

forgetting if, remember yes


in time of all sweet things beyond

whatever mind may comprehend,

remember seek (forgetting find)

and in a mystery to be

(when time from time shall set us free)

forgetting me, remember me”

e.e. cummings

Emma Uber Photography

{Emma Uber, image above}

Other images, google.

They just show up

I am a planner.

You carefully sketch and design your gardens and borders.  You plan for height and variety, texture and color.  You create walkways and growing areas, a border here, a berm there.

Early spring finds you growing seedlings on the window sill.  It takes such effort and exact science to make the small plants whole and healthy enough to finally be transplanted into the garden where they will grow to bring you joy and food for the season.

But for all the careful planning, for the pages of written plans saying eggplant will go in this square and a Japanese cucumber will go in that square and hmmm, let’s plant Nasturtiums here, there are the unexpected plants for which I did not account, the “volunteers.”

From out of nowhere.

There was a day I’d have pulled them all at first sighting, but now I don’t.  Now I see a Zinnia or a Marigold that has decided to grow in a crevice or between bricks or have just plopped themselves right in the middle of a walkway, and I give them their space.  Now I am glad they have upset my carefully laid plans and have just shown up, out of nowhere ~ a gift, a happy surprise.


The volunteers, sometimes flowers, sometimes a vegetable of some sort, while often getting a late start compared to the seedlings, ultimately catch up and are stronger and more established than the plants I’ve been coaxing, fawning over, encouraging to grow.  They are just there.  They just showed up, no work or toil.  Just there for the enjoyment.  They are divine blessings – an infusion of favor that I didn’t have to work hard to get, which makes them all the more delightful.  And cherished.

pictured: some “volunteer” zinnias I keep getting to cut and enjoy inside; they just keep producing blooms and I did not do one thing to deserve it…