Saturday, May 31, 2014

Propagation--Resistance is Futile

It's the road every gardener eventually takes.
Well, I thought about it. And then I thought about it some more. Then I did it. I collected a bunch of the little Golden Star, Chrysogonum virginianum, volunteers out of the circles garden, and transplanted them into little plastic pots to grow. I think I'm gonna do the same with the flock of Celandine Poppies and the Phlox. Takamo Park Garden club sponsors these potluck plant exchanges. I've never been, but a friend is always trying to get me to attend one. Maybe if I had something to bring to trade...right?
Golden Star (a.k.a Green and Gold), Chrysogonum virginianum

Pizza Friday!

Just because I'm tired after a long week of working, it's no reason to just eat shit.  So I grabbed a deli-made uncooked pepperoni pizza from the local grocery store.  Then I added fresh green pepper, onion, black olives and dollups of fresh mozzarella cheese (the creamy white kind); over which some additional shredded aged mozzarella.  The final product--delicious.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ June 1st to June 7th


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou: RIP

What a passing into ancestry! What a life, what legacy! Adeiu, Maya Angelou. Rare is such grace, and rarer still such intellect enhanced by such eloquence. I truly hope that everyone will find a way to hear you in your own words. The image I'm including is from 1991. She is dancing with fellow poet Amiri Baraka, who passed into ancestry in January of this year.


I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting—
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!


Jon's Table

Several years ago now, my neighbor Jon gave me this little table and the sea green planter. His partner, Matt, had told him to get rid of it. Then when he told Matt that he'd given it to me, Matt responded by asking him why, explaining that he only didn't want it to remain where it had been in their yard. So, I chose to place it at a point in a newly planted hedgerow between our homes where I could not get a bush to grow. I had thrice put a bush there like those in the hedgerow, and all three times, the bush withered and died, in spite of the fact that each time I dug the hole deeper and replace soil, etc. Soon after, Matt told Jon that he thought it was a lovely place for the table and planter. It is directly across from their kitchen window.

A couple of year later, Matt died. I know he liked tchotchkes, Jon told me this, so I have endeavored to keep something whimsical in the planter among the flowers. There's a little goose there with a lea of roses now. 

This weekend I transitioned the planter from pansies to summer annuals. I also placed the black planter against it on Jon's side with zinnias. I did that yesterday afternoon and here this evening I see that Jon has come along and mulched it and the entire hedgerow. Ah, sweet Detente.
The view of Jon's Table from my sunroom.

Chance Meeting

Now that was interesting. IN the middle of this god-aweful torrential downpour and electrical extravaganza of a storm, there comes a knocking on my door. I can't imagine who would be out and about in this deluge, let alone coming to visit me! As fate would have it, it was Lauren. Perky, sweet, innocent Lauren with her way too tiny umbrella and clipboard with all of one signature on it. Immediately I ushered her into my home with a "Oh my, come inside my dear--quickly." Hospitality toward strangers is a gift that I rarely get to
offer on such grand a scale!

We started by me letting her give her presentation--the thing that found her knocking on doors in the rain in the first place--, which I cut off after about 30 seconds...the poor young lady was dripping creating a puddle in my foyer. I offered her a towel, refreshed her water bottle, apologized for the lived in condition of my home, and signed her "save the Chesapeake Bay petition"--on line #2. She used the towel, thanked me for the water, poo-poo-ed my concern over a home that didn't look ready for a Southern Living photo-shoot. And then her phone rang and her supervisor called to ascertain her condition. We gave her my address; she was driving around "rescuing" her people--and then we retired to the living room.

Roméo did his best to be a good host, too. He actually brought her one of his bones and laid it at her feet--I was so proud of him!

While we waited for her ride to arrive I asked and she told me about her majors. One was English, and so I asked her about the writers she enjoyed. Given her present task of saving the bay, I took advantage of the moment to introduced her to Mary Oliver and read to her the poem "Wild Geese".

"Wild Geese"

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

She asked me about my large statue of Buddha in my living room and told me about a comparative religion course she had recently taken. I told her that I am an atheist, and that while I enjoy quotes of Buddha shared on Facebook, most of what I know about him is from reading (several times over) Herman Hesse's "Siddartha". Another author I got to share with this nascent English major!

Soon her cell buzzed again announcing the arrival of her supervisor on the street outside of my home, and I saw her off to the safety of her friend's car.

Young Buck

Met a new friend in the park on Monday, a young buck.

Holiday Burger

Holiday Burger!

Burger: Three Meat ground Medley (pork, veal, beef) mixed with chopped mushrooms and onions

Bread: Toasted Ciabatta Role

Dressing: Bun, Mayonnaise, Meat patty, Munster Cheese, Vidalia Onion, Tomato, Fresh Leaf Lettuce Mix (from my gardens), Ketchup, Honey Spicy Mustard, Bun

Served with Watermelon!

Salmon Salad

Bake Salmon steak with a coating of Montreal Steak seasoning
Flake the meat and add to:
Petit Peas (frozen and thawed)
Celery, and
(Blanched fresh)
Sugar Snap Peas
Mixed with a sauce of
Mayonnaise and Sour Cream spiced with freshly chopped Dill

I ate it with freshly cooked Silver Queen Corn and a Belgian Amber Ale.

Anti-pasta Pasta Salad

Browned Beef Sausage medallions
Pasta of choice
Broccoli (blanched)
Green Olives with Pimientos
Black Olives
Mixed with a sauce of Mayonnaise and Pesto sauce.

Add Fresh
Cherry Tomatoes (halved)

Super delish!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Low And Behold

I took a seed pod from the ground under a Kentucky Coffee Tree and planted the 5 seeds inside.  And lookie!  One has sprouted.  How sweet.

My Roméo

Today while I worked on planting the rose, Roméo joined me on the patio and showed no interest in anything other than just hanging out with me.  I am such a doting companion to him.  I worry all the time about bad things that could happen to him.  But he's just such an amazing creature.  Smart and gentle, humble yet completely happy to be himself.

Today's Project

Now that I have a kick-ass trellis, I need an equally show stopping floral component.  Last year I attempted to lavish it with heirloom Morning Glories.  Epic fail.  So this year, we're going for climbing roses!  Brilliant, right?  I hope.
 So welcome the Joseph's Coat Climbing Rose!

 I've placed it on the left side of the trellis to advantage it with the best light.  Once it rises above the hedge, which I have already pruned to give it 4 hours of direct sun light.
This is what it's capable of doing and what I hope it will.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ May 24th to May 30th

The Transformation

In just 8 weeks....

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ferns Galore

My ferns are flourishing the front gardens.
 Autumn, Lady, and Japanese Painted ferns--a happy family!
 Woodland ferns.
Cinnamon fern with blossom stalk!

My Columbines

This is my rogue "flock" of Columbines that come up and spread every year in my side yard. They have all come from seeds spread from plants I purchased many years ago and planting in an entirely other part of my gardens. Those plants where the traditional looking ones and from them comes this mutant army of diverse progeny. Similar successful migrations have occurred over the years all over my gardens involving Black-eyed Susans, Purple Coneflowers, Firecracker Loosestrife and even Virginia Bluebells. I know that plants have their way of "walking" to real estate more suited to their needs.

Sports Talk: Wrestling

Okay, someone explain to me why Wrestlers ever bother to wear uniforms?

Romeo Sunday

 ME: Whatcha doin'?
ROMEO: Hangin' with you...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Today's Sermon


There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
"I feel that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong."
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you -- just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

~ Shel Silverstein, 1930-1999

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ May 18th to May 24th

What I'm Reading #66

"James Baldwin: Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems" with a wonderful introduction by my friend, Nikky Finney.  Of you are a fan of the writing of James Baldwin, this is a must have addition to your library.  If you have no idea who he is, Nikky's introduction will tell you everything you need to know, and open to you an amazing and too often forgotten American Original.  He endured more of the evils this nation has to offer than most, and came away from it in a manner that saved his own life, told with grace, wit, insight, and courage the true story of the gap between America's (and life's) Ideal versus its Real.

At a time in my life that was critical in ways that I was not even able to see, I happened upon his novel "Go Tell It On The Mountain" and it became for me not simply a sign post on the journey of my life, but a milestone.  What else can I possible say?

Sauteed Beef Tips with Pot Roast Vegetables on Egg Noodles

Some rather basic and classic comfort food.

The Garden Off of My Little Sunroom

The recent pair of torrential rains (totally 10+ inches together) have really launched the growth of all my  plants.  So I should have not been so surprised by all of the blooming in this little bed.
From the foreground looking back:
Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea
Yellow Indigo, Baptisia sphaerocarpa, and
Double-layered Columbines, Aquilegia vulgaris

 This aberration is one that happens to plants like Foxglove of the pyloric form.  While very odd, it's origins remain unknown.  Could be genetic, viral, developmental, yet definitely strange.

Saluting the St. Louis Rams!

 Hats off to the St. Louis, Missouri Rams.  They made a good choice in selected Michael Sam in the 6th round of the NFL draft.  I showed my appreciation by purchasing $160.00 of swag.  Money speaks.  The jersey was $99 alone!  But it's heartening to know that it's the #1 selling jersey from those chosen in the draft.

 The cap and magnet arrived the next day!  And the cap is made from approximately 2 recycled plastic bottles among other ingredients.  Bravo #2--a socially conscious bottom line.  I think I'm about to get into football for the first time in my life...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me @ The Warner Theater In DC

Last evening, I went to the taping of the final broadcast of the NPR News and Information Quiz Show "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" here in DC at the Warner Theater with Carl Kasell as the announcer/score keeper. Essentially, it was a retirement party for Carl, who left the post of morning news caster on NPR 16 years ago to join WWDTM at it's inception. The celebrity guest contestants were three of the show's longest participating GC: Roxanne Roberts, Mo Rocca, and Paula Poundstone. Both Roxanne and Mo live here in DC. It was fascinating to watch and fun to be a part of--that's me laughing and clapping along with a SRO house. Besides the usual components there were also some surprise phone calls wishing Carl a joyous retirement from the likes of Tom Hanks, Katie Couric and even President Barack Obama--who appeared on the show himself back when he was just a U.S. Senator! 
 And there were several standing ovations for the Man himself. Oh, and swag! A Carl Kasell tote bag, and doll! My dear friend Perri was my guest, and it was a gift to her for her upcoming retirement, too. What joy!
Here's our selfie: Carl is in the middle and I'm on the right!