First Time in the Kitchen

I was going to keep this short, but then that would not be the whole story.

The truth is we needed help.

My sister and I wanted to take my parents, a 92-year-old friend, and his daughters to Moses Cone Estate.

My parents had not been there in years due to mobility issues. They wanted to return with their friend.

My sister contacted Ranger Chuck to help make this happen.

We planned the date. The ranger arranged help for us to push the wheel chair back up the steep hill.

My parents and their friend watched both the wonderful films about the Cone family history.

Then there was a surprise. We got to go in the kitchen.

We had been coming here for over fifty years and never set eyes on this part of the mansion.

My woodworker daddy had to see how the drawers were made.

Ranger Chuck gave a talk about the family history and the house.

They even assisted in taking photographs of our whole crew.

I guess this post wasn’t really about the kitchen.

It was about kindness. It was about going above and beyond duty.

We were making memories with family and long-time friends.

It was the first time in the kitchen, but with all of us together again…

it felt like home.


Bringing the Garden Inside

I can’t just leave my green babies outside to freeze!

So they come in every November.


Every fall I chant “Honey, I need a greenhouse.”


Mr. Flower’s response is, “Deary, you need fewer plants.”

What is a “plant mama” to do?


Every eastern or southern facing window has plants in it.


My workshop is a jungle.


My foyer is full.


I am not complaining, mind you.

Why else would there be a pink Hoya hanging among laundry?


My world is small, but it’s very green!





2 Old 4 Vegas

I hate to admit this about myself, but Las Vegas was 2 much 4 me.

As we drove south from lovely Utah, I examined my hands and nails.

This will never do in the party city! Dry skin, short nails with no polish.

Then I looked in the mirror. Wind-burned face, chapped lips and wind-blown hair.

Spa emergency? In my dreams! No time for such indulgences.

The “country mouse” was about to enter the big city looking disheveled and dirty.

Would I stick out like a sore thumb? Hiking boots among the spiked heels? Wool within a sea sequins?

Within minutes of entering Treasure Island, I no longer cared how I looked.

There was a parade going on. I was an insignificant bystander.

We merged into the fast-moving flow of folks moving forward.

No one looks where they are walking. No wonder. There is too much else to see.

All eyes are on the bright lights, the flowing fountains and flashy folks.

Even the ceilings are decorated.

I had to swing to the margins of the herd to take pictures.

We had a short list of places to visit before our Cirque du Soleil show started.

The up escalators were strategically turned off, so we had to take the stairs.

First was the fountain show and Conservatory at the Bellagio. Music and dancing water are magically choreographed.

Next we strolled through the Venetian under the perpetually sunny skies.

Dodging people, crossing streets, horns blowing, engines revving.

Mr. Flower and I were happy to board our plane and skedaddle back to North Carolina.

Flow is 2 old 2 party. My fast and flashy days are over. (If I ever had any?)

Give me my garden!

Slower Flower





Rocks and Minerals

Down at the bottom of the red-rock canyons were crystal blue rectangles.


Not the blue like the sky above, but swimming pool aqua blue.


The contrast drew the eye away from the surrounding scenery.


That lovely blue was potash soaking up sun to evaporate.


It truly was crystal blue.


I was amazed by the process from above and even more curious up close.


I photographed the sign about how potash is made.


We drove past a creek containing escaped minerals.


Flow on the Go


The Road Less Traveled

Sometimes I do not listen to Mr. Flower and it gets me in trouble.

As we were enjoying the views of Canyonlands from Island in the Sky visitors’ center , he pointed out a narrow road snaking down into the canyon. “Look at that car going down through there.” he would say as he pointed out a tiny moving speck.

I had paused and wondered, “What’s up with that road?”  It never occurred to me there was a plan involved.

I knew I was in trouble when he mounted the Go-pro camera on the dash of the truck.

Yes, folks. There is a video. I am thankful that most of my comments and squealing are not audible.

The road less traveled is Shafer Trail Road.

It zigzags perilously close to open canyon.

It was a thrilling trip down.

It was an adventure. I did get to see the Bighorn Sheep. I did get to see canyon rocks up-close.

I did get to see the Potash pits up close and take photos of potash crystals. (Future post)

I did learn to listen to Mr. Flower’s casual comments…once in a while.



Counting Sheep

It is a big deal to spot Bighorn Sheep.

They are shy and stay away from frequently trafficked areas.

Mr. Flower decided to take the road less traveled.

As we were descending deep into the canyons of Canyonland,


I spied sheep silhouettes along the rim.


I was lucky to get these shots before they climbed out of view.


I was thrilled to see this set of four almost among the clouds.



Next comes  “The Road Less Traveled.”  You don’t want to miss this one.


The Climbers

One of the jaw-dropping moments of the trip in Utah was looking up on a tall rock formation

and noticing a colorful speck moving up its surface.

It gave a new sense of scale to the towers.

I am sure it is a thrill to reach the top after a long climb.

Moab was full of folks doing amazing things.

I was inspired to keep moving…

Mr. Flower wanted me to say that it was he on top of that pillar.

He did climb up into an arch to be photographed.

I sunned on a boulder below, while waiting for him to find his way back down.

I may be “Everybody’s Mama”, but I am not his mama.  Ha!


Plants in the Desert

It’s time to turn our attention from the rocks of Utah to the plants.

I have great respect for desert plants.

They must be thrifty with water and growth.

There are no big showy leaves.

They must be frugal with their surface area.

They cannot get exposed to too much sun or lose too much water through evaporation.

So the plants in the desert must be conservative to survive.

They stay low and small.

Here’s a sampling.

Cliffrose    (Click on photos in masaics to enlarge images and to read signs )

Utah Juniper


Mormon Tea


Narrowleaf Yucca

Four Wing Saltbush

Pinyon Pine

Claret Cup Cactus


I was happy to find all these plants with markers At the Island in the Sky  visitor’s center in Cayonlands. The rest of the trip I took photos of unknown plants while saying, “Wonder what this is? I’ll have to look it up later.”

For anyone wondering if I purloined seeds this trip, the answer is “NO.”

I have too many needy, green babies as it is. I do not need to propagate a whole new crop from another climate. (See post next week.)

Flower on the GO




The Hoodoos

I understand why hoodoos are believed to be spirit people.

There are stories in the stones in Utah.


The stories change as the sun moves across the sky.


Light and shadows add to the details to form faces.


The hoodoos of Bryce Canyon


and towers and pinnacles in Arches National Park defy gravity.


Balanced Rock looked as though it could topple any second.


Some formations have names like the Three Gossips, Tower of Babel, Courthouse and The Organ.


Mr. Flower and I made up names for the many we noticed.


It was our “Game of Stones.”

Flow on the Go