Sparkling Snowflakes

We all need more light in the winter.

Anything that sparkles catches my eye. I am like a crow.

I want to decorate mama’s door at the facility with something different every month.

(Nothing says forgotten like a Christmas wreath the end of January.)

I ordered giant silver snowflakes instead of white to contrast with the white doors and white blinds in the windows.

I wanted each one to be unique and have variations. This meant adding more glitter from my glitter collection.

I painted different sections of the flakes with Mod Podge glue.

Then I sprinkled different glitter on those sections. Keep the flake contained in a box for this step.

I like the ones with three types of glitter best. They reflect and refract light differently to make the flake more interesting.

I have augmented some as they dried with more glitter.

The left over glitter in the box was used on the last flake. I call it the ‘Everything Flake.’

This was a fun thing to do on a dreary cold day. I plan to share the extra flakes with those folks who still have a Christmas wreath on their door.


When the Past Circles Back

A proper blog post will follow when my head quits spinning. For now I will just spew a few thoughts.

Time moves forward no matter what you are doing. Every day you wake up older. We all do, even the young.

You are spending time you will not get back. It would be wise to do things that matter to you.

I have been sorting through my parents’ past. They both have saved items from their parents past.

My mom’s dad died over thirty years ago. I am finding ancient Mother’s Day cards he gave to his mother.

No, they did not go into the trash or recycle piles. My sis and I call it the ‘Keep’ box.

Our hours have been spent discerning what stays and what goes. It is mentally and emotionally exhausting.

When we are done there will be many more hours spent deciding what to do with what stayed.

Mama would not like us doing any of this if she knew. She has dementia, so she would be mad but not for long.

I came back home determined to purge my files. I did toss a few things, but then I felt a circle forming.

My own past was circling back. The children’s sports events, dog flea treatments, orthodontists appointments, school meetings, family parties… All the things I do not do anymore.

I clamped a bunch of it together and attached a note to my children. I guess I saved a circle for them to feel when I am gone or in a home.

Time goes by every day. Do something important with some of it.


My Big Begonias

My favorite begonias can get rather large. They can also change colors.

This type of angel wing begonia is gorgeous in a pot, in a vase or in the ground.

It is time to take cuttings. This means sharing. I have had this begonia for decades. It is a keeper.

I cut the longest stems and remove most of the leaves. Stems must be cut at an angel just before putting them in water.

Blooms should be removed, but I like to leave them to enjoy for a bit longer. Remove when they start to shed.

A sunny location will make the blooms red and the leaves bronzed.

I prefer green leaves so mine get less sun. New leaves tend to be bronze wherever this begonia is planted.

Shade makes the blooms a light pink and white. This is lovely also.

The blooms hang in clusters.

I think an individual flower is worth inspection.

This is a perfect fall or winter gift. This vase just went to my neighbor, Nancy, this afternoon.

Cuttings will grow in water for years, but the plants need to be put in the ground if you want to see how big they can get.

Pots brought inside for winter will go semi-dormant if not in heated space and kept lightly watered.

Begonias left in the ground go dormant and take longer to get going in the spring. (I am in zone 7.)

I vary my over-wintering methods to a few each way. This ensures that I will have this big begonia forever to pass along.

FLOWER (with scissors)

Life Inside a Stick

I gather sticks to burn in our fire bowl. As I tossed one onto the pile, it broke in the middle. I picked up the two pieces and noticed a dark cylinder in the middle. The cylinder sections were wrapped in tiny brown leaves. I knew that this meant a larva was inside.

I took the stick pieces inside to be examined. I carefully unwrapped the dozen or so small leaves from a section.

The first one only contained yellow powder.

The next section squirted as I got to the center. I carefully cut open the capsule. There was a light colored blob inside.

I put the blob on a slide and looked at it under the microscope. This face appeared.

I put the rest of the stick back outside. I do not know what is growing in it, but it was carefully wrapped to ensure its survival and placed in a well made tunnel.

If the stick had not broken, It would eventually have been burned. Sometimes our fire makes whizzing and squeaking noises. Now, I will worry that I have roasted some larvae.

Who knew that such mysteries would be enclosed in a stick?


The Muhly Fountain

The rain has transformed the Pink Muhly Grass into a fountain. Its draping stalks glisten with drops.

I petted it and the drops converged and ran to the ground.

It feels like delicate, wet feathers.

The drops sparkle. It is a new kind of beautiful.


Sugar Kettle to Fire Bowl

Our grateful family finally got together and tried out the sugar kettle as a fire bowl. Mr. Flower showed off by lighting the fire with my weed burner.

It worked wonderfully. It was a beautiful fall night. There was a nip in the air and a slight breeze.

I was so very thankful to have all of our family there, minus one niece and my mom.

We were celebrating my daughter Rose’s thirtieth birthday. She is a miracle. Still here thanks to good medicine and friends stepping in to help her. Our second book is in the works.

My heart is full of gratitude that we are all happy, healthy and safe.

Happy Fall from the FLOWER

Same Scene: Wiser Eyes

I felt compelled to return to that mysterious Langhorne House in Lynchburg during my visit last week.

I was hoping to see signs of improvement, but instead found evidence of further weathering and decay.

I could proceed to chastise the present owners for neglect, but I empathize with them instead.

I know what it is like to inherit property with more deficits than assets.

It takes real money, time and effort to bring an old place up to present standards.

This house on the hill calls for restoration. It has a public history that seems to demand it. But where is the money?

The private owner must not be motivated to paint and renovate.

Not enough love, loyalty and funds? Bad memories? Family disputes? No matter! There must be a lack of motivation and/or inspiration.

The lights were on. That is a sign that the wires still work and heat is a possibility.

Two empty trailers were parked out back. At least someone is using the place.

It still feels lonely. It still seems empty. It is a sad remnant of a grand past.

Sometimes the weight of the past is too heavy to heave into the present.

I get that now. The haunting emptiness, the unpleasant memories, the emotional avoidance. Those burdens are real.

I hope that someday the Cary DeVall Langhorne house will be given new life and a face lift.

The historic neighborhood is quite lovely and well-maintained. There were busy workmen and scaffolding on almost every street.

What we do with our history is up to those in the present.

Maybe four years from now I will see a fresh coat of paint and repaired steps on this lovely, historic site.


My Flickr Photostream

I have picked the best of my thousands of photos to put on Flickr. It’s like my blog on steroids. I have tried to name each flower in the description.

This is a work in progress. This old dog is trying a new trick.

I hope this link works. Somebody let me know. ENJOY!