Sunday, August 20, 2006

>>>>> Gardening is considered by some to be a defeating enterprise...plants are to grow exactly the way the small little packets we purchase show...perfectly flowering, with the color matching the picture on the seed packet -- no wilted leaves, no curling flower petals -- everything is to look ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!! >>>>> and once outside in the garden, those who feel the effort is an encounter with defeat, find themselves looking at wilted plants...chewed stems...teeny-itty-bitty insects chewing everything that's suppossed to be growing...yet making plants DIE!! >>>>>

I've been mostly lucky-fortunate-all-together-glad that our garden hasn't had too many problems with growing...tho this year we have tried to grow green beans, but they have had a TIME of it...they're showing sign of stress from all the horrible hot weather we've been the youngest has been giving them a gizzilion gallons of compost tea, hoping the beans will be making a comeback soon...Soaking the vegetables last night, I could see that some new leaves were developing, so there should be some sort of resurgance . The actual beans on the plants don't look too good...but some new blooms are popping up, and for that I'm grateful.

What's making up for the green beans, are of course, the Black-Eye-Peas....they don't seem to be showing any sign of stress, anger, or "I'm - Thru - With - The - World " attitude in the least. These have always been the kind of plants that, at least for me, easy to grow, have no problems with the heat, humidity or lack of rain. They just GROW -- Soaking them last night was actually fun -- The youngest had thot thruout last winter just how he was going to support these plants...what he ended up doing was jus' this side of genius ~~ He found some 2" or maybe 2 1/2" galvanized fencing that's 6' in height. Now ~~ the youngest cut lengths of this fencing to make something like tomato cages ~~ but these were for the Black-Eye-Peas -- an' also for the green beans. He & I looked at the hardware store for just the right type of fencing, because from past experience we knew the Black-Eye-Peas will get VERY tall, an' have the uncanny ability to pull over any cheezy fencing that's bought to "save money" ~~ In the case of these plants, it's WAY better to spend the extra $$ and get good wire fencing. We put together the cages, lined them up in the garden so that we could walk around each cage, when the plant was nearing full size (over 6' in height) and not break any stems that have an idea of reaching out to another fence nearby.

What's fun about watering these plants, and the neighboring green beans, is once you're inside the cages, it's very nearly a' I discovered, even when there's a person walkin' down the street, your all but invisible inbetween the plants...the peas are taller than I am, they're also growing new and longer stems, and we've already canned up over a gallon & a half of 'em for the pantry. Standing in the garden with the plants all around me was a delight...the water cooled off the mulch covering the ground, and the soaking made the sweetest fragrance...that of earth, plants...that warm humus smell of a garden in it's prime. It almost made me forget that the green beans are pouting for the moment. An' of course, soaking the 'maters.....ahhh...nothing like the smell of growing tomatoes...there is really nothing else that can match the fragrance of a tomato...years ago there was a song about "Homegrown Tomatoes!!" ~~ an' every now & then it pops in my head when I'm in the 'mater bed...we planted marigold seeds saved from the past 2 years of plants...they've hybridzed (sp) themselves to look nothing like what the original plants were ~~ "Petite Small Marigolds" ~~ Now they've gotten to over 2 1/2' in height, nearly a foot' soakin' up all the compost & water they can. Last year we had several in between the herbs -- we also had a VERY LARGE preying mantis living in the marigolds..never would get used to this thing poppin' up outta the plant when I'd be out'd stand on the branches of the marigold...wiping water off it's over 3" in length, it wasn't something I wanted to get angry...well...they don't hurt people...but jus' the fact it was THERE....why bother something ---

Now it's time to go back out an' gather some more compost from the composter...the last batch of tea is' now some of the yarrow in the front yard is developing new side they need a good batch of compost tea...the resurrange of the foxglove is also SO nice...nezt spring it will be so big...but well worth all the trimming of other flowers to give it the space it' of course...soaking the tulip bed is just about the thing to do...give it a good dose now and let it muddle around thru fall & winter...

Lady of The Tulips ~~ who's wondering whether or not to buy more plants on sale....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

~~ Does time fly or is it something else...don't know but now it's getting dark in the evening just a little earlier than only 2 weeks ago...the mornings aren't as light when I'm out on the road w/The Husband...driving to the terminal is a little grayer than it was early in the month. The birds aren't singing quite as early as they were, and finally there is a break in the heat that was baking not only the east coast but also the entire nation.

There has been a good deal of work done in the studio -- the sunroom/studio is now comfortable enough to let me create ~~ something I wasn't able to do for much longer than 10 minutes. The heat was absolutely unbearable for me...when I felt brave enough, the glance at the thermometer only made my neck feel hotter than before...usually 92 or so before any work had to be hit or miss. Now it feels much better, and we've been fortunate to have a gentle breeze coming in thru the west windows. I've also been able to get some painting in for a couple pieces that needed some extra color for background shades. These were mostly colors that I needed to offset other papers I'd worked into the piece. Both pieces had to do with ocean life...little mermaids and one mer-baby. He's turned out much different than I'd originally thought he'd look. Actually, if I don't mind saying so, he's actually quite the cutie. Lil' fat-chubby cheeks, big smile and big eyes. He's going to have some toys in his fat little hands, and his tail is a combination of greens, blues and pale sky-blue. He's got glitter, too. Every little boy likes to see shiny things, so why not a mer-baby too?

Now the day is coming to a close...there are more thots but the two sons have come back from doing something over near the there will be more later...and some questions about Art...does it have to have a profound statement to make...or can the work make the viewer and artist comfortable with what's being represented on the canvas, or in the case of mixed - media..any combination of canvas, wood, plastic, or whatever....I'm getting several different views being thrown toward me...and not sure which is the "correct" one to embrace....

Lady of The Tulips ~~~

Monday, August 07, 2006

**** As the sun begins it's slow descent into the haze and cloud cover, I realized it's been a couple days since I've been here... maybe the fun & games of my car deciding to do something other than cooperate with me jus' made me more tired and BLAH than I thot. That is not to say that I've jus' been sittin' still ~~

When the temperature cooled down over the weekend, to something under 90 degrees, I found the humidity also went lower, giving me a chance to get some work done in the Sunroom/Studio ~~ This was such a GREAT thing for me ~~ I hated that I couldn't sit out at my table and get any work done, because it was just too darn hot -- I have such a low tolerance for high humidity and temps. ~~ so if it gets too miserable, I can only work in the room for a very short time. I would go by the french doors and look longingly into the room, wishing I could sit for more than 10 minutes and get some painting done. I only had some beads and fibers to attach to one piece to complete it....but found I couldn't sit that long in the 04 degree room. BLAST!!

So ~~ Once it got comfortable enuf, I got the fibers and goodies attached to my last the coat of matte medium on it and have it set with the other pieces in my storage chest. Quite relieved to have that one done. It wasn't a big piece, but it was just getting the time to complete it that was a pain....Saturday gave me the time to FINISH -- whatta good good feeling. And, since the MUSE was sittin' on my shoulder tellin' me "AHEM...AHEM!!!" -- I decided to get some other pieces of paper ~~ find some beads and little plastic "toy" pieces to collect for the next piece...I'd been thinking of a Baby under water....having the time of her/his life. So -- with that I'm off to the next project. Colors within it will be mostly pale blues..pale turquoise ... maybe some light lavenders. Most of the time spent on this one seems to be finding just the right color combinations of papers...the paints for the border seemed to come along fast ~~ but the papers have been a little more deliberate. Don't understand why...but will just go with it for now.

And ~~ For the first time since probably early spring, I found that last evening was cool and comfortable enuf to get some sponge work done with tissue paper I rediscovered in one of my wicker baskets. It's so loaded with manila file folders of odds and ends of paper (s) ~~ so pawing thru them can s0metimes be quite the ordeal. But ~~ Then I think, that if the Muse is in charge and wants to have something that hasn't been used before.. or wants to be used in a different way, then what the Muse wants...the Muse gets. And the wonderful breeze coming thru the windows was just too fine to let go of ... Before it got too dark to see what I was doint (I didn't want to use any other light...just the receeding sunlight thru the West windows...) I sponged paint and more paint...listening to some good Bluegrass and feeling quite happy. Sometimes the work gets a bit boring...seems to take forever...or just doesn't come together in a way that feels comfortable...doesn't make me feel that the end result will be worth the effort ~~~but that fortunately wasn't the case last evening. All the paint combinations came together in a pleasing manner...the paper wasn't tearing and making me want to tear out my hair either. All in all a good work time. The Muse was somewhat sad, tho, because the daylight was literally gone by the time the last piece of tissue was painted...but if the Muse is saying to me what I think she's/he's saying...then tomorrow will also be good for me.

This morning also was good for some work...but just when I got going...the youngest reminded me of gardening that needed to be taken care of ~~ The pepper plants needed to have more light to a batch of the overtaking-the-garden-space four-O'Clocks had to be thinned out. Some of the nasturtiums also had to be cut back...but they'll grow back soon enough, giving the peppers good growing time. The green beans, tho they are still showing signs of heat stress, are nevertheless producing a good start of beans. The biggest kicker in the garden are the wonderful Black-Eye-Peas. We've been picking lots and lots of them...all good and ripe. The pods easily pull apart, and those fantastic lil' peas just pop out and fall into the bowl. Ahhh....just thinking of how wonderful they'll taste come fall when the weather gets' just a small dinner of Black-Eye-Peas and Rice...cornbread and maybe a desert...ahhh...that's when all the sweat and mud from summer come to a final end. So -- any work in the garden now is soooo worth the effort. It was good too, to get some weeds pulled...pour a batch of compost tea on the tomatoes and beans, too ~~ All in all a good morning. Then the errands to the' now the day is coming to an end. But a Quite productive one.

Maybe it's time to sit and have a chilled bottle of water and rest....sound's like a good idea to me. I shall post later in the week...the Muse is muttering somethin' to me so I best go see what it is...

~~~ Lady of The Tulips ~~~

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

~~~ There's a song in my heart ~~~ But it's not for those who go thru life thinking the world is for the beating...

2 weeks ago my car decided it didn't want to run anymore...well, actually -- it'd been acting like a little brat...not wanting to go from a stop at an intersection, making strange sputtering noises, coughing, belching (sorta like The Husband when he eats something like chili or pizza ~~ then an hour later has a bowl of ice cream...) -- But the car would sometimes jus' keep on going, like there was nothing wrong.

The one day (of all 30th wedding anniversary) that it died, it'd stopped jus' before a pretty bizzy a right-hand-turn lane only....I was desperately trying to wave people to go around me...trying to get the car to move after starting it up over & over...Finally had a good samaratain (sp) come to my aide and pushed my car into a parking lot no more than 50 feet from where I was.

I was a mess!! I usually don't cry...but it was well over 95 air conditioning in the station wagon to boot....So -- I went inside a Cash Advance office...they were kind enuf to let me sit & get myself back together as best a I could.

Then, after thinking the car was jus' angry from the heat..I figured it'd be fine & dandy to drive. HA!! ~~ Got to the next intersection...and not just before the light..but just smack DAB in the middle of the intersection...Dead as can be....I kept tryin' to get it to run...people were passin' me..cusing me out...calling me everything in the' even tho a repair shop was on the corner, & a mechanic was standing by the door to his one came to help me out...The very special thing, was when the light changed for oncoming traffic to do thru the guy jus' absolutely floored his car...directly at me.

Anyway -- I finally got a tow truck (after waiting in a quick-stop type store) -- but even in there...fighting w/my insurance company and suddenly realizing I was in between a 40 oz. beer and people buying said "40" -- (The owner kindly let me use her store phone -- ) I jus' walked from the phone after getting a tow truck secured...walked down one isle of the store, and absolutely cried and cried. This was my 30th Wedding Anniversary !! Yahoo!!

$200 later -- after waiting 3 days to get to my mechanic..I figured All Is Well!! HA!!

Jus' yesterday, the exact thing happens again...tho this time in a much bigger intersection 3 lanes each directon-- an' me tryin' to push my car out of said intersection...I finally get to the inside of a restraunt...a wonderful woman who had seen me struggling in the attempt to move my car let me use her cell' a fantastic gentleman came to my rescue an' pushed my car to the parking lot of the restraunt. Once I got to my insurance Co., the woman had to leave, making sure I was ok -- Iwas starting to cool' thot -- well -- certainly I need something to cool me soft drink, just water. The cashier didn't want to give me any....I was drenched -- I looked a wreck...the patrons next to me gave me UGLY glares, an' actually moved away from me. This after I explained my situation....I"m having an' these business men look at my like I should have just died instead of bothering them....

Some people --- I'm firmly convenced (sp) have a special door..with their name on it..and said door is leading straight to HELL!!!

These doors are for all of those people, who, cusing me out ---refusing to come to assist me (Temps by the way at the time of my cars demise...102...) and looking at my attempts to move my car -- alone -- without doing ONE THING!!! --- hmmmm -- there's nothing else to say.

They should REALLY consider how they would react if this situation would happen to their wife...sister....mother....MAYBE -- just MAYBE -- they would react differently.

I'm still optimistic this could happen.

I'm still shaky from the shall close for the morning I'll see about gettin' the car repaired -- again --

Lady of The Tulips