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31st-May-2015 12:20 am - giving things more time
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So. During the past fortnight, the too-short tomato cuttings grew roots after all:

tomato cuttings tomato cutting

Even so, some of them look a shade too sickly -- leaves too translucent -- to survive much longer. But I have plenty of pots on hand, so I planted them all this evening:

transplanted tomato cuttings

The sun shone steady and strong through sporadic showers of rain as I sat on my porch. That was a treat.

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25th-May-2015 06:12 pm - milestones
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* Sang at a friend's ordination Saturday afternoon. It at times felt like a wedding (which I hear she excels at the officiating of) -- Denise radiant in her cream suit and later in her purple robe and glittering stole (the latter stitched by Sheri DiGiovanna, who also designs clothes for people with limb loss). Brian Foti doing his usual magic on the drums, Peter Mayer on guitar, Susan Snyder on piano, Ben [last name I didn't catch] on bass, Karl Kersey on mandolin, and Seth Alder as the sound engineer.

I am fortunate to work and worship with gifted and dedicated people, among whom are many others not listed here.

* A friend's father passed away last week. He, too, was extraordinary. As is she.

* My honorary mama moves to a retirement community next week.

* I've hired an architect for the addition to my house.

I also just wrapped a wedding present for a friend, and am finally going to write in the card I made for another friend at the start of this month, featuring a cornflower from my garden.

I would rather be spending the holiday with friends and watching Roland Garros reels than contending with dental pain and databases, but this isn't the first (and won't be the last) time I have to choose work over barbecue. (As for the infected tooth, thank God for salt and hot water.) On the upside, I have a dog at my feet and a moon cake by my keyboard. There are worse ways to pay for permit drawings and presents, and there will be other cookouts.

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19th-May-2015 10:33 pm - rocking the ladder
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The BYM and I went to see Dior and I tonight, and there's a scene where a techie setting up for a show on top of an A-frame ladder moves it along the pipe he's at not by climbing down and shifting it, but rocking it to the next spot.

Sensible members of the audience: *sharp intake of breath*
Me: Oh yeah, my pals in college would do that.

And apparently I'm not alone in finding Pieter Mulier "magnetic."

tomato plant

There are around two dozen flowers on my tomato plants right now. Few have been ripening into fruit -- the vines need more tending and troubleshooting than I've been able to provide. Even so, I'm enjoying how tall they've grown since September, and the scent of the leaves, and the prospect of a few bites:

tomato plant

It turns out the cuttings in my spice jars are too short to expect anything from (though they too are still green and fragrant), but the one in the champagne glass is ready for its own pot:

tomato cutting

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10th-May-2015 11:03 pm - sleek orange and joyful yellow
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As I reminded/reassured a friend this morning, I celebrate my birthday from May 9 through May 8 each year. Still, I enjoyed the fact that the actual day was on a weekend this year. I woke up early enough to head to a yoga class...

happy 45th to me

... and treated myself to good coffee at Sweet 16th and new shoes at Cumberland Transit. There was a raft of chores that couldn't be put off, but there were also flowers from my big brother...

birthday bouquet

... and greetings from my little brother (along with news of the latest marathon he completed, this time at Big Sur), and lovely notes and cards and presents from other people dear to me, including more flowers in the trunk of a vintage car (in an e-card sent by an aunt from her hospital bed. I am related to very determined people).

The Japanese cloth on the table above was delivered to me as the wrapper around Ray Marshall's Paper Blossoms: A Book of Beautiful Bouquets for the Table.

Blackberries and raspberries were on sale at the supermarket, so for tea, I rinsed some of those, and made edamame-wasabi dip to pair with tortilla chips. For dinner, another friend grilled turkey burgers and corn; we brought prosecco and Cheerwine and other beverages.

I was glad that it was not an official party, as I was fading before 9 p.m. I took two naps today, too. That felt glorious.

There are yellow flowers in the pop-up book, and also on the tomato vines and the rogue rosebush.

tomato plant

the rogue rosebush is again in bloom

I finally transplanted last fall's rose seeds from my meat drawer to a propagation tray. It is likely too late and too hot for them to flourish. Nevertheless, I shall water them for a while and see what turns up.

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5th-May-2015 08:36 pm - sparkling in everything that lives
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I have been humming "I Am That Great and Fiery Force" to myself since Sunday, when it was sung as one of the morning songs at church. Words by Hildegarde von Bingen, set to "Ave Vera Virginitas" by Josquin Desprez -- you can hear a bit of it sung by Missing Rachel, and longer versions of the tune on YouTube, inluding one by a Slovak choir, the Hilliard Ensemble, et al. The verses:

I am that great and fiery force
sparkling in everything that lives;
in shining of the river's course,
in greening grass that glory gives.

I shine in glitter on the seas,
in burning sun, in moon and stars.
In unseen wind, in verdant trees
I breathe within, both near and far.

And where I breathe there is no death,
and meadows glow with beauties rife.
I am in all, the spirit's breath,
the thundered word, for I am Life.

The chamber choir sang two pieces, including the Real Group's "Words," which was applauded at both services.

Present reading: Erica E. Hirshler's Sargent's Daughters: The Biography of a Painting

Recent cooking: Chicken with mushroom-wine sauce (and parsley from an early birthday present); Mexican-ish brownies for a Cinco de Mayo potluck (using salted caramel cocoa mix, throwing in a cupful of chocolate chips, cutting the sugar in half, and ancho chile powder -- they turned out fine. The intern who shares my office gushed about them without knowing I was the one who made them. \o/); fufu (to go with the leftover chicken)

Today's workout: a long swim. I had lane 2 to myself, which meant I could indulge in backstroke as well as freestyle.

Today's remaining goal: some ironing. Chores toward comfort: story of my life. ;)

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30th-Apr-2015 09:22 pm - that there abides a peace of thine
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[subject line from Matthew Arnold's Lines Written in Kensington Gardens, which correspond to a UU hymn set to a Thomas Tallis canon that I often play when in need of solace]

Asheville Art Museum mural
(The Writing on the Pharaoh's Wall (detail), Gabriel Shaffer, Asheville Art Museum)

Hello, new month
of maybes, maybeings,
and wish-I-mays now here --
behold how bedecked
you already are
with swirls of stitchery

already a diary
of crossouts and detours
and acronymed prayers
and half-rehearsed words
and words for rehearsals.

To tally today:
how many angels
in toeshoes on
the sparkling tips
of pinwheel spokes?

Any minute now
the rules that you thought
were to keep you in line

will vault
with a vehemence
over the handlebars.

O brace yourself
for the many-tongued wind

its whipsharp accents
its cloudblurred vowels

you will grapple for years
with what it has to say to you.


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26th-Apr-2015 09:03 pm - backing up to get through the door
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My life, it does not lack comedy. Not when a dog who has pelted, trotted, leaped, and sauntered through my kitchen door at least 15,000 times still sometimes tries to charge through that door without giving me room to open it. The resulting Marx Brothers routine is the sort of thing that has me laughing and swearing at the same time, as did my having to chase her away from a pepper plant for the umpteenth time this year. (One of today's accomplishments was adding more soil to that plant's container. I'd hazily attributed the exposure of the roots to careless watering, but on reflection, canine rapaciousness is to blame. Said dawg just chowed down on two kale stems, but those I gave to her.)

bike installation

Two weekends ago, I brought my Jonathan Green coloring book and a box of crayons to a hotel room in Lexington. Some of the gang watched Coachella on the TV; Knight, borrowing some of the crayons, drew a bike for my sweetie, a plaid for a fellow fashionista, and hearts and something else.

A Lexington photographer took a nice shot of the group the next day; I wore the yellow hat the previous Saturday as well. This past weekend was here in Nashville, with Friday and Saturday night dedicated to my husband's high school reunion. The Friday night party was at the Bridge Building; seeing the city from the 6th floor was spectacular, glimpsing the promgoers also in the building was entertaining, the beer good and the conversations lively (an enthusiastic recommendation for H is for Hawk among them).

It was also nice to find out that two very successful men in my circles aren't on Facebook. I wasn't losing sleep over my stance to begin with, but as one of them said, it's nonetheless reassuring to hear of others thriving without it.

I did not get to everything I'd meant to get through today, but I did put two tomato cuttings in water. Even if they do not bear fruit, they look nice and smell wonderful. Sometimes that's all I ask of my belongings. But my shoes will tell you a far different tale, and I am itching to clean up my front door and devise a new window treatment for it. But to tackle that right now would be trying to hurl myself through a hoop while standing too close to it. A wild patience has taken me this far...

A year ago: birthdayage, Christianity, celebrity, commerce, Bardage

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15th-Apr-2015 08:54 pm - a best part of my day
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hello, tomato plant ...

remaining indoors

how you like it here
inside my house
with the lily and the peppers
and long sips of water
with occasional shots
of tea and coffee

so do I
oh so do I

Prompted by April Moon 15 Day 13

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MeEx cover they toil not, neither do they spin...


It was the larger one whom I accidentally kicked off the bed twice last night (I'm used to cats sleeping on me rather than near my feet), but there seem to be no hard feelings, as he's now licking my left foot. The smaller one didn't think much about me bringing the camera out:


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7th-Apr-2015 11:19 pm - boo, yay, yah
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* two rejections (eight pieces total) this week
* missing yoga classes to meet deadlines

* current management at my pharmacy very friendly
* Soyung Pak's Dear Juno (picture book about an American boy and his Korean grandmother exchanging letters. Boy with dog, gran with cat. (Longtime readers may remember that I'm a sucker for picture books with cats snuck into the spreads.) Illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung.
* colleagues grinning at my peacock-patterned galoshes
* forty-minute swim yesterday, some of it with a lane to myself

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