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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Still???

See the post about the orchid? That thing is STILL blooming. Not blooming new blossoms, although it increase almost double from the picture shown - no, the blossoms are still on the plant and still looking fresh & vibrant.

To be sure, a couple have withered & dropped but I have never had an orchid stay in bloom so long. It makes me happy every time I look at it.

Quotable quotes; in the category This Orchid Has Honored Its Pledge!

"If you want to live a long life, focus on making contributions."  Hans Selye

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Orchids

My in-laws sent me an orchid in a pot. I had grown several orchids over the years, most of which languished and died when the blooms faded. An orchid I found on a clearance shelf at the home improvement store somehow lasted for years and bloomed again and again. At length, it too perished.

A pair of orchids bought at the grocery store lasted awhile though have not yet bloomed since that first flush. One has since died, the other continues to put out new leaves but no flower stalk, as yet.

The new orchid appeared to be a disaster. Poorly packaged, poorly handled, the pot has lost most of its growing medium, the soggy orchid was naked without it and it looked like it was not long for this world.
I went to work, resurrecting a genuine orchid pot left from the one success, and replanted the orchid in some new medium (think bark & wood chips). I nestled it into the orchid pot, gave it a good soak,  set it in my kitchen window & prepared for it to meet its doom. To my pleasant surprise it bloomed!

I photographed it when there were but a few blooms but over the next week or so more buds bloomed until there were many. At least five or more. Weeks later, they are still beautiful and show no signs of fading.

I had wanted to try painting this orchid but was afraid to try. At last, one day last week, I opened the sketchbook, got out paints & water & set to work. Here is the result. Not as "artistic" as I might hope, but the real pleasure is that I actually made the attempt. I keep hearing I'll get better with practice. I'm trying to curb the urge to have instant perfection and steel myself to keep trying.
I'm still nervous about sharing my painting with others but I may post this to my facebook page and see what others think. In the meantime, you & I can enjoy it together.

Quotable quotes; in the category Well, I Didn't Feel Like Writing Today.

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."  Pablo Picasso

Monday, June 30, 2014

Joy June - Last Day!

Like Lemony Snickett, I suffered a series of unfortunate events recently. My joy is that I survived!

After having several trees removed from our property, well, the hot water heater leaked all over the basement. When we called and told them how old it was they were surprised it had lasted as long as it did. I don't think there is anything more stressful than listening to workmen pound, bang & clang in your basement, wondering what they are doing and hoping all is well. After a few hours we had hot water again and could shower & wash dishes. Joy.

I met a friend for lunch (joy), something we had been planning but which kept getting derailed by our schedules. I locked my keys in the car. YAURGH! Luckily, she called her mom, who lived nearby, who drove me to my house so I could pick up my extra set of keys . . . which I had misplaced and had to search for . . . but which I found. Joy.

I am knitting a pair of socks. I did not like how the pattern was emerging. I pulled out the needles & unraveled back to my "lifeline", a thread woven through the stitches at a strategic point so the knitting can be raveled if necessary and picked up without starting all over. Alas, I dropped a stitch, could NOT pick it up and decided to unravel the whole thing. Luckily I had not worked very far, and when I started over found a very weak spot in my yarn which pulled apart, and which might have caused a hole in the finished socks. I have knit almost back to where I was and avoided potential disaster in the process. Joy.

So in spite of some setbacks, I am able to find joy in things after all - perhaps the most joyous part of it!

Quotable quotes; in the category That's One Law I'd Like To Break!

"If anything can go wrong, it will."  Murphy's Law

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Joy June 24

Well, I did it again - got so busy I did not have time to post my joys. I'll reach back to the weekend and add what has happened since to bring me joy.

! While a little sad, it's also a joy that we finally had some trees removed. One was growing right up next to the house and could potentially harm the foundation, the chimney and the wall since it bumps the house on windy days. Three were apple trees I planted years ago. They were supposed to be dwarves but grew to over 10 feet tall, became crowded and never produced more than two apples that I recall. The rest were volunteer maples and an invasive Asian bittersweet that I planted without researching it first.

! I got many things planted this weekend, including a flat of flowers, some tomatoes, a cucumber, zucchini, and assorted herbs. While planting, a beautiful little cat came to visit me in the yard. I love cats and would have liked to adopt her but she was obviously someone's pet, so we reluctantly said goodbye.

! I did some decluttering in the house - a never ending goal - and got rid of some things that should have been gotten rid of years ago. Joy!

Quotable quotes; in the category You Can Have Joy If You Just Think About It!

"Oh joy! Rapture! I got a brain!" The Scarecrow from MGM's The Wizard Of Oz.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Joy June 18

My biggest joy is the weather. It is been and will be hot and humid all week - the kind of weather I hate the most - but today it finally rained & stormed which means the garden got a good watering & weeds will be easy to pull. And it cooled off a bit.

Also, I tried my hand at painting a stormy sky. Not quite what I'd aimed for but I'm pleased that I made the effort.
This is a view of a brick wall & ivy covered building across the street from my office. The sky got dark & angry so fast I couldn't keep up!

Quotable quotes; in the category Now That Sounds Like Fun!

"Remember to play after every storm."  Mattie Stepanek, American poet

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Joy June 17

I've been too busy to post so I'll have to make up for it.

What has given me joy recently? This past weekend I finished a few knitting projects - golf club covers for my brother-in-law,
 a wool tea cozy for my sister,
 a baby blanket for a niece who is expecting her first child,
and a scrapbook page incorporating valentines from The Man the past couple years (sorry, no picture of that one).

It's fun & feels good to "get things done". I also called a tree service, which I should have done years ago.  There is a volunteer elm tree growing inches from the house & threatening to knock down the chimney. Sadly, it has to go. The joy part is the quote came in well below what I was expecting and we're ready to go with that project.
Finally, a picture I painted & posted at my facebook page received many complimentary comments and an offer to buy! Since it was painted in a  journal & had writing on it, I did a second one and the friend has confirmed she wants to buy it.  Does this make me a professional artist? Or just a commissioned one?

I guess that's enough joy to make up for lost time!

Quotable quotes; in the category Anybody Wanna Share?

"To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with."  Mark Twain

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Joy June 11

Several weeks ago I made a sourdough starter. I posted about it on my other blog, "It's My Food Blog", but today I wanted to post about my sourdough related joy!

I had read that sourdough starter takes quite some time to become truly "sour" & flavorful. That may be. I usually feed my starter mid week and then try to use some on the weekend, either for a loaf of bread or a pizza crust.

This week, when I fed the starter, it smelled truly sour for the first time - wine-y & yeasty. Yesterday I prepared the dough for a pizza crust, to be made and eaten tonight for supper. The starter was even more sour, foamy & "just right".

So today is a double-joy. The joy of my starter, which has not died and continues to age & mature, and a homemade pizza for supper tonight (one of our favorite suppers).

What's bringing you joy today?

Quotable quotes; in the category Go Ahead!  What Have You Got To Lose?

"Pizza makes me think that anything is possible."  Henry Rollins