Thursday, April 26, 2012

Love our Little Piano Gal

Sorry for the low video quality, but how sweet is our Cholita?  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don't You Dare Call It Green

It's chartreuse. 

And on a rainy northwest morning, it sparkles against the backdrop of evergreens.
This Japanese maple (plain old Acer palmatum) is one of my favorite things in the garden.

I have to restrain myself with the chartreuse, because as much as I love it,
I think it's more of an accent than the main show.  

You can see the chartreuse repeated in the red wing euphorbia and sedum Angelina.

And even the adorable puffs of new growth on this cute little nest spruce.

In June it will be three years since we removed this patch of weedy grass and installed plants, which looked far too wimpy to fill in the area.

Instead, I've had to take things out!
Can you believe the growth?
Do you see the tiny euphorbia?
and the barely-there sedum? (which have been divided and replanted)
and the little stalks of the Helen Von Stein lamb's ears? (ditto the sedum)
The barberry was moved to an area where the dogs liked to dig.
The lavender, which didn't thrive, was replaced with nepeta "Walker's Low"
The jasmine that was on the arbor met with the shovel as well.
The drip line has long since been abandoned and the plants are on their own.
Can you spot the porch trellis with the circle "window" that Lyle added when we were in China?  
The old picture looks so plain without it.
And without the wisteria walkway beyond it.

And Olaf.
I certainly spotted him.
Oh, do we miss Olaf.

Rainy or sunny, I hope you're having a beautiful spring morning.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

Riggidy Jig.

And I bet you didn't even know we were gone.

But oh, we were gone.
We were way gone.

Just Rose and me.
About as far away as we could go and still be in the U.S.

On a rainy day in a park.

A very big park.

In a very big city.

Where Rose got tired of being my one and only model.

We saw buildings so high,
that as we walked through the streets,

we couldn't crane our necks enough to see the tops.
Sandwiched between them, we saw gorgeous old churches,

and brand new memorials,

and the construction of a building that will be higher than the ones that fell,

on a day 10 years ago when sweet Rose was just a three month old baby.

We stood on historic ground.

Important ground.

Busy ground.

Glitzy ground.

We saw what our ancestors saw,

over 100 years ago,

when they stepped off of a boat and walked into this massive building,
speaking a foreign language,
carrying all their belongings,
and hoping to to make a new life,
in a new country,

where they would live out the rest of their time on earth,
and where one day,
a great-great-great granddaughter,

would stand at her grave.

And as hard as that ancestor's life was,
working in a factory,
giving birth to 10 children,
and burying many,

at this cemetery,
where another ancestor was supposedly buried,
we were told that the poor immigrants,
from the tenements,
rarely could afford headstones,
but are anonymously buried somewhere on the grounds,
in the shadow of the city.

But the best part of the visit.
By far.
Was seeing a brother I hadn't seen in
way too many years.

As a matter of fact, 
the last time I saw him he was a teenager,
and I was a young mother with two tiny children.

He's the baby of our family,
the only one with red hair,
and the one with all the height,
which made him mercifully easy to spot in city crowds,

and on the jumbo-tron in Times Square.

And funny enough,

I'm just noticing now that we were there with Elmo.
My brother is a a red head,
but not that red.

He sent me a text as I was boarding the plane for home:
"See you when I'm 47."

But we will get him to the west coast
before he's eligible for 
retirement benefits.

Because Rose has a new favorite uncle 
(Hugh and Dan need to up their game),
and we need to feed him

as well as




Goodbye New York.
We'll miss you.

But it's good to be home.