Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Miscellaneous Thoughts and Activities

 "When we let ourselves respond to poetry, to music, to pictures, we are clearing out a space where new stories can root, in effect we are clearing a space for new stories about ourselves." --Jeanette Winterson  (via Stories that Take Root by Terri Windling)

The idea immediately resonated with me.  We absorb all kinds of art (poetry, music, painting and sculpture)  into our lives, don't we?  Without even realizing it at the time, we incorporate information visually or aurally and it becomes part of our mental landscape.  Poems and songs from our childhoods reverberate in many ways throughout our lives, and we keep adding to these influences with new experiences.  

Isn't Amelia's new shower curtain lovely?  I adore it.  Unable to find it among Henri Rousseau's tiger/jungle paintings, it is, nevertheless, based on Rousseau's style.  


Which reminded me of Paul Simon's "Under African Skies" and Rouseau's desert painting "The Sleeping Gypsy."  Paul Simon is one of the best contemporary poets, although it is hard to separate his lyrics from his music.  A couple of verses from "Under African Skies":  

Joseph's face was black as night
The pale yellow moon shone in his eyes
His path was marked
By the stars in the Southern Hemisphere
And he walked his days
Under African skies
This is the story of how we begin to remember
This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein
After the dream of falling and calling your name out
These are the roots of rhythm
And the roots of rhythm remain

Amelia also has two of these possum pillows, and I fell in love with them.  We have an occasional visit from a possum,  a welcome visitor who dines on slugs and snails.  In the woods, possums help keep the tick population down.  

A funny possum poem that made me smile:  The Possum Circus.

Books/Reading:  check A Garden Carried in the Pocket for all my bookish stuff.

Garden:   This is where I'm spending most of my days now.  Suffering through all the pollen (that is both a positive/negative side effect of spring) with itchy eyes and sneezing.  This narrow bed by the fence has been a bugger to prepare.  The fence was covered with two kinds of jasmine, monkey grass, and a ground cover, which meant layer after layer of roots to dig up.  Finally, I smoothed it out and covered it with pine straw.  Next--some ferns and partial shade plants for the area.  

See my lovely yellow shovels--Fee broke one of my old short shovels and bought me these to replace it.  I like shorter shovels for most jobs, often in confined spaces, and now I have bright-yellow-shiny-brand new-short shovels!

I'm going to be pleased to have this area finished and cleaned up.    Everything has been getting a makeover this spring for various reasons--freeze damage, overcrowding, unsuitable plants for location, and so on.  I alternate between areas that need re-working.  

Weed pulling goes on, but the strong vinegar solution I ordered last year is also helpful.  I didn't think it would kill the poison ivy I found in a corner, but with a heavy dose and sunny days it did!  The strong vinegar mixture is organic and much easier than trying to pull every weed in every nook and cranny around the yard, between sidewalk cracks, etc.  

Had my left eye glaucoma laser surgery yesterday, and since I didn't come home and immediately get busy in the garden this time, it was so much easier!  With an audiobook ready to listen to and staying away from sun and pollen, this one was a breeze.  This morning, the rain is keeping me inside, so I'll catch up on neglected household chores.

Mail:  not much recently, but I had fun with the robot on this one.


  1. Your garden is taking shape. I'm still adhering to a wait and see attitude, before I let Ricky go ripping plants out and pruning willy nilly but he's wearing me down. I'm involved in an inside project, and I don't want him dividing my attention although I want to work in the yard, too, to get it looking better after the snow and cold. I love the possum pillows! Possums seem to come and go, so we haven't seen the little ones eating the cat food lately.

    1. In our neighborhood, the Indian Hawthorn's (evidently a favorite with landscapers) are the ugliest of the freeze damage, and I guess people don't want to wait for them to come back because I see them being removed or cut SEVERELY back. We've done a little of both.

      I'm really curious about your latest project--tossing out that little tidbit is hardly fair!

  2. That is a wonderfully cheerful shower curtain. Lots of rich pattern to make the room interesting!

    1. I've never seen a shower curtain like Amelia's, but it was like opening the door to a large painting!

  3. Glad you laser surgery recovery is going smoothly.
    Wearing a mask during this awful pollen season has been a savings on sneeze turmoil.

    1. The surgery for the right eye left my eye red and scratchy for days, so I assumed it must have been the fact that I was outside all day in sun and pollen. Staying inside and listening to an audio book seemed to have solved that problem for the left eye. :) Common sense? I may wear goggles and a mask on the next high pollen day!

  4. Oh my, I hope you are healed up by now....Pollen doesn't seem to bother me, but my son has allergies and my brother has it pretty bad. I LOVED this post. I've always been such a fan of Rousseau's paintings-especially that one! The shower curtain and pillow are fantastic. Your garden is a visual feast and a work of art as well. Thank you for this post-it helped my outlook today!

    1. When the doctor said go about your usual activities, I don't think (in retrospect) that he meant get outside and work in the garden. Anyway, this time was a breeze, and I didn't even strain my eye reading as I listened to an audio book. Amelia's shower curtain and pillows still make me smile! :)

  5. Your garden/yard looks so inviting. I've been busy raking up a lot of pine needles and fallen branches/twigs from all the pine trees around the house. Now that I'm about finished with that, I'll tackle the ivy in the front "yard," which is basically forest, but the ivy can do a lot of damage to the trees, so it needs to be cut back.

    I'm curious as to why your ophthalmologist did do your laser surgery on both eyes at the same appointment? That's how my husband's was done, but maybe your doctor had a reason not to do it that way in your particular case. I'll be glad when I can have it and stop using the drops. They don't bother me, but they're a nuisance.

  6. Ivy can do a lot of damage to a lot of things; such a creeper and so stubborn! I don't know why my doctor does one eye at a time, but he did it the same way last time and it lasted for three years. The drops burned my eyes and having the same burning every day was a pain. Now, I'm done for hopefully three more years. :)

  7. Super excited about your garden update. Please post pix when you are done. And thanks for the tip about vinegar and weeds. How's the weather been there?

    1. The vinegar is much stronger than regular white household vinegar and for some weeds it takes more than one application and lots of sun, but it works and is organic! Our weather has been mixed, with a good bit of rain and plenty of sunny days. April showers and some stormy weather, but the plants are rejoicing. :) How is your little mountain cabin doing, Debra?

  8. I hope you've completely recovered from your eye surgery! That is such a unique shower curtain - I love it. And, your garden is looking so wonderful! I hope you are enjoying some mornings in the garden with your books and breakfast!


Good to hear from you!