Sunday, May 31, 2015

Gay Pride Month ...

Tomorrow is the beginning of Pride 2015. It's a big and important month for me and my fellow LGBT brothers and sisters. I wish to begin my celebration this year with a prayer by Chris Glaser from his collection entitled, "Coming Out To God".

God, I believe
may become

That virtue might become a vice
in which we are caught,
our life squeezed from us.

Such is not the saintliness you ask of us:
self-denial should never become self-denying,
but should rather lead to self-affirming,
affirming the soul, created in your image:
an integrity of body and spirit.

God of integrity,
lead me carefully along the narrow path
between human arrogance and pride
and self-negation.

Help me to ask my due.
Help me not to fear, or be nervous,
or apologetic, or self-deprecating.
Give me strength and power
to convince others of my just cause.
Keep me from being perceived as demanding,
but help me rather
to be viewed as hopeful and worthy.
Teach me to receive in gratitude,
and feel affirmed
rather than embarrassed, ashamed, or unworthy.

God, from whose womb we are born
and reborn,
you call us to be ourselves,
your children,
your image and essence,
your beauty.
Lead us toward the integrity and harmony
you enjoy in heaven and earth,
that we may share your commonwealth,

- from "Coming Out to God: Prayers for Lesbians and Gay Men, Their Families and Friends" by Chris Glaser

Spring blossoms ...

Took my camera out to the garden yesterday, set it on "macro", zoomed in, uploaded them, cropped them down, and here they are. Makes me happy.

Rain ...

At long last!

I took my monthly trip to NYC last week. Wednesday morning was absolutely beautiful here--albeit dry--and my bus wasn't leaving until 2:30 pm so I had time to enjoy a leisurely morning stroll about the yard, puttering with a few weeds and watering a few plants. The lilac bush at the corner of the front lawn was splendid this year, in contrast to it's rather meager display last year. It was loaded with blossoms, and the entire front yard was perfumed in a heady ecstasy. The sun was yellow, the sky bright and clear, and the birds were chatting away. Oh boy, I love these mornings here.

I spent time last week mulching much of the perennial bed. Having to use the hose, I'd rather retain as much moisture as possible.

Enjoyed an uneventful ride to NYC, luxurious in that I didn't have to drive! In the office that evening--I'd stopped by to drop off my cello--a very pretty sunset was to be seen from my office window looking towards New Jersey. (When I travel by bus, the cello needs to be in it's hard case which is bulky and a bit heavier than normal. Anything to avoid lugging it around during rush hour; hence my detour to the office before heading to my accommodations for the evening.)

I returned Friday, leaving NY at 4:30 pm and when I drove in the driveway I could see that the ground was wet. Yippie! It had stormed while I was away. My neighbor told me we'd had two storms during those 3 days. Oh, thank heavens for that. A very large branch from one of the trees was fallen just to the right of the driveway so I'm figuring it must have been a substantial storm.

We also had a big storm last evening, plus it's been raining off and on all day today. I'm so very pleased and happy about this. I swear the plants grew a foot while I was away!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A varied spring ...

It seemed as if it would never fully arrive... but how quickly winter fades. This is good. It means that come November I'll be ready again.

The usual water logged areas as the snow melted. There was a lot of water about the place, but it's drying up fast. We've had very little rain over the past month and that's a little worrisome. There was a forest fire in Rumney today, saw it on my way to grocery shopping. It didn't seem as bad on the way back so hopefully it was being brought under control. But it's dry.

The lady slippers have not appeared yet and I wonder if it's due to lack of moisture? The picture I took of them last year is dated May 24 and that picture shows them in bud, so maybe--just perhaps--they simply aren't up yet. I'd really love to see them again.

After the snow melted, of course, the ground was very damp--that was a lot of snow! I spent a week+ pulling wild blackberries out by the roots taking advantage of the loose wet soil. I figure it's the only way to get a good start on controlling them. That particular corner of the yard looks 100% better cleared. I can see well into the lower forest now and have plans to plant shade loving shrubs and plants in the area.

Here are a few progress pics during that week. Oh, it was hard work! All scratched up I was.

The dead spruce, which trunk can be seen on the right in picture 2 is going to be cut down at about 10' high. Then I'll anchor a beam across the top and hang swings! Won't that be a blast!? This is the new view looking down into the forest; soooo much better!

It was a delightful surprise to find lilies growing under the blambles. Hopefully, this year (maybe next) we'll see some flowers instead of invasive vines.

I made a new bed for annuals and plopped the fountain planter that I purchased last year in it's center. I think it looks pretty nice this way.

The rhubarb got transplanted from it's original spot--which last year was under a fallen tree and so didn't grow well--to my garden. It really seemed I was killing it when dividing it, but nope, it's taking off very well. Tough stuff; must be.

My three perennial herbs came back (lemon balm, an oregano, and a thyme). I purchased a new rosemary and some gaillardia to fill the 3 empty spots. Some basil is planted in the big bed, but already some very impolite critter or creature is have midnight nibbles of them. Grrr. As a matter of fact, I'm going out there as soon as I finish typing this up to see if there's anything to see!

In other gardening news, the shrubs and bushes are coming out of dormancy and most look like they survived the winter. I've been picking ticks off left and right after my work out of doors--creepy darned things! The birds are singing ever so beautifully, the bear(s) has been around though I haven't seen him yet, and the owl is hooting it's midnight serenades. I love that. :)

[Funny coincidence: I'm hearing the owl just now. He's going on about something! :) ]

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Top done ...

The "Reminisce" top is done! It was a big challenge, the seam ripper got a good work out--glad I invested in a nice one of turned-wood last year; a tool that gets that much use should be good quality, nice and pleasing to the eye as well.

My idea to introduce color was a gamble but I think it succeeded pretty well. There may be 1 or 2 changes I would make if starting over, but to my eyes it still has coherence, and a traditional look with an updated palette. I do think it's somewhat striking.

In the third round--that of the "flying geese" motif--I introduced my colors as light pastels. There's a light blue, pale lavender, light tan, and light green. In each successive round I added an increase in the saturation of color, adding a medium version of each of the four light colors for the 4th round. It is made up of 4 colors, now 8 tones. The largest round--the sampler blocks--contains the most saturated colors of all, mixed in with colors from the previous rounds which I continued to carry outward. There is now a light, medium, and bright version of the four basic colors. Plus there are a few accent colors added in a few places. My signature--a bird--appears in the sampler round.

The greys and florals which began the central panel are also brought to the outer rounds. My biggest fear was that the central panel would look too unrelated to the outer rounds, but I don't think it's the case. I think the "flying geese" round ties them together.

I'll add a simple, solid black binding to the outer edge and that will be that! I'm happy.