Tag Teaming Blooms

The lilacs are faded, but the rhododendrons took over.  It is kind of a relay race with the spring blooms.

I have planted, in my little patch of earth that I am allowed to plant, some annuals.  If I keep up a good watering schedule, I should enjoy some blossoming through the summer.

I have a container with my herbs and a couple of house plants vacationing on my deck.  The rabbits have expressed some interest, but they seem to prefer that I would plant some lettuce.




The grass is green and growing and the lilacs are in bloom.  The whole house is filled with the scent of lilacs.  Spring, so fleeting, can be a beautiful season in Vermont.

The crab apple trees were pretty, but a stiff wind took care of that in a hurry.  One needs to pay attention in spring or quite suddenly it is summer.

i used to live near the woods and my favorite part of spring was a walk to look for the ephemeral  wild flowers of the woodland floor.  I am reluctant to make that walk since developing a dread fear of deer ticks lately.

I have noticed that there are large white trilliums in bloom along the roadsides.  I have always thought it was illegal to pick trillium although I have seen people doing it.  Some varieties have been on the endangered list and picking the flowers kills the plant.  I would rather see them in the wild than in someone’s garden.

I noted in my wildflower book that I saw painted trillium on Bald Mountain in 1989. I don’t even remember where Bald Mountain is so I am going to have to look it up.


The Royal Wedding

Will you be up in time on a Saturday morning to watch the royal wedding? At least not being on the official guest list gives one the advantage of being able to watch in pajamas while sipping coffee  tea and nibbling a breakfast biscuit.

I had my cable shut off while I was in Florida and have not had it turned back on again.  I don’t really think I will bother just for the royal wedding.  I am sure there will be plenty of glimpses after the fact available on the news I watch on my computer.

I did not know anything about Meghan Markle or her career before (yes, I sometimes appear to live under a rock) but it is definitely easy to find her both interesting and likable.

I do wonder if there will be enough seasons of The Crown that we will get the television take on the newest princess. I hope so!

wedding-inviteThrough the magic of television.                                                         (image: realsimple.com)

Dentist Visit

I went to the dentist today to have my teeth cleaned.  Oh, dear they carry on because it has been 8 months since my last cleaning.  Last time I was there I overheard a woman saying that it had been three years since she last saw a dentist but she has just been so busy! 

I get my teeth cleaned, as a rule, twice a year.  In the mean time I am conscientious about brushing and flossing.  I don’t have dental insurance so I don’t want to risk having big problems.  And guess what . . . my teeth were so easy to clean that they knocked $40 off the bill.

I have a dentist in Florida, but I have now managed, by being two months late for a cleaning, to work it so that I can see my VT dentist for both cleanings.  The Florida dentist  came up with a treatment plan that would cost me almost $12,000 and would involve removing all my old fillings and redoing them, invisalign braces, and veneers.  Okay, I don’t have the straightest, whitest teeth on the block but at this point in my life I don’t really need a Hollywood smile and I am not spending that kind of money to get it.  My Florida dentist also offers botox.  I guess there is a good living to be made off the vanity of others.

I prefer a dentist who tells me my oral health is a good indication of my overall wellness as opposed to one who tsks about my needing a complete make-over!

Warhol in the Garden

The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens sit on beautiful Sarasota Bay just outside of the historical downtown area of the city.  There are many beautiful places and interesting things to do in Sarasota, but I am drawn back to the Selby Gardens again and again.

Originally the home of Marie and William Selby (Selby Gas and Oil Company), it was left to the city for the express purpose of being developed as a botanical garden for the enjoyment of the public.  It opened in 1975.  It now displays a variety of tropical and subtropical plants and is an educational center for horticulture, botany, and conservation.

This year the Gardens did an exhibit inspired by the art of Andy Warhol, Warhol: Flowers in the Factory.  I had always associated him with soup cans and celebrities but I definitely learned and came away with a new appreciation for this man as an artist. He created over 10,000 images of flowers during his lifetime.

Now, very few of these images were actually on display here.  What they do at the Gardens is draw on an artist’s work “to create vivid scenes of living art.”


Art and nature — a true feast for the soul.

National Cemetery

I have driven passed the VA National Cemetery in Sarasota many, many times without really even noticing it.  Yesterday, I felt a sudden compulsion to stop and see it.


Several acres surrounded by open land.








So many graves, all branches of service.

It was a moving experience.

Alias Grace

Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace was published in 1996.  Canadian television based a miniseries on the novel and I watched the six-part series on Netflix.  (My version of binge watching is one or maybe two episodes per day.  It’s just the way I am.)

Alias Grace is based on an actual murder that occurred in Toronto in 1843.  Grace Marks, then probably 16 years old, was convicted as an accomplice to the murder of her employer and his mistress.  She claimed to have no real memory of what happened and she was remanded to an insane asylum and later a penitentiary.  There were efforts to have her pardoned, but the doctor who evaluates her in the book and the miniseries is fictional.

Margaret Atwood did say about her writing of the book, “The maddening thing about history is that it can leave out the things you most want to know,” I can say the same about the book and the miniseries.

If you are into lots of action, this is not for you.  If you enjoy psychological tension and drama, the series will deliver.  I liked it very much.

One interesting thing that I read was that the murder does have modern echoes.  Grace Marks was an Irish immigrant to Canada and the case did cause some argument about limiting immigration. (They are rapists and murderers.)  Is history really just one revolving circle?  No forward progress at all?  I really don’t want to believe that, but . . .


Into the West, a Movie

I went to see a movie with my friend, Ellen.  It was Into the West.  It was released in 1992,  filmed in Ireland, and produced by Harvey Weinstein.  Setting that last bit aside, it was an outstanding film.

Two young boys live in the slums of Dublin with an alcoholic father.  Their grandfather visits bringing his ability to pass on the oral tradition of Irish myths, an appeal to his son to return with the boys to his rightful place as King of the Travelers, and a magical white horse named Tir na nog.

An unscrupulous police officer steals the horse and sells it to a wealthy man who plans to make even more money showing the horse in jumping exhibitions.  The boys, Tito and Ozzy, take the horse back and ride off into the west.  It seems Tir na nog may have planned this all along.

Bereft, the father follows after them and finds himself going back to the places and the people he thought he had left behind for good.  The police and the wealthy man also follow after them.

The film was shown at the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota so after tears were dried there was a long discussion about the archetypical motifs and symbolism and Jungian concepts.  Intellectual and interesting, but the film was so emotionally touching I just wanted to let the feelings of it wash over me.  (I hope Carl Jung would have been okay with that.)

I think this was originally seen as a children’s movie. How sad that we so easily dismiss ancient myths as trivial or childish.

Image result for into the west images

Book: Killers of the Flower Moon


This is not an uplifting book, chronicling as it does a series of cold-blooded murders, dozens of them, committed over a number of years against the Osage Nation in Oklahoma.

It was perfectly acceptable in the Wild West mentality to herd Native Peoples onto reservations of fallow land, but what then to make of this once oil is discovered underneath in the early twentieth century?  Well, for one thing, if you are corrupt and greedy you can take advantage of people to make your own fortune.  For another thing, if you are J. Edgar Hoover, you can make your reputation on it.

This is not a book that makes me proud of our history.  But it is history, and so worth reading.

Healthy Eating

I made a resolution to be more conscious and conscientious about healthy eating this year.  In February I did a cleanse/elimination diet.  The cleanse involved eating mostly raw vegetables — the theory being that raw vegetables act like a scrub brush through the digestive system.

IMG_20180410_171605063Raw vegetables in salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

It was an easy cleanse to do because I could eat all the raw vegetables I wanted so I was never hungry although my wrists were a bit sore from chopping  and my jaw was a bit sore from chewing.  After a week I was very ready for some protein.  Then I started slowly adding other foods.

Vegetable soup in chicken broth IMG_20180409_114515677

Here is what I learned:

  • dairy products will stuff me up
  • gluten is not my friend
  • deep fried anything is going to irritate my system

Well, dairy is  something I limit anyway so no surprise.  Fried food — everyone pretty much knows that is not health food.  Sure, French fries taste good, but they are not every day fare for me.  But gluten — that was a blow.  I did not want to believe that it would be an issue.  I did not want to be concerned about the foods I love — pasta, bread.  Adding those back was pretty dramatic.  The almost immediate negative reaction was undeniable.


Spaghetti squash and stir fried vegetables.  Good thing I really like my vegetables.

A little wine and a little chocolate don’t seem to be a bother for me so I will be okay!