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On my way home from this morning's workout, I stopped at Bates Nursery, mainly because I have a large Christmas cactus frond, one tomato cutting, and one geranium-from-Desire offshoot waiting to be established in fresh soil. I was not planning to acquire any plants, since I could easily occupy myself for several years with the weeding and trimming that needs to be done, but their English thyme looked great and as long as I was buying herbs, why not some golden lemon thyme and rosemary as well? But it was the "Whirlwind" Japanese anemone that I picked up, put down, walked past, and then came back to claim:

Japanese anemone

Japanese anemone

[I am out of practice with both blogging and taking photographs, not to mention a great many other things. Please to bear with me...]

[ETA: FFS, the images looked fine in preview mode. I'll get the hang of the sizing specs someday...]

What is growing again or anew with/for you?

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/142826.html.
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I am near to howling with frustration and anxiety on multiple fronts, but there has been massive progress on others, and splendid things do abound. My hands are scented with the coriander I accidentally harvested tonight. (I'd forgotten planting it in its quadrant of an herb pot, and absent-mindedly assumed the out-of-control fronds belonged to some weird variety of parsley until I took a closer look at them inside. Some experimenting with the berries is now in the cards...) Some aging onions and carrots have been simmered with bay leaves from my big sister for later-this-week soup, and tonight's salad included a slice of preserved lemon, also from big sister's yard.

I spent last weekend with my honorary big brother, which was absolutely what I needed holiday-wise. Hot yoga, smoked bourbon, Blue Stallion Radler with Bavarian pretzels and dinner at Kentucky Native (where the rest of the table was amused at my selection of kale salad as one of my "pick two" orders and cinnamon rolls as the other), a movie (with a "bourbon cocktail" that turned out to be straight bourbon, which provoked further amusement), brunch, plant-shopping at Louie's Flower Power (because big brother is getting ready to sell his house and the realtor wanted him to raise the curb appeal by Tuesday), and plant-fluffing back at the homestead. I naturally couldn't resist picking up a few things for myself, including a rosebush ("The Sky's the Limit") and two Paula Janes--fuschia plants that have since delighted me with their bubble-to-trumpet groove:

Paula Jane

Paula Jane

This entry was originally posted at http://bronze-ribbons.dreamwidth.org/410779.html. I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
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The subject line is from "The Church in the Wildwood," a hymn Ann Green apparently used to sing whenever she went back to Mississippi. Made a cheese ball with pickled peppers for her service (because, by the time I got around to figuring out what to pull together on a school night, it was too late to get started on benne wafers, and I have in fact lived long enough to recognize that), and brought sweet potato crackers to go with it.

Lawd, this week.

Transplanted the geranium from Desire to my front yard a week ago. Three days later, every leaf but the smallest one looked infected. Can't tell if that corner is fungally cursed -- last year's results were wildly, weirdly mixed -- or if said geranium just doesn't like Tennessee clay, even though I aerated the hole and mixed in some compost and tried not to get its feet too wet. The French hollyhock a few feet away survived the winter and now looks glorious. Perhaps it's yet another chapter in the universe's attempt to school me in not trying so damn hard that I get in my own way. (Which, not incidentally, is what a waltz partner told me at the Orange Peel a couple of months ago.)

Lawd, this week.

Anyway, I binned all the leaves except for that sweet little leaf at the tip of one stalk, and we'll see if what emerges -- if anything -- looks better. My car reeks of pine chips because I've been too busy to unload eight cubic feet of mulch from it. I would probably do best to compost the mallow seedlings in my sunroom because I waited too long to transplant those, but it's nice to know that the dozens more in the pet food tub are likely still viable.

I am sipping Hild Elbling Sekt and snacking on Milano salami at this hour, because a gal's gottta unwind. Some good dancing tonight. I was tempted to road-trip to Blue Moon later today, especially since there is a waltz workshop on the schedule, and because Jed-who-drives-up-from-Huntsville is a favorite partner, but there is too damn much to do right here at my kitchen counter (so much that I'm going to have to skip a choir thing already on my calendar). Maybe next year...

A singing thing that did happen this week: singing backing vocals on a video, at Jeff Coffin's studio, and chatting with him about his upcoming trips to Tuva and Myanmar. And he's the second person I talked to in person in Nashville this week about Tuvan singers. I do like my life.

My Garden & Gun subscription has kicked in (read, frequent flyer miles from an airline I don't fly that frequently on), and Roy Blount Jr.'s column has beautifully paired opening and closing sentences. The opening sentence: "I'm walking up Dauphine Street in New Orlenas when a man turns the corner carrying a tuba and walking an enormous hairy dog, simultaneously."

A message I sent to a friend in Asheville yesterday: "PUT THE PHONE DOWN and go ogle art at Blue Spiral or eat a marshmallow at French Broad Chocolates or pet the crocheted coats on the cats near Laughing Seed Café."

Wall Street, Asheville

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/142045.html.
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I lugged a contractor bag to the bin earlier today, having detected two kinds of infection among a half-dozen pepper plants. A plant we hauled home from New Orleans in December is doing fine, though. I call it "my geranium from Desire," since it was dug from a flourishing patch on Rampart that had been started with a cranesbill clump from a few streets over, on Desire.

a geranium from Desire

Some days I rock the "It was _______, but it had to be done, and she did it" roll, and once in a while I stay up binge-reading Grace Burrowes novels, which last time induced several rounds of ugly-crying-on-the-way-to-enjoying-a-happy-ending, which happened to be what I needed to get past the out-of-sortedness I can get mired in when too many things are out of order.

Broadsided Press just published a series of downloadable poem-posters about Standing Rock, with my "Snake Dance" among them. The link: http://www.broadsidedpress.org/responses/2016dapl/

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/139792.html.
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The subject line's from "Brooklyn Blurs," a song by/in The Paper Raincoat. I heard Alex Wong perform it with Megan Slankard in a house concert back in March, and he mentioned at an Angelhouse Family Dinner that he would probably play it during his Basement gig last Saturday.

I'd hoped to go to that show, but Other Things Happened. I'd hope to see tonight's ASL-interpreted performance of the Scottish play, but Other Things Had To Get Done. I have a suspiciously sore throat that I'm hoping won't get in the way of Things I Gotta Get To and Through within the next week. Mann traoch, Gott lauch.

There is a metal screwcap perched on my handbag. I am perplexed - none of the bottles in the cabinets or on the counters appear to be missing their stoppers or lids, nor is there an open bottle of wine - but not enough to feel like I have to figure it out before I head to bed. Though it's all too likely that my brain will seize on some aspect of this to turn into a tanka or triolet a couple of hours from now, and that will get me out of bed to type out the words before they evaporate.

IMG_1091

This week's Tarotscope urged me to embrace change. ... I broke in my new pair of swim goggles this week. I tried buti yoga last week. I'm looking at dance classes around town -- it's going to be a full day if I try to attend the Muslim hip hop doubleheader that's scheduled for the same Saturday as the Early Autumn Day of English country dancing, but it looks doable and is therefore tempting.

I am contemplating iron-on vines, to cover a stain on a gooseneck rocking chair I acquired last week at the Habitat ReStore for $25. My current tomato cutting + pepper cullings look sunburnt in their beakers and jars, so I'm thinking of throwing out the lot. I am thankful that I had limes on hand this morning, as I was again careless about gloving up before dealing with Prairie Fire seeds and ended up giving myself an invisible moustache of a burn. The zinnias are thriving:

IMG_1105

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/136755.html.
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[The subject line is from Barbara Jordan's "Bruegel's Crows," in Channel.]

Some days, things mushroom like mad:

IMG_9924

They might even get decidedly warped:

IMG_9951

It's okay. There will be other days full of light...

NC Arboretum

and sweetness:

NC Arboretum

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/131452.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
[The subject line is from Barbara Jordan's "Bruegel's Crows," in Channel.]

Some days, things mushroom like mad:

IMG_9924

They might even get decidedly warped:

IMG_9951

It's okay. There will be other days full of light...

NC Arboretum

and sweetness:

NC Arboretum

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/131452.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
[Subject line from Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Jubilee"]

I took the cookies to work, labeling the bin "oatmeal-flax cookies" so as to warn for allergies. The container was empty by the end of the day, and two colleagues told me that the biscuits tasted good for something that looked so healthy. ;)

The lemon tart is really, really good.

The dawg is delighted with the steak drippings and potato salad dregs from tonight's supper.

The rogue rosebush produced three blooms this round. A relief to know my ill-fated attempts to propagate it (by taking cuttings that then didn't take) didn't kill it.

IMG_9807

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/130635.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)

La problème de la nuit reste entier. Comment la traverser, chaque fois la traverser tout entière?

Que mes secondes sont lourdes! Jamais je ne les aurais crues si lourdes. Instants éléphatiasiques.

The problem of the night remains total. How to cross it, cross it completely each time?

How heavy my seconds are! I never would have thought them so heavy. Elephantasiac moments.


-- Henri Michaux, "Après l'accident / After the Accident," translated by Dori Katz

NC Arboretum

This variety of tulip is called "Blue Wow," but it looked decidedly purple to me.

I am salivating, so to speak, over the Julia Child rose in my White Flower catalog. I am also tempted to attend tonight's Plants + Pints event, in search of begonias. At the moment, though, the urge to go back to bed is warring with the urge to sneak in an hour of weeding. And maybe to sow a new crop of radishes.

Speaking of radishes...

best crop yet

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/129845.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
at least for a while longer:

hollyhock seedling

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/126021.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
When Miss Dog nosed me off the couch this morning, my head was still aching and my throat still raw from the cold that hit me toward the end of last week, and I staggered back to the cushions thinking that I'd be flat on my back for another day and in no state even to watch videos (a library copy of The Crossing, is waiting for me; it may be of interest to some of you because, according to one YouTube commenter, "Alexander Hamilton [Steven McCarthy] never looked so sexy!" and I admittedly requested it because I'm still working through my Roger Rees fetish; he plays Hugh Mercer).

At any rate, three more hours of sleep + meds + coffee somehow worked wonders, at least to the extent of me feeling up to light gardening. I pruned the mess around the rogue rosebush and rooted three cuttings from it, dipping them first in honey:

Honey as a rooting compound

"Honey" is also prompt 43 in Upper Rubber Boot's 100 Untimed Books photo challenge, so this passage from an Emily Dickinson letter (28 December 1880) caught my eye:


The Honey reached us yesterday.

Honey not born of Bee -- but Constancy -- which is "far better." I can scarcely tell you the sweetness it woke, nor the sweetness it stilled.


100 untimed books - honey

In introducing the letter, the recipient's granddaughter notes that "death was again uppermost in [Emily's] mind" at this time, "two more persons were gone who had meant much to her in different ways" -- the novelist George Eliot and the physician David P. Smith. I am not grieving, exactly, but I did hear of two deaths last week that have me perhaps clinging a touch tighter to the connections that have persisted across time and distance. Both women died of cancer -- one last November, one this past March -- and I am not surprised that I was not in the loop about either passing, as it's been more than fifteen years since I saw either of them and I am no longer close to the people who would have known to let me know. But I am also immensely grateful to the connections deep enough to transmit both news and warmth every few years, which is how I found out about the former colleague, and to the internet's obituary archives for providing me closure on Marilyn, whose paintings hang in my living room and library. My copy of E. E. Cummings's collected poems was already pretty beat-up when I impulsively gave it to her during a workshop we were taking together; I wonder if it survived her own moves since 1995, or if a family member chucked it into a dumpster during the final cleaning-out, or if maybe she handed it on to another penny-pinched artist to enjoy.

I am not really fretting over what happened to the book, of course; it is merely somewhere for the sadness to go until I regain the drive to channel it into poems. In the meantime: honey and dirt. For perhaps the roses really want to grow...

rose propagation

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/120879.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
When I first saw this tweet, I was like "huh"?




...since it showed up in my in-box before I'd seen what it was responding to:




At any rate, I'm now saying "hmmmm..."


not longer
but stronger
and stranger

see how what
you want to inhale
sits just a letter
or two
or three

apart from what
your mouth
first stretched
toward drawing in

not every balloon
can glide toward escape

not every breath
will suffice for anchor

but these are not
reasons enough
to abandon the study

of possible ways
to stay afloat




balloonflower bud
(Balloon flower about to bloom. More on those later.)


This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/109042.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
The subject line's from Rilke's "Turning Point," from the June 20 entry of A Year In Poetry (ed. Foster and Guthrie). The poem does nothing for me, actually, but years ago the anthology introduced me to C. H. Sisson's "Letter to John Donne," which I felt like reading aloud, to myself last night and into my microphone earlier today:


I am grateful particularly that you were not a saint
But extravagant whether in bed or in your shroud.
You would understand that in the presence of folly
I am not sanctified but angry.



The rest of my day has been more mellow. The Abbygator was delighted that I prepared baby bok choy for brunch, as she enjoys hoovering up the stubs. I followed the instructions at i am a food blog for preparing and baking the tofu, but instead of the honey garlic sauce, I stir-fried the bok choy with garlic, mirin, soy sauce, and scallions, to end up with this:

tofu with bok choy

The crepe myrtles burst into bloom a few days ago. Some of the tomato vines were nosing near my French books for a couple of nights. Many of the other plantings have not panned out, but there is at last a French marigold blossom in sight (grown from seeds harvested last fall):

French marigold

And blooms are emerging from the second generation of Christmas peppers (also from seeds I saved) as well:

Christmas pepper

And I'm hoping the cornflowers in the front yard do the self-seeding thing:

cornflower

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/108514.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
[The subject line's from Rilke's "Turning Point," from the June 20 entry of A Year In Poetry (ed. Foster and Guthrie). The poem does nothing for me, actually, but years ago the anthology introduced me to C. H. Sisson's "Letter to John Donne," which I felt like reading aloud, to myself last night and into my microphone earlier today:


I am grateful particularly that you were not a saint
But extravagant whether in bed or in your shroud.
You would understand that in the presence of folly
I am not sanctified but angry.



The rest of my day has been more mellow. The Abbygator was delighted that I prepared baby bok choy for brunch, as she enjoys hoovering up the stubs. I followed the instructions at i am a food blog for preparing and baking the tofu, but instead of the honey garlic sauce, I stir-fried the bok choy with garlic, mirin, soy sauce, and scallions, to end up with this:

tofu with bok choy

The crepe myrtles burst into bloom a few days ago. Some of the tomato vines were nosing near my French books for a couple of nights. Many of the other plantings have not panned out, but there is at last a French marigold blossom in sight (grown from seeds harvested last fall):

French marigold

And blooms are emerging from the second generation of Christmas peppers (also from seeds I saved) as well:

Christmas pepper

And I'm hoping the cornflowers in the front yard do the self-seeding thing:

cornflower

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/108514.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
The subject line's from Foster the People's "Helena Beat," which is currently at the top of my working mix at home.

Things I could have done without this week: dog digestive trouble, I-24 as a parking lot, various aspects of this year's physical (nothing to be alarmed about; it's just Not Fun).

Things that have gone well: other aspects of this year's physical (phlebotomist, vaccinator, and radiology tech all very good).

The comedy that is my life:

Me to the BYM: So my internist was laughing at me this afternoon, just like you were the other night.

The BYM: That's because you're funny.

Me: Uh-huh. She was tapping my knee to test my reflexes -- and then, just like you, she was like, "Is that ...whiteout?"

The BYM: [snickers]


(Last Friday, a splotch of correction fluid fell on my knee. I guess it doesn't come off when one keeps falling asleep in the bath instead of scrubbing... *sheepish*)




Also:
* I sowed zinnias in the planter that failed to yield any radishes.
* The asparagus I overcooked tonight is still a decent carrier for leftover aioli.
* The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup! Seeing snapshots of the celebrations reminded me of being in the city when the Bulls won their first championship. Nashville's where I belong, but I do sometimes miss that Windy City energy.

Over on Twitter, several friends needed a moment -- as did I -- when Toews handed the Cup to Timonen:


https://youtu.be/9txLgEO2sfQ

I'm writing a thank-you note to my friend Sue, who treated me to a Predators vs. Sharks game eleven years ago:

happy retirement, Kimmo

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/108187.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
Paperwork and housework call. But I didn't go home right after church, for there were orchids to ogle:

Shih Hua Girl "Stones River"

orchid display Cattleya intermedia

Taida Little Green orchid

And also small statues in bamboo gardens...

bamboo garden, Cheekwood

... and daffodils on display, including one named Trigonometry:

Trigonometry daffodil

More snapshots here

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/102440.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
Paperwork and housework calls. But I didn't go home right after church, for there were orchids to ogle:

Shih Hua Girl "Stones River"

orchid display Cattleya intermedia

Taida Little Green orchid

And also small statues in bamboo gardens...

bamboo garden, Cheekwood

... and daffodils on display, including one named Trigonometry:

Trigonometry daffodil

More snapshots here

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/102440.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
Last weekend's hard frost killed all the magnificent zinnias in front of my house, as expected, but to my surprise, one of the runts in the alley seems to be enjoying the cold:

zinnia

Some of the French hollyhocks and French marigolds are still in bloom, too. And the rogue rosebush -- as unpredictable as ever -- is showing off a fresh yellow bud amid the dead and wilted:

also on the rogue rosebush rogue rose rogue rose

I finally peeked at the seed exchange at the Inglewood branch of Nashville's public library. It was out of parsley, but I picked up packets for bok choy, chives, and three kinds of marigolds.

Recent publications:
"dicing up..." (tweet-sized poem) at 7x20
"the resident ghost..." (tweet-sized poem) at 7x20
"Ballad Breath" (audio and text versions) in Stone Telling 11

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/92238.html.
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Cox Arboretum
Cox Arboretum, Dayton, Ohio, August

While the knives seek the pumpkins
the fish glides along.

aging zinnia zinnia
Nashville, October

Who will tell the zinnias
it's long past Labor Day?




A fun thing: last week, a verse I wrote was selected for Pilgrims' Stride, and today the verse to follow it was picked. The most fun part seeing the sixty-some directions people pursued...

A frustrating thing: local businesses failing to return phone calls.

Today's work will include: mixing ink and cutting paper.

Today's cooking will include: Greek cinnamon chicken. Maybe. The recipe looked like just the thing when I was reading it in bed last night, but we have neither bay leaves nor dry white wine in the house, nor (uncharacteristically) onions (not counting the scant quarter-cup in my freezer). Hmmm.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/91941.html.
pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
I like the scent of tomato leaves. Before I chucked the last of this year's plants into the compost heap, I snipped off a few stems to keep the scent around a bit longer, slipping a couple into one of the stripper glasses our friend K. gave to us last Christmas:

tomato cutting

That was more than a month ago. They're clearly finding the confines agreeable:

tomato cutting

So much that there are even flowers!

tomato cutting tomato cutting

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/91587.html.

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