Monday, April 21, 2008

More Japanese Garden Blessings

I guess the lines are to look like ripples around rocks in water.
Brilliant new foliage.
One of my favorite water features. I want one.
Of course Japanese maples were everywhere. They are maybe my favorite trees. The baby leaves are so new-born! Very wrinkled and damp, very fragile and dainty.
Another un-linear pathway, this one between camellias.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

And then - I rewarded myself!

I took myself to the Portland Japanese Garden. What a reward - just what I needed, though it was quite odd for me to do something like this alone.
Even though the weather was not especially cooperative, eventually the sun came out.
Meanwhile, the tranquility and ordered beauty was amazing with snow as a backdrop.
Moss blankets the ground everywhere.
There weren't many straight lines! This is the Zigzag bridge over the large koi pond, fed by a small creek and a waterfall. Everything in the landscape is for a reason, and it was fascinating to catch the last guided tour of the day.
No cell phones are allowed to be turned on in the garden. No food or drink.
The serenity sank in. Tension washed out.
There are water features everywhere.
More pictures later, after Tyler finishes his time on World of Warcraft for the night.


I passed! I passed, I passed, I passed! What an amazing feeling to hear the words from the test center monitor. All I could say was, "Oh that's goooood." I had to sit in the car for a few minutes and let it sink in before I could even call Todd. The exam took over 5 hours of silent wrestling with 165 questions on a computer screen, lots of scribbling on the dry erase pad provided and much use of my tiny calculator. I'm still sighing huge sighs and trying to loosen all the muscles at the base of my skull that feel afire.

Friday, April 18, 2008



Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would not take the garbage out!
She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans,
Candy the yams and spice the hams,
And though her daddy would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out.

And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .

The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from green baloney,
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold french fries and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.

At last the garbage reached so high
That finally it touched the sky.
And all the neighbors moved away,
And none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said,
"OK, I'll take the garbage out!"

But then, of course, it was too late. . .
The garbage reached across the state,
From New York to the Golden Gate.
And there, in the garbage she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot now relate
Because the hour is much too late.

But children, remember Sarah Stout
And always take the garbage out!
Shel Silverstein, 1974

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Study Break

Wish I'd had my camera outside with me tonight. I went up to close the greenhouse for the night, plucked some greens for the bunnies, watered the spring broccoli (that is already heading) and the weeds caaaaaalled my naaaame! As I pulled the little ones before they become big ones, I kept smelling these wonderful fragrances - lemon thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives... it was wonderful. Just one of the perks of growing herbs and weeding, I suppose.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Try, try again

I'm cramming like mad this week for my re-try at the state boards. The on line program that's designed to help me prepare has alternately filled me with hope and despair. Head down, slugging it out. This is killer.
The little lady above peacefully rests in a greenhouse cupboard. She helps me breathe.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Poetry Thursday

The Microscope
Anton Leeuwenhoek was Dutch.
He sold pincushions, cloth and such.
The waiting townsfolk fumed and fussed
as Anton's drygoods gathered dust.
He worked, instead of tending store,
at grinding special lenses for
a microscope. Some of the things
he looked at were:
mosquitoes wings,
the hairs of sheep, the legs of lice,
the skin of people, dogs and mice;
ox eyes, spiders' spinning gear,
fishes' scales, a little smear
of his own blood,
and best of all,
the unknown, busy, very small
bugs that swim and bump and hop
inside a simple water drop.
Impossible! most Dutchmen said.
This Anton's crazy in the head.
We ought to ship him off to Spain.
He says he's seen a housefly's brain.
He says the water that we drink
is full of bugs. He's mad, we think!
They called him dumkopf, which means dope.
That's how we got the microscope.
by Maxine Kumin