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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Knows Bows

I've been taking a course in basic floral design since the first of September. The floral design part hasn't been turning out half bad. I've been paying rapt attention to the lectures, reading the text book and studying review material. I've really been working hard! Through post-menopausal brain farts (combined with who knows how much ms-related mental fog) I've been keeping up fairly well. With one major exception - the damned florist bows. I couldn't get the simple concept through my brain. When it finally got through the brain, it wouldn't go to the hand. Then I'd make a perfect bow, then five minute later, I'd forget the entire process. It was gone like a puff of smoke. I felt like my brain was completely letting me down and I got mad about it. I came up with slogans - "Bows Blow" was my silent mantra as I quietly made loop after loop. I had a "bow support group" form around me as the teacher demonstrated the process... yet once more. I watched bow-making demonstrated time and time again on the internet. I gained new admiration for people who work with their brains as well as their hands. I felt inadequate for not being able to perform one of the most basic tasks of an entry level floral designer. Then I felt like an idiot for caring so much about something so insignificant in a world where there are so many truly important things to worry about. But...the ability to perform this task was important to me. It was important because I really wanted to pass the exam at the end of the course. And I really needed to pass this course for my own satisfaction. It was a personal challenge and I needed confirmation that I hadn't lost more than I'd feared. Since I was diagnosed with ms in 1986 I've lost mental and physical abilities, retrieved them and lost them again so many times that I can't really compare my disabled self with my original healthy self. I know that sometimes I have to stop and retreat when I'd rather push through - give in to the fatigue and rest when I'd rather keep going. Last night, not only did I produce an acceptable bow, but I also passed the written exam. My arrangements didn't appear to be any better or worse than my classmates'. I have 2 more arrangements to create next Tuesday night to finish my exam. It's been a huge challenge for me but also given me a wonderful sense of accomplishment - that I haven't completely lost the person I used to be.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hot Lady Roses


This was the second piece we arranged in my floral design course. Who knew you could actually make long stem roses look "bad"? After we constructed a grid on the top of the vase, greened it and arranged some very expensive long stemmed beauties, we were asked an important question by our instructor - "Would you pay $80 for these?" I think we all took them home, re-cut them and started over. I use a knife for my stems but I think I'm the only one in my class who still puts tape on her thumb. I may eventually get over pulling a sharp blade toward me but 30 hours of class time hasn't done it yet. I didn't think to take a picture of my hand-tied bouquet before it was torn apart and rearranged into a round-shaped centerpiece. I need to buy myself some flowers and re-try that one.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Baby, Baby

The mystery of the womb is a mystery no longer. My daughter is gestating a grandson. Due to the miracle of science, we can see the little guy and know that he's a boy with big feet who sucks on his hand. So I can't call him "my future grandchild" any longer. It's just that he's in his own little watery world for now, where he's warm and comfy and on schedule to join us in January. Grammy loves him already.



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tomato Harvest - "Radiator Charlie" Declared the Winner!


I cleaned off most of the tomatoes from the heirlooms last night and delivered some to my neighbor. They were coming on a couple a day but finally, it was harvest or lose. The largest "Radiator Charlie" I grew this summer was 1.7 pounds. A tangy slice of "Charlie" on a cheeseburger is a wonderful thing. The "Williams Striped" produced more tomatoes per plant but was bland in comparison. The German tomato (Granny Cantrell) was pink rather than "tomato" red. It was tasty but not noteworthy. "Radiator Charlie's" interesting history was not just a nice story. "Charlie" tomato sandwiches brought back summer memories from my childhood. "Beefsteak" got off to a slow start, having been attacked by aphids. I sprayed once, as soon as I discovered the invasion of small ants that followed the aphids. There are small tomatoes on the plant but I'm not counting on it producing much before it gets too cold. "Radiator Charlie" was the winner in my garden by far!