Sunday, April 30, 2017

...'Superstition', books, spiders, and Walpurgis Night...

“The world is full
of magic things,
patiently waiting
for our senses
to grow sharper.”
~ W.B. Yeats

Today, the RVA Horror Book Club met at a local winery to discuss Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado” for their five year club anniversary. The RED VEIN ARMY will host their SPRING-O-WEEN, a Halfway to Halloween celebration next week, a week later than Walpurgisnacht due to one of their members getting married yesterday. I love having another reason to dress up.  

Stephen Wagner writes,

There's a penetrating chill in the wind. The bright moon rises behind the shivering, nearly naked trees. A profound sense of foreboding permeates the darkness. This is the night, after all, when witches ride their broomsticks through the sky, and the natural world is forced to confront the powers of the supernatural. No, it isn't October 31 and this is not Halloween. It's April 30 and it's Walpurgis Night.

In Virginia, yesterday and today hit 90. With humidity like a blanket, and our AC deciding that today was the day to quit, I’m hoping for that chill in the wind. We just opened our windows. Probably ill-advised on such a night but right now we are forced to confront the natural world.

My limited knowledge of Walpurgis Night comes from Bram Stoker, explicitly from his short story, “Dracula’s Guest,” which is often believed to be the original and removed first chapter of Dracula. There are several supernatural occurrences in the short story but no witches…a vampire but no witches.

What do I know about witches? They bring forth magic. What else brings forth magic? Nature. Ahh, I can connect to that.

Here are the new blooms in the garden today. The Bearded Iris “Superstition” doubled its blooms in just one day; and, the peony I have been watching and watching and watching. She stretched out her petals and reached towards the sun. She is gorgeous.

There is a bird’s nest in a bush. And, today I found the most perfect web.

Magic indeed.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

...this really is a post about a lawnmower...

As long as you live,
keep learning
how to live. 
~Latin Proverb
I keep a secret garden in my wee backyard.  Oh, it is very tiny even for a townhouse. I weedwack my own backyard so the landscapers don't kill my flowers or destroy my siding, which they’ve done in the past. I have had my weedwacker since 1998. It cost $15 and while it still works, it doesn't work well; and, I’m really tired of dealing with the cord.

I found this Black & Decker Cordless Compact Mower and I'm about to die of happiness!!! For starters, it looks like a tiny lawn mower but it’s a weedwacker in disguise!

Set up was pretty simple. I had a bit of a hard time snapping one of the parts into place but finally did. It comes with two batteries; neither lasted more than ten minutes each but that was plenty of time for me to cut the grass. The first battery is charging now and it is supposed to take four hours to charge.

There was no electrical cord to get caught on lawn furniture; I didn’t hurt my shoulder slinging the weedwacker and heavy cord around. It did the job and I’m happy. Plus, I think it is pretty cute!

As you can see, the compact mower actually comes apart with one push on a lever so it will fit in my tiny storage shed along with my tabletop grill and other gardening items.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

...wild and precious life...

Tell me,
what is it
you plan to do
with your one
wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver

I plan to stay wild like my plants. I will not cut back when I'm blooming or stretching over the fence in a way that displeases others. 

In late April, my garden begins to look magical. I want to be magical! The Scotch broom just exploded with blooms and pretty much sets the stage for backyard. It encourages me to clean up so today I cut the grass and weed a bit (but only to the point that the dandelions don't crowd the other flowers because crowding others isn't nice. I will work on that).

Very soon, I will see the first bloom on the bearded Iris “Superstition,” I’m waiting impatiently!(as in, I'm pretty much taking pictures of them twice a day!) I will try to keep growing steadily as they do. I will try not to appear psycho in pictures when I'm a little too excited. But like my garden, I am a work in progress.