Tag Archives: crocus

For (and from) Charlottesville, Virginia

Good friends and neighbors, flowers and trees are more beautiful and stronger than hate and  ignorance. That’s the way it has been so far in my life. Charlottesville, may you heal quickly.*

June: black-eyed Susan vine

June: black-eyed Susan vine

monarch butterfly on zinnia

monarch butterfly on zinnia

 

crocus

crocus

Lisa and Andy (City Market #7)

Lisa and Andy (City Market #7)

caterpillar on black and blue salvia with black-eyed Susan

caterpillar on black and blue salvia with black-eyed Susan

Dogwood Festival Parade, Charlottesville, Virginia

Dogwood Festival Parade, Charlottesville, Virginia

summer garden

summer garden

Tom's rose, Awakening

Tom’s rose, Awakening

City Market #5

City Market #5

Real Charlottesville

Real Charlottesville

tulips and birdbath, Charlottesville

tulips and birdbath, Charlottesville

crape myrtle and oakleaf hydrangea

crape myrtle and oakleaf hydrangea

*All of these photos were taken in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

The Year in Review: 2015

Hello, here are twelve photos from 2015 and my wishes for a Happy New Year.

January: Goodbye to the dogwood

January: Goodbye to the dogwood

February: Pho 75

February: Pho 75

March: crocus

March: crocus

April: creeping phlox

April: creeping phlox

May: The Awakening

May: The Awakening

June: black-eyed Susan vine

June: black-eyed Susan vine

July: the garden and the camper

July: the garden and the camper

Grand Teton National Park

August: Grand Teton National Park

September: Glacier National Park

September: Glacier National Park

October: Insect on locust

October: Insect on locust

November: Frick Park, Pittsburgh

November: Frick Park, Pittsburgh

December: Flowers from my student

December: Flowers from my student

 

 

Excuses

If my math is correct, it has been 48 days since I put a new post up on this blog. I kept telling myself that I could at least put up some photographs to let people know I am still here. That didn’t really work because, lately, I haven’t liked my photos anymore than I’ve liked my words or my thoughts. That sentence sounds gloomier than the reality behind it, so I am moving on to other words and thoughts.

Possible excuses for my lack of blog production:

  • Here in Charlottesville, Virginia—not as snowy this year even as Washington, D.C. (let alone the Northeast)—the snow and cold gave everyone an excuse for taking February off. Me, too, mostly.
  • Once the weather warmed up in March Tom and I were renovating our yard and garden. Plus, Tom and I got caught up for awhile in March Madness.
  • Other facile excuses: We work out at the gym two hours most days. By the time we walk to and from the gym, shower, etc. and maybe get some coffee and work on the NY Times crossword, a certain amount of the day is gone along with any thoughts I might have had.  People have been working on our house and this leaves me feeling unsettled.
  • Good excuses: We’ve had family and friends visit. We’ve walked to the University of Virginia campus for concerts. Tom and I are now volunteer gardening in two small areas near our house and we are beginning to help out at an emergency food bank.
  • Cranky excuses: I am embarrassed about how few followers my blog has. I say to myself, if I only had a cute cat and I videoed the cat doing clever cat tricks, my blog would be a hit.* I’ve also thought of putting up more recipes (soon, I promise, not 48 days from now) or writing about politics. Save the Colorado River, knock down the Glen Canyon Dam, declare Greater Canyonlands a National Monument, and stop wasting everyone’s time on ill-advised high stakes educational testing. Hmmm. That was fun, but I am already weary of my own diatribes.
  • April excuse: Sometimes, despite the crocuses and daffodils and the cherries and the redbuds, I find no rest in this beautiful world. I feel like I want to go eat worms (if you don’t know the childhood ditty, check online). However, faced with the reality of all the fat and juicy worms in my garden, I’ve decided to cheer up, grow up (about time), and leave the worms for the birds.

Some photos anyhow:

very early birds

very early birds

crocus

crocus

daffodils (Marieke)

daffodils (Marieke)

creeping phlox

creeping phlox

*I did once have a cat, if one could be said to “have” a cat. I received this little cat (from my later-to-be sister-in-law, Betsy) back when I lived in my cheesy basement apartment in Salt Lake City. Talk about cute cats: Mani Sheriar Irani looked like a Siamese except for her little black and white striped tiger legs. She had turquoise eyes.  I loved Mani. If she is still in one of her nine lives, I love her still. The thing is, it turns out that I was terribly allergic to her. As a kitten, Mani would sleep on my neck. I couldn’t breathe. Even so, I kept her until I was pregnant with my first child. I figured I was breathing for two, so I was able to give Mani to one of my students.

Coming soon: Swedish Ice Box Cookies

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới

National Garden, U.S. Botanic Garden

National Garden, U.S. Botanic Garden

Last Tuesday Tom and I took Amtrak to D.C. In our day and a half in the city, we enjoyed many activities including dinner with two children, two museums (The National Museum of the American Indian  and The National Gallery), four gardens (Enid A. Haupt, Mary Livingston Ripley, National Garden and Bartholdi Park of the U.S. Botanic Garden), and several big city meals. One of these meals was lunch at PHO 75 on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia.

PHO 75, Arlington, VA

PHO 75, Arlington, VA

Wilson School

Wilson School

 

I think I might have mentioned before about my good fortune in teaching at the Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP). Before you think, oh no (!) she’s becoming too elliptical again, let me explain the connection. One part of that REEP good fortune was all the great food that was associated with it. PHO 75 itself was in the strip mall just the other side of the gas station from Wilson School where we taught.

Phở is beef and rice noodle soup with a variety of fresh vegetables (and lime) added to it.

Phở

Phở

When it’s made in the traditional way (e.g. with real beef stock, no cutting up the noodles) phở is a delicious soup.

What I am remembering today though is not so much the taste of the soup, but the happy times doing good work with my friends. Sometimes we’d get the phở carry out so we could go back to school and slurp through interminable meetings. The slurping and the switching between chopsticks and spoon kept one awake and also (in my case, at least) kept my mouth full so I wasn’t always making comments, which sometimes annoyed a program coordinator or two.

The reason I am writing this post: It is the beginning of Vietnamese New Year (Tết). I remember my friends and my students—I counted once, all told I taught people about 85 countries—with love and respect.

The real reason I am writing this post: As a follower of the Gregorian calendar, I made my New Year’s resolution a little over six weeks ago. I resolved to be a kinder person. I’m working on it, but it’s surprising to me how often a nice enough person (like me) has to remind herself to be kind. I am happy that another New Year has come around so soon to help me to remember my resolution. Hot soup and warm memories also help in my resolve.

We had a snowstorm yesterday. It was nothing like the Northeast or the Midwest, but we did get several inches. Still, under a laurel bush, I saw a crocus in bud through the snow. A new year and spring waiting in the wings.

crocus

crocus