Archive | April 2013

Seven Years and Two Transplants Later . . . .

The duchess with her friend Queen Victoria.

The duchess with her cousin, Queen Victoria.

Some of my friends believe I have a low-level sanity problem. They are probably right.   Truth to tell, it’s probably worse than they imagine.

Seven years ago, I was given five Duchesse de Nemours peonies as a Christmas gift. I  kept them in pots on a patio. They greened up, but didn’t bloom.

The second year, I moved them all to semi-shaded spot in the back garden. But one died of pot to garden transplanting.  The third year all four sprouted. But as mine is not a peony friendly climate; two died off of heat prostration and the other two greened but never flowered.

The fourth year, the two came up again. But again they did not flower. The fifth year only one came up. I tented it, to keep it from the extreme heat, I watered religiously, and though it survived got a bit bushy, it didn’t bloom.

The sixth year, I discovered peonies did not like afternoon sun (thank you, P Allen Smith!), and as I was moving anyway, I dug up my last precious plant and took it with me.

(Anyone who tells you bloom where you’re planted is a complete moron. You bloom where conditions are right or you never do. So if conditions are not right, you must transplant yourself! Duh.)

This time I placed it in the morning sun, with perfect peony conditions. It survived the very late season transplanting, doubled in size, but eventually died back without flowering.

And now it is year seven. I have just discovered my duchess sprouting up again. And I am hopeful for a blossom this year, perhaps in May or June.

I know not many people would wait seven years (or more) for a single blossom. But that’s who I am. I don’t give up on things I love. Not ever. I have infinite faith, infinite patience, infinite endurance.

I suppose it does sound odd, especially coming from me. But if you’d ever seen the Duchesse or even caught a whiff of her scent in passing, you’d understand. Some things are worth all the bother . . . now that sounds like me!


Behind Closed Doors


In going though my pile of mail, I noticed a request to use my home as a film location.  The production company was looking for homes in a certain area, of a certain square footage, etc, etc, and they were willing to pay $2000 a day. Needless to say, I was on board. I hasten to add, even after I found the old newspaper with the front banner that read “Adult Film Shoot Has Some Outraged,” I was still ok with it.

But will it be ok with the neighbors? City ordinances state that 95% of the neighbors within 300 feet of the location have to be ok with the filming permit being issued. Objections are mostly to the noise and bother of having all the trucks and people around. But in this case, the type of film may be a factor.

I personally see this as a free speech / equal protection issue. Why should one film type be ok and another not? Why is it ok to tie up an entire city to pretend blow up a building and kill a thousand people, but not ok to quietly film a scene of a sexual nature inside the confines of a private home? I simply don’t understand. Just like I don’t understand the condom law.

The reason for the sudden influx of requests for film locations in my county is because the neighboring county, where all the porn is traditionally shot, passed an ordinance saying all porn actors had to wear condoms. So, rather than wear a condom, they are simply choosing to move their productions. Again, I find myself completely baffled.

Why is ok for people to have sex in PG and R rated movies and never mention a condom, never show anyone using one, but in an adult film, all those people have to use and be seen to use condoms? It’s ridiculous. And really, wouldn’t it be better to show people using condoms in the PG and R films, the kind of films the vast majority of people watch?

I have heard that other cities and counties, including my own, are considering a condom ordinance, but I do hope I can pimp my house out before that happens.


When you said you wanted a bed bunny . . . .

Always Go Dutch

The recent reopening of the Rijksmuseum, as well as signing up for a class on how to forge copy a Vermeer, has me thinking Dutch.

Barring my birthday or some other special event that’s all about celebrating me, I always go Dutch. I find going Dutch separates the men from the boys in short order.

As my grandmother always says, the man that can’t stand being equal to a woman should still be under the care of one —  his mother!

The Sink Fairy

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Gorwing up, cleaning a sink to my Mum meant throwing a massive amount of Comet all over it and walking away indefinitely.

Later in the day, or maybe a few days on, after “bluing the sink,” she’d come out to the kitchen and find the sink gleaming and spotless.

She then would always smile at my Da, who would always smile back and say: “The Sink Fairy must have come.”

For many years, my mother believed that my father had scrubbed  the sink. And vice-versa.

Of course, neither of them had done it. It was me, always. But it made them both happy, which made my life better, so I didn’t mind.

Then I moved away and it happened. The unthinkable. The sink remained unscrubbed! And the penny finally dropped.

My Mum got angry — for weeks. My father was merely amused. Friction built up in the marriage, for about a month — till my father finally got scrubbing.

I still think about this when I visit them, and find myself alone with the bluing in the sink. . . . Should I or shouldn’t I?

And then I think about my mother’s anger toward my father.

And then I think . . . should my mother really have been surprised Da hadn’t lifted a finger all those years? After all, she’d married a man who believed in fairies!

Play the hand your dealt

love-300x240I ran into a former friend in the Emerald City, at Easter Mass — because I’m an Easter, Christmas sort of Christian. I didn’t know he was anywhere near my bailiwick and was rather surprised, but pleasantly so.

“Marcel” was just as handsome and charming as I’d remembered. He felt our chance meeting was Fate. He asked if he might meet me later that week over coffee.

I love a good Chai Latte, and it would be in a public place, so . . . I said yes. I regretted it immediately, but the die was cast.

We had a long chat about many things. It was all very much like old times, right up until he pulled the rip cord and asked

“Why didn’t it work out between us?”

I didn’t answer him. I simply lifted a skeptical brow. But apparently he had no clue even though his recollection of our final moments was fairly accurate. After dinner one night, we took a long stroll during during which I ‘suddenly and inexplicably’ released him back into the wild.

He didn’t recall that during that walk I’d told him I’d once considered becoming a nun. Or that he hadn’t understood I was deadly serious. Or that he laughed at me, and the very idea of me in cloisters.

But for me? His laugh was a dagger to the heart of our relationship and it a big part of why I chose to end it then and there.

And now he’d brought it all up again. It was vividly in my mind. The truth very much ready to leap off the tip of my angry tongue. But I was good. I gave a little shrug and said I couldn’t recall the why of it.

He said he supposed it was something to do with his going to Canada and my not wishing to follow him. I did agree or disagree.

We parted ways shortly after that. I wished him well, gave him my card (yes, I still carry calling cards), then I took a long walk around the lake.

It’s strange how life goes. For Marcel and I, love just wasn’t in the cards. But I think that somehow, because of me, because of that conversation he can’t quite remember, he found his love. And that makes me happy. Though, I’m sure at he never expected he’d end up a Capuchin friar!


Under the cherry blossoms

After an early morning coffee at Zoka’s in Greenlake, and a brisk walk around said lake, I’m off to the University of Washington to see the 30 or so 70-year-old Yoshino cherry trees in blossom on the UW Quad.

If you’ve never been out under an orchard of ancient cherry trees in full blossom, it’s an amazing experience. The video above is from last year, but if you want to see some spectacular shots from this year, check out JeiShi’s post for the total “you are there” feeling.

Of course UW’s beautiful architecture out on the quad only heightens the experience! I plan to peek in on the library as well too. It’s what writers do. Poke around in musty stacks, drawing inspiration. But the Library itself is inspiration enough for me. Just sitting there, breathing in the grandeur.

After this time of esoteric reflection, I’m off to Luly Yang‘s to do something more down to earth, ie, pick up a little something for Fling to unwrap when he gets back . . .


My knight in shining . . . whipped cream?


I have a whole list of to dos when in Seattle, because it’s just so doable. But a definite can’t miss Spring event is the April 1st World Championship Pie Joust at Sully’s  Snowgoose Saloon in Phinney Ridge.


There is summer jousting, in Burien, and the video below is from there.

But nothing beats Sully’s. Sully’s is street fight pie jousting. The roar of the crowds (usually a couple hundred), the costumes of the competitors (over 50), the dramatic spills and thrills, the danger (traffic is constantly rolling by), the drinking of great beer  . . . . Yep, it’s a definite can’t miss. My only regret this year is Fling couldn’t compete. That’s fine though, I’ve always enjoyed dishing out pie myself.