Echinacea for what ails me

You probably know that echinacea and its antioxidants are good for our physical health. It’s a widely-used herb with many applications.

Purple Coneflower aka echinacea. July 16, 2020.

What you might not know is that these vibrant plants are also what the doctor prescribes for cold, gray days. Guess you could say that echinacea is also an antigloom.

You heard it here first.

Today is gray but spring’s on the way

I miss the bees and am looking forward to when they return to perform their vital work in my yard. Here’s a little sample of what’s in store for the coming months:

August 4, 2020

Yesterday (March 7!), Zippy removed the lights from the locust tree in our front yard. We’d stopped turning them on several weeks ago but left them wrapped around the trunk. I could lie and say it was because the bulbs provided bits of much-needed color in the brown/gray landscape. Really, it’s because we procrastinate. Either way, now that the holiday lights are gone, I’m ready for spring. Bring on the bees and blooms!

Just Mercy

It’s a gray day here and the high will be 23 degrees colder than yesterday.

Purple Coneflowers. July 16, 2020

I’m beneath a blanket on the couch, reading Bryan Stevenson’s JUST MERCY: A Story of Justice and Redemption. It began as research for my work-in-progress, but I’m grateful my project brought me to this book. It’s fierce and tender, all at once. Both rage-inducing and strangely calming** in its depiction of humanity at its worst and best.

Change is possible. Spring is on its way.  And today, I am grateful for both those truths.

(** ETA when I wrote about the calming aspect of this book, I was in opening chapters. Having read for much of day, I have to admit there’s more content that enrages rather than soothes. We are a messed up and deeply racist society.)

 

Reverie

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.   ~ Emily Dickinson

July 18, 2019

While this photo is of a bee and lavender (not clover) in my yard (rather than the prairie), the image still induces a reverie.

Today’s offering

May 29, 2019

This iris bloomed in my garden not quite two years ago, beautiful despite being battered by the elements.

Iris are hardy flowers and I look forward to seeing this one bloom again this coming spring.

Gratitude and grief

Because I’m an introvert, I’m maybe better equipped for this quarantine than others. But even though I recharge my batteries by being alone, that doesn’t mean I don’t still crave the company of others. And today, I’m missing my friends of the Sunrise Movement.

Phlox. August 6, 2020.

The entire time I fought alongside them, I was mindful of my very privileged position as a young-at-heart welcomed into the ranks of passionate young people fighting for a livable future. I was also completely unprepared for how quickly that situation could shift. I had no idea that in the very near future I wouldn’t see them regularly at hub meetings, trainings, art builds, and actions. While I didn’t take any of it for granted, it never occurred to me there’d come a time in which we wouldn’t trade smiles across a room and share hugs. I’m writing this with tears in my eyes and a hole in my heart. In addition to the obvious, this pandemic and our government’s botched response has destroyed so much. It hasn’t stopped Sunrise Colorado or those friendships, but it’s completely altered the landscape of each. Today I’m grateful for what we had and mourning all we’ve lost.

Sunday Confessional: focus issues

I’m struggling to focus today so it feels very appropriate to post an out-of-focus flower from my garden last spring.

Cranesbill. May 23, 2020

Even though it’s not a sharp image, the bright pink and the various shades of green are soothing. And I have nothing but admiration for a bloom that stands tall while others hunker down.

Aspirational quotation

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 12, 2020

Maybe not the best day in the year, but I did turn things around today. Lost my patience this morning after vacuum became unplugged several times, screaming and swearing loudly enough for the neighbors to hear. Promptly put vacuum away and sat down to read a book and drink coffee. Then set my sights on other tasks.

Pleased to report I ended up accomplishing much and smiling often(ish).

Some of my favorite things

Earlier this week, I prepared for the coming massive drop in temperature (over 60 degrees in 24 hours) and snowstorm by putting buckets over three of my sedum plants. The sedum had just come into bloom and I couldn’t bear thinking about the bees and butterflies losing that food. While we did lose a huge limb from our red maple, the plants fared better.

September 12, 2020

The sedum survived and my winged friends were out in force today.

(Shout-out to Michelle who would’ve been fifty years old today. She also loved flora and fauna.)

Welcome, green

This photo of my front flower bed contains invasive stuff. Grass, Creeping Bellflower, and whatever tree-start that is. Do I mind? No. Not when everywhere I look outside it’s hot and dry and brown and smoky and yucky.

July 16, 2020

I welcome all shades of green.

Phlox R Us

This spent phlox is a pretty accurate representation for how I’m feeling today.

August 6, 2020

Bloomed out.
Worn out.
Depleted.

But just as this hardy perennial will  gather its resources in order to bloom again in the future, so will I. Hopefully, it won’t take me until next summer to do so.

Mondays gonna Monday

It’s Monday and it feels like a Monday. All I’ve got to offer are these two slightly out of focus Day Lilies I photographed a month ago.

July 3, 2020

Here’s hoping your Monday is following a different script.

Thankful Thursday

It’s hard getting out of bed these days. I eventually got myself upright and after my morning ablutions, I reached for my hoop. For twenty minutes, I hoop-danced in front of my living room window. My mood lifted and I felt more energized. As I danced to the music, my eyes kept going to the purple coneflowers in the front garden bed and I told myself I’d photograph them when the dance session ended.

Purple Coneflowers. July 16, 2020.

Today I am grateful for these flowers, for my hoop, for music, and for my climate activist friend who’s currently reading my middle grade novel to make sure I didn’t misrepresent anything. Also? I’m glad I got out of bed.

What do you see?

I see aquarium plants waving gently in the water.

In reality, this is sedum and penstemon growing in my front garden. But my lack of focus and the poor exposure make it look like aquatic plants. Rather artsy-fartsy, methinks.

Happiness is

Dayliles make me happy. They’re cheery and vibrant. They intrigue from every angle.

Daylilies in my front yard. July 3, 2020.

Also? They’re a very low maintenance perennial. What’s not to love?

Twofer Tuesday: Hell yeah edition

ONE: I was worried I wouldn’t have iris blooms this year, but here’s the first to flower. The dependable purple comes through yet again!

Iris bloom on May 13, 2020.

TWO: Yesterday’s writing session was angsty and difficult as I flailed about, trying to find my way through the revision. I brainstormed last night before going to sleep and then instructed my brain to help me find the best path forward. I woke this morning with the answer (which wasn’t even on the list). Today, working on my book was a joy.

Hell, yeah!

The gift that keeps on giving

Allium blooming on slope. May 13, 2020.

One of my favorite aspects of spring is being surprised by what pokes through the soil. Years ago, my mother-in-law gifted me some allium and I’d forgotten all about it, possibly because it didn’t come up last year.

This year, though, I’m blessed with these lovely and intricate orbs. Bees love them, I love them.

Surprise!