Saturday, May 31, 2008

Flower Friends

It's midnight. Just came back in from letting the dog out. (I see a tiny mosquito came in with us.) The sky is dark tonight and the stars are clear. But I can see The Big Dipper, in its spring/summertime position, pouring out over the edge of the building. I like knowing it will be there for a while. You know what it poured me this spring? Some dear new friends.

[All photos in this post are by Scott Snyder.]

This is Robin. Look at how our hair is combining on top of our heads!
She lets me be myself.
And somehow encourages me to do silly, ridiculous things.
She reminds me of this:
(Those tulips were from her front yard, at the yard sale last Saturday.) Robin is married to The Englishman. Formally, he goes by Steve. ;) He makes me really happy too.
I hope Scott and I can get to know them better and be friends for a long time. They're good people.
Robin is really beautiful, inside and out. She is one of the most colorful people I know. She inspires me.
You know who else makes me happy? Not a new friend, but an old friend, an amazing person and devoted companion: my Laurel. Here she is opening the "you had the baby" present I was going to give her at the hospital. Obviously, I couldn't wait! This is a little outfit I bought for Baby A. to wear on the Fourth of July - it's red, white and blue and has little flags sewn on that say USA and a fire chief dog and a truck. It's ridiculously cute, and if you can't wear a Fourth of July outfit when you're three weeks old, when can you?! That's what Aunty Ally says anyway.
Laurel is married to Conrado. He's a good egg and we love him too. They are our second family.
Her hair is looking so red these days with the pregnancy. Thanks for your prayers, friends - she is managing quite well and they will get everything figured out. Meanwhile, I am anxiously awaiting "the call" to speed down to the hospital for baby birthing time. I can't wait!
My friends are like flowers - sweet and surprising, encouraging and always bringing me new life.
I'm grateful.

I'm thinking of a meme...

Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral? No, but seriously. I want to start a wave focused on home and gratefulness. And what makes us tick. And what we wouldn't want to live without. It's called Happy in My Home And here's how it would go.

1) You take photos of five special objects in your home that delight you or make your life easier or that you are glad to have discovered. (Could be your favorite book you keep re-reading or a great cleaning product or your cozy sweater, whatever.)

2) You describe for us why you love these things - and if it's a product others might like, feel free to link us to where to find it.

3) You can tag a few friends or just leave it as an open tag on your posting - a "Play if you feel inspired" kind of thing.

Want to play? I'll gather my objects this weekend and try to post by Sunday or Monday.

[I should say for the record, I am not a big weekend post-er, but please always check back by Monday.]


You go, Sameer!!!

CAPTION: Sameer Mishra, from West Lafayette, Ind., holds up the trophy after winning the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Friday, May 30, 2008 in Washington. The 13-year-old boy aced 'guerdon' to win the 81st edition of the bee, held in the nation's capital. Sameer will receive $35,000 in cash plus more than $5,000 in other prizes. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

National Spelling Bee Champion Sameer Mishra - we are all proud of you! And from Indiana, no less. Congratulations!

The Story

Friday, May 30, 2008

Memorial Day (though the holiday is over)

Wah. dead. And frankly, so is Jacob's Ladder. No way to heaven for me now. Garumph.

I have been sitting at my office desk watching Pansy from across the room for a few weeks. I had to move her closer to the window as she was decidedly droopy. I tried more water. Less water. More light. Less light. She continued to survive, but the blooms gave up and every other day she'd be wilting over as if to say, "Just let me lie down here for a brief nap...and then die." I resisted. I cajoled. I even spoke words of love (when others were out of the office, of course).

So today I look more closely. What the heck is that? A spiderweb? No, smaller. A tiny, tiny village - a colony, really - of itsy bitsy tan specks who had either set up a fully functioning town or an amusement park between and covering every single leaf, stalk, and has-been flower. Pansy was Gulliver, covered with tiny people and roped down into submission. Oy.

So Pansy and her traveling circus have now been dumped onto the office lawn where they will undoubtedly form a new home (or grave). Damn.

Meanwhile, at home, Jacob's Ladder (who came with a sadly inadequate set of instructions for yours truly - Plant Killer At Large) has bitten the dust. Nothing would cure what ailed him.

The rest of the plants - except for Scott's equally dead office Pansy - continue to humor me. And the jade and Christmas cactus are adjusting to their new home outside. They are slow adjusters (but then, so isn't their mother). But they will survive.


Food Matters (revisited)

Remember this?

Well, I just got this via email:

Hi Allison,
Welcome to the Food Matters Global Internet Launch!
We are thrilled with the positive response to our movie trailer from people all over the world. Last night we hosted the premiere of our film in Sydney to a standing ovation and we hope you will feel the same when watching this powerful film.

The 80 minute feature film is now available!
Be the first to own Food Matters on DVD for $29.95 USD or you can view the film online for $4.95 USD.

We offer discounts on orders of 10 or more DVD's and we ship anywhere in the world! Please help us share this powerful message with your family and friends.

Thank you for all of your support!

Kind Regards,
James & Laurentine
So there you have it folks. I think I'll watch it online. Can't wait to see the video! - Allison

Thursday, May 29, 2008


If you are the least bit in need of love or beauty, awakening or amazement, watch this video, to the tune of "Stars" by The Weepies (thanks, Marie).

My heart is growing just listening and watching it. Like when the Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day.


If you have a prayer in you

(photo by Scott Snyder)

I don't usually ask for this, but for those of you who have a prayer waiting in the wings, can you send one up for my best friend Laurel? She is about to have a baby any minute (any day) and this week has had several big catastrophes, the latest one being that tonight while she was at the store picking out furniture for her new apartment - they will move about a week after the baby is born! - the sales lady told her the "breaking news" from on TV: her entire new apartment complex is on fire and quite a bit of it has burned to the ground. Ack!!!!!!!!!!!

She needs calm and health and rest and release. And the baby needs to cook until he is done. No stress-induced labor, please!

So if you have an extra hanging around, send up a little prayer for Laurel, Conrado, and Baby A.

thank you--

Koi Pond like you've never seen before

God bless Google. Seriously. I was looking at a blog I really like, Sweet Home and Garden Chicago (my home town) when I got inspired by the koi pond. Oh, I do love a koi pond. So I thought, Why not see if there are other pictures that make me so happy...and Google...and voila! These are INCREDIBLE. You really must go to the Sayer website and then look at all their galleries. You will be blown away and inspired.

You may very well find yourself digging a ten foot trench in your backyard, before realizing you have no idea how to make a koi pond! But you can go back to Google!!!!!!! Here are some instructions, and supply/build info and general pond digging inspiration. Oh I love this world sometimes. Here are my favorites from Sayer.

Seriously: WOW.

Happy Birthday Baby!

It's Sweet Anna girl's SIXTH birthday today!  Anna is loving, smart, funny, fiesty, energetic, artistic, creative, kind, thoughtful, and wonderful!  She is my first official niece.  I love her so much that sometimes my heart catches up in my throat and I can't speak for a minute.  I wish I could see her every day.  Happy Birthday, darling girl!  I hope you like the treats I sent.

Love, Aunty Ally xoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxo

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sunday pictures

Quote of the Day [from]

"I make a great second impression. Most people don't know that." -Allyson
On Sunday, Scott and I did some exploring. Went to a craft/art fair in Meredith, NH and then cruised around a bit, stopping in Laconia to water Mom and Dad's plants while they're on vaca, and then to the Shaker Village in Canterbury, one of our favorite New Hampshire places. It is so peaceful there. As soon as I step onto the property, anxieties fall away and things start sorting themselves out in me. I feel calmed by the earth there. Talk about a place with good karma. You can feel it. The flowers below were from the craft fair. Click to enlarge and see how delightfully bizarre they are.

And here is Scott in his favorite hat, which he unearthed while putting my winter clothes bins away. It is easy to be with him again.
Beautiful weather all weekend - very Spring transitioning to Summer and easy to be happy under such a sky.
The gardens have been planted and are just starting to show their blessings.
I am from farm people. I cannot tell you how much a long straight line of something growing in the tilled, crumbly earth means to me. I could kiss the dirt, I love it that much. I used to have a worm farm (in a coffee can). I fed the worms coffee grounds and they multiplied like it was the end of the world. I like pulling weeds. Digging a hole is a supreme gift. Nuff said.
Light and earth. Virgo is an earth sign. So I am always seeking water, wishing I could be lighter to fly on the wisps of the wind, and seeking the heat of fire. But then again, all I really want is good tilled earth so things can grow.
Shaker Village - you absolutely must plan a visit there. They will welcome you.
This picture of the dandelion (for you Mom) is best seen up close - so click on it to enlarge. What a beautiful puffball, just waiting to be blown.
Lines. Sustenance. Nurturing. Poking through obstacles to grow, grow, grow.
Lilacs, the NH state flowers, are in full bloom everywhere, and making lush trees at Shaker Village.
I am currently nurturing a new lilac bush for Mom - got it for her Mother's Day and since she's been on vaca, I am watering it every few days and loving it daily. It has grown several inches on top already. I hope it will bloom. She will be so happy. These look nice enlarged.
Can you smell them? Mmm. Worth the allergies, I'd say.
Those are the beginnings of what are always (by late August) incredible medicinal herb gardens. Just the hint of things blooming. But RIPE with bugs. Just ask my poor ankles.
Maybe you know what that is. Lovely, either way.

Happy Summer, dears. Am listening to "Blackbird" by the Beatles, from Marie's website. I am glad to be alive.

Orange Inspiration

Check out a somewhat recent post from How About Orange (that woman is incredibly creative...). Check out #5 and watch the Adidas commercial. It's amazing and will totally inspire you to watch the summer Olympics! Inspired me too!

Meercatcam - what will they think of next?

Okay, this is hysterical. Check out an actual Meercatcam...and don't forget to check the Giraffe Cam too. Scott sent me these. The funniest thing is how you know it will update every minute, so you can't help but keep clicking refresh (as if a minute lasts a mere three seconds...) until wah-lah, a real live minute goes by and you refresh and there is meercat...instead of looking straight ahead, he is now looking to the right. This is boredom at its finest. That said, you know you want to check it you go!

Wrong, Just Wrong

...but printed here for your enjoyment. Except for the first picture, today's selection is from Hilarious Funny Pics, which has several outrageous photos so don't head over there with a weak constitution.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Marriage & Trust

I have been writing some thoughts and questions about marriage. The end of this thought cycle landed on the need for absolute trust. And then my friend Molly sent me this poem. Serendipitous.

by Thomas R. Smith, from Waking before Dawn

It's like so many other things in life
to which you must say no or yes.
So you take your car to the new mechanic.
Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.

The package left with the disreputable-looking
clerk, the check gulped by the night deposit,
the envelope passed by dozens of strangers—
all show up at their intended destinations.

The theft that could have happened doesn't.
Wind finally gets where it was going
through the snowy trees, and the river, even
when frozen, arrives at the right place.

And sometimes you sense how faithfully your life
is delivered, even though you can't read the address.

Quilt full of love

There's a beautiful post on Scribbit today, called Memorial Day Quilt. Check it out.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Skinny Garden: May Bloom Day 2008

My Skinny Garden: May Bloom Day 2008

Beautiful flower pictures! Especially the Lily of the Valley - wow.


Now these are all strangely colored, too dark and grainy, due to the ole cell phone camera, but I still think the fantastical formations the clouds have been making lately are interesting. Do you like any of them?

Many of the neighborhood flowers have fallen off the trees already! I gotta get my real camera out this weekend and take the Spring pictures I have been meaning to share with you. This weekend! Happy Memorial Day Weekend, by the way!