Thursday, March 27, 2008

In Memorium

Heath and I visited Dallas in the Summer of 2006 to find an apartment before our big move. When we saw our current apartment, I was very excited about the deck that is right off the living room. I had visions in my head of creating a luscious secret garden which would be my calming get-a-way. The first semester here, being fall, was not the best time to plant a garden besides the fact that we were still trying to catch our breath financially. So I decided to wait until the Spring. It came and I excitedly bought pots and researched the best kinds of plants to grow in Texas. I looked up local garden shops in order to get the best plants, and I created a spreadsheet to keep track of my expenditures. If the success of a garden was based on passion, organization, or research, I would have an A+ no problem.

Before I continue, I should give you a little of my background in botany: Every summer when I was young I helped my mom plant, weed, and harvest a vegetable garden in our backyard. But somehow, there's a difference between helping with mom's garden and owning my own plants. I think it was my freshman year of college that I got my first ivy plant. I thought it was beautiful and couldn't wait for it to grow. And it may have sprouted a little, but mostly it just turned yellow and finally died. I couldn't understand what had happened. Here's to you, little ivy - I'm so sorry I didn't know what to do for you.
Then there was ivy #2; I guess I thought I would do better the second time around. Instead of improving, my little ivy fared much worse than the first one. Poor ivy #2; I'm sorry I was just too busy to pay any attention to you.

Now, you're up to date and we can continue with the Dallas plant saga. For a short time, I had several plants - a sweet smelling Jasmine; a fragrant Rosemary; some kind of flower that I never saw sprout, much less bloom; and I'm sure there was another one, but I just can't remember it. None of these plants lasted too long, either. The Jasmine was left out in the scorching Texas sun for too long. The Rosemary was over watered or under watered - I don't know which. And the flowers, well, the poor things just never got a chance. Soon all I had was a pile of empty pots.

What's funny, though, is that despite my obvious bad luck or irresponsibility or black thumb, I still relish the idea of having a deck covered with wonderful green plants! So, last year when a woman at work said I could snip a bit of her ivy, how could I pass up the opportunity? This was my chance! She said if I put it in water for a few weeks, roots would grow, and then I could plant it in a pot. So I got a styrofoam cup, filled it to the brim with water and gently placed the ivy in it. Days went by and I began to see little roots, then weeks, then months and the ivy was still sitting on my desk in its styrofoam planter. Finally, I brought it home, put it in a pot, and set it on the windowsill above my kitchen sink. I'm sure I haven't given it any more attention than any of my other plants, at least not on purpose. But a couple weeks ago, I noticed a tiny leaf forming on the end of it. Oh boy, was I excited! Not only have I managed to not kill it, but it seems to be growing!

Here's to you, Little Ivy #3, I truly hope you have a long and luscious life!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

an unusually exciting day

In the past couple of hours, I have gotten 2 emails each notifying me that a brand new baby has entered the world! How unlikely is it that I would know two pregnant women (due only a few days apart) whose babies would be born within 2 hours of each other (and neither of them on their due date)?? Hopefully, I'll be visiting babies tomorrow!

Welcome Jillian Marie Anderson & Anthony Mammina!!

Congrats to the Mamminas & Andersons!

something new

I bought a new coffee mug yesterday. For those of you who don't drink coffee, don't read further because you'll just think I'm crazy. But for those coffee lovers out there, you know the necessity of the "perfect mug." You know that it's gotta fit nicely in your hands, the handle must be easy to hold, and most importantly, it must have it's own personality. (If you're not a coffee lover, this is where you're thinking I've gone off my rocker, so please, do us both a favor and stop reading!) Seriously, though, am I right, coffee lovers? Of course, the quality of the coffee is important. But, at least in my mind, the best tasting coffee deflates without the right mug. The mug I bought yesterday had been eyeing me for a couple days (yes, that's what I meant to write). It's bright, bold, confidant, and inspiring. And I think it knew that I need a little bit of those things every once in awhile. So, here I am enjoying a wonderful cup of coffee in the perfect mug for today.

You non-coffee lovers, I know you're still reading, so I'll say it for you. I may be a little bit crazy.

I've been sitting here for 5 minutes trying to think of a title, and this is the best I've come up with; please humor me and keep reading!

This past weekend temperatures hit 80 degrees here in the lovely metropolitan city of Dallas. On the way to church, Heath pointed out how many of the trees were budding already. I was shocked! Most years, I am the first one to notice any hint of Spring, whether is is the first robin or the earthworms on the pavement after a rain or green shoots in the flower beds or tiny new buds on the trees. But this year, apparently I had completely missed it! As we continued driving, this newfound information heightened my observational skills. I began to see trees all over the place that were showing signs of Spring. I kept thinking "it's only March 2nd; how can this be true?" Yet, the evidence was clear and I was not about to dispute it. Besides, the weather people were saying that the mild winter was bringing on an early Spring. I was just going to have to live with the fact that Spring had begun! I was not at all disappointed about this! I love Spring!

But then, the inevitable happened; my fairy tale ended, the bubble burst, hopes were dashed. For late last night, as Heath and I were headed to bed, we saw a light dusting of snow covering the grass, rooftops, and vehicles. "What?!" I exclaimed. A woman at work had mentioned that the weather people were now expecting snow, but I mean, really, what were the chances that we'd have snow now in March when there's been not a single ice or snow storm all year? Content with my fantasy of Spring, I had easily dismissed the thought.

Faint in my memory are such days in Iowa, where an unexpected snowstorm would interrupt Spring's arrival. At least in Iowa, everyone knows that snow is possible even through April (even though its not often welcome). I just thought Texas was bigger than that. Texas is independent, the only state to join the Union voluntarily, and the only one that can legally cede at any time. Can't someone here decide that when Spring comes, the snow stays away?

This is all in jest, really, because I know just as much as the seasoned Texan that the snow will melt by 9am, and we probably won't see another hint of winter until next November.

So, stubbornly, with the snow covered roofs in plain sight, I gleefully exclaim, "Welcome, Spring!"