Wednesday, April 30, 2014

childhood flowers

A visit to Bow Street Flowers means a flower filled house.

The scent of lilacs is with me as I write this.

When I was a child we had massive lilac shrubs on the edge of our yard--
my favorite summer space in which to read and daydream.

Lilacs takes me back to the worlds of 

Places I wanted to live, families I wanted for my own.

Are there flowers that evoke your childhood?

Monday, April 28, 2014

a visit to Bow Street Flowers

When I visit Bow Street Flowers I don't want to leave. I wonder if Shelley will let me move in--all I need is a sleeping bag and a library card.

 I wish I could give you the fragrance of lilacs and hyacinths.

(More Bow Street posts and pictures here & here. Bow Street Flowers blog here.)

xo, Jen

Saturday, April 26, 2014

all I want to do is sit on a verandah

I'm still painting all the greens. Sometimes flowers creep in. Sometimes I paint other things, but these are the ones that feel most fully realized, the most me. I'm working on some inspired by geography and topography that are different--no grids. Deltas, rivers, fields. Still plenty of greens.

Sandra Beasley

For six months I dealt Baccarat in a casino. 
For six months I played Brahms in a mall. 
For six months I arranged museum dioramas;
my hands were too small for the Paleolithic
and when they reassigned me to lichens, I quit. 
I type ninety-one words per minute, all of them 
Help. Yes, I speak Dewey Decimal.
I speak Russian, Latin, a smattering of Tlingit. 
I can balance seven dinner plates on my arm.
All I want to do is sit on a veranda while 
a hard rain falls around me. I’ll file your 1099s. 
I’ll make love to strangers of your choice. 
I’ll do whatever you want, as long as I can do it 
on that veranda. If it calls you, it’s your calling, 
right? Once I asked a broker what he loved 
about his job, and he said Making a killing. 
Once I asked a serial killer what made him 
get up in the morning, and he said The people.

I found this poem, and many others I love on this Tumblr. It reminds me of me. One day I will make a list for you of the many jobs I've had. It's raining in Lowell; out the studio windows I see smokestacks and freight trains. Inside I look for more greens.

Monday, April 21, 2014

first of spring

The first flowers of spring have finally popped up in my yard, next to the birdbath.

 In honor of the flowers of my last two posts, here's an almost haiku:

ditch flower, motel daffodil
drugstore hyacinth
in a water glass, by the bed

Today is Patriot's Day, a Massachusetts holiday, and the Boston Marathon was run safely. There was much joy, classic spring weather, and I cleaned the birdbath.

Enjoy your week!


Friday, April 18, 2014

flowers in unexpected places

flowers at home

Yesterday I drove the first leg of a trip and hit hell traffic, a zone of time and space where it seemed certain that I would spend eternity on a New Jersey highway going one mile an hour. By the time I reached the motel I was so tired and stressed that I picked a daffodil from motel property (surely a misdemeanor) put it in a water glass on the bedside table, and it helped, it really did. Today's drive was better, but when we stopped at CVS to buy necessities like single serving cereal boxes and Cadbury chocolate, I smelled the hyacinths before I saw them. So now I have a nice pot of purple hyacinths in my room. I've taken to always putting flowers in hotel rooms. Last time I was in New York I got orange tulips at the Korean grocery. They bring life to impersonal spaces.

Enjoy your weekend!
xo, Jen
p.s. Do you know why this post is framed? Not sure how that happened.

Monday, April 14, 2014

ditch flower, Catskills

In the country this weekend, the only flowers I saw were these little yellow ones (hawkweed?) growing alongside the ditch. Todd, who's lived there his entire life and grew up on a farm, says it's the latest spring in memory.

It was sunny and warm, though there were still some chunks of ice, and I could almost hear the buds and sprouts forming. I read The Hobbit, and could imagine Bilbo Baggins, who "wished to see great mountains, and hear the pine trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking stick" dropping by for tea between goblin and elf adventures.

Monday, April 7, 2014

flowers in the New England house

No flowers in the garden. 

I keep looking, where the first crocus, the first snowdrop, 
usually appear. But it will happen--I know, because look at Jane's flowers.

I keep supermarket daffodils close by, 
because they smell like spring, even when I'm not looking.


I enjoyed this book. And this one.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

mind your frocks and trousers

last summer in the Catskills
Today was the first day that felt like spring,
the freshness, the possibilities...  

Last summer I got deep into the wildflowers in the country,
 and I can't wait for this year's crop.

Meanwhile, I found this hand-bound book, 
Wild Flowers of New York, published in 1912.

The illustrations are lovely, and the prose is informative and delightful. In discussing wild strawberries and blackberries, the point is made " children who gather the luscious strawberries from the low vines that trail through many of our fields, or the equally delectable blackberry that is to be found in thickets, along walls or by the roadside and whose thorns are often the cause of severe reproof of the parents when the child returns with frocks or trousers sadly in need of repair."