Saturday, April 8, 2017

Not Quite Ikebana

This morning, my gardener friend brought me more flowers from his garden!  Two miniature roses which I offered at the altar and a stem of rhododendrons which I put in a vase.  They looked quite lovely in the vase, but, I felt ambitious and wanted to do something more!  I wanted to make an arrangement!  Well, it's not quite ikebana; the stem representing "heaven" isn't quite at a 10-degree angle, and so forth!  Let's just say it is inspired by ikebana and leave it at that!  Ideally, it should be photographed in front of a blank wall, not a mirror since the mirror doubles the twigs and greenery and that messes the lines, but I am happy with my efforts.  


Inspired by Ikebana

In between making flower arrangements, I went to the computer store today to buy a new computer cord.  I showed the broken plug to the sales person, and he said I don't need a new cord!  He said I can use the cord as it is.  I asked him if it was OK to use it without the grounder and he assured me that it was.  He said come back when the cord no longer works.  He said otherwise, I'd have to buy a whole new charger and that would come to $60, but it was perfectly fine to use the cord with the two-pronged plug as it is.  So, I decided not to worry about it!

The big craft supplies store is right next door to the computer store, so I decided to go in and take a look!  Not that I needed any more craft supplies or, even wanted any, but I just wanted to look around and see if there were any good deals.  They had scented jar candles on sale for 3/$10, but I didn't buy.  They might have made good gifts, but I had been able to buy some for $1.69 each, on sale, one year and $1.99 or under would be the price at which I'd buy more.  I lingered for awhile in the yarn section.  I had put myself on a yarn diet until I used up my yarn stash and I am just about finished with my stash, but very few yarns were on sale and those that were on sale didn't appeal to me and weren't reduced enough to make me want to buy them anyway because they were such a good deal.  So, I just walked out of the store without buying anything!  How sad is that?

I did go to a different garden center located at the other end of the shopping center/mall.  I wandered around, looking at the various plants and trying to get over the sticker shock!  There were some begonias selling for 5/$5.00 (or $1.39 each), and I put five of them into my cart and then, took them out again.  Begonias need a lot of water and they'll just get burned up when summer comes around.  Eventually, I bought two 6-packs of calendula for $2.49 each.  I know they will tolerate the sun in the front garden, so I will plant them in the front flower beds to give a spot of color where the snapdragon plants have died out.  I am hoping the snapdragons self seeded; I know the calendula will.

On the way home, I stopped at one of the local Chinese restaurants and treated myself to lunch!  Today would have been my step-father's birthday, and as he was of Chinese descent, Chinese food in his honor seemed right.  I've fond memories of being picked up from school by my step-father and driven straight to the Chinese restaurant his sister and brother-in-law owned and being treated to Chinese food, at least once a week, if not more often!  I was eight when I first met him.  He was a dental surgeon and my mother had taken me to him for braces.  Three years later, he became my step-father.  I called him Uncle; he always referred to me as his daughter and called me his rainbow.  Actually, he had a whole bunch of pet names for me!  After he died I found out that he had saved every single letter I wrote to them when I was at college.  He always told me not to cry when he died, but, of course, I cried.

I had a quiet evening, resting, after I came home from my shopping.  I had planned to do some housework, but I didn't do any of it!  Instead, I read, phoned one of my friends and chatted with her, and, in general, relaxed.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Flowers from my friend's garden
- I don't need to buy a new cord for my computer
- Memories of my step-father
- Being able to go to the crafts store and come out without buying anything!
- More flowering plants for the garden

How was your Saturday?

20 comments:

  1. Your flower arrangement is beautiful and it's lovely to read of your memories of your stepfather. It sounds like he was a very kind man. X

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    1. Thank you, Jules. Yes, he was a very kind man. And now that I've pulled out my vases and kenzan (the pin flower holder), I shall aspire to more flower arrangements! Especially since Dancer seems to be leaving them alone!

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  2. Your stepfather sounded like a special person. Chinese food sounded like the perfect way to honor him.

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    1. He was a special person, Live and Learn; we had our disagreements, but he taught me a lot (including how to drive!) and was always there for me, no matter what.

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  3. What a pleasant day you had! Good news about the cord! Nice of the store to tell you! and great memories of your step-father...he was a good man! Andrea

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    1. Yes, I was very pleased that the sales person didn't try to sell me a $60 charger and cord just to make a sale, but told me that it wasn't necessary and I could manage without it. I really appreciate that. Hope you are having a good day, today.

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  4. Lovely Saturday indeed with so much good news/blessings. You do seem to know a great deal about plants. How much water they need in CA is very important. I like the sound of the calendula - is that a marigold or in the family?

    Saturday was a beautiful sunny mild day here in the Midwest. The dogwood tree by our patio is in full bloom. The birds are singing very early in the morning now. I like this time of year.

    Sandy

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    1. Sandy, it sounds like spring has arrived in your corner of the world! Dogwood flowers are so pretty! Bird songs are always so welcome, too.

      The calendula is in the marigold family. It is also know as "pot marigold" and it is an edible plant; the flowers maybe eaten both cooked and raw and are an ingredient in many creams and such.

      Now I am thinking that maybe I should have bought the begonias, as well, and kept them as indoor plants. I wasn't thinking of indoor plants, yesterday, because I was looking for plants for the garden, and because, with Dancer, it's hard to keep indoor plants! But I could have managed something, or taken them to the office to keep there. Oh, well. What do they say? Hind sight is 20-20?

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  5. I love calendulas, which for some reason we always called marigolds in England (and marigolds we called "French marigolds"). My first memory of calendulas was as a child living in a mining town. The yard was tiny and mostly concrete with brick walls, but one little flower bed with some poor soil was able to support calendulas. In the south where my paternal grandmother lived, there was a large yard with lawns and flowers and I was in heaven when I visited there!

    I also had a stepfather,from the age of 13, and I am thankful that he was good to me. He lived to be 97.

    Well, the sap went berserk today and DH is obliged to keep a roaring fire under the pans for hours and hours to boil down the supply. He needs to empty the storage pails, ready to make room for tomorrow's sap! Our exhausted helpers were especially glad of the tea and cookies today after collecting.

    Bushlady

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    1. Sounds like you will have a good sap harvest! I'm sure your DH must be happy; he must have been a little concerned earlier, when you had a fairly slow start.

      I remember you mentioning going to England to visit your stepfather, Bushlady. I know you were a good stepdaughter to him.

      I planted the calendulas, today. I hope they do well and grow.

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  6. Forgot to write, I love your "Ikebana" arrangement!
    Bushlady

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  7. Your flower arrangement is beautiful! What sweet memories of your stepfather. He sounds like such an amazing man and he sure loved you. :) Be blessed my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. My own father died when I was 7, so it was my stepfather who was there for me during my teens and early adult years. Hope you are feeling better; have a good week.

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  8. What a blessing that you encountered an honest salesperson at the computer store. It would have been very easy for them to just sell you a new cord and send you on your way. It's so refreshing when a sales associate puts the best interest of the customer first. And, your floral arrangement is lovely!

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. Yes, I was so happy that the sales person was honest and didn't try to sell me something I didn't need! Definitely a blessing!

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  9. I think your arrangement is gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you, Anne. I'm glad I listed bringing more flowers in on my spring joy list!

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  10. I don't know anything about ikebana but your arrangement looks very nice to me! How lovely that you have such good memories of your stepdad. Mine was very hands-off but in the end, that was the best approach. When I went back to visit my mom a couple of years ago, I had the best time with my stepdad as we talked about our respective gardens. My 3 older kids like Greg a lot because he's similarly "hands off" with them although he was quite the playmate when they were younger. I think we all appreciated that our stepdads didn't try to supplant our biological dads.

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    1. Thank you, Nathalie. From my limited knowledge of ikebana (I attended a demonstration, years ago, and read some books), one has to prune out the extraneous material and have the main stems a certain length in ratio to the container and one another and be placed at a certain prescribed angle, and so forth! Sometimes, a thin wire is inserted into the stems to make them bend a certain way. I like to play around and pretend I know what I am doing! LOL.

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