We came from here:
And we sprang from an article on Hackberry trees, which led to other invasive plants and how we feel about or cope with them. Of course, as always, one thing leads to another and on this day our conversation has drifted to losses.
Please join us if you'd like.
Hackberry Trees, etc, #7
We came from here:
Losses, this day commemorates a day of them.
I think losses are why I write about memories, I don't want to lose memories. And in writing about them, I find myself searching for the good ones as well as those that aren't so great.
It's the memories that make us who we are.
I remember plants, and those who taught me about them. If I didn't write about them, then all the knowledge that was given to me would be for naught, I think. Everything that Aunt Bett ever knew, or her ancestors before her would be gone, I think. So I write about them.
It's the same with our personal losses. It helps to write about our memories. It takes time to reach the point where we are able to do so, I think, and in time, Christi it will be easier for you.
I like what Charlie is doing, he is making memories with his photos, as he goes from day to day. That's important too. Wouldn't I have a treasure if we had had reliable cameras back in the 40's and 50's. I was lucky in that I have one of those visual memories, and can remember most of what I saw and did as I rambled around in the mountains. I can see a plant and it triggers a memory...some of them ridiculous, but that's what happens when your memories are that of a child.
Anyway, that's my take on loses. I also think it is good to look at a loss objectively to see if there is anything that can be gained from it.
But that too, takes a while.
Your gift of words brings the rest of us to the exact spot and experience when you are putting your memories down. To be an artist to go with it is just not fair. When I try to find just what my talents are....I come up blank most of the time. I have been a good nurturer in the past but for now that is all tied up with my memories of Aaron and I seem to be at a standstill. We have transferred all of our attention to our other grandchildren but they aren't as close geographically so it isn't as satisfying.
My love of design has gone from the inside of the house to the garden outside. Trying very hard to get out from under this cloud and pickup again.
I have always painted, Christi, all my life, so there is not a change there, but I had only ever written curriculum guides for school or technical manuals for teaching humanities until after I retired.
Actually, my hubby and I were going to travel, and were looking at RV's, but he was gone in April (lost my best friend the next April, as well....thinking about not having any more Aprils, you could join me)....and I didn't start creative writing until October of that year. Once I did start writing (06), I never looked back. If I didn't have the writing, I would have very little.
Your talent is in design, so you just completed the outside patio and water feature...that's a good start. You will find your way, Christi, you will for sure.
Second Sharon, Christi.
I'd say you are a good communicator, friendly and always with something interesting to say. I enjoy the contact with both you and Sharon.
Isn't it strange that we get on so well and we've never met each other in person? I know why I like the two of you. I'm prejudiced. I like nice people!
I always feel so safe and secure with the two of you...as though I am held close in a circle of love. Very weepy today.
Well, Christi, the thing about both Charlie and me is that neither of us is judgmental. I think we learned that from teaching. And you won't find either of us telling anybody what to do. We might, if you over work yourself, or if you are doing something that would be hazardous, and we might tell you to be careful, but we don't tell you what mood you can be in. I sorta feel that way here too. I am the last person to offer advice, because who am I to give it. I feel that I need to walk a mile in somebody's feet before I have earned the slightest privilege of offering advice. Now if you ask me if you look good in yellow, I'd say YES. But that's about it.
I think at this age, we've earned the right to feel however we feel.
This is a weepy day, it commemorates a tragic time. There's no getting around it.
God bless both of you. He has blessed me with your friendship. My nurturing nature is flowing today with the hurt for all those that lost on 9/11. I will never, ever get over loosing my Aaron.
Christi has got me interested in butterflies and moths.
Noticed a hairy slightly yellowish caterpillar eating a leaf of Lavendelturm, a culver's root cultivar in front garden. The plant had long finished flowering and is due to be cut back. Next day found another on garage floor which must have been in a plant debris bag, awaiting pick up. Put that on the same plant.
Started trying to identify the caterpillar. Assume it's a moth (far more common than butterfly species). First got worried it was a culver's root borer (threatened in Michigan?), but I prefer culver's root: fortunately my caterpillar has very different habits. Will not cut the plant back now and will post pictures on Dave's for identification.
Don't think my camera is the best for close-up shoots. There's a giant in one of the pictures, looking down, as well as the caterpillar on the bottom of the leaf.
Some of the two of them:
Charlie, I am strictly a novice and wouldn't have known what I have if Sheila had not visited and pointed it out. Sometimes those with furry looking "skin" will sting so be careful about touching it with your bare skin. There is a hummers and butterfly forum and they will be able to ID in a heartbeat. Those are really good, clear pictures. Post over there and let us know. I went to get more rue for my butterfly nursery and came back with at least 10 more cats and then more from my citrus. These two I know are giant swallowtail because of Sheila's visit. I would take pictures but it is raining for the third day, so far over 8 inches and still pouring down. WARNING: This is addictive. I will soon be making more little cages so I am a better surrogate mother. The sticky at the top of the butterfly thread has all the instructions and it is very easy.
Waiting for your report.
Thanks for the advice, especially about possible stinging. Have posted the pictures as you said. I'm even more of a novice than you when it comes to caterpillars!
Went on line to try to check it out myself. Confusing! One thing I now know is that it's not a culver's root borer (heard of iris borers, but not these). Apparently this insect seriously damages culver's roots, but is in need of conservation action in at least Michigan. As said, culver's root is one of my very favorite perennials.
Am suspecting it might be a moth caterpillar because moths are so much more common than butterflies. Hope it's identified and, of course, will let you know.
Wow! You've got quite a swallowtail project going there, Christi.
I will be glad to know what it is myself. Looks a lot like what we call "web worms" or "army worms". They form huge webs in the trees, especially pecans, and can almost strip a tree in a matter of days. We battle them constantly. In going through the links on the sticky I found something that I tried to copy/paste and it wouldn't do it. A butterfly called a Question Mark (strange name, beautiful butterfly) uses the common hackberry as a host plant. I have never seen it but my neighbor has been saying she has seen a red butterfly. This picture is more red than anything. I would pull back my campaign against the hackberry if I could raise this in my yard.
Looked up army- and webworms. Hope not!!!
I actually saw somebody selling armyworm wine!
The question mark butterfly is beautiful: orange with black markings (looked it up). Never heard of it till you mentioned it. Interesting tie in with our hackberry thread! Think I read the caterpillars eat elms and nettle family members as well. Hope you and I (and Sharon) don't need to relent on our ambivalence to hackberry seedlings. Still finding them in our garden here and have already pulled up a few dozen this year. Got several hundred last year.
Think I said I managed to cut two more branches off the neighbours' hackberry, while he wasn't looking. Truthfully, he said I could cut anything off any of his trees, but I don't like to make it tooo obvious! Actually, all I want to do is cut down his trees. Period. One of his hackberry branches got a bit of it's own back at me, grazing my head as it fell, but it was worth it. I do have a hard head, but I think I'll also use a hard hat when I fight the good fight, next time!
As all gardeners, I walk the garden with small clippers in hand. Never fail to cut a dozen or more hackberry seedlings. I do hope what my neighbor has seen is the question mark butterfly. That would be great!
Christi, it's a never ending battle against a whole gang of seedlings.
I like your image of walking the garden with small clippers in hand. Sounds a bit like shoot out at high noon.
My neighbour certainly doesn't deserve to see a question mark butterfly.
hahahaha. Guess that is what I look like. ok, here I come...better be careful....
You think those hackberry seedlings would get out of town, wouldn't you!
Confidence in numbers. And boy are there a lot of them.
Christi, thanks for the "bump". I'd never heard the term before but assumed it was internet language. Looked it up and now I've learned at least one new thing today!
That has been my motto for more years than I care to remember. From my first grandchild, Aaron, I would always say "one thing". That was code to tell me just one thing new he had learned that day. Didn't have to be something fantastic, just something he didn't know when he got out of bed that morning. Dear God, I miss that boy.
Trying our best is all we can do, Christi.
It's good for a person to know they tried their best.
I care very much for you both, strange as it is with such great distance between us. But sometimes we are brought together for reasons we don't recognize. And for whatever reasons, it's good that we can share things that touch us deeply with the ease we all obviously feel.
Gardening does that for me, too. I must have worn my garden out working on it the spring and summer after I lost my husband, and even last year I was out there from daylight till well past dark. But this year that obsession eased somewhat, and I notice I don't spend as much time with it. And I have developed newer interests, other obsessions. Time does that. It isn't that I don't care about my garden any more, it's just that I don't have the need to tear those weeds to shreds. Nor do I have the need to caress each bloom as it opens. And I don't miss Bob any less, but I can handle it better.
So you won't ever miss Aaron any less, but you will handle it better, Christi. And with more ease. I promise.
Now I have another story segment to write. I am loving reading about the butterflies, maybe I'll take more time to observe and to learn about mine. I have been watching the cats of swallowtails on my fennel. Most years I only grow fennel for them, and rarely cook with it unless I am baking or broiling fish. I just leave it alone for the swallowtails. But I have never tried to cultivate them. Maybe I will. Another obsession.
But not tonight. Tonight I have to find enough words to cover a page or two.
You all have a good evening, and tomorrow I'll tell you of my newest venture. I refuse to get old...there are too many things out there that I would much rather do.
Wise words, Sharon.
Wish I had your energy. I don't know how you keep it up.
Thinking of both of you, Sharon who's survived and grown and Christi
who's learning to do the same.
Hi Christi, Sharon,
Hear you're getting lot of rain, Christi. Hope no flooding.
Too little, followed by too much. Not the most useful situation.
Not gardening for a few days, because of shin;
seems to be getting better, but checked with doctor today.
Going to cottage for a few days, later in the week (nominally to do some of the closing for the season). Will get some pictures; the maples are beginning to turn colour down here. How much of the orange and red in the leaves comes out depends on the weather.
Can't find those caterpillar's, Christi. Don't know if they're now chrysalises or whether somebody ate them. Going to keep looking. No doubt you're still working with the swallowtails.
Sharran, Sharon. Following you all over the net and you are one busy lady. All of it is good news and I am happy for you. Sounds as though you have come to a crossroads and the higher road is calling you. Such a talented and sophisticated lady.
Charlie, if you go to Parking Lot forum, Sharon has developed a story writing thread called "Two Sisters". It is a very unusual concept and I thoroughly enjoy it. Didn't find it until a couple of days ago. There are 5 ladies that are taking turns writing chapters in this novel. Very interesting to see how they have all come together so cohesively. Don't know how Sharon selected the writers but it is great fun.
We are no up to 14 1/4 inches of rain since Thursday night. Flooding all around the DFW Metroplex and a lot of the Texas Hill Country. We always seem to have all or nothing.
Sharon, 5 months today. I am doing better.
Thanks for letting me know, Christi,
will look at the thread.
Lot of water!
Glad it sounds like you're OK though.
A very interesting project.
Amazed at your energy level, Sharon.
Don't know how you can keep up with everything.
Off to a Town Council meeting tomorrow night. The Mayor, who has done a lot for Aurora, including working closely with David on the development of an arboretum and preserving natural areas, is having a lot of problems with a Council member, who herself was a former Mayor. Even though the large majority of Council are with our Mayor, the former Mayor has caused continual trouble and disruption, both as a 'blocker' at Council meetings and with what she's said on her personal blog. Have often watched Council meetings on local TV, but this time going with David to show our personal support for Phyllis.
I did my five years pentence as HOA president...actually, formed the association. Oh my goodness, what a time that was. City hall meetings all the time. If someone needed a dog catcher they called me instead of calling themselves. I found out more about "my" 140 rooftops than I wanted to know. Finally forced it onto a young man and he just let it die altogether. Small town politics are just as bad as national. Maybe worse because you know everyone personally. Good luck.
Very interesting, Christi. Part of your personal history.
My father, a grandfather and an uncle where borough politicans in London.
Maybe I was young and naive, but local politics seemed civilized at that time.
Like you, I got a taste of it, in my case on the Board of a Condominium Corporation in Toronto. It actually got quite nasty on occasions. It's bad enough when the other side starts threatening people, but when your side does the same, it gets quite difficult to handle.
At this stage, I agree with what you imply about politicians generally. Think we recently have said it's the voters fault for choosing them. But at higher levels, anyone who wants to run for political office needs lots of money and that causes huge problems.
Think we'd better watch what we say about politics, or we could get exiled from DG!
You are right, my friends, I am meeting myself coming and going.
The story threads started last winter, and I think Two Sisters is maybe the 5th. They are fun to write, but sometimes I run out of energy and have to really dig deep to pull something out. Anyway they are fun, and there are some excellent writers. They just volunteer, Christi, I don't make the selection. You might want to join us next time. You are a good writer too. The fun is in not knowing what anybody else is going to write. I had my mind on the explosion at the marina yesterday, so it was difficult to come up with anything worth reading. And too, you need to remember I don't have much of a life except that of my own making...
Charlie...I worry about your shin, I hope the doctor gave you some good advice or good medicine for it.
Wish I had some of your rain, Christi, we need it badly. I can tell you are doing better, and I am glad to see my friend resurfacing.
Worked myself into a tizzy today, and now must get some sleep.
Tomorrow is another day, hope it is beautiful for you both.
Sharon, not knowing what anyone else is about to write sounds very egalatarian. Think to be called gardening, an effort must be addressed to controlling or trying to control (nature). The type of writing you're doing sounds like a refreshing break. Christi may well be good at it, but it sounds too relaxing to me. Know it sounds odd, but the relaxing mood music Carol sometimes plays drives me straight up the wall.
Thanks. Shin looks like it's turned a corner in the direction of shaping up!
Am trying to be a bit more efficient though and avoid gardening as it gets dark.
Going to cottage tomorrow. Am going to look for artistic? camera shots, though my favorite will always be colour. We talk about the "hot colours of summer", but red, orange and yellow are also the (maple) colours of fall.
Charlie, have a wonderful time at the cottage. Sounds as if it will be the last time for this summer, so enjoy it, even if you are working to close it for the winter.
I built a tree today. Used old bamboo stalks, three of them, and put them in Quikcrete in a pot. Now I am stringing lights all over the bare branches...fun stuff, for a display at the store that I am helping a friend get ready to open.
Took me all day to get the thing built, and I am ready to crash.
You all have a good tomorrow, I know Christi will be heading out early, and so Charlie..you be very very safe. No gardening after dark, OK?
Sharon, sounds like you built an attractive and also well-behaved (= no seeding) tree.
Back from the meeting, Christi. You were right. Actually, I really fitted in. Got interviewed by a local cable station. The question I was asked kind of got me rather animated. Still, think (hope?) I did retain enough cool to make a reasoned response. Wouldn't want to hurt the people I support.
There'll be no after dark cutting off branches on a slope to clear the view either, Sharon. I've learned my lesson!
I wish I could see your interview, Charlie....
If you talk like you write, as I do, I'm sure you did very well.
Of course I only talk well about things i am interested in.....but my interests are pretty wide spread.
You be careful tomorrow...and through the length of your stay. I don't want to have to fly up there with crutches and bandaids!