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Triumph of the Mundane

Slow blogging at its finest

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winter

Bubblicious or Cold Retrospective

Frozen window

I like the super-cold weather — when it doesn’t overstay its welcome. But after I’ve worn both pairs of flannel-lined pants for several days each, subzero temps become a little tiresome.

Frozen bubble 6

So the hubs and I cheered ourselves up with frozen bubbles during the recent cold spell.

Frozen bubble 7

Temps below zero with a nil wind create the best results.

Frozen bubble 2

But single digits with a mild breeze (doesn’t move your hair, really) will do.

Frozen bubble 5

Usually I use store-bought bubble juice and I drink something hot at the outset. This produces steam-filled bubbles that drift upward and after a few seconds shatter spectacularly, releasing a puff of steam.

Frozen bubble 4

This time I used a homemade brew (water, Dawn, and Karo Syrup) instead. The goal is bubbles-on-the-ring that crystallize. They also capture lovely reflections of light and surroundings as they freeze.

Frozen bubble 9

The post-bubble phase, however, has little charm.

Frozen bubble 8

Still, it’s a lovely thing to look at for a fleeting moment, even when the bubble looks like it could look back at you.

Last Year’s Lavender

Lavender
Sunday’s warm weather inspired me to start an annual task that’s tedious but necessary, slightly sad but with the promise of joy: Cleaning the lavender bed. The yard drops off steeply along the front walkway so the bed gets lots of sun, has good drainage – a good spot for lavender. For years we were graced with an enviable abundance of fragrant blooms. Trimming back the faded first bloom ensured a second bloom.

As with most things, time hasn’t been entirely kind. The older plants are no longer as vigorous. The gnarled old growth at the base of those plants looks like miniature grapevines – ruggedly attractive but wholly unproductive. At the front of the bed, the oldest plants have a horizontal rather than vertical habit. The newer plants grow upward, balancing the overall appearance. Scattered gaps in the bed are reminders of varieties unable to withstand Midwestern winters. Perhaps the poor seedlings didn’t read the labels promising sufficient hardiness. They didn’t know they were supposed to survive.

This year I’m taking the task slowly, pruning with more thoughtfulness, kindness. The joy these plants can still give has to be coaxed out gently; trimming properly and, just as important, leaving well-spaced branches should reward us all in a couple of months.

After picking up the tools, I put the bin of trimmed branches in the garage, the pale scent of last year’s lavender filled the air.

 

Captive Beauty

paperwhites

Indoor plants, especially flowers in winter, are a small daily joy. Felines find them fascinating, however, so my floral follies require a full-time guard.

Decisions, Decisions

Good thing I live where winter is always cold enough to need a good scarf.

Next up — the Tunisian Crochet Scarf or the Diagonal Twist Scarf?

Or should I finish one of those other projects already on the needles. . .

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