It’s raining now but that will bring flowers…

…or at least that’s the plan!
Perseverance, change, on the move, and All that Jazz.

“I hear that Father Dip
Is gonna blow the blues
And all that Jazz
Hold on, hun
We’re gonna bunny hug
I bought some aspirin
Down at United Drug
In case you shake apart
And want a brand new start
To do that-
Jazz”

 

All sorts of interesting stuff in those words.

“Gonna blow the blues.” Clearly they are referring to the music, but it is significant here as well about some sadness. Packing up a whole house tends to have a bit of that effect on me. Hence, some aspirin… but here’s the cool part to hang on to-“a brand-new start.” … And then, there’s that very catchy rhythm and beat to the song! Never underestimate the power of the rhythm and beat to your day, week, year and more!

“Don’t worry Roxy-it’s all taken care of” – I’m counting on it! Here’s to chin up, change, new beginnings, hope, some faith in “the universe,” family, and friends. Lets paint the town and have a new start. Want to join? …Want to paint the (your) town?

…and All that Jazz. Do it my way, your way, or maybe we can collaborate. Whatever, for me, it’s time for a shakedown and some high volume rhythm! How about you?

Putting on a new hat and starting again.
Putting on a new hat and starting again.

 

What’s behind those Foster Grants?

A lot has happened in the past month or so. A constant thought has been an awareness that I/we often don’t really know what’s going on with whomever is front of me/us. What’s the back story? Is their a cause and effect? Am I missing something? Do they have a “truth” that if I knew would cause me to understand or perceive something, or them, differently? Creating a different interaction? Changing the outcome of an event? This happens everyday, small events and spreads to gigantic events that can effect many.

As I often do, I was listening to NPR en route to work. This week had two particular interesting pieces to me with my Things are not what they always appear to be mindset. The first-

Ollie and The Thunder Lizzard
Who’s behind those Foster Grants?

 

“Is It Time To Resurrect The Brontosaurus?”

The Brontosaurus may be back.

Not that it ever really went away, at least not in the minds of generations of people who grew up watching Fred Flintstone devour one of his beloved Brontosaurus burgers.

But, if you’re a scientist, you have to stick to the rules, and in 1903, the name Brontosaurus was struck from the record. That was when paleontologist Elmer Riggs deemed that the Brontosaurus was really just a different dinosaur, Apatosaurus…..As NPR reported in 2012, the tussle over naming the dinosaur goes back to the so-called Bone Wars of the late 1800s, when rival fossil hunters raced to name new Thdinosaurs. Othniel Charles Marsh led a team that found the skeletons of two creatures….

The first was found in 1877 and named Apatosaurus. But, as the story says, “it was missing a skull, so in 1883 when Marsh published a reconstruction of his Apatosaurus, Lamanna says he used the head of another dinosaur — thought to be a Camarasaurus — to complete the skeleton.”…The second dinosaur, found in 1879, was named Brontosaurus, or “thunder lizard.”… As Smithsonian notes, “The fate of Brontosaurus now relies upon whether other paleontologists will be able to replicate the results, as well as what those researchers think about the threshold for when dinosaurs merit different names.”

It’s taken more than 100 years, but the Brontosaurus may be on the road to redemption….” To read the whole article, click here. 

The part that actually thrilled me was the sub name for Brontosaurus, of “thunder lizard!”  A giant, long-necked, heavy bodied, swamp-dwelling, 15-30 ton, well loved by many small children, and movie goers, creature possibly never even existed and is a lizard?!!!! Who knew lizards could be have such a breath of size possibilities? It was news to me. No wonder the word THUNDER is in its name! The need to make lots of noise and be heard seems clear for the cause. Where is the truth? What’s the real story? What’s the back story?  In the name,  it seems that someone had either a great imagination, or sense of humor, with the words THUNDER LIZARD? The pairing of those two words seems incongruous and yet somehow wonderful! This delights me. Who’s behind those Foster Grants-a giant thundering big stomping dinosaur? A scampering tiny camouflaged quick creature? A minister of truth? A 1879 Brontosaurus? A few bones here or there, a skull-for sure they all make a difference, I get it but….There always seems to be a back story-even in science!  There are at least 1/2 dozen articles this week on this issue-it’s big news in the Dino world. Who would think in spring 2015 the Brontosaurus would be prime time news?  In the words of Abbott and Costello, Who’s on First?  Does it matter? Who’s behind those dark glasses? It all mysteriously ties together for me. Does it for you?

As for the second piece of NPR that drew me-well, you will have to wait until next time. This is plenty to think about for now… Stay tuned and enjoy the very welcome warmth and sunshine of springtime. Today, up here in NE, we are finally getting to see, and feel, a bit of spring. Flowers should start popping out soon-thank goodness for small miracles of nature!

  Calthia is created from the first crocus of springtime. Her job is Clean Air. Seems suitable as she helps blow away the dregs of winter!!
Calthia is created from the first crocus of springtime. Her job is Clean Air. Seems suitable as she helps blow away the dregs of winter!!

Growing, people and our business

A few weekends ago we (that would be I and the gang of Botanical Beauties) were off again to a pretty special little town called Sharon Springs NY.

First, a heartfelt thanks and a nod to Cobbler & Co. located on Historic Main Street in Sharon Springs. They are now on the list of places you can walk into a brick and mortar store and buy Botanical Beauties & Beasties cards! It is a delightful store filled with wonderful treasures. Straight from their website- “Cobbler & Co. is a twelve-room eclectic gift shop. We offer an ever-changing array of gifts for you, your family, your friends, your home and garden and all of your entertaining needs...Take a look around our store and remember, we can ship anywhere!” (www.cobblerandcompany.com/index.html If you find yourself in that neck of the country I highly recommend a visit. For that matter, there are quiet a few stops worthy in Sharon Springs and the nearby environs.

Botanical Cards in the store.
Our cards displayed in the Cobbler & Co. card room. Hurrah!

Which brings me to Sharon Springs generally. The 2,000 census counted the population  as 547!  Sharon Springs NY is up in the Mohawk Valley, not too far from Cooperstown for you baseball fans. The countryside is beautiful, the wonderful Adirondack Park and Catskill Mountains are close by borders giving you some idea of its beauty. The ride is about 3 hours for me, the people I meet are always warm and friendly, meaning both the town folks and the fair attendees. Although I am lucky to even get close to breaking even when I am done with gas, lodging, fees etc I find myself returning each time. Why? What draws me to these shows 2x a year? The annual Garden Party (as the spring show is called) and the Harvest Festival (as the Fall show is named)- it seems like a crazy idea to keep going? So, why do I keep returning?

All this brings me to the words of hope, fascination, and charm. I think these may be the hidden charms of Sharon Springs?  There is something a bit intangible about it all, but it is contagious. I never know whom I will meet, but they are inevitably interesting people at these festivals. Some of it is plan old small town living, some of it is who these festivals draw in, and some of it Sharon Springs and its community. Granted, The Beekman Boy’s name is behind these fairs, it was fairly predominate, now it is a bit obscured. (Their FB page.) As a matter of fact, ETSY will be running the fair in the fall, so well see how that plays out. Regardless, The Beekman Boys are still a “draw” and fans come out to play!  There is a tour their home (a separate but planned extra if you so wish) and a fun array of other scheduled events happening on these weekends. For sure, it is a fun “weekend get-away” for many. I have decided to add to my weekend routine…after the arts fair is over on Saturday, I walk over (about 500 steps) and have a lovely cool cocktail on the amazing front porch of the American Hotel. Totally relaxing after a long day.  One never knows who might turn up there to chat with, and I like that! It is what I consider a quintessential front porch, and I met the nicest folks last time.

The American Hotel

Part of what is fascinating about Sharon Springs NY is its history. Here is a brief glimpse.  At one point, about 1836-1860, Sharon Springs was well know for its mineral water spa, with multiple large grand hotels and boardinghouses. By 1841, the village had become world-famous as the social elite came to take the waters. Magnificent large hotels and forest-like parks graced the village landscape. During the second half of the 19th Century, Sharon Springs was home to over sixty hotels and rooming houses accommodating over 10,000 visitors each summer. By the early 1900s… the summer clientele with the influx of European visitors (had become) primarily from Judaic tradition.” (more info.)  “Thanks to its sulfurmagnesium, and chalybeate mineral springs, Sharon Springs grew into a bustling spa during the 19th century. At the peak of its popularity, Sharon Springs hosted 10,000 visitors each summer, including members of theVanderbilt family and Oscar Wilde (who gave a lecture at the now-demolished Pavilion Hotel on 11 August 1882).” (more info) Sharon Springs also had a great location – in the 1800s two major paths (turnpikes and canals)  were constructed and Sharon was connected to Albany as well as larger cities like NYC easily. Farmers with cash crops of wheat and hops were now well positioned to thrive. To add to the good fortune of Sharon, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad open a spur thru Sharon, and the age of the spa was pretty well golden! Eventually, as family (and so spa and hotel proprietors) aged, fires, a hops blight, Prohibition, plus a few more national factors, Sharon Springs thriving success was brought to a halt. Here’s an interesting tidbit According to a NYT article (26 August 2000) “After World War II, Sharon Springs got a second wind from the West German government, which paid medical care reparations to Holocaust survivors, holding that therapeutic spa vacations.” More info.) In 1994 Sharon Springs, and its Spa-related structures were added to the National Register of Historic Places and Sharon Springs became a Historic District. The walking tour and the accompanying plaques were created to guide visitors through our history. The plaques showcase the many buildings, some still remaining, some long gone and put them in their historical context.” (Here is  a link to a brief, but complete  story of the fascinating history of Sharon Springs. More info. 

In todays, world Sharon Springs is again picking its self up and seems to be a story of revitalization.  There are charming stores and delicious restaurants to peruse and enjoy.  It appears that growing communities of artisans (both material and culinary) are living, and moving to the area…and don’t forget-I always seem to meet nice people there! Need a break? Try out a visit during the Fall Festival Sept. 20 & 21, 2014: Arts, countryside, amazing food, fun, frolic, and pretty much guaranteed a pleasant time.

Sharon Springs Collage

Leaving the heavy load behind. Be Here Now.

Each season the earth, the plants, the sky and all its parts have to LET GO of some parts, and make room for change and whatever is next. We are part of the “parts!” The season of spring is full of expression, full of things popping and regaining a foothold in the earth. It can be hard for us to slow down, change gears, and realize that maybe that flower appears to “popping” out of the ground but to remember that same flower has spent the winter regaining its nutrients and replenishing as needed. Remember when we “chatted” about doing your work in the winter? We often feel as though we have a million things to do today, so much to do to “be ready” for whatever is next. Slow down. Breath. Maybe even re-evaluate. Next will happen no matter how fast you may be running to catch up with it, or away from it!  The days will spin by whether you are watching or participating. Summer will be here before you know it-and that season always seems to zoom by (especially up here in NE.)  How about we all try to Be Here Now, be here TODAY, and enjoy what we have right now. Not what we may have tomorrow. Not what we lost yesterday. Sounds as though it should be a cake walk…we all know it’s more easily said then done. Let go of what is dragging you down, lighten up the load, and be strong and present for the day you are in now.  I just looked up the famous words of “Be Here Now”(Wikipedia) (Be Here Now (or Remember, Be Here Now) is a seminal 1971 book on spirituality, yoga, and meditation by the Western-born yogi and spiritual teacher Ram Dass.)  …I didn’t remember, maybe never even knew (?)  the book was divided into four sections. The first one is the journey (we all know it’s all about the journey) – the second one is the “Core Book” – the third one as called “Cookbook for a Sacred Life: A manual for Conscious Being” -and the fourth one is “Painted Cakes Do Not Satisfy Hunger.”  I think I will be ordering, and reading- a little refresher course would be a good thing for me. How about you?

This is Boubolicious (Boubo for short) cutting the strings of some of the things that are holding him down.  His role in the magical land of Botaniumas is a wise soul and knowing creature.  He is Ambassador of Wisdom. (Just because he is wise doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to work at it at times — that is WHY he is the Ambassador of Wisdom!) 

Cut the strings
Cut the strings that hold you down. Leaving the old parts you don’t need anymore behind.

To all Mothers!

To mothers of human babies, and to all the mothers of all the creatures of planet Earth

 Happy Mothers Day! 

Rosie with Babies

 

 

Spring has finally sprung! Can you find the sun?

We had very dreary week here in MA. last week, but I am a happy to say that the sun HAS come out again! It’s hard not to acknowledge the analogy to life here and that hopefully the sun does come out again from whatever clouds are on top of you at any given time. As for me, the endless days of grey really seemed to affect my psyche, and it appeared to me that was true for many people/friends I spoke with as well.  The good news is the sun is out again, showing its sunny bright self for a few days now. To honor the sun, and the (finally) arrival of spring, todays post shall be a photo collage I am calling Hurrah it’s Spring! The photos are all from todays sunny Sunday wonderful dog walk with a wonderful friend – whom I want to give a shout out to for all the friendship and support we pass back and forth, don’t know what I would do without you! For that matter while I thinking about it, it’s a good time to thanks ALL my wonderful friends and family for all everyone does. There are pieces of me that would be lost without each one of you. Spring seems to be a good time to give a nod to all those we treasure. Something about buds bursting, shoots popping up, colors reappearing, streams flowing again, and that ever so luscious feel of sun on my skin after a long winter. I hope everyone has a moment or two to notice the sun, the blossoms, the flowers, the glorious colors, dancing yellow Willow trees, and I couldn’t  resist adding the cows. I will call them The Cummerbund Cows, who appear to be enjoying the spring grass! We can all enjoy and rejoice in the beauty of nature and springtime …and…. THANK GOODNESS FOR THE SUN AGAIN!
The Beauties & Beasties, and myself,  hope the sun is shinning on your days.  (Check out that cow on the far right- looking at me looking at them!)

Springtime
Some of the wonders of Spring!

Potential, the number 4 – and the connection to Earth Day is?

Wellie and the full of potential number 4.
Wellie and the full of potential number 4.

Wellie is all about health, mental and physical health….it therefor seems right that he is the “featured” Botanical Beautie this week, with the letter 4, and ready to take off! He’s off to reach some new potential! Least not forget- HAPPY EARTH DAY!

The number 4:

  • Earth, Air, Fire, Water
  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
  • Native Americans Medicinal Wheel embodies 4 directions
  • Stages of our lives – birth, youth, adult and elder
  • East, West, North, South
  • 4 Phases of the Moon (new, half-moon waxing, full, half-moon waning)
  • …And a few more I just taught myself in doing a little reading for this post.
    The Four Noble Truths epitomize Buddhism. ***
  • To the Pythagoreans 4 was the source of the tetractys 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10, the most perfect number. ***
  • In medieval times there were thought to be four humours (phlegm, blood, choler, and black bile—hence the adjectives phlegmaticsanguinecholeric, and melancholic), and the body was bled at various places to bring these humours into balance. ***
  • Four types of animal (ground movers, flyers, four-legged, and two-legged.)***http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1086220/number-symbolism/248161/4

Four is todays topic, the 4 seasons, and specifically SPRING! The season that’s full of potential. The ground is exploding with new grass, flowers and multitudes of all sorts of “burst” of life. For many of us we have been less energetic for the past season, the skies have often been grey, and the temps were cold. All that is gently and beautifully changing. I love the spring-that amazing willow light green on the trees as the buds and leaves appear, the wonderful joyous visions of flowers peeping out and blooming again, the SUN with the longer days and warmer temps. It’s all so yummy!  A friend, in the last year or so, made me aware of the Taoist Seasons and it fascinates me. Spring is the season of WOOD. OK, makes sense on some logical levels to me, wood, trees, branches become covered again, roots coming alive, and all those other woodland flora and fauna coming to life with wood involved in so many ways…. But here’s closer to what it really means.

The Wood Elements: The power of Wood is gentle, persistent, and filled with creative potential. It has the power of both being and becoming—of being true to your own nature and becoming more yourself by clearly expressing your inner needs and desires. Wood gently penetrates the earth to bring forth water, the source of all life.  Drawing from our roots, we find the energy to push forward with strength and firmness of purpose, always remaining supple, yielding, and true to our nature.

The Wood element’s climate is windy; its direction is East (“Beginning and creation arise in the East”); and its power is experienced most intensely between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am.

The color associated with Wood is green; its odor is rancid; and its sound is shouting.

http://fiveelementhealing.net/spring-the-season-of-renewal-the-element-of-wood/

 

It’s often said, Spring is a time of new beginnings, or maybe of renewals. April also brings us EARTH DAY tomorrow, so, lets combine to two. Reclaim, Reduce, Recycle, ReThink, if needed-ReDo.

Reclaim – in this case your muscles! Get out and up and MOVE. It’s bad enough to be a slug in the winter, but it’s worse in the spring!
ReDuce– ever heard of Spring Cleaning…ha ha; of course you have. Now, the trick is to sort and reduce not just move the stuff around. That would be in your home. In your Mind. And don’t forget, in your Body too!
ReUse/Recycle: repurpose what you can – toss the rest…again- literal and psychologically. (Remember all those posting about “letting go“- practice! )
Rethink: Grudges and resentments are indigestible and cause stress. Practice forgiveness.
ReDO. Take a risk, rethink and do something new! Remember a small seed can turn into a mighty tree! Go of it! Feel the potential and RUN with it (not walk but RUN, well at least skip!)

Colors Matter!

Variety is the spice of life,  Differences make the world go ’round.. and Color is the Technicolor wonder of our beautiful and very colorful world/Earth.

col·or is a noun

1. the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/color

I have spent a good part of the afternoon playing with paint and color…. for my wonderful, ever so fun to make, lacquered boxes! Part of the puzzle is playing with color combos, colors that pop, colors that seem happy,colors that are fun, colors that please me, and colors that compliment the Botanical Beauty that will grace the boxes top. BTW – you can see some of these luscious boxes tomorrow ( Sat May 18 at Crafts in the Park, N.Reading MA —Put this address in your GPS – 5 Central St. N. Reading MA 01864… 10-3pm)Color Boxes

Color plays a vitally important role in the world in which we live. Color can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. It can irritate or soothe your eyes, raise your blood pressure or suppress your appetite. When used in the right ways, color can even save on energy consumption.

As a powerful form of communication, color is irreplaceable. Red means “stop” and green means “go.” Traffic lights send this universal message. Likewise, the colors used for a product, web site, business card, or logo cause powerful reactions. Color Matters! –http://colormatters.com

A cool website- all about color, the symbolism of colors, the meanings of colors….and a whole lot more!

Color can change the whole feel and emotion of an object. Color can take the mundane and make it exciting.

Whats your favorite color? I realized I really couldn’t answer that question. I have so many favorite colors! If I was tied down and being tickled and I had to say something…well maybe these days I would have to say all shades of reds, from the pinks to the purples to the hot reds! One you say – hmmm maybe today its Pink! Leave a comment and lets see your fav color(s) ! ! ! !

What soothes your soul?

Always a good question to think about… What makes you stop, breath deep, and creates some inner peace for you?

For me it’s (in no particular order) friends, family, flowers, yoga, my dogs, and “creating” – like a new drawing or an art/craft “object,” sunshine, fresh air, and then maybe some more flowers…… or at least those things are some of list toppers!

Since Mable (or if you prefer you can call her Mabel – she likes to mix it up a bit)  is CEO of Emos, and Emos manufacture Smiles, it seemed fitting that she get to hold the giant flower and stand in one of my favorite flowers – a Poppy. You will have to use your imaginations to see all the other “soul soothing pieces”  here with Mabel, but I can assure you they are like water drops and are sitting on top of those flowers too!  Even better…. use your imagination and think about what ever your pieces are and insert them into your mind and reality. If you are really lucky, maybe Mabel can hold some of your too!

Mabel with Flowers

Helping hands….

Everyone needs some help at times of the day, the year, or even in a moment.

We all know it’s spring thank goodness it’s time for flowers and herbs and gardening again! Peaceful. Healthy. Beauty. Color. Meditative. Calming. Soothing – those all words I associate with gardens and gardening. Here in my little piece of the world I have a back deck that turns into a little piece of all those words for me each year. It is a deck that I surround with “window boxes” or in this case rail boxes, that I mostly fill with Herbs. I use the herbs for cooking, ice tea (yes I grow many mints,) and just because I love being able to go out there and have all these possible scents surround me. There are naturally flowers too…but enough about what I personally plant.  The real point of this story is helping hands…..so…. I was at my local garden center to buy the soil for the boxes. There was even a special deal price of my favorite soil in a 2 1/4 cubic feet bag.  Great! Now, you need to know that I am pretty strong and about 5 foot 8, so I am not a small weak wisp of grass…. these bags are HEAVY! I struggled to get the first on my cart. Then the helping hand came. A couple came walking by, the man asked if I was getting another bag. I said yes, and he (with some effort too I may add) put the second one on cart. FAB! Then to add to the goodness, they were right behind in line to pay, and he offered to put them in my car for me. A big win for Kindness and for me. Thanks you universe for that helping hand when I needed it.

Helping Hands image

Helping hands…holding hands… the two often mix. That’s a very good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for fun & what to do? We can help!

Not one but TWO chances to greet, meet, see, say hi, enjoy, buy cool art things, do good, and smile this weekend!

April 27 – Celebrate Earth day: See over 75 exhibitors including local artisans, green products, alternative energy, community groups, health+fitness, home improvement, food, music and more!    Click here for the full listing! ( You can even do some ‘big time’ recycling at the event! Check it out! ) 11 AM -3 PM Framingham Centre Village Green on the Common, Framingham MA.

April 28 -Art In The Garden is this Sunday! 11am-4pm at Weston Nurseries is Hopkinton. In its 6th year, Art In The Garden will host 50 local artisans exhibiting their handmade wares on the beautiful grounds of Weston Nurseries.
You will find stained glass, pottery, jewelry, etched slates, bath & body products, candles, handbags, tote bags, furniture, clothing, garden art, paintings, note cards, birdhouses, winds chimes, pillows, dog collars and leashes, pet clothing, blown glass infusion jars, beaded belt buckles, scarves, honey, pickles, chocolates, pizza and more! $3 admission will benefit One Fund Boston, Mazie Memorial Foundation and Project Just Because.
April 27&28 shows