January 30, 2009
I like this clip so much, I have made it a permanent feature at the bottom of the page. Who is crazier, the dog or the dog owner?
January 23, 2009
*My French teacher wife will tell you this was once known as Dentdelion (lion's tooth), but now goes by Pissenlit (pee in the bed) in France.
January 18, 2009
They asked my cousin if they could borrow the shed where he keeps and maintains his farm equipment. It had some very important things necessary for a party: indoor plumbing, an ice machine and heat (especially important Friday night when the temps eventually dipped below 10). The shed is a multi-purpose facility that also serves among other things as a dry marina and as a more-or-less private men's club, and it easily held the 75 party goers in toasty comfort.
My mom is on the right and her sister the left, and when these two women get down to work, it is best to do what you're told or get out of the way. Here they are embellishing the picnic tables with shells and greenery.
There were several guests of honor including Crassostrea virginica who we refer to as Seaside Oysters. These Oysters were harvested from Metompkin Bay by my father and my uncle. Seaside Oysters are the same species as those in the Chesapeake, but Seasiders being on the Atlantic side of the Shore are saltier, and to many people have more flavor. Although several were sampled in the raw, most were served steamed.
This is my son who has discovered many things this year, including a taste for Oysters.
(For those of you who do not know any better, Barbecue is NOT anything that happens to be cooked outside or on a grill, nor is it anything served smothered in a sauce made by Heinz or Kraft. BBQ is a process learned from the previously indiginous people, Indians if you prefer, and is the slow cooking of meat at a low temperature until it nearly falls off the bone and jumps on the plate. Around these parts the meat is always pork, usually Boston Butt, and after nearly all-day cooking it is either chopped, minced or pulled. The sauce is usually vinegar based (North Carolina style) and used at the discretion of the diner. The BBQ can be eaten as is or on a bun as a BBQ sandwich, but it is always enjoyed with Cole Slaw.)
Here are Mom and Dad about to kiss. On a similarly cold night in January 50 years ago, two young people prepared for a life together, but with the great unkown that is the future. Now they can look back on a life and a marriage well lived and celebrate with the friends and family that helped make it possible. May we all be so blessed as to know such satisfaction.
January 13, 2009
I am able to serve you some fresh greens like this Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' and my Corydalis 'Can't-Get-Rid-Of-This'.
The foliage on the Hedera colchica 'Sulphur Heart' is very fresh looking right now, and later on the fruit will ripen, turn black and create a feast for the birds.
Here is something I am working on for next month's meal, Edgeworthia chrysantha. I only have 7 buds this year, and I count them every morning. Long time readers of this blog may remember that this is the shrub I caught my criminally insane neighbor destroying. It has made a slow recovery, but it will never be the lovely single stemmed specimen that I had hoped for. At least it is alive and it will bloom this year.
January 11, 2009
Click to enlarge the picture of Chess Set by Gianni Toso. The white side is made of up Catholic figures and the black side are orthodox Jewish figures. Wouldn't it be fun if Toso also had a radical Muslim, extremist Hindu or an ultra fundamentalist evangelical set. They could play each other at chess instead of killing each other for real. Another part of the glass collection is this ghostly glass dress (Dress VIII, Karen LaMonte) which is the perfect size for a small girl. Although they have art from all eras, I tend to gravitate towards the more contemporary art (Bedroom Painting #2315, Tom Wesselmann). Music, Philip Evergood
This is my son's favorite piece. You can never go wrong with a robot made out of TVs (Hamlet Robot, Nam June Paiks).
I am very fond of Edward Hopper, and this is his New York Pavements.
This is one of my favorite paintings in the museum, The Neophyte by Gustav Dore. He has that 'what have I gotten myself into" look on his face.
I am also drawn to this (Une Japonaise, Jules Joseph Lefevre).
The following two pieces face each other across the hall, (Orestes Pursued by the Furies, Adolphe William Bouguereau)...
... and this, a collage made from pictures of junk and scrap, both are nearly floor to ceiling.
Pre-Columbian happy couple...
... and more recently (Portrait of Marcelle and Pierre Monnin, Alfred Leslie).
This is the symbol of the city's authority, the Norfolk Mace. It was created in London and presented to the city in 1753 just as Norfolk was becoming a municipality. During the Revolution it was buried in a Kempsville yard to keep it from the British. Decades later, a Confederate Colonel concealed it behind the stairs in his home which was occupied by Union troops, but the mace was not discovered. It is the only American mace that still belongs to the city for which it was created.
You know I could not leave without a few shots of the museum garden. There were a couple of magnificent Live Oaks and a nice European style courtyard. I will visit again during Dogwood or Hydrangea season.
January 9, 2009
From my perusals I learned about Frederick Law Olmstead's travels through the south prior to the civil war, in which he referred to Norfolk as "a miserable, sorry little seaport town". I found a story about Peggy Martin and the Peggy Martin Rose which was the only survivor, other than a Crinum, from a garden that was under salt water for two weeks after Hurricane Katrina. Wesley Greene of Colonial Williamsburg wrote a very detailed article titled The Evolution of the Lawn. You can also read about the "myth of the colonial herb garden". I also enjoyed an article about Anne Spencer and her garden in Lynchburg, Va. She was an African American poet and gardener, a demographic one would erroneously think does not garden based on the dearth of published information.
If you are interested the link of the past issues of Magnolia is here.
The search feature can be found here.
Plant lists are here.
Finally, information about the society in general is here.