wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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The Tulip’s Story

Before any other tulips open up in my yard, still among weeds that I haven’t dealt with, here is the first of the season, just “born” today.

I’m surprised at how happy it makes me, after such a long dreary winter.

The name of the tulip is thought to have come from some connection to the turban, or to the fact that a tulip was sometimes worn on a turban as decoration.

Thought to be originally from Persia, the tulip arrived in northwestern Europe in the 16th century.

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A Tulip’s Story

It’s not because I have two lips that I received my name,

A sultan wore me on his hat so it would not look lame.

He put a turban on his head and wrapped it good and tight,

And then he looked into the glass, but something wasn’t right.

He said, “It needs a pick-me-up, a tad of fashion flair,

This tulip bright would do the trick, but oh dear, do I dare

To wear a flower on my head, what kind of man am I?

But I will show the world out there, I’m brave without  a lie,

The ladies will all flock to me, admiring my good taste,

And this is such a perfect chance, I simply cannot waste.”

And so he put me on his hat and strolled along the street,

Smiling at approving looks from ladies he did meet.

Perhaps this fashion disappeared, no longer quite the thing,

But I am famous everywhere, for brightening up the spring.

 

 


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Exotics, Large and Small

Every January the orchids in our local stores come on sale. Every January I HAVE TO buy a new one. When they finish blooming, I keep them and hope they’ll bloom again, and although it sometimes takes months, they do reward me eventually.

Last week, my friends were going on a holiday and very kindly left their amaryllis plants with me to enjoy while they were away.

I was amazed at the size of the flowers. I’ve learned that they originated in South Africa, and some types came from South America.

My little orchids did their best to keep up with the blooming show, and it took a whole army of blossoms to compete with the huge visitors. But each did their best and I’ve had the benefit of all their efforts.

I’m happy to see a bit of colour in the middle of winter.

By the way, I’m not the only one to have an orchid obsession. One of my characters in The Wind Weeps is fascinated by them, but in a sick way. He thinks he can win the girl by bringing her orchids, but after a while, the orchid becomes a terrifying symbol of his stalking and abuse.

Set on the west coast of British Columbia, you’ll get a sense of the remote and beautiful, yet raw place my characters live in.

You can download The Wind Weeps for free on amazon.com and on smashwords.com (for e-readers other than Kindle). Just don’t forget that if you want to know what happens, you need to spend about $3 to buy the sequel, Reckoning Tide, also on amazon.com. Best $3 you’ll ever spend. Just click on the book cover images at the side of this blog page, or on the amazon links in this paragraph.


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Mom’s Mums

These chrysanthemums haven’t had the benefit of any fertilizers for all of their life. I guess I should have paid more attention. But every time I looked at them, I felt a bit sad and walked away. Why?

Over 36 years ago, these mums were in a hanging basket in my mother’s back porch. In 1982, when she died, I brought the hanging basket home to my house. I didn’t expect them to come back the next year and bloom, and when they did, the feeling was always bittersweet.

I took more care the next winter to cover them with a patio chair or some kind of loose plastic to keep the worst of the cold off them. It didn’t occur to me to add fertilizer even after I repotted them when they got too big for the hanging basket.

Now, after blooming for the 36th time since they came to live with me, I have finally come to my senses and have decided to give them some fertilizer next spring.

I am grateful for this plant’s tribute to my mother each year, and have been shamed into taking better care of it. Do you think it’s too late for me to get it together?


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A Bad Hair Day

I think these are the last of the poppies in my garden that have a different look.

The combination of colours and texture is beautiful, but it was the crepe paper look that made these poppies special for me. I wondered what the word “crepe” meant and found that its origin in 18th C. French was “crespe” which meant “curled, frizzed” from the Latin “crispus.”

In reality, the poppy petals are soft and delicate, but it’s the crepe look that I find fascinating.

D’you ever have a bad hair day

When petals lie down where they may?

You see, for me, it’s nothing new,

They do whatever they want to do.

Crispy,  frizzy, fluttering,

My hairdo takes a battering.

The passing breeze has tousled me

I’m not the queen I’d like to be.

Here comes a lady pulling plants.

I call to her, “Give me a chance!

I’m just not ready yet to die.” 

She halts and breathes a great big sigh.

“I love the messy look  we share. 

To part with you, I could not bear.”

 

 

 


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Volunteers

My garden had a lot of volunteers this year, especially the poppies. So many stuck their heads up when I called for help in the jungle of my garden, that I couldn’t decide which ones to choose and which to deny. Here are two,  the first of many that I hope to post as time goes on.

I’m royal purple says the queen,

Most regal that you’ve ever seen.

I come from tall and stately stock,

My “white and purple” says I rock.

 

I’m one of those from Flanders’ Fields

Remembered well, my power shields

The fallen from forgotten sleep

As every year, I watch do keep.


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Two Coasts, Two Kinds of Snow

Today, May 24th, it snowed a foot or more on the east coast of Canada. This is not normally May weather, even for the province of Newfoundland.

As I stepped outside in my front yard on the west coast of Canada, it looked like snow too. But a second look told me the white “flakes” on the ground were actually tired dogwood petals that had finished blooming.

As I turned to walk towards the front yard, I saw more snow. But this time it was in the shape of snowballs from my snowball bush (part of the viburnum family).

I really sympathize with the Newfoundlanders today, but I wouldn’t want to trade places with them. I like our kind of snow better.


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Three Strikes, You’re Out

About 20+ years ago one of my neighbours had planted several small rhodos outside his fence next to the road. On my way home from work, I noticed one of the small plants lying on the side of the road, where deer had pulled it out of the ground. The deer problem was bad around here. If you wanted to grow anything, you had to have a fence around it.

Since the frontage was out of the neighbours’ line of vision, and they might not know their pIant was uprooted, I stopped, picked up the rhodo, and brought it to their door.

“The deer must have pulled out your rhodo. Thought you might want to  replant it.”

“Oh, thanks. Yeah, those darned deer. Just set it over there,” the neighbour said, and pointed to a shady spot near the door.

A few days later, another of the rhodos was pulled out and the scenario was repeated (I stopped, delivered the poor plant so it could be saved).

This time I was met with a sigh as they took the plant from my hand.

The third time I passed by and saw a rhodo uprooted, I stopped and knocked on the door. The neighbour’s adult son answered.

“Sorry, but the deer keep pulling out your rhodos. They don’t seem to like eating them but they don’t know that until after they pull on the leaves and uproot the plant.” I handed over the foot-high shrub.

The son took the plant from me. “Thanks,” he muttered, and flung it into the shrubbery a few feet from the house.

I noticed that the two or three rhodos left on the neighbours’ frontage were drying up and dying. I had tried three times to save the ones that had been uprooted, but when I saw that they didn’t really care about them, I changed my attitude.

“Okay,” I thought. “Three strikes, and  you’re out.”

The fourth time I drove by and saw rhodos in trouble, there were two of them lying on the ground, several feet from where they had been planted, looking limp and near death’s door.

I took them home, stuck them in the ground, and gave them a drink of water.

Today, the neighbour has no rhodos on his frontage, but in the photo below, you can see the two I rescued. They have been happy for over 20 years.