Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don't Change

I have some of the coolest cousins in the world, and for that I am grateful. Probably because I hail from large broods (both of my parents were 1 of 7 children in their respective families) and, who are we kidding, being Southern, I spent a lot of time with my family growing up (and spend as much time as I can with them now ... they're "my people."). I grew up in my mother's hometown in Alabama, so many of my cousins in Mobile are more like brothers/sisters, but I loved our trips to Virginia to see my dad's people and share a special bond with them as well.

My cousin Lori is probably six or seven years older than me but I LIVED for her apex-level awesomeness. She taught me how to smoke correctly (thanks for those 16 years of addiction, by the way!), how to dance like a rockstar (she was much better at it than me), and every moment I have spent with her has been nothing short of complete and utter contentment.

I got a text from her yesterday morning which said, "Heard 'Don't Change' on radio this morning, always think of you when I do, I love you." It made my Wednesday spectacular. Thanks Lori, I hadn't heard or thought of that song in a few years, but have to share as it remains one of my all time favs!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Make It A Point

Every day we have choices to make. The summation of these choices represent and embody our standards  and expectations. When we recognize the choices we need to make, but struggle to succeed in executing them, we set ourselves up for disappointment and reduced feelings of fulfillment. The range here is vast, of course. Maybe the world won't end because you didn't fold the laundry the minute the dryer stopped running, but dismissing seemingly innocuous things has a cumulative effect and add to larger scale disappointments.

Life is short, isn't it? Do the things that ideally you think should be done, even if it means you take 5 extra minutes. Sweat the small stuff. It can mean the difference between feeling blase about your life or truly self-assured and fulfilled. And if you don't sweat it, no one else will either.

This means, ultimately, your dryer could always have a load of laundry in it. And nothing illicits a wince and "aww Hell naw" like jack-in-the-box white clothes in the dryer. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Baby's Black Bamboo

My friend Brian gasped, "Tom Ford!"
It's been a fairly busy past few weeks and it appears that will be the forecast for the foreseeable future. I'm trying to figure out a way to spin this positively and, yeah, not happening, but at least my hot tub is now up and running and I can soak away the stress and aches at the end of the day. That's positive, right?

Another thing I find incredibly effective at encouraging deeper breathing is bamboo. I know that sounds odd, and I've probably talked about my love for this prolific cane in blogs past, but I find it elegant and graceful and for some reason this seems to settle me.

Earlier this summer I acquired a small "clumping bamboo" plant. Don't get excited, this picture is NOT it. Right now it's clinging to life in a new large pot, on a pedestal even, in my front flower bed. As it turns out, and contrary to popular belief, bamboo doesn't just live in anything. It actually has a preference for well-prepared soil and nutrients (who knew?). Some research performed in attempting to save the life of my current bamboo lead me to Beautiful Bamboo. And that lead me to black bamboo.

Amazing, isn't it?

The Empire's newest acquisition.
This variety is a timber/clumping variety that apparently has no use for any type of cold weather, so it seems I'll only be able to admire it from afar. In its place, however, I acquired a running black bamboo which is touted as "very hardy." On a recent design blog I saw bamboo installations on a really high-end deck, intended to function as privacy screens. They had been planted in galvanized steel livestock watering troughs.

I didn't know what to expect when live plants are FedEx'ed, but I was pretty impressed that it arrived in a box, with the canes somewhat twisted backward, packed very tight with wadded newspaper. As instructed, I unpacked, stood upright, and watered well. When I repotted it into a larger container last night (you didn't think I'd plant it in the ground, did you?), I was amazed at how profuse the root bed "nexus" appeared. There's this huge underground "cane dragon" that's wrapped the entire 1-gallon container and, I swear, it screamed "FEED ME" when I exposed it. I predict success with this variety.

I will spend the winter determining exactly where I want to permanently place it. I'm thinking of a raised concrete channel bed directly behind the hot tub patio to serve as a courtyard divider/privacy screen/swanky backdrop.

And finally, a post to the video of the song that inspired this post's title. I loved Goo Goo Dolls back in the day, and this was my favorite from them.