Sunday, June 23, 2013

Colorado Wildflowers in the House

On Sunday we celebrated my granddaughter, Eliza's, first birthday in Colorado at my daughter and son-in-law's house.  This New Mexican was enchanted by the fields of wildflowers around their house and I took scissors in hand and a bucket and went foraging for flowers for the party. Two parties that is....I am joining Jane's Flowers in the House  blog party.  Click on over to see lots more lovely flowers.

Multiple Vases were filled...but the flower we liked the best was the bright faced birthday girl!
 The cake made by her Auntie "B"

Monday, June 17, 2013

Williamsburg Garden

Fairy Garden

Today was a productive day.  In anticipation of a major landscaping job to complete my sister, Rosalind's Williamsburg dollhouse, I did a practice run by creating a fairy garden for my three granddaughters, Caroline, Sara and Eliza.  They will be visiting in July to attend Rosalind's memorial service.  Rosalind worked on renovations to her tiny estate up until three weeks before her death when, as she said, "I seem to have run out of steam."  Only a little molding around a door and the landscaping remains to be done, so I am going to do it for her.

Rosalind and her husband, Larry at Christmas-photo by Tim Stone

 I have been looking at photos of gardens for inspiration for this landscaping project.  Thought it would be fun to show you a few....

 Many of the gardens in Williamsburg have some common design elements.  Can you spot them?
Answers are at the end of the post.

I also bought a rose bush to plant in Rosalind's memory.  She adored flowers of all kinds, although when helping Larry choose some new xeric plants for her front garden, he reminded me that pink was not a choice Rosalind would have made.  When Rosalind was younger, her hair was a beautiful auburn color and she never wore pink or used it when choosing fabrics for her house.  This peach rose looks lovely in my garden of mostly pinks.  God chooses colors with abandon in his creation so I choose to mimic Him.

Now I need to find a yellow one for my Mama who loved yellow.

We will be planting a tree in Brittany's yard for Rosalind as well.  Do you find working in the garden a comfort in times of grief?  Or is gardening the last thing you want to do?

Common design elements found in Williamsburg gardens:

Many are parterre gardens.   A parterre is a formal garden constructed on a level surface, consisting of planting beds arranged to form a pleasing, usually symmetrical pattern, with gravel paths laid between.

The gardens are tidy and often have clipped hedges. Many of them have painted wooden picket fences or stone fences.

They almost always have some gravel paths (something the lady of the house would appreciate to keep her long skirts from being soiled.)

Most have brick as part of the design, either as edging for the beds or as formal paths.

Many combine flowers with vegetable and herbs but the more formal gardens rely on hedging to form the bulk of the design and have no flowers at all.

Two last questions..."Do you prefer a formal garden with clipped hedges, tidy edging and carefully chosen plants in common hues or do you like a cottage garden with exuberant colors, soft edges, and a multitude of plants?  Can you guess which I prefer?  Okay that was too easy a question.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Rosalind Womack

   Rosalind Womack 

June 1949 - June 2013

Many of you have come to know my sister Rosalind through stories on this blog.  Rosalind died on Friday morning listening to the silence and the ringing bell of her husband's morning meditations.  At the end of this blog post is Rosalind's obituary for those of you who knew her personally.  This poem seems to speak as Rosalind might have in her endless curiosity...

 When Death Comes – A Poem by Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Rosalind on the right with siblings and grandfather as her father goes out for a moment to himself.

Womack, Rosalind Ogden born June, 1949, died June, 2013, in her own home in Albuquerque.  Rosalind lived with equanimity and grace during the natural course of a brief terminal illness.  Her dying was free of the complicating preoccupations of intrusive life-prolonging medical interventions.  With the support of family and friends she decided instead to enjoy living as best she could free of the morbidities of a medically prolonged dying.
            Her decision not to pursue life-prolonging treatment in the face of an incurable cancer was based on a combination of no-nonsense realistic calculation and a morally principled resolve.  She did not want to waste the precious resources of her family or society pursing futile, expensive and distracting treatments.  She used her precious time to focus on being in love together with her family and friends. Roz showed us all how to practice the courageous art of dying.
Rosalind-1972-When she was in nursing school.
            Rosalind was fully experienced with the ins and outs of the medical system having trained as a nurse and worked for 40 years in Medicare and Medicaid utilization review; in medical staff quality assurance at the old Lovelace Hospital and as a cytotechnologist with Tri-Core Reference Labs. As a patient she survived multiple breast cancer treatments and a total hip replacement. With intelligence and competence she did what she could to help medicine do better at what it does well, and to stop doing so much harm, especially at the end of life.
            She was a restorative Hatha Yoga teacher who helped many older and disabled people to manage stress and feel better about living. Roz took great pleasure in the cooking, serving and the enjoyment of good food with others, and she always had sewing projects going making clothes for her nieces and their dolls. She taught cooking and sewing and the art of gracious, stylish living to her nieces and grandnieces and to their friends. Roz loved traveling with her husband to exotic places all over the world and continued planning trips and traveling until a few months before her death. Roz completed her ‘bucket list’ in grand style.
Rosalind in Rome in January
She believed it was her sacred duty to be responsible for making her living and for being attentive to and accomplishing her own dying. She arranged her affairs in order to be able to leave behind a greater wealth that could be invested anew by the coming generations. 

Roz was deeply committed to the upbringing and well-being of her beloved nieces and helped them to become the accomplished and loving ladies they are today. 
Rosalind with Larry, nieces, grandnieces and grandnephews at a favorite restaurant, The Shed, in Santa Fe in March

She was a wise and joyful Auntie, a loving generous wife, a faithful devoted daughter, niece and sister, and a fun-loving loyal friend.
Rosalind O. Womack was the daughter of Russell O. Womack Jr. and Rose Lee Stewart Womack.  
Rosalind (bottom left) in Morocco with parents and siblings

 She is survived by her husband Laurence T. Cotter, her sister Heather Lee Womack Gaume and her husband Arthur Norm Gaume; by her brother Russell O. Womack III and his wife, Charlene Hefner Womack; by her nieces Letisha Womack, Shanasi Womack Wade and her husband Chuck Wade, Camille Gaume Snyder and her husband David Snyder, Alethea Gaume Stone and her husband Tim Stone, and Brittany Gaume and her partner Colin Evans, and by grandnephews Max and Aiden Wade, and grandnieces Sara Anne Snyder, Caroline Rose Snyder, Willhelmina Womack and Eliza Stone.
It is requested that, in addition to flowers, donations be made to worthy charities. Rosalind dearly loved flowers and a generous heart.

Memorial Service

2:00 p.m.

July 12, 2013

St. Mark's Episcopal Church

431 Richmond NE 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What Kind of Bug Is This?

Do you find bugs fascinating?  

Butterflies who dance on the breeze and come in so many designs and colors?
 We planted butterfly bushes to encourage their visits.

Lady Bugs who cover the roses and consume aphids (OK...I don't love aphids, although they are such a beautiful color!)

 Praying Mantis stalking the garden like ancient aliens...

Sow Bugs which were a favorite of my children who loved to pick them up and quietly hold them until they cautiously unrolled.
I especially love the bees who visited my Rosemary bush this spring by the hundreds.  I counted at least seven different varieties of bee on it.  Perhaps because on our very dry mountain side it was the only thing blooming in early April. No photos of them...since I had not yet learned how to operate my new very complicated camera and the images were very blurry.  Here is one taken with my old camera last spring.
 My great nephew, Aiden, loves bugs as well, but being a modern sort of kid, he has created some bugs of his own using watch batteries.
Soldering supervised by Dad

Just like sow bugs they respond defensively to your this case by lighting up and moving their antennae.  Aren't they clever?  I have ordered one myself.  Aidan will sell them at school in a marketplace designed to teach the kids about free enterprise.  He took out a loan to purchase supplies (in this case the bugs cost $.39 each to make and he is selling them for $2.00.