1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dappled Beauty--My New Season Has Begun

Today I began attending massage school in Pensacola. The other students and their reasons for enrolling in the school are as varied as the markings on this Peruvian lily. This is the third year it has graced the flower bed on the south side of the lanai. It only blooms here for a few weeks, but its speckled presence makes an otherwise dull spot in the bed shine for a while.

Please, hold your applause. I just finished swimming, and I need my binkie! Micah, my other Peruvian lily, his parents, and Grandma Martha came over yesterday for a cookout and swim in our pool. I wish that my dad could have lived to meet Micah. He would have loved his expressive and precocious personality.

This gardenia, a groundcovering variety with variegated leaves, bathes the pool area with its divine scent when the sun warms its delicate blossoms.

These freckle-faced pansies apparently have an iron constitution despite their name. They have been ignored for months while I've been away but continue to bloom on the north side of the lanai.

Pied Beauty
Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls, finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.
--Gerard Manley Hopkins--1844-1889

Monday, May 26, 2008

"Lest We Forget"

A red flower. Do you know what my name is? The Roamin' Idiot who planted me does not remember it.

Something white. A Mother's Day present (Star of Bethlehem or Ornithogalum thyrsoides) which will be planted outside once the blooms fade. It will probably be placed on the south side of the lanai where the bulb will have good drainage and plenty of warmth in the winter.

One of my favorite blue flowers, Hydrangea "Endless Summer." It reminds me of an old-fashioned garden, but its characteristics reveal it to be a modern hybrid. It blooms on both old and new wood and can take direct sunlight and intense heat. I have two of these shrubs on the southwest corner of the house (in Florida, mind you!).

I dedicate this post and these flowers to the memory of my dad and my nephew. They both departed this earth in 2004, but they will never be forgotten. Both of them were veterans.

God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle line--
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
The tumult and the shouting dies--
The Captains and the Kings depart--
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
Far-called, our navies melt away--
On dune and headland sinks the fire--
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!...
--Rudyard Kipling--

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Water for Water

This morning after a heavy rain last night, the pool reflects what water is left behind on the screen above it. The grass appears refreshed and ready to take on the heat of the new day.

Then all the charm
Is broken--all that phantom-world so fair
Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread,
And each mis-shape[s] the other. Stay awhile,
Poor youth! who scarcely dar'st lift up thine eyes--
The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon
The visions will return! An lo! he stays,
And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms
Come trembling back, unite, and now once more
The pool becomes a mirror.

[From Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Picture; or the Lover's Resolution, lines 91-100]

Miss Kitty has no manners and no sense anymore. She sits on top of the tablecloth still wet from last night's rain.

This small tree rose by the front porch appears to be taking a bow for having weathered the storm. Her name is Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Time for Pruning

Once I got done mowing and trimming our acre in Florida this morning, I took a closer look at the roses surrounding the house and found them in dire need of pruning. In the northeast corner of the lanai, this Knockout has taken over and is beginning to rub against the screen.

Here, an unnamed daylily (purchased at a box store real cheap!) struggles valiantly past the Knockout to reach some sunlight.

This lovely tree rose is Honey Perfume. I definitely need more of this one. It has grown taller than any tree rose I have ever seen. It must be over six feet tall. The Thuja look like green sentinels protecting the rose from any harm. Fortunately, they are a slow growing variety and very fragrant themselves. I think the name is Emerald Green. Quite fitting, don't you think?

Here is another jungle, only this time in the flower bed at the front of the house. As you can see, the Loropetalum (I have trained it into a tree) is trying to make a comeback as a shrub, sending shoots out from around the bottom of its trunk. Can you spot the small lion (Peanut) roaring at me from her shady hiding place? I have a lot of work to do this weekend. An absence of several months can spell trouble for this gardener who likes her growing spaces to be in order. I can see that this morning's mowing was just the beginning.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Artist at Work

I admit it. I'm not much of an artist. I created two cakes for Micah's first birthday, one just for him and one for the rest of us. His mom wanted a Winnie-the-Pooh cake for him, so I gave it my best shot. Since the day (May 17) was warm, we headed outside to the lanai and watched the fun begin.

Micah has been learning to use utensils to eat with, so when he was confronted with the cake and given no spoon or fork, he wasn't quite sure what to do or where to begin.

Now we're cookin'! His mom gave him something to work with.

She wanted him to actually taste the cake instead of just wear it.

Micah thinks he could get used to this messy kind of eating. Grandma thinks we will be eating outside as often as possible this summer.

Life Sculpture
Chisel in hand stood a sculptor boy
With his marble block before him,
And his eyes lit up with a smile of joy,
As an angel-dream passed o'er him.
He carved the dream on that shapeless stone,
With many a sharp incision;
With heaven's own light the sculpture shone,--
He'd caught that angel-vision.
Children of life are we, as we stand
With our lives uncarved before us,
Waiting the hour when, at God's command,
Our life-dream shall pass o'er us.
If we carve it then on the yielding stone,
With many a sharp incision,
Its heavenly beauty shall be our own,--
Our lives, that angel-vision.
--George Washington Doane (1799-1859)--

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bellingrath Gardens--A Great Place to Start Estivating

If you want someplace to begin your annual estivation, start by saying "Hi, ya'll!" to get you in the mood for southern hospitality and style. On Monday after Mother's Day, hubby, Sarah, and I traveled I-10 to Mobile, Alabama, and visited the jewel of the South (at least in my opinion), Bellingrath Gardens. We usually go there when the azaleas are in their glory in early to mid-March, but business in Illinois kept us away.

A little bit of interesting history about the garden and its founders. Please click on the picture to enlarge it for easier viewing.

The sun was bright, the day was warm, and we had the gardens almost to ourselves since it was a Monday and not a holiday.

Lucky for these two imps, nobody in authority was nearby to put a stop to their antics.

Don't believe everything you hear in the news about oil companies. Regardless of what the media claim, they really are not evil. Exxon-Mobil provided some much-needed funds for building and maintaining the boardwalk. There was significant damage to the structure after the last few hurricane seasons.

Ahh! Back in Florida Again!

I know, I'm late again with my post. These pictures were taken on Mother's Day (over a week ago!) in my son's backyard. He and his wife have truly worked a miracle. Their parklike yard counts as one too, having been wrested from a long-neglected piece of land on the Avalon peninsula, east of Pensacola. They have created a paradise for their other little miracle, Micah, to play in and enjoy the beauty around him.

Grandpa gets a little time off from work in Illinois. He spent as much time as he could this past week with his grandson, who just turned one last Friday (more pictures in another post about that big event).

Daddy, don't look down!

You too, Mom! Keep looking up! She really does, Micah. My daughter-in-law has a personality and outlook on life as sunny and bright as her shirt and the afternoon we shared.

Grandpa, hurry up and take the picture. It's warm out here today, and our smiles are starting to melt. That's okay, though. We'll have plenty more good times to smile about next week (sorry, Micah, last week). Let's see... I have swimming lessons on Tuesday and Thursday, and then I get a cake all to myself at my first birthday party on Saturday. I can't wait to see all of my friends and family at Grandma and Grandpa's house!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Threads of Thought

Certain threads of my thoughts seem to be cropping up in unexpected places and are causing me some embarrassment. Yesterday I posted about signs and faces, and after posting I navigated over to Carol's site where I found she had posted on Monday about seeing a face in a stepping stone. Yikes! I felt my face redden as I thought that anyone reading my post after having read hers would think I am an idea thief! Then I went to Sarah Laurence's blog and saw her post which included unusual signs. No way! What is going on here? I took the photos Sunday on our hike and pieced an idea together in my head, but, unfortunately, I didn't fully assemble the idea and post it until Thursday. Procrastination has gotten me into trouble before, but it usually just involved burning the midnight oil to finish a term paper, a problem for my eyes only (and maybe the teacher's), as their redness gave evidence of my "sin" the next morning in class.

Now, my procrastination has leaped into cyberspace and exposed me as a possible idea thief! Wait a minute, now. My sister Ellen and I were discussing something along these lines on Tuesday when I had a visit with her and my mom for an early Mother's Day lunch. After eating lunch at Hunan's in Carbondale, we went to Ellen's house for dessert and tea, and she let me have a peek at the gift she is assembling for me. Isn't it gorgeous? She says it is a stack-n-whack quilt.

Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Apparently, all of the blocks in the quilt are pieced together in kaleidoscope fashion from one piece of fabric. I asked her if the idea was hers, but she said she found it in a pattern book.

Aren't patterns kind of like recipes, I wondered out loud? The woman who published the pattern book "cooked" up what looks like a novel idea, but she probably just drew on years of experience with various styles of quilting to put a new twist on what had come before, adding a bit of her own creative flair to the mix. We would all like to think we have a truly original idea sometimes, but then something comes along to show us that, no, our thoughts are merely tied to some bigger, more elaborate, and deliberate pattern.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

On the Face of It

Putting a friendly face on the dangers along the way: Signs to show you the way and keep you in line.

When I looked up the word "face" in the dictionary, I found no fewer than 45 definitions of it. It seems that face is almost indefinable. And I kind of like that a word can be so elusive, so ripe with possibilities. Faced with another beautiful Sunday, May 4, hubby and I took to the trails of southern Illinois once more to see and capture another aspect of areas already familiar to us: Ferne Clyffe and Devil's Kitchen.

I love the artistic rather than conventional representation of the Rocky Bluff Trail on this map.

These trees in Ferne Clyffe will find a way to reach the light, even if it means crawling on their bellies and looking ridiculous!

Here you see a tree actually growing upside down, precariously propped against a rock, gathering nourishment and moisture from the porous sandstone. It somehow manages to sustain its own life and that of the ferns growing among its hairy roots. If you look closely beneath the "hairpiece," you can find a face in the rock peering out at you.

This rock seems to be surprised to see us.

So what if I'm lopsided? I'll sing anyway.

Here is a friendly (dare I say goofy?) face along the path. Maybe it's embarrassed about its complexion. I can remember feeling that way as a teenager.

Here we are, the two of us, face to face with another difficult but defining season in our life together. We'll weather it somehow. We always do.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Give Us a Hand!

These are my humble offerings for the Hoedown sponsored by Carol. They are the younger siblings in the family of tools back home in Florida. Their older brothers and sisters (whom they haven't even met yet!) are probably basking in the sun (if my daughter left them outside) or waiting patiently for me in the shed.

These young'uns don't have much work to do here in Illinois at the apartment. They tend to the few shrubs, the small flower bed in front, and the flower pots on the front porch.

My hubby got home just as I was taking the pictures and gave me the strangest look, even when I explained what the pictures were for (hoes? those aren't hoes!). He finally understood and did get a good chuckle when he looked at Carol's blog.

The baby tools will get to meet the rest of the family soon enough. We are going back home soon to list the house in Florida with a realtor, and we already have our eyes on some property (seven acres!) near a lake here in southern Illinois. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I could really do some gardening, maybe even some farming, on seven acres.

Rune for the Roses

If you are a fan of horse racing (or just keep up with the news), you know that the Kentucky Derby will be run today, a race that is also known as the Run for the Roses. Just a little research on the Net will tell you that this race is the 134th one to be run, and that Big Brown is a favorite to win. Time will tell. For some reason, yesterday I commented to a fellow garden blogger about gents putting us through our paces. I suppose I was unconsciously alluding to the race, which I didn't even realize was taking place until I turned on the news this morning. Weird, huh? Anyway, you are probably wondering what the picture above has to do with horse racing. Well, it doesn't have anything to do with it, unless you count the roses in the background as an enduring symbol. This picture was taken by a stranger (at our request) a few years ago at Bellingrath Gardens in Alabama. We were visiting the garden with some new friends, Lenny and Maria (the couple on the left). They had just moved to Florida from Hawaii and were missing the lush flora they were accustomed to. I hope the visit to the garden refreshed them. I don't know for sure because we lost touch with them. They both took new jobs shortly after this picture was taken, we got busy with our various tasks, and somehow we drifted apart from them.

I guess what I am trying to say, in my usual peripatetic way, is that I get frustrated with how many times I have let something enduring like friendship slip through my fingers. Instead, I fix my focus on something of little consequence like working a few more hours to make extra money or studying harder to make that next "A."

The Kentucky Derby takes about two minutes to run, but the hoopla surrounding it goes on for weeks in Louisville. And what does the net result mean in the real scheme of things? Sure, lots of money for the winners, headache and heartache for the losers, but does the world become a better place to live after those two minutes expire? Does it become cleaner, more beautiful, more peaceful? I hope that my brief time on this earth, my "two minutes," will produce more than just money, headache, or heartache for the people I leave behind me. Only time will tell.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tribute to Another Lady

Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flow'ry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth and youth and warm desire,
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

John Milton
"Song: On May Morning"

Happy 91st birthday to my beloved's mother, Valena Mae Walker, who raised two fine sons and two lovely daughters in southern Illinois. I'm more than just a little fond of her "baby boy." We celebrate your many years of love, service, and devotion to your family and community, Valena. In Milton's words, we "salute thee" and "wish thee long."