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.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Works of Nature--Gourds, Garden Clubs, and Goodwill

On Monday I had the good fortune to attend a Town and Country Garden Club meeting near the small town from which we just recently moved. Susan, the lady hosting the meeting, amazed me as well as the other ladies present with a veritable multitude of talents. She and her husband have transformed a 100-year-old cabin into a warm, inviting home by adding features like this stone hearth and gas fireplace. The gourds displayed on the hearth belong to the guest speaker, Diane White from the Marion garden club. Diane gave an interesting presentation about preparing, painting, and finishing the gourds. She said she uses leather dyes, acrylic paints, and water-based stains on them and polishes them with paste wax. Decorations are added as a final touch.

She drilled small holes into this charming snowman to insert a pipe and stick arms. Some caution should be observed when drilling into gourds, though. Diane suggested wearing a dust mask to avoid breathing any mold spores which might be inside them.

I arrived early at Susan's house and snapped a few photos of her yard and its denizens, with her permission of course. She probably would not have minded me taking more pictures of her home's interior, but I felt kind of funny about it and decided not to. I don't know her very well and felt like I would be invading her privacy. The outside, though, seemed like fair game. Like I said before, Susan has a lot of talent for decorating. She made this grapevine deer herself and topped it off with real antlers. I hope for the real deer's sake that they were shed in the woods and not harvested. That term, "harvesting," is a kinder, gentler way to think of the deer meeting its end.

I wish that winter in the Land of Lincoln would be kinder and gentler. Susan expressed some disappointment that we didn't get to see any of her flower beds in bloom. There was a hard frost the night before, and the flowers were finished for the year.

Now that I am finished unpacking boxes, I can begin to wander about my new surroundings and take notice of things. For instance, there is an oil pipeline visible to passersby not more than two blocks from our house, laid beneath the lake, and continuing on beyond it. You can see the clearing made for it on the other side. One of our neighbors told us that security guards regularly patrol the area, I suppose, to prevent vandalism or theft. I wonder if they carry weapons or care if people like me take pictures?

After some blustery weather this past weekend, most of the colorful leaves have fallen. Yesterday afternoon, Hubby and I took a long walk in the neighborhood and explored some of the hilly roads nearby. There are no sidewalks here, but the traffic is light most of the time. No wonder it's so quiet around here. I did hear a train last night, but it was miles away and sounded kind of soothing instead of jarring to the nerves.

A certain blogger I mentioned in my last post recently gave me something she had made with her talented two hands. It's sitting on top of one of my bookcases right now because the garden outside is not familiar territory to me yet, and I'm not quite sure where it belongs yet (click on the picture to read the inscription). I feel like I'm a member of a very special kind of garden club now, one that doesn't have any ways or means committee, is not answerable to any federation rules, has no set meeting times, and is open to anyone with an interest in gardening or nature. Let's hope it continues to grow and gains new members from all over the world.

My world now contains elements of breathtaking beauty like this sunset viewed from the deck at our new place. I want to share it and many more like it in the future with members of the "club."
When earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colors have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it--lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall set us to work anew!
And those that were good will be happy; they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets' hair;
They shall find real saints to draw from--Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!
And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;
And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame;
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!
--Rudyard Kipling's L'Envoi--


  1. I am the first one to comment today? Good news for this blogger who has been out of town and behind on blogging. Your friend's gourds are beautiful! I like the shine on them. I may have to try this with mine this year. Usually I spray them with polyurethane but I think the wax may be better. Ironic there is a pipeline so close to your new house. I do hope you are getting settled in nicely. Sure looks like it with that marker stone there. My most memorable one since I had such a HARD time with it:) The garden club with no federation rules-as president of my garden club, let me tell you-no Federation rules would be GREAT! Our new club will grow I am betting.

  2. I grew apple gourds a few years ago, they dried really nice. I use them as giant "apples" now.

    And I too "feel like I'm a member of a very special kind of garden club now," initiated into it by Ms. Tina.

    I was tryin to see the titles of some of your books but couldn't make any out. And that's a nice fish too! Looks like a stripped bass.

    I used to work on pipelines such as the one in your photo. Some were buried on remote hillsides so steep you'd get snakebit in the head if you weren't careful.

    I'm so glad you're back. And I wish y'all all the happiness in the world there at your new dwelling.

  3. Glad to see the move is over and you are settling. Those gourds are great. I always mean to grow some but never remember until too late. They require a long season and our growing season is barely long enough.

    I enjoyed Kipling's poem. Isn't it interesting that the "good shall sit in a golden chair". Such a great writer should have thought of a better reward;)

  4. Wow the gourds are so cool. I hope I can do something as special with mine when they dry.

    The sunset in your new place is awesome! Share more with us as you see them. Nothing like a beautiful sunset or sunrise....

    I know that marker is happy to be settled into the new home as are you! I was with Tina when the first marker bit the dust, She was frantic to get a new one made. She is such a sweetheart to worry so about concrete :) or whatever they are made out of....

    Hey, “Garden Party” the song is on now! How cool since I was at the part about the No Rules Garden Club! Sounds like my kind of club. Sign me up please... lol....

    Yep, harvesting sounds a bit nicer to me too. Poor hoof baby... :)

    Rain here today so the leaves are falling along with the rain drops...

    Have a good weekend!

  5. I dunno, not working for money or fame sounds kinda like socalism. Kidding.
    You have moved to paradise. The sunset view is one that would take years to learn. The empty winding road invites further exploration.

  6. Tina, what are you talking about? You never get behind on blogging! I don't see how you do it: school, family, gardening, blogging, club president, and blogger-meeting facilitator. You ought to be Obama's chief of staff. You really know how to get things done and keep people motivated! Better looking than his choice, too.

    TC, no peeking at book titles! You would probably laugh if you knew what I have on my shelves. Let's just say if any of them made the Times' bestseller list, it was long ago and in another dimension. I figured you would notice the fish. Nice try, guess again. Snakebit in the head? Were you crawling up those hills? And where was your hard-hat, young man? Thanks for the happy wishes!

    Marnie, I'm going to give the gourds a try next year. We have a tall deck with a lattice, so there is plenty of vertical growing space here. I will try the smaller ones, though, since some of them can get rather heavy. You're right about that golden chair. I'd prefer a nice, soft leather recliner. Guess Kipling never heard of Lazy-Boy.

    Hi, Skeeter! Tina went to a lot of trouble with that marker. I will guard it with my life. I guess that's why I'm afraid to put it outside right now. It might crack in the cold weather or get knocked over by some clumsy neighborhood hound. Is there a big harvest of deer where you live? Actually, I'd rather see them end up on someone's dinner table than splattered all over the highway. Pretty gruesome and dangerous, too, if you happen to be the one doing the splattering. This is the time of year when they get restless and take to crossing the roads. You must be getting the rain we had all day yesterday. Enjoy!

    WS, I thought paradise was supposed to be in a temperate climate. I am pretty lucky to study views like that one and walk these winding, hilly roads. Much better exercise than Florida terrain. More bang for fewer bucks, so to speak. You have been busy blogging lately, I've noticed. I'll be stopping by soon.

  7. When we first moved into this house, we could identify our small deer herd and I named them. Our favorite one we name Redd due to her red colored coat, was killed by a car. Not a pretty sight to see the buzzards having a meal on her. Those buzzards were in my Halloween posting but you could not see Redd below the ground. I would not have posted that pic if you could see a dead deer. PETA may come crashing down my door or something... Saint hit a deer on the way to work one morning. The doe ran between him and a school bus. I am glad he and not the school bus hit her. She kept going into the woods so think she may have missed out on death but maybe not. I like to think positive so I say she made it safe. Our car did not fair so well. The Saint had to go junk yard hopping to replace the grill. New one was too expensive for a 14 year old car. We do have a ton of deer in our area and fewer hunters these days and with growth coming our way, more deer will be hit by cars...:(

  8. What a beautiful view from your deck! I'm sure you are going to be spending a lot of time there enjoying that view.
    I like your description of the "garden club." This is my kind of club, too, one where I can go to a meeting any time I want:)
    It will be fun to see where you put your new marker next spring.

  9. Nope, TC. Now let someone else try the bait. ;}

    Skeeter, sorry to hear about Redd. I know when you see the critters in your yard regularly, they can seem like pets. Almost every day on the local news, there is a report of someone colliding with a deer. That's one thing we didn't worry about in NW Florida. For some reason, the deer there are relatively small compared to the ones around here. I guess peanuts and cotton don't provide much nourishment for them.

    Rose, the best thing about the club is no one has the burden (or distinction, as the case may be) of serving as an officer and trying to get everyone to conform (make a motion, second it, all in favor...). There's much more freedom to be individuals and discover the creative spark and unrealized gifts we all have. Are you going to that Spring Fling Thing in the Windy City? Maybe I'll get to meet you there.

  10. What a nice garden she had even if the flowers weren't all in bloom. I didn't know that about gourds, but I don't plan to be drilling into any. I am not crafty at all...

  11. Interesting collection of gourds there and the grapevine deer is so innovative. With all that quiet and pretty landscape going for your long walks should be fun.
    The last photo is spectacular! Here's another "club-member" looking forward to your posts...

  12. Michelle, you do indeed have a craft--a "hobby" and a vehicle--your blog. Your hobby transports us to your world and lets us see wonderful things through your eyes. It also teaches us extraordinary things about the little ecosystem you're so passionate about preserving.

    Kanak, thank you! You're a pretty special member. I was telling Susan about my blog, and she was amazed that I get to correspond regularly with people from all over the world. It's so much more than correspondence, though. The word friendship definitely comes to mind.

  13. Hi W2W, I'm glad you are getting settled in. As one who has moved long distances many times, I can safely sucks. But making new friends is fun and easy. Gardening brings people together, just like so many other things. I love the gourds. I have many and one year cleaned and waxed them and gave them as Christmas presents. I like the idea of leather dye, it would look more natural. The grapevine deer is a work of art. She is very talented. You do have a million dollar view.

  14. Frances, I think gardening (or nurturing one's immediate environment) is the best way to bring people together. Susan is indeed a treasure. I have only met her a few times, and she is truly inspiring. Maybe I can convince her to start her own garden blog. I hope so! Unfortunately, the million-dollar view does not include a whole lot of horizontal gardening space. Guess I will have to be creative. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Dear W2W,
    I too want to be in "your" garden club. I once was in a Garden Club where the ladies spent more time complaining than gardening!
    I was President for two years and as soon as someone else took over I quit!
    I grow gourds every few years. They are very fun to craft with.
    I have some in my window boxes right now looking decorative.
    Your sunset is beautiful.
    Welcome to your new home. May you and your loved ones have many happy years in your new gardens.

  16. Q, Can't speak for Walk2Write but all garden bloggers welcomed from my part to the club. We don't even need to vote on it:)

  17. The view on that last shot is fantastic! How I would love to live in a place like that!
    I've enjoyed reading this post a lot - so many creative ideas! I've never grown gourds, but feel inclined to do that now. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Thanks Tina!
    I do bee and butterfly gardening.
    Next growing season I am planting a dyer's garden. I will enjoy being in a Garden Club that is all inclusive!

  19. What a neat sunset! Perfect view from your new deck!!! WOW!

    I love Rudyard Kipling! I have a Just So Stories in a classical binding that I cherish, since childhood!

    Gourds are so can grow them up in north Florida??? I lived in Gainesville for 10 years, but I can't remember anyone growing them there. Wish I could grow some here!!! These are really pretty.

  20. Sounds like you have the right frame of mind. That's half the battle of the transition. About the cypress ... I think I answered it in part, but I'll have to dig around a little bit more to answer it completely. It's a good question ... and there is more to it than meets the eye.

  21. Sherry, thanks! It's "our" garden club, equally shared and enjoyed. What is a dyer's garden? I've never heard of one. I suppose you mean growing plants known for their usefulness as dye sources?

    Katarina, I can't lay claim to any of the creative ideas portrayed, but I'm glad you like them. I will tell the ladies who are responsible for them. As I recall, you have carved out your own piece of paradise right where you live. I haven't done a thing (yet) to improve the looks of this place. It's my own little share of grace, I guess--undeserved but appreciated nonetheless.

    Julie, Kipling is one of my favorite writers too. He can be tender as well as tough, balanced in his perspective and always brutally honest about the world as he knew it. You might enjoy reading his short story "The Man Who Would Be King."

    Mr. S, thank you for investigating the knees question. I like baffling puzzles in nature. Swamps are full of curious treasures like cypress trees, and it's a shame they don't get the attention (or research funding) they deserve. Too many valuable secrets to be wasted and eliminated.

  22. Hi, I found your blog over at The Write Gardener. Glad I stopped by for a visit. Enjoyed my browse.

    I love kitties, so I enjoyed seeing Peanut in your garden. She's beautiful. I have one Miss Kitty at present...she's a real joy! And a little tyrant, when it comes to demanding her pets with a massage glove.

    Here's a link to a pic of her...

    Have a beautiful day!

  23. Hello, Brenda, and welcome. Your Miss Kitty is indeed a special one. You can tell she has established herself in your household after all of these years. Our Miss Kitty is now 16 years old and still quite feisty for her age, tyrannical too. Maybe it has something to do with the name? Seems like I remember the namesake had Marshal Dillon pretty much at her beck and call. I am missing our kitties. They are still in FL with our daughter at our home there. Looks like we only have visiting privileges for a while since our landlord here is not a cat lover. I like your header photo of the Rhus shrub. I have never grown one of them but would like to give it a try. They are native plants so it shouldn't be too much of a challenge. I always resisted ordering one for our FL garden because I thought it was too hot there, but I might plant one here in IL.

  24. Wow, what an impressive display of gourdes! The snowman gourde is very creative! I was collecting the little guys the last cpl of years. I like to set them out at Christmas time. Love the nature pics, too ...

  25. Hi, Walk2Write--I'm coming over from Tina's blog (and on Tina's recommendation)--what a great new place! I look forward to reading about your new gardens and your new and old communities, virtual and otherwise. Best, Cosmo

  26. Thanks, KD! I noticed but forgot to mention in my comment on your site that you changed the name of it to Ozark Mountain Dreamer. At least I think that's what I saw. But I guess your site name as far as Blogger is concerned hasn't changed since the updates show up as KD. Anyway, I love the look and content--great original poetry. And don't feel intimidated by Wordsworth. He's dead!

    Thank you, Cosmo. You are another one of those great bloggers I have been meaning to visit. Like I've said before, Tina is the best motivator I've ever known--except my dad when he adopted a certain tone of voice and I could see the muscles in his jaw contract. Seriously, she is so good at getting people to talk and be more sociable. I'm grateful for her influence. So, you like horseracing? Is it the betting aspect or just following the progress of the beautiful animals? I'm guessing betting might be involved, since I notice you also like to play poker. That's a game I haven't played in a while. Hubby always beats me when we play so I've kind of lost interest. He doesn't seem to understand women need to win sometimes. Thanks again for stopping by!

  27. The gourds are cool that deer is awesome and the gift is really nice.

  28. Thank you, MBT. Like I said somewhere else in the comments, I can't take credit for any of these creative gems. I'm just glad I could share them with you and anyone else who happens to visit. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your quest to save discarded plants.

  29. Hey, W2W--just checking your blog, and your playlist was playing "Walk Like An Egyptian"--I LOVE that version, but don't know it--is it a remix? It's one of my favorite songs--don't tell, but it's one of my karaoke standards. Anyway, thanks for the treat!

  30. Hey Cosmo, I'm glad I'm not the only one to act silly occasionally (?!) and sing karaoke. I've never tried this particular song, though. I would think you would have to be very flexible to pull it off. This particular version I found on the Playlist site. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful holiday!

  31. Beautiful post! I loved your thoughts on gardening, and sharing, and your wonderful photographs! As always a great post, and Kipling's words were wonderful to read as well!