Monday, February 14, 2011

Cactus: A Love Story

Last Saturday morning I was talking by phone to my father. It was the weekend before Valentine's day, and I had called to thank him for the lovely card he sent to me. We were both missing my mom, historical sender of valentines, this first Day of Love since she left us.

As I hung up, I heard a beep, signaling an incoming message. It was from my dear friend, mentor and one-time high school science teacher, Judy. There was no text, just the photo above. Well, I got a little teary; Judy's Christmas cactus has been a topic of conversation between us for forty years. You see, my mom gave Judy a piece of her own Christmas cactus somewhere around 1971...and it is now this beautiful plant.

I emailed Judy, to thank her for forwarding the pic at exactly the right time. And she sent me, in Paul Harvey fashion, the rest of the story.

It seems the normally cheery Christmas cactus was depressed this past holiday; the generally prolific bloomer had only one bud. Now, Judy is a biology teacher; so, of course, she had a little heart-to-heart with the sorrowful succulent:

"...I know you must be sad that Nancy's mom has passed away but I know she would like for you to continue to bloom as you have for the past 39 years..."

And, just in time for Valentine's Day, love blossomed.

Happy February 14th, family and friends. I love you. BLOOM!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Just Another New Year's Eve...

My newest design. And its tortured path to production.

So, I didn't sleep too well New Year's Eve night. My Muse, as some of you know, has a bit of a problem with margaritas. Did she show up for my birthday, or Christmas? Of course not. But the neighbors had a New Year's Eve party, with firecrackers and a margarita she rang in the New Year with them; and came over here to crash afterward.

Being a Muse, however, she couldn't just sleep it off. No, she kept bothering - I mean, trying to inspire - me. And in her altered state, that involved wandering around the house, shouting "Boom! Boom! Boom!" I finally convinced her that I was indeed inspired, and I would make some firecracker jewelry in the morning. Fifteen minutes later, she was passed out on the sofa; with a cat asleep on her head.

I woke early on New Year's Day; and got right to work, twisting copper, brass and multicolored wire into "Firecrackers". Hammering chain. Crimping, clamping, and occasionally spewing colorful language when I smashed a finger. Muse just snored on the sofa. I finished this loud-n-cheery 7 1/2" adornment with the most gorgeous brass is exactly the right size for an average 6" to 6 1/2" wrist. Poured myself another cup of coffee, and regarded my creation with pride.

And just then, a groan from the sofa. My Muse regarded me with one open eye - the one that didn't have a cat over it. I held up "Firecracker, Firecracker" and smiled. "Look, you really inspired me! Isn't this AWESOME?" She winced in pain; and said, "What are you talking about?"

"You know...Boom! Boom! Boom! I did just what you suggested!" I really wanted to start off the New Year right, and being in my Muse's good graces seemed important.

"You're talking crazy." She adjusted the cat over the open eye; and was snoring away again in less than a minute.

Can I get a Muse Do-Over?

"Firecracker, Firecracker" is here: