m is for…
mindful. minimal, maternal, middle-aged, menopausal, moral, memorable, mischievous, modern, mediterranean, moored, married, middlemost, mary jo.
so what will it be?
as most of you know, minimalism is where my heart lies. this leaf, all by itself, on white, is sort of my happy place. but then i do a lot of assemblages, and i am a little bit intrigued by that high-contrast full-sun hard-shadow los angeles look right now. and i sometimes miss the depth and mystery of my black backgrounds. and i could do repeating patterns all afternoon long. so what’ll it be? what brings you back here every day? i know what i like. i’d love to know what you like.
dried eucalyptus leaf
happy tax day
today is the last day to file tax returns for us americans. for most people it’s just a sort of vaguely dread-filled deadline, like a final exam or a corporate presentation that you have known was coming for a long time. for me it is a happy day, because it means i get my absentee tax-preparer husband back as a spouse, a dad, a consultant, a cook, a sommelier, a chauffeur, and a yawn-free conversational partner at the other end of the couch at night. happy tax day indeed. yay.
snugglepot and cuddlepie
i got my masters degree in aerospace engineering from stanford university, and there, still in my 20s, i met angus from australia. angus was one of those spiky geniuses who tend to find their way to stanford, but he was, unlike many of those spiky geniuses, very people-smart. over the years, though we are separated by most of the pacific ocean, he has given me three of the most thoughtful and valuable gifts i have ever received from anyone. he once sent me a hunk of raw opal from his native land that still sits on one of my shelves. he once sent steve and me a bottle of penfolds grange hermitage wine that was the backdrop to one of the most memorable meals of my life. and while i was pregnant with our firstborn daughter, he sent me a series of australian children’s stories that steve and i ended up reading to both of our children and which have entered the mythology of our family. there was the muddle-headed wombat. and there were snugglepot and cuddlepie, two eucalyptus gumnut babies, who look like slightly hairy versions of today’s photo. here’s to snugglepot and cuddlepie, and to author mary gibbs, and to the land of oz, and to great children’s stories, and to friendship that spans cultures and decades and oceans.
a late spring blizzard that has blanketed us in 10 inches of freshly fallen snow has me reaching for household plants to photograph. it’s a funny thing about household plants, that we live with them but never really learn about them. have you ever googled “english ivy” or “spider plant”? see what i mean? we assume we know these members of our household, because they are with us every day. but we don’t know them at all. case in point, i just googled anthurium. and i learned that the air purifying qualities of anthurium have an effect on formaldehyde, ammonia and volatile organic gases. several anthuriums in a room reduce the harmful substances in buildings by more than 50% in 24 hours. it’s like discovering that your son, who spends all day on the couch at home watching youtube, has also discovered the cure for cancer in his spare time.