my husband and i are possibly the worst clippers of our dog’s toenails that can be imagined. either we clip his nails too long and he clickety clicks his way painfully across our wood floors for weeks, or we clip them too short and he bleeds endlessly from the quick of one of his rear toes, despite all of the compacted corn starch we shove into the wound to stanch the flow. all i’m saying is that whoever clipped this dinosaur’s toenails knew what the bleep he was doing.
keeping it fresh
i try very deliberately to surprise my husband on a regular basis. not in big showy ways, but it in little ways–buying a food we’ve never tried, taking a new scenic route on a routine trip, picking up books at the library on subjects we know nothing about, etc. he always looks at me out of the corner of his eye when i do this and i smile and say “just keeping it fresh”. i also try to keep it fresh here on STILL blog too. i deliberately mix up the posts (single-subject, assemblages, gridded, messy, etc). i get a little thrill when i am posting something that i know will be entirely unexpected–like twelve daddy longlegs (here) or a portrait of my son joseph (here). i hope i am successful at this. i hope your morning visit to STILL contains both the reassurance of something beloved and the little thrill of suspense that there might be something unexpected in the offing.
the other day, i pulled out a cookbook we use a lot when we are in southern france–LuLu’s Provencal Table. as i was leafing through it, i happened on this dried stem i had tucked into the book the last time we were there (about a year ago now). i had used the book as a leaf press. it was not at all what i expected to find on the page describing grilled sardines. i guess i was just keeping it fresh.
pressed tamarind leaf
long lost friends
i was playing with these four leaves and at some point they just ignored me and snuggled up together on my desk. i didn’t introduce them. they had apparently known each other for a long time, and had been apart for far too long, and had a lot of catching up to do.
four dried leaves
i sometimes think our lives are defined not so much by what we have willed them to be, as by what we have focused on, or even what has merely come into focus, regardless of our intentions. part of being an adult is accepting the randomness of this, and the beauty of surrendering to circumstance, and chance encounters, and fruitful wrong turns.
bare winter branches
white pine indeed
when you grow up in the north, you learn how to tell a white pine from a red pine by counting the needles in each cluster. red pines have two needles like a wishbone. white pines have five needles like the number of letters in the word “white.” it would be a lot easier if white pines were always frosted by new fallen snow.
white pine with march frost