Monthly Archives: April 2016

Royal Poinciana Clusters: Flower of the Day, Apr 30, 2016

Yesterday I showed individual Royal Poinciana flowers.  Today I’m showing clusters and tomorrow I’ll show the entire tree.  Some say the African Tulip tree is the most beautiful flowering tree on earth, but I say the Royal Poinciana is.

(Click on images to enlarge)

Flower of the Day – April 30, 2016 – Bearded Iris


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I really did not mean to stare
when I saw you standing there,
but there was sunlight in your hair.
It was tangled. Your feet were bare.
It was a lovely sight and rare
as, seemingly without a care,
you stood above me on the stair.
And though I wished to, I didn’t dare
climb up to see how you might fare.

Instead, my wretched form I bore
down the staircase and out the door.
Since then, you are that thing of lore
that resides within my core.
I still remember what you wore.
I lie awake. I pace the floor––
trying nightly to restore
at one, at two, at three, at four––
the vision of you one time more.

I cannot work. I cannot eat.
I see your hair the hue of wheat,
your wrinkled dress, your naked feet,
and cannot help but feel defeat;
because even in ardor’s heat,
my courage to ascend and greet
thee, and to make my life replete,
never ascends above your street,
never accomplishes the feat.

And that is why I’m in your hall
wondering if I have the gall
to stand up brave and sure and tall
and ring your doorbell––to make the call.
I put my ear against your wall,
but I can hear no sound at all.
Indecision casts its gloomy pall.
I hesitate. I pause. I stall.
I do not shoot. I bounce the ball.

Though all my fears I seek to quell,
my words are prisoners in a cell,
and though I have rehearsed them well
and have the key to where they dwell,
my thoughts of what to say won’t gel.
I stand here in my private Hell.
A deathly dirge begins to knell.
I raise my hand. I ring the bell
and steel myself––this tale to tell.

Your Soft Voice Fills the World: NaPoWriMo 2016, Day 30


I don’t usually credit photographs, but all photographs on my blog are taken by me. The very few exceptions will be noted.

For the last poem of the month for NaPoWriMo, we were asked to find a poem in a language we do not know and to write a “translation” based on what we think it means.  I chose a poem by an Italian 16th century poet.  His name and poem are printed below my poem, which is:

Your Soft Voice Fills the World

Your soft voice fills the world
and causes the fronds to tremble.
Oh Laura, my long love, even the trees laugh
as they spread their green blanket over my vagabond angel.
Sing your song for me
as you ride eastward
so I may hear it wherever I go.
When you speak in the night,
it resounds in the heavens.
If you want to be queen, be queen of my heart.
Our love endures in the mountains,
oh beautiful vagrant of the skies.
Both you and your words live within me.
In the end, they will sustain me like a fine cuisine.

Here is the original poem:

Ecco mormorar l’onde
Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)

Ecco mormorar l’onde,
E tremolar le fronde
A l’aura mattutina, e gli arboscelli,
E sovra i verdi rami i vaghi augelli
Cantar soavemente,
E rider l’Oriente;
Ecco già l’alba appare,
E si specchia nel mare,
E rasserena il cielo,
E le campagne imperla il dolce gelo,
E gli alti monti indora:
O bella e vaga Aurora,
L’aura è tua messaggera, e tu de l’aura
Ch’ogni arso cor ristaura.

Originally, I translated the last two lines as:

The smoke of your words lives within me.
In the end, I will eat them like fine cuisine.

I loved those two images, but they seemed not to go with each other
or with the rest of the poem, so I changed them.

Here is a real translation of the poem:


Now the waves murmur
And the boughs and the shrubs tremble
in the morning breeze,
And on the green branches the pleasant birds
Sing softly
And the east smiles;
Now dawn already appears
And mirrors herself in the sea,
And makes the sky serene,
And the gentle frost impearls the fields
And gilds the high mountains:
O beautiful and gracious Aurora,
The breeze is your messenger, and you the breeze’s
Which revives each burnt-out heart.

Royal Poinciana: Flower of the Day, Apr 30, 2016

Do click on these photos to enlarge them. They are so incredible this year!  I couldn’t pick just one, so here are four shots of the day.  Tomorrow I’ll show the tree.


See also:

Color Your World Yellow-Orange

Click to enlarge.


My entire house is yellow orange! As is my living room and bedroom and studio… all different hues. I have been so busy that I hadn’t noticed that everything is blooming.  The Royal Poinciana is the fullest I’ve ever seen it.  I’ll show more of it tomorrow!

Deadly Beauty: Peace Lily––Flower of the Day, April 29, 2016



Beautiful but deadly.  I’ve just discovered that the peace lily is highly toxic to dogs and cats, so sadly, it must go.  Also a good idea not to have it around small children!

I Remember: NaPoWriMo 2016, Day 29

I remember Sanderson’s store, with most of the items behind the counter that ran from the front door way back to the back wall of the store and the “grabber” on a long handle that Jeff and Tet Sanderson used to remove things from tall shelves.

I remember their  big cardboard box of penny candies: Bit O’ Honey’s and Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Roll Pops, jawbreakers and orange slices and those chalky disks of many colors that came in a roll and tasted like medicine.

I remember the year the snow was so high that they had to dig a tunnel down the middle of main street and then tunnel into each store.

I remember Earl Wedean flying Santa Claus into town every Christmas and then his standing on the back of the firetruck and dispensing bags of candy to all the kids:  peanut shells stuck to ribbon candy and peanut brittle and those little pillows of acid yellow and shocking pink that tasted too much like cloves.  None of the candy except for the peanut brittle was edible, yet how we reached over each others’ shoulders for it, afraid he’d run out before he got to us.

I remember the seventh and eighth grade teacher threatening to hang a boy out a second story window, leaning him over backwards, gripping his collar with both hands.

I remember snow days listening to the radio (before T.V.–imagine that!) and eating chili with crackers and opening the lid to the big coffin-like freezer down in the cellar to grab an ice cream sandwich, then removing the  box elder bugs we’d put in there last fall  just to see them thaw out and crawl away.

I remember “Back to the Bible Broadcast” and Lynnie Brost and I sitting in the bathtub “scrubbing our sins away.” (I probably only remember this because of a letter found written by my older sister where she describes it.)

I remember how when we ate out, my sister Betty’s food always looked better than mine and how she always gave it to me.

I remember my dad’s yodeling and how my oldest sister could move her head sideways–back and forth like an Egyptian dancer.

I remember having my tonsils out.  The awful smell of ether and its taste in my throat when I came to, then the doctor saying, “Can you swallow?” and the awful searing pain and sense of betrayal.

I remember my dark green velvet coat with a white bunny fur collar.  Also, a mustard yellow woolen coat with two brown fur balls hanging down on long strings from the neck.

I remember chalk dust between my fingers and up my nose from beating blackboard erasers on the railing of the fire escape at school.

I remember the smell of rubber erasers–the  long spiraled worms that grew out of especially long mistakes.

Chocolate milk out of the white plastic udders of the stainless steel milk machine at school.

The first polio vaccinations given to everyone at school.  I don’t think the parents had the choice of refusing.  Then, after a few years, the miracle of getting the vaccine on a sugar cube instead.

The song, “If you turn me dooooowwnn, I’ll go off to Alaska, and I’ll buy me a mule. A mule with great big ears, to tell my troubles to-oo-oo-oo-oo. But I’ll come running on down down downdeeown down.  Running on down down downdeeown down. Running on down down downdeeown down to you!”

And the song “This Old House.”

I remember hot beef sandwiches at Fern’s cafe and the pie at Mrs. Dugan’s cafe–both located in filling stations in the little town I grew up in.

I remember water bags hanging from the front grills of cars in the summer.

“The Neighbor Lady” show on WNAX in Yankton, S.D.

Playing under the bleachers at basketball games.

Years later, selling hot dogs at the concession stand during games.

Summer camp in the Black Hills and the thrill of sleeping outside in canvas tents and venturing out in the dark to use the outhouses.

Camp songs: “If you were Dutch you couldn’t sing this: Sing song kitchee kitchee kai me oh!”

Earaches and stomachaches and felons on my cuticles and sunburn and grass stains and chigger bites.

Smith Brothers Cherry Cough Drops and crates of apples from Oregon and 7Up in green bottles and cherry pop and Old El Paso Mexican frozen dinners.

Exotic strangers in the cafes and the Super Value grocery store  during the summer. Gypsies and traveling church play actors and cool kids from big towns traveling with their parents.

Sunday school pins with a bar added each year for perfect attendance.

Fake fingernails with glue so smelly you could get high on it, although we didn’t even know what getting high meant.

Those red bubbles where you put a glob of stuff on the end of a little red soda straw and blew.  So toxic that they’d be banned now, but who was paying attention then?

Furry bunnies and fuzzy yellow chicks that hopped when you wound up with a key .

Ten cent comic books: Little Lulu and Sluggo, Ritchie Rich and Mighty Mouse. Archie and Veronica and Jughead.

Chocolate Sodas made with syrup and ice cream and fizzy water at the drugstore––stirred with a long silver spoon by Jack Mowell.

I remember this and lots more, but it’s getting late and you probably all nodded off long ago, so I just have to ask.  Why can’t I remember where I hid my sack of keys?  Or my glasses? Or the charger for my camera battery?

Most of all, I remember remembering!

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(“The” dark green velvet coat with the bunny collar.  My much older sister Betty took almost all of the pictures of my middle sister Patti and me. She did quite a photo shoot on this day, which is probably why I remember this coat and bonnet so well.  I was a compliant poser.)  (Of course the prompt today was “I Remember.”)

Homegate: Thursday Doors Apr 28/2016


(Click to enlarge.  Most of you know this but new viewers might not so I’ll keep stating the obvious!!)

I just realized that I have twenty doors or gates in my house! This is just doors to the outside..not room doors within the house. (This includes gates, garage, studio, laundry room, bodega and casita.  The main house has only ten, but some rooms have three exits to the outside!)  Perhaps I’ll show a view through each one. Trying to keep track of that many keys is a nightmare.  Before I went to the beach, I must have hidden my “extras” as I haven’t been able to find them since.  No, my house really isn’t that big. It is just that it has lots of doors. (i.e. from where I am sitting at the desk in my living room, I can see six doors to the outside. Someone who planned this house must have needed a fast escape route!)  At any rate, here are two.  Click on them to enlarge..

Spanish Dancer Hibiscus: Flower of the Day, Apr 28, 2016

Here are the other views of yesterday’s closeup of the hibiscus that I promised Marilyn.  This beauty is called a Spanish Dancer and it is my very favorite of all of my hibiscus bushes!  Right now I get 5 or 6 new fresh blooms a day.  I have to walk by it every day I leave my house and it is always a thrill.  Please click to enlarge the views.