Tuesday, May 31, 2022

yard work, wax work, watercolor


For the third day in a row Sunday I picked up a garden cart full of sticks brought down by the three storms and the continued high winds and I still haven't canvassed the entire yard. And more branches have fallen in the areas I've already done.

Then I sat down and worked on the watercolor. I finally got to the point where it needed to dry to see how it was coming along. The colors are always lighter after they dry. This is one of the things I'm having to learn...how much pigment to put on the paper so it will be what I want when it's dry. Here's my progress so far.

Then we watched the rest of season 1 of Stranger Things.

Monday I worked on the box for a couple of hours. I poured the blank for the top, redid the upper section on the front of the box getting rid of all those tight little curves, and then worked on getting the first layer of inlay to fit. The first picture shows the permanently attached top part on the front of the box and the removable bottom inlay piece in place that will be cast separately. The second picture shows the inlay piece.

Now I'm ready to start cutting out and building up the layers of the coral design on the inlay. 

Still have to figure out what I'm going to do about the feet as I think the box needs some lift, some height.

nile lilies (agapanthus)

Sunday, May 29, 2022

retreat into nature and art

We got 4” or 5” of rain over four days from three storms. They're saying the rain came too late for the feed corn crop which tasseled already and the silk is turning brown but apparently the ears aren't developing kernels. The cotton was dying in the fields but is looking much better now so it may not be a total loss. The cotton field at the end of my street has large patches of brown where the little cotton plants had already died. It's been a bad year for tomatoes in people's gardens too having gotten too hot and dry too fast. They were going for $4 and $5 dollars a pound at the Farmer's Market on Saturday and they were all fairly small. Guess I won't be making my own tomato sauce this year, not with those prices and the basic scarcity.

I did stop to chat with one purveyor. He was selling his tomatoes for $4 a pound and I picked out two sort of medium sized tomatoes as we talked about how badly everyone's plants were doing this year and learned that he is one of the two men that bought the house that the people I buy my coffee from used to own. Janet and Jeff import organic fair trade coffee beans, roast them when they get an order, and then send it out. They bought a place in the Valley and moved several years ago. But this guy was a big man, tall, not overweight but solid, wearing a cowboy hat and I didn't notice right away but he had a pistol in a holster on his hip manning his booth at the Saturday Farmer's Market. I wonder what he thinks, wearing that gun, that he's going to be the hero, the good guy with the gun? That he's going to defend his vegetables from a would be thief?

And just a day or two after Uvalde someone posted on the local FB chat that some teenagers were pulling pranks like turning on outside faucets. One woman commented that they better hope they don't get shot. I was appalled, that someone thought shooting at a teenager because of a prank and possibly killing them would even occur to someone. But that's the country we live in now. Someone annoys you, maybe pisses you off, and that's reason enough to use lethal force.

Despite the rain, which cooled down temperatures for about a day and a half, it is so hot out there. And so of course our AC quit working Friday late so it was an after hours call on a holiday weekend. Yay! Just under $500 but we have cool air.

Saturday I planned to either work on my watercolor or the box. I did neither. But we did watch the first three episodes of Stranger Things season 1. I'm hooked. We also started watching Night Sky last week. Did I already mention that?

I am mentally, emotionally exhausted, angry with this nation's plunge into moral depravity fueled by the NRA and gun manufacturers and our greedy politicians who don't see the dead, only the money, who ridiculously attempt to justify these military grade weapons and hollow point ammo for the general public. So I'm going to lose myself in nature and art and leave you with pictures from the big backyard this morning.

Looked up yesterday late afternoon to see this tattered luna moth right outside my window.

Three views of the west side long flower bed. First image nile lilies, second image three elephant garlic flowers clustered together. Third image double orange daylilies in the foreground. You might remember I didn't get a single bloom out of these last year due to the arctic blast that sat on us for two weeks in the spring.


Friday, May 27, 2022

fucking cowards and progress on my projects

The details are coming out about the Uvalde murders and they aren't pretty. The shooter entered through an unlocked door after engaging in gunfire outside for about 12 minutes. Initial reports said that he was confronted by a security officer outside but that turned out to be false. The Uvalde police department arrived the same time he entered the school but did not enter themselves until 4 minutes later when 7 officers went in and were driven out by gunfire. And then they sat on their thumbs for over an hour waiting for a Border Patrol tactical team to arrive even though the Uvalde police department has its own SWAT unit. Instead they accosted parents who were either trying to get in to get their kids or yelling at the police to do something. A mother was handcuffed, a father thrown to the ground and pepper sprayed. The mother was released by officers she personally knew and then she jumped the fence, ran into the school, and came out with her two children. Rumor is that some police officers, while refusing to let parents get their kids out, went in and got their own kids out. Why did the Uvalde police, whose job it is to serve and protect, to bring down criminals, wait for over an hour for another team to arrive? According to a Texas DPS official interviewed on TV last night, they did not engage the shooter because “they could’ve been shot, they could’ve been killed” so instead they let a gunman kill 19 kids and the two adults trying to protect them and wound 22 others. I guess our police are only brave when they can shoot an unarmed person.

So how have our political leaders reacted? Texas governor Greg Abbott said tougher gun laws are not a solution* and it could have been worse. What is worse than parents having to give DNA samples in order to identify the mangled bodies of their children? At a press conference yesterday Beto O'Rourke, who is running against Abbott for governor confronted him, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas senator Ted Cruz (who thinks limiting the number of doors in schools is a solution), and the Uvalde mayor blaming Abbott (who last year signed 7 new laws making it easier for people to buy a gun) for this mess, “this is on you and until you do something it will continue to happen”. They called Beto an SOB and escorted him out.

*Which is bullshit because country after country that instituted strict gun laws after a similar mass shooting, stopped having mass shootings!

Democratic leaders in the House passed the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act after the Buffalo shootings. Yesterday the Republicans in the Senate filibustered it because they see nothing wrong with allowing an 18 year old teenager whose brain won't be fully matured until his late twenties to buy assault style rifles when he won't be able to buy a handgun til he's 21.

This nation, so filled with hate and violent rhetoric and guns, doesn't even have the moral conviction to protect its children. We love our guns more than we love our children and the very people who prevent any restrictions on acquiring guns and gun ownership will stand up and claim that this is the best country in the world. The best country in the world asked parents for DNA samples in order to identify their dead children.


Well, I didn't mean to go off on another screed this post. If you missed the previous one you can read it here.

I have progress on two art projects to share. I've made progress on the box but I determined that making and fitting the coral inlay for the front is going to be too difficult and way to time consuming to get the finished cast piece to fit because of all the small tight curves. I could probably do it but the hours involved would put the price way too high so now I'm mulling over a simpler profile for the inlay. I think what I have in mind will work. So, constructing the box:

pouring the slabs

trimming them down

three sides

three sides and a bottom

four sides and a bottom

And I've made some progress on the watercolor. I've got the unopened flower and the leaf done. I'm going to need at least a two hour block of time for the big flower.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

yes, the problem IS the guns

We are a violent people. We are a violent people that loves guns more than we love our friends, neighbors, more than we love our children. This country has been at war, and sometimes more than one war at a time, for nearly every year of our national existence. We have more guns in this country than people, approximately 120 guns to every 100 people and we protect those guns far more than we protect our citizens. We worship guns, churches bless them, families' Christmas photos show every member brandishing a gun, after every mass murder the answer is not restricting guns but always more guns. Nineteen elementary school children and three adults were murdered yesterday and right on cue the gun nuts clamor that the solution to school shootings is not restricting sales or requiring background checks or instituting a waiting period between purchase and acquisition or requiring training or requiring insurance or outlawing semiautomatic weapons and high capacity magazines or any other measure to reduce the ridiculous amount of guns but giving the teachers guns to protect the children because of course that's all that's needed, never mind that once gunfire erupts it's absolute chaos as people try to flee. Never mind that trained security guards with guns on site of these mass shootings are always killed. It's not like these shooters announce their intention before they open fire.

We have unrestricted access to guns, you need only be 18 to buy one legally. I've been to estate sales where guns were sold no questions asked and the only restriction to buying a gun from an individual is having the right amount of money. In Texas almost anybody can carry a gun without a permit thanks to our governor. Guns are not the problem, they like to tell us. It's mental illness. And then they fight against national health and mental care. But we don't have any more mental illness than any of the other affluent first world nation and they do not have the gun violence we do. A gun cannot walk up to person and discharge itself, true, but all the gun violence victims would still be alive if guns weren't at hand. So yes, guns are the problem. Guns and hate and violent rhetoric from politicians, even some religious pastors, against those who aren't white straight christian conservative males fearful of losing their supremacy. Our national identity, our history, is war and violence and cruelty born out of imperialism and racism and sexism and demonization of other religions. Already we have more mass shootings than days of the year this year. This is not mental illness, this is a society where violence and murder against the other is seen as an acceptable response to annoyance. How many people would still be alive if that 'good guy with a gun' hadn't had a gun at hand when his anger flared or a cold blooded response rose to irritation? Because these shootings aren't committed by criminals. They are fueled by hate and anger and some misplaced feeling that they are being oppressed. Well, everybody with a gun is a good guy with a gun until that moment they aren't, when they consciously become criminals. It is rarely the oppressed who commit these atrocities. Where are we as a nation when the most recent ex-president is openly calling for a civil war because he was not re-elected.

So what's the answer? The obvious answer that has worked in every other country is to severely restrict guns; who can have them, the kind they can have, the amount they can have, and what they need to do to have them but that will never happen here because our politicians are cowards. They want that money from the NRA more than they want to protect our children, they want to keep their jobs more than they want to do their jobs regardless of what the people want. And unfortunately and to our detriment, a good portion of our population is just fine with all this gun violence as long as it doesn't touch them or their guns, so long as they can continue their own violence, hatefulness, and racism unimpeded.

The fact is, we are not safe in this country, none of us. We are not safe in our homes when stray bullets zip through, we are not safe if we park our car on a public street, we are not safe in our cars from someone we inadvertently cut off, we are not safe at a concert or a nightclub, we are not safe in our workplaces or schools, we are not safe hanging out listening to music with our friends, and now not even our democracy is safe from those with a gun and a bone to pick. Getting rid of weapons no citizen needs or should have a right to won't get rid of the hate and anger and innate violence Americans harbor but it will end these mass shootings. We have only to look at other nations with strict gun control laws to see the truth of this.

We are a nation rotten to the core when murdering 19 children only elicits 'thoughts and prayers' from the very people who allow it to happen. We are a nation rotten to the core because this isn't the first time or even the second time but just the latest in a long string of such atrocities.

It didn't used to be like this in this country. Heather Cox Richardson's newsletter today is on the history and rise of gun ownership and gun violence in this country. You can read it here.


Monday, May 23, 2022

a sleepless night and another birthday

I had planned to put in a couple of hours over at the studio working on the box and a couple of hours later working on the watercolor yesterday. I did neither. Saturday night we finally got some rain. It started with lightning and thunder and woke me about 2:30 with a trembling panting dog. I got up because the Queen of the Night (night blooming cereus) had three flowers that were going to open and when I went to bed, they hadn't even started to open. But, at 2:30, surely they would be open and so I threw on a shift and went out to look in the lightning and thunder as it was just barely starting to sprinkle. As soon as I went out the door I could smell their fragrance so flashlight in hand I managed a few pictures before going back in.

It wasn't long before the rain started so lightning, thunder, and hard rain and crazy fucking dog who would not settle or even be still for longer than about 30 seconds...under the sheet, no not under the sheet, on my head, on my pillow, on my head, under the sheet, not under the sheet, at the foot of the bed, next to me, next to me on the other side, on my head, just over and over, a panting, trembling, bug-eyed perpetual motion machine. I threw her off the bed a couple of times and then felt guilty and let her get back up. Poor thing. Consequently I didn't get any sleep between 2:30 and dawn even though the bulk of the rain was over by 4 AM (average for the area was about 2 1/2”) but the diminishing lightning and thunder continued for a couple more hours. I think I got maybe 2 hours sleep after Minnie settled down. So, yeah, didn't get any work done on either project and Minnie was lucky to get a short walk.

Today is another birthday, this time my son, my second and last baby. I guess you can tell what we were doing on those hot August nights. My two were born 2 years and 3 days apart. Everyone thought wouldn't it be cool if they were born on the same day. No, I'd reply, that would be terrible having to share your birthday with your sibling. So I encouraged the new little person to hang in there a few more days and he did. This time I woke up early, maybe around 6 or 6: 30 with some discomfort. By 8 I knew I was in labor but I had learned my lesson and declined to call the doctor right away since my water hadn't broken yet. By noon my contractions were close enough that I figured it was time to go so I called and we gathered up the stuff and headed to the hospital. At 1 PM, settled in, doctor came in to examine me and before I could object he pricked my bag of water to 'speed things up'. Then they gave me an enema (they still did that back then) and before I could get off the toilet I was in transition. Aaron was born at 3 PM, wailing and indignant. Since he was born at shift change, the nurses handed him over to Marc and I and put us in an unused room for the nurses coming on shift to deal with so we got to hold and be with our son for the 15 minutes or so before they came to fetch us and took him away to the nursery and 24 hours later we were all at home. This boy could be a sweet and loving child or very difficult and always so sensitive. After foolishly joining the army reserve in his early 20s and serving two tours in Iraq, at 43 he and his wife live quietly and are fixing up a house she inherited that they will move into soon.

The plan for today is yesterday's plan, work over at the studio after breakfast, work on the watercolor after lunch.

A parting shot or two, the poppies are done in the back flowerbed and the black eyed susans have taken their place

and the nile lilies sending up their blooms.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

a graduate, a birthday, and a busy day

You might remember my grandgirl Jade graduated from UT San Antonio last December. Thursday her twin, my grandgirl Autumn graduated from UT Austin with a major in Human Dimensions of Organizations and a minor in Pre-Med. Autumn spent the last spring semester studying abroad in Ecuador.

I know you're all scratching your heads about this degree. Here's what the University of Texas says about the program:

The University of Texas at Austin is proud to offer Human Dimensions of Organizations, a first of its kind in the nation program. Drawing on an innovative combination of liberal arts, behavioral sciences, and social sciences, we created HDO to meet a need not addressed by existing education options: providing a deep understanding of people, the key components of any organization. To advance our mission of better understanding the people who drive today's global marketplace, we developed three types of innovative education opportunities: A 15-Month Executive Master's Degree, Professional Training Programs, and a multidisciplinary Bachelor's Degree.

Career paths from HDO include human resources, people management, nonprofit leadership, project management, and government service, among others. The Liberal Arts have always taught critical thinking skills and effective communication, which are crucial to success in organizations.”

Autumn's immediate plans are to continue working at her current job for the summer at the reservation/check-in desk at a hotel there in Austin while she researches job opportunities and applies to the Peace Corps.

Since this was the graduation of this degree program only, it was held in a small auditorium in the student center and she was only allowed to have four people attend, she invited her parents of course and Marc and I, but they live streamed it so her sisters and friends could see it where they were in the student center. After the ceremony we all went for a meal and then we headed home.

Friday was my daughter's birthday, my first baby. The night before she was born, Marc and I had gone out and when we got home I wanted to do the last thing to make the new nursery ready which was to vacuum the floor and while I was doing that at 10 PM, my water broke. I wasn't having any contractions but the doctor told us to go to the hospital anyway and it was another 12 hours before she finally made her appearance. She was so small, 5 pounds 4 ounces, she came out, gave a polite little wah and that was it. The nurses took her off to do what they do and they were just enchanted with her. She was born via natural childbirth, no drugs and she was alert and looking around while all the other babies were in a drugged sleep. They even tied a little ribbon in her hair. Twenty four hours later we were at home. She was a perfect little baby and as it turned out, born to be a mom taking on the mothering of her husband's newborn when she was 19. As her family grew she took in more than one of her kids' friends who needed help or a safe place. Now at 45, all her kids are adults and she's a grandmother. She and Mike live on 5 wild acres out here with dogs and cats and ducks and chickens and neighbors and neighbors' kids and their youngest that still lives at home.

Today is going to be full so I won't have time to work on either of the art projects, the box or the watercolor. I need to go to the farmer's market and see if the honey people are there and then to a lecture on cacti and succulents in the Earth Lab series at Hesed House (where I go to yoga on Thursday nights), then make a dish to share at a party this afternoon for a neighbor who is originally from Germany, a war bride, and celebrating 50 years in this country. This is our first neighborhood get together since covid, 2 1/2 years ago. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

getting some stuff done and a pleasant surprise

Monday...Another day and no rain. Our first best chance is next Sunday. We had less than half an inch in April and none so far in May. The ground is cracking and I have to water every day.

We've been watching a lot of TV in the hot afternoons, streaming Barry on HBOMax, a dark comedy about a hit man who tried to give it up when he became involved with an acting class and also starring Henry Winkler as the has-been actor/drama coach til we caught up to the current season with new episodes now coming out on Sundays. Now we're watching Only Murders In The Building, on Hulu, starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez about an over the hill actor, a has-been director, and a young woman whose aunt lives in the building who band together to prove that the apparent suicide of a fellow resident was actually a murder and start a podcast about it to garner interest. There's a couple of others we've started to watch...Jessica Jones, MoonKnight, and Monsterland.

I think I mentioned that the truck wouldn't start a few days ago when I was ready to dump the contents on the ash pile and that Marc hooked the battery charger up to it. I'm happy to report the truck did start today and so I got the truck emptied. Yay me! The burn pile is as big now as it was when Marc burned it last week. I also went over to the studio and got started on making the blanks to construct the new box with. Baby steps but I can construct the body of the box while I mull over the little scene for the top.

I've also started a new watercolor of the yellow trumpet flower, the design with the flower, leaf, and bud but not enough progress to show, just the light pencil lines and a bit of green so far.


Tuesday...Mail came early today and in it was a check from the gallery. Both trumpet flower pieces sold! And to the same person which makes me happy because I intended them as a pair. Also good because the framing turned out to be such an ordeal and to tell the truth I wasn't best pleased with how they came out. And ironically enough, the last time I talked to Barbara late March when she called about wanting a box for the anniversary show in the fall I asked her if those pieces were getting any attention. She paused and sort of hemmed and hawed before saying plainly, no, not really. But it just takes the right person, she added. Well, I guess the right person came along.

Out in the yard the purple coneflowers are in full bloom

and the butterflies,

gulf fritillary

and pearl crescent,

and some kind of bee 

are taking advantage.

The Easter lilies are in bloom but these are the fewest I've had since we bought this place, besides last year when I didn't get any due to the arctic vortex that sat on us for two weeks.

And then I saw these two swallowtail caterpillars on the parsley.

The altheas (rose of sharon) were just starting to come out when we got the first hard freeze and then we got another one and so they were all very late leafing out (and one has apparently died and a big portion of another died off as well) but this one is starting to bloom.

And here's Minnie with her 'aren't you forgetting something' look (it was either past her dinnertime or she was ready for a walk). 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

good stuff, bad stuff

OMG, it is so fucking hot and dry and way too early to be this hot and dry. Last Wednesday was the last day to burn, but only if you had to, had a hose close, and did it in the early morning before the wind picked up. Marc burned on Wednesday. Friday I emptied the wheelbarrow of a mountain of weeds that had piled up and the mountain of cleaver that has been sitting on the driveway since I pulled it all up onto the burn pile. Was going to empty the full truck bed of fallen branches that have also piled up but the truck wouldn't start. Great. So now Marc has the battery charger hooked up. So, foiled in that chore, I finally folded up the giant tarp that helps protect the tenders in the garage in winter, swept most the leaves out that have blown is, and put the recycling containers back to their summer arrangement. This little bit of activity had me sweating buckets.

OK, now to the topics at hand.

Good stuff...

Are these not the sexiest, most voluptuous flowers you've ever seen?

The rock rose are coming into bloom.

I don't know what these are, I dug up a small clump in the easement beside the sidewalk in front of the elementary school at the end of my street back when I lived in the city, but they definitely don't seem to mind the dry and the heat.

Purple coneflowers (even though they are pink) and gardenia.

Minnie still doesn't know what to make of this moving rock.

Tree frog hanging out on the yellow trumpet flower.

Don't know what this is exactly but it's missing a back leg.

Bad stuff... (I have no idea why the formatting is indented for the first 6 entries and can't undo it.)

    Arizona senate candidate calls for condoms to be banned in all states

    Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn calls for contraception ban except for married couples

    Mitch McConnell floats a national abortion ban and promises to do it if republicans take control of the House and Senate

    Missouri GOP banning Plan B and IUDs and is a debating a bill to ban women from traveling out of state for abortions

    Louisiana GOP declaring life begins "at fertilization" and seeks to make abortion a homicide and the use of an IUD murder

    Tennessee GOP law makes it a felony (with a $50K fine) to receive abortion medication via mail

Arkansas GOP trigger law will ban abortion with no exceptions and make it a felony to obtain an abortion

North Dakota GOP Gov. Kristie Noem pledges a special legislative session to pass new abortion restrictions

Oklahoma GOP passes Texas-style abortion "Bounty Hunter" law

Ohio GOP debating two trigger laws that would immediately ban abortion once Roe is overturned

Ohio GOP trying to reinstate a fetal heartbeat law stuck in the courts

Idaho passing a law authorizing civil lawsuits against abortion clinics/providers, Idaho rep wants to ban Plan B and possibly IUDs

West Virginia leaving in place a 19th Century anti-abortion law that makes obtaining an abortion punishable by up to 10 years in prison

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introducing federal legislation to punish private companies that provide travel benefits for women to obtain abortions in states where they are legal

Kansas GOP leading a push to remove abortion protections guaranteed to Kansans by their state constitution

GOP Senator Mike Braun says interracial marriage should be left up to the states on whether it's legal

This stopped being about banning abortions and went straight to controlling what women can and can't do with some states trying to prevent pregnant women from leaving the state. While they claim the high ground, forcing women to give birth, they apparently are fine with women dying as a result of withholding life saving care. These same people are angry that the Biden administration is sending formula to the mothers and infants we are holding at the border who have zero resources available to them, these same 'pro-life' people apparently think those babies should starve to death.

And if that's not scary enough, there's this:

Candidate for Michigan governor Ryan D. Kelley says those on the left want to “push this idea of democracy,” but that “in every instance” democracy ends up as communism. This rhetoric is how the right will justify their rule even as the minority voice in this country. They're not even pretending that they're in favor of democracy.

And this:

The Texas Supreme Court allowed the state's child welfare agency to resume investigations of parents and doctors who provide gender-affirming care for trans youth, overturning a lower court's decision.

In addition to Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill, Louisiana is passing it's own bill outlawing any discussions of sexual orientation or sexual identity.

New Hampshire Republican controlled senate passed a bill requiring public schools to not only 'out' trans youth to parents, but to report kids who aren't masculine (sissies) or feminine (tomboys) enough as well.

The right wing religious wackos are determined to take this country back to it's suppressive and oppressive culture, ruled by their interpretation of their religion, imposing it on us all, demonizing anyone and anything that doesn't conform to or fights their indoctrination, separation of church and state be damned. You know what to do in November. First, don't forget any of this stuff; second, don't let anyone else forget; third, VOTE BLUE.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

updates: garden, toe, art, irony

I went to bed one night in the first week of May and woke up the next morning in August. It's hot and dry with intermittent high dry wind, temps in the low 90s and getting hotter. I spent Saturday and Sunday moving the sprinkler around about every 45 minutes or so.

Saturday was the Garden Club's annual plant sale. They buy some things but most of what's on offer comes from members' own gardens. I haven't belonged to the garden club since 2020 and the onset of covid since at first they did not pause their meetings and made no concessions like mandatory masks at the meetings or spreading the tables out and after the first meeting or two of that year people at the meetings started coming down with the virus. Then I started volunteering at SHARE in 2021, on Saturdays initially but then Thursday mornings when they decided to reopen. Since the garden club meetings are also on Thursday morning that sort of put an end to my membership since my reception at SHARE was exactly the opposite of my experience at the garden club. I didn't go to that many meetings anyway as for the most part I wasn't interested in the speaker or topic (and some would just drone on and on) or because it was too early in the morning and it was a very cliquish group, hard to break in. I was never invited to come join any group at any table when I arrived. Some of them would greet me but that's about all.

Anyway, back to the plant sale which I did donate four or five things to this year. As members we weren't allowed to buy anything until after the sale ended and then we could choose from whatever was left over. My sister Pam is still a member and she called me to get my butt down there as there were a few things she wanted. As I walked out I told Marc the last thing I needed was more plants. So of course I came home with more plants though the prices were very high this year. I got some bearded iris bulbs, surprise lily bulbs (what Mary Moon calls hurricane lilies), a coleus, a chocolate plant, and the couple of things my sister wanted.

So here's what's going on in my gardens. Top to bottom: purple coneflowers, the first Easter lily, yellow daylilies, yarrow, and what I call miniature gladiolas. 

And it looks like my double orange daylilies that did not give me a single bloom last year as a result of the arctic blast that froze the entire state will give me flowers this year as I'm starting to see bloom scapes come up.

Big toe update 19 days after the removal of my toenail: A gigantic blister formed on the inside and bottom of my toe and that was where most of the fluid was seeping from. That's stopped now but the bottom of my toe is still sensitive where the new skin is forming under the old, now dead skin which hasn't peeled off yet. On the top there's some new pink skin where the old has peeled away but basically just the scab on the nail bed and some hard dead skin on the end of my toe.

And I finally sat down to seriously work on the drawing for the coral box. I have a drawing I like, 3 types of coral, 3 colors, and I'm thinking I will do a small sculpture of coral for the top instead of the dead coral I initially considered which will now go in the box. I don't know if I will try to sculpt it or use actual coral skeletons. Probably that. I do have some around here.

I'm not going to update you on this whole abortion banning mess this time but next post I'll have a list of the laws already passed waiting in the wings and the ones being considered as well that go far beyond just limiting or banning abortion is any particular state. I will say this though, peaceful protests have sprung up outside the homes of several of the SC justices and so the Senate yesterday 100% voted to allow government security for the families of the justices. Where was their concern when abortion clinics were being firebombed, when women were accosted and blocked and screamed at that they were baby killers when trying to enter PP or other women's health clinics, when doctors were being threatened and murdered and protesters were outside their homes screaming obscenities
, when candidates withdrew from races because of threats from right wingers to themselves and their families, when Christine Blasey Ford had to move from her home because of death threats?

And from the There Is No Bottom To Irony department, Clarence Thomas feels like he's being bullied.