In February a dear friend's mother died. I created a comfort journal to help her process her loss and give her comfort while remembering her loved one. Since then I have made several more but this is my favorite - probably because her mother's favorite flower was the rose. The comfort journal provides quotes, writing prompts, and a list of ideas for self care. I asked her a few questions about her mother so I could customize it - her favorite color, flower, song, etc. If you have a loved one who has lost someone dear to them and likes to journal, you might want to make a comfort journal for them.
When I find myself becoming defensive about a 'weed', and if you've followed my blog, you know I do from time to time, it occurs to me that it's probably time to seek help! Hahahaha! This time the plant I'm defending is poke. My friend Carrie has no empathy for the stand I'm taking because it's taking over her garden and yard, but as always, she's patient with my idiosyncrasies.
My expectation certainly isn't that people nurture and cultivate it. Actually, the plant has done well on its own for centuries without any coddling from gardeners. It's just that anytime the wrath directed at a plant eliminates the appreciation for its benefits - and it does have benefits - my first instinct is to guide them to look from another perspective.
Polk Salad Annie
Tony Joe White
If some of ya'll never been down south too much
I'm gonna tell you a little bit about this
So that you'll understand what I'm talkin' about
Down there we have a plant that grows out in the woods
And in the fields looks somethin' like a turnip green
And everybody calls it polk salad, polk salad
Used to know a girl lived down there
And she'd go out in the evenings and pick her a mess of it
Carry it home and cook it for supper
'Cause thats about all they had to eat, but they did all right
Down in Louisiana, where the alligators grow so mean
There lived a girl, that I swear to the world
Made the alligators look tame
Polk salad Annie, polk salad Annie
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(A mean vicious woman)
Everyday ?for supper time, she'd go down by the truck patch
And pick her a mess of polk salad, and carry it home in a tow sack
Polk salad Annie, the gators got your granny
Everybody says it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(A wretched, spiteful, straight-razor totin' woman
Lord have Mercy, pick a mess of it)
Illustrated Journal Page - Poke
The berries above are colored with poke ink - beautiful variations from pinks to purples.
Winter storms remind me of my beloved Beethoven.
It was autumn when we found our 1820s farm house in Hunters Valley in south central Pennsylvania. We had the illusion of owning half a hemisphere. We were surrounded by forests, streams, fields, and state games lands and at the time, couldn't see another house from horizon to horizon. One Christmas, a friend who owned a similar property, convinced me that we needed a little more activity on the vacant acreage.
So on Christmas morning, I prepared two large golden packages. They were wrapped so the lids could be removed immediately for the comfort of the temporary guests inside. The backs of the boxes were completely open to prevent the tails from being crushed, and the girls positioned them so all the feathers were hidden beneath the Christmas tree. Mike’s face lit up when he opened the boxes to discover two peacocks!
It was mid-April when I heard Mike on the phone with Ruth Buck, a reporter for the local newspaper. “Well, we have at least three hundred birds,” Mike stated casually. I stopped and turned. Stunned.
I knew the collection had grown - iridescent white peacocks joined the blues, there were Bourbon Reds, Bronze and Royal Palm turkeys, Golden Pheasants, rheas, Dia Rhea and Gonna Rhea (another story- these two made NPR news!).
Today I decided to paint roses on the journal I made before giving it as a gift. The rose on the cover also has the recipient's name so I'm not going to share it because I don't want to take the chance that she might see it. She has no idea it's coming!
But I will show you the rose I painted on the first page of the journal next to the lace pocket. I love the way it turned out. It has a raised effect. I was delighted that it didn't seep through the hand made papers. The paper has such a delicate look but will be perfect for journaling, and I can be assured that pens and paints won't seep through!
Also painted and sent out a few cards today - one to a friend whose mother just passed, a get well card, a birthday card and one to send congratulations. It seems there are reasons to send them as quickly as the paint meets the paper. Roses are appropriate for so many occasions.
My violet post was the last in the series of herbs that are associated with love and romance. There are many more but Valentine's Day has come and gone it seems a good time to close.
For those of you who check in from time to time, you know I love roses I have them all over my house and recently I've been living with, and painting, white roses. But one of my favorite white roses has been around for a very long time.
Today's treasure is my great grandfather's white ivory rose autograph book from January 1, 1899. At one time the velvet cover appears to have been a bright red but it is faded from age. The softening makes it ever more beautiful. I feel that way about a lot of vintage treasures - buildings, fabrics, people . . .
This is the first page in the book.
The penmanship is exquisite. It may be difficult to read so I've included the inscription.
Mr. Albert Shuey
New Year's 1899
Albert was born on November 4, 1876 and died on January 31, 1951.He was 23 years old when he started this autograph book. I don't know who gave it to him or much more about it. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it when I was a little girl and decided to leave my autograph. I'm not proud of my contribution. It's not nearly as elegant as the rest, but I loved the book and wanted to be part of it. Years later, my grandmother laughed and told me she thought he'd want me to have it.. Maybe it's just as well that I left my mark. No one else seemed nearly as impressed with it as I was.
I have no idea what this says! I must have known at the time?
This is one of the first autographs in the book.
January 1, 1899
Leaves may wither,
Flowers may die,
Friends will forget you
But never will I.
January 1, 1899
When you get married
And your old woman gets cross
Come over to our house
And eat apple sauce.
Ever remember Dec - 29, 1898
This little book, plus some posts I'm planning to do based on a recent exhibit I visited, have inspired me to begin a new category for my blog posts - vintage. This will be the first.
There will be more from this book - there are 40 pages and I'm only including a few for now.
There are autographs from Daisy, Albert's wife (his fiancé at the time), and later from his daughter, my grandmother, and some very cynical entries from my mother. Apparently I wasn't the only family member inspired to leave comments after his death.
It's an interesting mix and gives me some insights on my family.
An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!