Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentine's Day

It begins.  Most flowers ordered.  What will be the sought after color this year?  I never get it right.  Two years ago we were caught without lavender roses.  Last year I had lavender roses and everyone wanted Juliet garden roses, which I did have, but in short supply.

We're scrapping the Ball Jar this year for a different affordable container, thanks to Gillian who emailed with an idea, and who also made some beautiful Valentine's Day cards for us this year

And we're hoping to succeed in our determination NOT to put together long stem dozens.  There are shops that love to do them.  We do not.  With all the beautiful flowers coming in, the terribly verticle (turgid)? standard pales in comparison.  And I'm fairly certain after all these years in the Business that many women don't love them.  Women love pretty flowers: romantic, pretty flowers that look like they were chosen just for them.  Listening, anyone?

Sunday, January 20, 2013


This is the wall I hit yesterday morning when I got up early to go to the Flower Market.

You can move around the wall, but it rebuilds in moments.  You can ignore the obvious, but at some point you have to cry "Uncle".

I made it through a wedding appointment then drove home and slept all afternoon.  I slept all night and well into this morning.  I left the shop in good hands.  Thanks Marisa.

Lessons?  Abandon the Protestant Work Ethic post-surgery, don't be in a big hurry to get off of pain meds, (there aren't any more stars going into our crowns for suffering) , and rely on others where ever possible.  And every time your partner asks you if you need anything, say yes. Hot lemon water? Yes. Ice pack? Yes.  Warm socks?  Yes. Something special for dinner?  Yes.  Extra blanket? Yes.

This day and tomorrow for recharge. Thanks, Dr. King.  I'll be celebrating on the couch watching the Inauguration, waiting for snow.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Changes for the New Year

There were too many times during 2012 when our wedding work spilled across all the available surface area in the shop and customers were side-stepping crated centerpieces and chuppah poles,  boxes of unopened vases and crates waiting empty for more flowers.

After much discussion, consideration and not a little trepidation, we have to decided to re-open on January 16 as a floral design Studio.

For Brides, this won't mean any change at all.  We receive phone and online orders throughout the day and these customers won't notice a change either.  It is the lovely walk-in, spur of the moment customer who will feel the effects, and for this we apologize.

The Bell.
 For customers who are picking up special orders, visiting the rabbits, or placing special orders, there will be a Bell located above the left door.  A beautiful, deep throated bell that requires a manual tug.

The schedule change will also allow me more time to organize classes during the week as well as on Sundays.  I'll be able to take classes myself, and make some shortish junkets for inspiration.  We can never learn enough about flowers. Can we?

Knee news:
I'm well on the mend, almost off of the pain drugs and ready to ease back into work on Wednesday.
Without the annoying knee pain, I'll be able to start a bed of dahlias this year and see how they grow.
(There will be more time for this as well).  And maybe I'll actually be able to prune my pink wisteria before it eats the garage.

Friday, January 11, 2013

recycling and old friendships

My dear friend Marlowe and I met 25 years ago during graduate school at the University of 
California, San Diego.  I left school. She continued on and earned her Phd, went to Prague on a Fulbright the year I moved East and then by some crazy serendipity, she settled in Boston with her husband David and landed a teaching post at UMass Lowell. Besides our friendship, our most common denominator here in New England is our California roots.  We both still miss the smells of Acacia, Star Jasmine, wild sage and rosemary, the sights of magenta blooming succulents that blanket the hills above the 405 freeway,  the whipped up grape colored bouganvillea arbors over alley walls and the extreme pleasure of swimming the backside of the Children's Pool in La Jolla.  

We have both acclimated to New England and we'll probably never move back, which makes me even more grateful that I'll have her close by as the years go on.

Besides her teaching and writing talents, Marlowe is also an artist- her stained glass mosaics keep astonishing me.  ortsandfragments.blogspot.com

I've worn clothes she designed for me, I've been the recipient of her knitting projects, and sold her felted soaps in my shop. I revere her. I love her.  

But I shamelessly destroyed a little knitted shoulder warmer she gave me last year to pillage the beautiful yarns that didn't itch.  I had a vision for a hat.  Which may never materialize.  It took me three hours to extricate what I wanted to keep.

Here is before:

here is after:

The top ball is made of three strands of ribbon and fine, fine yarn.  The ball on the left is a moss colored chenille.  To the right is another ball of single strand ribbon, and at the bottom is a fine, fine wool in varying colors of blues and browns.

You'll notice the button in the top photo.  I chose this as the fastener from an extensive button collection.  It will find it's way onto my new hat.

I could feel guilty about ravishing the little stole; except that I know Marlowe would do the same.  She's like a little universe: flinging out her creations non stop.  Lucky me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I've been home from the hospital since Saturday.  Except for annoying pain and the frustrating slow pace of dressing and moving around, I'm having a lot of fun.

Ever trying to focus and organize my days at the shop, I've now dropped all pretense of avoiding distractions and I've let 'the segue' take over my days. 

Coffee with Cardomen seeds and foamy half & half begin my day while I email, read blogs, fantasize about owning donkeys and where I'll keep them,  felting, pain med tracking, painting bad pictures on my Drawing Pad App, searching for adorable animal photos, eating buttery toast and Brown Cow Maple flavored Greek Yogurt.

I do a few exercises, apply an ice pack and start over again.  There are rituals at the beginning and at the end of my day, and I have PT visits to endure, but the rest of the day is mine and right now, I have no ambition beyond following my whims.

I've mentioned some changes at Bow Street for 2013 and I'm sending out a Newsletter later this week describing what they will be!  If you're not signed up, I'll be blogging about them too.

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch.