Archives for 2013

The Upgrade

Doesn’t everyone hold tight to a good thing, the moment they are sure that perfectly good thing is firmly in hand?  I can tell you this much about Howard.  He is very shy.  Strangers, and strange situations scare him.  He hates having his picture taken.  He lives under my desk, until the shop closes.   In much the same spirit as double bloodroot, hepatica and the yellow slipper orchid,  he would prefer that you not get too close, look too long,  or make any demands.  But the day that I handed him the above pictured giant rawhide treat, he was a new dog.  He had no problem looking me right in the eye.  As I got closer and closer with the camera, he never blinked.  Nor did he retreat.  No doubt, he had his teeth sunk into a good thing, and was not about to give it up.

I am not so sure I remember when I got my first computer.  It was not that long ago, given the sum total of my adult years.  But technologically, it was ages ago.  Both my computer at work and at home were the better part of 7 years old. I would have stayed the course with that 7 year old tool- why wouldn’t I?  My trowel is 20 years old, as is my garden spade and fork.  However, these tools have no moving parts.  They always work if I work.  The traditional garden fork and spade were first made at Clarington Forge in England by Cisterian monks-800 years ago.  The design and functionality of my tools-pretty much the same as they were then.  But as much as I would have liked to hang on to the same computer for the rest of my life, the wired world just doesn’t work that way.  Both of my computers had slowed down such that too much of my time was being spent waiting.  One minute and thirty seconds does not seem like a very long time to wait for a file of photos to open, but when when you deal in lots of photos, those minutes add up.   I dreaded the idea of new computers-and for good reason.  Though everything is the same, everything is brand new too.  My new pair have had plenty of glitches-most of which were glitches owned by me.  Operationally, they are not so much like my old computers.  But wow, are they fast.

The development of my landscape has been anything but fast.  Designing and implementing a landscape for a client is an equally slow process.  What takes minutes to accomplish in the landscape?  That would be wheeling the garbage out to the curb.  Or watering a pot of succulents that by the way didn’t need that water anyway.  Everything else about it takes loads of time.

So I have been in school for much of the past few days, trying to make sense of the new guys.  Our computer company picked them out and installed them-and answered their phone for me for 2 days afterwards.  Mike looks like he is 17 years old, and he handles a computer like a 17 year old-sure, fast, and confident.  Impressive, his command of the situation.  A good and patient coach proved invaluable.

My new computer at work has a big screen, and is too fast for me to keep up with.  What fun that is-especially now that I am starting to get the hang of it.

I also learned how to take a picture at home with my Iphone, and upload it here-ta dah!  The picture is almost sharp to boot-I just pasted the phone on the glass.  It’s starting to feel like the past few days were fun.



At A Glance: Christmas Dinner

My good friends host a Christmas dinner that is so beautiful, I cannot help but want to share their pictures.  The biggest change this year-a Christmas tree fashioned from tree branches from their own property.  The Branch trees this holiday season at the shop were an inspiration-I liked hearing that.

On the unusually deep window sills, fresh fruit and vegetables.

Tall stalks from Oriental lilies that they grow in the garden kept the tall tapers company.  The silver, white and green table decor is a beautiful contrast to all the color in the windows.  I was happy to see that the magnolia wreath I made them last year was hung in its accustomed place.

They set a very formal and very beautiful table.

But how they incorporate natural materials and greens is not only stunning, but appropriate to their farm setting, and their love of the landscape.

I so enjoy getting this set of pictures from them every year.

The contrasts in color, texture and mood is so beautiful, yet so graceful.

I admire how they labor over every detail, and how they thoughtfully send enough pictures so I can get a feeling for the moment.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

A place setting

place card, water and wine glasses

silver candelabra, cones, greens, and chestnuts

antique salt cellars

How lovely to be invited to this Christmas dinner.