CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

February 23, 2013

February 22, 2013: Flowers Emerge Through Snow

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

FEBRUARY 22, 2013:

FLOWERS EMERGE THROUGH SNOW

Our stream is frozen...

Our stream is frozen…

...but the snowdrops are budding...

…but the snowdrops are budding…

...and the daffodil shoots are clearly visible...

…and the daffodil shoots are clearly visible…

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ADDITIONAL READING:

A Sense of Place

Boston Blizzards: 2003 & Nemo 2013

Category on Creatures

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August 25, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:  FLOWERS

The first two flowerpictures were taken of blooms from the bulbs of multicolored lilies that decorated the altar, aisles, and walkway at the church where my daughter was married.

 

I planted some of the bulbs, and the blooms are fantastic! This is their third year, so I can (more…)

April 18, 2010

Discovering Hardy Lavender

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS 

DISCOVERING HARDY LAVENDER

     Laundresses once hung their linens and clothes on its branches.

     Archeological evidence shows it was used in the ancient Egyptian, Phoenician, and Arabian mummification process.

     King Charles VI of France sat on seat cushions stuffed it.

     It was once called “Four Thieves Vinegar.”

     What is it?

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      It is lavender.

     The likely root of the word lavender is Lavare, a Latin verb meaning “to wash.” This root gave way to laundresses once being called “lavenders.”  Another possible root is the Latin word “livendulo,” meaning livid or bluish.

     Used in the process of mummification, excavators found unguent-filled jars, containing something resembling lavender, at the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb.

     England’s King Louis XIV not only enjoyed the scent of lavender that was emitted from the seat cushions he sat on, he enjoyed bathing in lavender-scented water. French royalty Charles VI demanded lavender-filled pillows wherever he went.

     During the 17th century Bubonic Plague in London, grave-robbers, caught pilfering the belongings of plague victims confessed that their infrequency of suffering from the deadly disease was due to washing in a mixture of lavender and vinegar after they completed their dangerous task.

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      While researching information for my historical romance novel, Intertwined Love, (www.intertwined.love.wordpress.com ) the lavender plant was mentioned. This made me curious: is the plant something I might work into the novel?

     Numerous questions came to mind. Does the plant grow in the cold climate of Maine? If it doesn’t grow in Maine, was it imported there? What is the folklore connected with lavender?

     I jumped online to surf the web, starting with the question about growing the plant in Maine. The first site claimed (to continue reading this post, click on: http://intertwinedlove.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/discovering-hardy-lavender/ )

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ADDITIONAL READING:

January Catalogues Lead to June Gardens

Laurel Mountain Borough, Pennsylvania: Quaint

My Spider Plant Lives: A Devotion

You are invited to visit Intertwined Love’s blog site

My Childhood Home: 29 Spring St., Portsmouth, N. H.

Amish Grace, Thomas Cornell, & Intertwined Love: Risks of Writing Historical Fiction

June 2, 2009

Violet infestation? Why complain?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

VIOLET INFESTATION? WHY COMPLAIN?

      As I sat on my comfortable couch this winter, watching the snow drift with the winds and the birds fly to and from the window bird feeder, I was invited to contemplate on the number of blades of grass that would be on my lawn come summer. This invitation, in a Vital Stats column, Growth Industry, (the May 2003 Pittsburgh Magazine), states that the “Number of blades of grass on the Cathedral of Learning lawn” is 278,784,000.

     Naturally, my mind wonders about my lawn—and I wonder how I could ever count the blades of grass on it. I recollect how I once did red blood cell counts (I once worked as a hematology technician doing differential counts under a microscope). A section of blood, smeared on a slide and stained, is counted, and the total is projected from that count. Ah, so I could take a patch of lawn, say three inches square, and count the blades of grass in it. There are sixteen of these squares in (more…)

April 28, 2009

Spring…the joy and pathos of the…DANDELION

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SPRING…the JOY and the PATHOS of the…DANDELION

 

     It’s truly spring. The sprouting signs would declare the season even if we lacked calendars. In Westmoreland County (PA) the high 80s and low 90s temperature on April 24-25, 2009, were perfect for the Ryan and Sarah Adamosky Rumbaugh’s wedding. In addition to being a friend of the family, I was the ceremony photographer.

     Signs other than the temperature indicate we are experiencing spring. The pear tree (more…)

February 12, 2009

CANDIED VIOLETS: Remembering My Mother on Her Birthday

     While living in the home we built in Slippery Rock, in the midst of seventy acres, part of our experience is what many would describe as “back to earth.” We gardened, canned, kept chickens. We also had lots of violets that bloomed in the spring and in the fall. (click to view photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/3271288076/ )
     It was the early seventies when I discovered that one could make what was considered a delicacy: candied violets, a violet blossom preserved by (more…)

August 16, 2008

RAINBOW’S END Conclusion

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
RAINBOW’S END Conclusion

To read previous segments click on: RAINBOW’S END Part 1 &  RAINBOW’S END Part 2 & RAINBOW’S END Part 3

     Rushing Waters tipped his cup, lightly sipping its contents. As his pain abated, he laid back, thinking about several European men whose spirit, like his, was moved by Mountain-Laurel.

     In 1749 he’d met Peter Kalm, from a country named Sweden across the big waters. Peter favored (more…)

August 13, 2008

RAINBOW’S END Part 3

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

RAINBOW’S END Part 3

To read previous parts of Rainbow’s End click: RAINBOW’S END Part 1 and/or RAINBOW’S END Part 2

     He separated from the others, who continued their journey without him. He could follow the rough path later. Lowering himself onto soft pine needles, he saw a stunning stand of Mountain-Laurel under a nearby canopy of maple leaves. He sipped a small cup of weak tea to sooth his body, sore from the trek. Refreshed, he lit his pipe before symbolically depositing his pain in the thick, unpassable Mountain-Laurel branches and inhaling hope from the slight scent of a myriad of blossoms. Watching the smoke swirl upwards, he saw visions (more…)

August 11, 2008

RAINBOW’S END Part 2

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
RAINBOW’S END Part 2

To read Part 1 of Rainbow’s End click: RAINBOW’S END Part 1

    Although Rushing Waters never again tried to eat Mountain-Laurel leaves he did discover the joy of climbing the crooked, twisted plant trunks. He sought out shrubs less tangled than the one he had attempted to crawl through at age two, and discovered he should bypass the shrub’s dark brown red-tinged flaky rough bark in favor of the newer stems with their smoother, rather fuzzy bark. One day in his fourth summer, when he climbed an older stem, its brittle branch (more…)

August 10, 2008

RAINBOW’S END Part 1

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
RAINBOW’S END Part 1

     Rushing Waters hobbled away from the fire, stumbling occasionally as sweat prevented his wrinkled hand from grasping a walking stick. Although he took care not to lose water from the cup he held in his other hand, sporadic droplets spilled onto the rich soil or escaped to moisten one of the many rocks cropping up from the pits of the land.

     From the fire to the oak tree roots was only twenty paces. This distance would have meant nothing to his former strong muscles, but now…now, in his fortieth spring, he wondered (more…)

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