Archive for July, 2011

Impossible Blossoms

Thursday, July 28th, 2011









by Samantha Prust

This is the first year that my hubs and I have grown a full-scale garden. We turned our backyard from a place where we watered and mowed grass into a place where we grow our own food. We planted just about everything: beans, corn, squash, melons, broccoli, radishes, onions, scallions, snap peas, zucchini, Swiss chard, garlic, basil, dill, four lettuce varieties, four tomato varieties, four carrot varieties, two beet varieties, two cucumber varieties, two potato varieties, two pumpkin varieties and two watermelon varieties. I also planted marigolds, sweet alyssum and two kinds of sunflowers in and around the garden based on the organic gardening method called companion planting, which recommends planting certain flowers next to certain vegetables to attract beneficial insects or repel or divert harmful pests.

I love the idea of the potager garden: a mixture of vegetables and flowers, utility and beauty. But vegetable plants are also beautiful and flowers are also utilitarian; in the garden, there's no distinction between the two. I'm amazed at how the plants and flowers we stuck in the ground as seed have transformed to full grown plants that will eventually bear luscious gems that you can eat right off the vine or add to your recipes. Being in awe of how plants grow must be something that all beginning gardeners experience, something that you take for granted if you've never tried to grow your own food. Gardening also gives me a chance to be creative, to learn and challenge myself in unfamiliar territory and to get gratification from hard work. Being in the garden clears my mind, gets me out of my head and makes me focus on the here and now. It also has the ability to be meditative and reflective; you never know what you'll find among the foliage—spiders, ladybugs, bees, and epiphanies. This year is only the beginning; I plan to continue my "garden therapy" for years to come.

Here's one of my favorite poems, by Li-Young Lee, that says what I feel about gardening much better than I could.


From Blossoms

From blossoms comes

this brown paper bag of peaches

we bought from the joy

at the bend in the road where we turned

toward signs painted peaches.


From laden boughs, from hands,

from sweet fellowship in the bins,

comes nectar at the roadside, succulent

peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,

comes the familiar dust of summer,

dust we eat.


O, to take what we love inside,

to carry within us an orchard, to eat

not only the skin, but the shade,

not only the sugar, but the days, to hold

the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into

the round jubilance of peach.


There are days we live

as if death were nowhere

in the background; from joy

to joy to joy, from wing to wing,

from blossom to blossom to

impossible blossom,

to sweet impossible blossom.

The Breeze

Thursday, July 21st, 2011


The Breeze

            In the supermarket next to the checker’s cash register sat a miniature fan.

            It wasn’t the type of miniature you might place in a curio cabinet or set up on a shelf, just to look at.

            This was a working heavy duty machine, that provided a welcome breeze to a woman  plaqued  by the villains of the menopausal flash.

            I questioned her about it, because of its size, which looked to be about seven inches tall and about four inches wide and was incased in a slick plastic black tower, which made it look like an air purifier. Then  I wondered why she would need one in this perfectly clean market I had frequented for years.

            She told me that two years ago she had the same thought, and she was desperate for a solution, until the salesman in the electronic store turned it on and melted her perspiration away.

“Wow,” she said. “What a powerhouse this is in such a tiny body.”

He told her; by using the casement of one of their little air purifiers they could add enough power fore a strong flow of air and still keep a small foot print, which would allow it to fit almost anywhere.           

 She said she’d take it and never looked back.

            “When the flashes started they came every fifteen minutes and didn’t care if I was sleeping or at work. No matter what time of day, the sweat would pour off my face and drip onto my clothes. I must have registered eighty degrees. This fan was then and still is a lifesaver.”

            I smiled and was glad she found a solution.

           Just before I was about to pay for my groceries, she asked me if the breeze bothered me.

            With both thumbs pointed up, I answered in solidarity,  “No, I get it.”

Summer Friends

Monday, July 18th, 2011

I meet a new set of friends each summer. They exist on the pages of mystery novels. I choose a series and read as many books as I can find. It is comforting to go from one book to another; always returning to the adventures of the characters that I come to know and love.


Two of my best friends this summer are Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. They live in a series of books written by Elizabeth George. She places these characters in New Scotland Yard inLondon, but they travel all overEnglandto solve crimes much too complicated for local law enforcement agencies. Lynley and Havers work well together and come to respect each other – although they are totally opposite in every way. Tommy is a tall, elegant, aristocratic Earl endowed with suave charm and keen intelligence. Barbara is a short, unattractive young woman living in a lower class neighborhood, but she is plenty smart. She often notes clues overlooked by others and she holds her ground in defending her positions.


George’s novels are complex and rich. The settings are intricate and accurate – exhibiting  her love ofEngland, although she is a native of theU.S.All of her characters, even the minor ones, have distinct personalities and psychological complexities. George also experiments with different writing styles – ensuring that each reading is fresh and exciting.


Kinsey Millhone was my friend of choice last summer. She appears in Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries, beginning with A Is for Alibi and continuing through U is for Undertow (so far).Kinsey is a Private Investigator inLos Angeles in the 1980s. She is single (twice divorced). The stories are told in first person and Kinsey’s cynical, wise-cracking personality balances out some of the horrific situations she finds herself in. Reading the books through (mostly in order of publication) provided an opportunity to experience Kinsey’s development and growing maturity.


Summer before last, I got well acquainted with Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the New York Police Department as J. D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) envisioned it becoming in the mid-21st century, so her stories offered a bit of science fiction along with mystery. Eve is a tall, beautiful woman with confident strength of character. Her husband, known only as Roarke, is fantastically rich, wonderfully handsome, and ever supportive of his wife. These two main characters dominate the stories, but secondary characters were well developed and in some ways more likeable, such as Eve’s assistant, Delia Peabody – a bit overweight, uncertain about her abilities, and sometimes emotional.


Some of the murder scenes and harrowing events in all of the above mentioned books are pretty gruesome, but I read on steadily because I know that my book friends will solve the mysteries and all will be well by the end of each volume.


Singing & Dancing in the Rain

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Monsoons have descended upon Colorado.

Days are wet.

Spirits dampened.

Take a moment and watch these videos.

They’re guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of young and old.

1. Original rendition of Singing in the Rain by Gene Kelly:

2. New rendition of Singing in the Rain by Usher:

3. Side by side – different dance styles but both fantastic:

You gotta love it all!

Burndt Sienna Heart

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I have a broken crayon in my heart:

It used to be razzle dazzle rose with the hope of you.

After a decade gone by, your memory had become fuzzy wuzzy or even basic brown. I had forgotten until your apology and nine months of Facebook flirtations.

“I was a jerk,” you said. Sorry, sorry, you said.

I re-sharpened my mango tango limbs and tried to be my most exotic shade, a rose quarts that would capture your notice. But you came, you saw and you did not want to conquer.

I could see it in your cerulean blue eyes darkened like coal.

“Am I boring you?” I asked, and got your no, no.

Our five-day trip broke to three.

You needed something in the wild blue yonder. You needed confetti glitter, a spark like firecracker red.

I didn’t have it despite my magic potion purple attempts to be beautiful.

You left, and I felt the lemon-lime zing.

My tears were atomic tangerine, as if they could get me back to basic green when all I really wanted was you, not this broken heart.

I had a taste of my wild watermelon, and with this one lick, I’m off road and don’t know what to do.

I don’t know which crayon is right for me even with 120 colors.

Or is it that I need black to cover memories and hurts and the titanium white look of you. I could scratch off the pieces until a new palette results, like the bitter taste of key lime with a sweet after-tickle on the tongue.