Victory is sweet

June being nearly over is cause for celebration in the floral biz. Each weekend has been stuffed full with weddings, we've made flowers for 13 brides this month. After our last June wedding I devoured a piece of blueberry cheesecake from Baked in about 2 minutes as a "celebration". I did not know it was possible to eat so fast while basically sleepwalking with exhaustion.

I can honestly say I still love weddings. It's beyond sweet to be a part of a couple's wedding day and I never get tired of of seeing a girl in a white dress looking nervous or thrilled or dazed.

That being said- it is not lost on me that all of these weddings have turned my life into the "before" of a bad 90s romantic comedy. Quirky girl spends her days making bouquets for weddings and romantic boyfriends and then goes home to disheveled apartment filled with long haired cats and floral dresses. And eats a lot of cheesecake in the process.

(And honestly- a house to one's self and lots of cheesecake sounds just as good if not better than this so-called "marriage" thing people keep talking about.)

Thomas James

Our family's resident...

- baker of bread

- propagator of plants

- wearer of flannel

- crocheter of hats

- hiker of overly long hikes

- tender of hound dogs

- whittler of walking sticks

- practicer of yoga

- painter of watercolors

- reader of tolkien

- feeder of humingbirds

- hooker of fishing worms

- handler of all things heavy and dirty and slimy and bureaucratic and boring and financial and car related.

He is the brain behind the operation and the horsepower to our family's wagon. He's a good man, that dad of mine.

Ella Averill Robinson and Calla Lily Cole

My big sister is staying at our parents house to convalesce after surgery and I went home to visit her this past weekend. She is holding up wonderfully and the house is filled with stray kittens my mom has been nursing with an eye dropper.

Delectable, delicious, completely addictive, tiny kitties. I found myself holding one or two to my chest at all times. Even At The Dinner Table. I just couldn't let them go. Bestest sisters and kittens curled up in bed, it was like a reenactment of Little Women gone weirdly hippie as Micha may or may not have had a collection of new agey crystals at her bedside.

My cats in Brooklyn are cruel beasts- no petting, no sitting on laps, no getting to bury your face in kitty fur. But oh good lord, these kitties were made for kissing.

My mom named them after two of my great great grandmothers. Calla Lily (Lily was her maiden name) has the orange head and Ella Averill has the black head and the (nearly) bad attitude.

For the first time ever, I'm having heart palpitations over cats. A love at first sight, soul mate, get married and have kittens kind of love. Maybe this new found admiration will inspire long hoped for mutual respect on the homefront?

Hmm. Probably not.

The mouth of the south

If you read Ginny's blog (and you should!), you know she moved away from New York back home to Atlanta this spring. Utterly heartbreaking and surreal to have Mrs. G.B. Stelling leave, I can honestly say I didn't see her moving out of the city, at least not so darn soon.

Never was there a girl more sincerely and wonderfully romanced by New York. Yes, there were Victorian sofas laced with bed bugs, sweltering, minuscule apartments and rodents of um... unusual size, but Ginny always looked for and found beauty here. In a place where most keep their heads down, she radiated genuine compassion, humor and curiosity and that's something we all can learn from.

A few months back she gave me this group of tiny bottles filled with specimens she gathered at Elmwood on our trip last summer. She had snuck around when I wasn't looking to collect the bits and bobs so I could bring my lady love of a house back to Brooklyn. I cried a few secret tears when I opened it, which is a big feat when it comes to present giving.

Left to right; soil, I wish I could say this is my grandmothers Chanel No 5 but it's actually rotting pond water, tree bark, a wildflower and ashes from a fire I built for the two of us.

Ginny has always reached the upper most boundaries of thoughtfulness and gratitude. She was the one who inspired me to start an apple a day. And by inspired I mean gently pushed. And by gently pushed I mean nagged. Which, by the way, I totally get now.

Elmwood: The Continuing Story. Part 1.

I miss Elmwood, even in light of my last visit turning into a bonafide fiasco. The family is now rumbling about what wallpaper to use in the lightly singed living room and I am so epically sick of conflict these days I can hardly function. I just want to be back there, alone, so I can relax, unwind and attempt to burn the house down again.

I joke.

I have a few more photos of the visit banging around to show you, but maybe for later.

I'm afraid the summer months on an apple a day contain not much more than atmospheric photos of this house and the occasional blurry photo of over ripe stone fruit. It has been near 90 degrees this week and I can honestly say, what the hell is the use of it being so hot if you can't even get a peach at the farmers market. Early summer, you are beyond cruel.

The view from the top

I went for a sunset hike up Crotched Mountain when I was in New Hampshire. It was so incredibly peaceful that even I, who avoids large bouts of total introspection like the plague, had what some might call a moment.

I've talked about Crotched before and I've talked about Betsy before, but it was wonderful to have some time alone with both up there. To commune, if you will.

When I told my aunt the next day about going up Crotched, she mentioned that the previous day had been the 33rd anniversary of Betsy's death. I'm generally not one for cosmic energy, but having unknowingly climbed the mountain where her ashes are scattered on the anniversary of her death, consciously feeling her presence all the while is eerie and wonderful and not soon to be forgotten.

(Please forgive me my use of commune as a verb. I was raised by hippie parents and thus can get uncomfortably new age-y while sentimental.)