These strange looking almost-flowering buds belong to the Mother of Pearl plant. It’s also known as the Ghost plant, or Graptopetalum paraguayense.
This is the mother ship of that spindly, tentative arm that is reaching out to flower. This part is sturdy, well-rooted, thick and healthy. The flowering branch looks delicate, pale, and like you want to set up a succulent hospital to take care of it. I think the base plant could climb mountains, leap tall buildings in a single bound. I would think that the flowering branch is one of those caricatures of a fainting Victorian woman.
Both of these are us. Are you. Are me.
It’s on the sturdy plant days that we reply to every email, answer every comment on Instagram, hand-write overdue notes to far away friends, cook homemade meals, weed the garden, quilt for hours — our minds clear and powerful, our physical bodies cooperating and healthy. We eschew sugary snacks. We sleep well. We read interesting books. Each minute has a purpose.
Sadly, frail flowering stem days can sometimes prevail. On those days, while we might look well to the world, inside we can hardly step over doorway thresholds. We doom-scroll social media, but don’t have energy for even a “like.” Thinking of what to say to comments is herculean, and dinner consists of whatever is in the fridge, or at the closest fast-food place. Creativity is still treasured, but we can’t find our sew-jo, our mo-jo, our motivation or energy. Sleep is interrupted, and we worry/ruminate way too much. Our physical bodies are busy plotting against us and it’s generally Not Good (think something along the order of January 6th).
You get the picture.
And then two holy men step into the fray (thinking of their names: Angel and Ezequiel). We are in the midst of a kitchen re-do, as some of you have seen on other social media. Maybe to continue the metaphor from the Mother of Pearl plant, we are being re-potted? This week Angel and Ezequiel, and then Leo (on the right with all the cans, etc) came to paint the kitchen three different colors. (In case you don’t feel old enough, Ezequiel — a sturdy, jovial man — is 72 and has been a painter for nearly a half-century.) It has been nice to have many thoughtful, kind and cheerful people help us.
On another day this week as we ate lunch, I looked at my Dave and said, “Today we don’t have to pick a paint color. We don’t have to go to five tile stores to choose backsplash. We don’t have to go to four stores to evaluate countertops, or talk about drawer handles or garbage disposals. We don’t have to buy sinks, or microwaves or a refrigerator.”
“I know,” he said. “Would you like to take a nap?”
It was a spindly flowering branch day.
And then this happened. It was the arc scraps from Primula Ballerina’s Drunkard’s Path blocks, filled in with low-volume fabrics. I blocked all out that was happening below me in the kitchen and kept going because I was listening to this:
Each Drunkard’s Path block is 5″ finished, so I guess the quilt is 40″ x 35″, about right for a friend’s baby who hasn’t yet arrived.
And that Target Special round mirror is for the half-bath downstairs, because ohgoshwhynot, we decided to replace the vanity/sink while we were at it and the old square mirror won’t fit when the new vanity comes in. The painters painted it “White Flour” today (our white for the kitchen). What a gift.
And then when the construction drapes were cleared from the family room for a weekend, we took the chance to binge-watch the last season of Sanditon. The ending(s) reminded me of Lord of the Rings, when we had wrap-up ending, after wrap-up ending, after wrap-up ending. Which allowed me to do a wrap-up ending on this EPP quilt (North Country Quilt) which was started in April 2019. (Free pattern for the pieces at the link.)
I decided to sew on a border as the edges were as unstable as my current state; on the right is my mock-up of the quilting for Jen, my long armer.
At this point, I just want this quilt to be done, even if I’m not so sure about it now. I am also hoping that soon the kitchen will be done, that we’ll move back out of the dining room, unpack the stacks of boxes in the garage and family room, and find our sturdy plant lives once more.