Which archaic color term suits this one best: puce or vermilion?

Fleece in the Garden

The heatwave rages on. I think I’ve set some sort of personal record for laminating sweat upon myself today, and I haven’t spent much time outside. The contrast between the AC indoors and the humidity outside is just right for provoking a sweat within seconds of walking out the door.

My daughter and I braved the sauna-grade weather to do a bit of shopping today. One stop was JOANN Fabrics and Crafts. Apparently, their business name is styled in all caps. Anyway, whenever I walk into a craft store, I feel a curious combination of enchantment and indictment. I’m awed by the array of stunning craft supplies, but I feel indicted for knowing how to do so little of these crafts.

Of course, the only person charging me with failure-to-craft is myself. I see the rainbow of color-matched fat quarters for quilting, and I feel guilty that it is highly unlikely that I’ll get around to making a quilt. I just don’t want it enough to make it happen, but at the moment I see those fabrics, I regret that it’s not a priority for me. Life is full of skills I’d like to learn but have assumed the time to do so will not be forthcoming.

Our reason for going to JOANN was replenishing our inventory of fleece remnants that we use to line the guinea pigs’ cages. We change the fleeces daily, and the fabric washes well for a few months. Once their ripeness resists washing, they are replaced with new fabric. Today we found an irresistible cat-and-flower fleece:

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My daughter prefers cat-themed fleeces because our elder guinea L’Orange is so tough that he’s indifferent to images of predators.

When we came home, I took a picture of the latest cat fleece posed on one of our flower pots. I like the contrast between the real and the made. The image inquires, “Which is more beautiful?”

It also reminds me of the things I can do and those I cannot. I can tend a garden and take photos, but I can’t make the illustration on that fleece.

I wish I could sew. I’d buy more of that fabric and make a sweatshirt out of it. Would I look ridiculous in it? Probably. Would I be so pleased to wear such a thing that I wouldn’t care if I looked silly in it? Definitely.

I will close with another picture from today’s garden:

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Garden, June 24


I let the flowers riot in my yard because I need them. I need their persistent beauty, their outrageous blooming. There is enough order in their madness to be my oasis.

Outside the garden, there are curious scenes. I will be getting another epidural injection this week. My mother has lost her mind again. To be a part of my family is to ride that wheel of fire that signals it’s time to lose and find yourself once again.

I’ve discovered that someone I know speaks in partial fiction when she talks about her personal life and there isn’t much point in piercing this illusion. After all, her private business is just that. Still, there is a question that nags at the mind, why bother talking about something if the things cited as facts are not true? There must be a motive, and it’s hard not to wonder what it is. There’s a quality to the situation that easily provokes one’s inner Gladys-the-nosy-neighbor from Bewitched.


Garden, June 17


I don’t like this heat, but I am apt to complain of temperatures that dare to escape my 10-degree margin of comfort (currently 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit and narrowing by the year it seems). Any day with heat in excess of 80 degrees shall be called anathema; a 95-degree day like today has a name so indecent I shall not write it.

The flowers seem to enjoy this heat if they have enough water. A couple of the hanging baskets dried out a bit by the evening watering time, but I persuaded them back from the brink with a long drink.

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