Thursday, May 18, 2006

Starbucks' Patron Saint?

Today is cold, considering it is past mid-May. Good for me, since I took the chance to put in some more grass seed, which prefers it cool. I’ve been watering it — or rather, the straw which covers it — hoping for little green miracles. What is it about us that is drawn to green swards? Maybe our genetic origins on the savannahs somewhere. I’ll have to ask Wally Ballou. He knows everything worth knowing (mostly) but doesn’t tell you unless you ask.

Violets Under the Pawlonia
We had the most lovely violet season this year. Many people consider them weeds, but the Baron loves them. I must admit I like their very green, heart-shaped leaves even if they are invasive. They’re easy enough to rip up, and compard to the darn mimosa seeds, at least they never grow into trees with tap roots that go the center of the earth.

The false indigo is blooming fitfully, as it did last year. It’s been in that spot a long time, perhaps I ought to divide it or feed it whatever it is legumes like. It, too, is a pretty blue.

The dahlias that the Boy gave me for Mother’s Day last year came back! They’re not supposed to do that, but there they are. Of course the figs aren’t supposed to fruit every year this far north, but they do that, too.

Today is the farmer’s market in town. I am going to see if anyone has cranesbill to add to my patch and will buy some red geraniums to plant by the red bench. Last year, Elizabeth’s mother gave me a huge pot of Dragon’s wing (I think) begonias. They were beautiful all year. And now, her mom is recovering from by-pass surgery and not doing well. If you’re the praying type, picture a dignified and beautiful elderly Greek woman who is need of your assistance. If you’re not the praying type, just give her a passing thought occasionally — as I would for your friends if I knew them.

And just for the record, on this day in 2003, John Paul II beatified the inventor of cappucino. That in itself is reason enough for beatification by my standards, but JP had other motives:
Marco d'Aviano, known as a fiery orator, persuaded European Christian monarchs to lift the Ottoman siege in Vienna in 1683. A biography records that during the fighting, d'Aviano brandished a crucifix at the Turks, shouting, "Behold the cross of the Lord: Flee, enemy bands!"

Well known in the 17th century as a preacher of penance and a miracle worker, d'Aviano is thus something of a patron saint for European Christians alarmed over Muslim immigration and fundamentalism in Islamic states. Many Europeans believe that the Twin Towers attacks in the United States took place on Sept. 11 because it was the eve of the anniversary of the battle in Vienna on Sept. 12.

Cappucino. Yum. Gates of Vienna? Mais, oui!

Given Pope Benedict’s pessimism about Europe surviving with any Christian identity, perhaps he will move the beatification process forward for d’Aviano. Let’s get Starbucks behind it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

She's Baaaaack!

This is a neglected blog. If it were a kid, they would’ve called in the authorities by now…

There are a myriad of reasons I’ve avoided posting here. For one thing, I always seem to be behind over at the other place so how could I make room for personal essays? For another, my health isn’t the best and my ADD seems to intensify with age. Both conditions interfere with my energy and focus.

But the big reason is more personal than that: some months ago an evil person cut and pasted a family story I had written here, kind of one of those untold family tales that you can relate in an anonymous setting, but you’d never discuss it with the people involved. This malicious lurker printed out the story and then went to the trouble of giving it to the person I wrote about. It hurt her feelings very much, even though it wasn’t harmful...just a backroom tale I used to hear people laugh about. I hadn’t thought about the story in a long time, but when it came to mind while writing that particular post, I mentioned it.

I should have known there were mean-spirited lurkers on my blog. Most blogs have trolls of some level of evil or other. It just never occurred to me that anyone would use my words to hurt another person. That’s a desperate, grasping kind of evil when you stop to think about it. A karmic error on their part, one that can’t be erased. Think of Lady Macbeth.

So I’ve avoided The Neighborhood for awhile, walking around the long way without realizing why. Then, the other day it occurred to me why I didn't come here much. It also occurred to me that we can't let others' evil rule our lives; and, for me, ruin what had been an entertaining endeavor.

So here goes. Take your best shot, Evil One. See what you can dig up. Your malice is all you’ve got left…and the great thing I have in my favor?

I’m not you.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I Thought You Ought to Know

A friend sent this latest bulletin on bird flu in the U.S.:
Bird Flu in Parma, Ohio
Be sure to stock up on water and canned beans and a sufficient supply of Jim Beam to see you through whatever is coming.