Wednesday, September 27, 2006
200th post

Coming up on this 200th post, I thought well, maybe I should post a second hundred things about me....Not sure there are another hundred, and I fear I may repeat some of the ones from the first hundred...but, what the hell...Nothing ventured and all that Jazz....

So, here goes.....

1. I failed three subjects in 10th grade.
2. And back in 5th grade I got 15 U's (Unsatisfactory) out of a possible 30 Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory marks on my Report Card....well, that was half, wasn't it? Scary.
3. That was the year my parents seperated.
4. My excuse for 10th grade? I was an emotional mess, again, yet, still...
5. School was never my favorite place to be for 12 years...I think I said before, I didn't eat breakfast for 12 years because I was afraid I would throw it up. Fear is a terrifying thing, isn't it? I hate to throw up, will do anything, not to...including not eating breakfast for twelve years....!
6. My sister Robin who was 8 years older than me was Salutatorian of her High School Graduating class.
7. I was 212th (or near that) out of 270 students in my graduating class from High School. Not exactly a high number, is it?
8. My three siblings and I all went to the same Grade School, Junior High and High School. I don't think school grades really tell you a whole lot about what a person really has to offer or even if they are a good student or not. But those grades might just tell you a lot about a certain time in their life.
9. I was the worst student in my family. I always said if my mother had had another child after me, he/she would have flunked out of school completely.
10. My mother died of a rare kind of breast cancer. Pagets Disease which is cancer of the Nipple. It was April 2, 1966. I watched my mother take her very last breath.
11. My mother was 67 years old. I was 34 years old. (Well, I turned 35 two and a two thirds months later...)
12. My father had just turned 82 twenty days before he died. It was a heart attack. It was August 31st, 1981. He had a history of Heart Disease.
13. I had turned 50 two months before he died.
14. I have known more than 45 people who have died of AIDS related illnesses. Most of them were friends from the theatre. But not everyone.
14. Music has always been a lifesaver for me along with some other things, too, like chocolate.
15. I bought my first Ukulele---a small one, a soprano---in the fall of 1949 in Hollywood, CA. at Music City, which was a wonderful Music Store where you could go into a private booth and listen to a record,
16. I was going to USC Extension, at the time. I didn't have the grades to get into a regular college, anywhere.
17. I lived in a Co-Operative House at USC---a Dorm funded by The Soroptimist Club of Southern California.(It was really an old house they converted into a dorm.) I had two roomates.
18. The Soroptimists were the women's version of the Optimist Club.
19. We all had our jobs. And they changed from day to day. One day you would be cooking and the next day you might be doing the cleaning.
20. I experienced my first Earthquake tremor while living in that dorm.
21. I remember sitting at the dining room table and watching the chandelier sway while feeling the house move slightly. And even though I had never felt an Earthquake before I knew that's what it was unmistakable.
22. Their were about 15 students who lived there.
23. It was somewhat International. We had a student from Iran when it was called Persia and another student was from Iceland.
24. I went to college because I didn't know what else to do.
25. I bought my second Ukulele in early 1963---it was a Baritone, which is the biggest Uke that was made at that time---again, at Music City in Hollywood. Isn't that odd that I buy both Uke's at the same Music Store 14 years apart.
26. I played my Baritone Uke on Broadway in "Spoon River Anthology".
27. "Spoon River Antholgy" opened on September 29th, 1963 at The Booth Theatre, off of Shubert Alley on 45th Street and eventually we moved to The Belasco Theatre on 44th Street. That was a very exciting time in my life.
28. I still have both these fine instruments. They are both Martin Ukulele's...the Stradivarius of Uke's, I might add. If you try to buy one on Ebay, it is very very 'dear' as they say, if you can find one, at all. Martin doesn't make The Baritone anymore, sad to say. I love my Ukes, a lot!
29. I had finally figured out what I really wanted to do while spending a year in the dentists chair, having returned to New York after only one semester at USC Extension.
30. Four dentists chairs, actually.
31. The first was the dental surgeon. The second was The Root Cnnel Dentist. The third was the Gum Dentist and the fourth was the genius who saved all my teeth from being pulled at age 19 and proceeded to do a comlpete mouth reconstruction. And I do mean complete.
31 1/2. That was the first of four complete mouth reconstructions in my lifetime and then, my teeth went downhill from there!
32. 1950 was a very very hard year.
33. One day, I took the Long Island Railroad into Manhatten on the way to one of those dentists and ran into a High School friend. We sat together as the train wended it's way into the city and she told me she was in Drama School.
34. I knew the moment she talked about it that this was what I wanted to do.
35. That fall, when the year of dental hell was over, I entered The Feagin School Of Drama & Radio.
36. They added the word 'Television' to the name of the school soon after I began my Junior Year.
37. Finally, I could eat breakfast in the morning, cause I loved going to this school. Taking classes in subjects that really excite you makes all the difference, doesn't it?
38. Feagin was on the 6th floor of The International Building of Rockerfeller Center, an exciting area to be in. NBC was nearby and Radio City Music Hall, too. We were on Fifth Avenue, between 50th and 51st Street. I loved every wonderful moment of it.
39 The Feagin School was were I met my Soul Mate, Bestest for 35 years, till he died (much too soon), in 1985
40. My very first 'paying' job as an actress was in a production of "Arsnic & Old Lace". I played Abby...she was one of the old eccentic sisters. I was not even 20 years old, at the time.
41. It was a production we had done at Feagin and then we did one performance for somene's church group and we each got paid $3. a piece. My very first dollar earned as an actress!
42. That first summer after my Junior year at Feagin, I was an Apprentice at The Sea Cliff Summer Theatre. As hard as we worked...and we worked non-stop, day and night, I loved that too!
43. I was chosen to be Eva Gabor's "dresser" during the week she played Sea Cliff in a light comedy called "Her Cardboard Lover".
44. She called me 'Gertrude' for the first 2 or 3 days...that was the name of the dresser no doubt at the previous theatre she was at. And I'm sure, when she moved to the next summer theatre the following week, that person was called 'Naomi'...well, at least for the first few days.
45. I turned 20 that first summer at Sea Cliff.
46. Switching gears here: I've never been to a Starbucks.
47. I've never eaten a McDonalds French Fry!
48. I've never eaten a McDonalds Hamburger!
49. I've never eaten a McDonalds anything!!!
50. I have smoked pot. (More than once.....)
51. I've never had a baby, though I thought about it.
52. I've never had an abortion.
53. I've never been married...(but then you already know that...!)
54. I've been in love (or thought I was) 4 times, not counting grade school and high school.
55. It never worked out, I'm afraid.
56. I really don't know how to do that. I wish I had known, but it just wasn't meant to be.
57. I've never been good at 'love' type love, but I'm great at friendship type love, if that makes any sense. Well, it does to me.
58. I wanted to have a baby with two of the men I was in love with. (those were the baby's I thought about having, as mentioned earlier...)
59. It is a really good thing that I didn't have any baby's, because it would have been a disaster, all around!
60. I love tomato juice.
61. I love chocolate. Well, Dark Chocolate, to be precise, though I will not turn my nose up at milk chocolate.
62. I used to love Shrimp Cocktails with Russian Dressing.
63. I rarely if ever eat shrimp anymore.
64. I love Bumble Bee Tuna Fish and used to buy it by the case.
65. In truth, I don't trust anything that lives at the bottom of the sea...think about what else is at the bottom of the sea and I'm sure you might understand why I don't trust all those things that crawl around down there.
66. I ate Mussells once, in the South of France and was sick all night. I never ate them again. Lesson Learned.(lol)
67. I loved the South of France.
68. The Best Chocolate Mousse I ever ate was in the South of France.
69. The Best Chocolate Souflle I ever ate was in the South of France.
70. It was so good, we went back to the restaurant the next night just to eat their chocolate mousse desert, and they didn't think we were crazy! Like I said, I loved The South of France!
71. The Best Croissant I ever ate was in the South of France.

72. The Best Creamed Spinich I ever ate was at Sardi's Restaurant, in New York, N.Y. Sardi's was like your home when you were in a show on Broadway. It was and is a theatrical restaurant and they really took great care of you, especially on matinee days. I loved it there.
73. As a child my family used to travel by train from New York to Florida.
74. We always had a little goody box that we took with us filled with little candy's like Tootsie Rolls, and we were allowed to eat one or two of these before going to sleep at night in our drawing room on the train.
75. I loved our house in Florida. It was on the water....the bay side.
76. There was a rather large beautiful Hotel down the street from us. I use to walk there to the Arcade and that is where I would buy my Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum, when the package was muilti colored stripes. I loved Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum. I bought all my movie magazines and comic books there, as well. I sure loved my movie magazines and my comic books.
77. The Hotel was called The Nautilus, and lots of very wealthy people would come their from up north on their very large yachts which they would dock at the Hotels Dock right there on the bay.
78. During World War 2, the Hotel became a Hospital. And as far as I know it still is a hospital to this day. I know it was a very needed thing at the time, but I was really sorry it wasn't a hotel anymore cause I thought it was truly special I think because of the beautiful Spanish style architecture.
79. One year, when we were in Florida at Passover, we were having our Sedar, and just before it was time to open the door for Elijah, our doorbell rang. It was pretty amazing.
80. I remember our dining room table in the house on North Bay Road. It was a beautiful Cobolt Blue Glass see-through table....It was very Deco. Well, the whole house was very Deco because that was the time of 'Deco', only it was just called 'moderne' back then. It was the 30's.
81. I shared a bedroom with my sister Gene and my brother Gordon when we would be in Florida, otherwise, we all had our own rooms in our home in Great Neck.
82. I had three very dear friends all through school...well, one from Kindergarten and the other two from the 10th grade. We are all still good close friends. We are all still alive! We are all 75!
83. They all were married and all of their husbands died of Lung Cancer. 84. They all smoked and we all smoked, too.
85. None of us smoke anymore, Thank God!
86. None of these three women lives here in California. I miss them.
87. I still miss Sammy, after 21 years. Love never dies, unless it is killed by something really horrible, but truthfully, I'm not really sure it's actually dead even then.
88. I watch too much television.
89. But I enjoy so very many varied 'entertainments'.
90. I love Netflix!
91. I use to be hooked on daytime Soap Opera. It started when I was so sick when I was nine and was in the Hospital for three weeks. These were radio Soap Opera's. "Portia Faces Life", "Young Widow Brown", "Guiding Light". Etc....They saved my life.
92. Then I gave them up for many many years, till I had Mono and couldn't even pick up a book! Someone said, 'watch daytime television'...and I said, 'Oh, I can't watch daytime tv'...!
93. But I had no choice, because I didn't have the energy to hold a book. And in three days I was totally hooked on the television soaps.
94. "Young Doctor Malone", "From These Roots", "Search For Tomorrow", "Guiding Light", and "Love Of Life"...
95. And later...the innovative-it-changed-the-face-of-soap-opera..."The Young And The Restless" and "Guiding Light", again...
96. "The Young And The Restless" brought glamour, couture, music, and sex, to other soap opera had done what they did. It was 1974.
97. Soap Opera was never the same, and it was a true revolution! A good one, at that!
98. Sammy was hooked on 'the soaps', too, Thank God! Eventually, he began writing for "Search For Tomorrow"...I was able to tell him everybody's back story. That was the one soap, he had never been hooked on.
99. I finally kicked the soap habit about 20 years ago. Finally and I hope, forever. It was not long after Sammy died, actually. But, I couldn't turn the television off at night after Sammy died...and I still can't.
100. I guess I replaced daytime "Soaps" with all the nightime soap operas...Did you know that the revenue accrued from Daytime Advertising pays for Nightime Programming? (Well, it used to...I don't know if it still does....but I wouldn't be surprised if this is still the case)

And, there you have it....another 100 things about me and my life....I guess if I had to, I could write another 100....but, not today!

More to come.....

Monday, September 25, 2006
real estate

Do you love looking at houses just for the fun of it? I always have...especially after I moved to Los Angeles back in the 12th Century....and of course when I was looking for my house 4 centuries ago....but I still would do it if I could get out and about...

Now, with the Internet, there is a whole new way to look at homes if you enjoy this pastime...and there is, for some of us, a certain amount of fun in looking at homes completely out of our reach...

Here is what $6,900,000. will buy you in Bel Air, California.... Take the tour cause it's pretty amazing... And after you's my question.
Is this property worth $6,900,000?
I don't know. You tell me! (lol)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I had just finished watching the first two hours of the documentry on Andy Warhol by Ric Burns, on PBS' American Masters...The second two hours were shown on Thursday--9pm to 11pm. here in Los Angeles. It was a fascinating documentary, to say the least.

It got me to thinking and remembering because I was around New York during the late 50's when Warhol was the premiere commercial designer for places like Bonwit Teller's, (one of the greatest and most stunning clothing stores of a certain period in New York City), and I had moved to Los Angeles in February of 1961 and saw Warhol's very first One Man show anywhere, at The Ferus Gallery on La Cienega Blvd. in July of 1962.

And this being his first show the paintings were the now infamous Campbell's Soup Cans....I remember clearly at the time saying that I thought these were ridiculous paintings and I didn't get what he was doing at all. But I did keep going back to see them and I brought people into the gallery to see them and to kind of make fun of them.....They were selling some of them for $200. each, at the time. (I so wish I had bought one....that would have been my ticket to financial freedom! If I had held onto it, that is...) Irving Blum, the owner of The Ferus Gallery was interviewed for this documentary and he reminded me of something I had forgotten. There was a very fine Art Gallery three doors or so up the street from Ferus run by a man name David Stuart and he had gone to the super market and bought 32 cans
of Campbell's Soup and put them in the window of his gallery with a sign that said, "Buy the real thing here for $.27 cents a can"... Blum told this story to explain not only the indifference to Warhol's work but the disdain, as well.Irving Blum also told how these paintings came into being and how that first show came into being, as well. What I had never heard before was that the critical response to that group of paintings was singularly indifferent. Blum then went on to say that after living with the paintings for about two weeks, day in and day out while sitting in the gallery during that show, he came to feel that they were incredibly fantistic and that what Andy Warhol had done was deeply profound. He felt the 32 paintings should stay together and should never be seperated..,and he asked Warhol how much money he would want for the whole collection of 32 paintings, and Warhol said $1000. One Thousand Dollars! Amazing.

He then promised Warhol that not only would they stay together forever, but that he would make sure that they would go to a great great Museum. Remember, this was said in July of 1962 two weeks after the show opened....Well, in this documentary Blum went on to say that he eventually sold the complete collection of 32 Campbell Soup Can Paintings for $15,000,000 to the Museum of Modern Art. An interesting point here: He "sold" the Soup Can Collection..he did not donate it to the Museum Of Modern Art...always the business man, I guess. I certainly might have done the same thing...but somehow this promise that he made to Warhol about the 'collection' going to a great Museum---this promise did not cover---"And if the paintings go way up in value, etc., etc., etc.....". In reading an extended interview with Blum...he had sold three or four of these paintings to individual people here in Los Angeles for $100. each...but after he had his epiphany while sitting there in the gallery for two weeks, he convinced them all to return them to him so this great collection of 32 could stay together. I wonder if these people receieved anything for their largess all those years later when he sold it to MOMA for $15 mil. ? (Just sayin'....)

As those first years went on---the years of Warhol's most productive and inovative work period starting with the Soup Cans---I came to admire his work in a way that surprised even me. The Electric Chair paintings, for instance, in my opinion, are deeply moving and in the simplicity of those images lies a horrific statement about the death penalty...I would say a profound statement. That lonely chair sitting in a lonely room....the paint used in those silk screen images dark and brooding---but even when light colors were used....this is an image one can never ever forget.

I never again had the opportunity to buy a Warhol painting at such a reasonable price....and if I had had the opportinity I don't know that I would have bought it anyway. Irving Blum said that at the same time he showed the 32 paintings (The number of paintings was decided upon by Warhol because that was the number of different kinds of soups made by the company at that time..) he showed some other single soup can paintings in that show...(Maybe those were the ones that were $200. a piece..I know that was the price of the painting I considered buying)....He went on to say that recently one of those single soup can paintings had sold for over $2,000,000 at auction. I'm not sure what the moral of this story is, but I still am deeply sorry I didn't buy one of those paintings when I had the opportunity.

And as an aside: I did have some dealings with Irving Blum (Not as an artist, but as a collector)...which I may write about sometime....I cannot say these dealings were particulatly 'nice', but I did greatly admire a number of artists that he showed during the years of The Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. Ed Ruscha, Ed Keinholz and Kenneth Price just to name a few....Blum certainly had the pulse of that time in the Art World, weather one liked it or not....

I did read a funny story which I just have to share with you.

Sometime in the last ten years or so...I'm not sure of the timing here, Irving Blum attended a dinner party in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was asked by one of the dinner guests, if he had shown the Elizabeth Taylor silk screen paintings at Ferus Gallery, 'back in the day'...and he said yes, that he had. Another guest asked if he had ever shown them to Elizabeth Taylor, herself...and he said, no, that he hadn't but somebody he knew had and that she wasn't particularly interested in them, at all. A third dinner guest said, 'Oh, I think you are wrong about that.......and Blum said...'And what makes you say that?' and the third dinner guest said, 'Well because she has it hanging in her bedroom and absolutely loves it....' and Blum said again..."And how do you know that? " And the third dinner guest said..."Because I am her son."

It was Michael Wilding, Jr. one of Elizabeth Taylor's two sons.
I love this story....

Seeing this four hour documentary added a great deal to my understanding of Warhol's thrust in life as a person and as an artist. I still have this vague feeling that he pulled off the greatest "Emperor's New Clothes" of the Art World in the 20th Century....They say you cannot argue with success, but....I'm not sure about that. And yet, I still think those Electric Chair paintings are the most powerful pieces of his work that I have ever seen. There was a retrospective show many years ago and it was pretty amazing to see so much of his work in one place at the same time...and that was a powerful experience, too....He was a strange and rather sad creature in many ways if this documentary is accurate and I believe it is....and he certainly had more than his 15 minutes of fame and he couldn't have been more correct about that evaluation! If he could have just seen these many shows on television today....Everyone is getting their 15 minutes of fame, as he so prophetically predicted all those many years ago....

More To Come.....

Thursday, September 21, 2006
hoodia flowers

Here is a picture of those Hoodia Flowers I mentioned in my last post...'other-worldly' was the phrase I used to describe them...And I said I thought that they looked like they were from another planet. They are most is the plant itself.

Another view of these strange but beautiful below.... Unfortunately they look like they were 'closing up' in this picture, above...

And on another day when the light was quite is another picture of this now very famous "for loosing weight" plant.... And one more, below....well, for now, anyway...(lol) Somewhere I have more pictures of these very amazing flowers, but I haven't scanned them into my computer yet...When I get around to it, I'll post some more of these...but, don't hold your breath!

And....I got another couple of pictures of the "katydid"...the next day he was still there on the Pachypodum but had changed leaves and positions... And just one more, below.....take a good look at these back legs...I mean this guy has some amazingly long back legs, doesn't he? I looked for him again yesterday and today, too...but, he is either gone or hiding really well...But he was there for three days!

More To Come.....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006
some of my paintings

A number of people in the blogesphere, (particularly pickalish) have asked me about my paintings and expressed interest in seeing some of my work, so, here is a smattering for your perusal. This painting above is called "A Bunch Of Ten" (acrylic on canvas, 24X24, 1990)....this is my abstraction of some of the flowers in my Cactus Garden. No, none of the flowers actually look like this, but it is my 'abstract' interpretation....which sometimes one has no words for, you know? I guess if I had words for them, I wouldn't have painted them.... This is "My Hoodia Flowers" (acrylic on canvas, 24X24, 1990) Yes, I had a Hoodia Plant (this is the plant that has become famous as a diet aid, but this was not the case while I had these plants....that bit of info had not been discovered yet)...well, I actually had two of these other-worldly plants....and they had the most amazing flowers....Again, this is my interpretation in an abstract way of these

And here below is another painting from that same series...a bit smaller..I think it was 16X16, Acrylic on Canvas, 1990

And then...the one below here I used on the brochure for my One Woman Show in 1997. It was a Retrospective of my work which included things I had painted when I was a very young child as well as the more recent work...I included some of the color drawings from my childhood in that show because you can really see that I have pretty much been paintinga certain way, for my entire life...this painting above is called, "There Is Only One Of You", (acrylic on canvas, 24X24, 1990). And the title was taken from that quotation from Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille....where she told DeMille that "there is only one of you in all of time and this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist"....for me, an incredibly meaningful and inspiring quotation....So, though these flowers look very much like each other, each one is unique---no two are alike....just like all of us....

Going back in time, here is a very large panting, "Bullseye" (Acrylic on Canvas, 64X64, 1987)....And it was a very important painting for me....And it was in fact, a kind of breakthrough for me....the heart image broken apart, but behind it is the light, and the hope....

And here below is another important painting. Also a big is called "Breakthrough". (Acrylic On Canvas, 72X80, 1987) Here the heart is still a puzzle and there are pieces missing, but, there is this truly hopeful light that is shining behind it and through it...even more hopeful than "Bullseye"...because the heart is no longer broken is together.

And here below are a couple of color-pencil drawings....these are from fact all 60 or so drawings are from 1998....these have never been you all are seeing them for the first time.... This one above is called "Feathery Pinks & Oranges Headress" (Mixed Media,9X12, 1998) As I said, I did around 60 of these two are alike...many combinations of colors and in general, the shapes though drawn free-form, were all similar....Here below is a drawing called "Multi Colored". The colors in the actual drawing are much more vibrant...richer, more natural....And this last drawing below....(I cannot find the name unfortunarely, but it was done during the same period of time as all the others)...Again, the colors are more vibrant in the actual drawing...and I know this because I did a number of drawings using these particular color combinations....I really loved this combination, a lot! Many of these drawings are framed in a very simple wood frame and covered with glass....You'll just have to come to my house to see all of them....(lol)...And they are for sale, of course....(my Lordy, pimping my own work....well, why not!)

I haven't shown very much of my work on my blog because I have had problems downloading my 4X5 transeparancies---and they are the closest reproductions of the actual works...and I don't have the proper scannig equiptment to do the paintings, what I've posted here is just about all that I have that look really good. The drawings I actually scanned in themselves....again, it would be better if I had a fantastic scanner....but, what you see is what I got! (lol)


More To Come....

Sunday, September 17, 2006
a hopper

Look who came to visit me this afternoon....Isn't he cute? I went outside for a minute and stopped to smell the beautiful flowers on this Pachypodum, and there he was....He is only about an inch and a half long...amazingly little...

I moved around to his front so I could try to get a picture of his eyes....I wish I had a macro lens because if I did have one I could have gotten in much closer...but, considering, I think this is pretty good.... This time of year there seems to be a lot of little creatures that are coming to visit....I see so very many spider webs...especially ones that have been built between plants....I don't have any really good pictures of these webs....but, here is what I got the other day... Not very good, I know....I'll keep trying to get some better ones...

So, back to my little 'hopper' guy...I went into the house for a little while and when I came out to visit him again, he had turned around and I took some other pictures of him from this angle... You can see that there was more light on him after he turned around...I love the eyes, of course, but also the design on his body, too....And how delicate his itty bitty legs are and those antenna-like things coming out of his head...gee, they are long, aren't they?

And just so you get some idea of how small he is, here is the head of the beautiful plant he decided to get on...You may remember it....I posted the flowers and also the trunk about a week or so ago, and all those lethal spikes that are on the trunk... That little teeny tiny hopper is there, but it is very hard to see him cause he is so small in this can't see the trunk in this picture but in case you've forgotten, here is another picture and a close up, at, take a look at it! And here is the whole plant---trunk, head and flowers, as it stands near my front door....This is one of the Pachpodums from Madagascar that are in my garden...I have about 6 or 7 of them....But this is the only one in the Front Garden..... So this was my wonderment for today....A little "hopper" visitor that allowed me to photograph him...which I think was very generous and kind of him, so thank you dear little "hopper"...and please do come and visit again, soon....

More To Come.....

Friday, September 15, 2006

In regard to my last post about the 'fruit of george', the response was...shall we say....very interesting. In fact, I have never had such a reaction before to anything I have ever posted in the almost one year that I have been blogging!

Either I am from a different planet---(and this is very possible, cause the jury is still out on that or some of you are far more conservitive than I realized. Something about the fruit from George really brought up a lot of icky-poo-Ewwwww-I-Could-Throw-Up feelings for quite a few people....

Well, I apologize for kind of grossing you out and I want to's just "nature" guys! It is the natural order of nature...And I am thrilled by it...but then you already know that!

So, in the intertest of fair-play, I am going to post a few photographs that I hope you will find beautiful, starting with that lovely flower at the top.... These lovely little flowers above are on an unusual succulant that has leaves that are wonderful to touch, ( I am a sensualist, too....!) These flowers are really really tiny and so very perfect in shape and in color, too...

This next picture, below, is one of my favorite Agave' is one of the most elegant of Agave's and the color is gorgeous...Here is a close-up of the design that is made by the leaves growing in a very tight knit way so that when it opens up, we see these indentation marks on each pad that came from the outer tack-looking things pressing into the flesh of the pad as it was growing.....And this next picture is a beautiful almost-translucent flower that speaks for itself, I think.... Perfection Personified!

I love the angle of this next picture...more yellow and so looks like I "lit" these flowers in some very special way...I didn' is just nature again, including the sun, doing it's thing...... Again, there is this translucent quality about these flowers...It makes them look so incredibly magical to me....I love this plant....It has grown so over the years and here below you can see a new baby on the side.... And below is another picture of this wonderful plant where you can see the whole plant as it looked just a day or two ago..... And below, the same plant about 10 years ago.... It has grown so much, we've had to move the Agave that was over to the left side and behind it--in this picture--to another place entirely so that this gorgeous plant could just grow to it's hearts content.....

And last but by no means of my very favorite Bouganvilla's...the combination of colors just pleases me no end.... As a painter, I have always been fascinated by the way one color can become another color with teeny tiny gradations of changes in the paint going slowly from one shade to another....Here above, is nature in all it's glory doing this magic in the very act of just 'being'.....

More To Come......

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
the fruit of george!

So...yesterday morning...well not yesterday anymore---it actually was days and days ago now....(It was actually last Friday) I went to take the garbage out and as usual, checked George to see if any of the three fruit/seed pods had burst open....(yes, that is what they do....they just burst wide open and there are the seeds and the 'flesh' right out there for all to see and eat, including lots of little creatures....)....and lo and behold, one of these seed pods had done just that, sometime before I took a look....I have no idea exactly when it did this bursting thing, but I know it wasn't open the day before..... And here above, is a closer look at what the inside of this round ball-like thing with the protective needles looks like on the inside! Amazing. The little black oval shaped things are the seeds and the thick white/pink stuff next to the outer skin is the flesh...which btw, kind of looks like cocoanut flesh, but it is a lot softer than cocoanut, and much more fiberous. But, the stuff inside...this mixture of seeds and stringy spaghetti-like white/pink translucent quite incredible.I took a spoon and got a small amount of the interior seeds and spaghetti-like stuff out...unfortunately some spilled on the fruit pod below, but what you see above in this dish is what I was able to retrieve....And the taste? Sweet as can be! How is it to eat? Well, not easy. The seeds are really very crunchy and don't really disolve easily with chewing, and the fiberous spaghetti-like stuff is very difficult to least it was for me. But, the sweetness of the whole thing is quite wonderful and the flavor is not like anything I can compare it to...I have found this to be true of every Cactus type fruit I have ever eaten....indescribable because it is not like anthing else.... I had seperated, as best I could, the seeds from the spaghetti and I have saved those seeds, as you can see above...I would love to start growing a little itty bitty George from these seeds, but usually one needs more seeds than this to get even one seed that will take...but I'm going to try anyway...quite truthfully, it takes such a long long time for a plant like George to grow, I'm not sure I will still be around....but, it is fun to try anyway, you know?

Here is a picture of the stuff that fell on that bulb below the one that burst open.... Can you see what I mean about it looking like Spaghetti? See that l-o-n-g stringy looking piece that goes on forever? Well, that is all mixed in with the seeds..but the Spaghetti stuff is so fiborous it just doesn't chew up very well...but you certainly can get the 'good' sweet out of it....

Here is another picture of the inside of this fruit/seed pod after I had scooped out what I could.... This photo above is actually the next day and you can see that the interior 'flesh' is not quite as generous as it was the day before...and that is because it has started to dry out from being exposed to the air and the sun, etc...It lets me know that when I saw this first on the morning of Friday, September 8th, it must have just happened....(Thank You God...) And being exposed to the elements it has opened it up a bit more, too...

I just cannot get over the fantastic magical happenings of nature....the unexpected...the beauty of things never seen before...the look, and the taste....Amazing, Amazing.

And lest we forget where this all started back in late is a picture of the 'buttons' that hold all the dna or whatever, of the flowers, and the fruit and the seeds.... And seeing all this from a slightly different angle.....George...well, the top of George, and those three Seed/ Pod Fruit Thingys, now, in September.... And here below....on this Friday, September 8th....around 5:45pm in the Afternoon...(as Lorca said...only he actually said, 'At Five In The Afternoon') Here is the fruit/seed pod....the flesh, dryer than it was....having dried up and shrunk in the heat and breeze of the day and now, here in the early evening....this fruit is no longer viable..I think the seeds still are viable....well, I guess I will find out..... And, last but not least, here is least a head taller than me...And I am 5' 4".....(well I use to so George is over 6 feet tall...and he is listing! (Oh Dear!) But the point is, here is dear George, once again.... I do dearly love all my plants...And yes, George has a special place in my heart....George and I have been through a lot in the last more than 20 years....And I hope and pray we get to go through a lot more!

But, as I leave you...think about this. These little buttons on George do not seem to go away...they are there, there, there...And, in late January--early February they began to grow....then we finally (after months) had some flowers....and then those flowers turned into fruit/seed it is September and these fruit/seed pods finally burst open. It is 9 months in the making! Wow! Now what does that remind you of? (lol)....
And just above....the second one of those three---the one nearest the one that opened on Friday? Well, the second one burst open this morning, (Saturday) and here it is, above....

And just below is all the wonderful spaghetti-seeds which I scooped out---and this time nothing spilled.... I'm not going to eat any of this....cause I cannot chew the seeds or the spaghetti like pulp....but, I am going to let the pulp dry and take the seeds and save them with the seeds from the first fruit bulb and then when the third and final bulb bursts those seeds, too...and carefully plant them all in a pot and keep them warm and hope they 'do-their-thing'.....

Hope is a thing called 'seeds'......

More To Come....

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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