Make it blue!

I get bored with my hair sometimes. I’ve done all kinds of things with it, from super short (my younger brother informed me I looked like a bulldyke) to long enough to reach my waist, from henna to dye to natural color, from perms to straight to lots of ponytails and braids. It’s hair, it’s not permanent, and there’s no reason not to play.

So I decided to play again this weekend. I wanted blue bangs, which meant bleaching my hair first — and my daughter thought that looked cool and wanted me to do it to her hair. No. (I didn’t tell her to ask me again in 10 years. I’m sure the first time she does it, she won’t even ask.) Then I dyed them.

I went with the aqua because the blue looked too dark at the store, but given that even after half an hour, I’ve still got some strands that are more green than aqua, I’m guessing the other might have worked okay. Also, I managed to stain my scalp more than my hair. 😛

Now my daughter wants color in her hair. Ah, the example I set!

Photo with blue bangs

Blue? Green? Blue-green? Aqua?

It takes time

Just thought I’d drop a note in to say I’m doing better this week. Taking most of last week to recover really was a good move. I’ve been running several times, and I’m up to being able to run 30 minutes (not necessarily fast, but that’s okay) at a time. Proofreading has been my focus this week, with some progress made on the book for Moongypsy. I could tell my burnout was fading when I started getting ideas for new stories, and I have one idea for a short story that I’ll probably get written next week.

My big revelation this week has been that everything takes time. It’s something I know and am okay with when gardening — I planted a rhododendron six years ago that finally bloomed this year, and of my two clematis, this is the first year the maroon one has bloomed. (The purple one has been blooming for three years now.) Peonies also take a few years between first planting and blooming, but then they produce profusely every year.

Yet, even though I know I’m getting into better shape, sometimes I get depressed when I look in the mirror and see how far I still have to go. Then there’s writing — from idea to completed project can take seemingly forever.

So it’s good that I can look out at my garden and see that even things that take years to yield results are worth it.

maroon clematis

First bloom, after five years.


Clematis flower, partially opened

A regular showpiece in the garden.


white rhododendron blossoms

Six years' wait


Pale pink peony

Steady performer, every year.

Playing with color

So a few days ago, I ran across a link to Kuriositas — specifically, a post on selective color photography. I’m completely blanking on the artist who I’ve seen these by (Mom? A little help?), but I’ve always thought the results striking.

I decided to experiment.

I do all my photo manipulation on-line, using Pixlr’s photo editor. The process is simple: open your photo, duplicate it, desaturate the duplicate, then erase the parts of the duplicate where you want the color to show through. (Okay, that’s the tough part, since you have to watch your edges.)

And the results of my first experiment:

Selective color photograph of red boats.

Boats at Emerald Lake.

I probably won’t play with it much more any time soon, since Pixlr is Flash based, and Flash causes issues with this computer, but it’s nice to know that the theory is so simple for such a striking result. (Also, yes, I know I didn’t get all the edges done — see previous comment about Flash.)

Never too many

If you’ve been reading for a while, you might remember last fall when I said, “You can never have too many daffodils.” Well, right around then I planted a couple hundred bulbs in a single bed. Below is a picture of what they looked like last week.

daffodils again

A couple hundred still isn't too many.

Y is for yardwork

White daffodils and red dicentra

Narcissi and bleeding hearts


It’s April, which means everything is in bloom. Magnolias scatter their petals in the streets. Dogwoods are opening, their buds still looking dry and brittle. Tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils flourish in beds and around mailboxes. My new hellebores have their first blooms, and the bleeding hearts are stretching out their limbs.
hellebore

First hellebore


It also means I have to clean up the dead peony stalks I didn’t deal with last fall, deadhead the daffodils as they finish blooming, remove the grass from the flower beds, and put new mulch on top of the old to nourish the soil.

New growth on peony


I also regularly support the Arbor Foundation, and I just got a shipment of ten random saplings (maple, oak, spruce, dogwood, redbud) that needed to be planted around the yard. Thus, new holes dug, edgers placed around the saplings to protect them from the lawnmower, that sort of thing. (Meant to have a pic of the edgers and the saplings to put here, but I decided to take my daughter to the park yesterday instead.)

The lovely thing about April? Even with a warm spell, it’s pleasant enough to do the work, and there’s plenty of rain to keep everything greening nicely.

What about you? Any new or old projects in your yard this month?

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading!

V is for violets and volunteers

Violets in the grass

Violets in the grass


Volunteers, in this case, referring to plants that grow somewhere without being planted there. As, for example, the dogwood sapling in our front flower bed that I need to decide whether to transplant or leave where it is. It can — and probably should — stay where it is until fall, as the best time to transplant is when there are no leaves on the tree. However, we’ve been talking about redoing that bed since we moved in, and it won’t survive that.
Dogwood volunteer in the flower bed

Volunteer dogwood


Mary Engelbreit may say to “Bloom where you’re planted,” but there are times when to really thrive, something needs to be moved. I think this is one such case. Meanwhile, however, it grows and becomes stronger. That’s all that I can ask.

L is for luminaria

Every December, Bethlehem has a luminaria night. It’s coordinated by New Bethany Ministries, who sell the sand, votive candles, and paper bags as kits to residents. On the appointed night, people put the bags, weighted down with sand, out on the curb, place candles inside, and light them. We’ve had years where the bags were on top of snow banks and other years when the city hadn’t done leaf collection yet (and I was terrified over what would happen if they caught fire). Sometimes, though, we get a beautiful night, not too cold, and then it’s lovely to walk around the neighborhood and see all the lights.

These pics aren’t from all around the neighborhood, but they’ll give you some idea.
Luminaria lights in the neighborhood
more lights in the neighborhood