This post is a strange compilation of items. Like a potluck dinner at church.
We’re going to discuss flowers, General Ulysses S. Grant, a Covid-19 blog, Bob Ross, and Shania Twain. Let’s start with this bouquet of flowers, arranged by yours truly.
Michael and his girlfriend Annie posed for prom and military ball pictures on Thursday. It was precious and deserves its own post. Let me double check with both of them to make sure they are comfortable with my sharing the photos. Anyways, I made a bouquet of fresh flowers for Annie to carry for the pictures. This was inspired by sister-in-law who did the flowers for her own wedding many years ago. It’s amazing what you can make with flowers from the grocery store. So, I Googled a few things and put something together for Annie. These were some of the leftover flowers.
My friend Pat swears by the plant Alstromeria. Our local supermarket carries several color varieties in fairly large bundles. A 3 pack mix-and-match market bundle runs you $12. The flowers are beautiful and last a long time. Pat almost always has these around her home. I used them as one of the flowers in Annie’s prom bouquet. And now I can enjoy the leftovers at home.
For those historical buffs….I read an interesting television review for an upcoming miniseries on the History Channel. Josh Anderson reviewed “Grant” for the Wall Street Journal. It looks like a great show beginning on Memorial Day.
Justin Salinger as Ulysses S. Grant, Photo: HISTORY
I’ve always been intrigued by General Grant. Several summers ago we visited White Haven, the childhood home of Grant’s wife Julia Dent Grant, and now part of the U.S. National Park Service.
White Haven, NPS / D. Newmann
I remember being intrigued that Grant married into a slave-owning family while his own parents were abolitionists. In fact Grant’s parents did not attend the wedding but later welcomed Julia into their family. Talk about political differences! He was a complicated man who publicly fought his own demons, rose to the height of General and eventually the Presidency, and died virtually penniless. As he was dying he struggled to write his autobiography in the hopes of providing some financial security for his family. In this he succeeded and wrote a highly regarded personal memoir.
History lesson over.
I’ve come across a very informative blog written by Dr. Erin Bromage, a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology. He is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He started this blog at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis primarily for his family, friends and students. He has gone viral (sorry for the pun) with his straightforward analysis and balanced advice.
I draw your attention to two articles in particular:
How to Have a Safer Pandemic Memorial Day – an article he wrote for the New York Times. Bottom line, he doesn’t recommend gatherings outside your immediate family circle. But he gives some solid advice for those who will break out of their quarantine. And, based on the shopping that Angela is seeing at the grocery store, many people plan to do just that. Or consume a ridiculous amount of cherries and beer on their own.
The second article, and his first to go viral (we really need another word for this), entitled The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them. This is a long read, so grab some coffee or tea, but it’s really worth the intellectual effort. Over 17 million people have read this blog post, so Dr. Bromage must be saying something of value.
Finally, do you like my new t-shirt?
That’s Bob Ross, the star of The Joy of Painting. Have you seen that show? It is fabulous. Bob Ross is like the Mr. Rogers of the painting world. Watching him talk about his “happy little tress” and “happy little accidents” gives you hope for the world.
Anyways, my dad is a big fan of the show. I found this shirt awhile back at a Goodwill but it was lost in the depths of my closet until this morning. I found it sitting on a shelf underneath an old pair of jeans. At 18 weeks pregnant, I find the box-cut of a man’s t-shirt particularly comfortable. So I am borrowing my Dad’s gift. I called and told him about it. He laughed and said I was welcome to it. I’ll give it back in the fall.
As I was driving Angela to work, an old Shania Twain song came on the radio. “Any Man of Mine” was hot stuff when I was in college. Music is powerful. Here I am driving 25 years after this song was written, and I still know all of the words. My favorite lyric:
Any man of mine’ll say it fits just right
When last year’s dress is just a little too tight
I hope Sam says the same about my dad’s Bob Ross t-shirt in a couple weeks…