My Material Life

May Day Greetings

Hello there chickens. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well you know I caught a bug early in April and I’ll be darned if those germs didn’t set up camp somewhere between my nose and my throat and decide that they liked it there so much that they would extend their stay indefinitely. For all I know they could be building a house in there or even a compound, but let’s not think about that. It’s May Day after all and I hope yours has been lovely.

I wish I could tell you this was my pond and that I’ve been celebrating May Day with a ship full of flowers. But this photo was taken in 1967 at the Filoli estate in Woodside. The flower ship was decor for the owners’ granddaughter’s debut ball. It was designed and made by no other than Tony Duquette. I just found it in a book from the Filoli Center that I checked out from the library – fantastic, isn’t it?

I celebrated May Day on a much smaller scale by placing a mix of scavenged flowers (Santa Barbara Daisy, Pin Cushion Flower, Yarrow) in some little Libbey bud vases that I’d purchased at Target a while back. These were for both an eighty-something and an eight-year-old neighbor. I made little flags for the vases with bamboo skewers and washi tape. Then I wrapped gold wire around the neck of the vases and attached them to the door knobs/levers with the ends of the wire. Who says you can’t attach a glass vase to a door knob?

How is your spring so far? Ours has been very nice, very green with much more rainfall than normal. The creek shown below has only recently dried up, but most of Stella’s walks by it so far have looked like this …

We even saw ducks in the creek on two separate occasions. I haven’t seen ducks in this creek in years.

All that rainfall made everything so green. We really needed that.

Being sick, I had to live with reduced expectations for Easter. But I did manage to put together a special little box to send to my Godmother, Anna. That’s a vintage German paper egg with the sweetest little paper mache Easter lamb from Poland nestled inside. Both are Blumchen treasures. Do you know Blumchen? You should.

In pet news Stella turned six months old and got a new bed. And the handsome fellow below turned 17! (And finally got those long claws trimmed.)

Stumpy and Stella’s relationship continues to evolve in a mostly positive direction.

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In entertainment news I read William Norwich’s My Mrs. Brown after the cover caught my eye at the library. When I opened the book I found the most fantastic end papers that I think were illustrated by Kazuko Nomoto along with the jacket cover.

With an endorsement from the author of Love, Loss, and What I Wore (loved that book!) and a premise similar to a wonderful little book I discovered years ago in a hotel with no television on an island off the coast of Maine, there was no way I wasn’t bringing My Mrs. Brown home with me. The little book was Paul Galllico’s Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris and it made me a Paul Gallico fan. You can read about Mr. Norwich and his homage to Mrs. ‘Arris here.

If you’re a cat lover, be sure to find yourself a copy of Gallico’s The Silent Miaow. Paul Gallico is so interesting to me – the fact that he wrote both Thomasina and The Poseidon Adventure! I think it’s about time I read something by him again.

I’ll wrap up this post with another photo from about the same time period as the one we started with. This one is by Richard Avedon and it’s a photo of Jean Shrimpton from 1968. A modern (1968 modern) day Flora, isn’t she? The Roman goddess of flowers. The funny thing is, I found her in that W magazine article about the Norwich book I’ve given you a link to above. The world is full of interesting connections my friends.

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