Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Flower Confidential

Sometimes my kids make me laugh, and sometimes it's either that or cry. Doogie has been best friends with Brian for almost seven years. The moment we moved to Oconto Falls those two boys bonded and are inseparable. I call Brian my pseudo-son, and Doogie can spend the night there any time, even without notice, because he always has clothing over there. Last week the two guys had to do detention after school for being tardy. I didn't worry about it too much; it's not a regular occurance. Yesterday I had to pick up the van from the repair shop (new distributor cap, spark plugs and routers), so I called the school to tell Doogie to go home with Brian. The secretary knew exactly which Brian I meant, and I mentioned that to Doogie on the way home. He said he wasn't surprised with the ninjas and all. Ninjas? The reason he and Brian gave for being tardy was that they were attacked by ninjas, and apparently, this is the official reason that was entered into their record. I'm not even sure how to respond to that. Jess thought it was hilarious.

Mom kept Mia overnight last week and made a keen observation about my youngest. Mom said that Mia never, ever stops talking. She talks continuously all day long, and when she was quiet, that was when Mom realized Mia had fallen asleep. Yep, that's my girl!

When my kids were younger, I used to pray that they would be popular. I know that's a terribly shallow prayer, but as someone who never was it was my prayer. There are so many more opportunities given to those who are popular, and their memories of school are better. And so my prayers come back to haunt me. Molly has blossomed into a social butterfly this year. She's gone almost every weekend to a friend's house for a party (and I fork out money for every birthday card). She's also starting to hate my thrift store finds. So now I've got this beautiful, popular teenager, and I'm completely lost. My new prayer is for her to walk close with the Lord. The other night she wanted to watch the Oscars, so we curled up together on the couch, tore pages out of decorating magazines, and watched them together (until she realized how awfully boring the awards are). It's times like that I live for. I have another bag of magazines next to the couch just waiting for her to come home this weekend.

Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart is a fascinating look inside the flower business. I love books like this that give an indepth look into hidden worlds that operate beyond our normal ken. Stewart includes great tidbits that are perfect pieces of trivia for tossing around: bees can't see red. But the real charm of this book is her own passion for flowers and how it leads her to travel the world in search of the truth behind where the flowers we buy come from. She takes us from a flower farm in California to greenhouses in Ecuador to the famous Dutch auction houses. Each place comes to life through her detailed witty descriptions. The sad tale of the creation of the Star Gazer lily and the fight for the rights to it is compelling drama. Stewart gives the history of breeding and selling flowers up to the current gene-splicing in the current quest for a truly blue rose. Her tantalizing descriptions of flowers led me to keep the laptop open next to me so I could see each flower for myself. She brings up excellent questions about where and how flowers should be grown and what we as consumers should expect. Stewart covers organic flowers and worker conditions as well as describing the odd and often unpoetic ways in which these flowers are grown. Fantastic read!

We're supposed to get another 4" of snow tonight. I'm have enough snow for the winter. So to whom do I say, "Check, please." And for my truly cool moment of the day: Thank you to Angela Hunt!