How about some plant pictures?
On Saturday morning, we went to Gethsemane, the nursery up the street, to pick out some plants and pots for the front ledge of our porch. This is prime real estate, so the pressure was on. Our plan was to find some nice planter boxes, but as soon as we got inside and saw all the colorful options, Ashley had the idea to set up a rainbow situation.
We selected the brightest pots we could find in each color, and matched them with a variety of hostas. There’s a different kind in each planter—I had no idea there were this many choices available. Some can tolerate full sun, but most cannot. Some flower and become incredibly fragrant, and others don’t bloom at all. So many takes on the same basic design.
It was nice to spend some time on something within our control. Of course, the plants are needy and do not always do what we tell them.
I think we pulled it all off pretty well, although indigo is a noticeable omission (or is it violet?). We got a few compliments already from passers-by, and I hope we will soon become known throughout the neighborhood, and perhaps even the city, for our ledge-top garden.
I’m really fortunate to have a partner who is constantly finding ways to add joy to our home.
Oh, and those caterpillars! I noticed some butterflies interrogating our parsley during the week, and then yesterday I discovered the evidence of what that had all been about. Turns out we have five future black swallowtails in residence. They should be forming into chrysalis soon, and then maybe we’ll get to see the butterflies emerge!
We were worried that moving from a house in Omaha to a condo in Chicago, we wouldn’t get to interact as much with nature day-to-day, but there’s plenty of it around. We may not have our own yard anymore, but the birds still know where to find us.
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
I finished my re-read of this marvelous novel. The story starts tragically with the author, Toole: he committed suicide in 1969, with this manuscript still buried in a desk drawer. Several years later, his mother walked into author and editor Walker Percy’s office with it, and Percy, with no expectations whatsoever and intending to read just enough so that he could dismiss this woman in good conscience, was astonished at what he found. The novel went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. It’s without a doubt the funniest book I’ve ever read, and a revealing portrait of a truly singular character, Ignatius J. Reilly, holding him up for withering scrutiny as it simultaneously shows us how our own American culture created him, as it continues to create Reillys today.
Why Minneapolis Was the Breaking Point by Wesley Lowery
Yeah, there’s still a rebellion going on. This piece is the best thing I’ve seen so far at trying to survey the landscape and summarize the elemental forces at play. It explains why serious agitation is necessary and overdue. And it does a great job of answering the question “why now?” As far as I can tell, the answer is another question, a question with deep roots in Jewish thought which has animated countless movements for justice: “if not now, when?”
This piece is really really really good and you should read it.
Quarantine Has Changed Us—And It’s Not All Bad by Sigal Samuel
Yeah, there’s still a pandemic going on. A lot of us have been rethinking our values and how we’re living them out, and once we do re-emerge into the world, we’re going to have to work to preserve the changes we’ve made. This is a good reminder of what kind of life might be worth fighting for.
“In a Big City” — Titus Andronicus
Probably my second favorite album by probably my second favorite band, the title of Local Business is more apropos than ever. And this is the best song on there.
It’s easy turning me on
I’m nearly a robot
I’ve been building bombs
Bombs between beers and blowjobs
Lifeless automaton, feeling like a ghost
I don’t know much but I know which side’s buttered on my toast
From Jersey I come, but I pump my own gas
I’m a dirty bum, but I wipe my own ass
If you’re chasing any other kind of currency, son
You’re really doing little more than twiddling your thumbs
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