One of my goals for 2017 is to write more regularly- to map out all the little things that got me through the day and into the weekend. I’ll be sharing an article I couldn’t stop thinking about, a product I love, a song I had on repeat, or a book that really stuck with me: tiny glimpses of what I’ve been up to and things you might enjoy as well!
This week, temperatures started climbing back up into the mid 50s and 60s meaning our daffodils and hyacinth started perking back up. Cherry trees have started blooming and so have crab apples so my drive to work has been much less dreary with swaths of magenta and pink. All the warm weather has me dying to start planning a vegetable garden (or at least some sprouts) and I’ve been reading up on espalier methods for our baby crabapple.
One interesting thing that’s been circulating in my local garden center newsletters has been about Bradford Pears. They’re everywhere in St. Louis and are probably the worst tree to plant in a tornado zone. Bradfords are notoriously weak and their limbs come down so easily that the corner neighbor hacks his back almost to the stump in spring to keep them from getting too leggy. Even so, every year, one breaks in half and he just chops it back to start it over. While this may sound like a potential plus, they apparently cross breed with other types of pears, creating mutants that override other native (or just plain better) trees. Many garden centers are advocating for replacing them altogether they’re so invasive.
On the flipside of that, I’ve been perusing Baker Creek Seeds for old favorites and some experimental plants. We’re planting three types of raspberries and two rhubarb sets this year but I’d love to get a few more Pink Lemonade blueberries, some baby bok choy, snap peas, carrots, and radishes going too. One heirloom seed they sell that I’m interested in trying is called Orach. It’s a salad green but is useful in edible landscaping beds (meaning if you’re short on space, you can sneak it in your front beds) and has beautifully colored leaves.
As I’ve said in other posts, one of the things I’ve been trying to do more of is to go to events around town. I’ve really been enjoying the lectures at our library system’s headquarters. Last night was a lecture on AntiSemitism throughout U.S. history. Its specific focus was between WWI and WWII with an emphasis on immigrant quotas, sympathy towards the Jewish plight during WWII, but an unmoving stance on refugees. Many of the same fears were at play then as they are now- fears of false refugees, spies, hostage spies (refugees under duress to act against the U.S. in order to save relatives at home). Some of the numbers were astounding- 43 years for a Romanian refugee during WWII to come up for an interview due to quotas! Interestingly, the argument that no one knew any better about abuses and genocide (or that we didn’t know until after), were totally refuted. Newspaper article after article during the 30s and 40s showed coverage of the atrocities and citizens protesting on behalf of refugees. For most refugees, a U.S. citizen had to act as a financial and moral sponsor. Various individuals (Quakers especially) took it upon themselves to document correspondence and raise funds- some $7,000 in modern money per refugee for the boat ticket alone! – to get refugees out of Europe. In many cases, people had to get from Austria and Germany by foot to Lisbon, Portugal in order to catch a boat as all boats and most major transportation had been shut down. While the historian noted that her job was to present, not to mold the narrative to modern parallels, many in the audience began connecting dots to the ever-growing refugee situations around the globe. Not much has changed.
She did mention a really interesting project for those keen on history (or very likely those with a knack for genealogy): History Unfolded is a project where citizens search their local library newspaper collections and upload documents to the United States Holocaust Museum detailing what was reported on and how in the events surrounding WWII. For those who love a good research project and want to be a part of something valuable for future generations, sign up and get involved! …p.s….if I was still a teacher- this would be great for a hands-on how-to-search-databases lesson!
Damn Good Stuff
On a lighter note and because I keep meaning to start this up again- I’ve got a product for the Damn Good Stuff category again! A few weeks ago, I got a bunch of samples in my Sephora box and one of them I absolutely love. I almost never wear lipstick because I think it’s too fussy but Yves Saint Laurent’s new oil-in-stick lipsticks are amazing. I love fiddly little samples and just about died with this one. That little brush!
The texture is perfect- not sticky just wonderfully soft and shiny. Like a balm with an extra kick of color. My favorite is the Rouge Tuxedo but I also liked the Rose Saint Germain for a subtler, spring-y color. They’re also very buildable and make a nice stain should they wear off through the day. Best of all they didn’t dry my lips out.