Tag: Flowers

Group Writing: The Scent of a Woman

 

The scent of rumduol is the scent of a woman. Phka rumduol, phka being the Khmer word for flower, is the national flower of Cambodia. Rumduol has been a beloved bloom of the Khmer people for thousands of years. It graced many of our temples and sculpted female figures are adorned with rumduol in their hair and bodies. They also graced the temples’ colonnades and door frames.

Rumduol is the single most recurring character in Khmer literature. Countless poets, playwrights and lyricists, in the past as in the present, have gone to great lengths to extol the beauty of rumduol the flower and rumduol the woman and sometimes both. In Khmer culture, rumduol is synonymous with women and represents feminine beauty. This doesn’t just apply to literature. Khmers use rumduol and women interchangeably in real life as well. In the past, young women would thread rumduol blooms into body chains to wear before entering temples to receive blessing. But the flower itself bears neither Hindu nor Buddhist connotation. Khmers just simply love rumduol.

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Beauty Blooming All Over

 

The monthly theme of “Blooming Ideas” made me immediately think of my mother and her flowers. It is an appropriate topic for the spring season and Mother’s Day.

As if she didn’t have enough to do, what with the eight kids, cow milking, baling hay, laundry, cooking three meals a day, she maintained a very gorgeous flowery yard. She wasn’t unique in this endeavor. All of her friends and peers had carefully tended flower beds, too. She learned it from her parents. I loved visiting my grandparents in the summer for many reasons, but one, in particular, was that Grandpa had planted a section of flowers by his house that was specifically for grandchildren to enjoy. It was a big bed of pansies, and he showed us how pansies had a little face. And we could pick some of them! We totally loved that we could hold them in our hands and play with them. Also, did you know that snapdragon blossoms can be manipulated to look like they are talking to you? And they’ll sing you a little song, or just say hi? My grandpa…

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M-3: Calm Before The Storm

 

Today was a day for introductions & preparation. Tomorrow and Saturday will be incredibly busy.

Introductions are in order, but not all the faces are new. Overall command and expertise lies with the Steel Rose, our fearless leader and lead florist. She has decades of experience to draw on. The number one rule around here is do what she says. Silence handles IT and communications with the various wire services like 1-800-FLOWERS, BloomNet, and FTD. Each uses a separate system and has random eccentricities, like repeatedly sending orders we cannot complete, sending orders with obscenely low prices where we can’t make a profit, and general errors / omissions. It requires an expert geek, and Silence is certainly qualified, having delivered flowers and managed the wire services for decades. Besides, it is appropriate that a military history major manages our logistics. Honeybee is our dedicated assistant florist; she has several years of experience and is very helpful.

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Group Writing: M-4

 

The subject of this series of posts is going to be a bit different from normal. It’s a different experience for me, certainly. For today is M-4.

I sit at a borrowed computer in an apartment over a flower shop in a historic building, somewhere in small town Illinois. A small TV shows Fox News continuously on mute. I’m here on vacation to work during the busiest time of the year for florists: Mother’s Day. And I will transcribe the highlights here, as part of our Group Writing series on Bloomin’ Ideas.

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Member Post

 

It is springtime, and flowers are blooming across the Northern Hemisphere. All sorts of old objects are repurposed as flower pots, but this one begs for captions. https://t.co/eLExcFjXpP pic.twitter.com/6MGNGmqPGJ More

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Summer on the Farm

 

This “summer” story starts in the winter. In order for one to truly appreciate summer, a wintry time must come first.

Each January afternoon the school bus dropped us off at home, and with great determination, my sister and I would resolve to get right out to the milking barn. The sooner we got to it, the sooner we could be finished. But it was so hard to leave the house…. Our mom always had something baking, like cookies or cinnamon rolls. We’d bring in our chilly chore clothes from the porch off the kitchen, and warm them up by the coal stove.

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The Language of Flowers: Status-Signaling, Virtue-Signaling, Etc

 
Tulip by Quartl, Wikimedia Commons, Cropped

Anyone imagining that just any sort of flowers can be presented in the front of a house without status jeopardy would be wrong. Upper-middle-class flowers are rhododendrons, tiger lilies, amaryllis, columbine, clematis, and roses, except for bright-red ones. One way to learn which flowers are vulgar is to notice the varieties favored on Sunday-morning TV religious programs like Rex Humbard’s or Robert Schuller’s. There you will see primarily geraniums (red are lower than pink), poinsettias, and chrysanthemums, and you will know instantly, without even attending to the quality of the discourse, that you are looking at a high-prole setup. Other prole flowers include anything too vividly red, like red tulips. Declassed also are phlox, zinnias, salvia, gladioli, begonias, dahlias, fuchsias, and petunias. Members of the middle class will sometimes hope to mitigate the vulgarity of bright-red flowers by planting them in a rotting wheelbarrow or rowboat displayed on the front lawn, but seldom with success.

Thus do I discover that I grew up in a high-prole setup without even realizing it. Mums, poinsettias, and Play-Doh-red geraniums were staples among our potted plants and (except for poinsettias) outside garden. I’ve always been fond of flowers too vividly red, especially tulips – it was a great sadness to me in my childhood that we had rabbits who’d eat any tulip, no matter how prole, before it could bloom. I admit to hating zinnias while loving columbines and tiger lilies, so perhaps I’m not hopelessly déclassée. It’s also true the work containing this stunning classification-by-blossom was published in 1983 and fashions change. Still, this paragraph lives on in people’s online essays, even though the work containing it is no longer available online (it once was).

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Member Post

 

Whenever I step onto our lanai, I can’t help but drop down to smell the plumeria blossom. The fragrance transports me to Hawaii, particularly Kona, where the palm trees sway, the ocean gently touches the sands and the sun almost always shines. There is no way to avoid that trip, but why would I want […]

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Member Post

 

How does your garden grow? Please share a pic or 5 from your garden.  More

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Pravda-on-the-Hudson Gets Spoofed

 

shutterstock_183118241Every once in a while, some clever charlatan takes Pravda-on-the-Hudson to the cleaners. And what better day for a bit of mischief along these lines than Mother’s Day!

This is what Jennifer Grayson — who passes herself off as “environmental journalist” and claims to be writing a book called Unlatched “about the breastfeeding controversy” — did today. Here is how she begins:

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Member Post

 

When I was first married, I commuted by bus every day from Newburyport to Boston. This was a long ride, and we passengers always sat in the same seats–every single day, morning and night. You get to know people this way. I sat behind two bankers, and they would read the Wall Street Journal all […]

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Member Post

 

It’s funny, how things turn out, not always the way you plan.   More

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