Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Back from my brief hiatus in the sweltering heat of the Florida summer. Yikes! I never fared very well in that heat as a kid and still don't. Always hated having to expose my less than cheerleader perfect thighs in school and with no recourse since no one covers their legs in the Florida heat. A few decades later and I don't really care so much about showing older and even less appealing legs. One's vanity wanes with time.
What actually brought me down there this time of year was my father's 82nd Birthday and Father's Day. I may not have been born with a silver spoon but I certainly was born with an amazing father. Can't ask for much more. The first day I went with him to his farm and tended the young bulls he has recently acquired. Eating machines they are!!!
Spent the naxt day thrift shopping with my mom and sister. Florida has the best thrift shops! Brought back all sorts of interesting vessels!
This is the time of year when the trees are filled with flame colored flowers down there! My favorite tree is the Flamboyant or Royal Poinciana and it was everywhere as showy as a ornery cock. Speaking of which, my father was given 6 chicks which my Mother became completely smitten with, tending them like a mother hen. Only one will grow to crow at dawn, the others will hopefully supply my folks with eggs year round.
Wandering around I recognized sweet little weed blossoms that I remember picking as a child. Back at their house I gravitated through the topical fruit laden trees past the poisonous Angel's Trumpet tree and the fragrant gardenia bushes towards a wild foresty area and again found this vine that also took me back to childhood. It has pods with bright red hard berries, some of them with little black eyes. I still feel guilty for what I did next. I ran inside grabbed my florist knife and proceeded to prune the gardenia bush and cut down a very long section of the flourishing wild vine with berries. It was the perfect material for making a wreath with and nearly made itself. The plant is called the Rosary Pea or properly Abrus Precatorious. It's seeds are very poisonous if ingested and in some cultures are strung into necklaces to ward off the evil eye.
Didn't realize it at the time, may have been channeling my Cuban heritage creating some type of Santeria Relic.