A crimson of happiness

I just made Crimson a noun but Shakespeare messed with words all the time – ‘brevity is the soul of wit‘.  For the first time in 15 years our dwarf crimson crape has fully matured and she is beautiful.

Doesn’t she just make you happy?  Our neighbors love her.

Meet Shrimpy Shrimp, as I call our shrimp plant.  Shouldn’t all our plants be named?  The early botanists made a marvelous job with the Latin monikers.  This is her much more gracious formal name – Justicia Brandegeeana.  She seems to dance with hot pink petticoats.  Justicia is a native of Mexico and seems to love our garden as you can see from the shot below in front of our other pink crape.

I deliberately clothed the garden in pink at the front – it just looks so pretty together including the Ti plant which is to the right of the tree.  He is a Hawaiian native – aloha!

Even our dragons live in luxury on the porch with velveteen pink cushions.  This is a spotted Gecko, unnamed, as there are literally hundreds all over the garden.  You can name him if you like?

The Seamstress Fairy

The Texas School of Fairies

The Texas School of Fairies brought students from far and wide for its excellence in fairie acadaemia.  Some were in, dare I say, boring subjects such as Fairy Law but the departments of Magick and Apothecary Arts was so popular that there was a long waiting list.  The Art of Textiles faculty was the best of all; so renowned that Fairy Royalty used their services for special occasions such as coronations.  You could study weaving, sewing or design of fairy fabrics such as thistledown and beetle silk.  On the student tour even Flax, the most pragmatic of fairies majoring in beetle husbandry, gasped when he saw the Hall of Fabrics.  Every color in nature was represented in delicate material – fuchsia silk and golden velvet draped the walls and vaulted ceilings.  Sumptuous fabrics were strewn across the sewing tables; reams of sapphire, emerald, sepia, and scarlet fabric.

Most students grouped in their natural color or environment; Pacific fairies group were working with sea foam, marine blues and corals.  Piney Wood fairies were cutting deep green and chocolate velvet.  Some of the more gregarious fairies were working outside their element rejoicing in non-native hues such as New England Fall.  Crimson, pumpkin, yellow and copper fabric gleamed like an autumnal sunset.  One little fairy, named Aiya, felt she was in fairy heaven!  She had travelled from her home in Missouri to the Texas School of Fairies but came from a very special lineage.  Her father was a Japanese Maple Fairy with magnificent copper and flame colored wings.  Her mother was a descendent of the much revered Irish fairies.  Humans have a similar reverence for the Irish…  Aiya’s mother was a woodland fairy with long glossy brown hair and fair of face.  Her wings were gentle shades of green from the old country.  Like many fairy parents they met at school when glimpsed each other the Apothecary Arts class.  Their union was not entirely approved of by fairy society as they came from very different family lines but their attraction was so powerful that they moved to the state of Missouri just to be together.

Aiya, which means beautiful silk in Japanese, was a striking mixture of both parents.  Her long dark brown hair gleamed as did her eyes which were almost black.  Her wings were a melange of her parents coloring – deep amber with the palest cicada green.  She was only 12 so her coloring would change after the blossoming and she would choose an appropriate Forever Name.  Aiya was one of very few students chosen to study Textile Arts and she had already displayed a natural talent for couture and sewing.  Just like every other college you have to submit an application and a sample of your talent.  Aiya sewed the most exquisite coin purse in delicate beetle silk.  It was a simple creation but her color choice of deep garnet red with gold embroidery and tassels impressed her tutors.  Monsieur Marcel, head of design, was quite taken with this young fairy’s skills and envisioned a future with one of the Royal Families.  As excited as Aiya was for her tutor’s vision, it seemed intimidating.

Her new friend Ria, from Brownsville on the Texas border, had told her about Selina the seamstress’s workshop in Mexico and to Aiya that sounded exciting enough.  It was a trip to meet family in Japan that sparked her love of fabric and sewing.  One glimpse of a fairy kimono made with spider silk and embroidered with chrysanthemums made Aiya’s heart race.  For years after that she would sketch kimonos and make miniature outfits for her little willow twig dolls.  Aiya had the great fortune to attend a royal fairy wedding in Japan and her grandmother made her a special kimono to wear.  It was silk in a delicate Celadon green with copper leaves embroidered on it. Her Jiji, or grandma, had spent many hours lovingly sewing it for a precious granddaughter that lived so far away.  Aiya’s loved the kimono but was terrified by the pomp and ceremony of the wedding.  She had been instructed to be absolutely silent and bow very deeply when the royal couple walked past.   They didn’t seem like real fairies.  The Princess bride’s formal makeup created a solemn mask – there was no twinkle or sparkle.  Their wedding robes, in scarlet, gold and black for the Prince, were magnificent but stood stiffly to match the seriousness of the occasion.

Aiya’s Dolls

One day, Ria, Blu and Aiya walked into the Hall of Fabrics to a stunned silence.  “What has happened?” whispered the girls.  Just then Monsieur Marcel coughed loudly for attention, “Attention, étudiants féeriques!” Blu, who loved all things French, translated “Attention Fairy Students!” “By Royal Decree, it is my pleasure to announce the arrival of a new student for one semester – her royal highness, Princess Kaida from Japan.  She will arrive tomorrow with her entourage and you will all behave respectfully.”  Aiya blanched as every other student chattered excitedly about this noble arrival.  Ria and Blu were already discussing what outfits they would wear but all Aiya could feel was panic.  Just then, Monsieur Marcel appeared in front of the three girls and said, “I understand that you have attended a royal wedding in Kyoto, Aiya?”  Ria and Blue looked at their friend from Missouri in stunned silence.  Aiya blushed furiously and looked at the floor.  “It would make me very happy if you could accompany Princess Kaida during her visit with us.  We have arranged for her hammock to be put next to yours in the dormitory.  Her parents want her to be treated like any other student”. “It would be my pleasure” whispered Aiya in response to Monsieur Marcel.

As soon as he walked away, Ria and Blu had a torrent of questions for Aiya.  “Was Aiya a Princess?” “What does Princess Kaida look like?” “What was it like to attend a royal wedding?”  She briefly, almost tersely, responded that she was a distant cousin of the Japanese Royal Fairy family, she had never met Princess Kaida and that the Royal wedding was AMAZING (because overwhelming and terrifying did not sound right.)  Aiya ran off to prepare for the next day.  She sat on her hammock and tears rolled down her pretty face.  This whole situation was so embarrassing; she just wanted to be a regular student.  Now she had to babysit a spoiled Princess whose name meant “Little Dragon”.  She slept fitfully that night, endlessly playing out her meeting with the Princess.  Her family would be so disappointed if she didn’t welcome Princess Kaida gracefully.  “I hope she doesn’t breathe fire…”was Aiya’s last waking thought.

The next morning Aiya put on her best green silk pinafore with an ivory blouse; Ria was in a chocolate velvet pinafore and Blu in the palest blue linen.  At 7am, all the students gathered in the Hall of Fabrics anxiously awaiting Princess Kaida’s entrance.  Most Texan students had never even seen a sketch of a Japanese princess so the excitement was tangible.  There was a fanfare of fairy trumpets fashioned from bluebells and Princess Kaida fluttered down with her consorts.  There was an audible gasp from the assembly at her vivid peacock blue kimono embroidered with a red dragon.  Her face was painted with formal white makeup with red lips and her black hair was coiled all over her delicate head.  The principal of the school welcomed Princess Kaida and after the formalities, Aiya was called over to accompany the Princess to the dormitory.  Two of her royal servants followed behind with a golden trunk.  Aiya bowed deeply to the Princess and greeted her formally in Japanese.  Princess Kaida bowed in return and followed Aiya to the dormitory.  Once they arrived, the servants were dismissed and the Princess collapsed laughing onto her new hammock, “Oh, I am so glad that is over, Aiya.  Can you help me out of this kimono?”  Aiya looked at the Princess perplexedly but immediately jumped up to help her.  Princess Kaida then looked her trunk to find a light turquoise pinafore with a similar ivory blouse to Aiya’s.  Then she grabbed Aiya’s hand and rushed to the bathroom. “You take my hair down and I will take off my make-up.”  Aiya carefully took out what seemed like hundreds of pins until the Princess’s beautiful long black hair lay straight to her waist.  With a wipe of a flower puff and witch hazel, Princess Kaida soon washed all remnants of her make-up off.  As she turned around, Aiya gasped in astonishment! Princess Kaida was just a little girl fairy not unlike Aiya, who was a relative after all.  “So, cousin Aiya, what are we going to do first?  Can I meet some of your friends?”  Almost inevitably Blu and Ria were right outside the door and within minutes the four fairy girls were chatting like they had known each other forever.

It was a very busy day, exploring the campus, watching Princess Kaida’s face as she tried Texan delicacies such as root beer and deep fried cactus.  Princess Kaida’s English was perfect but she really enjoyed all the local accents y’alls.  When the sun set Aiya and Princess Kaida settled down into their hammocks.  Within minutes the Princess fell into a deep slumber – even fairies get jet lag.  Aiya reflected with surprise upon her day.  Despite her name and nobility, Princess Kaida was just as much fun as Ria and Blu.  She realized that the pomp and ceremony was just that.  Fairy Princesses were just as real as anyone else.  Aiya fell into a happy sleep dreaming of designing royal kimonos…with dragons on them.

The End

Postscript

All of my fairy stories were written to celebrate a friend’s birthday and include elements of their life.

 

Game of Thrones Week

The corset is a slimming garment?

The corset is a slimming garment?

I am in withdrawal from Game of Thrones and it doesn’t start until April 2016. Winter is coming and I could be dead by then! When I first heard of the series being made I decided to read the books. After reading Book 3 I discovered that the series was veering off in a different direction so stopped and focused on the series. I was instantly addicted by the intro, the set scenes, the actors – everything! The good thing about having read more was that I could explain the intricacies of the various feuding families to my husband and enjoyed looking at his face when he discovered, for example, that Daenerys’s dragon eggs hatched on the fire.

Her title is “Mother of Dragons” and one of my fellow bloggers (who shall be nameless, eh?) referred to her as a MILF. My husband entirely agrees and so, it seems, does half of the geeky guys who watch it. She is very easy on the eye with gorgeous long silver hair. When I visited Scotland recently I popped into a hair salon because I thought my hair looked a little ashy instead of golden blonde. Like many other young Scottish ladies she had long silvery hair with darker brows. She insisted that my hair looked fabulous and they would just make it look brassy. I was flattered but not entirely convinced.

Then I noticed there were very many Daenerys (I can’t spell the plural) in Glasgow. All of them had long silvery/grayish hair with the painted on dark brows but most of them were a tad heavy. I’m sorry to be so politically incorrect but you can’t have a fat Daenerys. The Mother of Dragons doesn’t have a muffin top over her spandex or acne covered in pancake make-up! That takes away the whole MILF thing…

Although I have been Cersei or Arya all week, in my heart of hearts, I am really Daenerys (stop laughing). I don’t need to look exactly like her – I did once!!! But I want to be good and rule the world. The truth is I would be as bad at ruling as she is. In one of my many jobs, I had a small group of staff and volunteers. All of the volunteers loved me, for the benevolent dictator that I am, but it was equally divided between love and hate with my staff. Much like Daenerys, I was astonished that my actions weren’t perceived as good for everyone. As a manager, I explain something once, listen to complaints, see what I can change and then say, “Just do it”. I treat my husband and three cats (dragons) exactly the same way…

So please tell me who you are?

What annoyed me this week…

dragon_PNG988

Almost everything it seems. Today seemed to be the culmination of everything. Earlier in the week a customer, where I volunteer, asked one of my colleagues, “Why don’t you volunteer somewhere useful, like a hospital?” She was flabbergasted, especially since we sometimes deal with incredibly difficult issues on a regular basis. The customer had leopard printed crutches so we considered knocking her off them – I’m joking, sort of. That and some other issues culminated in me writing to the highest authority which will undoubtedly set the cat amongst the pigeons. Bring it on! I had been chatting with another blogger about being in Cersei mode (Game of Thrones) and somehow I can’t get back to nice Kerry.

A few weeks ago I was also in ‘get off my lawn’ mode when I made a complaint about nuisance barking to the apartments that are behind our reserve. I lived for 12 years in Scotland with endlessly barking yappy dogs and I refuse to pay extortionate taxes in Stepford and put up with the same. After the first complaint, the barking stopped for the most part but last night it was relentless. I got up this morning, put on my Cersei robe and long blonde hair, and composed the next letter (that has been copied to everyone).

To my surprise, there is a new manager who responded immediately and I hope I will not have to follow through with my threat. Dogs are not allowed to bark on the balconies of these apartments both because they are tiny and the noise reverberates everywhere. I have said that I will provide video evidence of barking on the balcony but to do that I will have to have two ladders, a video camera and some help to climb over an eight foot fence into the reserve, full of snakes, skunks, raccoons and then film from the top of the other fence as the apartments are in a gated community.

I am beginning to think that it sounds more like Arya and I will start reciting before bed, “The dog, the owner, the volunteer manager, our Association….” If you don’t watch Games of Thrones then I just sound like a crazy lady and that’s probably more accurate. My husband thinks I should be Daenerys and send in my dragons (three Egyptian feral cats) but that’s his sexual fantasy.