Tag: Flowers

Mar 04

We’ve “Reached” the End

Coming of Age, Dystopian, Young Adult Fiction 21

Hello Dear Bookworms,

I’ve been a bit grouchy with Ally Condie’s Matched series so far, so it is with great pleasure that I announce: I liked Reached! How is this even possible?! Read on my friends, read on.

Condie-Ally-Reached

When we last left the gang, Cassia, Ky, Indie, and Xander has all joined The Rising. Ky and Indie are sent to flight school while Cassia and Xander have been assigned to serve The Rising from within The Society. Now they’re double agents.

You know how The Rising decides to take over The Society? Biological warfare. A plague “mysteriously” breaks out that renders people comatose. If they’re left untreated, they die. Now, I’m not giving Condie a free pass here. The “plague” sounded an AWFUL lot like being petrified by the basilisk in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. The Rising plans to take over things by riding in on their white horse of a vaccine and cure. (Which, thankfully, is not made of mandrake root…) I realize The Society eliminated most pre-society history, but seriously. Why do people never learn? Viruses mutate! If you release a virus on a large population, you should expect it to mutate. For heaven’s sake, they have to make new flu vaccines every year! Ugh. People. No matter how much science they get, they still do dumb things.

So. Now there’s a plague. Cassia and Ky are separated. Indie is still kind of a sociopath. Xander is busy being a doctor and trying to do the right thing. I’m just so thankful that Cassia and Ky were separated because Cassia finally becomes her own person! She stops being the “OMG I LOVE KY” single minded teen-bot and starts writing poetry and organizing an art gallery and thinking thoughts. Thank heavens, because she was a few pages away from being thrown into the uninspiring heroine category with Ana Steele and Bella Swan.

How is it that I don’t even want to get all spoiler-y on you when I’ve been so mean to the rest of this series? Really, I didn’t HATE the other two books, they were just formulaic and seemed to “borrow” a bit too liberally from everything that had gone before. But then. THEN! Condie like, recognizes that and ADDRESSES it in one of Cassia’s “A-Ha” moments. She comes out and says something to the effect of “there is nothing original and someone has already done it better, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create.” Self awareness.

Leichtlins_Mariposa_Lily,_Yosemite

This flower SAVES THE WORLD. Well. Mostly anyway.

Remember the people who lived outside The Society? The farmers who were chilling in the Carving? The Rising has is flabbergasted by the mutation of the plague and is on the cusp of killing off the very people they tried to “liberate.” As a last ditch effort, the illustrious Pilot sends Ky, Cassia, and Xander out into an agrarian village to try and work on a cure for the mutated plague. Now, I love the idea that the antidote to the plague was a flower, but… I’m a big fan of Western medicine. Like, if you’ve got, oh I don’t know, LEPROSY, I think you should get thee to a doctor and get some antibiotics. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go digging up flower bulbs to try and cure ailments that have clear effective established treatments. However. When regular medicine isn’t working? Maybe trying some herbal remedies wouldn’t hurt.

I don’t know if it was the plague (because, HELLO The Stand) or the fact that the characters seemed to mature emotionally or the idea that a FLOWER saved humanity. Probably the flower part. Katie loves flowers.  But. The Matched series was saved by Reached. I feel a whole lot less hostile now, which is always a good thing. What do you think, Bookworms? Anybody else finish the series?

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Nov 21

The Third Anniversary is the Limerick Anniversary, Right?

Personal, Poetry 28

Three years ago today, I got married. Jim’s a good egg, so I’m still pretty glad that we’re official and all. I knew I wanted to commemorate our anniversary on the blog, because it’s my blog and I just can’t read books THAT FAST, okay? Okay. So technically the three year anniversary gift is leather. We just purchased a leather couch. I will consider that our gift to each other. Hear that Jim? You are totally off the hook on presents! I couldn’t just leave it at that, though. I really wanted to write a cheeky sonnet to my beloved. The thing is. I can’t pull off a sonnet. Like at all. You’re getting limericks instead.

I Love Your Bad Jokes

Your humor is really quite odd

The train of thought, kind of a plod.

At home I do laugh-

At most of your gaffes.

But in public, I smile and nod.

Yes, that IS a Bruce Willis record!

I Secretly Love the Vintage Transformers Collection

The Transformers that live in our basement

Inside their impressive encasement?

I pretend to despise

But you know deep inside

I do not desire replacement.

Oh yeah. It’s real.

Your OCD Tendencies Give me Peace of Mind During Late Night Trips to the Bathroom

When I sit on a toilet that’s wet

I never worry or fret

It’s just disinfectant

On the porcelain vestment

You’re the cleanest man I’ve ever met.

I also know how much you love bad clip art!

This is a long, goofy way of saying, “Happy Anniversary, Jim!” I still like you. A lot.

Gratuitous wedding photo!

*****UPDATE*****

I had this post all written up and ready to post on the 21st. Jim didn’t see the piece about not having to get me a present, and thus, THESE arrived at my office:

I swear the flowers are so not a regular occurrence. I don’t want to discourage this behavior though… I LIKE flowers…

Card read, “I didn’t make the nice person with beautiful handwriting write a weasel message again. Love, Jim”

In case you don’t remember the incident of the “weasel” flowers… Read about it HERE. So. Happy Anniversary to us. And Happy Thanksgiving Eve to EVERYONE!

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Oct 25

I'm A Sensitive Soul, Though I Seem Thick Skinnnnnned…

Blogging, Humor, Personal 27

Happy Thursday, Bookworms!

I was having a hard time deciding on what to write today, so I’m straying a bit from books. The other day was rough for me. Like the great Pumbaa in The Lion King, “I’m a sensitive soul, though I seem thick skinned.” I got my feelings hurt, so I was down in the dumps. Jim knew I was feeling crummy, so he decided to bust out his dimpled charm and send me flowers at work!

Gorgeous, right?

Regular readers know I have a penchant for flowers. (Interested readers can check out my post on The Language of Flowers HERE) I spent a couple of summers and school breaks working in a flower shop, so they hold a special place in my heart. The shop I worked in received our online orders as computer printouts, but flowers are an old fashioned business. A lot of places aren’t computerized and write card messages out by hand.

Jim and I have a weird little relationship full of quirky inside jokes. For example… I went through a phase of calling Jim a “jerk weasel” when he displeased me. If he gave me a hard time about my cooking, he was a jerk weasel. Insisted on tickling me until I got the hiccups? Jerk weasel. Eventually the nickname was shortened to “weasel.” And it’s sort of taken on a life of its own. Sooo… my flowers came with a cutesy card message.   It read:

Dear Katie,

You are becoming a great blogger. Long live Words for Worms! More blogs about weasels!

-A Local Weasel

Funny right? Well, it’s HYSTERICAL if you’re us. Instead of a computer printout, I received this:

See the beautiful handwritten cursive?!

That’s right, Bookworms! Some sweet floral shop employee had to read that oddball message and write it out. It really is lovely cursive, but I’ve got to tell you. Card messages aren’t usually a creative business. 99% of the stuff we sent out was: Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, With Deepest Sympathy, Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Holidays. The usual bland greetings. Once, someone quoted Dave Matthews lyrics on a card to their girlfriend, and we talked about it for days. Jim is probably on some sort of list now. That florist is probably submitting his note to some florist weird card message contest (I don’t think those exist, but they should.) If the flowers hadn’t cheered me up on their own, the idea of a complete stranger signing a card from “A Local Weasel” pretty much blew the top off my happiness meter.

Best Husband Ever.

Thoughtful Weasel.

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Aug 20

I Speak Fluent Daffodil

Contemporary Fiction 13

Good day, Bookworms! I am over the moon because I recently got a call inviting my house to be included on our neighborhood garden tour. I must credit my husband, for he does the bulk of the watering, but I pick out the plants and play in the dirt and put all the containers together, so it’s a team effort.

That’s really my house!

I’m sure you know me, because strangers don’t ACTUALLY read my blog, but on the off chance you don’t know me, I love flowers. Love might be an understatement. It’s more of an obsession, really. I had the greatest job right after high school and on college breaks working in a flower shop. I used to pester the florists (I mostly swept, answered phones, and washed buckets as I have no artistic skill) to tell me what all the different types of flowers were. I learned there’s a vast difference between garden flowers and professional cut flowers. I learned how to keep house plants alive. I learned that sometimes you get weird calls from people asking for “Pants corsages”.
In honor of my obsession with flowers, I wanted to do a post on The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. This book combined two of my favorite things ever: a good story and flowers. What’s not to love?

Our heroine is an aged-out-of-the-system foster child named Victoria. She is emotionally broken, but during her one encounter with a stable home life, she became entranced by flowers. Her foster mother believed in the Victorian Language of Flowers, which was a way young lovers passed messages during the notoriously stuffy Victorian period. We used to get frustrated at the flower shop when people would ask us about what the meanings of flowers were, but it was nearly impossible to give a definitive answers. Look at 5 different resources and you’ll find 5 different answers. However, Elizabeth, the foster mother in question had a very specific version of her language. She went so far as to say there was only one meaning for each flower, otherwise people would get confused.

Can’t you imagine the confusion though? You’re a Jane Austen-esque heroine pining away in the house doing needlepoint when flowers arrive for you from your beloved. Romeo may have had it in his head that red roses signify passion, whereas your personal dictionary says that red roses signify mourning. Or chastity. Or “I no longer love you, I love your chamber maid.” Or something. It’s really a very problematic system, but I digress.

Flowers are the one constant in Victoria’s tumultuous existence. After she turns 18 and is out on her own, we begin to see her blossom (pun completely intended) through her job at a flower shop. Victoria eventually begins to attract her own clientele who are interested in obtaining floral arrangements for their meaning more than their looks. She begins a relationship and starts to pull her life together… and chaos ensues. I don’t want to reveal too many spoilers, so suffice it to say this book is DEFINITELY worth the read. It’s totally chic lit though, so guys might want to sit this one out. Unless you really dig books on flowers and relationships. Then, by all means!

I thought it would be fun to dissect my wedding bouquet according to Victoria’s flower dictionary to see what sort of good or ill tidings I carried into my marriage.

The florist who made my bouquet described my taste as “gardeny” but that might have been code for “Queen Anne’s Lace is a weed, lady.”

White Lisianthus: Appreciation (That’s pretty good right? Appreciating one another is important in a marriage, no? Also appreciating wine! And appreciating tasteful batman statues…)

White Freesia: Lasting Friendship (Things are looking good for us right now, I’m ready to cut my losses and not look any further…)

Queen Anne’s Lace: Fantasy (Um… I’m not sure how to take that. Either our relationship is so awesome it’s like a fantasy, or we’re in denial and living in a fantasy world. I’m choosing the former.)

Green Hypericum Berries: Superstition. (Hypericum is also known as St. John’s Wort, and I hardly think anti depressants could be BAD for a marriage. But, if you consider paranoia and superstition in the same ballpark, that’s totally us already. We’re neurotic. In the cutest possible way.)

Pittosporum: This is just greenery, it isn’t a flower, and as such isn’t in Victoria’s dictionary. She lists other non flowery things (like friggin pomegranates. Who puts a pomegranate in a floral arrangement? It’s not even an attractive fruit!) , but I guess pittosporum is unpopular amongst the Victorians. I’m going to pretend that pittosporum’s dictionary definition is “I love you in spite of your bizarre habits.” Because, let’s face it, that’s critical to any relationship.

So my bookworms, what sentiments would you want spelled out in your wedding bouquet? Or boutonniere? Or your prom corsage? Flowers, meanings. Talk about it!

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