November 2008


I am constantly reminded of what I have to be thankful for, because in my business someone always has it worse than me, and I hear about it daily!  It’s hard for me to to imagine that my life could be bad…. because I deal with life,  birth, death, anger, friendship, laughter, sorrow,  all of these emotions on a daily basis and it makes me feel grateful!

I’m not saying that I dont’t have problems, or  fear or  uncertainty for the future, but I’m a glass half full kind of gal, and I am so sure that “09 will be fine” .   I hope you enjoy the holiday with your family & friends, because it’s  really what matters more than anything! Wishing you all the many blessings that lfe has to offer.

It is called serruria florida aka ” Blushing Bride” a flower that is the member of the protea family, thought to have been lost, only available by reading about it in floral encyclopedia’s has been saved and is now making a comeback! A sprig of the plant was found by a flower enthusiast ( no it wasn’t me, :>) in an abandoned building in South Africa, that was scheduled for demolition, through that person’s effort, the flower was saved from extinction.  It is now available from May to October from australian flower farmers who have brought it back into production and it is being exported from Australia to flower wholesalers.  I am unfamiliar with it, but the pictures I have seen of it are wonderful, it’s cute, small, very feminine, and feathery, and it is becoming popular as a wedding flower, especially in Japan.  Check the Australian Flower Export Council’s website and they may have a photo of it.  Thank goodness for someone’s inquisitive mind, which was responsible for saving a whole plant family!

My Lemon tree to be!

My Lemon tree to be!

For those of you that know me well, you may already know the story about my visit to Los Angeles and my infatuation with the Lemons that just grow on trees everywhere! I am truly amazed every time I visit there, because the lemons are so plentiful.   Some folks that live there just seem take them for granted,  kind of like some of us in the NW when it comes to our Apple trees.  In LA you  see lemons just lying on the ground, they haven fallen from the trees, and they are being ignored, kind of like the weeds in our garden.

For you to understand my addiction, you have to know that these lemons taste nothing like the lemons you buy in the store, which are tart, bitter and have a bite to them. ( who wants them ) This is the only kind of lemon I knew until my visit to Los Angeles.  The lemons in California have the most amazing sweet fragrance in the peel, the juiciest sweet/tart tasting flesh, and I am just addicted to them.

Unfortunately for me, I live in the NW,  which has a short growing season and is just way to cold to grow lemons outside, so I will never get to enjoy a tree ripened lemon in my neighborhood unless I build a greenhouse and manage to keep my seedlings alive.

So any way, back to the story…I went down to LA to visit a friend, and she ended up having to keep me in the car and away from those trees because I kept wanting to stop and pick the lemons up off the ground, and pick them off the trees,  eat them, and take them home with me.  Of course, morally I know you can’t do this.  Stealing fruit from a neighbors private fruit collection is wrong,  but I kept trying to justify it by telling my friend that folks were just letting them go to waste.  She was strong & would not let me pick them, I am sure that she saved me from getting into trouble and I appreciate her for that.

I was so excited recently to be given some lemons by a friend,  the very kind I love! I saved the seeds, & did a lot of reading on how to save them, I washed them first because I was told that they will get a fungus and die if you don’t do this before you plant them.  I planted them, and I am patiently waiting for my own crop! lol! :>) They are the strongest seedlings I have ever seen, but also the slowest growing seedlings I’ve ever grown. These seeds came from the garden of a 90 year old strong woman! So it is no surprise that they are strong stock. They belong to the mother of one of our employees! It has been 6 months and I now have two leaves on each plant, you can see them from the attached photo above.

I decided to do a little further research, and I am sad to say that it may take 10 or more years for my little sweet seedlings to bear fruit and for me to be able to enjoy that delicious fruit…of course lets not forget the adversity I face, like the fact that I live in a cold part of the country.  So I guess I am just going to have to go to Los Angeles again and ask my friend to pull over so I can take a picture, ( wink wink ) and of course if you’ve ever tasted one of these tree ripened lemons, you will agree it is definitely worth the risk I might be facing trying to steal fruit in LA!

So it appears that Vampire tourism is huge in Forks right now, with the new ” Twilight” Book release.  I have to say that I haven’t read the book, so forgive me for being out of the loop on that part, but I have been to Forks Washington, and I love it! It’s a  place on the Olympic Peninsula, home to one of the worlds most beautiful temperate rain forests. I know of two others temperate rain forests, one in Chile, and one in New Zealand, so I am lucky to have one right in my own backyard. It is a truly amazing ecosystem filled with ancient trees, lush greenery and more moss than you can imagine.  It gets between 100-400 inches of rain per year.  Some of the moss that hangs from the trees is 3-4 feet long and looks like something right out a vampire novel.  🙂  There are also beautiful lakes, rivers, and a backpackers paradise!

There are numerous  hiking trails, and it is home to one of the worlds largest Sitka spruce trees, which is 191 feet tall and about 55 feet in circumference, it grows well because of the eleven feet of rain (lol) it gets every year, so don’t forget your mosquito repellent. It’s not as bad as it sounds, really!

The trails are an amazing part of a unique rainforest ecosystem with a large variety of native plants and wildflowers. There have been problems in the past with visitors poaching wildflowers and native plants.  Besides being illegal, there are serious consequences to the ecosystem.  Remember that If you dig up a plant or remove its seeds, you are limiting the plant from being able to reproduce, which affects it’s future survival.  It also affects the wildlife in the area that feed that particular species of plant and depend on it for their survival.  Enjoy it all in it’s  environment so that future generations can enjoy our natural heritage.

If you are looking to stay in a bygone era resort, I suggest the Lake Quinault Lodge. It is a historic lodge on the south shore of the lake, President Roosevelt even dined there in 1937. The lodge was built in 1926. It has a fantastic view of the lake, cabins for rent, fishing, canoe & kayakl rentals and a cozy lobby with a grand fireplace. The perfect place to curl up with that new “Twilight” book!  When I was there, my girlfriends from book club & I had a chess match on the giant chess board in the lobby while we sipped our wine in front of the fire.  It is serene, full of history, and has the most beautiful forests on the planet.

If you plan on discovering Forks, and going on the Twilight trail for a Vampire tour, check out

http://www.forkswa.com/for the latest news from the Chamber of Commerce.  From what I hear you even get to see Bella’s house.  Enjoy!

With amazement, I read the news released from the UCLA Memory & Againg Research Center a month ago. They researched a small group of people aged 55-78,  they split them into two groups, one group who read text on the internet and one group that web searched the internet several times a day, they had similar educational levels.  While they performed these activities they had the participants undergo MRI’s.  The group that searched the web showed twice the brain activity, than the group that rarely used the internet. The study found that the decision making and complex reasoning areas of the brain were the areas that showed the increased brain activity.  So isn’t it awesome to know that something we love to do is actually good for our brain health!  I’m happy with that new study !  Better get busy surfing the net, to get your neural circuits activated and working to their fullest capacity.  Happy surfing!

Researchers from the University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology have been testing whale scat around the Puget Sound &  the Juan de Fuca Strait.  They have found evidence that the whales are experiencing nutritional deficiency due to the lack of their main food source which is Chinook salmon.  We have had a total of 7 deaths this year and the poplulation of the pod is now at around 83, which is down from 96 a few years ago.  That is really a staggering loss when you consider how small the pod is.  At the current rate, scientists expect that the orcas will be extinct in less that 50 years without salmon recovery.   They have also determined that marine traffic & toxins are also contributing to the problem.   It is surprising to me, because there have been some good thing being done to increase the salmon runs in the Puget Sound, here in Washington state.  I think with the death of these whales it has made it quite obvious that we need to do more  to increase our salmon runs, & get the Puget Sound healthy again.

So today I was reminded of something during my wedding consultation that I wanted to share with brides.  I always encourage my brides  to remember that they are making a memory.  Weddings are stressful events, and there are any number of things that can go wrong in the whole process.  ( and something usually does go wacky ) which is true for any event you are planning, not just weddings. 

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Bridezilla, you know that some families don’t handle stress very well.  I’ve dealt with all kinds of brides, mothers of brides,  stepmothers of brides, and future mother in laws of brides and the one thing that never changes is they all need to be reminded that they are making a memory.  I always tell my brides to remember that while it is one of the most important days of your life, it’s still just ” one day ” and this too shall pass.  My advice is keep cool and remember to laugh at that most stressful moments rather than lose it, and ruin the day with tears or anger. 

One of my brides was married on a cruise ship,  she called me after the wedding to share her story.  During the cruise the wave action got a little crazy, and right at the very moment they were to cut the cake, a rogue wave rocked the ship and the cake fell over sideways!  She specifically had to call me to say thanks for making her and all the guests laugh when it happened.  She told the guests “my florist prepared me for something like this” :>)

I remember one time when I had a cake delivery guy show up with a smashed cake. I guess it slid off the rack in the delivery van, but he delivered it anyway because this wedding was also taking place on a a ship and it was set to sail, so there was no time to worry about it or really fix it.  I took the cake and put it on a table, with the bad side to the wall, covered the smashed part with flowers and told everyone not to tell the bride until after the ceremony.  As it was, she never noticed it until it was time to cut the cake.  When she found out I had kept it from her,  she called to thank me for protecting her from the stress. 

Another time my bride forgot to pick up her bouquet, I tried to discourage her from burdening herself by having to pick it up, but she wanted to save the $10 delivery.  The day of the wedding, I was frantic, trying to reach her by phone, her work kept trying to reach her, it was crazy.

 It was after they returned from the honeymoon that I heard the story.  It wasn’t until the ceremony began that she realized she did not have her flower bouquet. She ended up carrying a silk poinsettia bush that she pulled out of a pot at the hotel where the event was being held.  She said that everyone laughed so hard, it was the silliest most stupid thing ever, but they never forgot it! She still has that stupid silk bush and the memories that go with it.

My husband & I still laugh about our honeymoon which we spent in Cananda, having a romantic dinner in a very elegant & extremely upscale restaurant. We ordered wine with our meal, and I had one glass and was immediately feeling it. I began to attempt to cut my steak with a not so sharp knife, which wasn’t working to well, suddenly this big steak flew off my plate and landed on the floor with a flop! I was so embarrassed, everyone in the restaurant had the same horrified look,  and I was wishing I could crawl under the table.  To this day, on our anniversary, my husband always invites me out to dinner by asking me if I want to go throw some steak around the restaurant.  We definitely made a memory because it’s been years and we still laugh about it!

So my advice…..It’s a big day, enjoy it, embrace the mishaps, and have fun making memories!

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