Browsing Archives for May 2010

This is Cassie.  It is actually CasSeeSee for those of you who are keeping track.

CasSeeSee is very gifted at potting up flowers.

She is very gifted a lots of things.  She has been working in the plant industry since she was fourteen years old.  Cassie can answer just about any plant question that walks in the garden center door.  I frequently page Cassie when I am stumped about a plant question (which is about eighty percent of the time) and this young woman always has an answer.  She knows everything from what chemicals to use to kill woody vegetation to how to pot up an orchid.

She is also getting ready to start nursing school.

And she works a second job as a greeter at Wal-Mart.

Cassie loves being a greeter at Wal-Mart.

She loves it soooooo much.

Her favorite days are the days when she leaves her full time job at the garden center to work an eight hour shift as a greeter at Wal-Mart.

We all need to have things to look forward to.

Cassie is also very artistic when it comes to assembling pots.  And she has a few rules that she follows.  I call her rules the rhythm method.  Cassie does not feel that I should call it the rhythm method.  But she is not the one writing this blog is she?

One of Cassie’s rhythms is to pot by threes.  This is an easy method and especially good for small containers.  Divide your space into thirds and stick three different flowers in the container.  It is good to choose a ‘spiller’ a ‘filler’ and a ‘thriller’.  But sometimes your spiller is your thriller and sometimes your filler is a spiller.  So the best thing to do is just pick three flowers that you like.  In this container, Cassie used wave petunias, delicate euphorbia and pink and yellow lantana.

Cassie has another standard rhythm which involves a tall background surrounded by shorter equally spaced items.

This layout is pregnant with possibilities.

Which is another reason why I call it it the rhythm method.

Cassie used the same layout for this container.  She used a canna as her tall backdrop.

A canna.

Cassie used a Canna!

She used a bulb for a background!  A bulb!  Do you not see the genius in that?

Then she employed the rhythm method for the surrounding material.  Verbena flowing out on either side with a white vinca and yellow… marigolds?  I’m not sure what that yellow flower is.

Here are the two pots that Cassie was making while I was photographing her.

She used a giardillia as her center piece, but she off centered it a bit because that girl is always pushing the boundaries of pot making.  In fact, a giardillia is a perennial!  A PERENNIAL PEOPLE!   Cassie put a perennial in a container!  She placed red petunias around the edges, added a black sweet potato vine and then sprinkled in some small yellow zinnias.

Then she sat the pots down in this very unattractive corner and I snapped a photo thinking I would come back in a few minutes and move them to a more scenic area for another picture, but when I returned a few minutes later – the pots had sold.

That is how good Cassie is at potting up flowers.

Here’s one that I potted.

It is totally random.

I was just feeling the blue nemesia and found a few more blue things to throw in there with a white trailing lantana.

Here’s another one I potted up.


Totally random.

Liz potted this one.

I love this container.

Red on red on red.

Liz has also been working in the garden industry forever.


Her grandfather is the owner.

I think that Liz’s pots clearly indicate her years of experience.

I am not sure who did this pot.  It kind of has Darla written all over it, but I can’t be positive.

This one has a lot of rhythm going on.  It looks like it should be in a magazine.

Very beautiful.

Liz did this one too.

It is a very rhythmic pot.

A tall white cleome in the center surrounded by four tall cleosia.

And then she edged it with two sweet potatoes and two wave petunias.

Very orderly and very beautiful.

This is Grant.

Grant is a Stanford grad.

He is currently a law student at NYU

We have no idea why he has spent the past two summers working at the garden center.

But we like him.

And we like to make fun of him.

A lot.

There he goes.

He just wants to get back to that cash register and away from all of us females and our flower problems.

Here is Jan, Erin and Darla discussing some flower problems.

Darla is the one in the center.  She is the store manager.  Her son and two of my sons are on the same baseball team.  We are going to be seeing a lot of each other this summer.

Jan is a hands on girl.

She works in the greenhouse with Erin.

And she walks faster than anyone I have ever known.

Erin has the long blond ponytail.

She runs the greenhouses.

She also has her own flower farm and sells them at the local farmer’s market.

Erin takes care of flowers all day.

And then goes home and takes care of flowers all night.

She also had a dog named Lily that always barks at me.

I like Lily.  I try to talk to Lily.  I try to be friends with Lily.

But Lily doesn’t like me.

It looks like they have resolved their flower problems.

It is safe for Grant to come back out.




Poor Grant.

It’s got to be hard on a guy to work with a bunch of women in a flower store.

But he did come back for a second summer.

There must be something that he likes about us.


I went to see David Sedaris with my other best friend – Martha.

This is Martha.

Martha is the person who won the extra ticket that I had because my husband decided to take all four of my kids camping instead of going with me to see David Sedaris.  This little mis-step of his turned out to be extra awesome as I not only got to punish him ruthlessly for abandoning me when we clearly had a date, but he also took all the kids and I had three glorious days of peace!

I didn’t really punish him ruthlessly.  That is a joke.  A joke!  A JOKE!!!!  You know jokey? Me go ha, ha, you go hee, hee, hee?  Jokey, Jokey, ha, ha, ha. Rechelle does jokey jokey and you go laughy laughy? You know this?  This jokey thing?  Lois?  Elena? Ree?  Ree’s fiercely protective readers who think a joke is the picture of a basset hound with a sausage on it’s nose?  


Martha won the ticket and Martha and I had a fabulous time getting to know each other at the David Sedaris reading.

During which David told this one story that involved a dog biting off the face of a little girl and neither me nor Martha thought it was very funny. We no jokey, jokey. We no go laughy, laughy. We no ha ha. We sit and stare while people all around us laugh their jokey noses off. Me and Martha stare.  Everyone else ha ha. Me and Martha wonder what is wrong with us? Why we no go jokey jokey ha ha when David tells his dog biting little girl’s face off story? But he told a lot of other stories that did make me laugh.  Especially when he read from his journal.  

And then I waited in line for an hour to get an autograph from David.


And that is when I took the illicit photos that the signs forbade.  

Because I am a bad ass rule breaker when it comes to some things.

Like books

And authors.

Come walk on the wild side with me.

And Martha – even though she had been forced to swing from a tree that day

On a farm with a scary dog

She was still willing to stand in that line with me.  

For an hour.  

So we stood.  And we talked.  And I got to know Martha better in that hour than I know my own brother.  And I don’t even have a brother. But Martha does!  And she lived in Europe for two years.  And she teaches English as a second language to college students.  And she lives in a great old neighborhood.  And she went to college in Denver.  And one time she went to a show with her dad and when Liza Minnelli began to sing – he stood up and forced her whole family to walk out of the theater.  And Martha told me this because when she was younger, people often said that she looked like Liza Minnelli.  And you know what?  Martha does look like Liza Minnelli.  She also likes clouds in her coffee.  And she was willing to pretend that two of my David Sedaris books were hers so that I would appear less obnoxious, asking David to only sign three books instead of five.  

That is why one of the books reads like this…


Because when Martha and I were doing our sneaky, sneaky, jokey, jokey, ha, ha pretend like Rechelle only has three books instead of five – we forgot to ask him to sign them to me!   So he started out by signing it to Martha.  Then after we tried to explain that even though Martha was giving him the books -they were actually mine because we were worried that handing him five books would somehow be breaking the rules because there were clearly camera rules so were there not also possibly book limit rules?  And that’s when David said  the most dear words that one best friend has ever said to another best friend.

“I don’t care how many books you ask me to sign.  I will sign all of them.  It doesn’t matter to me!”

And that is when I knew that even though I didn’t really like the dog biting a little girl’s face story very much – I still loved David.

He drew pictures for all of the books that he signed. That’s Jesus in the above drawing. Yes. David drew a picture of Jesus for me.  David is a very devout… Jesus… drawing… guy.

He asked me what animal I wanted him to draw on the next book and I said, “An elephant.”

Then I remembered that David hates republicans!  I wished I had said something that was the opposite of an elephant.  Like a leprechaun!  Or a titmouse!  Or a unicorn!  Why didn’t I say a UNICORN for Chrissake! 

Then David asked me if I was married.

And I said, ” Yes David….Yes… I will marry you.”

But that is not what David meant.  He meant if I was ALREADY married.  I told him I was and he asked me if I missed my husband when he was gone.

I said, “No David, I don’t”.

This goes back to David not missing Hugh when he is on book tours.

I can’t really explain it to you.

Because it is an inside joke between us two best friends.

Then I pointed at David’s book Me Talk Pretty One Day and I told him that there was a scene in that book that might just be the funniest scene in all of literature.

David said, “Oh?  What’s that?”

I said, “The scene where you explain Christianity to the Muslim woman in broken French… that scene… was so funny.  I laughed so hard…”

David said, “That woman was a bitch.”

“She was?”  I replied.

“Yes.” he said, ” She was an awful bitch.”

So now David and I have inside jokes and we have also have SECRETS!  

Then he asked me how long I had been an atheist.


“When did you become an atheist?” he repeated.


I looked at Martha.

Martha looked back at me.

Martha said that she had told David that I was an atheist.

“Oh!”  I said.  

For a minute I thought that maybe David Sedaris was reading my blog!  

So I said, “Not very long ago”.  

And just FYI  - David seemed perfectly okay with my atheism.  Even though he is a devout Jesus drawing guy.  

And then David handed my books to Martha and we all made plans to vacation together at his house in France.  

And then just a few days ago, I was going through all the books that he signed and I saw this…


Somehow I touched his heart.

I touched David Sedaris’s heart.


I did.

I have no idea how.

I just did.

Isn’t he awesome?!?


I have an extra copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day which is autographed by David.  Unfortunately – it is autographed to me.  That is because Martha and I are both very bad at telling best-selling authors what to do.  So that neither one of us was able to tell David to autograph the book to no one.  So instead he autographed it to me.  But since I am his best friend and also – I touched his heart – it is kind of like you are getting a twofer. Plus, you are getting an original David Sedaris drawing of an angry squirrel.  So it is really a threefer.  Feel free to cross my name out and add your own.  


If you would like a chance at this book – just leave a comment.  I will draw a winner randomly on Sunday night. Over-seas readers are welcome to participate. Good luck!

Christianity teaches us that

1. The first will be last.

2. The poor are blessed for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

3.  The poor will always be with us.

4.  To render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

5.  To not store up treasure on earth where moth and rust will destroy and thieves will break in and steal.

6.  But to store up treasure in heaven where moth and rust will not destroy and thieves will not break in and steal.

7.  Man cannot serve two masters – god and mammon – he will either hate the one and love the other or serve the one and despise the other.

I just came up with all the above scripture references from memory.  That is how imprinted the bible is into my head.

In general, the New Testament regards money with derision – as something to avoid or to give away.  However, the Old Testament regards money as something to loot from the tribe whose ass you just kicked (along with the virgin girls) and to use the booty to build massive monuments to the war god known as Jehovah.  Wealth is not really frowned upon in the Old Testament.  Several of the OT heroes were wealthy (Abraham, David, Solomon, Jacob, Isaac).  It wasn’t until Jesus showed up that wealth started to bear a significantly sinful stench.

So intelligent, thoughtful, and often volatile readers of this blog from all different stripes of belief and non-belief systems…

How much impact does religion have on keeping the less economically endowed members of society from demanding a much fairer share by whatever means they can summon?

And even more compelling (and conspiracy theory worthy) -  Is it possible that powerful wealthy people have a vested interest in helping to maintain religion as a controlling force over the working classes in order to keep them from storming the gilded castles?