April 3rd, 2010

Paul Neyron rose 2

Thursday beginning of April

The EKP ladies had an April Fool's Day joke of making the Eskimo Kiss Project the all-Celine channel.  Some of the commenters were horrified until they realized what day it was.  I watched the video they had up, but didn't watch the other videos.

I made it to garden club on time.  The flower arrangements were quite impressive, especially the one featuring a Hogarth curve, which is this sinuous line.  It was in a nice pale celadon-green vase with a stem.  Curly pussy willow was the support, with daffodils and lavender freesias worked into the curving line.  It looked very professional, and it was gorgeous.

The afternoon program was on pruning and various other topics applying to the area we live in, given by a Penn State Extension/Master Gardener from [next county over].  He's been there before, and he's quite good -- full of useful information.

I'd hoped to get in a visit with S, who staffs the GLBT organization's office on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.  I'd e-mailed him the picture of me and Igor, and the "secret gay boyfriend" picture of Dennis.  I also included the link to the "Possibly Drunken Hallos" video, but then sent a "disregard that link" message when I saw it was all Celine that day.

I'd promised P. that we'd go see her mother, who was ill.  Her mother lives in Wilmington, Delaware, which is not that close.  P. has told me that she talks to her mother on the phone every day, but that in the last few days, her mother was unable to talk due to a cyst-encrusted thyroid problem.  P. was upset that she couldn't even hear her mother, who was reduced to barely being able to whisper and say, "Uh-huh."  We set out on our trip.  We took a little detour to a Giant grocery store to get her mom soup, applesauce, Jell-O and ice cream.  We got back on the highway, and P. said that her mother lived just past the Concord Mall.  I've learned to interpret P.-speak concerned with travel, and interpreted that as "in the middle of Wilmington."  P. was pretty good on the directions.  Even though it was street parking, we got a space very close to the apartment building.

P. was really glad to see her mother, who conveyed to us by holding up fingers that she'd been in the hospital getting tests for six hours the previous day.  P. gave her mother one of the individual cups of ice cream she'd gotten.  That seemed to be well-received.  P. and I talked to her mother, who got out the occasional strained whisper.  P. made her a bowl of soup and gave her a bowl of applesauce.  At some point, P.'s brother C. came to visit, too.  He's the one who lives in Chester.  He would have picked up P., but his car battery has really been acting up, and he didn't want to be stuck in [borough P. lives in].  We were there for a couple hours altogether, long enough for P. to wash and dry the sheets which were on her mother's bed, and remake the bed.  P. worked as a nursing aide for a good many years, like I did, so she's used to helping sick people, though of course it's much more emotional when it's a relative.

P.'s mother pointed out some verses in the Bible that she wanted P. to read.  We joined hands, and C. said a heartfelt prayer for his mother's health, with P. saying soft affirmations in response.  We hugged her mother, then C. set out with us so we could give him a jump-start if he needed one.  P. and C.'s mother came running out into the hall, making as much of a sound as she could and holding up C.'s cell phone.  P. looked for hers, which it turned out she'd left in her mother's apartment as well.  P. has left her wallet and/or her phone in my car various times on trips we've taken, so I wasn't terribly surprised.  I just thought it was funny that sister and brother had both done it this time.  C. got his car to start, and guided us back through Wilmington.  We headed home.  P. said she'd call me to make sure I got home okay.  I was like, "I know how to get home from [borough]," but she wanted to do it.  [Borough] is two miles from my house at most, and I'm there at least three days a week.  When she called, I told her I'd gotten home just fine.  I think it really did help ease P.'s mind to be able to see her mother, and hug her, and pray with her. 
Paul Neyron rose 2

garden club German

I'd once again brought my Gays of Our Lives printed-out pictures with me, this time with the actors' names and the names of the shows written underneath.  I showed S. (S.).  She looked at the first few pictures I'd labeled, and pronounced the actors' names and show names.  I told her that I had a German-English dictionary and could pick up about one word in ten now.  She was disproportionately impressed that I was really learning German.  "Soon your German will be better than my English is!" she said.  I get the impression that she's lived in America for quite a long time -- decades at least.  She has a heavy accent, but she understands everything.

I showed D., who looked through them all, and pronounced names and words.  She said she'd heard that German soap operas were more liberal than American soap operas, but that she'd seen two men kissing on American TV.  I explained that these pictures were of actors who played gay characters on the soap operas.  "Schwul Paar," I said.  She stopped in shock/squick at the photo of Dennis and Brent.  I'd thought of leaving it home, but I felt that that would be editing out the whole spirit of the event.  I was like, "Not your thing."  Definitely not her thing.  Honestly, I don't know how anyone could miss the sweetness and love in that picture.

I still had some of the pictures when I picked up P., and she looked through them as we drove down to Wilmington.  I pointed out the picture of Igor and me.  "You look really happy," she said.  Pretty much. 
Paul Neyron rose 2

Friday beginning of April

Caught up on AWZ on the RTL website.  Watched the latest VL episode Nanna had posted.  Re-watched the previous episode.  Romantic episodes make me happy, and VL has a lot of romantic scenes between Christian and Olli, especially after they first admitted they were in love with each other.

Went to Longwood Gardens.  (http://www.longwoodgardens.org)  Saw magnolias, daffodils, a few early tulips, the earliest-blooming of rhododendrons or azaleas.  In the Orangery (Main Conservatory), they had delphiniums, Canterbury bells, and some lovely Oriental lilies, many in shades of pink with various widths of white picotee.  Or the lilies could have been white with pink centers, depending on what you consider a picotee and what you consider a center.  I know how I define the difference.

They were using a lot of sweet broom, which I love.  At some point, I heard a woman say to her child, "Sweet broom."  The next thing she said was a translation.  Phonetically, it sounded like "Zuss an (or am) besom (or beson)."  I recognized the words as "Suss," which would have that B-looking thing replacing the double S, and "Beson" as broom.

I was like, "That was German."  I was all excited that I recognized a language in an organic sort of way.  There are so many nationalities of tourists who come to Longwood Gardens.  Many are Japanese, but there are a lot of Europeans as well.  I can translate simple French when I hear it, if the people are speaking slowly.  Generally, French is not spoken slowly.  I'm used to hearing speed-talking in German, thanks to Dennis G.  It was kind of funny, if unsurprising, that he can speak quite rapidly in English, as well.

Broom in this context refers a plant either from the genus Genista or the genus Cytisus.  Sweet broom, according to the Internet, is Cytisus x. spachianus.  It looks rather similar to Spanish broom, but the sweet broom has a lovely fragrance.  I found sweet broom once at [local independent garden center], but didn't find it in succeeding years, being offered Spanish broom when I asked for sweet broom.  I'll have to see if they have plants of it on sale in the gift shop.