Wednesday Vignette – pets, plants, and politics

Those are a few of my favorite things, and today I got a lot of all three. It’s of course Election Day, so I started my day (as usual) checking the news and political websites to see if anything essential had changed overnight. It hadn’t. I spent a lot of cuddling time with my sick kitty, and found courage enough to call a vet who specializes in home euthanizing. It will happen this weekend, after our youngest family member returns from coaching sixth graders at Outdoor School. I hope we can hold on that long – poor Manneman is not doing well, but hanging in there. It hurts my heart to see the deterioration of my steadfast gardening buddy.

I eventually went outside (without my cat) and started working on sorting out the mess in the side yard. It is my primary dumping ground for homeless plants. Today, many of them found homes, I’m happy to say, even if I didn’t yet get to build that planned table garden for random sun plants. The west side is where I try to cram in anything that needs sun. Thus the table garden – I learned with the fern tables that each table can hold 20-25 plants. I think you know where I’m going with this. Yup – cramscaping! I will likely keep tweaking, but that is my way of gardening – musical chairs with plants until happy. And then, the music starts again…

Side yard project

This is what that crazy mess looks like as of this afternoon.

And then there was the election. I guess I’m mostly happy about it, but still upset about the archaic voter regulations in so many states whose only purpose seems to be voter obstruction and targeting those who might threaten the GOP stronghold on those states. Will that EVER be dealt with? You’d think THAT would be something for State Supreme Courts everywhere to examine closer… Anyway, it’s more or less over, and it wasn’t a complete disaster, even if there were several instances that were disappointing. But, overall, I think the number of seats they won were amazing considering every gerrymandered map in every red state, was drawn to Democrats’ disadvantage back in 2010. I hope this was the crack in the wall… And I love that there were so many women that won – that’s huge! Stephen Colbert made me laugh when he so aptly quipped: “It means the Democrats have captured half of one of the three branches of government”. In other words, it could be worse. A lot worse.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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24 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – pets, plants, and politics

  1. Sorry to read about your kitty. May the election bring better news

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Derrick! I think just the fact that so many democrats managed to shatter the precisely implemented walls of an entire decade of expertly done gerrymandering is something to be thrilled about. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s definitely an improvement. I’m looking at it as a good first step.

  2. Peter Herpst says:

    I’m so sorry you’ll be saying goodbye to your sweet garden helper this weekend. Sending you love and hugs. In the last picture, there’s an Agave americana mediopicta alba. Is it in the ground? Is it a new plant or has it survived there already? I have several of these and would love to try one in the ground so am curious about your success.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Peter – right now I feel like it might be sooner. My youngest is of being a student leader at Outdoor School this week. I told him to be sure to say goodbye to Manneman, but do you think he did? Of course not. So now, we’re trying to keep his pain manageable until he gets back. Although I’m tempted to make him live with his decision, and put Manneman down before he gets back. I really hate to see our sweet kitty suffer longer than he has to.

      As for the Agave – this is my second. The first one I had survived in a pot for two years, but succumbed to that horrid winter of 2016. It is new for this year, and spent most of it in a mixed planter. I just upgraded it to a raised metal planter yesterday – we’ll see how it fares. It grew quite a bit over summer. It’s elevated new position will both get it closer to the sun, and ensure better drainage. Plus, it’s on the lee side of the house – out of the worst winds. I think it will do alright, but you never know… especially since I just uprooted it. Fingers crossed…

  3. Kris P says:

    Spending time with the kitty is no doubt good for both of you. Congrats on getting your side garden sorted out. As to yesterday’s election, it wasn’t a tsunami but it represents progress and that’s good. My own WV contains much the same sentiments:

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, I think of it as quality time, for sure. My biggest excitement about the election results is all the new women in positions of power, and the subsequent increase in diversity. THAT can’t be anything but good for the US!

  4. Alison says:

    So sorry to hear the time has come for Manneman, I know you’ll miss him. They really worm their way into our hearts. I’m disappointed that the Blue Wave was more of a Blue Trickle, but not surprised. You left out the best part of that Colbert quote, where he pointed out exactly how much of the rest of our government the GOP still controls.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Alison! Yeah, he gave us many good years for sure… ❤
      I figured the rest of that quote was implied, but you're right. I should have included that part too. Still, after a decade of GOP control, this is huge. And I think with the Beto race so close, I have great hopes for 2020. Change very rarely happen fast, especially when there are so many barriers to break through. Say what you will of the GOP – they are masters of manipulation… sigh.

  5. Tina says:

    Well, I have a lump in my throat and moist eyes. Wishing you strength and Manneman, peace. We’re still a red, non-voting state here in Tejas. But, the news is good, in some cases (Kansas, ahem), really good.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Tina – that means a lot. I was honestly thrilled to see Beto push this as far as he did. I heard about efforts to round up more voter in El Paso and beyond, on NPR. They may not have gotten as far as they needed to this time, but I think they might next time. If nothing else, yesterday showed all those thinking their votes don’t matter, that this is no longer the case. For how one -sided as TX has been for so long – who can blame them for feeling a bit disillusioned? I think yesterday’s events will give just about anyone hope. Fingers crossed for 2020!

      • Tina says:

        I’ve worked at the Austing headquarters since February and it was an interesting experience–from slow to crazy busy. I didn’t think Beto would win, but he did what I thought he could do: exemplify a new way and a new message. In some ways, I was more disheartened by the loss of Mike Siegel against Michael McCaul. But Siegel came within 4%, which is a huge change from McCaul’s previous victories. And, some other races flipped. Baby steps, I guess.

        Thinking of you and Manneman.

        • annamadeit says:

          Thanks, Tina – today is the day. Bracing ourselves for the opening of the floodgates of tears…
          That’s great that you got to see the election from such a prime position. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been, and I enjoy hearing your perspective. My mom volunteered to help at the Ohio polls. She had interesting things to say, too. Like you said – baby steps… I think for now, Dems have a great starting point. So many races were so close, each post-election day has brought nice surprises! And, it’s not over yet…

  6. Oh Anna, hugs. Poor kitty, poor you and your family. What a truly awful time.

    My WV is from a trip to IKEA…

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Loree. I know you have this exact pain in very recent memory… On a brighter note, you might enjoy hearing that Rimforsa is very close to where I grew up. IKEA tends to often name many of their products after actual places. I’m still waiting for the gadget that will bear the name of *my* little town, though…

  7. mmwm says:

    I’m sorry about your cat. It’s hard to say goodbye even when it’s time. I love your cramscaping; I do something similar. As for the election results … there’s a lot of good stuff there, with some really disheartening stuff mixed in. But sometimes incremental change is better than overnight change in terms of blowback. That’s what I’m holding onto, anyway. I’ll post my WV when I get to it today.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thank you – it is DAMN hard…. About the election, I was thinking the very same thing. In this instance, gradual change is probably a blessing – even if I’m impatient. It should give Dems the time to sort out their inner struggles, and hopefully find more internal unity for next time. For now, I’m content with what we got.

  8. janesmudgeegarden says:

    A difficult weekend is ahead for you, and I send you warm thoughts from Australia.
    We have been watching your midterms with great interest, and I also am happy to see some wonderful women coming to the fore…even in the Republicans they might be voices of sanity. Here’s hoping.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Jane… I need all the warm thoughts I can get. I think of yesterday’s elections as a definitive crack in the gerrymandered fortifications the republicans have built up around themselves. In two years, we’ll have a new census, and we can again start rebalancing all these carefully crafted and segregated districts to resemble more normal levels of diversity. I honestly can’t wait for the next election!

  9. Pingback: Wednesday Vignette: Heavenly Folly Made This World So Bright – A Moveable Garden

  10. hb says:

    Here’s a hopeful thing for you, dear lady.
    4 years ago in my Congressional district the vote was 65% (R).

    Yesterday, 51% (R). Still (R), yes, but district is now in play for 2020 after a century of being reliably deep red! It will get better. Stay strong.

    Right now though your kitty is more important. Shower him with love from us all.

    • annamadeit says:

      It’s fascinating how demographics change, isn’t it? I think certain areas of Texas are slowly turning blue, too. I think their thriving job market has a lot to do with the influx of new blood. I have several liberal minded friends who have moved down there for work. As I write this, my sweet kitty is draped over my shoulder, asleep. I dare not move – I don’t want to wake him…

  11. Take the good news as good news. The Democrats have a beachhead. That brings a lot more power than they had before. They can obstruct new laws and the budget. And they can investigate. New D governors in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin (goodbye, Scott Walker!), New Mexico, Nevada, Maine, and Kansas (!). Florida was a big disappointment but there’s still a chance there.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh, trust me, Jason – I am cherishing the election news! And, the close race results that are trickling in are often positive (from my point of view, anyway), or at the very least hopeful. I agree Florida was upsetting, but like you said – it ain’t over yet. Same with Georgia. All those discarded votes are shameful. But, at least the world’s eyes are on the partisan trickery played on the Georgians. I have a friend who travels the world as a UN election observer. I wonder how long it will be until some of our states will have outside observers scrutinizing their methods. This democracy of ours seems severely flawed in certain areas…

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