Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Canopy of Hearts

So one day I was walking the dog, just going along minding my own business, when suddenly I realized I was walking under a canopy of hearts! I was utterly enchanted to look up and see a tree filled with dangling green three dimensional hearts! So I picked up a couple that were on the ground and brought them home to show Gryph.

A couple weeks later we were walking the doglet together and I pointed out the tree--still a thing of mystery and enchantment to me!--and the owner was in her yard, gave me permission to have some hearts right off the tree! But she didn't know what it was called.

Still enchanted and now on a mission, I had Gryph take some pics and then I looked it up online. Arbor Day Identification Guide It's called a Goldenrain Tree and that canopy of dangling hearts is, as far *I* know, totally unique to this tree. My hearts are drying on the fridge in a brown paper bag, and when they are dry, I will pop the sections apart and discard the seeds (curious cats and doglet, yanno? don't want them to get sick), then use the papery hearts in my crafts.

This world is so full of amazing treasures!! *big grin*

This particular treasure is my Gram's noodle recipe. My mom has cherished it since my Gram died forty years ago, and it's always had pride of place in her recipe box. After Mom's trailer flooded out four years ago, we rescued the box--but it had been too many days waiting for the water to recede, and her recipes had mildewed. I made Mom keep the box anyway, but I never got around to copying the recipes.

A disaster like that really undoes people, yanno? And neither of us could cope with the mildew; that smell really triggered our PTSD for a long time. Plus of course there was the reminder of everything we lost--two entire households of furniture and belongings!!--we were lucky to escape with as much as we did, and my mom was injured as well. If the power hadn't gone out right before the flood hit, we'd have both been electrocuted in the shin deep water. My Ladybug was only safe because she had jumped onto the highest piece of furniture she could reach, a recliner that was already trying to float out the back door in fast-moving knee-deep water by the time I got to her.

It was just a very bad time, and going through those mildewed recipes brings the nightmare back.

BUT a roommate threw away my sister's recipes while she was hospitalized last month (the person thought she wasn't coming back, I guess), and she needed all the recipes again... so I got out the box and started copying. I am throwing away the originals as I go--some of them are just black with mildew!--and it's still really hard to deal with the smell so I invented something.

Ta-daaa!!! Cathie's Patented High-Tech Foolproof Guaranteed Never-Fail Demildewizer!!!

Yes indeedy, folks, you saw it here first! A gallon zipper bag filled with baking soda. *cheeky grin*

It doesn't take away the black spots, but as long as Gram's noodle recipe stays dry, five days in the Demildewizer means it won't smell anymore! And now my mom can have her treasure back.

A new batch of recipes is in the Demildewizer now. I anticipate getting through the whole thing in oh, say, six months or a year... yeah, I know, long slow process. She had a lifetime's worth of saved recipes... and I REALLY can't handle that mildew. *sigh* BUT at least I have a start on it now!

I leave you with another treasure, a pic of the hawk which has been teasing the heck out of Gryph. This is a Cooper's Hawk, also know around here as a chicken hawk (I think for its size). A family of them has moved into our neighborhood. We think they came from along the Arkansas River downtown, and we're very happy to have them! But every time Gryph gets close with the camera, the hawks fly juuusssssssst out of range. It was amazing that this one stayed put for a moment! One of these days we'll get a good non-blurry pic, lol... but in the meantime, tis certainly a challenge and keeps life interesting!


  1. I wonder if that's the same tree from the old movie "Raintree County" starring Liz Taylor and Montgomery Clift.
    It's a very pretty tree. I think I'd like one - lol.

  2. What a pretty tree. What a pretty post. I am subscribing so I don't LOSE you again.


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