Updated Below for your viewing pleasure. Ok. Ok. Um, well. Ok! Maybe my viewing pleasure. OK? MY viewing pleasure, as I check to see if there are new comments throughout the day. Can you even begin to blame a girl? Really.
I just haven't had the heart the last few days to go out back and check on Pink Peony. When admiring the beautiful specimens over at The Fat Lady Sings, I just knew that Pink Peony was still tightly budded, which is how one of TFLS's commenters described the current state of her peonies.
Since it wasn't raining that hard this morning, I decided to go out and take a peak. And boy, was I in for a shock. Pink Peony! What's gotten into you? I see you've jumped on the bandwagon! Being a fellow Clevelander, I understand completely. But I think we need to have a little talk.
You're young. That means you don't have a lot of experience with Cleveland sports. Let me tell you, they'll break your heart. And I should know. Pink Peony! What are you doing?! Listen to me!! It's for your own good.
Way back when, in 1986, the Browns were playing Denver for the AFC Championship. And that Friday before the big game, when I was driving home from work, the people on the radio were going nuts. Such excitement! People were beeping their horns at each other lovingly, giving each other the thumb's up out their car windows. We were going to kill them!! We were gonna go to the Super Bowl!!
But, guess what Pink Peony? There was a little something that happened that most brokenhearted Clevelanders remember as The Drive. You see, Cleveland was ahead, 20 - 13 with five minutes left in the game. Then Mr. I'm So Cool, But Really I'm A Total Idiot, John Elway, marched the Broncos 98 yards to tie the game. And then some dumb kicker made a field goal, and the Bronco's won.
So, there's that.
Although devastated, most Clevenders were able to mumble the words...there's always next year... through their tears.
Well, then. Let's talk about the next year, shall we? Or better yet, let's not and say we did. Just know the following words should send a shiver down your spine for the rest of your natural born life:
Luckily the Indians were about to come on strong. But, Pink Peony, did you know that the Cleveland Indians were originally dubbed The Blues? How appropriate. Then they changed their name to The Naps? Wonderful!
1995 - Went to the World Series for the first time since 1954 and lost to the Braves.
1996 - Took the AL Central title but lost to the stupid Orioles three games to one.
1997 - Beat the Yankees in the divisional series!!!! Beat the stupid Orioles to go on to the World Series again!!!! But then lost to the most ridiculous team in baseball in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 when we gave up a run that tied the game. Did you hear me Pink Peony? Bottom of the ninth in Game 7. Of course!
....the Marlins managed to tie the game. Relief Pitcher Jose Mesa,
who is largely blamed by Tribe fans for the loss, gave up the run. The
(stupid) Marlins went on to clinch the title in the bottom of the eleventh, with
Edgar Renteria driving the game winning RBI just past the glove of leaping Indians second baseman Tony Fernandez. In his 2002 autobiography, Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel directly blamed Mesa for the loss.
Oh, Omar! How I miss your cute little face....anyway, Peony...it goes on and on. I swear! Cleveland sports teams will not only break your heart, they'll yank it out of your chest, stomp on it and charge you $10 for a lousy Miller Lite so that you can drown your sorrows while you lay there bleeding on the ground. Oh, Peony. Look at you. I know. I know. The Browns and the Indians are not the 2005-06 Cavaliers. I know it's not fair to compare them and that you should always keep the faith....
....which it seems like you are more than capable of doing. Ahem. What? You've got something for me to hear? And we need to go together now and listen to it?
Alright then. You got me. I'll jump on the proverbial bandwagon. I'll root for the Cavs with all my heart and soul. And I'll do it for you, Pink Peony.
Larry Jones of Revision 99, a newcomer to http://bluegirl.typepad.com, commented recently, writing that I do indeed lead one very exciting life. I think his exact words were...wait, what do I mean think? I am the copy and paste champion of the Internets!
Wow, you have a much richer fantasy life then I do. I need to fix that.
I think Larry was just being kind, seeing that it was my birthday, because I'm not sure anyone could beat his fantasy life.
Larry thinks just because I have a group of imaginery friends that I have a rich fantasy life. But doesn't everyone have imaginery friends? One of my earliest memories is from when I was just a wee lass. My mom was on the phone and I was sitting on the golden shag carpet in our apartment watching H.R. Pufnstuf. As Witchie Poo was dancing around singing...Oranges, Poranges -- Who Cares!, I overheard my mother say, Well, thank you, Mrs. Doogle! Yes, she is a very bright and lovely child. Yes. I'll tell her.
Honey, Mrs. Doogle says that you are really going places! She told me to tell you to keep up the good work.
I had no idea who Mrs. Doogle was. But I liked her. She was my very first imaginery friend. And I would think about her often as I was going places.
Through the years, new imaginery friends joined the group. There was the one guy who came to our door early one morning trying to sell my mother encyclopedias when I was at school. I remember my mom telling my dad that night at dinner how obnoxious he was. But all I could think was, he really cared about my education! I never forgot about him.
Then there was that other group of people who came to our house all dressed up one Saturday morning. I'm not quite sure why my mom shooed them away so quickly. They were just talking about Jesus and they even gave us stuff to read. For free! They were just being friendly. I never forgot about them.
And through the years, as I grew older, total strangers would call the house to offer us great prices on things I really wanted to buy! I mean, they actually took the time to let us know things other people didn't know. How cool was that?
So I happened to think late on Friday afternoon...if all these imaginery friends I've had over the years have enriched my life so, couldn't they do the same for Pink Peony? I put on my white lab coat and decided to begin another experiment. You could say this was an experiment within an experiment. A multi-layered experiment.
I emailed myself a photo of Pink Peony from May 12 and opened the email so she would be visible in the message window. I figured lots of bloggers and commenters are doing weekendy things and maybe wouldn't have the time to talk to Pink Peony over the weekend. And since we all know how important it is that she is spoken to regularly, I was hoping that she would get lots of email messages to keep her spirits high. And just look! The experiment was a total success. Pink Peony received 68 messages. All very kind, offering her discounts on concert tickets, letting her know that there's thousands of dollars available in grants from the government, and others offering low, low interest rates on mortgages. She even got an email from a guy named Ted Padilla giving her a hot stock tip!
She got one message to let her know that she could get a Rolex watch really, really cheap. And the person who sent the message ended it with a little story...
...What about the promises? Keep an eye on the ponies, too. Beorn may be your friend, but he loves his animals as his children. Then they knew that Gandalf was going to leave them at the very edge of Mirkwood. We may meet again before this is over. That depends on your luck and sense.
She received another email from this one person named Orpha Renick, offering her discounts on a certain drug that only dirty old men should know about. Pink Peony wasn't fooled. She knew it was probably just Peony Playa trying to make another move.
Even with that raunchy email, I think all the messages over the weekend did Pink Peony a lot of good. (Can't really tell? You just gotta use your imagination.) I don't know about you, but I do believe Mrs. Doogle would say that Pink Peony is really going places!
I awoke this morning to the sound of a lawnmower. Pretty rude, I thought to myself. It's 7:30 on Saturday morning. As I walked to the window with thoughts of Marcia Brady in my head, I saw Jim across the street mowing the words "I LOVE MOM" into his yard. He does that every year for Mother's Day. Ok. He's off the hook. But I couldn't help but wonder as I was making coffee...is he sweet? Or is he cheap? And why do I keep thinking of Marcia Brady?
I went out back to observe Pink Peony. My experiment with time-lapse photography is really beginning to bore me. What a commitment I've made! Do I have the stick-to-it-ness needed to complete this experiment? Are you getting as bored as me? I think we need some inspiration. Let's go together now and watch a peach shrivel up and die.
Well, that gave me the boost I needed to keep on going. You too? Good. Plus, we all have the added advantage of knowing that we are observing growth. We are observing life! If Pink Peony begins to shrivel, I am quitting this experiment in a heartbeat.
I came back inside, poured a cup of coffee, read the paper, then decided to check out the blogosphere.
As I began to type, my dream came back to me. I know why Marcia Brady feels so close to me this morning!
I dreamt that I was in this weird little room that had very little light. And there was a large, heavy old door with a poster on it -- an advertisement for Marcia Brady's blog.
So, I decided to check out Marcia's blog...on a typewriter that was on the floor next to the door. I kept typing marciabrady.blog and then I'd look at the paper. Nothing. I'd twist that little knob on the right hand side to crank the paper up to see if I was missing something. Nothing. I kept typing and cranking the paper.
Don't know what that meant. I never really cared about Marcia one way or another, except for that one time Davey Jones took her to the prom. I was so jealous! Maybe that was the point to the dream. Sure, she got Davey Jones -- but she never had a blog like me! Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. You can't blog on a typewriter! Duh!
And I don't recall her ever having a Pink Peony either.
I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little bored with Pink Peony. She's refusing to change. She's refusing to be all she can be. Let's don our white lab coats together and examine her progress over Peonyfest 2006 thus far, shall we? We shall. Day One. Day Two. And today, Day Three.
I've asked so much of all of you, dear readers, and you've come through ever step of the way. You've whispered sweets nothings in her ear. You've serenaded her. You've even read her beautiful poetry.
So, I knew I had to have a little talk with her this morning. Nothing too severe, lest her feelings get hurt, but things needed to be said...
Pink Peony! What's the matter with you? Why are you being so stubborn? Why are you so against change? Why are you so stuck in your ways?
Hey! Wait. Just. One. Minute. Pink Peony! Are you a Republican? Are you a conservative? Do you think you're the Donna Reed of Baby Gangsta's garden? Listen here, girl. This is not 1956. This is 2006. You've got potential and you should be living up to it!
Is it all this kelly green and pink I've adorned you in? Do you think you're a preppy country clubber? Are you dreaming of espadrilles and Izod shirts? Pshaw! I've raised you better than that! When I brought you home from the nursery, I had big dreams for you. And those dreams did not include this.
Maybe I should've let you hook up with Peony Playa. Sure, he's a little rough around the edges, but I think it might do you some good to take a walk on the wild side. And let's face it. Drinking beer out of a bottle once in your life is not going to kill you.
Now, I've got something you must hear. I know, I know. But, it's for your own good.
Hey! You liked that, didn't you! Just look at you! That's more like it! Let's see what you choose to do over the next few days. If I see any progress, you may get more, more, more of that. See? You've got choices. I'm so proud!
Pink Peony is looking a little fuzzy today. Was she out late last night doing things she shouldn't have been doing with a certain someone? Did she cave to the allure of domestic beer in a bottle? I say no. She wouldn't do such a thing. I think she may be just a little under the weather. And I mean literally. Under the weather. While she was out all night in the rain, she had her priorities straight. She was focused on her own personal growth.
We learned that ants may or may not be of the utmost importance for The Peony when one wants the blooms to be as beautiful as possible. I think I may err on the side of caution and let the ants have their way with her and then dunk the blooms in water as Scorpio suggested. But that time seems to be far into the future. For now, we just need to focus on her overall health to make sure conditions are at their finest in order for her to bloom.
We learned that there are many urban dwellers (Kevin, whose most recent post's title I will shield from Pink Peony lest she become corrupted, Anita and Claire) who don't have a yard in order to grow their own garden. I imagined immediately that if I lived in the city, I would have a luscious, gorgeous, overflowing container garden. But I immediately snapped out of it knowing what my containers look like at the moment. Look, ma! I can grow trees...from seed! And isn't the lawnchair a nice touch? It's there for convenience. A place to plop down and relax while one seeks to enjoy blue girl's container garden!
So. What else did we learn yesterday? Besides the fact that commenters Chrys and Scorpio are all...we're so awesome?
We learned that Pink Peony likes to be serenaded. Although she truly enjoyed the unique interpretation of My Sharona, she especially loved Jennifer's rendition of Unforgettable.
Remember to keep talking to Pink Peony! Read her a sonnet, write her a love letter or serenade her at will.
While The Fat Lady Sings writes Peonies are indeed bullet proof, she's still suffering a tad as the rain continues to fall. But her motto has always been: No pain, no gain.
Seems like some midwestern Peony Playa's got eyes for BG's Pink Peony. Here's a little of the sordid history.
When Jennifer, a loyal reader and commenter at blue girl, moved into her house awhile back, she had to separate Peony Playa from his ex, Pretty Paeonia. Peony Playa was aggressive and crampin' Pretty Paeonia's style.
Now all Peony Playa does is hang out with Creeping Charlie and surf the Internets for babes. According to Jennifer, he's looking to cultivate...something. The Playa seems to think BG's Pink Peony is Peonylicious. That's my girl.
Sadly, my lilac bush is on its way out. The blooms, while still fragrant, are fading quickly. And while that makes me very sad, I now turn my attention to my peony. Yes, my one and only peony plant which is located behind our house, planted in an area that gets much less sun than it truly needs.
It seems to be doing very well this year. There are several buds, where in years passed I've only had one or two blooms to look forward to.
So I had a very exciting idea this morning as I was drinking my hazelnut coffee and perusing the estate for signs of growth. I thought to myself...If I'm so excited about my peony blooming, won't my readers be, too? Of course they will!
So, dear readers...don your white lab coats along with me and join me in the Blue Girl Peony Watch 2006. Everyday we will observe the peony through photography. It'll be like time-lapse photography. Sort of. I will take a photo at approximately 8 a.m. each morning and post it to my blog.
Together will will check for signs of botrytis blight. And if I ever spy an ant on my peony, I will take your suggestions of whether to spray them lightly with water or simply give the plant a little shake.
I also ask that you speak to itevery day in the comment thread. I've read that these plants are strong and that most anyone can grow them, but you all know by now that I have a black thumb. So your daily words of kindness can only help my lovely peonies to bloom. And while they are also known to be very forgiving plants, please refrain from using profanity when speaking to it. For example, I would never place my Grow Damn It rock beside this charming specimen. It is much too ladylike a species to tolerate such brash behavior.
In order for this experiment to be a success, I must be able to have this on my kitchen table when the experiment is complete:
Hence, your support and loving words are critical.
So, without further ado, here is the first photo of the Blue Girl Peony Watch 2006. Thrilling!