Friday, May 12, 2017

It's my Eighth Blogiversary!

Hello everyone! I hope that you are all having a wonderful day for yourselves! :) Yes, today is my Eighth Blogiversary! Eight Years?!?! Whoo Hoo. Party time! :)

I checked on an anniversary website and found out that the traditional gifts to celebrate eight years together is to give your partner something made of Bronze or Pottery. The more modern gift is to give your partner is either Linen or Lace. The eighth anniversary gemstone is tourmaline, tanzanite, or aventurine, the anniversary color is bronze, and the flower that you usually give your partner on your eighth anniversary together is either Clematis - which represents cleverness, ingenuity, pretense and intelligence, or Lilac - which symbolizes the emotions of young love, beauty, pride, humility, confidence and youthfulness.

Clematis (also known as Traveler's Joy, Virgin's Bower, Old Man's Beard, Leather Flower, Vase Vine or Pepper Vine) is a genus of about 300 species within the Buttercup family. Hybrids of this particular flower have always been extremely popular among gardeners - beginning with a variety known as Jackman's Clematis - a garden standard since 1862; with many other varieties being produced constantly. Although they are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin, most species are known as Clematis in English. The genus name originally comes from Ancient Greek, and clématis as it is known, actually translates to "a climbing plant."

There are over 250 species and chosen cultivars of this flower already known, and these are often named after their originators or particular characteristics. The genus is composed of mostly vigorous, woody, climbing flowering vines; although the woody stems are quite fragile until several years old. The leaves of the clematis are divided into leaflets and leafstalks that are capable of twisting and curling around supporting structures to help anchor the plant as it climbs. Some of the species of this plant are shrubby, while others grow into herbaceous perennial plants.

These particular species are mainly found throughout the more temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, although rarely in the tropics. They grow best in full sun, surrounded by cool, moist, well-drained soil. The leaves of the clematis plant provide a food source for a variety of caterpillars - including a particular type of moth known as the Willow Beauty. The cooler temperate species of clematis are of the deciduous variety, while many of the warmer climate species are evergreen.

While wild clematis is native to China, this particular species had also made its way into Japanese gardens by the 17th century. Japanese garden selections were the first exotic clematises to reach European gardens by the 18th century - which was long before the Chinese species were identified in their native habitat by the late 19th century. During the Victorian era - in a time made famous for its nuanced flower symbolism - clematis had acquired several meanings by the time the flower had arrived in Europe; it came to symbolize both artistic and mental beauty, as well as poverty.

Although the European variety of clematis was never incorporated into the herbalists' pharmacopeia, the Western White Clematis was quite prevalent all throughout the American Old West. While the entire genus contains essential oils and compounds that are extremely irritating to the skin and mucous membranes, Spanish colonials had occasionally used small quantities of the seeds and the acrid leaves of the plant as a pepper substitute. Early pioneers and travelers followed their advice, and so nicknamed the Western White Clematis, the Pepper Vine.

Ingesting large quantities of clematis compounds can actually cause internal bleeding of the digestive tract, and so some species of the plant are considered essentially toxic. As a matter of fact, when gardening and dealing with the clematis plant in general it is a good idea to always wear gloves. However, despite the plant's toxicity, Native Americans found that using very small amounts of clematis were an effective remedy for migraine headaches and nervous disorders. Clematis is also an effective treatment for skin infections.

Lilac is a species of flowering plant in the olive family. Although they are native to the Balkan Peninsula, this species is widely cultivated as ornamental and has also been naturalized throughout other parts of Europe such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy, as well as much of North America. It is not considered a particularly aggressive species, usually found growing wild in widespread scattered sites, generally in the vicinity of past or present areas of human habitation. In fact, the lilac is a very popular ornamental plant for gardens and parks to use because of its attractive, sweet-smelling flowers which bloom in early summer.

These flowers can be found in three primary colors: Lilac, Mauve, and occasionally White. Although a smaller variety of lilac known as the Persian Lilac had been introduced into northern European gardens from the Ottomans by the 16th century, lilacs had been introduced to the American colonies by the 18th century. The Lilac has been widely naturalized in northern and western Europe; and as a sign of the Lilac's complete naturalization in North America, it has been chosen as the state flower of New Hampshire.

I originally started reading Back When we Were Grownups: A Novel by Anne Tyler on 11 May 2017, although I chose to restart my reading just this morning - 12 May 2017. This is actually a reread for me from about six and a half years ago - as I originally read the book for the first time in July of 2010. I initially acquired this book from a Library Book Sale that Mareena and I went to in July of 2010; specifically on July 1st, 2010.

Anne Tyler (born 25 October 1941) is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, short story writer and literary critic. She is the author of 20 novels, three of which - Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (1982), The Accidental Tourist (1985), and Breathing Lessons (1988) were chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. While all three of these novels are perhaps Ms. Tyler's best-known works, Breathing Lessons actually won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. The eldest of four children, Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Her father was an industrial chemist and her mother was a social worker. The Tylers were Quakers, very active with social causes in the Midwest and the South. As a matter of fact, Ms. Tyler spent four years of her childhood - from ages seven to eleven - as part of a Quaker community in Celo, in the mountains of North Carolina, near the town of Burnsville.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight


Hello and welcome to my blog. I'm a newbie as far as book blogging goes, having been blogging at my daughter's blog for only about two and a half years. Now it's time for me to get my feet wet on my own. Please be gentle with this blogger. Love to hear from you all. Have a great day! :)