daily note

....turns out that Queen Juana would travel around the countryside with the corpse of Philip the (not so) Handsome in a lead lined box...with her opening the coffin and kissing him publicly. Prior to being put in the coffin, Philip was made to sit upright with jewelry and crown and Juana would sit at his feet and talk to him. Now, we are getting the low down on how how the English King decided that yes, though Juana was certifiable, at least she was fertile and brought a large part of Spain with her. Juana made up her own version of a nun's habit, with a cowl hood that she would shrink back into. She stopped eating and shrunk down to nothing... So, nutty and hungry which is almost a cyclical thing. All of this is driving us to the negotiated deal allowing Henry VIII to marry Katherine of Aragon, Queen Juana's more sober and sadder sister. Katherine really wasnt given many breaks in her relatives, her parents, her husbands and her sad life after she couldn't present Henry a son. Sad all around. Katherine's symbol/ cipher was a pomegranate. Love that.

On the hook for the holiday cards going out tomorrow so the peacock may be close, but still needing a little tweaking prior to final. Working on a bunch of stuff for the Corning Museum of Glass..getting closer, I hope.

Chet the Lawnman has just come for his money. He is off to the adirondacks to take in some fishing and hunting(?) and camp. Next time, he promises there will be leaves galore.

I ordered a ton of bulbs from Van Engelen. A naturalizing mix of narcissus (350 bulbs), 15 Frittilaria Imperialis (red) and 50 Fritillaria Persica (in deep purple). This will give A. and his pal Chris a busy day to make a little cash. It all seems so silly to do every fall, and I forget by spring and we have these wonderful surprises of color and scent. If we just keep plugging away on the planting, it will begin to take on a momentum that we are just beginning to see every year. Van Engelen is wonderful. Their bulb quality is great, prices excellent--the only downside is that you have to buy fairly large quantities as that is their focus. You can buy the same material at smaller quantites at John Scheepers. No time like the present to think of handfuls of flowers in April and May.

Visited with some of R's family last night. We had at the table a retired architect, a retired pathologist and a retired NASA engineer/scientist (he plotted the trajectory of one of the early missions (all with a slide rule!)). The conversation ranged from the political to grandchildren and ancestors, to the Civil War and the improvements made at the Gettysburg National Battlefield. It was pretty much full bore and exciting until it got to Obama or McCain. At that point, both kids stood up, said their goodbyes and am-scrayed as fast as their little feet would carry them. I should have taken their clue.

A. runs in Watkins Glen tonight. It's a perfect day (high mid 70s) with a blue sky and trees trying to think about changing color. Crisp and brilliant. I hope he does well.

Gotta go. Work awaits.