Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lego mania

I find the Lego phenomenon to be quite interesting. If you do a quick Google, you can see grown people who own thousands of Lego bricks and spend every spare moment designing and building their creations. There are movies, theme parks, clubs, robots, magazines, video games, and more things Lego than I will ever see in my lifetime.

And cakes.

This may not be the worst ever Lego cake, but I have Googled them and it is in the top 10. 

Little Jeff turned seven this week and his mom, of course, is throwing him the party of the century right at this very moment. She asked me to make the cake and I happily assented. "How hard can a Lego cake be," I foolishly thought to myself.

Well, let me tell you.
It was not easy.
I probably put four hours into the creation. Luckily, each brick improved upon the last, learning as I went along. And I am on my second load of dishes in the dishwasher.

What I want to know is, who is it that writes all the logos on each little Lego brick?
Whoever is is, they don't get paid enough.

I was very relieved to deliver this, while dodging large raindrops, to the party venue, only ten minutes late. I said to Jeff (the big one) when I got home, "Why do I always time things to the last minute? Do you remember when I used to be frantically hemming the prom dress when the date arrived to pick up our daughters?" "Yes, I do," he replied. "Why didn't you just buy the prom dress?"
He forgets the extreme cost of a ready-made prom dress, along with the fact that you can't find a modest prom dress this side of Utah.

Wait. Where was I? 
Oh yes. Lego cake.

I remember some school friends owning Legos when I was growing up in England. I thought they were the best things ever and I wanted some of my own. Did you know that Lego is a Danish company and the word is an abbreviation of "leg godt," which means "play well." The company was founded in 1932 and is now owned by a grandchild of the founder. 
The Lego brick as we know it today was created in 1958, which means that I encountered it in its infancy. This is a good link to the history of the toy, if you are interested.

Legos are hardy, you can mix and match them, they foster the imagination, and they don't have large boobs and tiny waists, like some other iconic toys.
We have a big bin of them in our family room and they more than earn their floor space. 

So I say Long Live Legos! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy May!

I love this time of year, when everything "comes up roses" with very little effort or thought on my (the gardener's) part. I wandered around the garden and immediate neighbourhood the other afternoon and took some photos, looking for the bits of beauty that were everywhere.

I have been waiting for these lily-of-the-valley bulbs to flower for several years and this year they finally came through. I love them.

When we built this house 26 years ago, one of the first trees we bought was a pink dogwood. It turned out to be a big disappointment, with insipid blooms that opened after the leaves sprouted, and it never inspired devotion. So, a few years ago, we replaced it with a Japanese maple tree, which turned out to be a much happier planting.
I was very glad when our neighbours planted this gorgeously dark pink dogwood tree right in front of their house so that I could enjoy it. I know they did it just for me! It is a beauteous sight every April.

And I snuck this shot of a forget-me-not in their flowerbed, just because I have always enjoyed their unassuming little flowers.

Pink hardy geranium, a trusty bloomer.

Our lilac met the same fate as our dogwood (bad shrubbery behaviour will not be tolerated in the Osborne garden) but this one is at the house on the corner and seems to be very contented.

I've been having a love affair with huechera lately. They are a reliable pop of colour almost all year long.

Don't know what this is, but it's in one of my flowerbeds so I must have planted it. 

My friend Lori gave me a bagful of bluebells last year and I am enjoying their blooms this year. There are white, blue, and lilac-coloured flowers.

This bed of hostas is one of my most well-behaved parts of the garden.
Well done, hostas! 

Grape flowers. I love the hint of red in the leaves.

I managed to keep the blueberry bushes alive another year. I think their their little blossoms are adorable.

The scarlet rhubarb stalks are just begging to be picked and turned into something yummy.

The berry vines are rampant this year. These are raspberries.

The marionberry buds are very different to the raspberries.

The kiwis are putting on lots of flowers. They still haven't produced any fruit, but I now know how to tell a male from a female flower, so this year I will be able to tell if we have two of the same sex, which would explain the dearth of fruit.

Hints of strawberries of summer.

This isn't a great photo, but I love this huechera flower, also known as coral bells, because hummingbirds visit them in the evening and I adore them.

These irises are outside the senior centre. I won't have them in my garden because of how much space the greenery takes up all year long, but I like to admire them in other gardens.

Nothing could be finer than Oregon in the springtime!