Let's Review

People ask a lot about Flower Scout, and it's really super kind of them.

People are really super kind.

They ask at the check-out line, they ask at little parties, they ask over baby carrots or when we walk our dogs right into one another: When people know me, even just a little, they know about it.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm only made of Flower Scout. What did I talk about before her? It's like people who can only converse over their babies. Other, baby-less people love to complain about that behavior, but I bet you five whole dollars that when those complainers encounter the babied ones, the second question they ask is about that baby.

It's a way for people to connect with one another, and it's fine. Plus I like talking about Flower Scout. It's not me, not really, and it's not my boyfriend or my menstrual cycle or my job (it is my job, though) or my jealousies or my puppy or my obsession with this BBC miniseries or any of the other things I might be prompted to talk about, which are fine but somewhat less interesting.

And getting asked, on the regular, about FS helps me realize where there might be misconceptions. For example, the fact that I haven't written much since some severe whinging about bricks and slate in the soil perpetuates the idea that I'm having a pretty rough time over here.

So I thought I'd write to tell you that I'm having a really great time. Really. It's August, now, guys it's August, and flowers are just pouring from the earth, no matter how shitty a job I did putting them in there. I planted weak seedlings, held them too long in small containers and put them into stony, neglected soil. Groundhogs attacked them and it got really really hot, but it's August now and the ones that survived have perse-f*cking-vered. When I go to the garden (there are two gardens, so it's a little confusing) I'm astonished by what it has done with itself, essentially alone. I harvest buckets and buckets of flowers, until I get bored and sore-backed, and then I come back two days later and it's all ready to be hacked again.

And I only planted a third of the new space. And I bought in a load of soil that's only half spread. Grasses, clover, queen anne, lambs' quarter, vetch, chicory, and a mess of other unwanteds have spread their gangly arms all over the other 2/3rds, but it's okay. A sweet kid from across the street weed-whacked them all down for me. I never finished the gate, so the front is wide open. Sometimes I find Gatorade bottles or whole mulberry trees, in pieces. It's okay. The neighborhood kids come frolic with my dog in the grassy unplanted section. I stand and think about what I'll do with it next. My friend in the country grows a million beautiful flowers I buy from her organized hands, an example of how all kinds of communities require interdependence. The kindest humans dig perennials out of their rural and suburban yards, throw tarps on their backseats and bring me plant after plant, which sometimes make their way into the ground. Patience in all things, and a light touch.

Things are so good. Keep asking me, and I'll keep telling you.


Packin up

I'm going on vacation today! Mid summer vacation what?! All the plants will dry up, the dahlias will pop and fade, groundhogs and sweet city kids will storm over the gardens like bored insatiable cutie-pie locusts and I'll return to rubble, but that's alright. Somewhere out there, there's the coast of Maine. Rocks and small aquatic organisms, rank smells and seaspray roses. The nose wants it, the eyes want it, the notebook wants it.

If you also want it, follow FS on instagram to see some probable vistas. And if you pass my garden, feel free to cut an amaranth or a rudbeckia, some centaurea, calendula, ageratum, dahlias, cosmos, larkspur... I mean, it's the height of the thing but I don't have a wedding for a week and a half so I'm OUT. 

Accounting

I went to an accountant. Because, when you have a business, even if you perceive it as a somewhat-imaginary business wherein you get up early and whisper at plants, wherein you fairy-godmother color into people's marrying hands, wherein you fill a truck and empty it, and fill a truck and empty it... if you get paid, you gotta pay the government.

I'm a naive human and I've always been one, and I often learn things the hard way, but more often I narrowly dodge the hard way because of luck or because friends' advice finally sticks. So I saw an accountant. That's the latest news from Flower Scout. He is great. I recommend not being afraid of money, if you can.

No, but there's so much news from Flower Scout. Things are starting to bloom despite the repeated Woodchuck Massacres of Early Summer 2015, bouquets are taking form and moving out, I'm consulting brides about 2016 (so email me if you want to book FS for a wedding, because it seems it's time to start thinking about it), and deep changes are afoot in my sweet little community.

Great friends are moving away. People I love, who've loved me awhile, who've loved this little business and instructed and supported it, are packing up their saddlebags and UHauls and they're waving out their rear-view mirrors and giving me all of their houseplants and things are changing. It's tremendously sad and tremendously encouraging, simultaneously. Because it points to the ever-present reality that all things are constantly in flux :: the same reality we ask flowers to point out to us, whenever we cut them and bring them inside.

I can lean into these friendships and be supported by them, wherever they are, but I can't ask them to stop changing for me, to sit still and be steady for me, or to keep themselves at a few blocks' distance, any more than I can ask the wilting flowers on my worktable to keep being vibrant and full for a few more days.

And these changes are encouraging because they inject a little adventure into my world: my friends are moving to L.A., that desert dream-scape,  they're road-tripping across the country and sailing international waters, they're going for PhDs in fascinating esotericisms, they're making incredible music. People are doing stuff. We can do that stuff.

And friends are not money. They do not require accounting. They do not diminish or increase in a way that can be counted or measured - sometimes their value increases with space; sometimes they rise up like a season: like the Queen Anne's Lace suddenly appearing in every alleyway, they fill time and space with surprising perfect sentience. And sometimes they hide awhile, or bloom up somewhere else. It's all okay. I miss them when they're gone; I adore them when they're here; my life is full of them always, even when I'm alone. Ok I'm getting weepy. Hug your friends today.

xoC

In the Thread

When you're trying to eradicate garden weeds, it's important to get at them early, while they're in the thread. A phrase I really, really love.

AKA tear 'em out when they're babies, just putting feelers into the soil, before they've created whole tribes down there.  Which they will.

Actually, the first best thing to do is blast the garden bed with a flame-weeder while the weed-babies are just beginning to put their watery little arms up into the air. Flame-weeding is a lot like playing the farm version of Tank Girl (cue the heart-eyes emoticon): the kerosene incredibly cold in its metal tank, the flame wand unimaginably hot and dangerous. The continuous loud blast-off sound, the confident walk in the straightest of lines, the arm muscles knotting up... I'm not flame-weeding these days, but I miss it. I am, however, hand-pulling weeds, muddy-fingered, everydamnday.

Getting them in the thread is all about timing. (Secret: EVERYTHING is all about timing.)

Everything is about timing. Sometimes you're on it. And sometimes you're not. My garden is weed-free, but it's practically entirely plant-free. Because of the drought, because of the groundhogs, because of a lack of forethought / perennials, because of the rocks I've already written about, because of a mental block and other priorities, because life. I'm diligently weeding, everydamnday, but it's like brushing your hair diligently when you never wash it. (Actually lots of friends have gorgeous hair they never wash.) It's like sewing a perfect line with no thread in the machine. Or perfectly maintaining a car but never filling it with gas. The garden can be clean as a whistle (What does that idiom mean?) but weed-free doesn't necessarily equate to flower-filled.

This is today's complaint. This is June, which has a surprising dearth of annual blooms. A flower farmer told me that about June once, and I was shocked. You have to plant perennials if you want flowers in early June, she said, and I tilted my head like a pup. But it's true. Come July, August, September, even October, I hope to swim through the garden, barely seeing past the nearest wall of blooms. Dive-bombed by pollen-drunk bees.  I will lay on the weed-free path and stare up through a canopy of feathery cosmos. Each tiny amaranth seedling I squat to inspect now will be 6 or 7 feet tall. It'll be a glut to make you disgusted with flowers.

Just gotta stick the timing. Gotta stay on it, keep watch, diligently sew the line with the invisible thread. Forgive the things that should have happened already. Carry the flame-weeder of compassion in the mind. Man I love Tank Girl.

forgive this playground metaphor

I've been thinking about how to write into the complicated combined senses of accomplishment and defeat that I've been feeling, like a creaky old seesaw, every day.

I'm not talking about the kind of seesawing you did with your really nice, fair friend, which was honestly pretty boring; this is the kind where a preternaturally dairy-hormone-fed big kid sits heavy on the "accomplishment" end, holding you up for prolonged periods in "defeat" until you wonder how you'll ever get down and go get dinner. Whether you'll grow old there, or how you can jump off without breaking a bone, and you start to kick your legs and cry a bit and then s/he lets you back down into "accomplishment" and you sit as heavy and far back as possible for as long as you can, feeling the cool ground underneath you. 

It's sudden summer in Upstate New York, with temps as high as the hottest parts of July, pools opening weeks early and milkshake revenues skyrocketing, and the delayed growth of everything has ceased its delay in a hurry.

Those first spring buds that slowly crept toward fullness, the long arms of warm wind cutting through, little sounds of birds and first weeds so perfect and edible - all of that waved like a checkered flag in front of the hot hot heat explosions of the last week. Before I knew it, all the tulips and narcissus were out the door and gone: to brides, mothers, art receptions, graduations, the juice shop, the yoga studio . . .  I made more bouquets in the last 5 days than in any previous period of time, ever. And I felt proud of and excited about every single one. I set up systems and got flowers into the hands of lots and lots of people, and I broke my back a little and wore out my old lady knees, but the mess I made was less than normal and I got just enough sleep. 

That's the "accomplishment" end. But making bouquets is not planting a garden; the two need to happen simultaneously. So when, on Sunday, the flowers were gone and done, I picked up a post hole digger and joined my dad in the garden on a fence-building mission. A DOOMED fence-building mission. With hundreds of dollars of fencing in the back of the truck, and limited time for this labor, and summer bearing down on us, we sweated and toiled and found that the garden I've dreamed of for years, the one that got written about in two newspapers and helped me win that Startup Grant and is supposed to be my bread and butter since I've halfway-quit my wonderful old job - um, that garden is a pile of bricks.

Like, the whole way down.

Like, an undiggable pile of bricks with four inches of soil on top.

Everywhere.

This is the "defeat" end.

And it's hard not to get stuck there. So much work needs to be done, and now I have to back up and reimagine how it begins. A thousand seedlings in my living room want a place to go, and they don't want to go into that pile of bricks. But it's mine; it's ours, and I've gotta make it work.

So I'm gonna end this cliche-ridden diatribe with the idea that, if I've set up "accomplishment" as the bottom-end of this seesaw, it's inevitably where I'll end up, the theory of gravity seeming to prove true and all. Part of "defeat" is the impossibility of staying there; part of "accomplishment" is its groundedness. I tend to get stuck up there, but I am that hormone-addled big kid holding me down/up.

So if you're reading this and you're local, come join me/us as we jackhammer the crap out of this brick garden at 118 Jefferson Street in Troy on Thursday, May 14th, at 6:30 pm. I'm buying us ice cream. Let's build a fence and get on with this thing.

to-do lists

They write themselves these days. There are specific sections for specific life parts (1. FS business, 2. the Garden, 3. Me.) numbers that change week to week, acronyms, dotted lines, solid lines... It's Wednesday and I've only checked one thing off this week! Wut?! And when I do something I'm pleased with myself for doing, like emptying the truck or sweeping the bedroom floor or buying myself a birthday present, and I didn't write it on the to-do list, and I don't get to [x] the little box beside it, there's a kind of let-down that is honestly just inappropriate.

But you have to have systems.

Last year I posted about my seedling system. This year I'm growing twice as many. Last year at this time, we were probably two weeks ahead of our present selves in terms of warmth, outdoor plant activity, seedling health, etc etc. Why? The universe, that's why. It feels like the snow is still out there, just waiting to lock us in again. [EDITOR'S NOTE: I walked to the garden in the middle of writing this, and guess what? It's f*cking snowing.]

This year I've had some damping off issues (sounds racy, but it's sad), and some generally straggly seedlings due to bad soil and mild early neglect. The early years are the most formative, they say.

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But so many still plow forth their chlorophyllic arms toward the fluorescence above them, just as predicted, waiting for the real deal. I just wanted to write this post, really, to give you a list of their names. Like the presently-apt Summer Icicles euphorbia (which is the worst with the damping off), Sylphid celosia, 2 kinds of Black Knights: delphinium and scabiosa, Miss Jekyll Blue nigella, Black Peony poppy, Chocolate and Buttercream sunflowers (I must have been hungry?), Kiwi Blue cerinthe, Earl Grey larkspur and White Lace orlaya and more. They put their cotyledon leaves out first, as a baby disguise, and then quietly their true leaves start growing. It's just like my pup, Djuna, who's cotyledon face at the shelter was all, "I'm a really calm and peaceful fully-grown dog who can see into your soul and will assist you with your journey toward groundedness," but whose growing and responding true face says, "I am going to be the world's biggest and hairiest dog and I'm going to bite you a lot and generally own you." She's so cute.


How to help a business succeed

Let me just say that Flower Scout would not be here without you, whoever you are reading this thing.

It was just an idea, and then some experiments with flowers, then some photos and (always) some words. Like a little dividing cell, it grew from the nourishment given to it.

That part was in 2012, and in 2015 it runs to keep up with itself.

This week I start working half-time at my previously full-time job, in order to run fast enough for Flower Scout. There are more seeds to start, plant successions to think about, trash to pick out of the lot, poppy seeds to throw, a shed to build, a fence to build, and planning and muscles to flex.

FS is in an in-between phase that I guess every business must go through (if it responds organically to its community; if it starts with little $$), and I feel the coming growth spurt aching in my bones. Gotta feed this beast.

I hope you'll please consider voting for Flower Scout in the All Over Albany Startup Grant this week.

The funds we could win would help buy building materials, enabling that shed and a hoophouse (the dreamiest and most helpful thing), and would also get us water barrels and tools for volunteer groups to come help and learn in the garden.

All Over Albany is an amazing resource in this community. Ever since they started (shortly after I moved back here), they've highlighted interesting things that happen in the Capital Region, fed us all necessary news, asked important questions about things like food access, public transportation, and housing costs, and also been a venue for tiny businesses to be seen and heard. I'm so thankful that they're here.

Thank you all for your votes and thoughts! Come on out and play in the garden soon!

Gathering

Lately I haven't felt like writing here, and I'm sorry. I know I should. This is an important time in all of our lives!

The snow is nearly disappeared and sits in low pockets on the hillsides, exhaling its stubborn bon voyage. Last autumn's clean beds break open in crackling lines: tiny canyons where warming air can tuck itself in. Tulips poke up pink through the softening earth, then spread out slow, opening their self-circling arms. The sap is a-flow. High above our heads, the showy poofs of red maples, their inflorescence silhouetted against bare blue sky. Even the sun blinks in the sun, unused to itself. The sound of moving water like a loud crowd in the distance.

change change change change change change change

Sometimes it feels more valuable to just live during these quick-moving epochs. There is so much smelling to do, sticks to throw for insatiable stick-loving dogs, trash to pick out of new gardens, seedlings to worry about. But like little Frederick the Mouse, I think it's important to gather sensations against the next long darkness. Our seasons breed a kind of emotional amnesia: Who can remember what summer is like during winter? Who can really remember what winter is like during summer? We live the full height of each, in a long-form mania, and writing this stuff down is helpful. Then, like Frederick, we can say the colors to each other when they're gone.

We've got a newsletter now

And you can sign up for it right here! Who's to say what it'll include, but in its imaginary form there are garden updates, special event and workshop reminders, sales, calls to action, long-form poems, tiny little poems, and other nice things. It won't happen very often, I swear, so don't be worried about inundation. But if you like F.S. and want just a little bit more, here is your avenue.

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Flashback wednesday

My dear friend Carolyn is about to be married on Saturday. I've been growing paperwhites (and trying to slow them down), forcing flowering branches (and trying to speed them up), all while getting my seedling operation (which is rickety at best) started. Welcome to my living room. Beware the open bag of soil. There's a puzzle on the coffee table. Make yourself at home!

Getting ready for Carolyn's wedding has me thinking about how blessed I am to have found work I love doing that can contribute to this big-deal moment in the love-lives of people I love, in life. I get to be part of her process, hopefully a calming and nurturing and creative part, and I get to express, with flowers and muscles and hands and time, how much I care about her. She's the damn best.

And it also has me thinking about Carolyn's sister Christine's wedding, which happened this past July. It was WARM. There was grass to walk on, and flowers growing out in the garden. Christine and her amazing wife Lauryn were some of the first people to trust me enough to ask me to design their wedding flowers, and that trust made me feel SO wonderful. Despite all the signs of my beginner-ness, they were so supportive. When we met for our final run-through of design ideas and timing, I locked myself out of the apartment where I was staying. Without shoes, or a pen, or paper. I went into the bar across the street, barefoot, and begged a pen, and we had our meeting anyway, and the landlord's niece showed up with spare keys, and I think I'm just a lucky human.

Chrissy and Lauryn are an adorable, hilarious, effervescent, sweeeeet couple, and I love being around them. Here are some pics of last July; let's all remember what that was like, on this beautiful-ugly-beautiful winter-spring day.

I'll see these gorgeous faces, and many more from my childhood, at Saturday's wedding. Godspeed to my flowering branches, chill vibes to my paperwhites, mazel tov to my loved ones: see you on the dance floor.

the sun shines on this one

My friend Jess was married last weekend on one of our first sunny days in a long, long while. I really felt unspeakably happy hauling her flowers down the stairs, driving them across town, and filling Rev Hall with candles and boxes of blooms. I'll be even more unspeakable when flowers are growing from the actual ground, inspired by that actual sun, but until then here are some dope photos from Keira Lemonis.

(P.S. How amazing does Jess look? You can find her being gorgeous many days of the week behind the counter of her juice shop, Collar City Hard Pressed.)

End of Winter End of Winter End

Things are essentially simple, right, but they can really seem extraordinarily complicated. Or we, as thinking people, can complicate them. There are layers, right? Constant trade-offs, choices. I mean to write about having a business based in impermanence, beauty, and sustainability, but living in a place of deep winter.

It's all gobbledygook. Try spelling "gobbledygook." Try making 105 bouquets that are basically the same, in the interests of fairness, and try continuing to find them beautiful. Try maintaining enthusiasm, though of course this is the thing that wants doing. The simplest, most uncomplicated thing.

2 tulip stems + 1 ranunculus + 1 stock. Some waxflower + some eucalyptus.

But some bend oddly, some are sparse, and some are on their way to rot. Colors clash. They were all quite expensive to buy. This is a living room, not a studio. These are just two hands. Are there enough buckets? Is there enough time?

Where did these come from? Who grew them? Does anyone want them? What is this endeavor about?

Try feeling really enthusiastic about growing things, but live in a place of deep winters.

Try a bath, when you're done. Try a small glass of whiskey. See the bouquets pop up in the feeds, feed on 'em. Clean up all the tulip leaves and stitch them together in a long line; hang them from the doorway; throw them all away.

Try try try try. Brain keeps thinking, body keeps moving.

Thanks for participating in whatever it is this endeavor is about -- please send observations and criticisms my way, I mean it: You can write them or speak them into the phone or into the air. I like to write and I like to talk. We can even sign our thoughts at one another in a made-up sign language. Or spell them out in floppy tulip stems; I have a lot of those.

How to Do the Thing

Valentine's Day: Here are your options.

 

1. Pre-order from Fort Orange General Store right now

2. Pre-order from Nibble Doughnuts right now

3. Pop in to Fort Orange, Friday or Saturday

4. Pop in to Nibble, Friday or Saturday

5. Pop in to The Grocery, Friday or Saturday

6. Attend The Confectionery's Valentine's Dinner and receive a bouquet to take home

7. Attend The Love Story at Takk House and buy a bouquet to take home

8. If none of those work for you, email me! at Colie@flower-scout.com
 

GODSPEED.

Planning :

I'm not that good at it, in my personal life, but I'm getting pretty damn good at it in business.

If you're reading this, you may not be good at it either. Or maybe you're really good at it, but someone you know (ahem, love) might not be so stellar.

Here's the thing: Don't worry about it.

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No matter who you love, I promise they like flowers. Flowers are simple, delicate and ephemeral. They're generally gorgeous, and unlike jewelry no one's gotta wear them around to prove their appreciation. And unlike sweets there's no guilt. And unlike a teddy bear and balloons they aren't the worst.

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They're something to share that makes a normal space feel suddenly special. And there are a bunch of ways you can get your hands on them for Valentine's Day, for yourself (self-love being crucial), for your beloved, or for all your beloveds.

You can pre-order hand-tied bouquets from Fort Orange General Store in Albany or Nibble Doughnuts in Troy.

Or you can drop by and pick up a bouquet from The Grocery in Troy, or from Fort Orange or Nibble.

Flower Scout bouquets will also be a take-home part of the package at Peck's Arcade's prix fixe Valentine's Dinner, and part of the action at The Love Story, a theatrical masquerade ball at Takk House.

And to top and bottom it off, I'll be using all the stems, leaves, petals and other floral offal to create an installation at HeART Attack, an art show in North Troy on Valentine's evening.

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It's a lot to do, and it's all good.

You know what's kind of boring?

Year-in-review posts are kind of boring. They're charming, and they come from a place I believe is healthy; being thankful and appreciative is a good idea. It helps people like you (as in appreciate you, but also it helps people who are similar to you - I think that's an interesting double meaning), but moreover it helps you like yourself. I keep rediscovering that about thankfulness.

And yet I find myself skimming these posts as I come across them. I only really read the ones that seem to say, from the get-go: THIS WAS A REALLY HARD YEAR.

Those posts just feel more toothy to me. They're alive in a way that's critical - they can be thankful and thoughtful at the same time. This WAS a really hard year. And, of course, a lucky one. It's always everything. Lovely hard lucky year goodbye, hello.

How do cameras work on New Year's Eve?

How do cameras work on New Year's Eve?

This end-of-yearing we do is like a national border. Erected and made solemn, it is JUST AN IMAGINARY LINE, marked by clinking glasses. Allowing us all another chance, which are in fact constant and infinite, to improve. It's a method of tracking, a very-human idea whose genesis probably has much to do with capital and control (sorry I spin out in stoned-ape theorems) but it's also adorable. I like New Year's Eve. It's quaint. Auld Lang Syne and appreciation and opportunity. Circles of hugging friends, a reason for synchronized kissing.

This Eve I went up to a cabin in the mountains with some friends, and after that line of glasses and bubbles, that circle of arms attached to beloved persons, I snuck away to smoke in solitude (I know it's terrible, and I have the requisite Resolution, I just haven't quite enacted it yet) and I stood quietly in a dark doorway, looking out at an enormous frozen lake. Wind whipped across it and hills rose up above it: white sky, white water. And I thought about the almost-entirely-concrete things that WILL happen in two-thousand-fifteen. Not resolutions, but necessities. Build a fence. Start seedlings, more than ever. Plant that garden and live in it. More time for Flower Scout, less time at desk. People appreciating things I make with my hands. Moreover, making things with my hands.

It lit me up with a real joy. I don't really need resolutions, though I know I should quit using cigarettes as an excuse to step outside alone. I don't need resolutions because THINGS ARE ALREADY UNDERWAY. This was a hard year but I set me up, man. I took care of me in a way that means I can keep building on that care. I can roll on toward springtime with more faith in my capabilities than I've ever had before, because of this thing.

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Is this boring? Sorry! I didn't even mean to write it. Here we go into the future; see you there.

Active Winter Cult

We have officially passed over, through the darkest day of the year like a subtle iron gate.

I want to take a bath in coffee, or come down with a reason, unpainful, to stay in bed all day.

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But then I go outside, just for a little while, and this entire body of knowledge comes back to me. Body like body, body like having a body. A whole other other of knowledge. Like identifying pines or hobblebush or the way snow sticks to a power line or lichen as symbiotic relationships between algae and fungus. And like Robert Frost and his extensive apple orchards, kinds of saying and ways of moving in language. Then my friends bring their bodies to bear and the whole thing grows: conversation and movement and light. We race each other up snow hills and climb on abandoned structures.

# Active Winter Cult.

Pop Up Stop

It has been a surprisingly fun-filled few weeks here in the messy laboratory of my life.

I bought a piece of land, I planted one million bulbs, I sold wreaths and books and knick knacks at my friends' future store, did a very classy wedding, taught a workshop, and finally sold more wreaths and tiny trees just yesterday at another sweet pop-up. 'Tis the busy business life: where the weekends are planned by the hour and the living room is a nest of vine and green and the coffee and wine flow like wine and coffee and you can't park in the driveway anymore because you'd have to shovel it and who has time for that.

But now I'm partaking in what I'm calling my Pop Up Stop. Until further notice (cough cough Valentine's), F.S. is gonna check in to a yoga ranch - no seriously, I am gonna do that for a minute. But metaphorically, I'm going dormant.

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Some plants are predictively dormant, meaning they go into their resting phase before adverse conditions affect their growth (or kill them). Others are consequentially dormant, which obvi has to do with consequences. I am both. I'm tired, and a bit of a mess, and grow increasingly disorganized. But it could also get much worse if I don't slow down. Ask my mom or my ex-boyfriend.

Dormancy is not for nothing - plants go dormant to conserve their energy. They, too, might be thinking of systems for next season. How will they chart their own progress? How will they manage the many bees reliant upon them, or keep a spreadsheet of expenses, or maybe try to fix that loud sound their truck makes?

So this doesn't mean that F.S. is going anywhere, besides the yoga ranch. I'll still be babbling here and making things for me (for me! imagine.) and in two months I'll be doing something involving the patron saint of lovers which will not involve a dozen roses dipped in sparkles (or will it?).

Do be in touch if you're getting married or throwing a good party in 2015, because I'm booking them now and want to make sure you're on the calendar if you want to be! But we'll let that season take its time in coming, too, okay?

FANGRRRL

I've just decided that it's a week for fandom on the FS instagram, mostly because I could not help but post two consecutive photos (that were really screenshots) of people I'm in some awe of.

[FS instagram lives here.]

And it's also fangirl week because I really, really want to make sure that I tell all my available outlets, nerding out from the proverbial internet rooftops, to go watch this lecture from Tavi Gevinson, the editor-in-chief of Rookie Mag but also just an incredible brain living simultaneous to our own.

I watched it in bed. I did not anticipate that I'd have an hour of energy to give it, but in the end I could have listened to her speak all night. It helps that she looks increasingly like Michelle Williams, who is my goddess crush 4ever.

Tavi was a bebe when she became famous for her fashion sense. You can learn all about it very easily on the Google. What's interesting is that she's not that excited about fashion anymore, it would seem. She's excited about excitement. She's interested in what it is to be interested. And I'm the same. What is the feeling of being obsessive about, where does it come from, what's the Strange Magic that makes us process and digest and redigest art material or pop culture or crushes or our own material possessions until they become shrines? In this lecture Tavi talks about the impossibility of originality, the bliss of respect, and its transformative power.

"I just want to be happy," she says, "and being a fan can be the most happying thing you can be, because you feel connected to other people, and you realize these feelings pass through all of us, and they have for years and years and years, and you'll be okay."

And she says a lot of other amazing things. She fans out over Bjork and Virginia Woolf and Fiona Apple and the Breeders and a bunch of other points of light that are my own Strange Magic, too. So here's to a week of fangrrrling. It's like a Church of the Inspired. Join me if you want!