The Happy Wanderer—Entwined Life

I was ready for a change… a new relationship, a fulfilling work environment, a total change of perspective…  

Finishing up a stressful weekend job in Phoenix, I flipped through a “Do Not Remove” hardbound book, tucked in the bedside table of the upscale resort.

Realizing  Sedona was just a short 2 ¼ hour car ride away, I changed flights and took 2 days off from my week day gig, and headed north through the most amazing Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) lined desert highway.

 Talk about instant change of scenery! I am The Happy Wanderer!

 

 Immediately the stress of dealing with unreasonable, rude clients dissolved as the unexpected startling positions of the delightful Saguaros waved me onward—smearing a nonstop smile crossed my face.

Saguaro mixed media collage by Patrick Coffaro

Saguaro mixed media collage by Patrick Coffaro

Ahhh… Sedona. The soothing southwest—Oak Creek Canyon, Red Rock State Park, Slide Rock Falls, vortexes, Indian Jewelry—fresh dry air!

What a difference a mere 24 hours makes…

I felt free—light as an eagle’s feather—headed through town—out to the mystical afternoon light playing off the canyons and falls. 

Shopped for Indian designer jewelry a bear fetish for my sister’s birthday… a talisman of sunrays for self.

Shopped for Indian designer jewelry a bear fetish for my sister’s birthday… a talisman of sunrays for self.

Found a café for a leisurely nosh for the soul—alfresco—in the dry air breezes—setting sun set spewing pure visual bliss—crisp white wine to toast the winds of change and me!

The next morning, hunted for a free spirited coffee kiosk for a cup ‘o joe, cream & sugar to go and a whiff of Patchouli.   The perfect place to inquire about the closest vortex.  This was the mid 90’s – no smart phones, or internet and vortex hunting might get a raised eyebrow. 

“Just up the road, around the canyon, off to the right,” the tie-dyed head banded waiter said, as he handed me my hot courage, winking as I left an ample tip.  I was offheaded to the Airport Vortex for a short hike.

Overlooking beautiful Sedonasagebrush permeating the breezethe sounds of heavy equipment of major construction in the distance, a huge dust cloud as the earth gripped in steel teeth, and moved into a heap.  Then BEEEP, BEEEP,BEEEP, as the mammoth equipment backed it’s load and began the gnawing into the earth againBEEEP, BEEEP,BEEEP—for the future tourists seeking the environment and solstice for the soul—broke the peace of mind I had imagined. 

Well, I was here, in the NOW and the clock was ticking to get back to Phoenix to catch my afternoon flight. 

I offered up myselfopened to change in the airnever dreaming what the winds of change would blow into my life over the next three days…  turning desert into oasis… and fortune for the Happy Wanderer…   stay tuned.

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

 

 

Star Magnolia

Strolling thru the JC Raulston Arboretum last Monday… I was drawn in by the warmth (70 plus degrees) — fragrance permeating the air.

As a gardener I find myself looking down more often than up, but my eyes scanned the Carolina Blue Sky in search of the source of the wafting vapor of scent.

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Magnolia stellata or Star Magnolia. A small tree 10-15 ft tall and 10-12 ft wide – a lovely addition to a small landscape or winter border – hardy zones 4-8.

But today it was all eyes skyward!

DSC01820The swelling buds of Magnolia stellata “Waterfall” — resembling fuzzy pussy toes – so delightful!

The softest blued pinks of the delicate unfurled petals — charming.

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The thick buds of ‘Scented Silver’  were starting to burst forward– it’s sweet scent luring me closer.

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By Wednesday all the buds had opened.

Yet with cold winds blowing in, I knew I was lucky to have captured the show… as they say “Here to day, gone tomorrow.”

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

Gratitude

A beautiful story, whether planting your own garden of dreams or rebuilding an Entwined Life… I am grateful to Deb Hunt halfway around the planet . This came across my screen at the right time, at the right place.

With trowel in hand, tapping down gingerly plant roots or seeds in soil, I let these words pass my lips,

“Grow well and Prosper!”

Then my thoughts flash to Captain Kirk (a “Trekkie”I am not) and I feel a soulful grin as the vibrations are sent, intention in motion.

“Grow well and Prosper!” Deb Hunt

Jayme B – on the cusp of spring in Piedmont of North Carolina

Strawberries in the Desert

I’m an optimist. If one plant dies, I know another will grow. There was a time when I lost sight of that optimism. There was no sign of a strawberry growing anywhere, never mind in the middle of my desert. A series of events conspired to make me miserable, and I did my utmost to add to that misery by staying in a job I hated.

I was working for the Telco giant, BT, trapped in a job that paid well but sapped all hope of being a writer. I liked the people, hated the job.

Put a plant in the wrong spot in your garden and it will wither; transplant it to the right spot and it will flourish. I was like a tomato plant, struggling in the gloomy shade behind a shed. Had I been a climbing hydrangea I’d have loved it. But I wasn’t.

The ‘gardener’ who…

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Hellebore Time

StandDbl

Under the oaks and pines

A plant grows mighty fine.

Evergreen, shades of pink, burgundy or lime

Blooming ever so sublime

Hurray—It’s Hellebore time!

My friend Kathy's yellow Hellebore peaking through the snow.

My friend Kathy’s yellow Hellebore peaking through the snow.

Imagine, seeing this hopeful sign of spring—just out your window as winter’s wrath has driven you to wit’s end—peaking through the bareness of the last snow.

Or being able to cut and bring a variety of fascinating blooms inside…

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Having many forms—singles, semi-doubles, doubles, anemone-centered—and colors—it is easy to see why there are passionate breeders and collectors of this winter bloomer.

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Hellebores can be successfully grown in shade, but I have some also in sun;  They are drought tolerant and even the deer won’t nibble!   What is not to like?

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They can be cut for arrangements or floated in bowls indoor, or outside, to bring cheer in late winter and delight with hope of spring to come.

Stop by a good nursery and ask for them…  They grow in Zones 4-9.

Having Cabin Fever?   Saturday March 8,  is the last day of Hellebore Festival at Pine Knot Farms in Clarksville, Virginia… the weather is expected to be sunny and high 50’s… so go if you  are anywhere near by!   I have met folks from DC, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina… all beaming with joy for making the journey, wagons filled with Hellebores, hardy Primrose, Hepatica – just to name a few things!

Entrance to Dick and Judy's Garden... Pine Knot Farms.

Entrance to Dick and Judy’s Garden… Pine Knot Farms.

Judith Knot Tyler and her Husband Dick have customers in 49 of the 50 states and will gladly ship!

Magical gardens to meander around their hand-built home.   Plenty of Hellebores and other woodland garden plants for sale.

More next week with tips from Judy Knot Tyler of Pine Knot Farms on tips for propagation and care.

Judith Knott and Dick Tyler
Pine Knot Farms
www.pineknotfarms.com
434-252-1990
434-252-0768 fax

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

Take a Bite out of the Season…

I am blessed with fun, creative friends – yes, I am grateful for  such an Entwined Life!

So as I sit working on several stories at once – on this  “iced in” day from the east coast,  I saw a fun post from my dear friend of 35 years, come across my screen from the west coast.

Jayme & Martha - throwing 3 coins in Trevi Fountain.

Jayme & Martha – throwing 3 coins in Trevi Fountain.

I’m taking a Bite out of Season 2…  and so enjoyed this delightful virtual tour of the NBC Universal Tour high-jinks from my guest author and friend – Martha De Laurentiis exposing the lighter side of Hannibal:

On home, the new season and killing Mr. Potato Head

This week’s blog is from Martha De Laurentiis,

one of Hannibal’s Executive Producers.

My production shingle, the De Laurentiis Company, is located perfectly in the middle of the NBC Universal lot, in the Alfred Hitchcock Bungalow on James Stewart Drive. From these offices, Hitchcock planned some of film’s greatest thrillers, including Psycho and The Birds, as well as his television series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which filmed on the lot 1955 1965.

Executive producer Bryan Fuller and the Hannibal writers room joined us in these hallowed halls as the show started ramping up two years ago, and out of respect, Bryan brought in his art quality collection of framed Hitchcock posters.

Of all the Hollywood studios and television lots, only the NBC Universal lot is open to the public, via a tram-based tour that starts from the theme park. The Universal Tour Tram memorializes the master of suspense by playing the Alfred Hitchcock Presents theme music as it passes, and we often hear tour guides talking about the bungalow and its history as we’re going to or coming from our cars.

Thinking that tourists might also appreciate the fact that a groundbreaking new suspenseful television series was being hatched in the same offices that housed Hitchcock, I set out to discover how we might get Hannibal included on the Universal Studios Tour.

I paid a visit to my good friend, Ron Meyer, who’s now Vice Chairman of NBC Universal. As a boy hoping to get into the entertainment business, Ron worked as a Universal tour guide for then studio head Lew Wasserman. Ron’s eyes lit up with a simple solution – “Easy, invite the tour guides down to the bungalow for a beer!”

The Director of the Studio Tour department, Mike Sington, put the kibosh on the beer – too many ironclad rules and regulations around studio liability – but he was completely on board with the idea of hosting the guides in the bungalow. On the tours, the guides describe the projects currently shooting on the lot, but apparently no one had thought to bring them into their offices or sets before. The Universal tour guides tend to be major classic film buffs, and once inside, their enthusiasm was contagious. None of Hitchcock’s original furniture or effects remain, but I invited them into his office, opened Dino’s award case and passed around some Oscars for selfies.

Mike agreed to host a short video clip on the trams as they passed by the bungalow as well as a blurb about the show. We chose the “Ring Ring” clip, which teases the show’s tone. To the accompaniment of the Goldberg Variations (synonymous to all things HANNIBAL), the camera pans over FBI trainee Miriam Lass’s severed arm holding a ringing Blackberry (rewatch episode 106 Entree if you don’t remember!), as Jack Crawford and Will Graham enter frame with a WTF expression. Cut. It’s the perfect length for the approach to the bungalow, giving the guides enough time for a short shout-out for the show.

Mike mentioned that props often help the guides keep things interesting. When I asked for a sense of the parameters, he said, “The gorier the better.”

My neighbors next door are the production arm of the game company Hasbro, behind films like Transformers and Battleship. In front of their bungalow, a giant Mr. Potato Head stands with his arms splayed, holding up the Hasbro sign. Tourists snap snap snap their cameras all day long grabbing pics of Mr. Potato Head. I had an outré idea… and I was excited when my friends at Hasbro liked it.

With the help of my friend Mike Filonczuk, we made a duplicate of Mr. Potato Head’s arm to scale and mounted it on a prop box. Then, we took a can of epoxy red paint and went to town, making it look like it had been brutally severed and was still dripping fresh blood. Echoing the iconic Miriam Lass image, we placed a Blackberry in the hand, as if in his last moments, Mr. Potato Head had been desperately calling out for help (#HelpMrPotatoHead). Then, suggesting a killer had been making mayhem on the lot, we displayed it in front of our bungalow, under the new Hannibal banner.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of tourists have gone by. It was an especially big hit during the entire month of October when Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates Halloween Nights, staying open late into the wee hours. Also for October, we decorated the bungalow with a backlit life-size transparency of the Hannibal Wendigo out of the corner office. To simulate mysterious doings going on inside, we projected a short clip of the Wendigo emerging from the river, from upcoming episode 202. The guides loved this because we were the only interactive bungalow on the tour – at least besides what they stage on the backlot!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet again with the guides and give them insight into Season 2 and the progress of the writers’ room. We screened the first two episodes we’d just finished for them so they have the inside scoop on the series and can drop hints about it on their tours.

After almost a year, we’ve updated the teaser and supplied a new shout-out script. It’s a bit of a relief inside the bungalow to no longer hear the “ring ring” every five minutes, but we do miss the audio cue that the trams are approaching. I am incredibly grateful for my friendship with Mike Sington and his wonderful and supportive guides’ role in sharing the excitement we all have for Hannibal. Now that the guides know me, they’ll often say hello when I’m out. On the loudspeaker, in front of the entire tram of tourists. It makes the lot seem friendlier and serves as a humbling reminder of all the love we’ve had from the fans.

The new season began last Friday at 10/9c. Thirteen new spellbinding episodes are coming your way! We hope the master would think we’re making good use of his bungalow.

Enjoy the season as we’ve all enjoyed bringing them to you!

MDL

@neoprod

@DeLaurentiisCo

www.delaurentiisco.com

P.S. I saw a certain famous woodpecker outside the NBCUniversal offices. You’re next, Woody!

Thanks Martha!

Watch Out Woody, and don’t forget to take a bite out of the new season of Hannibal on NBC!

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

 Jayme B