Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Ever Increasingly Popular Saturday Six

Gracious!  I'm always putting out the garbage cans for pick-up, reading Dave Barry's column for my husband and son's amusement Sunday morning and yet another indicator that time is speeding by is the fact that it's time once more to play~

Picture from Hometown

1. What was the last thing you lied about?

When asked if I would work a double shift this afternoon to cover a p.m. shift caregiver who had just called to say she wasn't coming in, I said I had to dog-sit for my daughter.  Not true.  I've been working hard lately and extra hours.  This is my Friday and I was more than ready to leave.

2. What do you most hope to accomplish by the end of the year?

I hope to live through another year of fairly good health.  I hope to have enough money left in my savings account for Christmas after my property taxes are paid for the year.  Hey!  What can I say?  Small goals are attainable.

3. If you could see a film of any moment of your childhood so that you could relive it,  what event would you like to see?

I would pick any given day in the summer when my mother and father packed us all up and took the family to Manasquan Beach, New Jersey for the day.  Nothing was better than a day at the beach!  My mother always made a huge batch of fried chicken the night before for lunch at the beach which always included ripe, juicy purple plums and her fabulous potato salad.  My dad would spend much of the day seated on a bench under a covered pavillion....reading.  Protection from the sun, a beloved book and the only separate time spent apart from the family I can ever recall.  I would love a picture of him sitting there, reading.  Now, I understand.

4. What talent do you wish you had but don't?

I wish I could play a musical instrument, particularly the piano and perhaps the violin.  I had a brief stab at piano lessons in my youth but I was more interested in the teacher than the lessons.  End of lessons.

5. What are you wearing as you answer these questions.  If someone pointed a camera your way right now, would you duck out of sight?

Nothing!  Springsnymphs don't wear anything when they don't have to and the temperature is agreeable.  It would depend upon whom was wielding the camera and how I felt at that particular moment.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #20 from Danielle: Have you ever found a journal that interested you so much, you read all the way back to the beginning?  If so, how many? If you'd like to share, whose journal and why?

Oh my!  Doesn't everyone do this all the time?  If I discover a journal of interest, I always go to the first entry and read from there.  To not do so would be like continually picking up a book, opening up to some spot in the middle and just start reading.  You would be clueless.  How could you understand what was going on in this person's life if you didn't start at the beginning?  I do this with all journals I follow.  My most recent discovery is a delightful journal from


Friday, August 27, 2004

Weekend Assignment #21

Weekend Assignment #21: Everyone had a subject in school they like better than all the rest. What was yours? And what's the most memorable thing you learned?

Alternate Assignment: If you can't think of a specific class or subject you liked the most, which grade of school has the best memories

For this assignment, I'll combine all three elements from the two assignments.

Without question, my most memorable class was my English class in my sophomore year of high school.  My teacher was a lady named Jean McGoff who brought a wave of energy and fresh enthusiasm to the classroom every day for the entire year.  Here was a teacher who made learning fun!  I remember looking forward to her class every day--a bright light in the dreariness of school.

Tenth year English was, among other things, a Shakespearean year.  We read Julius Caesar and Macbeth.  We all took turns reading different parts which was very entertaining and a lot of fun.  This class was a wonderful change from the usual "you sit there and listen while I talk and talk and talk" class.  Throughout school, English was my favorite class.  It was never a hardship to learn spelling, grammar, read books or compose stories.  I usually enjoyed it thoroughly.

My junior year in high school holds the most memories for me.  I had a tight little circle of girlfriends, a steady boyfriend, a booming social life full of dances, movie and dinner dates.  Life was wonderful and I was so happy.  This was the year I was on the Honor Roll for all four grading periods.  I cruised through that year like a breeze.

The most memorable things I learned in school have nothing to do with academics.  I learned that it's possible to keep friends for a lifetime whom you met in school.  I learned that one never quite gets over always having been one of the last or The last to get picked for a team in gym.  I learned that if you were a quiet, shy person, you were often labeled as "stuck-up" or a "snob" when neither were necessarily true.  Most of all, I learned it was entirely, absurdly possible to meet one's partner for life in such a mundane place as the high school cafeteria.




Monday, August 23, 2004

Saturday Six

Another week unfolds in which to write about...whatever.  A good way to ease into it is to play~ 

Picture from Hometown

1.  Which gadget are you next most likely to buy?

I'd love to purchase a new, state of the art computer with a wide monitor and all the up-to-date bells and whistles that are currently available. 

2.  What is your ideal meal?

My ideal meal (which I eat once a week) is a seafood pasta made with shrimp, clams, crimini mushrooms, lots of garlic tossed in a mixture of olive oil and assorted homegrown herbs.  To complete this meal, I'd make a fresh salad, buy a loaf of one of Safeway's Artisan  bread and enjoy an excellent, crisp glass or two of Johannesberg Reisling.

3.  How many hours of sleep do you regularly get each night and where?

I try to get seven hours of sleep each night on a regular bed and usually do.

4.  What's your favorite flavored or specialty coffee?

I don't drink any kind of flavored coffee.  If I did, it would probably be hazelnut.  My favorite specialty coffee is Irish Coffee, a rare treat but always a pleasure.

5.  You have the chance to be reincarnated as something other than a human being.  What would you come back as and why?

I would choose to come back as a beautiful cat belonging to a well-to-do older person.  What could be better than sleeping whenever I wanted to, being fed and simply sitting around looking gorgeous and superior and nothing more would be asked of me?

6.  Has anyone ever tried to find their lost love?  (How did it go?)

Lost love? No.  Friend from the past? Yes.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Elusive Transcendence

Transcendental Meditation program founder, Maharishi Mahesh YogiBack in the early seventies a whole lot of people were into discovery of self, self-led psychoanalysis and the resurgence of searching for inner peace.  These were good paths to investigate and still are.  At this particular time, I believe we were all extremely war weary and ready for a measure of inner (if no other) peace. 

Many people turned to the use of various drugs as an instant shortcut to inner peace.  I suppose this method might've had some merit; I wouldn't know as my illicit drug use has been rather limited.  Some of us preferred a safer, more legal route to inner enlightenment of a non-religious sort.  One of the buzzwords of the day, or phrase actually, was Transcendental Meditation or simply TM.  This was a program founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  By 1972 approximately 2,000 teachers were trained to bring the practice of TM to the world.

"Transcendental", an adjective, is defined in Funk & Wagnall's Standard Desk Dictionery as 1. of very high degree and 2. beyond or contrary to common sense or experience.

"Meditation", a noun, is defined (same source) as:  to engage in continuous and contemplative thought.

Therefore, TM literally means contemplating at length about something that defies common sense.  This interpretation is important to remember.  It seemed that just about everyone was delving into the world of TM.  Even the Beatles trekked off to India to check it out so, of course, that was worthy validation and we all know now how much they were all into it--not!

My fiance,ever the maverick, decided this was something we should investigate.  Why, to this day, I'm still not exactly sure but this kind of thing was right up his alley.  I didn't care one way or the other; if seeking out transcendence by learning this new path was something he wanted to pursue, who was I to deny him?  "Okay," said I, "Sure, let's".  I was really ready for total commitment here.  Yessiree.

Of course, he found a  name and address of a place where TM classes were being held.  We arrived at the appointed hour and I found myself sitting in some strange woman's living room among a group of eager, show-me-the-way types fairly itching to  begin.  The lights dimmed and my nostrils were immediately assailed with the intense odor of sandlewood incense.  Incense was very big in those days.  To this day, the scent of sandlewood whisks me right back to this experience.  I don't particularly care for it.  Incense and the scent of patchouli were everywhere back then but I digress.

We were instructed to relax and try to empty our minds.  Now, unfortunately, I suffer from a severe case of pragmatism, a deadly deterrent to any kind of meditation.  How on earth can I empty my mind of thought when it's full of the thought of trying to empty my mind?  It's nothing more than a vicious circle!  Night after night, I sat dutifully in the dark with my eyes closed, trying to empty my brain and slow down my breathing with the help of the general mantra (a word for focusing on relaxation) our teacher provided.  Night after night I thought, "who's kidding who"?  Not a damn thing was happening to me yet all the people around me were disappearing into their own self-induced calm place.  Oh yes, everyone's TM was coming along very nicely--except mine.  I felt like a character straight out of The Emperor's New Clothes.  Yes, like the little child who pointed out that the Emperor was indeed naked but no one in the realm chose to acknowledge that fact on pain of death.  Clearly, I was a failure.

One day it was announced that it was time for each of us to receive our own personal mantra.  Okay, this was at least something.  I didn't mind the thought of being given my very own secret, never-ever-tell-anyone word.  It would be, who knows, like the password to the secrets of life's success or something.  One could always hope.  We gathered at some new completely unknown place and stood in line awaiting our turn for a brief audience with the local Mahareshi Hey NonnyNonny or whatever his name was.  Who knew there was even one living in the county?  Truthfully, I don't recall his name but he looked sage-like enough standing there is his long flowing cotton robes.

Finally my turn came to go up and stand by this man.  He gave me a flower and whispered my "secret mantra" into my ear.  "What??!!", I wanted to shriek, "Is that it?"  Years of conditioned politeness kept me from doing this, of course, but really, my mantra stank!  I hated it!  It was a word I heard at least a hundred times a day and this was supposed to be the special word to help guide me into a world of inner serenity?  Didn't this guy have a clue that I needed all the help I could get and most definitely a much cooler word?  Apparently not.

From that point on, I gave up on the world of TM and considered myself the flunkie of the class.  My fiance, of course, became a successful graduate of TM and put it to good use at intermittent times in his life when needed.  He must've been good at it.  Once when he was donating blood, he decided to check into TM mode.  His breathing slowed to such a rate that the staff was ready to slap a set of cardio paddles on his chest to liven him back up.

In retrospect, some 30 years later, I know I was much too young to even try to attempt the lofty plane of TM.  My imagination and open-mindedness have come a long way since those days but it's still difficult for me to rise above and beyond that which is grounded and practical.  I am a pragmatist of the ultimate degree.  This can be an asset in life but it can also be a major stumbling block to trying to reach higher levels of thought and awareness. 

I have come to realize that many people in the world have benefited from learning and practicing transcendental meditation.  It helps one to relax, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and more.  I mean no disrespect to these people.  Any practice that enables people to slow down from the frantic pace of today's life, take a few deep breaths and reflect is certainly not a bad thing.

At long last last, I discovered my own means of achieving these objectives.  I don't need a mantra or an exotic mentor or a preconceived formula to follow.  All I need to center myself and bring my life back into focus can be accomplished by visiting our special place at the Springs and submerging my naked self into beautiful, warm mineral water but that's another journal.

I've also since learned that the "secret" word to guide us to another plane is the password we choose to access our place in the internet domain!  It is this and more for me at any rate!




Monday, August 16, 2004

A Week Of Good Wishes

My 51st birthday will be remembered as one of those birthdays that seemed to go on forever.   This is a very pleasant thought and means of celebration and what the hey?  You only get one birthday a year and it's great that the people in my life want to eke out the celebration of the day my life began.

My birthday was Saturday, August 14th.  My happy birthday acknowledgements officially began last Wednesday while I was at work.  Our very caring, thoughtful activity director gives everyone at work, both residents and staff, a birthday spotlight during the noon meal.  The birthday goodies include:  a card signed by the staff and residents, a small gift (this year I received a cute little stuffed puppy), a never-to-be-free-from pointy birthday hat and an amazingly generous ice cream concoction of some sort with the obligatory candle blazing away merrily (quick! make a wish and blow before it melts into the ice cream).  This year my ice cream was sugar free, a nice touch.

A brief speech of appreciation is given followed by an all too frequent anemic version of the Happy Birthday song.  I was truly impressed and pleased this year because the entire population of the dining room stopped eating long enough to sing to me and they gave it their all, actually singing on key (no small miracle, this).  I was honored to say the least.  This whole business takes less than five minutes and is lots of fun in a moderately embarrassing way.  The "Happy Birthdays" and good wishes continued all the next day at work, Thursday, because our activity director mistakenly thought I was starting my little vacation a day earlier than I actually was.

I'm in the habit of giving myself the gift of a day off from work on my birthday.  This year I decided to fluff it out a bit by adding a day or two to give myself four sweet days altogether.  The next day, Friday, my darling daughter and her little family took me out for lunch.  They've been doing this for the past three years and it's become a nice little tradition.  On Saturday, my actual birthday, my husband and I went to our beloved hot springs for the day.  He made us a great lunch and later, a fabulous dinner.  The weather was lovely though unusually cool for the middle of August.  At these springs, however, there are lots of warm retreats.  This was the perfect place to spend a birthday.

Sunday morning dawned and I arose to find a note on the kitchen counter from my son saying, "Save your appetite for SweetRiver.  I'll be up around 8".  My very dear son treated his dad and me to breakfast at a restaurant that serves up an awesome, all you can eat breakfast buffet.  Will this birthday madness never end?  I had an extraordinarily special birthday last year when I turned 50.  I fully expected this year's to come and go without much fanfare.  I was quite mistaken.

All in all, it's been a gastronomic birthday.  I've consumed more food (and many kinds in particular that I deny myself for various reasons) during these past several days than I normally do.  I strongly suspect my family enjoys plying me with food.  It's been sinfully tasty and highly enjoyable.  I have a wonderful family and I love them dearly.  Now that the festivities are over, it's high time for me to get back to caloric reality!


My dear old friend, Lorena, who shared my bithday and would've been 102 years old this past Saturday didn't make it.  Her obituary was in yesterday's local newspaper.  She died on August 4th.  I'm so sorry and I will miss her.

I knew she'd been ready to die for a long time.  The many years I spent caring for Lorena and listening to her life's stories have enriched my own.  She was never rude, unkind and rarely complained of aches, pains, discomfort and loneliness, all of which I knew she was experiencing.  She was a great lady and a shining example of how to retain and carry one's composure, sense of humor and dignity into extreme old age.

I wrote a little about Lorena in a past entry entitled, "Old Friends" dated July 18, 2004.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Saturday Six.....Already?!

I find it hard to believe that I haven't put an entry in here since last week's Saturday Six.  Hmmm...could it be I've actually been experiencing life rather than dreaming and remembering about past experiences?

In truth, I've been working a lot during the past week and gearing up for a small celebration of sorts.  And now, without further ado, let's play

Picture from Hometown

1. So no one likes that "Favorite Gadgets" question on AOL's Member Profiles.  What would you replace it with?

Personally, I have no kick against the "Favorite Gadgets" query; after all, we all have at least one.  Since the profile is a thumbnail description designed to provide a few points of interest, how about replacing it with "Favorite Season"?

2. How many credit cards do you have at the moment, and of those, how many do you use regularly?

One and one only and one's enough for me.  I try hard to use it only when really necessary and I've yet to come even close to my maxium credit line.

3. It's your chance to "Come on Down!"  You decide to be on a game show.  Which show do you think you'd win the most on:  "The Price is Right," "Match Game," "Jeopardy," "Wheel of Fortune," "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" or "Pictionary?"

I would probably win the most money playing "Who Wants to be a Millionaire".

4. A past edition of the "Saturday Six" asked you to list how many states you'd visited.  This time around, in the spirit of the "Parade of Nations" in the Olympics, it's time to list any foreign countries you've set foot in.

I have been in three foreign countries:  Canada, Jamaica and Mexico.

5. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #16 from Tara: What's the significance of your AOL screenname?

My favorite place on Earth is a hotsprings resort my husband and I visit as often as we're able.  Just for fun and my own personal amusement, I like to imagine myself as a fantastical creature such as a sprite, pixie or water nymph.  Hence, SpringsNymph.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #17 from Nettie: Did you ever have a "true love" that got away........and have you always regretted it?

I never had a "true love" that got away but I have had one that rediscovered me.  I believe you can have more than one in a lifetime and love comes in many forms.

Monday, August 9, 2004

One of the Highlights of My Week

Picture from Hometown

Time once again to play Patrick's Saturday Six.  Yes, I know the weekend's passed but technically, this is my Sunday so I'm still within bounds.

1. How many E-mails are in your mailbox that you have already read, but are "holding" there anyway?


2. You learn that a loved one committed murder.  You are the only one who knows besides the loved one himself.  Would you turn him in?

Sorry, there's no black or white answer to this question; lots of shades of grey.  It would depend entirely on the circumstances.


3. How much was your total bill the last time you filled up your car's gas tank?

This is a luxury in which I rarely indulge.  I usually put in $15 maximum at a time.  If I did fill the tank, it would've cost me $26.20.

4. On an average day, how many AOL Journals do you visit?  How many do you have set up to send you an alert when a new entry is added?  How many AOL Journals do you have on a subscription list such as "Bloglines?"

I visit anywhere from 5 to 15 journals a day.  I have 5 alerts set up presently.  I never heard of a journal subscription list; will check this out.  I have links set in my Favorites for the AOL Journal Directory and New to Journals Membership Directory.  These two links provide me with enough options for now.

5. What particular sport are you most looking forward to seeing in the Summer Olympics?

My favorite sport to watch in the Summer Olympics is the gymnastic competition.  I'm in a state of constant awe at the things these people can do.  I can't even do a cartwheel!  Close second choice is diving.  Nope, don't dive either.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #15 from Armand: If you could choose the one statement (of your own) that you would be popularly quoted for after your death, what would it be?

It would be, "In my next life I'm going to do and/or be_______(fill in the blank."


Much as I love to play the Saturday Six, this isn't why my mood choice is "ecstatic" for this particular entry.  I chose ecstatic because this entry represents my first successful accomplishment of "cutting and pasting" parts of another's journal into mine.  A small thing, I know, but this has been a major obstacle for me to conquer.  I'm encouraged!



Sunday, August 8, 2004

John's Weekend Assignment #18: Tattoo You

Everyone knows that for a long time now tattoos have become a fashion statement.  Personally, I think tattoos are fascinating...on other people.  I enjoy looking at them; some are truly beautiful, others leave me cold, clueless or both.

Off and on over the past several years, I've thought of getting one.  Actually, it would be closer to the truth to say I've often thought of "the idea" of getting a tattoo.  I have a good friend who designed a tattoo for herself and had it put on the outside of one of her ankles.  She went through quite a long period of dealing with a painful burning sensation.  Maybe this was a typical reaction.  I know she didn't go to some fly-by-night tattoo parlor.

Whenever the idle thought of being pricked with sharp needles and allowing permanent ink to be shot into my skin drifts into my brain, the memory of my friend's experience comes back to haunt and deter me.  I know it's a stereotypical prerequisite but I know I'd have to be thoroughly intoxicated before I let anyone come near me to begin the procedure.  A real concern would be that I wouldn't be in very good control of the situation if I were drunk and what if, God Forbid!, I ended up with the wrong design permanently etched on my flesh for the rest of my life?

But this assignment specifies that I have to get a tattoo!  I would get a pair of beautiful fairy wings put on my upper back over my shoulder blades.  Even though they'd be one-dimensional, the idea would be for them to look as if they had  grown there.  I'd want them to be lovely shades of green and complementary colors with an iridescent shimmer added.  I don't know, can some glitter be mixed in with the ink?

I'd want this design for a tattoo because I think it would be pretty and I like to fantasize about being a winged, fantastical creature of some sort.  I think of myself as more of a water nymph which doesn't have wings but it's my tattoo and my fantasy so why not?  These aren't quite right but I was thinking about something like this ~


My second tattoo (yes, in my state of self-induced drunken delirium I'd want to get the whole job done at once) would be a small one of my most favorite animal in the world, a river otter.  I would have this put on the right side of my chest somewhere in the vicinity between my collarbone and top of my breast.  Perhaps something like one of these ~

                           [Various pictures of river otters.]









I'd better start saving my "pin money".  This all looks like I'll be needing a lot of ink!

Thursday, August 5, 2004

My 18th Birthday--An Epoch in My Life

My birthday is soon approaching.  I've had many memorable birthday celebrations.  Some have been outstanding.  I always loved the fact that I had a summer birthday so I was never in school for it.  That seemed like a gift in itself.

As I was growing up, my mother never did the little kid birthday thing.  She always maintained that our own family plus an adored aunt and uncle who lived nearby were enough people to help celebrate The Day, not to mention that a housefull of squealing little children was not my mother's cup of tea!  When I got older, my parents took me out to dinner at a very nice restaurant and this was a special treat.

One of my most truly memorable birthdays was my 18th birthday.  My beau and I had spent a great day at the beach we frequented several times in the summer.  Later in the evening he took me out to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, The Dragon East.  This was no fly-by-night little joint but rather, a very nice, large place with a full bar.  A class act!  This was the kind of place where the drinks were loaded up with lots of fruit and colorful paper parasols and had fun names like "Zombies", "Lovers' Potion" and the like.  We loved this place!  We went there a lot and became very well known.

At one point early in the evening I went off to the ladies room.  When I returned there was a mysterious silvery covered little dish sitting at my place setting.  It was the kind of dish on a raised pedestal in which many Chinese dishes used to be served.  What do you suppose was inside?  I knew we hadn't ordered any dinner as yet.  I sat back down, lifted the lid and found a small square black box.  I opened the box and there, nestled within, was the most exquisite, shining engagement ring full of hopes and dreams you could possibly imagine.  I suspected this might be my gift; the promise of a happy, love-filled lifetime to come but such is never a sure thing until you see the ring and hear the words, "Will you marry me?"

Of course I would and as of that moment, it was official; our intention to spend the rest of our lives together was concrete.  We were both ecstatic and giddy with delight in each other and the prospect of being together for the rest of our lives.  Thoughout this exchange of plighting our troth, an audience had been gathering behind a latticed screen.  They seemed to approve because my acceptance of the ring was met with much cheering and enthusiasm.  A little boy ran up to our table and bestowed upon us a pile of plastic leis, assorted trinkets and paper ornaments.

My parents and big sister must've gotten a prior head's up as to the surprise of the evening because after dinner we went to my oldest sister's house for a small family celebration.  She had made a beautifully decorated cake for us and sparkling wine flowed freely.  Such a happy, happy night.  My beau, no wait, my fiance was still in college.  We had to wait several years before we could get married.  I was almost 21 when we finally did.  Our engagement lasted for almost three years.  I believed in the merits of long engagements but this one seemed like an eternity.

It's been almost 33 years since I received my engagement ring.  It's still as sparkling and beautiful as the first time I saw it.  My husband still gazes at me with the same, if not more, look of adoration as he did that night so long ago.  And yes, we've had rough roads to travel but for the most part, it's been a wonderful ride.


Monday, August 2, 2004

Appealing Honesty

I am no gardener.  I love trees, plants and flowers of all kinds.  I have no skill in growing them, however.  When something actually takes root, grows and flourishes in my yard, I'm thrilled and amazed.  For the past several years I've had such success with a plant I like very much.  I grew up knowing this plant as "Honesty" or a "Money Plant".  Its proper name is Lunaria.

My mother, that lady of the green thumb, introduced me to this plant when I was a young girl and I've always thought it was a lovely and fun plant.  It goes through many stages.  It starts out as a lush, leafy plant.  Next, pretty little flowers appear; they can be purple, lilac or white (mine are white)  which are later replaced by oval green seedpods.  These pods gradually turn light brown with a crispy-looking and feeling texture.  The black seeds resting within can be seen quite clearly.  Now it's time for the fun part.

By now, the plant has altered its appearance completely.  Gone are the lush, green leaves and what remains are dried stalks full of golden brown, dried seedpods hanging from them.  It's time to harvest and peel the Honesty.  I cut the stalks down at the bottom of the plants and set a huge pile on newspaper pages spread out on the table.  I then gently rub each seedpod betwen my fingers and both sides of the "crispy" layers come off to reveal beautiful, silvery paperlike circles.  I find this a very pleasant task and most insidious.  Each circle has many little seeds attached which I brush off into a bowl.  As usual Mother Nature is so abundant and there are lots of them.  Each seed will produce another plant.  I toss these seeds back into the dirt and cheerfully let the earth work its magic.  See what kind of gardener I am?  They'll either come up or they won't.  Time will tell.

The first time I noticed these plants in my backyard, I didn't even realize what they were.  I had forgotten that I had thrown a bunch of seeds that my mother gave me a long time ago out there in the first place.  It wasn't until the plants went through their entire cycle and I noticed the dried oval-shaped coins.  They looked mighty familiar and I realized to my delight what I had.  Well, duh!  Talk about the casual gardener!

When I've finished peeling the Honesty, I have a "bouquet" full of stalks with these shimmering circles on them.  Their texture reminds me of what I imagine paper sliding doors in Japanese houses to look like.  When you place them in a vase, ta da!  Instant arrangement that is elegant in its simplicity and when the light shines through them, it's a beautiful sight.  Since this is a dried arrangement it lasts a long, long time.  I keep many all over the house and they seem to last until the time comes to replace them with the next year's offerings. 

It doesn't take much to make me happy and these plants put me in plant heaven.