I’m Running on a Tight Schedule

Because I’m running on a tight schedule today, I’ll have to write this holiday flower-oriented post with lightning speed. There could be minor mistakes and you’ll just have to live with them.

First, we need to talk about the meaning of the usual Christmas holiday flowers. One of them is the Amaryllis, about which I’ve already given the important details in a previous post.

The other flower is the poinsettia, properly pronounced “flower.” Sena brought one home yesterday and it’s a beauty. The lore surrounding this holiday favorite is a bit convoluted. An angel ordered a peasant woman named Maria to gather roadside weeds. Maria was a little hard of hearing and thought the angel said “weed,” so she dug up a lot of marijuana growing wild in the ditches.

She took them to a little church, where the members of the congregation and the preacher lit them up with a little fire at the altar. The smoke got a little thick and everybody got a little confused and really hungry. They giggled a lot and their eyes burned a little, making everything look like it had a reddish color, including the “weeds.” Somebody knocked over the altar, spilling them all over the floor, which everybody swore they could feel through their shoes.

The poinsettia was known by the Aztecs who originally called it “Cuetlaxochitl,” which means “flower you can feel through your shoes, dude!”

There’s another version of the origin of the name of poinsettia. Some botanist in South Carolina named Poinsett (get that, har!) called it the “Mexican flame thrower,” probably because there was a legend in Mexico that extraterrestrials brought a plant with them that shot fire from its flowers, scorching all of the weed for miles.

Anyway, I think that’s how the history goes.

Amaryllis Blooming

The Amaryllis today is blooming like crazy. A new bloom opened today right next to the one that opened yesterday. Now there are two buds in the shade of the two open flowers. Will that stunt the growth of the buds?

Should I worry about what’s in the shadows or be glad for what’s out in the light?

New Juggling Balls!

Hey, the ugly juggler just got a new set of juggling balls! And you’ll be thrilled to know my juggling is just as ugly as ever.

I know next to nothing about juggling except what I’ve learned in the last month or so. The Zeekio balls weigh 110 grams (almost 4 oz) each and they’re 62 mm (2.4 cm) in diameter. They have substance to them.

They’re very different from my first set, which came in a box along with a manual for how to learn juggling. I bought that kit on a whim at Barnes and Nobles in mid-October. The balls started leaking their innards in November and they were small. I made do with decorator balls that I think are made of latex, filled with some kind of liquid which leaked. They stuck to my hands and to each other. One of them has shrunk in size. They’re not real juggling balls.

But the Zeekio balls are real and an early Christmas gift from Sena. They make a satisfying thud when they hit the floor or my head. That’s how I know they’re high quality.

Practicing for the Behind the Back Juggling Trick

I’ve been practicing for a juggling trick, the behind the back throw. For me, it’s harder than any other trick so far.

And to be clear, I’m not talking about juggling the full cascade entirely behind my back—that’s for the pros. I’m just trying to toss one ball behind my back while juggling the 3-ball cascade.

First, the Learn to Juggle manual says try just tossing one ball behind your back. That’s actually not so hard to pick up on.

Then the manual instructs the learner to try a 2-ball practice trick. With two balls, one in each hand, you toss the trick ball first (in my YouTube video, the trick ball is yellow) behind the back, then a split second later, toss the 2nd ball up. You’re supposed to catch both, of course, which I finally got the hang of—sort of.

The next step is to try the variation of the 2-ball practice, which is to throw one ball before you toss the trick ball and catch both.

I’m still working on the variation.

Both are important parts of the whole thing, which is to toss one ball behind your back while incorporating it into the 3-ball cascade.

I’m dropping balls all over the place. I even got a bruise on my right wrist from a dropped ball. I think one of the keys to this trick is getting my hand back into place super-fast after tossing it behind my back.

Sasquatch Cribbage Board Game!

Today was the inaugural game on our new Sasquatch cribbage board. It’s a very handsome item, made of walnut by the maker, David Sprouse, in Ferndale, Washington. His website is 3MoonsMakerSpace and he markets the boards on Etsy. It was delivered only a couple of weeks ago. It came with pegs and deck of cards. It has a hole in the back for hanging on a wall, if you want.

We played the game to 61 just for the sake of brevity since the point was to show off the board itself.

I don’t know really what to make of Bigfoot stories. Many claim to have spotted the creature way out in places like Washington state and elsewhere. There are reports of a few sightings even in Iowa.

I wonder why you never find corpses or even fossils of Sasquatch? Probably because extraterrestrials beam them up too quickly in order to harvest the fur for throw rugs for their space ships. The usual problem, of course, is getting the smell of beef jerky out of them.

Earth Shaking Announcements!

I have announcements that you don’t want to miss! We got our Sasquatch cribbage board and it is gorgeous. We hope to have a YouTube video of us playing a game in a day or two.

The Amaryllis Star of Holland continues to open, almost before our eyes. It’ll probably be in full bloom before Christmas.

I have been working so hard on my juggling practice, trying to get so I can do a behind the back throw—I got a bruise on my right wrist without even realizing it. I must have got smacked by the ball. More on the agony and the steady but slow progress coming soon!

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