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.
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!
The Amaryllis Star of Holland opens up a little more each day. It may open before Christmas.
I make do with the sticky juggling balls. They’re easily squishable and tacky enough to pick up the little granules my original juggling balls were stuffed with. Evidently, the vacuum cleaner couldn’t get them all.
In the process of shopping for new juggling balls, we’re learning new things. I had what are called 4 panel balls, meaning they were covered by fake leather panels secured with thread at the seams—which turned out to be not very durable.
But they can have 6 or even 12 panels. I guess the idea is that the more panels, the less likely the seams will get smacked and break on impact with various objects, such as my glasses, computer, window shades, and whatnot.
The impact factor of dropped balls are pretty important right now because I’m still a beginner. You can buy one acrylic ball for $26. They’re virtually unbreakable, so they can probably last for years—unless I use them.
Some juggling balls are filled with millet, which is bird seed. I’m ambivalent about juggling balls which could spread food all over when I break them.
I’m busy trying to learn how to do a new juggling trick, which is to throw one behind your back as you do the 3-ball cascade. I’m struggling to get the hang of it. You’d think it would be about the same level of difficulty as the under the leg throw trick, which I can do (in a very ugly way, of course). It’s much harder.
There are lot of jugglers out there on YouTube who are really great teachers. You can tell right away which ones are just trying to dazzle you. Sena found a website called Renegade Juggling. There’s a chart showing how your hand size relates to the size balls appropriate for you. I’m sticking with 62mm diameter balls, since they’re supposedly right for somebody with 7-inch hands from wrist to fingertips.