A common thought I used to have was that flowers were frivolous. I couldn’t justify the purchase of a bouquet for myself. It seemed frivolous, an expenditure that I couldn’t justify. Interestingly enough, that was when I was probably at one of the lowest points in my life in terms of happiness.
I’m doing much better now. I also have flowers every week. While completely unscientific, I’d like to believe the latter is correlated with the former, and that the sign of flowers may be at least a barometric measure of whether things are going well or not.
Money is a bit tight for everyone nowdays. We are all worrying about the economy, the future of our jobs, and looming issues like debt, international issues of politics and devastating epidemics. In times like these, I feel it is more important than ever that we focus on the things that are important for us. For me, that means flowers. They feed the soul, nourish my well-being, and brighten up what can be an utterly hopeless daily grind of work, laundry, cleaning and sleeping.
A 2005 Rutger’s study showed that the presence of flowers improves the well-being of one’s life. We have all experienced this effect when in the presence of flowers, whether at a wedding, in a garden, or just walking by the floral arrangements at the store.
Don’t we deserve flowers?
I find that an investment in something as simple as a $5 bouquet makes a great difference for me. The sight of flowers greeting me at home brightens my day every time. It’s worth the investment in regards to the joy it brings me.
A giant dahlia blooming in the partner’s public garden. It’s taken all summer to get this point (this year seems to have been rather hard on most tropicals) but for blooms like this – it definitely is worth it.
I can’t exactly remember how I stumbled across STILL, but it is quite apparent that Mary Jo Hoffman has a talent for photography and finding beauty in nature.
I find myself particularly inspired by the minimalist setup of her photos that tends to put the focus entirely on the object being photographed. I could imagine the objects being present in a modern art gallery somewhere, frozen in time.
It is remarkable that some of the most common things, such as this chive plant below, becomes a modern piece of art when photographed in this manner.
I feel like I live in a Williams-Sonoma store.
It may help that my partner worked at Williams-Sonoma (affectionately referred to as “Willies” by a co-worker) and helped to setup their displays. It may also help that he has an eye for detail that, paired with a perfectionist attitude, helps to ensure everything in the kitchen is immaculately displayed and curated on the shining wire chrome shelves.
The most recent addition to these shelves are a set of preserves and jellies. This whole venture started off when my partner’s parents dropped off a bag of beautiful dark-purple plums that they had grown in their backyard. Our natural response was to make jam.
This was the first venture into jam for either of us, and we found it surprisingly easy. A little boiling, some pectin and sugar, ladled into mason jars, processed, and we had six neat little jars full of a delicious plum jam.
What next? Our minds turned towards the fresh fruit that was now showing up in the farmer’s market. Seasonal, locally grown, and perfect for making preserves. The next morning, my partner had a bag of apples, peaches, jalapenos, green zebra tomatoes. These, along with a box of figs we had purchased at Trader Joe’s, were boiled and mashed and stirred into sweet, sticky concoctions that will keep for months.
Up onto the shelf they went, a colorful array of little jars, full of the tastes of summer. We will be sharing these with others in the form of gifts later on, but we will of course be eating these for months to come. It’s amazing that a few hours of work on a weekend can yield such a product – unlike the seemingly endless barrage of cooking for weekday meals that will need to be repeated once again the next night, we will enjoy the fruits of our labor for a long time to come.