Monday, February 24, 2014

Betty Pets: Living in Harmony

We all know that Betty loved her pets, mostly in the cat-and-dog categories, but further in horses, ponies, donkeys and an occasional chicken.  With the notable exceptions of the Founding Betties, most of the tribe here at TUJD are fans of the house pet as well.  Last summer, Betty Magdalen and Betty Ross were kind enough to invite me to their home in the rural mid-Atlantic, and my stay at Harmony was not only blissfully serene but also happily enlivened by the presence of:


Polly!  Sorry for the glare off the book cover.
Mimi, who took me for brisk, Betty-esque walks every day, albeit with a bit more potential for rushing off to chase deer than one finds in Betty-land, where the pets are so extraordinarily well-behaved, and only fall in canals when necessary to bring two young hearts (okay, one young and one verging-on-middle-aged heart) together.

And is also an avid frog hunter

Unless I misunderstood something, all of these wonder-critters are rescue pets.  Hooray for Betty M. and Betty R., and for each of their loving, soothing (and occasionally invigorating, cf: Mimi walks above) companions.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Betty in the Wild: the Deep South

There is, of course, no such thing as a deep south in either the UK or the Netherlands.  However, Betty would certainly find much of interest in Sarasota, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia.

Sarah Ann loves arranging flowers, for instance.   A handsome clump of
Spanish moss can add unexpected, New-World flair
to an heirloom Delft vase-ful of tulips or whatever.

Sarasota's Marie Selby Botanical Gardens might help an old-fashioned English girl lose her distrust of vulgar Americans.  Or maybe not - are orchids vulgar?

Maybe purple generally is vulgar.  It is certainly neither pink nor clerical gray.

I understand that they would not wish to live there, but Florida can certainly make a great place to visit, say if the Scottish winters start to feel a bit daunting.  Maybe I'm just thinking that, though, because I was in Sarasota back in October, and now I'm back in DC, where the second segment of a good-size snowstorm is dropping another 4-6 inches of snow on the driveway I just cleared of approximately 14 inches.  My Florida friend is testy because the upcoming holiday means the beaches are crowded with tourists.

Ha ha to her come spring, though, when I get back out into the garden as she ducks back into the air-conditioning and mosquito screens.

Personally, I'd prefer not to garden with mangroves, but I suspect Hugo and the Mrs.
are up for anything.

As we all know, touring, whether in Avignon or along the Gulf coast, is exhausting, and requires a nice pick-me-up in the mid-afternoon.

Tea at Selby gardens.  Really, paper cups were all they had.  Oh, woe.
But the menu of loose-leaf teas available was a skosh insane with the variety.

Savannah, Georgia, is famously eccentric in ways that might not appeal to everyone, but it also has proud traditions that would surely earn the Van Elvens's approbation.

For instance, birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.

Birthplace of the Methodist church, or something like that.
Sure, Methodism isn't CofE, but it's pretty well-mannered.

By the way, that last one's for you, Betty JoDee.  Mwah.