Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 101- Ichiban Posies and the Flowers Frogs

Ichiban Pottery
As relationships go, the longer they are the more we must make a vigilant effort to "work at them."  I remember telling Steve one time that I wished he would pick me some "posies" like he used to. [I just think that is the sweetest thing for a man to do for a woman.  The right thing to do is to keep the romance alive.  Its free and it is a very sweet gesture.]  Well this lead to a questioning of the word posies.  He said, "Those flowers in the yard aren't poooosies."  I emphatically said, "Oh yes they are!" just waiting for the inevitable.  "Ok, I'll bet money on it."  Good he took the bait...."You're on. Ten bucks." I said.

‘Ringel, Ringel, Reih
I went to the internet and read out loud, "Posies.... A flower or bunch of flowers; a bouquet commonly given as a gift." I exclaimed, "Ten Bucks Mister, pay up!"  He had thought that a posy was one type of flower like a rose or a blanket flower for example.  Didn't he ever sing the childhood Mother Goose Rhyme Ring around the Rosies, I wondered?  Ring around the rosies, pocket full of posies, ashes ashes, we all fall down. We joined hands and rotated in a circle while singing the rhyme and sat on the ground still holding hands when the jingle was done.

displaying wildflowers or posies is easy too.  Find an old bowl you are not using that is just lying around the house. Put a square metal lead piece in the bottom of it that allows you to put a single stem in it and place it in the exact place you want.  These are called "flower frogs" or "Kenzan" in Japanese.  Probably cost you $3 total.  This is called an Ichiban floral arrangement which comes from the Japanese word Ikebana. Ikebana means Japanese flower arranging.   Ichiban means superior or number one in Japanese.

See the flower frog in the center (spikes)?

The great thing about the Ichiban clay pots is that the wildflowers will last for a week!  They really allow you to appreciate the beauty of the flower from all angles as it just is a base and unlike a vase, the flowers stand without the support of the sides.  You can pretend to be a professional florist with combinations of roses, red clovers, blanket flowers, allysum, lillies, bachelor buttons and marigolds. 

When I was twelvish, I remember Ty, myself and the younger cousins walking across the stream from Grandpa's front porch.  We walked up the hill through the corn fields and climbed through the barbed wire fence.  This trip took us then through a huge field of wildflowers.  We followed the telephone wires by air and walked through waste high blue cornflowers, red and white clover, and queen anne's lace to name a few.  Sometimes we'd loose the younger cousins and would have to call their name and go retrieve them to hold their hands for the remainder of the trip because they were shorter than the flowers! After what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at a pond at the top of the hill.  Ty would take off his clothes and swim in the pond in his underwear.  He would encourage me to do this too.  Oh nooooo. Not for me.  I enjoyed the sun and the flowers that was heaven enough for one day.  Sometimes he would bring fishing poles.  He would catch sunfish and throw them back.  I just put my line in the water and drug the hook around.  The fish knew I didn't know what I was doing and I swear I could hear them laughing at me.

Gobs or Whoopie Pies - Amish Traditional Cookies
We'd spend hours at the pond and then hike all the way back knowing that Grandma would have sandwiches cut in half with a cold glass of koolaid or milk waiting for us.  Not to be out done, she served "Gobs" or Whoopie pies for dessert. In return we gave her a bouquet of  posies which she proudly displayed in a jelly jar vase filled with water on the table while we ate.

The name Ikebana comes from the oldest school that teaches this art called Ikenobō in Kyoto, Japan where a priest lived over 500 years ago.  He was so good at creating Ichiban floral arrangements that other priests would seek him out.  The school got its name from, interestingly enough another body of water, the lake beside which it was built called Ikenobō.  The lake must have had numerous wildflowers around it like the pond that we visited as children.

Making these floral arrangements is inexpensive and fun.  The best part for me is using the flower frogs as they aren't slimy and won't jump out of my hand like a live frog.  But my hand does hold one thing really well...the ten dollars I won on the posies bet.  I bet he wished he had just picked the flowers now, it would have been cheaper for him.  LOL

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.  ~Chinese Proverb

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