Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl – Love and Loyalty

The city I live in has more Mexican restaurants than graves. There’s this fantastic one that I am in love with. Just thinking about it makes me want to swoon on over and order something. If only I had money, transportation, or a gut that likes human food.

*slams head into wall*

*sobs*

*why can’t my gut love Mexican food like I do*

*wails*

 

Anywho.

In every single restaurant, I noticed the same painting. Which got me curious. The myth lover in me knew there had to be a good story behind it.

I looked it up.

There’s a good story behind it.

 

The painting is of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl.

They are the names of two volcanoes visible in Mexico City, which are more than 17,000 feet high. They’re the second and third highest mountains in Mexico.

Iztaccihuatl means “White Woman” because the mountains are always snow capped. The mountain, which has four peaks, looks like the silhouette of a lady lying on her back. Hence the name. Though, people typically refer to it as “Sleeping Woman”.

Popocatepetl means “Smoking Mountain” and is still an active volcano.

The two are connected by a mountain pass named Paso de Cortes.

But that’s not what’s interesting.

 

At first, my only thoughts were that Popo and Izta have quite the tragic love story. I thought it was less love story and more tragedy. But a few days later, after having mulled it over, I realized I really like this story. And I do think it’s a tragedy. But I think it is certainly a love story.

Oh, and I’m going to shorten their names to Izta and Popo because so far I have failed at typing their names correctly. I gave up and copy and pasted their names. No laughing.

 


Izta was the princess; daughter of the ruler. Her lover, Popo, wasn’t allowed to marry her until he went into battle and defeated his enemy.

So off went Popo to fight and Izta awaited his triumphant return.

Popo was victorious, killing their enemies. (Yay!)

But someone told Izta that Popo had not only failed but had died. (not yay)

Some versions of the story say this devious someone was a rival of Popo’s. Others state it as a jealous man who wanted Izta for himself. Regardless, the effect was the same.

Izta fell sick and died from a broken heart. And then Popo popped in to find the love of his life dead because of a lie.

He carries her body to the mountains and builds a pyre for the both of them. He kneels in front of her and dies.

In some versions, Popo remained there to watch over her in her sleep for so long that the snow covered them both and they became volcanoes. In others, the gods were so moved by the love the two shared and the tragedy of their deaths, that they turned Popo and Izta into mountains so they would be together forever.

Regardless, Popo now kneels, facing Izta who lies sleeping, for as long as this earth stands.


 

What I like about this story is – love wins. It may be a bit out of the box. But this story is different than most. They’re together. Forever.

Popo didn’t come home and go on a crazy rampage, killing and maiming out of rage. He focused on his lady. I found that quite interesting. Especially since Popo was a warrior.

I love that he was done. As if his life was over now that she was gone. I wish we had more love like that these days. Love that shows and isn’t all about flashy and hollow gestures.

(I don’t recommend anyone jumps off a bridge or offs themselves when their lover dies. I’m simply commenting on this as a story.)

I really enjoy that this popular legend surrounds love surviving all – even death. It’s all over Mexican restaurants. I love that there’s a celebration of a love story all over the city I live in, in the details.

 

Also, why do all old legends and myths surround everyone that’s in love, dying??? Can we answer that question please?

 

Anywho. Here are some photos of the two volcanoes.

 

Popocatepetl

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Iztaccihuatl

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Sources

http://www.mexonline.com/history-popo.htm

https://www.inside-mexico.com/the-legend-of-popocatepetl-iztaccihuatl/

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Valentine’s Day Weirdness

Hiya!
I’m always curious about holidays and special occasions and where they came from. I always seem to find some pretty strange stuff and though today’s findings are pretty normal (if not sticker shock-inducing), I did find one strange tidbit.
So here are some random facts about Valentine’s Day and what people are doing with their money.

 

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This is how we spend money on Valentine’s Day…

$16.1 BILLION on chocolates
$10.7 BILLION on non-chocolate goodies
and
$6.5 BILLION on jewelry …. and silverware

What’s up with the silverware???

 

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In the Middle Ages, people in romantic relationships would recite poetry to one another.
Handmade valentines showed up in the sixteenth century.
Mass produced cards reared their heads in the nineteenth century.

 

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In 2018 – and this is just February alone, we spent:

$158.5 million were spent importing bouquets of flowers
$92.7 million was spent on roses and buds only

 

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That’s a lot of chocolate and flowers. But why on earth buy silverware on Valentine’s day? Am I missing something?
I know it’s a bit old fashioned, but I love it when people bring home flowers or the oddball little-personalized thing throughout the year, for no reason.
I feel it shows appreciation and love for someone – regardless of what kind of relationship it is.

I hope we can get back to sprinkling Valentine’s Day with some of that genuine spark as well. Instead of just grabbing a card, signing it, and expecting your significant other to throw on lingerie for you, why not try something that shows how much you actually love them? We’re a society filled with underappreciated people. Don’t let your relationship become automated and dry. That’s how they die.

And on that depressing note, I hope you guys and gals had a really nice Valentine’s Day yesterday!
Regardless of whether you’re single or not. It’s a day to celebrate love. And romance is not the only kind of love.

 

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SOURCES
https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/2018/valentines.html
https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/february-14/?#
https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/sis/resources/valentines-day-ff.pdf

3 Old Wives Tales That Are Wrong

Old wives tales are superstitions passed down through time. They’re beliefs that aren’t backed up by facts.

While some of them are actually true, some are dangerously false. How are a couple of old wives tales dangerous, you ask? Dangerous like killing an infant with alcohol by accident. Just saying…
Here are three old wives tales that have been proven to be incorrect. As well as the facts to back them up so argumentative relatives can’t catch you with your opinion pants down around your ankles. 

You know what I’m talking about. We all have those relatives who enjoy arguing more than breathing.

 

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ONE
The tale: Rub some whiskey on your infant’s gums to stop teething pain.

The truth: Alcohol can kill the wee just born mini humans.

The facts: According to Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician, no amount of alcohol is safe for infants. Makes sense to me!
Let’s look at it this way. When adults take a shot, they drink about one ounce of alcohol, according to Jaclyn Stewart. A baby is getting 0.01 of that amount when a parent rubs whiskey on their gums.

But infants are tiny little sacks of flesh wrapped around tinier bones! They’re itty bitty and can easily be harmed. Stewart continues to plead our case as she goes on to describe what alcohol does to a tiny baby’s body. In a few words? It slows them down.

Sounds like not such a big deal? Think again.
Babies are constantly growing and slowing their freshly baked bodies down can cause developmental issues.

There’s enough challenge in this world for us humans, please don’t add any more for your child before they’re old enough to even understand the difference between chocolate and vanilla.

What to do instead? Dr. Shu saves our bums again. She suggests massaging your baby’s gums with a warm washcloth, allowing them to chew on cool baby rings made of the appropriate materials, or using an over the counter pain reliever in the appropriate dose for your wee one.
Seriously though, don’t give alcohol to babies. It’s not funny.

 

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TWO

Old wives tale: Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis.

The truth: Nope. It hasn’t been proven to cause arthritis. Though, you might not want to make a habit of it, regardless.

The facts: There are multiple theories as to why our knuckles make a cracking sound. The most popular one is that bubbles are bursting in our synovial fluid when we crack them. Synovial fluid, by the way, is fluid that lubricates your joints. Muy importante.

Everywhere we turn, there is one thing people agree on. Cracking your knuckles on a consistent basis is noisy and annoying. Knock it off.

It certainly isn’t on the top of my annoying noises list.

(Anyone here chew with their mouth open and smack louder than a dog with peanut butter? You’re at the top of my list. Stop or die. Grrrr!!!)

But apparently cracking your knuckles drives some people up the wall and back down again. Pick a new habit. And in case that isn’t enough to get you to quit, it’s also been suggested that cracking your knuckles gives you problem with grip strength. Not something I’d give up without a fight.

So while the old wives were wrong about cracking knuckles causing arthritis, it’s still not advisable.

 

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THREE

Old wives tale: Starve a fever, feed a cold. (I’ve also heard people turn that around.)

The truth: No! No! And, uh? No!
Please hold while I slam my head into this desk.

The facts: Starving is rarely, if ever, good for improving anything. Except maybe your appreciation for life once you’re rescued from that island you were shipwrecked on, after you nicknamed the local seagulls and began wondering how good tree bark tastes.

Regardless of which way you’ve heard this old wives tale said, it doesn’t matter. They’re both wrong. We need to feed both a fever and a cold.

When fighting off being sick, our bodies need energy. Nutrient-rich food is what our bodies use to create that energy. Ta-da.
(You definitely don’t want to overeat though.)
When you have a fever, it’s your body trying to fight off the illness. According to Mark Fischetti over at Scientific America, fevers increase our metabolism, meaning we need enough food for our bodies to burn in the pursuit of getting healthy.

Whether we have a fever or a cold, we need to eat healthy food and stay hydrated. Our bodies need the nutrients. Antioxidants, protein, glutathione, phytochemicals, and bioflavonoids are especially good for your health and can often prevent a person from getting sick too often.

If you’re sick and hear someone tell you to fast? Roll your eyes and cram the veggies and water down your gullet. When stuffy nose and fever attacks, fight back with healthy food, giving this old wives tale no nevermind.

 

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The next time you hear an old wives tale, maybe consider whether or not it’s true on your own.

 

Did your parents put alcohol on your gums? 

Does anyone else remember those teething rings from the fridge that were in the shape of the number eight and had little bumps all over them? (I used to love those things as a wee one.)

What are your favorite old wives tales? Are there any you wonder whether or not are accurate?

 

Sources

https://www.babymed.com/blogs/jaclyn-stewart/whiskey-risky

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/expert.q.a/12/01/baby.teething.gums/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-feed-a-cold/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/does-knuckle-cracking-cause-arthritis

https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/joint-cracking-osteoarthritis

Have You Seen a Deer Shedding it’s Antler Velvet?

Weird question, I know.

I’d never actually seen a deer in real life until I moved up here five years ago. Now they walk around in the cemetery, which is awesome, or around my mum’s work building. Sometimes I catch them meandering around the street during the day. I even saw one walking out of someone’s yard on a jog one night. I love this place.

Back to deer shedding velvet though.

 

A few months ago, I ran into a photo on Pinterest of a deer with bloody antlers that had pieces of its own antlers hanging off. It looked like the deer had gone four rounds with a wood chipper with its antlers and tried to walk it off.

I did not like it.

Not at all.

Looked like the poor deer was in pain.

 

Thank heaven someone commented below and cleared everything right up with sciencey stuffs. When a deer’s antlers are fully formed, the blood vessels that covered them prior then harden and fall off.

Hence the gory looking velvet peeling off the brand new deer antlers.

Fast forward a few months and it was last December. My sister was wearing red antlers and I was wondering as to why anyone would sell red antlers when antlers are brown. Then the photo pinged somewhere in the back of my brain. And I was curious.

Of course, I had to go look for details.

 

Check it out.

 

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Velvet on a deer’s antlers is what makes their antlers look fuzzy.

A deer sheds and grows their antlers like once every year. Which sounds exhausting and kinda counterproductive. Just keep the pair you have and if those fall off, then grow a new pair. But that’s not how deer work.

 

It goes like this. More sunlight means more testosterone. More testosterone means growing antlers. In order to do that, there needs to be a lot of nutrition.

Nutrition comes in the form of furry skin that’s made up of blood vessels and nerves. This velvet is what causes the antlers to grow so quickly. It feeds nutrition to the growing antlers, which grow stronger and stronger. Around about Fall, the antlers are brand new and ready for full use and the velvet dries up and starts to fall off. This only takes about a day.

 

For that one day, we see loads of pictures of deer rubbing their antlers against trees. I thought it was because they were itchy.

Nope. Wrong again. Thankfully. I don’t want them in pain or even a little itchy. I mean, they don’t have back scratchers or opposable thumbs to alleviate their itchiness.

They rub their antlers against trees to mark them with their scent. Kinda like a house cat. Or a werewolf. Just saying.

According to science, they also do it to grow stronger neck muscles.

 

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I wonder how they figure these things out though.

No one has ever possessed an animal, read their minds, and then repossessed their own body and reported to a lab of scientists.

At least, not that I know about.

That would be kinda cool. For like a second. Then I’d want some sort of way to keep out possession by scientists. Sounds like a good book idea. But I digress.

(It would be a great way to learn about animals without experimenting on and torturing them.)

 

If you want some great photos of bright red antlers, check out the article below. It has ten great photos of vibrant red antlers. The deer look like they’re bleeding and falling apart. Real great idea for a creature in a novel that freaks people out but is then like, “Nope, just time to shed these babies”.

…. Animals don’t talk though? Sometimes I concern myself. Am I suggesting a were-deer?

https://www.wideopenspaces.com/10-awesome-photos-of-deer-shedding-their-velvet-pics/

 

Other Random Stuff About Deer Antlers

While we’re here, why not?

 

Deer typically use their antlers to fight for dominance. You know, for the rights to mate with a chick. They also use them to move things around and search for food. I guess that means they don’t need opposable thumbs. They have mini forklifts and built-in buckets for moving and hauling. Works for me.

 

What happens to the velvet once the deer sheds it?

Because the velvet is so rich in nutrients, sometimes the deer themselves eat it. Or other deer around them.

Can you imagine? You’re a deer, your velvet is shedding, and some random deer waddles on over and starts eating it. *awkward* Or maybe not. I mean, they do defecate where they stand, so I highly doubt eating one another’s shedded antler velvet is strange.

Other than deers, other wee creatures will eat the shedding velvet. Like birds.

Because, you know, food.

 

Oh, oh. And does (female deer) can grow antlers. Two kinds. One, the kind that’s a pseudohermaphrodite. These does have outer female parts and internal male parts. The second kind have velvet antlers.

Nature is freaky cool.
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(Yes, I know, I know. Deer don’t waddle.)

 

What have we shed in our past that once helped us grow but we no longer needed in our lives?

What do we need to shed now?

 

Sources

http://www.iwla-rh.org/html/DGIF_articles/deer_antlers.html

https://sciencing.com/do-deer-velvet-horns-6690259.html

https://www.mossyoak.com/our-obsession/blogs/deer/a-furry-crown-what-is-antler-velvet

As Thanksgiving Approaches, I Am Reminded

 

Native Americans are more American than Americans because Native Americans were here before Americans even found America and called it America which was already the Native Americans’ home… America.

 

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And yet, Native Americans are still treated like, “savages”.

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

I found all these pictures of Native Americans from history, and yet I have no idea who they are, what they went through. I don’t know their stories. I don’t even know their names.

We are making such magnificent progress with people of color and women’s rights. We’re even talking about how men need to be able to cry and talk about their emotions without being told they’re not a man. Yet, Native Americans are still shuffled to the side, like so much nothingness.

 

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In 2006, Native Americans were 1.5% of our country’s population. That is roughly 4.5 million human beings.

Current sources say there are now 2.9 million Native Americans in the US. That is 0.9%

We went from 4.5 million to 2.9 million. 1.5% to .9%.

 

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In 2004, the Department of Justice found that Native American women are 50% higher in rates of domestic abuse and rape.

That’s not 50% higher than other humans in the US. That is 50% more than the next most victimized demographic!

Meaning, whatever the next group of human beings who rate as #2 highest in rape and domestic abuse… Native Americans are 50% higher than them.

Native American women are also much more likely to be assaulted than other women, of any race.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics, the US Department of Justice,  and Office of
Justice Programs had this finding to report:

at least 70% of the violent victimizations experienced by American
Indians are committed by persons not of the same race— a substantially higher rate
of interracial violence than experienced by white or black victims.”

Meaning Native Americans are typically raped and beaten by races that are not Native Americans.

In case anyone wants to try and blame their pain on themselves. As if the victim is as at fault. Because, hey, we don’t blame victims in this country’s daily chosen culture. (And so no one tries to report this as an alternative fact, this paragraph is sarcasm)

 

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1 out of every 12 Natives are victims of violent crimes, every year.

Native American youth have the highest rate of suicide in all of the youth in our country.

More than 4 in 5 Native men and women have been victims of violence in their lives. That means, in numbers,  730,000 women and  595,000 men.

48.8% of Native women have been stalked in their lifetime. 18.6% of Native men have been stalked.

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has this to say:

“It is significant to note that American Indians/Alaska Natives frequently contend with issues that prevent them from receiving quality medical care. These issues include cultural barriers, geographic isolation, inadequate sewage disposal, and low income.”

Oh, and also:

“American Indians and Alaska Natives have an infant death rate 60 percent higher than the rate for Caucasians.”

 

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Gee, I wonder why they don’t trust the government. We have all these facts. And what are we doing about them?

What can we do?

We can see Native Americans as people. We are all humans. We all deserve respect, love, dignity, human rights, and the same opportunities.

We can talk about what is wrong about the current state of affairs.

We can talk about their beautiful and intriguing cultures.

Cultural awareness comes with stories poking at us until we see the truth. We can spread their stories. We can find them, tell people their names and their histories. We can care. We can love. We can hope.

But more than that. We can be the engine that moves hopes into reality.

 

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Sources:

https://assets.aspeninstitute.org/content/uploads/files/content/images/Fast%20Facts.pdf

http://www.ncai.org/about-tribes/demographics

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/249736.pdf

https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=62

 

Rafiki Is Species Confused

Rafiki is kinda like the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo.

Isn’t actually a real thing!

Yep, that’s right.

Same for Rafiki.

 

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credit: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110357/mediaviewer/rm3634600192

 

He calls himself a Baboon in the movie, but we all know he ain’t a baboon. Have you googled a picture of a baboon?

It ain’t him!

Many people think he’s a mandrill, but he isn’t exactly 100% that one either.

 

Apparently, Disney was like, “yo – let’s take a baboon and a mandrill and just SMASH THEM TOGETHER to make one awesome looking something. Then give it a stick, and have it beat up a lion. Throw in some sass and psychic mojo and *BOOM*, sold.

Which, you know, totally works. Who doesn’t love Rafiki?

Anywho – if any of you are wondering about mandrills, baboons, or Rafiki…. here’s some info and pictures (sources at the bottom).

 

WHAT IS A MANDRILL?

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In the wild, mandrills typically live for about twenty years. I think Rafiki is supposed to be a little older than this in the movie. I dunno. *shrug* I think he’s still the same age in all the other Lion King movies too. (I’ve only watched the original Lion King movie. I’m not big on Disney movie sequels.)

OH – and get this. See the mandrill up there baring its ginormous jaws of death? They do that to say hi to friends. Like a freaking wave. If someone waved at me like that, I’d taser them.

 

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These babies are the largest monkies in existence. Pretty cool. Also pretty creepy, but hey, they’ve gotta survive, right?

Personally, I think Simba is nuts. If I saw one of these coming at me with a stick I’d scream and run.

In reality, mandrills are actually really shy. So, like me, they’re hermits, apparently. Who knew. Maybe I need to be living in a tree and following around a lion cub. I could do the swinging sticks at peoples’ heads thing.

 

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They uh, they eat leaves. I mean, they eat other things too. Nuts, reptiles, berries, etc.

How does one fill up on leaves?

Get this though. They store food in their cheeks! Literally. They have little built-in pouches in their cheeks! They’re like squirrels. Only much bigger and a lot furrier. With bigger teeth.

 

WHAT IS A BABOON?

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Baboons live up to thirty years in the wild, which is probably closer to Rafiki’s age. Unless he’s immortal. I could totally see that.

 

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They are really social mammals and live in troops filled with up to one hundred baboons.

 

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This little guy looks like he needs a hug.

They live in Africa and Arabia and apparently drive crop growers nuts, as they eat them… The crops, not the people.

They will also eat sheep, antelope, birds, fruits, seeds, etc. They’re a really destructive animal in Africa. Apparently, they’re a bunch of little punks.

 

RAFIKI QUOTES

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credit: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110357/mediaviewer/rm686293504

 

Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.

Wise words.

 

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credit: ttps://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110357/mediaviewer/rm3450715392

 

Rafiki Sings, “Asante sana Squash banana, Wewe nugu Mimi”

Simba: Enough already! What’s that supposed to mean, anyway?

Rafiki: It means you’re a baboon… and I’m not.

There is apparently a large number of people seeing perverted things in Disney movies. One of the issues is what the song means that Rafiki sings. So Disney came out and said, it means:

“Thank you very much. Squash banana. You’re a baboon and I’m not.”

You remember things like this happening right? Like people who think it also spells out ‘sex’ in the clouds when Simba is stargazing with Timon and Pumba. Disney says it spells out ‘sfx’ after the film’s art and special effects department. Who knows.

 

Simba: I think you’re a little confused.

Rafiki: Wrong! I’m not the one who’s confused. You don’t even know who you are!

 

Are you confused?

 

 

SOURCES

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/m/mandrill/?user.testname=lazyloading:1

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/baboons/?user.testname=lazyloading:1

https://a-z-animals.com/animals/mandrill/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110357/characters/nm0347039

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bananacrama/

https://www.quora.com/Does-Rafikis-chant-Asante-sana-squash-banana-wewe-nugu-mimi-hapana-from-The-Lion-King-actually-mean-anything

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/the-lion-king/

Did You Know Flowers Have Vascular Tissue?

That’s right.  We aren’t the only ones with blood vessels.

Well… flowers don’t have blood vessels.

But they do have a vascular system sorta kinda like ours.

 

 

Gina cut the bottoms of the rose stems before she put them in a bucket filled with water and plant food. (I mean, that’s not all she did, but for the purposes of this post, that’s all you need to know.)

I stalker-ishly watched her and peppered her with questions.

 

Plant tissue is made up of  xylem and phloem.

Xylem delivers nutrients to the flower’s head.

Phloem pushes waste out of the bottom of the stem.

 

When we bring flowers home in a bouquet (as in, not growing in a pot but there for pretty decoration until they wilt and die), we need to cut the bottom of the stems off and then put them in water with plant food.

This opens up the flowers’ vascular tissues to eat nutrients and dispose of waste.

 

….Had no clue flowers had WASTE.

I mean, now that I think about it, it’s obviously common sense.

 

Also, when a flower’s stem is droopy, it’s a lot harder to get the nutrients to the flower.

Have a droopy rose?

Yeah, it’s gonna die a lot sooner than your roses with a strong, straight stem.

Because the nutrients can’t get to the flower.

 

 

How do I know all of this?

This writer found herself a real life, in the flesh, walking horticulturist-research-gold-mine. I speak of the amazing Gina of Gina’s Floral Enchantment, who can make your wedding or funeral AMAZING.

So you know, when you die and haunt your funeral, your immortal soul will be all shiny with happiness at all the pretty flowers smelling up the place…with, uh, good smells. Unless you happen to be going to Hell or something like that, and then, well, flowers aren’t going to do anything for you.

But seriously though, if you’re getting married in California – go to Gina!

Or you know, any time you want to send someone flowers.

 

On another note, I wish flowers stayed in the BLOOM stage forever and never died.

But they don’t. They wither and die. 😦

Regardless, feed your flowers! So they can be happy until they go to heaven.

Side Note; I wonder if every time a flower dies, it pops up in heaven. Then stays fully bloomed all day long (or night, depending on the species of flower), never going out of season.

 

This message was brought to you by a slightly dazed and very overstimulated Daphne-writer person who apologizes for any inaccuracies as she’s not a genius or expert on much except bare minimum survival and insanity. If you have any issue with what’s been written – too bad. Don’t bother suing, she doesn’t have any money.