Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

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Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Bruce Winter on Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:41 pm

May I be the first, on this old forum, to wish Victrinia Ridgeway a Wonderful birthday and continuing good health and happiness.

With hugs

Bruce

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:43 pm

Oh, yes! In spades!

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Guest on Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:56 pm

Many happy returns Victrinia, Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  irene_b on Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:07 pm

Happy Birthday BBG!!!!
You bring joy to every place you visit!!!

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Hawaiian77 on Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:36 am

Hau'oli La Hanau Victrinia!!! ThumbsUp Dance Dance Bagpiper

Hope your having a great one!!

A Hui Hou,
-Tim Cool

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  mike page on Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:50 am

Dear Ms. Vic
May you have as many happy birthdays as I've had, plus many, many more. Very Happy

Mike

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  mehrdad chavosh on Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:53 am

Happy Birth day Victrinia, wish you all the best.
Bagpiper Bagpiper Bagpiper Bagpiper
Mehrdad

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  bonsaistud on Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:16 pm

Happy birthday Ms Vic...

Late again, naturally...

Pat

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Victrinia Ridgeway on Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:26 pm

awwwwww..... you guys are so awesome!! Very Happy Thanks so much! I had a wonderful day.... on Bonsainut where many folks have known me for years, I posted the following... it says a lot about my "bonsai background"...lol so I thought you might enjoy it here, even if you don't know all the folks referenced.

It's a pleasure to have become involved in this forum... I enjoy everyone very much, and love the international flavor. The exposure to more concepts and design styles is FANTASTIC... I so look forward to learning from everyone, and contributing as well....

---------------------------

So it's my birthday...

In 2005 I decided that the thing I wanted for my birthday was a tree and a pot. It could very well be considered one of the most exciting days of my life.

Yes... I am one of the unfortunate souls who was not born into a bonsai tradition... and fell in love with the idea from Karate Kid, but I never acted on it until I was 34. I had a girlfriend named Barb who encouraged me to do it... because she felt like it was right up my creative alley. So we had talked about getting into it... and while she never really did, I found I couldn't ignore the idea.

For whatever reason, I've been told I am hard to buy gifts for... no idea why... but that's what I am told. So I often tell people what I would like, and am fine with that. So when my now ex-husband wanted to know what I would want, I said I wanted to make a bonsai. He thought that was pretty bizarre... but he had also known me to create interesting things from the oddest materials, so he decided to humor me.

We went to Central Valley Nursery and I looked and looked... and fell in love with this "big" Blue Star Juniper. They also had big bonsai pots... so I spent about $100... and got my first tree and pot, and some "bonsai soil". I never knew about bonsai forums at that point... I was just going to dive in.

Looking back on it, I smile with deep amusement at my enthusiasum and ignorance. It's a miracle the tree is still with me today. The tree had no reasonable structure... I just felt around in the pot and was VERY impressed that it had a 3/4 inch trunk!!! And it was so bushy at it's 15 inch height that surely it would look awesome in the 22" wide 3 inch deep oval that I got for it. And did I meantion it was a garish chinese pot with letters and an etched image on it???

Of course once I got done trimming my "bonsai" and got it into the pot... I realized the pot was HUGE.... so I thought... well I better plant it to one side... and I'll add some rocks and things to fill the space and make it look interesting. I "wired" the tree with stripped unannealed copper wire, and to make it "cute" I put a stylish curly Q at the end of where I wired up the whole trunk.

Eventually even with the tree in one end... and a peice of tree root which my dog had brought into the yard - which was promptly confiscated and added as a "dead lightening tree"... it still seemed empty. So I eventually bought a second smaller blue star, (possibly worse than the first)... and added that to the otherside... hoping for some balance. Added gravel that looked like a dry river bed and was PROUD to display my bonsai on my deck.

Everyone oooo'd and awe'd.... and was so complimentary when they saw it... that the "bug" was born.

Soon enough I discoved BT... and CHAT. Oh my the things everyone put up with in the begining... my enthusiasum might have been annoying, but at the time I was part of only a smmmallll contingent of women on-line, and the only one posting actual trees in short order - so there was a lot of patience exercised with me. I pink up at all the undeserved kind remarks they got... and some people rightly called them crap - and that just because I was a "girl" I was getting attention. Which may have been true to some degree... but I also was willing to listen and be taught. I followed the advice I was given and made great friends with people like RedPine, Grampz, Daytonabonsai, Smoke, rockm, KC (Chris Johnson) and my much beloved Ron Martin.

Eventually jersanct, Irene and many others would come into that picture as well.... and become a treasured part of my life. Between the forum folks and the chat babies (which I was CB #33)... my life was never the same.

Then about a year in, I found Elandan Gardens........... somehow sucked up the courage to ask Daniel if I could pull weeds... and he was so surprised - but not so surprised as I when he accepted. I don't think I've ever actually spent a day pulling weeds... Daniel talked to me for about 30 mins, decided I "got" his philosophies... and put me to work immediately on a 150 yo Lodge Pole pine. Two days and 8 hours of nerve wracking work later, and a relationship was born that is dearer than words. Of course I would have gotten it done faster except he kept dragging me off to show me something cool...lol

Nearly every weekend in the last 4 years has involved Daniel and the garden to greater and lesser degrees.

Early on, I also discovered "Basic Bonsai Design" by David DeGroot... and that radically changed how I looked at material in a nursery... and opened my eyes to the stark reality that garden nurseries would rarely be a place I could find quality material.

The first year I had probably 80% success keeping things alive.... in year two (thinking I was quite clever) I decided to "Get serious" and start making my own soil... it was so darn fun and I thought I was so clever I killed 80% of the trees from my first year with "soil ammendments".... because I thought I could get better success with giving the trees lots of goodies in the soil. I burned them to death.

Since that was also the time I was starting my relationship with Daniel, I slowed down in getting trees... I didn't really need them... I was getting my fill working on world class trees weekend in and weekend out... every holiday, and every day I had no solid excuse not to be there.

I bought almost no trees in year two...

My friendships and confidence both in the art and personally grew tremendously... I was a pretty isolated person up to that time... my world was very small. Bonsai and the internet made my world something amazing... and the people I met were just so kind. It help me change my life.

It carried me through divorce, cancer, and remarriage. Which by the way, was to a BT'er - Eric (ang3lfir3).

All this time, even when things were most difficult... tending the trees and nurturing the friendships it gave birth too, were the things which kept me grounded. When 3 dozen roses, given by a dozen friends from 7 countries, showed up at my house a year and a half ago when I was going through cancer, it was one of the most touching expressions I could have imagined. I was so blessed by it.

I've had some things to be proud of in all of it... not the least of which was all the kind support and generosity of sentiment for my daring to put something into the Exhibition... but what a learning experiance!

And throughout it all... that's what it's been... learning, creativity, friendship and joy.

So on my birthday, and anniversary... I want to thank each and every one of you who has played a role in this marvelous life changing experiance. I hope always to give back with the same generosity and kindness which I have been given.

You have helped make my life a wonder... and for that... I am forever grateful.

Your friend in all things,

Victrinia

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Victrinia Ridgeway on Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:30 pm

And for the amusement of any interested person..... my first "bonsai"... which was really a seikei... but I didn't know any better. Laughing


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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  EdMerc on Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:40 pm

You know, I was expecting something much worse. Smile

Happy Birthday Victrinia,

We are fortunate to you have you with us. Wink

Ed

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Victrinia Ridgeway on Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:59 pm

lol... That's the nicest thing you could have said about it....lol Thanks Ed!! ThumbsUp

Victrinia

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:48 am

Victrinia Ridgeway wrote:And for the amusement of any interested person..... my first "bonsai"... which was really a seikei... but I didn't know any better. Laughing


You know...sometimes garish is good! Your planting is charming. Happy birthday!Salut, Todd cheers

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Victrinia Ridgeway on Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:35 am

Thank you Todd for your generosity of spirit. cheers

V

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Pavel Slovák on Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:59 am

Happy Birthday Victrinia. Bagpiper

Pavel

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Hans van Meer. on Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:25 pm

Dear Victrinia,
I know I am a bit late. but I still would like to wish you a .
And may all your dreams come trough this year!
I raise my glass to you, my old chat-buddy and say in DUTCH: proost en van harte gefeliciteerd en nog vele jaren in goede gezondheid! (Cheers, happy birthday and many more years in good health!).
Your friend,
Hans van Meer.


Last edited by Hans van Meer. on Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

Post  Victrinia Ridgeway on Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:43 pm

Thank you Pavel!!!! Very Happy I think the lil bag pipe dudes did a better job of singing happy birthday to me than my family...lol As a musician, I have outstanding relative pitch... and everytime it's my birthday and people sing at me... I wince through my smile... or just laugh... because it's so rediculous... But it's all fun!! Very Happy I think for my 40th Birthday I will get my family to hire a chior to sing for me....lol Now THAT would be funny. Wink (BTW... you have MAD skills for bonsai... I reallly enjoy your work.)

Hans... can you imagine how much fun it would be if this place had a chat feature... cheers It would be crazy fun... Actually in my little post I should have mentioned the two people who always "WOWED" me from Europe, you and my other good friend Tony Payeras (Menorca Bonsai)... You two were the ones I first noticed as doing things that just set my heart on fire with inspiration.... Even now... some of the beautiful work you do knocks me over with a feather. That's how I know I have "true love" for bonsai... it never ever gets old... my pulse still quickens when on the hunt for a beautiful tree... or when I see something marvelous which has been done. ThumbsUp

Warmest regards,

Victrinia

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Re: Happy Birthday, Victrinia!

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