Such a lovely note.

A little note dropped from the clouds of the Internet.  One of my favorite blog authors stopped to say hello and to let me know he’d nominated me for an award. Color me honored. Thank you,  Nitty Gritty Dirt Man. I so enjoy your turn of phrase in recounting your adventures and our occasional back and forth banter makes me chuckle whenever it sprouts from a post.


Five things you didn’t need to know about me…

#1 is easy, and makes the other four a little tricky.

1) I don’t open up much. I don’t share about myself much with most people and don’t think I ever really have. As a result, I find myself writing things that are actually about other things. It let’s me release the words to paper,  lessening their din inside my head,  without feeling terribly exposed.


2) From Nitty Gritty Dirt Man: What is your favorite childhood gardening memory?

The one that comes to mind first is the backyard of my home from age two through second grade. The memories from that house blend together. It was built over a hundred years ago now and while I’m sure none of the vegetative neighbors dated back that far,  some were quite old.  There was a cherry tree next door too tall to pick from (my parents finagled an emptied tuna can onto a long pole to harvest.) There was a brambly thicket of raspberries between the old garage and the fence that a young me would dive into only to emerge ages later with red fingers and face. There were butterfly bushes and snowball bushes. Baby’s breath branches providing us with gifts for the walk-up mailman left in the flip top old black mail box. And there was a majestic old mimosa tree. It shaded the snowball bush and the swing set. It wasn’t great for climbing. Once you reached the first Y in the trunk, you could go no higher. One night there was a storm to end all storms in my short little life. I slept through it (as I still tend to do with storms) and awoke to find that nearly half of the tree had split from the rest and was laying all askew on the toppled over fence. I was beside myself. The poor tree. It must’ve been in such pain. “It won’t make it this way. The rest has to come down.” I don’t recall my reaction to that sentiment. Whatever it was, it convinced my father to find a way to fix the tree. With ropes and some heaving and an understanding of physics that I still have yet to acquire, the fallen tree half was nestled back from whence it came. Split side kissing split side my father wound and wound and wound something around the tree to hold it back together. He wasn’t sure it would work, but (telling me later) I was so upset that he had to try it just to calm me down. And it worked. The bandages were removed much later and the tree had healed.

Someone else’s picture of someone else’s mimosa.
Mimosa tree

I used to visit that house every few years when I was in the area and sometimes I was lucky enough to visit when the tree was blushing pink in the backyard. I haven’t been back for a few years now, as the house was pink when we lived there, painted again by us and again by those we sold it to. The man they sold it to has since painted it not-pink and I do not wish to see it for the fear that it will muddle my memories.

There are countless mimosa trees in my new neighborhood halfway across the continent. I still smile at each one as I pass under its branches and during bloom time the smell of it transports me right back to that tree at that time with the pink tree in the backyard of the pink house.

3) I just started getting into audio books. I don’t have the time to read like I used to and I sure miss books. I traveled for work last week and spent my six hour drive listening to The Power of Vulnerability. It’s a good listen. I absorb information aurally with difficulty. This is no different than lectures or meetings, but thankfully there’s no result required, and thus makes for good practice.

4) I love coffee.  Not any coffee or all coffee,  but one specific coffee. I’ve quit coffee twice since I gave in to a daily habit so many years ago, and this last time was because I was off dairy for six months. If I couldn’t have my coffee my way (which means about a half a cup of half and half) then I didn’t want it at all. I special order it from Thanksgiving Coffee Company and apparently three months without an order was too long…the kind person on the other end of my online order (Susan, it’s always Susan) emailed me to see if everything was all right.  If you’re interested,  it’s called Byron’s Maracaturra. It’s delectable warm or over ice and either way a heaping spoonful of sugar and a good bit of half and half is the only way I’ll have it.


5) I used to write poetry. Ages ago I wrote poems like I read books – in fits and bursts and for hours on end at times. I don’t make the time to read much anymore as I don’t have much time for more than the essentials and what nonessential time I have I try and use outside or on my mat. And when the poetry first started to taper off more than a decade ago I realized that like with so many things art, it flows more freely during times of melancholy or despair than times of peace or joy. I still miss writing it sometimes, and yet would take the peace and the joy in trade for the words any day of the week. Becoming a mother has brought back fits and bursts of melancholy and despair, as the depth and thickness of the emotions can strike swiftly or come in like an unexpected ocean wave at times. As such, the words have started to trickle again from time to time. It’s been interesting, feeling them again. An old friend turned stranger returning to fall into a familiar dance.


And now to nominate five lovely blogs for the One Lovely Blog Award…

1) Robbie – who is as lovely herself in her comments as she is in her writing. You can find her here: Palm Rae Urban Potager. With good thoughts on gardening, food, and the ecology of the world, you’re sure to enjoy her musings as much as I do.


2) Also lovely (lovely sentiments, lovely lady, lovely photos) is Down to Earth Digs. If you’re looking for flower envy, cottage envy, or photographic composition envy, look no further!

3) Lovely overseas gardener Sarah has a lovely sense of humor and dedication. Sarah the Gardener.


4) Mrs. Nova Scotia Roots is such a lovely person you can read it through the screen. With lovely guest posts from her daughter, what’s not to enjoy?Nova Scotia Roots.


5) And although quiet from time to time, Claire writes a lovely mix of gardening, cooking, and travel. Her perspective is one I always enjoy. Promenade Plantings.

And a Happy Father’s Day to all who have a good one, are a great one, or know a lovely one. (Recipe can be found on )


Almost again.

I almost forgot to water the seedlings. Again. There are spikes in the neediness of work. A flux in the hours I spend around people, in front of a screen, or rarely anymore – scribbling notes to myself on paper in a hand few can decipher. This past week has been one such spike. Three weeks prior, I downloaded an app to my phone that tracks usage. It was part of a social experiment called Bored and Brilliant. I’m not sure how much I contributed to their experiment, but I do know that simply downloading the app has made me more aware of time spent diddling on my phone instead of doing things I, you know, actually want to be doing.

Let’s just say that there’s a little monk that provides encouragement and feedback, and last week he had tears running down his face while he begged me to put my phone down. But such is work sometimes. (Othertimes he smiles, hugs himself, and let’s me know he appreciates my taking it easy.)

So among all the monk feedback and work madness, I nearly forgot to water the seedlings. Again. But they were still moist, and were ready for the light to inch up slightly higher, and had more friends in the neighboring plugs. The aspects of gardening I find most successful in the days since becoming a mother are those that succeed under a “set it and forget it” plan of action. I’ve begun building a compost pile (as opposed to feeding the spinning barrel composter DH gave me as a gift years back) and building it smack dab where I want a perennial bed. Why not? If I can get it to cook where I want to serve it (so to speak) I won’t have to find the time to shovel and haul and spread it.

I did manage to pull and burn more grass weekend before last, which was satisfying. Anytime the world feels off-kilter, I know that I either need sweat running over a pounding heart or dirt cramming under the nails of fingers building calloused skin. Or a nap. Occasionally all it takes is a nap to set the world right again.

So I continue to marvel in the child who grows like a loved upon weed and allow the new beds I wish to build, the grass I wish to pull, and the plants I wish to invite into my space…to wait.

She really is growing like the most beautiful creature I could imagine. And all of my gratitude for that erases any itch I can’t scratch in the time I do muster together to work on calluses or dirty up my nails.

So instead of any pictures from recent days let’s take a peek at Februaries past…

2012 –