Monthly Archives: April 2012

Still here

I found this old post , one from the very early days of my blog, and it is so fresh and so focused on what I imagined for this weblog so I decided to repost and refresh 🙂

August 3, 2008


While I wash the last of the dishes this morning, dishes left from supper, I am listening to  Neil Diamond’s Forever in Blue Jeans. For the most part, the house is quiet. I stack the plates smallest to biggest, and arrange the cups somewhat neatly on the drying rack and casually glance at the day ahead. It should be a simple day, a day filled with ordinary stuff and minimal confusion; the kind of day that I love most. For a minute, I think of my mother and how I would sit at the kitchen table when I was a teen and still so bewildered. I’d watch her wash each glass and each plate in a way that was hers and I’d talk and ask questions and she’d answer and it felt so good to be there in that kitchen, in that shelter where my world was turned right side up. Somehow I knew then that I would remember those times and I knew I was recording that image of her as she washed dishes and the way she listened and the world she created for me and all of my adolescent insecurities.

Those big moments in life are necessary and certainly enjoyable, but these little moments that aren’t so noteworthy, are where I find peace and connection. The big moments bring with them so much anticipation that sometimes we are bound by expectation to be disappointed. I rather those moments of spontaneity and surprise, a day when nothing is really on the docket and suddenly Elizabeth comes in with a zinnia for my kitchen vase or I find the first turquoise egg from one of my Americanas, or Neil Diamond comes on the radio and sings Forever in Blue Jeans while I am washing the supper dishes and remembering my mom.

In case you find some garden time today, I hope you do, and if you have a lot of basil by now, you may want to dry some for the winter. I have learned that it should not be tied and bunched like some of the other herbs. I will post the correct way according to my source, Organic Gardening Magazine :
• Don’t tie basil stalks together or hang them to dry as you might other herbs.
• Pinch or snip leaves from the stems and place them on a screen or absorbent towel.
• Stir daily and allow to dry until crackly.
• Store in an airtight container.
Till next time,


Good Advice from Two Abes

“Selfishly seek joy, because your joy is the greatest gift you can give to anyone. Unless you are in your joy, you have nothing to give anyway”. 
Abraham Hicks

I thought this might be a wonderful thought to take with you. Sometimes we feel “guilty” when we are happy and someone we know is not. This perspective helps with that interpretation.  I believe happiness  is contagious, a habit, and most importantly, what Abe Lincoln declared, a choice.

b u
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Following Your Bliss

I’m writing from Boulder, Colorado at a Whole Foods on the corner of Broadway and Baseline looking at the Rocky Mountains and waiting for Matthew and Andrew.I have been here since yesterday, Friday, April 20 – 420 – and I am leaving tomorrow – Earth Day. The time in between these two days has been, thus far, very well spent. There is quite the Bohemian, (noveau)hippie, kinda attitude here – natural looking girls with long hair and guys on bikes and super fit and just cool. I met most of Matt and Drew’s classmates/friends and I could not be more pleased – multi dimensional people who are genuine and artsy and  “following their bliss” –  wow, I am happy!!  I went to the first farmer’s market of spring this morning and it was something I could easily visit every Saturday – organic everything – even raw milk and little pots of herbs to buy and plant and mushrooms from the mountains, cheese from local goat farms and artesian bread with organic flax seed. And did I mention everyone drives a Subaru? I keep waiting to see Alice Waters somewhere. A few years ago, I posted a list from her on this blog and to commemorate my trip to Boulder, I think I shall re post:

Eat locally and sustainably

Eat seasonally

Shop at farmer’s markets

Plant a garden

Conserve, compost, and recycle

Cook simply

Cook together

Eat together

Remember food is precious

This could hang on the walls at Escoffier – what a wonderful path to choose…

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Rocky Mountain High

This entry is more just a “letter to self”, a place to document a slice of my life. You are, of course, welcome to read it, as always, but please do not take it as a collection of narcissistic verbiage – it is not, it is just a little plateau of a moment for me that I want to write and remember, one we have all had at one point and another.  It’s nothing really big or notable in the scope of the world but for me and just for me, it is epic, it’s a moment of joy. I am going to Boulder early Friday morning to see Matt and Drew, whom I have not seen since the early morning hours of January 7 when they pulled out of here in a loaded down Ford pickup truck with a U-Haul trailer hitched to their bumper and  23 years of anticipation ready to burst open. It was a bitter sweet moment I suppose, mostly sweet however, they had never really left before but somehow, I felt right about this journey. Anyway, I am going to Boulder to see them and as an added benefit – the thing I want to document – I am going on 420 (just as a spectator but what a spectacle it might be!) and on Earth Day!! I am so very excited about being in a place like Boulder, Colorado for Earth Day – a place that helped to write the book on environmental awareness. Escoffier, their school, is on board with this commemoration and hosting an open house with platefuls of local sustainable food, a mind full of awareness, and a gathering of people who “walk the walk”. I am looking forward to being in their company and hopefully growing from this experience. Tomorrow morning at this exact time, I will be taking off from Louis Armstrong in New Orleans and on my way to a place I imagine I will not want to leave – a place that holds nature and her gifts in reverence and, most importantly, a place that has enriched the lives of my twins. I am nervous on all levels, nervous to fly alone,( hey, nervous that I even get myself on the plane), nervous that my realization will not match my anticipation, and nervous that I can say good bye again. A journey is before me and I am trying to adjust my thoughts and my being so that I can take from it all that was meant to be. As I said, this is not epic seeming for most of you, but for me, it is and I welcome the challenge and I open my mind to absorb all that is there. Mostly, I hope to meet up with two young men that are “following their bliss”. I’ll let you know…

just cute

evening meal


saturday morning hikes (Drew and friend)
happy (Drew)


If you enjoy reading about “foodie” stuff and want to familiarize yourself with someone who has jumped into life with both feet and is truly “following her bliss”, check out this blog:

Be sure to read the “about” so you can fully appreciate this leap of faith Deb took…inspiring stuff.
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Seeing only the beauty

As an artist, I have never been able to choose a favorite color and as a gardener, I have never been able to choose a favorite season, each offer their own unique gifts. Right now, in the height of spring, I am totally in love with this season. The honeysuckles are there in the woods and climbing on old fence pieces covering the area with their sweet smell and delighting the honey bees. The confederate jasmine is nearly pungent from the fragrance that swirls around in the gentle spring breeze and the gardenia bushes are budding and blooming and their fresh cut bouquets fill my kitchen with the sweetness of their scent and my mind with memories of my mother. Then there is the scattering of dewberries throughout the woods and along the ditches – sweet and wholesome treats from nature there for the picking. I have fought for the control of this landscape that is my yard for years and I have realized that that causes me stress instead of enjoyment. I would go outside and instead of noticing the beauty I would notice the things that needed to be done and I would feel sad instead of happy. Well, all of that has changed – the yard is of course still as it was but my attitude has been adjusted, as they say. It all started with my little garden shed. It began to deteriorate but no time to fix it and I needed it for tomato stakes, fish emulsifiers, clay pots, and Have a Heart traps, so I decided to just let it go and see what nature would do. Well, nature is doing what she does – she is reclaiming it. The vines are woven inside and out, the rains have begun to rot the roof, the dirt has found its way inside from burrowing little animals and there are nests of sparrows and wrens that have settled into the rafters. I love watching this power, this power that nature has. I also realize that what is happening to my little garden shed would also happen to my house and may one day. This natural display is occurring everywhere in my yard and for the most part I can keep things at bay with the lawnmower and my pruners but I do only what I can and enjoy the rest. Of course I remember Miss Sue and her yard – for me it was the most beautiful piece of property on the planet and it was so natural. Nature flowed and she enjoyed the show, choosing to notice only the beauty.




taking over

lantana carried by the wind

garden shed




a community

roses in the mimosa??

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Things that matter

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Lucy Hunnicutt
Generous Neighbor

Where is that place in life that you feel success? I don’t mean the superficial success of accumulations – for that habit is insatiable and never gives you the feeling I refer to here. I mean that feeling that you have done those things that move you forward as a person, those deeds that have placed you in the hierarchy of humanitarianism, something that gives you that feeling you have made a difference. Perhaps it is fleeting, perhaps it is just a sudden rush that you will remember and that memory will want to make you do it again – like a drug but without the negative side effects – I have had a few moments in my life when I have felt really good, lately they always involve my children and where they are in life. I suppose that would be the answer given by all moms. I have a personal moment when someone likes my art – either a painting or a column – and that, not the exchange of currency, is what gives me the rush, the green light, to do more. I think it all gets murky and dark when money finds its way into the equation. It is difficult to find those things in life that are pure – I am most successful when I look to nature and the arts, but this purity I write of is becoming more and more obscure.

 Action expresses priorities.

Mahatma Gandhi
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Just a quick post of an Easter snapshot or a spring icon – eggs – either way, a symbol of rebirth. These are from my 10 laying hens – they are so much trouble, but worth it.

 Easter is many things to many people, as it should be, for me, I see it in direct harmony with Nature and God and a visual of rebirth and resurrection – the imagery and symbolism, I believe, are not random but placed so that our human minds can comprehend. It is a joyous time to rejoice, renew and celebrate, no matter what you believe.

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finding purpose

At times, I question my strength and my ability to remain true to who I am and my purpose – it is a constant struggle to stay on course, not to mention a huge hurdle to even find the course. When my kids were small and needy it was so easy – just get up early each day and go to bed late each night and fill the time in between teaching them and being there for them. Now, they are grown and I have time, time to access my days and how I contribute. I don’t go many places or know many people and I plan to do even less of that so I think what I need to do is write and just put it out there, something I can do in the solitude of the early morning when I am just easing out of my alpha state and transitioning into the reality of the day. I have no qualifications other than just observing life for 57 years but if I have a thought, someone else probably has that thought too and maybe I will just be the one who puts it into words and maybe at least one other person will connect with it and feel something from it. I suppose this is what I can contribute.
As I said before, this blog was intended to be a place of pleasantries – positive things I noticed in my day. But as life would have it, it evolved into a place of random thoughts, a place where I go to shout out or sometimes just whisper – it is amorphous now but hopefully serves a purpose.
 Anyway, that’s where I am today – more reassured about the things in life that really matter and because of the affirmation, more critical about whether I am doing something that really matters. It’s about the “purpose” proposal I mentioned just the other day. I feel productive when I write, I sit here and try to tap out words that have impact, words that make you stop a minute and think, like a bill board I guess – a bill board promoting life. Oh my, that sounds ego driven – it is not meant to be. I struggle to stay away from ego and write with pure purpose, write things to think about, things to ponder and possibly affirm what you already know but needed to see. Some days, like today, I sit here with no purpose, no preconception, just a need to write and hopefully, with the last punctuation, I have said something and the sketches of my day have helped you with yours in a tiny way.
just some random visuals to go with this random post – perhaps they will provoke a pleasant thought…

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