Tuesday, August 21, 2007

By popular demand

So now that Joy has asked me to post the pictures I can do so with impunity. This one is a rose I call the prom queen because it blooms early and fades fast.

The sunken garden. This was where the patio used to be so I'm amending the soil to make it more fertile. For now, it's struggling a little. But the rock wall is here and the heliobore.

The rest of the pictures are just documentation for what my garden looks like in June. This is the point at which I am on a mulch induced high. I think that I am the best gardener in the world. I am considering quitting my job and becoming a landscape designer. I have visions of moving to England and growing roses and boxwood. It passes by the end of July when I am very very tired of my compost pile. Now (in August) with the hurricane induced rains settling in and all the stuff that needs to be mown, cut back or debugged, I am back to my senses. This patio is at the very back of the yard. I have lots of pictures of individual plants but I won't bore you here. The thing is that I am truly happy in my garden. I tend to be a very strident person sometimes. Dr. Husband says it's because I have an overdeveloped sense of justice. I think that's probably the case. I tend to get exercised about big issues like education and health care. Then I go on a rant and before you know it my blood pressure's up, my heart rate has increased and I'm breathing hard. It's like a little aerobic exercise.
In my garden I can focus on little things like how to get rid of aphids without insecticidal soap. (It only takes a garden hose and a little determination). And in the garden I can let go of my need to fix things. Mother nature has a way of putting us in our place. People are friendlier when they happen upon you working in a garden. They seem to think you're nicer than maybe you are. Now everybody just be glad I don't like cats.


My herb garden

My temperamental hybrid

We're building a rock wall. That's the royal we as in my husband collects the rocks, hauls the rocks and stacks the rocks. Then I tell him I want them someplace else. It's a wonderful backdrop for the hellebore on the other side.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Channeling Martha

OK, my neighbor is right. I am the love child of Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker. I have spent two weeks of my first real summer vacation as a teacher painting my livingroom. But it is sooo gorgeous. Then I spent two days catching up with deadheading in the garden. AND I LIKED IT! This is not right. But I am doomed. I even took pictures to document the garden so I can plan what to plant for next year. You may laugh, but mark my words. If you plant just one rhododendron and it lives, you too will become a gardener. I will spare you all the pictures for now. I may not be able to hold out forever, though, as I have become one of those people who names her roses.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Foul-Weather Friends

An interesting aspect of Jackie's and my friendship is that we have been there for each other during more bad times than good. We're always there for each other emotionally with support, jokes, and understanding; however, physically we seen to be present for the sad times. Perhaps it has to do with how we met since I was lurking at play auditions to find people to compete on the speech and drama team (NFL). I'd never seen Jackie before and recognized her talent. She didn't get a part, so I caught up with her outside the theater and said I knew she probably didn't want to think about it then but that if she were interested in the forensics team, to come by my room and let me know. She answered that I was right and that she was not interested in thinking about it then. I wasn't sure I'd hear from her, but she did come by my room and became an outstanding competitor and leader on the team. We were just getting organized then and had to learn by doing. Jackie, Tina, and a few others hung in there and were like sponges soaking up what they needed to know. They got tired of hearing the phrase "learning experience." Those two excelled and went on to the state eventually, with Tina's winning first place in poetry interpretation her senior year with "Tommy" by Rudyard Kipling. But I digress. Jackie started out in dramatic interpretation with a gut-wrenching piece about a Black mother (cannot remember the title - help with this, Jackie) and then was Antigone her senior year, winning second place in the district tournament.

Our friendships were forged during these years since I was learning along with them. I said soemthing to Tina about how I was so young then but didn't know it. Tina said, "Oh, we knew it." That's funny but quite true, I'm sure.

Jackie used to baby-sit with Brian for me, so they got close, too. Years later I was there at the funerals for her mother and grandmother, but not for her wedding. I did make it to her daughter's naming ceremony but not for her Bas Mitzvah - not good for a godmother. It was excruciating for those closest to her when she got her MBA and such a celebration when she finished it. I was worried when she went back to school for her teaching degree, but fortunately that was pain-free. She was here sitting out on the patio with Paige, Gena, and me drinking wine the night before the phone call when I got my lymphoma diagnosis. Gena and I went to a movie (I'd refer you to the Mission Impossible curse posts on my other blog but they didn't make the transition of the new version, so I'll just say that MI2 was released when my lymphoma changed to a more aggressive kind. Fortunately, nothing bad happened when MI3 came out because I didn't see it unless we count Tom Cruise getting more publicity.) the next day, but Jackie was around for me to call. There are many more examples of our foul-weather friendship, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Molly Ivins

I was on yahoo! and found that Molly Ivins died of breast cancer. I did not read much of her writing directly, but got many good quotes from her through Joy. It's always sad to see a witty woman take her leave. Especially now we need people who can speak their minds.