Tag Archives: Garden

Gratitude Friday

1. Lunch with good friends, wise conversation and joyful laughter.

2. Brene’ Brown on Oprah’s Lifeclass. I stumbled on the live streaming version of the first two sessions the other day. So good.

3. Plenty from our garden. We are in the sweet spot where we pick this many tomatoes e v e r y day.

harvest4. Three day weekend AND payday, falling on the same weekend.

5. Making reservations for a month in Waldport. Maybe it seems too early to be making firm plans for next summer already, but I didn’t want to risk someone else getting “our” house.

Bonus Joy: my little family.

napsortof

Gratitude Friday

1. Creatures great and small. The butterfly that let me take its picture, the bees feeding on my flowers, baby geese and ducks, the heron standing on the edge of the pond, the two moose Eric saw while he was hiking, the two deer we saw on our walk one morning with new antlers covered in velvet, the dog at the gym who wiggled with happy when I pet him, and my Sam.

2. The side front flowerbed, the first one I planted on purpose, the strip of ground between our driveway and the neighbor’s property line. It’s maybe about five years old now, has shifted and filled in, presented the surprise of Rocky Mountain Bee Plants and a Golden Raintree seedling. Some of what has happened there is organic and some because of my intervention, is wild and intentional, and I love the way it looks, gives me hope that with time, effort and attention, the rest of the front yard will grow and develop in the same way.

3. Cucumbers, zucchini squash, and lettuce from our garden. And even though the strawberries didn’t go as well as we’d hoped, Eric ate one the other day, the only berry on any of the plants, and said it was the best he’d ever eaten.

4. Paid work. I had to go in the other day and it didn’t totally suck, and I do like getting paid.

5. Internet friends, people I met online, some I’ve been lucky enough to then meet in person, who are all REAL friends, people who show up when it counts, make me laugh, inspire me to keep doing good and taking care of myself, a genuine tribe.

loftylookoutBonus Joy: Time away, in the green and the quiet, the ability to schedule blog posts so that even though I might be gone I’m not gone gone, no internet so I can unplug for a bit without even having to try, time and space to do nothing but stare out at the view.

LoftyView

Gratitude Friday

samandlittled

1. Sam. I’m not sure what I’d do without him right now, THE dog, (well, I know what I’d do — probably rescue two more dogs immediately). I had Little D on top of Dexter’s crate, along with his ashes, collar, and a clay paw print. Sam noticed it there and asked to have it. At first I said no, just like I did when Dexter was still here, “no, that’s Dexter’s toy.” It only took a few minutes of that sweet face, the way he’d look at me, look at the toy, look back at me, sitting so polite and patient, before I gave in and let him have it. We played for a few minutes and then he got in his crate with it, which is when I took this picture. Sam is his own kind of sad about losing his brother.

2. The promise of our garden harvest. Most of our strawberries didn’t survive the heat, some of the flowers I transplanted are a bit droopy and wilted, and most of our lettuce was eaten by bugs, but there are baby cucumber and zucchini squash, tomatoes and peppers, and Eric has been using our basil when he makes pizza.

3. Tribe, smart, creative, loving friends, both online and in the flesh, all real, who are working on the same things I am, doing the same practice, setting the same intentions, giving me support and offering inspiration, making me smile.

4. Books. I just ordered the new Neil Gaiman novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, (his wife wrote a really good blog post about it, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (A Book & Marriage Review)), and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s new book, The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure, and I can’t wait to read them. I am so grateful that there is so much beauty and wisdom so easily accessible.

5. New Girl, Season One, now available on Netflix streaming. I had missed the first part of the season, started watching late on Hulu.com, but now that it’s on Netflix I can catch up, (I clearly had missed WAY more than I realized). I love that show. The comedy happens in the context of people caring about each other, living together, and in the mess of that relationship, utterly beautiful and awkward and full of grace and completely complicated, the comedy naturally arises rather than resorting to stereotypes and meanness like so much other comedy seems to do. It’s smart funny, heart funny, real funny.

Bonus Joy: Yoga and weight training. I hadn’t been for a few weeks because first I was sick, then Dexter. It was good to get back to it.

Day of Rest

pinkpeonies

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?
~Mary Oliver, Peonies

Yesterday, I planted peonies, made a memorial garden of sorts. One Moonstone, “This heavenly-scented peony has large double white flowers with blush pink petals along the outer edges,” one Shirley Temple, “This early bloomer has double blush-white flowers with a hint of red. Pale pink fading to white, these medium-sized blossoms with petals arranged in whorls create a very delicate appearance,” and one Rachel, “This attractive perennial is prized for the amount of double blossoms. The late midseason blooming flowers are a bright crimson color and are held on strong sturdy stems above the clear bright green foliage.” I am completely and utterly in love with peonies, so lush and delicate, strong and soft.

At the nursery, the sign said peonies can live for 50-75 years. They live long, are “drought tolerant, deer resistant, and good for cutting.” My friend Susan, Kelly‘s mom, said she has one that her grandmother gave her for her wedding 45 years ago. I love that. Peonies were blooming at Kelly’s memorial service four years ago. Something about them soothed me, gave me comfort, even though looking at those blooms now breaks my heart all over again. Kelly was an avid gardener, and digging in the dirt, cultivating my garden makes me feel close to her.

peonies

I bought three to start. That number seems right — three for the three I’ve lost but still carry with me, (Heather, Obi, and Kelly), and three to represent all three of my dogs, (one I’ve already lost, one who is somewhere in between, and the one who will have been here for the grief of both losses, helping to heal me). I planted them in the mound where our cottonwood tree used to stand.

That tree was one of the main reasons we chose this house over the other options — that and the big yard, the location (close to Old Town and Lee Martinez Park, only a five minute commute to work for me), and the decorative plaster ceilings. In truth, at already almost 40 years old, the tree was a liability. It dropped a huge limb on our car once, causing $1500 worth of damage. I made a deal with her then that if she dropped another limb that big, we’d need to take her down (we live around the  corner from an elementary school and have lots of kids on our block, and that size limb was potentially lethal, even to an adult if it had fallen just right). A few years later, another came down, so we had to take her out.

she was massive

she was massive, and beautiful, and terrifying

Taking her down, losing her was traumatic. I still remember how it felt coming home and seeing her there, stripped of all her limbs, a man high in a bucket raising his chainsaw to start taking down the first section of trunk. I felt sick. I wanted to tell them to stop, but it was already too late. I hadn’t realized until she was gone that she’d provided more than shade. That she’d been more than a threat, she’d stood guard, somehow protecting us. Without her, without anything between us and the street, between us and the rest of the neighborhood, I felt exposed and vulnerable. It took almost six months for that feeling to go away.

Based on that, it might be surprising we didn’t simply plant another tree. We chose to put in flowers, vegetables and fruit instead, along with a spot set aside to remember everything we’ve loved and lost, with the intent of eventually getting rid of most of the grass. Eric was telling me that he heard a story on NPR the other day about the history of lawns, how people initially put them in as a status symbol, to show their prosperity — if they didn’t need that land for growing food or raising livestock, that meant they were well off. It reminds me of how at one point in history, having a tan marked you as lower class because it meant you had to work outdoors, but then later having a suntan became a symbol of affluence, showed that you had enough leisure time and money for travel that you could afford to spend your days lounging around in a lawn chair or by the pool or on a beach somewhere with nothing better to do.

So far we’ve put in three new raised beds for vegetables, made another bed for strawberries, filled in the front burm with irises and other flowers, created a spot for the peonies, and dug out other spots for various melons, squash, and cucumbers. I made sure to put a cherry tomato in the back yard for Dexter (we have three beds back there too), just in case he decides to stick around until there is fruit, (he loves them so much, I sometimes catch him picking them himself — if he gets a green one, he spits it out). This morning, he made it an offering of his Little D, so I think he approves.

Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
~Mary Oliver, Peonies

Gratitude Friday

our rocky mountain bee plants are gi-normous!

This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.

1. Being home again. My garden, which is going crazy (see the above picture for proof), and my little house, and my backyard, and the park. I am especially in love with my bed right now. I forgot how perfectly comfortable it is.

2. Girlfriends. I am so grateful to have open-hearted, creative, funny, wise, loving, generous friends. I am especially enjoying catching up with a few of them this week after a month apart, and looking forward to connecting with a few I just met. I am also missing a few I haven’t seen or won’t see for a while. They are all precious.

3. Letting go of stuff. I am grateful to have such an abundance of things that it’s necessary to purge, happy that I’m able to let go, to allow those things to possibly help someone else who doesn’t have so much, and thankful for the newly cleared space and clarity that letting go allows.

4. Yoga and training. It’s good to move, to stretch, to get stronger, and to do so in the company of such funny, kind people.

5. Cucumbers and tomatoes from my own garden. Yum.

6. A safe trip home. There were hiccups–like spending an hour packing the car only to have the latch on the back hatch break right before we loaded up the dogs and left, so having to repack the whole thing so they could ride in the back seat, and Dexter panting the entire time in the car, two long twelve hour days, because that poor pup has decided at nine years old he does not like long car trips–but we made it home safe, happy and tired.

Bonus Joy: There was a fat raccoon in our neighbor’s tree right by our back fence this morning, (most likely rabid, hanging upside down some of the time and moving way too slow, so that part’s not so cute) and Dexter stood in the yard most of the morning guarding us from it. Not barking or making a big fuss, just staring and waiting, ready to fight it if he had to. He is one tough little dude and I love him like crazy.

Gratitude Friday

This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.

1. Spending time with family. Movie day with Mom (and Dad, although he usually doesn’t watch the movies with us), lunch and walking on the beach and ice cream with my brother and niece, and dinner with aunts and uncles.

2. Farmer’s Market produce and Depoe Baykery baked goods. Oh how I am going to miss them, but there’s word that my garden in Colorado is producing cucumbers and the tomatoes are starting, and it’s probably time to lay off the sweet, sweet carbs for a bit as well.

3. My purple fleece robe. This item has wrapped me in warmth and comfort through some really hard times of grief and sadness and depression, as well as being useful during better times. Eric bought it for me for Christmas many, many years ago. It is simple, functional, clearly durable, and a long time favorite, and was a good thing to have with me this summer, where the temperature never got much above the mid 60s and I was trying to learn to rest and take better care of myself.

4. Naps, sinking in and relaxing. The boys and I have shared many a nap during this vacation, pure bliss when you get up early and take long walks and have no plans, no work, no where you need to go. I need this kind of rest, and my only worry is how I will manage it when I am back at my paid job. But for now, no worries. The boys are napping as I write this post, and I soon as I finish, I’ll probably join them.

5. HGTV. This is the only thing I miss about not having cable TV. I’ve been able to watch it this whole month, since the house we are staying in has access. I am especially loving International House Hunters. I barely even bother with the other channels.

6. Hiking yesterday, and then the long shower I took after.

7. This vacation, this month at the beach in Waldport, but also going home to Colorado. This place is home too and I have loved being here so much and as it does every time, my heart will break a little when we have to go, but I’m also missing my little house, my bed, my studio space, my garden, my routine there, and my friends. I am looking forward to returning, to catching up and reconnecting with that space and those people.

Bonus Joy: Laughing with Eric. Sometimes he makes me almost hurt from it and I have to beg him to stop, but sometimes he’s the one who can’t stop.