Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We're home from Santa Rosa and Portland, the city with the most vegetation and coolness together that I've ever seen. I'm happy to be back at out little base camp, because sometimes it was definitely scary to be so far away from someplace I knew I could rest or heal. We didn't rent a car there and spent a lot of time on foot or having cabbed way across town. A strange thing about getting back in shape is that it's both frustrating and inspiring at exactly the same time. I'm trying not to choose frustration, and focus on the fact that my legs are tired because they're stonger than they were a week ago (as are my arms, back, shoulders, etc.).
I've got to tend to my plant friends, whom Jenny lovingly kept out of trouble while we were gone. But I do want to share some photos from the trip.

We visited Imwalle Gardens in Santa Rosa on Wednesday. This is a true farmers market in that the market is smack in the middle of the farm. They also have a great nursery that I was sad I couldn't buy from. Instead I got broccoli, basil, lettuce, and lavender seeds.

Our gorgeous niece loved it, especially the big tractors she kept spotting. She's a pretty old hat with plants, her parents having the garden of our dreams, so I think the swinging was her highlight.
This picture feels like home to me. I grew up eating buckets of apricots in the summer from the untended orchard next to our horse's stable. And some old pickup or another was always how we got there.
This is the view from our room at the Ace Hotel in Portland. We spent about 4 hours in Powell's Books on Thursday, and it called to us the whole time. Mark eventually went back.

We drank ridiculous amounts of delicious coffee. For more on that, visit Mark's blog.

Saturday, we visited Portland's Rose Test Garden. It was so beautiful and impressive and we were there on a magical weather day. I'm sure the couple getting married there appreciated it, too.
Right up the hill is the Japanese Garden. I'm not usually crazy about this style, but this garden truly embodies the ideal of the type. At every step was a different variety of delight for the eyes, nose, and ears. So peaceful and exciting at the same time.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Hey, Barb

I hear you have been having some problems leaving comments on the blog lately. That is simply not acceptable to me, so I'm changing the comment procedure.

Everyone else, you'll forgive me if I single this lady out for a second. I hardly know this person, but all I do know is fantastic. If you've read her comments on the blog, you'll get a taste of how warm and kind Barb is. After she works her butt off all day long in the service of others at Sharp, she still has the energy to pop over here to root like mad for a silly young lady she's come face-to face with a total of 3 times. Oddly, one of those times was in the elevator on the day of my surgery. What a serendipitous treat. And here's the other thing. Sometimes I get pretty down about the amount of uncaring, callous, and mean-spirited people we have to come in contact with. I take comfort in my family and friends, who I know for a fact have not an ounce of that badness. But the strangers and the people I don't know well . . . I can get pretty leery of them. And then I remember there are Barbs, too. People who will reach out to you with love and compassion even before they can tell what color your eyes are.

There are probably around a hundred people who I will have the chance to write my gratitude for in the future, just give me time. But today, I just really want to make sure nothing stops Barb's comments.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Buzz

The other day, when I was twisting that floral wire into P's, O's, and C's, I had a visitor. I'd left the patio screen door open and was working just inside when I noticed the buzzing. I looked up to see a bee trying to get out through closed windows. Thinking about Colony Collapse Disorder usually just makes me feel sad and powerless. I didn't know if this was a honey bee or a yellow-jacket, but I knew it was one bee I could save! Except I couldn't.
I took the screen off the window and tried to gently shoo him in the right direction for probably 45 minutes as he just kept buzzing towards the same useless spot in the glass, taking longer and longer breaks as the minutes passed. Eventually I couldn't watch and got back to the garden, hoping that he'd do better without my prodding.
So I was very happy today to see this post today on Eating Liberally. It's and interesting and hopeful review of the documentary, Every Third Bite, which tells some uplifting stories about what's being done to stop CCD and save the buzzers.
Even better, I found out there's more I can do to help my local bees. Click here for some really easy ways to keep your garden and your pollinators happy.