How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wild Strawberry Vine and Urbanite

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Butterfly Shelfie

Butterfly Shelfie

I used to think this was a tableaux or still life or little altar.

Then I learned if it’s photographed and shared it’s a “Shelfie”.

(Thanks, Kathy.)


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Easter 2014


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The Order of St. Diane

When I was little, I loved playing dolls.

Here’s how it went:

I spread out my Little Kiddles set, which held the collection of dolls and accouterments.

The afternoon was spent arranging miniature closets for miniature dresses. Ribbons becamse room dividers, match boxes became drawers for miniature pairs of shoes. Once everything was set up and perfect it was time for supper and bed. The play was all about organizing things!

And so… on my day off I derive extreme pleasure from setting things in order. I notice this as I cover my winter sweaters with plastic. As I group the furry things together and the shiny things together, and put them in the back of the closet.

This gives me so much pleasure that I look for something else to put in order.

Since the house is already fairly neat (you can imagine this) I decide to take my scraps of pesky passwords out of the pesky password bowl and put them in a file folder under a broader category “important documents.”

I’m not O.C.D. It just feels delicious when things are in order.

It feels so good that I start a new project – putting my paper calendar on a google calendar!

students in blue
church in green
dentist, etc in red
personal in purple


Better than going for a massage.

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Letter Nook

This is my favorite corner of the house:


The Letter Nook

buddha sits with words.  written with ink on paper.  blessing friendships.

Do you have a favorite corner?

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Artistic Satisfaction – Finger Painting

I’ve been “finger painting” on my Asus E-Reader.  I sit with the crazy small machine and my technological ignorance.  Tracing  my finger across the screen like a Japanese brush painter, I go to a state of zen meditation without even opening an ink pot.  Or cleaning a brush.  And if you don’t like a picture, all you have to do is “delete”!

Here are the masterpieces:

  girl at the piano


Girl at the Piano


picasso's potatos


Picasso’s Potatoes







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Let’s Talk About Money

This  New Year we started paying about $90 per month to sponsor three girls who live in India.  This is a new and delightful complement to our full lives.  I’m so thrilled with the organization, Unbound, that I’m thinking of one day going to India to meet the children.

I’m also on a New Year’s mission to spruce up the house.  Framing our friend’s sketch of tall grasses is top on my list.  It will cost about $300.

But you could sponsor a child for an entire year!


But I need the sketch of tall grasses framed and hanging in our bathroom, which, otherwise, is a wasteland.

tee hee

I wonder if the girls we sponsor are part of 50% of India that reportedly defecates on train tracks.  I wonder if they could even imagine me paying $300 to frame a picture of tall grasses to hang in my bathroom.

As I hold the girls in my thoughts I feel, more and more, like a very rich person.

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Adopting a Child

I’ve always wanted to adopt. One look at a soulful wide-eyed, cleft-lipped child and I quickly flip the magazine page before bringing her home and buying penguin pajamas.

Adopting a child would require a major life-style shift. I’d need to quit my job, go to ball games, drive to scouts and supervise music practice. We’d eat dinner at 6:00 sharp instead of the extended cocktail hour that starts around 8:00.

Then we’d sit at the table with homework and art projects.

I guess we’d have to get a table.

Not to mention our adult son’s feelings about suddenly getting a little sister.

My husband found the perfect solution – two organizations that connect needy children with sponsors.  Usually hyper-critical of the high overhead, minimal effectiveness and the proselytizing of many charitable organizations, he carefully researched Compassion International and CFCA and came away impressed with their low administrative costs (18% and 8 % respectively), measured effectiveness and cultural appropriateness.

“Would you like to sponsor a child for $30 per month?”

“Yes! Yes!”

I really wanted 6 children, but thought I’d start with two girls who live in India. My husband also chose an Indian girl for himself, so now we’re a blended family. The girls will write twice a year and tell us what they’re learning in school.  We will write twice a year and tell them about our lives. (I might leave out the part about the vacation in Barbados.)

This virtual adoption is a good match for my busy schedule. I’ve barely had time to look at the website to learn about my own new children. Except a moment ago I clicked on the link.

OMG!  They have names. Ramya.   Vaishnavi.

I’m in love.

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Afternoon Prayer

O God, I want a cookie.

I want an Oreo Cookie.  or several ….

It’s the fault of the Washington Post, which reported that a study by students at Connecticut College found Oreos as addictive to rats as cocaine.  The short article included an image of a stack of Oreos.

oreo cookies

I don’t even like Oreo Cookies, but I suddenly and absolutely needed a stack of them, presumably to satisfy the opiates and dopamine running around in my head.

All I have in the cupboard is a jar of olives and some sunflower seeds.  These are not giving me the fix I need.

And so I am reduced to lamentation.  I sit alone at my computer.  I pray.

O God, I want a cookie.

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Poems From The Girl Next Door

Friday evening we went to Doritt Carroll’s poetry reading/book launch.

Location: The Black Squirrel (pub) How could we miss that?

And now I have her little book Glttl Stp  (Glottal Stop). It makes me feel like I could be a poet too. After all, I know what a glottal stop is. After all, I practice lunch-time yoga on the mat next door to Doritt. The book cover has a bright picture of a puzzle-piece woman with a locked throat. I know all about that too.

glttl stp

But first to read the book. The poems are rich and delicious. Like fine dark chocolate (the super expensive kind) , I only take in one at a time, forcing myself to place a bookmark and save the next poem for tomorrow.*

glttl stp

everything good
is in the things
that we don’t say

if we were sculptures
in a gallery
it would be the elegant
space between them
carved by their marble arms

the moment after the scritch
when the match
flickers but doesn’t yet
burst into flame

the tightening in the air
as the black hand
clicks to the minute
the minute
when the recess bell
is going to ring

if there were two birds
singing in two trees
it would be
the moment
when they both paused
not to take in air
but because it was
the right place
in both of their songs
to pause
glottal stop

– Doritt Carroll

* Truth be told, I can easily eat the whole box. Sometimes I cheat with the poems too. You can buy the book at Amazon or order it from your local indie book store.

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