September 30, 2010

What are your weekend plans, my dears?

What are your plans for this weekend?

You might be working in your yard.....maybe overseeding your lawn?  If so, and should you need some how-to tips, watch my segment tomorrow at 4:30 with Linda Cavanaugh on News Channel 4.  Perfect weather for it.  Overseeding that is.......not watching TV

Oh, I might go canoeing.......because I overseeded already :).

September 29, 2010

Petit Porcupine.....back by popular demand

and one more for good measure......

May your day be both prickly AND sweet.

Weekly Prunings September 29

Put a sheen on those pumpkins!  (To better catch those stunning shadows).    Spray those gorgeous beauties with a clear glaze *I used KRYLON crystal clear, triple thick clear glaze this year*  It will make those plump things glisten in the soft autumn light......seems to help preserve them too.

Try out the GARDEN GROOM, a collecting hedge trimmer that captures the trimmings (like my vexing tiny boxwood leaves) as you clip.  It's not necessarily any  easier on your back (if you have to bend like I do!), but goes MUCH faster than my beloved long-handled pruners, and DOES collect those tiny leaves.  If it would just give you a back massage when you're finished.

Keep a LARGE supply of these Chinese take-out containers on hand (in multiple COLORS) for last minute gifts of treats from your kitchen.  I like to color coordinate (duh!) my card/tag/labels to the color of the box.  Oh, I got these at Michael's, but I bet you can find them at a lot of places.
Sign up for the newsletter dirt du jour.  
You'll see why.  I promise.  You'll be glad you did.

Run, do not walk, because there's not much time left, to plant some mescalin mix for fall salads.......maybe with some pears and goat cheese and toasted walnuts?  Yum!

September 28, 2010

Autumn Toll

Do you ever feel like this bee?  You are humming along, busy and industrious.  Exulting in the glory and amber sumptuousness that is fall. But something still isn't right.  The day is glorious; the light golden, the air warm...not  hot. Yet there is the dark presence of something overhead, dark and ominous and unknown.  You dismiss it, move on to another blossom, another temptation, another item on your list of things to do.

But with a heaviness and melancholy and sensibility that only fall imbues.   I love autumn with lust and intensity and unrivaled fervor.  With passionate gratitude for its cool temperatures and sparkling light and its promise of amber and ember and quiet.  Yet I, and you, pay for these things.  With the prospect of shortened days and waning sun.  The fear of much left undone for tomorrow, or worse yet, not done at all.  The fear of time running out.

The metaphor of season to life and life to season. 

I think of these things as I get the mail, and nag at my son, and listen to music and take my bath at the end of the day.

Do you?

September 27, 2010

A Sunday in AUTUMN

"I love it.  My mind melts in pleasure."
                                              Robert Redford

Oh, my achin' back


p.s.  If you're wondering what that space age surfboard looking thing is....
       keep checking in.........

September 25, 2010

Mother Earth News Magazine and Moi

Okay, friends!  Go out and buy a copy of the October/November issue of Mother Earth News Magazine.

Not just because my P O T A G E R is in it, but because it is a great magazine.

And my garden is in it.

Thanks to Rosalind Creasy.

Who wrote a great article about Elible Landscaping  in it.

So there.


September 24, 2010

The Making of a Man......Errrr Scarecrow

In the construction of a scarecrow, it is essential to start out with good bones. Since this scarecrow came with no formal assembly instructions, my husband kindly indicated on the frame where the head should go.  In case I didn't know which end was up.

He was not in a very good mood that day.

In this pre-clothed state, L'il Sis will tell me it looks disturbingly like one of our brothers. She doesn't even have to tell me which one. Cuz I know just which one she's talking about.

He knows it too.

So does everyone else in the family.

After that, you just jump in with your basic fall wardrobe:  classic denim in this case, and burlap, of course.  The new black. 

Dressing your floppy fellow should not be difficult as long as your subject is cooperative and doesn't give you any flack.  I typically don't have any problems. Unless it's windy.  And he gets surly on me and starts flailing about.

In which case I just show him who REALLY wears the pants in the family.

(Though I did find that stuffing that burlap into those jeans, and then zipping them up was, well, just a little disconcerting.....especially with people driving by,  you know what I mean?

Surprisingly, the hardest thing to figure out is the head.  And the hat.  The right chapeau to set the mood.

A jaunty fedora might look dapper and conjure up a Frank Sinatraish vibe

but in this case, the hat is too small and the head is too big. A problem I find typical in so many men.

Then there is the I'll get in touch with my feminine side option, but clearly, the hat is not seasonally appropriate.

At this point I try the traditional, perhaps too conventional, straw hat, but something is still amiss.

I step away to have a better look.

It's not the hat that is the problem. 

It is the head.......the head is clearly too large.

And that, Li'l Sis would say, describes a different male sib in the family.

Hee, hee.                Stay tuned!

September 23, 2010

Just because........A baby porcupine

Ummmmmm,  just because I'd never seen one before and I thought you might like it.

Compliments of Suzy  :)

No Bows Wins By a Landslide


No Bow vote wins by a case you were wondering.

September 22, 2010

Smiling, Real Life, and Sponge-Bob Square Pants

As a wise children's book once told me (as I was reading it to my boys many years ago).....There are Good Days, and there are Bad Days.......

There are days when you talk about scarecrows and plant cultivars and pumpkins, and then there are days  when you talk about REAL LIFE and smiling.

First one, and then the other.

REAL LIFE, as I once read in a magazine, is not about redecorating your living room. REAL LIFE is about boogy-men, and cancer, and the grace and strength of people you know who deal with these horrors, and live with them and work with them and hang on. THAT is REAL LIFE.  A yucky, tragic and amazing thing.

Smiling is what you do when it is what you have to give.  When, really, you feel helpless........and you don't know what else to do........and yet you want to contribute somehow, and make things less burdensome in SOME way.

When your sister asks what you did when you went home to Indiana to help out with your parents, you tell her "I filed, and paid bills, and helped Dad with his therapy...............but mostly, I just smiled.  If Mom had a question about something, I would answer her and smile.   If Dad needed help with his walker, or just looked up with a puzzled or What the hell is happening to me? look on his face, I would smile at him in what I hoped was a reassuring It's okay; you're okay kind of way..................because it is what I could do, lacking the power to do anything else.

So tomorrow, I am going to smile as proxy.  For friends I have now who are finding it hard or impossible to smile.  Because it's all I can do.  Or have the power to do.

When I feel blue, or sadly nostalgic, or down...........I put on these:

Or these, my husband would point out (you have duck feet....)

Yes, and I've worn them a lot.

They make me smile.

A smiling gift from my son years ago, and from Sponge-Bob Square Pants too.

Because smile is what you do for someone...

when you don't know what else to do.  And you want them to have a little glimpse of sunshine.... or the possibility of sunshine.

Smile on behalf of someone you might know tomorrow?

September 21, 2010

Front Door Wreathes.......Help, Help Me Do

I'm sure you've been waiting with baited breath.  About what I'm going to do first in my front yard fall makeover.  You were waiting weren't you? 

I can be so needy sometimes.

Well since the power-washing of the porches had yet to be completed...

I thought to myself, "Self, just start by hanging your fall wreath.  It will only take five minutes, and you'll feel like you have a tiny head start on all that remains to be done." 


When I went to the basement to get said wreath, I realized that mice had been there before me.  Eating said wreath.  That was made out of dried grasses and wheaty kind of stuff.  Tasty, I'm sure.

So, on to Plan B, with a little help from the Sunday paper and a coupon from Michaels.  (Sorry, Sunshine, it was closer than H.L.....)  

So I bought one of those galactic-looking, swirly grapevine wreathes, and some fun, fuzzy ball floral stem things (that's the technical term), and made this minimalist (because that's what I'm INTO right now) seasonal wreath.  I like it's Impressionistic vibe, you know?

But here's the dilemma, my Readers.  To bow, or not to bow.  That is the question.  I am not, by nature, a frilly, ribbony kind of person. Except on packages and in the appropriate season.  Or on special people.

And as I said earlier, I am kind of INTO minimalism right now.

Still, I like the way the ivory ribbon echos the color of the ivory puffs, and the way the light color ribbon makes the wreath "pop" from the street.  I just can't decide.

(Nobody knows the trouble I've seen..........)

So in the spirit of delegation and indecision, please make the decision for me.  Wreath or no. You vote. Just like on American Idol, or whatever those shows are that I hear about but never watch.

Still, I want to be hip and in the know, so we're doing this voting thing.  Vote now or forever hold your peace.

Or your bow.
Because this little guy was no help whatsoever.

September 20, 2010

Late-Breaking News

We all know what it's like.  To be preempted by late-breaking news so you can't do the post you'd planned.......or preempted by life.....or the late-breaking homework IN life..... that your high school senior son needs to do...... and he needs to use your computer to do it.

Right now, you are in one of two camps:


You are on one team or another.  You are with me or against me.

Team T-Shirts available soon.

Son, as seen here, incognito and about to do his assignment.  :)