27 February 2011


Which I can, because I found my long lost camera! After 8 months of being in hiding, she has returned to me. And what better first subject while back in action than the beautiful carrots the emerged from the earth this afternoon...

Well done, all. Well done.

23 February 2011

I still like this one

(I'm sure it's terribly tacky to post the same poem on your blog more than once, but it has a different structure, which makes it ok)

With windows down,
I stick my face outside
to be caressed by the wind.
My hair trails behind me,
and I let one
or two
strands be stolen
so that a piece of me will fly away
to places I've never dreamed of,
and there I will be where I cannot.

15 February 2011

I saw this posted on Facebook today, and thought it was really lovely. Please enjoy!

After a While

by Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.

05 February 2011

#10 Post more recipes; and Produce in the Park!

For the past year and a half, my friend Heather and I (along with many others) have been putting on this event called The Produce Exchange (now known as Produce in the Park). It is a free community event where neighbors come to give some of their excessive fruit or veggies growing on their property in exchange for someone else's fresh gardened goodies. It was founded by Heather based on the philosophy that a.) so much good produce often goes to waste due to the fact that a family of four cannot eat a tree's worth of grapefruit, and b.) our interactions with our neighbors tend to be too disconnected and sporadic to have the type of relationship where we might freely share such bounties. Thus, the Produce Exchange was born!

These events have been a blessing to me over the past year and a half, as I get to see relationships develop between neighbors, get to establish some relationships of my own, learn about new recipes and gardening tricks, watch the children and dogs play with each other, and simply share in the enthusiasm surrounding this idea of sharing what the ground gives us. Today was the first one that was held in the park, which brought more neighbors and passer-byers, and, subsequently, more citrus than anyone could ask for. I made a delicious Lavender Lemonade with about three dozen lemons this afternoon! This was also the first Produce in the Park where I was able to showcase some of my growin's, which was about a pound of fresh arugula from my first lil' garden. It went fast. I was proud.

If you are in the Monrovia/Pasadena area, please come to Produce in the Park! We now meet every first Saturday in Library Park on Myrtle in Monrovia. Check out our new website: produceinthepark.com ! If you aren't from around these parts and this sounds like a cool idea, then, well START ONE! It's beyond easy to do, trust me. :)

Oh, and if you are interested, here is the Lavender Lemonade recipe. It's super, super easy, and will turn anyone on to craving lavender like chocolate like I do.

#10--Post more recipes: Lavender Lemonade

For Lemonade:

*Note: These measurements are all estimates, of course--the beauty of lemonade is its totally to taste! I prefer more of a sour-inducing ratio of water: lemon: sugar (3:2:1), but some people prefer it more sweet.

At least 16-18 oz of fresh squeezed lemon juice (preferably from your own or a neighbor's tree!)
30-32 oz water

For Lavender simple syrup:
1 cup water (best if filtered, if possible)
1 cup sugar (organic, raw sugar is the best!)
1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon of dried lavender buds, to taste (I buy my buds at Cost Plus World Market for $0.99 cents for a 2 oz. bag, which will last you quite a long time)

In a medium saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium heat until boiling and sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, and steep lavender buds in tea ball in sugar water until it cools, about 20-30 minutes.
Combine lemon juice, water, and syrup to taste! If too sour, dissolve more sugar in water before adding to mixture to ensure that it is completely mixed in.
Refrigerate, pour, and enjoy!! (You might want to start a support group for your new addiction.)

27 January 2011

Ode to napkins

Napkins can be anything: paper, cloth, recycled brown, printed party, big, small, tiny, thin. They can be made of denim jeans or the seat of your car or your own skin when your hands need assistance. Napkins can be made of water in your shower when you are wiping the sweat of a workout or a long day off of your skin. Napkins accept substitutes: tissues and paper towels and toilet paper and decorative guest bathroom towels can do their job just as well--and sometimes better, if you find your mess to be especially delicate or maybe very stubborn, and require a special attribute and talent offered by each stand-in. A piece of clothing draped across the shoulder or chest of a mother, lover, or good friend can be a great napkin, especially when your mess is very heavy and tender. Sometimes napkins are kind words that fall to kitchen floor on top of your mess, their graceful descent to the ground hesitant yet committed. Sometimes those words cover the mess and soak it right up into their fibers, its absorbency complete like juice on paper, the result a strange thing of beauty. Sometimes the mess is so big and dense that the napkins can't quite clean it up; instead, they even disintegrate into the mess, hardly distinguishable from it, and you can't tell if they were an initiation of or a response to anymore. But, hey, at least they tried. Napkins really try to do their best, you know.

26 January 2011

#9 -Listen to Sonia!

So, my friend and new mentor Sonia has a better idea for me for 2011: daily writing prompts. We've talked together about how I do like to write but frequently fail at actually doing it(much like how I like to run, hike, row, eat healthy, floss...), so her suggestion was to provide for me daily prompts, word associations, assignments, etc., for me. I will devote 10 minutes to each prompt and just write and see what comes out. I might even write down some of the ones I kinda like a little bit on here. I may even edit them beforehand, but no promises. See, MUCH better idea!

So, as a kick-off, here is today's prompt un-edited, so please enjoy with merciful eyes:

"...brings me gladness."

*The way a candle's flame can dance so effortlessly in an absent wind--fully knowing it's vulnerable and fragile existence, boldly moving and beckoning, nonetheless.
*The audacity of most of nature to do the same.
*The way a poem put to song can move my soul to tears and uplift my eyes.

I am often in a place of gladness when I don't quite know I'm there--in those times when I am lost in the marvelous wonder of the naturally mundane. Or maybe when I marvel in reflection of the wondrous mundane moments in which I am swept gently and fail to see as they occur. Perhaps when I am immersed in the most painful nostalgia of these moments that I am actually most whole, for the gaps and spaces carved out by missing and memory are filled with fountaining gladness for them. It is truly a bodily place to which I am brought, never beckoned, because if I was called towards a place of gladness, I would never come. I would approach it with trembling hands and an unsteady resolve, doubting that this is the right place--a place so wonderful and mundane and simple. Oh, so simple.

22 January 2011


I couldn't find a way to make this a 2011 goal, unless it was something like "be ok with your ennegram personality description", so I'm just going to do a post about it anyway. This is the most accurate "personality" test I've ever seen--it describes me nearly perfectly, and I've been able to pin-point most of my friends' types fairly easily and with skilled precision. You should take the test here: http://www.9types.com/ !

I've also seen a version that describes one's personality type by what they need. For example, I am Type 4, which is "The Need to Be Special". (It's a lot less narcissistic than it sounds, but only a little bit.) I like this rhetoric better, because, to me, it seems that a communication tool that centers on the understanding one's own needs and, in turn, enables one to understand the needs of others would foster a relational environment of self-acceptance, honest discourse, increased patience, and non-contingent love and affection. Which, hey, who doesn't want that? (I realized that the preceding paragraph dangerously treads near the parameters of the "children, clouds, and puppies" clause, but I am a Type 4, and that's just how we roll sometimes.)