Thursday, May 31, 2012

Black Thumbs

 Front yard
Side yard

Geraniums aren't fancy (neither am I)...they are a bloom-where-you're-planted kind of friend (so am I)....You can't kill them. And? If you do? If you do, they are a break-off-a-piece-and-start-over kind of cat (as am I).

There are dozens of geraniums, in various stages of transplant and growth, around my yard. I think 90% of them are offshoots from the pink and red trailing variety that have lived for 4 years in the giant pot next to a raised veggie bed in my backyard.

I love them because they were Grandma Mary's favorite flower. She had a bit of a black thumb. "I kill them with kindness," is what she would tell us, as she watered everything in her death. But geraniums don't mind if you over water them. Or under water them. Or anything else. They will produce (and reproduce) their happy little blossoms until time out of mind.

Really now....I kind of love them.

Friday, May 25, 2012

This Boy and His Dog

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thoughtful :: Missing Her

They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.   ~ Banksy
Gram died a year ago, yesterday. Me and Tommy talk about her the most, I guess. Scotty tells me he knows that she lives in his heart. I tell him that's true. But. I guess I would give just about anything to hear her singing, one more time. Hear her laughing, one more time. Hold her hand, one more time. Today, I'm going to say her name, one more time, and I hope there never is a last time. I love you, Grandma Mary.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I Wore :: Cardigan


It's allergy season and I was wearing a cardigan over my "teacher dress" (oh, yes, I assure you, there is such a thing as a "teacher dress", and it's a standard issue with your credential ;) when I noticed a tissue poking out of my sleeve. 

My Grandma Dot taught pre-school the one, that makes 8....a hojillion years**.  And there are a lot of tears (and boogers) in pre-school. She was never without tissue, and they were always stuck into the sleeve of her bright green cardigan, just as I have done here.

She never shared this as a "hot tip" and she never mentioned it at all really, so I was sort of surprised to look down and find that, with a muscle of memory I didn't even know I had, a tissue had found it's way into my own cardigan sleeve.

It got me to thinking about my children, and their children (or children's children) one day, and if there's anything about me that will find it's way into their bones? Like, will my great-great-grandchild love horses and cry when he steps on a snail, but not know why?

I kind of hope so.

Whenever I use the made up number of "hojillion" I am reminded of this news story, where folks were petitioning to officially call the number octillion (10 to the 27th power) "hella big". Still cracks me up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gardening :: Sage

 It's that time of the year, when I've started assessing the garden plan. Besides the monumental weed situation, two beautiful plants came up big losers. The top one is a flourishing rosemary and the bottom one is a stronger-than-ever sage. Both of these herbs started as $1.99 starts several years ago, but both have outlived their planting arrangements. I hated doing it, but the sage had to die (I'm sorry honey and bumble bees, I know this is your favorite friend!) and the rosemary had to move out of the tub and into the ground.

 After about an hour of hacking, pulling, and cursing, the sage BUSH had been reduced to a pile of branches and an enormous stump.
The raised bed that had been buried under the sprawl of the sage was now free and clear, and with compost and soil amendments, it has been planted as the cucumber patch.
The only thing that made this task bearable was the fact that this amazing plant had lovingly cast it's seeds into the surrounding areas and a half dozen small sages were growing nearby. I carefully dug them out and kept them immersed in a bucket of water until the next afternoon, when I finally had time to plant them in the front yard.

The front yard is going to be the kitchen garden, and I'm happy to report that three of the new sage plants and the enormous rosemary bush have survived the move and appear to be thriving. That's a decent mortality rate for my gardening record, if I'm being honest. Fingers crossed that I can, in the near future, amend appears to be thriving with just "thriving". Wish me luck....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Making :: Crocheted Baskets

Using the material I prepare for rag rugs, and roughly the same process, I have crocheted a few fabric baskets in recent weeks. They are sturdy and functional and, in my mind, pretty charming. The round one that holds (about one third of) Scotty's block collection was made using a pile of crib sheets I'd been saving. I'm not much of a home decorator, so 5 or 6 well-loved sheets were exactly the inventory that got me through both sets of crib years. No matching crib bumpers, no themed bedroom sets, just whatever few had been given to me by thoughtful, more stylish friends than I, and they made an adorable basket in the end.

I made the rectangular basket for wood next to the fireplace. Our San Francisco springs are so mild that the fireplace mostly sleeps from now until mid-November or so.....but the weather here is just unpredictable enough that you'd be a fool not to keep something to burn close at hand. So the ugly yellow-wrapped fire logs are cute as a button cozied into their new home.

Another basket, the first one I made, was started on Easter, watching the kids run around Aunt Barbara's backyard. Originally intended to hold my mom's traditional Easter presents (the vegetable starts I give her for her garden every year), I couldn't quite finish the basket in the few hours we were there. She took her plants home in the cardboard boxes they came in, and I took the basket home and ended up using it every day since. As you do.

It's amazing how much this basket holds! Camera and extra lenses, lunches and snacks for school/work/baseball field, veggies from the farmers market, a family set of water bottles, my (empty) wallet and keys (somewhere buried in there, i swear, give me a second minute and I'll find them), my ever-present notebook(s), at least three baseballs, my mitt, and random squirt guns and sticks I'm holding onto for The Things. 

Seriously sturdy.


 Tommy loves baseball, and this is his year. He drafted up to THE BIG LEAGUES and his hitting has turned a corner. This stand up double is the result of weeks of hustle and heart by this boy of mine who absolutely loves this game. And, wouldn't you know, once that door is opened......he has hits and rbis coming out of his ears. Thank you, Baseball, he needed that.