Posted at 7:50 am , on April 21, 2018
British Gardening Books
When I look at my bookshelf, I often notice the same handful of gardening books. They are by the most prominent British horticulturalists of the 19th and 20th centuries. The designers who built the most spectacular estates in England. They experimented with the concepts of outdoor rooms, mixed borders, and designing with focal points or natural features. While classic European gardens featured the formality of hedges and geometric patterns, these British visionaries broke away from that formality and created a new, inventive, naturalistic art. Continue reading
Posted at 4:39 pm , on April 16, 2018
Tulips Bloom in April Despite the Cold
Spring arrived on the calendar in March but it hasn’t arrived in the real life Pacific Northwest. Rain, cooler-than-usual temperatures, wind. We’ve experienced a prolonged late winter here. Still, daffodils and tulips are blooming. My hostas are emerging. The hydrangeas are leafing out. Plants know the warm sunny days are coming. So despite the cloudy cold, I’ve been chipping away at my list of garden chores to prepare for more inspiring days. Here they are in no particular order. Continue reading
Posted at 9:23 pm , on April 7, 2018
Madeleine, My Dear Old Cat
What do you when your cat has a heart attack and dies and then comes back to life? You write a novel I guess. At least I did, for fun. Or not so much for fun but because I was freaked out by the experience. My cat had had a urinary tract infection and gave up eating. She vomited. So I took her to the emergency vet where after a routine examination, she went into cardiac arrest. Luckily, the doctors revived her. Afterward, the experience was on my mind and in my heart, my aching heart. In fact, I struggled with the trauma for months. Now, finally, she’s infection free and as good as a thirteen-year-old cat can be.
The artistic outcome was I started writing a story about it and couldn’t stop. It’s about a young woman who’s just finished graduate school and comes home to care for her family home while her mom’s away in rehab. The working title is Sophie and the Tree Hollow. And here are the first few paragraphs. If you like it and want to read more, let me know. I may self-publish it, I may shop for representation, I’m not sure yet. Regardless, here it is.
Posted at 8:12 am , on April 1, 2018
My William Morris Celandine Journal
I’ve always thought keeping a journal meant writing long passages of insight about your life and its meaning, a diary a la Anais Nin or The Artist’s Way that someday after you die would reveal who you secretly were. I’ve tried to do this in the past but it never stuck. But after reading Show Your Work, I’ve realized that keeping a journal is the opposite. It can be disjointed, messy, inspired, and mundane. It’s a reflection of the nonlinear mind, of the creative journey. Like a painting of thoughts, ideas, notes, and even drawings, its bits and pieces coalesce to form its beauty. Continue reading
Posted at 6:48 am , on March 30, 2018
El Pimpi Courtyard Cross, Malaga, Spain
Last year, in April of 2017, we took our first family vacation ever. My husband, me, and three kids. We went to London, Paris, and Spain. It was an involved endeavor. There was much planning. There was much packing. There was much walking. But it was super fun. I’ve been to London and Paris several times and it was satisfying to show my kids their unique personalities, but I’d never been to Spain. Thanks to dear French friends, I discovered the joys of Spain too.
Specifically Malaga. And Mijas. Two cities on the coast of Southern Spain. Mijas was our home base, where our friends have a vacation cottage that overlooks the Mediterranean (yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds), but Malaga was our cultural adventure. A city of about a half-million people, Malaga has not only velvety mountains and lovely beaches, it has history. Delicious food. Stunning architecture and art. It’s affordable. And the Spanish people are friendly and accommodating. I have warm warm memories of Malaga. Continue reading