for those who are in or around sane

Wednesday, July 23

garden, pt 7 : feed me seymour, FEED ME!

a tip of the hat to the old adage "the kettle wont boil if you watch it"... i now am the proud "mama" of two nearly ripe tomatoes! as i suspected, the two re-potted monsters are of the yellow variety. After my busy week/weekend and a steady 2-day rainfall which kept me inside and unawares, the little guys popped their color.

the red plants aren't doing bad at all. in fact, i have quite a few little guys struggling to fill out. i'm seeing some roots pop out of the top of the soil. intuition (and imagination) says it rained a bit much and the roots simply needed a breath of air. i am inclined to put some extra soil on top and provide a bit of plant food. any yays/nays or other advice out there?

my prolific herbies maintain their productivity. never failing me, they spread steadily and respond rapidly to my regular trimmings. if i cooked more, i'm sure i'd have an audry issue on my hands...

the last surprise came from my bastard child - the aloe plant. i purchased it about 2 years ago and was told it's very hard to kill an aloe plant. i think i loved the aloe plant a bit too much. in fact, i'm pretty sure i abused it with un-desert-like treatment. circumstances as they were, i thought i killed it last year. unable to admit my defeat, i took it with me through the big moves and finally resigned to leaving it on the porch, unattended. alone in it's ideal environment (hot, day-long sun exposure, with lack of attention and water) the little guy actually started thriving. the green is inching back up the stalks! it's a miracle, folks.

of course, what was the first thing i did when i realized what was happening? i watered it. doh!!


Thursday, July 10

garden, pt 6

garden update! lookee - i have tomatoes growing! (if only i remembered which type of plant this was....)


Wednesday, July 9

june books

there's nothing quite like a lazy summer day, sitting under a tree reading a book. or, in my case, sitting on a beach chair on a patio, rooftop deck or towel on the beach in the sun - soaking up all that vitamin d my body was deprived of during that ridiculously long winter.

forever in blue: the fourth summer of the sisterhood, by ann brashares
the past few summers i've picked up the habit of snagging my mom and sis's copies of the traveling pants series. when they read, books are left laying around the house in well-lit areas, tempting me to crack the cover and indulge for a few hours. occasionally i get to do just that. the past month allowed me to saunter through the 4th and final book in the series. the four girls survive their first year at college and find themselves spread apart for most of the summer - their main connection is the circulation of the pants.

bridget gets into romantic trouble, tibby gets into romantic trouble, lena gets into romantic trouble and carmen becomes an actress. i must ask why carmen gets the shaft when it comes to boys - she's never the one with a crush or pursuer. perhaps that's why she's my favorite character - at least, she's the one i can identify with the most. i love how the girls fight, apologize, support each other, get into antics and open up in their hearts. a pretty good closer to the series.

the house of the spirits, by isabel allende
book club book! this is the first one for my gal club that i suggested. i had a hankering to read some magical realism, and my coworker sara suggested allende's works. i chose this one because it received much critical acclaim and i wanted a good summer-hot-weather story.

allende weaves the history and politics of an unnamed south american country through the lives and loves of three generations of women: clara the clairvoyant, blanca of perseverance, and alba the bold. The most prominent male influence in all three of their lives is clara's husband, the volatile esteban trueba.

i was completely engrossed in this epic tale of love, innocence, prediction and survival amid an alternating world of beauty and atrocity. i worried about this novel becoming a feminist manifesto(a?), but blanca has two brothers and a lover who play a part in the reconciliation of male/female compassion, strength and resolve.

i must say, this would have lent itself to a killer book club discussion, but alas, schedules conflicted and almost no one finished the tome in time. my pull for rooftop margaritas and enchiladas still brought the gals to the door, but our conversation tended toward the chatty/gossip that a bit of tequila will influence. regardless, it was a fabulous choice and i'm happy to share that here.


Monday, July 7



that's the sound of someone who just finished a well-needed vacation. mini-breaks can prove to be the panacea for work/life stress - especially when you venture to new places with wonderful folks.

i ventured to the michigan beachy area of glen (and surrounding towns) and had myself a faboo time sharing stories, bonfires on the beach and berries. i learned to kayak (and love it) and ate the best blueberry pancakes i've ever had.

fran & bob were generous hosts, liz's cousin lauren is an absolute peach, and john was a trooper to put up with a weekend of estrogen (bob to the rescue!). here are some pix that only tell a tiny portion of the tale of relaxation therapy:

Wednesday, July 2


my new favorite material possession: