October 27th, 2013
I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. I say “run/walk.” I used to say “run.” Now I say “run/walk.” It’s really “walk.” I am still in denial about the whole knee pain situation.
Anyway, I digress.
I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. Most days I listen to books via Audible on my iPhone while I run/walk because a good book with a compelling storyline and a talented reader who keeps me hanging on every word makes me want to keep run/walking so I don’t have to go inside and work/work. It’s a fabulous way to procrastinate/procrastinate and still feel a wee bit virtuous. I’m reading and exercising! In fact, I am pretty much on track to finish 100 Kindle, traditional and audiobooks this year as part of my Goodreads goal.
This morning I had to fumble a bit before getting Audible up and running. (Thank you iOS 7 for making me add a password.) While I was mashing virtual buttons on the minuscule screen without benefit of my reading glasses, I ran/walked several yards, not looking at the first thing except that tiny screen.
Suddenly it hit me. Smoke. Specifically, wood smoke from someone’s fireplace.
Now, I’m not big into fireplaces with smoke because of sensitive sinuses and a strong tendency to get painful sinus infections when exposed to smoke of any sort. But small doses of outside smoke from someone else’s fireplace a half mile away is rather nice. It says, “Fall!” It says, “Time to reflect and slow down.” It says, “Drink some hot chocolate and take a nap!”
It’s a smell with dozens of associations from childhood and from the happiest (and a few sad) times of my life. That smell was accompanied by the nature music of my feet brushing aside the fallen leaves as I walked up the driveway.
“Slow down!” I said to myself. (But don’t stop running/walking!)
I put away the iPhone and looked at the mosaic of colors—red, yellow, brown, green and every color of fall, punctuated by the occasional, fearless rose, salvia and celosia.
If I could bottle up that fantastical combination of smell, sound, fresh air, color—and the rush of the run/walk—I would be richer than Oprah.
Alas, no one has figured out how to capture the magic of Mother Nature, although artists, photographers, musicians and perfumers still try.
But I am still rich. I am rich because I can appreciate the gifts Mother Nature hands out for free to anyone willing to pause in their run/walk through life and appreciate it.
August 14th, 2013
As I was browsing around over on Pinterest this morning, I was impressed with some of the solutions gardeners found to common gardening problems—organizing garden tools and supplies, protecting and supporting plants, labeling plants, nurturing and decorating. I have also seen some fabulous, clever and cheap garden solutions from garden tours in recent years, so I thought I would pull them out of the archives and share.
I have noticed that gardeners are quite thrifty in utilizing and repurposing available materials. Twigs, sticks and vines can be used to support plants, as trellises and even just for decor.
A series of larger sticks can be pushed into the ground for peas, sweetpeas and other plants that could use a bit of extra support. One year we used branches from mimosa trees that had blown down in a storm to create a cucumber trellis.
If you need to block off a path or area to discourage foot traffic, a collection of salvaged branches can do the trick.
Unusual materials can also be repurposed in the garden for many purposes. I have often seen marine-grade rope draped to create attractive supports for trailing roses and vines.
How about repurposing sandbags? They can be used to create temporary walls, garden seating or raised beds.
Tree stumps can be unsightly and expensive to remove. If it’s large enough, a tree stump can be repurposed as a novelty garden seat, table or planter pedestal.
Aren’t gardeners wonderfully creative and clever?
You can follow my board of garden solutions over on Pinterest.