The Volunteers Seem to Thrive

My husband and I were working in the area around our front patio this weekend. Over the last year, we changed out some of the plants and added some new ones. There’s a lovely new agave that we’ve planted and artfully swirled around it, a flowering vine has grown. I mentioned the vine to him, impressed that it had grown on it own. “We didn’t even plant this yellow microdot.”  His comment back, “yeah, the volunteers always seem to thrive.”

In surveying our yard, I quickly decide this is a truth. Some of the things I’ve purchased at nurseries didn’t make it but many of the plants that were taken as cuttings from others or that have come up on their own – aka volunteered, are thriving.



Close Up on a Community Garden

I was surprised to hear the words coming from his mouth only because they were so similar to words that I had used a week earlier in blogging about my community. “There is so much bad news in the world, that it’s great to have this garden – this is good.” Here I was in Miami Beach, FL seeking a good story and here was a good story and someone who feels exactly as I do telling it.

Victory Garden



Road Trip

I admit to being a bit of an ostrich but there are times when I’d really prefer to turn off the bad news. And, I’d rather bring about wider acknowledgement of the good. I’m fortunate in that I’m able to travel to some remarkable places each year and now, I’m going to try to focus on the amazing individuals and projects in those places.


Food Stamp Fail?

If I didn’t call this failure, it would be hypocritical. That said, I,m reporting back on the outcomes of our food stamp challenge. Challenge – it was. As a full-time working mom, could I feed my family of five, nutritious meals on a food stamp allocation of $30 per person per week?



One Girl’s Trash is Agrigirl’s Treasure

My neighbor stopped by with a gift. Upon examination, it was a sack of grass clippings, a side of watermelon rinds and a couple apple cores. Odd? Maybe but absolutely appreciated. She was making a contribution to our compost pile.

The Compost Pile


Looking at the World through a Rose-Colored Glass

Optimism, joy, chuckles, bliss. It seems that so many places we turn, people are talking about the elusive concept of happiness. We can speculate at the reasons; a tormented economy, the sandwich generation, increasing social pressures.  I’ve read unfortunate tales about the increase in the use of antidepressants in adults and in children. Frankly, I think happiness is a difficult thing to calculate. How do we really know of its existence or its intensity unless we’ve measured it against sadness?

Rose Colored Smoothie


There’s No Inflation Unless You Eat

My brother in law is a cracker jack financial advisor who has been helping hundreds of fortunate clients manage the recession. The title of his blog this week was “No Inflation Unless You Eat“. Apparently, the Fed omits the price of food when calculating the Core CPI but as Jay points out, “most of us don’t live in a core world.” I can appreciate his issue with the numbers and the underlying increase in food costs but it also caused me to think about all sorts of food and income related issues.

Bloomberg Inflation Chart


Do You Have the Huevos?

Our eggs were delivered on Thursday. We received 3 dozen precious eggs of varying sizes and colors in unmatching recycled cartons. Actually, our egg lady delivers to one of my company offices and colleagues on their way to my building for a meeting are kind enough to schlep them along. They put them in the fridge and someone always puts a sticky note on my light switch that says DON’T FORGET EGGS.


Telling Our Stories

“When a community loses its memory, its members no longer know one another. How can they know one another if they have forgotten or never learned one another’s stories? If they do not know one another’s stories, how can they know whether or not to trust one another? People who do not trust one another do not help one another, and moreover, they fear one another.” (Wendell Berry, What Are People For)


Wendell Berry: Farmer, Writer, Academic - photo courtesy of




Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Ways to Save Water

Hy*po*na*tre*mia. As I understand it, the condition arises when too much water inside the body causes tissue to swell. Because our cells maintain a certain sodium content, excess water outside of our cells begins to draw sodium from within the cells in an attempt to re-establish the specific concentration. As more water gathers, the sodium concentration decreases and creates this condition. It occurs from drinking too much water. Actually, that’s not an accurate diagnosis and we are not drinking too much water but in a world where 38,000 children die weekly from unsafe water, we are wasting too much.