Full Circle

My parents can be proud of this. Not of me and not of my sister but of the evidence that points to the legacy of their own work.

My 8 year old niece’s head was bent over the craft table in full concentration. She was busy with some type of project. Tugging a phone book as large as herself across the room, she sealed an envelope and asked, “How do you spell Womens’ Resource Center?” My sister assisted and asked what was in the envelope. My niece couldn’t remember. A bit concerned about the phone call that might come from the Center or elsewhere, my sis took a peek.

The Gift? A Note and 5 Pencils

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When the Frost Hands you Lemons

Our winter has been unseasonably cold. In the beginning, DH hustled out each evening with drop cloth to protect our beautiful plants from the frost and now, we’ve thrown in the drop cloth so to speak. We’re patiently waiting for spring warmth to see what might emerge and recover from our brown and crispy landscape. At the same time, across town I did find a group however that was quite productive when they heard the frost was near.

Using Local Ag to Build Community and Microenterprise!

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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.

flickr.creativecommons/photos/heraklit/169568227

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Bindweed, Creeping Spurge and Crabgrass

“I can see white flowers blooming on the tops of the evergreens.”

The observation came from my 92 year old Grandmother. Last weekend was my turn to visit her as I attempt to do with some regularity despite the 800 miles between us.  It’s a wonderful bonding experience and I try to accomplish a few chores like cleaning a closet shelf that’s hard for her to reach or stocking up on grocery items. Friday night when my son and I arrived, she greeted us with fresh sweet corn and Colorado’s Palisade peaches.

flickr cc Muffet

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A Dish in My Kitchen

Catching up after being on vacation is more work than it was to get ready for the trip. People who haven’t been able to contact me for a week are vying for calendar space. My email inbox is full and snail mail has backed up too.  I find that having a blackberry mitigates some of the catch up but regardless, there’s a lot to do upon return.  I’ve worked late a couple of nights this week but that make things more hectic as I run from the office to the little league field to violin lessons and then home to get homework done and everyone fed. Last night I threw in the towel and ordered a pizza.

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Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home

In the days following my cancer diagnosis I recall a conversation with my husband. “Breast cancer just isn’t my cause,” I told him. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it worthy – of course it was. I’d sponsored friends in the famous 3-day walk, made contributions to Komen and supported a close friend who founded the Arizona Institute for Breast Health. I wore pink bows to honor my best friend, my coworkers, and others but my community involvement leaned in other directions and I wasn’t ready to abandon those due to an unwanted illness. I’m terribly thankful for the thousands who do crusade on behalf of the cure and I’ve enjoyed helping the Wellness Community of Arizona, an organization that was very helpful to me, but whatever the activity, I work hard to make certain that it is well aligned with me and my values.

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An Old-fashioned Barn Raising?

Let me start by apologizing for my overuse of the word “delight”.  I know I write it too often but I haven’t come up with an appropriate synonym for that moment of precious excitement upon discovery of something new.  This morning, I heard it in my 7 year old’s voice, “Mom, come here and see this!”  The object of his delight? His Ant Farm.

The ants had created a new tunnel and it appeared that one might be stuck but another 6-legged critter quickly marched in to alleviate the issue.  For the guy in trouble, his friend, neighbor, family member (or perhaps all three) showed up to help him out of his dilemma. Ok, that might not have been what was really going on but watching caused me to think about something I recently learned about from the Ozarkhomesteader – crop mobbing. (more…)

Lives of Service depend upon Lives of Support

Although I’m somewhat of a spiritual seeker, this blog is not about religion or religious viewpoints. But I confess that I was both incredulous and angry last week when a popular Christian tele-evangelist said that Haiti got what was coming to them.  They made a deal with the Mephistopheles?  I had to look the word up. Really Pat?  You believe that?  And you work to bring others around to that point of view? (more…)