Monday, August 24, 2009

Tomatoes & Pumpkins - who knew?

That the simple act of growing edibles could be so warm, fuzzy and addictive?!

You'd be right if you though that one thread of my fascination came from my childhood. I was forutnate to have grandparents who farmed so it was always a part of my childhood. In my teens and 20's I was part of the foxfire generation. (if you don't know, the foxfire book(s) of the 70's were the good earth reference of a generation). In my early married years my husband and I cut and burned wood, did our own renovations, built two buildings amid full work schedules.

But life (and time) seldom move in straight lines and before long I found no time (or ceased to make time) for such pursuits until 30 some years had trickled by..... Now I find myself again drawn by the simple magic of such things. The diffrence now is that I posess the discipline to act vs dream ( a decided plus to mid life for me at least)!

This year my tomatoes went in as they have for the last several years. Six 'baby girl' tomaote plants - enough for my husband and I with extras for family and friends. Pumpkins and watermelons were the new adventure this year. Tho the rain caused them to fall prey to damping off fungus and did them in before fruiting they gave me a smile week after week. Watching them progress thru each step till just a few days ago fascinated me. Too bad that too much rain can be a bad thing. Still now I know they grow well I'll have another attempt next year!

The 'girls' (early girl tomatoes) are long and leggy from all the rain and limited sun, but the tomatoes I gather in a bowl (or in my shirt if loose enough to hold them - just as grandma used to) really do engender such an a amazing amount of contentment and accomplishment. Growing. Basically (weather and pests aside) so simple, so direct. Plant. Watch. Weed. Grow. Gather.

Food from inception to ingestion, lol.

Warm fuzzy fun.

Older than time but still inspiring.

Who'd have thought.....!

Friday, August 21, 2009



Yesterday, writing in response to the call Ronni Bennett put forward regarding HCR (health care reform) was good. Satisfying. Grounding. Empowering. I believe we made a difference.

Those feelings led me to recall a post I'd written almost exactly a year ago, oddly enough. The post can be found here:

Being a small part of many speaking out yesterday for the hope of a greater good without any surety of what the outcome will be caused me to realize what we each do matters. It matters, hopefully of course towards the outcome. It certainly matters to the overall understanding that sharing of ideas brings.

But most importantly perhaps, for me, was connecting the thought of a year past from that September 08 post to the action of posting yesterday. While a specific outcome is what I hope for, it was the 'taking what action I could, within my control' (thanks to the TIME GOES BY rally call) that mattered. In and of itself. The journey (my post) as well as the destination (hoped for outcome) both being equally relevant, with purpose found in each.

Perhaps it is true that we (I!) grow smarter with age :-)

Here's to each of us seeking, finding and acting on what we can, where we can, when we can. No matter what difference it makes, the effort itself makes a difference.
PS Thanks to NancyB and Lilalia for taking the time to share your comments on my post yesterday. Excellent points made by both within the comments and I'm looking forward to reading any posts/thoughts you wrote yesterday re: HCR!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Not since 9/11 have I written in relation to current events and concerns.

My post today is in support of a rally call to each of us by Ronni Bennett** who blogs at Her call was for straight forward, rational sharing of opinions regarding health care reform. I'm writing today because, make no mistake, this reform (or lack of) will impact everyone.

I'm in support of a careful, well crafted, competitive reform of health care insurance offerings. I have personally known individuals and families who have struggled with cobra insurance. I have firsthand seen the cost and desperation caused by insurance offerings limited due to PE (pre-existing conditions). I have watched the heartbreak of 'investigational treatment' approval denied - with absolutely no right to a review - by health insurers. Few people are as aware as they should or need to be of the limitations that can be contained within their paid non-government-health care policy. If more of us were aware of the limitations and control that can be contained in numerous health plans perhaps there would be less fear of a government or co-op option.

Years ago I had a client who lived in Canada. She lost her job, but often mentioned to me what wonderful peace of mind having government health gave this difficult time in her life. More than once she mentioned that yes, she had to wait at times to be seen but at least she knew she could be seen - not something she could have afforded had she needed to 'pay as she went' for helath care. Much as medicare provides for our retired population - and what a comfort that is to many in the US. Problems tho it may have, at 65 you have a safety net for your health care, a foundation if you like because you can add layers of additional coverage if your finances allow.

I am self employed. Younger than my husband by a number of years, I wonder (actually I worry) how within the current system I'll be able to afford health care premiums till I qualify for Medicare once he retires. Much like car insurance, I'd welcome the chance to have numerous options to choose from at the least. How can competition be bad FOR US as consumers?! I'd sleep better at night (as would many currently unemployed or uninsured) if there were some basic across the boards health care plan. I'd expect to pay a good bit for top shelf coverage if I could afford it and it seems that option is not going to disappear. What I hope for is a plan that allows we mere fiscal mortals who have a limit on our budgets to obtain health care without punishing costs. Wthout dynamic increase in premiums due to our age, our health problems, income thresholds.

I'm aware that no solution or plan is without it's costs, downsides or difficulties. But it's far harder to imagine how the potential of losing everything one has by having no health care insurance (or avoiding treatment due to the same) is preferable?

So I'm hoping that all of us regardless of age, employment situation, or personal preference for health care will continue to calmly and earnestly encourage in every way we can this effort for affordable and varied health care options.

**I read her blog daily finding insight, well qualified and documented insights and humor. If you're my age (later middle aged) you'll likely gain insight and helpful information related to the years ahead. If you're older you'll likely find information that applies to here and now. If you're younger (as I know many of my readers are) don't skip viewing her blog. You'll be surprised what you may learn from the writings Ronnie shares as well as the insights from contributing bloggers. Also of great insight are the comments often posted by readers!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Naughty Summer

Summer, we have to have a talk....
I know you probably have issues, things on your mind. But honestly I just don't know what your problem is this year! No sun, no warmth. Rain, rain and more rain! My sunflowers refuse to grow or bloom (they say they are after all SUN-flowers). My tomatoes are despondent. And green. Big and green. That's no way for tomatoes to look at the end of July going into August. And while we're speaking of July, do you know how distressing it is to be wearing a jacket in July? Jackets in July is catchy sounding but very distressing. Cool, cold rain day after day is fine if you're not a tree. But I'm not.

It's August and time is running out. So, Summer, if you could see your way clear to send a little sun and warm my way I'd be ever-so-pleased. Just a few days here and there. yes, that would be lovely....