Thursday, March 15, 2012

10 Things I Can't Live Without: Petals In Prose

 Oh God I am such a sap. I have waited until it was time to post this list before I read it because I knew it would make me tear up. And it has.

This is my friend Cammie. Long before there was a dashing blonde South African husband, 2 beautiful blonde children and a flower farm, there was me and Cammie in a flower shop.

Where I helped teach her to design, she helped teach me to take life a little easier.  We traded books and laughs and inspiration.  When I reached the end of a job and gave a sigh of relief, Cammie was standing on her toes and seeking a new horizon ahead.  Cammie was endlessly creative and brave, and still is today.

Skip over to her blog, Petals in Prose, and below you'll find a list of her ten cherished things.

And, finally, here's me giving her a big hug and kiss.  Love you Cammie. Thank you


When Jane asked me to do a list of 10 things, one of the first things I thought I couldn't live without was…..people like Jane.  But first, I need to tell you about my camera.

Photography practice with a poppy.

10. Two Christmases ago my husband said he would give me a camera for Christmas.  That was before he knew what I wanted. Two Christmases later, I unwrapped my favorite new friend, a Canon EOC Rebel T2i.  We are still getting to know each other but the love affair is intoxicating.  


9. My bees (and their flower friends).  The year I had little Lola we got our first hive of bees.  She and her brother are growing up with them and their excitement watching the little buzzers fly into the hive with their "pollen suitcases" has become one of the great lessons of my life...a minimum of 50% of fear appears to be "taught"....the other 50% may or may not be a necessary life skill.  Cover me in bees anyday, fear never.

Lola handing me my favorite flower.

8. Dandelions.  My life is effectively all about flowers and I cherish it...but since I was tiny I have loved the dandelion.  Collecting them, making necklaces with them, tucking one behind my ear.  The bees love them, Lola and Dirt Dog relish blowing about the pollen, and at the end of the day they remind is everywhere.

7. Inspiring people.  I could write the whole list about them.   Authors, musicians, friends, family, my 98 year-old grandmother, and yes, are on this list.  They open doors, they beckon you through barriers, they sow seeds.

6. Projects.  I love a project.  My life can be detailed into 3-6 month projects on which I work furiously then set off to the wind. (which reminds me, I really, really want to create a sand mandala someday.....anyone game? Big project.  Huge.)

5. This quote by T.S.Eliot, "I have measured out my life in coffee spoons" (from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock), which I was reading in the 10th grade when I was desperately in love with a senior boy.  I read the line over and over and in a sudden fit of inspiration, changed it to, "I will NOT measure out my life in coffee spoons!"  I jumped up, ran to the phone, dialed his number and asked him to go fishing with me.  Nothing came of the boy but the moment was life changing.  I have repeated that quote like a mantra over and over again at every great crossroads in my life.

4. Profanity.  I don't typically use it, but I love listening to it.  Not the mean kind.  The boldly, wildly, effusively expressive kind. 

3. My girls.  Do I need to explain?  My girls….my “need a talk, need a laugh, need a “hell yeah” anytime, anyday, anywhere no contract necessary…girls.” 

2. A rock in the shower.  Literally.  I live on a cut-flower farm now but for many years I lived in tiny apartments with windowless bathrooms.  I made a point to always have a rock in the shower to remind me of how fresh the water in a waterfall feels.  

1. Have I finished my countdown? I have so many loves but it comes down to this...the real loves of my life are right here, sleeping in their beds, covered in favorite blankets and surrounded by miniature tractors and excavators, handmade flower fairies and stuffed dolphins.  They may be drooling, snoring, or dreaming about the day they raise the roof with their garage-rock-band….but they are my family and I wouldn’t trade them for all the great finds at the flea market….not even a macro lens for my new camera (wish list 2013).


  1. I can see why you became a bit dewy eyed. Cammie's countdown is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Bonnie

  2. Just amazing--such richness. I'm going to read it again. It's a keeper.

  3. She sounds like a person I'd love to have in my life.

    I love her list but especially #7 and #2. I adore the thought of having a rock in the shower!

    Thanks for sharing...she's very inspiring.

  4. Jane,
    Thanks so much for thinking of me...the dr said it's the worst damage she's seen on a little foot. I'll be on the couch for probably a couple more weeks. I'm stressed about being so late with the gardens but I guess it could be worse....I'm out of pain pills so I pray it gets better soon! :)

    You're a sweetie. xo

  5. Cammie's defiance of the coffee spoon mode of life is admirable, and living on a flower farm sounds idyllic. I'm away to spy on her own blog.

  6. oh dear, now i've got a tear in my eye too. how cammie writes about her 10 things and family, and how each of you talk about your friendship...thankyou for such a heartwarming read on a grey and rainy glasgow morning xx

  7. Jane this is just brilliant. Your previous posts and this post has made my day. This is a great start to our long weekend over across the pond. Friendship rocks. Sinead x

  8. Number one is my favorite. These women who grow flowers have somethin' goin' on. I love the love you share.

  9. what a wonderful list and testament to living well!


  10. Wow! what a list! You are fortunate to have someone with such a great heart in your life. THanks for sharing her. xo

  11. Another great 10 things post! I have never been to Cammie's blog before, but will pop over now.

    Happy weekend Jane,

    Madelief x

  12. I have loved reading Cammie's countdown list and have visited her beautiful blog. How cool to have a rock in the remember...It's obvious why you are friends!

  13. Love the lists- all inspirational x