Monday, October 13, 2014

Seasonal Disorder

 I'm still not used to fall. The light, the weather, what to wear on any given day.....all confuse me.

Thanks to Gus I still wake up early but instead of wandering the garden, coffee in one hand, hose in another, I ice my latte and go back to bed.

Here,with pillows propped behind me, I read on my IPad, starting with Gardenista, hitting up Instagram and then a few chapters of a book.

Finally the sun rises, or the skies brighten depending on the weather and then I walk outside where the garden appears to be as confused as I am.

Pansies, iris, cabbages, tomatoes, dahlias, roses, kale all unconcerned as to what season it is. The iris in October always surprises me.

October is also time to cut down the grapevine which totally engulfs my deck. I was several years (read never) behind in cutting down the vine. First I didn't know to do it and by the time I wised up I was unable to use my shoulder. This year I was motivated.

The silver lining in Nelda's moving, and there is always a silver lining, is that she had to get her little deck redone before putting her house on the market.

Our decks were put on at the same time in 2004. I have stained mine twice. Every spring I swear this is the year I'll get sh*t done,and every spring the grapevine gets ahead of my good intentions. So boards split, moss grows and the grapevine covers railing, step and spindle.

But once there were actual people next door, powerwashing and hauling wood into the yard I ran out into the rain, umbrella over my head, slippers on my feet and asked for help.

Then I grabbed the lopers and got to work. Vine cut down to main stem. This girl was on fire.

Two days later, I too, had a redone deck, cracked boards replaced, wood washed, wood stained and my dream come true, a trellis built for the grapevine to cover.

I told Steve he was my Prince Charming, he made my dreams come true.

I was inspired to stain my old bench blue and drag it up on the little deck. This is where the sun, and I, linger in the afternoon.

And now every time I open the back door I am happy.

Confused but happy.

xo J

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I'm Giving It All Up To You

I blame it all on my IPad.

I can barely remember how to use my camera, I just wander around with the IPad taking pictures and posting them to Instagram.

I download book after book from the library and down them like vodka.

I read my email, do my banking and read your blog posts on my device. And when I don't comment right away it's because it's hard to comment. Much easier to post a heart on a photo I like.

I always mean to get over to the computer and respond but them I find myself downloading another book or looking at pictures on Instagram.

Hello, my name is Jane and I'm addicted to my IPad.

This weekend I was having a Sunday. This included garden time, a nap, making chicken tortilla soup and lounging on the couch, the front patio and the back deck ( I'm a wanderer) with the aforementioned device, the Sunday Times, a hardback and the new Bon Appetit.

At some point I strolled into the kitchen to ice myself one more latte and noticed how pretty the light was at 4:00 on an October afternoon.

I started to grab my phone but resisted and got my camera.

The grapes were luminous.
Lucy languid.
The back room quietly lit.

I've got to do this more often, I thought.

Does anyone remember a strange movie from a 100,000,000 years ago called "Until The End Of The World"?

The husband of a blind woman had invented a recording device to record and translate brain impulses thus allowing her to see the images. Her son was traveling around the world filming friends and family so she could stay connected. (This is a very simplistic review of a crazy mixed up movie).

The stranger thing about this device was that it allowed seeing people to record their dreams and they became addicted to it, watching their dreams over and over, they were addicted to their dreams as they would be to a drug.
How could that happen I used to wonder.

Then I got my IPad.
Now I see.

So to speak.


Can you hear me out there?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


To everything there is a season. 

Tis the season of zinnias and peppers, sedum and berried nandina.

 This is also the season my next door neighbors, one on the right and the other on the left are moving.

Sheila, on the right, has moved into her 94 year old fathers house, with her 16 year old daughter in tow.

She's only half a mile away, but still...

And Nelda, my sister of 14 years, has sold her house and will be moving to Austin, or Afghanistan, whichever beckons first. Wouldn't be any contest for me. Austin City Limits here I come.

We have spend many hours together in our separate yards, watering, weeding and swapping plants.

I have dug up her Roguchi clematis and a hellebore and transplanted them to my yard. A peony, white rose and maybe a weeping buddleia are next.

What I have also dug up is a deep feeling of sadness that my friend of so many years is leaving.

Just looking over at night and seeing her lights on gave me a feeling of peace.  I liked knowing she was home, making soup or knitting one of her endless projects.

We made many runs to garden centers, grocery stores and farmers markets over the years.

We were each others go to for that missing cup of milk or sugar, bunch of cilantro or threads of saffron.

She baked two of my three birthday cakes.

She has been next door while I lived and loved through two different relationships.  At the end of the day there was always Nelda.

In the past, when someone was leaving, I used to shut down my feelings and pretend to myself it didn't matter. I was a little soldier and could make my way through anything.

I don't/can't/want to be that way any more.

I couldn't be if I tried.

So I'm gong to roll with the pain, enjoy our last month or so together, and get every cup of sugar and spice out of her that I can.

I'm going to stock my pantry, both physically and metaphysically.

And chances are good you're gonna have to read about it.

I'll try to sweeten the pot with pictures.