Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Garden Journal

This spring has seen my first real attempt at gardening. I tried to get Mike interested in vegetable gardening, but the maples take most of his time so I decided to take the plunge and do it myself. Now I am hooked. I have two raised beds with greens and assorted vegetables, and have scattered strawberries and sunflowers throughout the rest of the yard. I started cucumber seeds which are descendants of cucumbers brought from Greece by my grandparents when they immigrated in the 1920's. Unfortunately, they haven't done very well so far, but whatever happens, gardening is a great way to spend time outside, dirt is healing, and it offers unlimited material for drawing and writing. I won't give up.

Sunflowers via NYC

One of the gifts of our trip to Africa was meeting Shirley and Dennis, a very interesting couple from New York. Tales of horse racing, flying helicopters, and life in the Big Apple fascinated us as we sipped drinks and watched the setting sun during sundowners at the end of each day of wildlife viewing in the bush.

They sent us sunflower seeds from their garden (not NYC, but their summer home) which I started indoors and are now placed next to the artichokes in the raised bed near the goat pen. So far, they look good. Here they are in my sketchbook when they were just getting started.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Raleigh's Agility Training

My Corgi, Raleigh, and I started agility training recently. Mike joined us for the last session and brought the camera. The photos seem to indicate that I am a lot more interested in what our teacher, Clare, is saying than Raleigh is, but he really seems to enjoy it once he gets going.

(an alphabet poem)

Agility training with my dog Raleigh
brings out the kid in me.
Coming together with those eight other people and their
dogs two hours
each week in
Fortuna, has
got to be one of the most pleasant things I
have done in a long time.
I love
just being with a group of people who
keep focused on their dogs running through tunnels and hoops,
leaving cares like
money, troublesome
politics, behind. It is the
quintessential escape.
Raleigh is enjoying the experience as well,
since he gets praise and
treats just for trying something new,
unless, of course, he really messes up which happens
very seldom. Nearly always
we cheer him on as he
ecstatically charges through tunnels, jumps through hoops, and
yaps as he joyfully
zooms around the track.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I received an email from a friend today (see photo above taken just before we dined on the fabulous paella that he prepared for dinner during his last visit). Jamie is a wonderful blend of free spirit, techie, and artist. He can also be a little directive, which I appreciate. The first line in his message was:

"Well, if you're gonna have a blog, could you at least update it once in awhile?"

An excellent question, and the answer is yes. So here is the first one, Jamie. More to follow. As I posted earlier, I am blessed in my friends.