The Garden Girl

My photo
Virginia, United States
Living - Life - Simply - I garden some, write a little, and enjoy sharing a view - feel free to leave a view of your own.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What We Can do - For the Cure.

Initially this was to be a story in honor of my Mom and in loving memory of a
dear friend. But, I couldn't...because it isn't my story to's theirs...and

1. One out of eight women will develop some type of breast cancer.

2. Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.

3. Half of the women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 55 yrs. old.

Sounds so hopeless...and you can't help but feel helpless. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, but way too many women never need a month to be reminded. So for them, those loved ones gone, and those who fight on...we do what we can. Collect those pink yogurt tops, wear pink pins, and yes, have that mamogram!  Because it is October and it is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. But, some day, maybe one day, our grand-daughters will simply know it as October.  When that Race for Cure to be
over and wouldn't that be something.   

For the Cure - many small pieces - help solve the puzzle.
Hear the music my dear friend.
For it may never play again.
Dance through life a thousand years.
A thousand smiles, a thousand tears.
Eyes wide shut, yet seen it all.
With pain of heart and mind recall.
The questions asked but never known.
Will faith lead the angel flown?
To carry hard, it's bones do bare.
The burdened body, once so fair.
With strength to reach inside to touch.
So hard to try, and cry so much.
And make due with hours of time
Each day lived, with a broken lifeline.
To fight and push it all to give.
The way to find, the will to live.
Through faith to find the battle done.
The war so bravely fought and won.
To hear the music that by chance

There's yet another day to dance. 

Stand tall and sing a victory song.
So millions hear and sing along. 
"I Danced through life a thousand years
A thousand smiles..a thousand tears."

(c) 2009  the garden girl

Monday, September 26, 2011

Please, Please, Don't Eat those Mushrooms!!

Last evening the news ran a story about two people hopitalized in serious
condition from eating wild mushrooms. It happens more often than people would think according to an ER doc. These things can be extremely poisonous, and according to a friend...even the mushrooms that are perfectly
fine to eat, if you have never eaten them before, just try alittle piece first.
If you are going to have a reaction, your tongue will tingle. (that's good to know when ordering a dish with wild mushrooms!)  My great/grandmother and grandmother would go out picking wild mushrooms but my mother didn't care for them and I never learned how to distinguish good from bad.

My dear friend Kate told me she would pick wild mushrooms when they lived out in Washington State. Though they look neat..I wouldn't dare eat!
Kate said she now uses them for an art technique she does but about the only thing I did was take a few pictures of them before pulling them out so the dogs don't get to them. Especially this first picture. This 'shroom was a Biggie! So big I saw him from a 2nd floor window~ and for a split second thought -  Space Junk?
This baby is one of the biggest I've seen...about 7" across at least!

This weird looking disc I saw from the 2nd floor window

This little one was cute and delicate - probably deadly though! 


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Offering

The book is called "Poems"
"No wealth below is worth your care,
Look to the Lord alone,
In all your ways acknowlege Him,
And let his work be done."

The book was published in 1875, printed in West Chester, Pa.  It is noted inside the book the
poet died in West Chester, 5th month, 1st day, 1875.
Poems by R. Conard.  
During the past couple years I've had the honor and exciting experience of
having a few poems published here and there. Initially I was elated!! I quickly
became so confident that I began submitting works all over the place! Well
Poetry is no different than a book, you either love it, or can't get past the first five pages! There are poets whose poetry I could listen to for hours, and others I don't care to listen to at all!  Sometimes it's not the work that isn't worthy of print more so than the person reading it just doesn't feel the same connection -
as in reading a book. Hey...that's ok! Some poems I love are by well known poets and some are from poets not too unlike myself. Some simply fulfilled a life long dream. So why not celebrate them? Which is what I've decided to do. So here is my "SUNDAY OFFERING"  A poem, or two, each Sunday.
Some by poets who never thought or even grasp the concept of the world wide web (not in their time!) And, a poem here and there by myself. To share with
friends and family, and those who may connect.

This first poem is from R. Canard - the preface tells the story. There is no other information about the author in the book. It simply reads: The following verses were written by a dear friend now passed away. "sometimes as a relief to a burdened and tried mind, sometimes as pleasant recreation," and were never designed by her for publication; but it is believed these effusions of chastened spirit will find acceptance with her friends as a grateful tribute to her memory.  The poet died in West Chester, Pa., April 1st, 1875. Interestingly, inside the book I found an invitation address to a
Gertrude Steiner. It was an invitation to the 'grand opening' of a hat store called Marks Bros. on Tue., April 2nd, 1889. Perhaps this Gertrude may be the wife, or daughter, of the "friend'. I took note of the date on the invitation, which was exactly fourteen years and one day after the poet's death. Hmm, it may be fun
to see where this trail may lead!

Here is the first poem in the book:  A tribute to her mother.
To My Mother - on her 83rd Birthday
80 years had come and gone
and two more added to the past
But still thoust journey faintly on
As each day may be thy last

May He, who has prolonged thy stay
And watched thou trembling steps til now,
Guard well the evening of the day,
and smooth thy care worn brow.

And when the messenger shall come
Gentle may he summons be,
And glorious thou final home
throughout eternity.

There to rejoin the multitudes
That safely on Mount Zion stand,
Clad in their pure and spotless robes
Each one with palm, and harp in hand.
This is a recent poem I've been working on. I really do like writing by
candlelight can be very relaxing. Yet Sometimes the flames will begin to flicker if they were expressing their critique! 

Candlelight Critic


I write poetry

by candlelight.

pen in hand

I scatter words

and seek a simile

no one has heard.

A sudden glow

as fickled flames

in playful manner

giggle once

and even twice

if I should stammer

I read poetry

in the dark

to a candlelight critic

sometimes a friend

sometimes a cynic.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pumpkins + Garlic + Wine = Harvest Time!

The leaves haven't quite started to turn color but the pumpkins have been harvested! The sure fire way to know it's officially autumn: the fall festival! No matter where you live across the country within the month your town will host at least one festival of some sort. But whether they call it a Centerfest, Pumpkinfest, Harvest, Garlic, Wine, or Octoberfest, the fact is our towns need us! We need to be there, supporting local businesses as well as the vendors who pull into town and set up their goods. They all have one common goal: Make a living!

Never judge a book: I feel very fortunate to have had a conversation with this interesting guy. He was quite busy making kettle corn when I asked if I could
take a few pictures of the process but struck up a conversation when I picked
up on his Jersey accent. He told me he was a certified physical therapist just trying to supplement his income. Five years ago he had his own practice until
the big orthopaedic practices and hospital systems gobbed up his patients. Big practices now have their own sports medicine and PT clinics. It's a smart move for hospitals and surgeons, pretty convenient for most of us too. But it's lights out for small private practices who can't compete. This guy now guy works for a PT/Rehab Service, traveling around the Lynchburg area, and then travels on the weekends making his kettle corn. I shamefully admit to having a different profile of this man in my mind. (My mother's words "never judge a book" keep ringing in my ear!?)

I enjoyed my walk through Bedford's Centerfest. It was their largest ever with three band stages, venues for the kids. It had a great festive atmosphere! I'm so happy the rain held off and everyone; visitors and locals alike, were able to embrace the day. Together we shared the tradition of the harvest. I bought a couple pumpkins for the front porch and yes, I stood on line for some of that kettle corn..(and it was worth it!!)

Enjoy the pics! And if you get the chance, support your town's local fall happenings. Go to their Main Street farmer's market next week or mark your calendar for its annual fall festival whatever it may be. Our small businesses are desparately trying to survive and need us now more than ever. Our Main streets will die without our small businesses. If you still believe in Main Street, like I do, then drop the big box store every once in a while. Learn a local businessman's name next week. You may just find out it's one of the best things you've done in a while. For yourself, and for the Kettle Corn man!
It can't be a fall festival without these! 

Never judge a book by it's cover - or it's kettle!

Not being a huge popcorn fan myself...I had NO idea how popular Kettle Corn is and
was wowed by the line of people waiting for a bag!

The busiest folks on Main Street!

The clouds and dull sky never did lift but on the other hand the crowds turned up.
In three blocks I heard three different bands - country to classic rock.
There really was a little something for everyone.
 We need to keep Main Street alive and the small businesses who
make up our downtowns.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Photography class project....finally learning how to use my Nikon. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The End of Summer - yields down - hopes high!

For Me: It was NOT an exceptional summer for gardening. Seemed like no matter how much we watered that crusted earth, it was just as dry the next day. But, rather have the garden go dry then our well! We had a small yet decent crop of garlic, tomatoes, onions, beans, and some leeks. Thanks to a good deal of composting early this spring I was able to keep the herbs growing. Sadly, my cutting garden seemed to fizzle. The phlox never formed their usual large heads of pink and raspberry colors. My sunflowers and black eyed susans did not disappoint, yet even they succumbed earlier than usual with a shorter bloom period.  All those days of  95 + degrees and no rain. I can't imagine how bad it must be in Texas! I just planted black seeded simpson and mesclun mix seeds. I'm Glad I didn't do that last last week. Those seeds would have been washed out clear down to the creek!!
I believe these are 'Mop Head' Hydrangeas...I put the small pot last summer at
flea market. They bloomed all summer long...and really added color well after the
azealas and rhodis were done blooming.

 Good Bye Black Eye Susans

All of us gardeners plant each spring with such high expectations. I can't imagine how hard it must be for farmers whose lives pretty much depend on the cooperation of Mother Nature.  I highly applaud the farmers who grow certified organic fruits and vegetables. They really go to great lengths in order to bring a healthy and natural product to consumers. "Give me spots on my apples but leave the birds and the bees - please".  I began growing organic years ago, mainly because I couldn't afford all that 'stuff'!  I admit only to spraying my roses now and then. And yes, I spray anything that even remotely resembles like poison ivy!

I like sharing my yields with friends and neighbors but I've been thinking about adding a whole new row next season to share with the local food bank.

It's hard to believe; with all this beautiful farmland surrounding us, there could be families who don't have fresh produce on the table. But, there are... many! Fact is one out of every five families fall under the poverty level.
34% of our nation's children go to be hungry? In America - yes. I don't
want go into politics - the numbers are what they are. We can change that
by simply helping where we can. Planting an extra row would only be add tiny part to a very big picture. I'm going to bring the idea to the garden club this week, can't hurt - might help!

When I think about putting a few fresh organic veggies on a child's plate...
could there be any better reward for a gardener than that?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On this Day -

It is most befitting that our son Jimmie be where he is today, working with
with his colleagues atop the World Financial Tower, covering the Memorial to September 11th. For him, it was coming full circle.

On this day 10 years ago most of us knew exactly what we were doing when we first heard of the terrorist attacks. There are countless stories, some we'll never know. But rest assured they are as important to them as our stories are to us. I know where I was that day, down to that moment I knocked at my Chief's office door to advise him our country was under attack.

Things happened so quickly my head still spins whenever I think of it!  I knew my son was in New York. He called me and told me that a plane had struck one of the World Trade Center towers and that he was heading down there to meet up with the (NY1) news crew he was working with that day. He was a young kid, new to the business, and wanted that story!  I never heard from him the rest of the day. Not til very late that night. I sat in the Chief's conference room arm in arm with the detective's secretary. Her sister worked in the South Tower. No calls could get through, in or out of the City, not 'til much later that day. We all sat there in silence watching tv...hoping, praying.  I don't think people knew what to say to each other! We later got word from Kathy's sister. She decided to walk to work that beautiful September morning and was late! I finally got a
call from Jimmie....they couldn't get a news truck close to the Trade Center
so they walked. They were five blocks away from the first tower when it came down. They ran for their lives. Two lives spared among so many that were called home that day. It makes you wonder?

On this day - I knew instantly that husband Steve would be called to active duty with the Air Force. However, neither one of us could have predicted his service would be three years long, ending in Arlington, Virginia.  All said and done, here we are - 10 years later. Like all families we've had our personal losses but also several magical moments: weddings and babies. And there is nothing that renews ones spirit and the soul like the birth of a new baby.

On this day - most of us will put out our flags and attend our memorials. Some of us will recall the day with reflection...proud to stand beside a fellow brother or sister during each others own hours of anguish.  We reflect, respect, and most important.. pray that we never forget. Ofcourse with the natural passing of time, memories will slightly fade with the passing years. That is why we must look to the children...To the children of 9/11, whose young lives have already lived a  lifetime. Me must look to for their young souls.
And that we honor them as we honor their parents. For this day will 'always'
belong to them.

On this Day - we must take the children out of the shadows!

In Remembrance

"Streaming blue beacons ignite through the sky, climbing toward heaven, calling to tell them. We will never forget you, We will never forget" from The Poet's Domain vol. 26...."The Towers"


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Here Goes - Words and Weeds

Welcome to Words and Weeds - a compilation of thoughts on what I call the 'quiet crazy'...  poetry/writing, organic gardening, and sharing a view. Happy to share some pics and tips - and welcome yours as well. Thanks!