Beauty Everywhere

scoronado1August is such a weird month.  There’s that particular light (the first time I read Light in August was..in August, sitting at Duff’s outdoor table in St Louis with the cicadas sawing their legs off and the trees!  A green so dense and heavy it seems to permeate the air around it). I find August light to be the sharpest light of the year, yet it has a warm roundness to it; the very fact that I can’t describe it makes it indescribably poignant.

scoronado

who could hate this gorgeous parkway?

August is, oddly enough,  a great time to visit a garden.  There are people who would gasp! at that notion – roses are blown, Japanese Beetles are everywhere, grass is crunchy, the ‘green’ of the kitchen garden is all but gone….  But it’s my favorite time to visit.  You get to see the bones of a space, what held its own through the Summer, what didn’t work (sometimes spectacular disasters, like my furthermost vegetable bed in my kitchen garden.  That bed has given me splinters ever since I laid my garden out.  I’ve finally cried ‘uncle’ and am going to have El O build a raised bed.  A ton of dirt will be in the back of the pickup come Saturday – and I will be a fat, sweaty, happy mess, come Sunday)…but I digress.  I don’t want to talk about my garden – I want to talk about a wonderful garden I stumbled upon, via…good grief!  I don’t even know how I stumbled upon it!   But no matter – this garden belongs to Shawna Coronado, who writes a wonderful blog about gardening, living a green life and making a difference in your community and the world, one little bit at a time.  I have not been in the best frame of mind these past months and the urge to just go to bed and stay there has been strong, indeed.  I fight that urge, daily, and the thing that makes me feel most like I might actually win is when I force myself to do something different.  My ‘different’ for last week was to message Shawna on Facebook and see if I could visit her garden in Warrenville.  She said yes, so I hied on over there and……..this is So Damn Strange…so we’re making the Hellos and I tell her where I live now….y’all understand that Where I Live is in the middle of absolutely nowhere, right?  Not like ‘oh, I live in Morro Bay’ – a half million people live in MorroFreakin’BAY!  Wyoming IL is 1,400 people strong, surrounded on ALL FOUR SIDES by miles and miles of cornfields.  The chances of ANYBODY knowing where the hell this town is…..unlikely.  Yet Shawna knew PERSACKLY where it is….because her mother-in-law is from here.  SHUT UP!   Your mother in law is from….(not sort of near – but actually FROM) Wyoming IL, population 1,400 Christian souls???…..wow.  So once I picked up my jaw from the driveway, we went on a tour of her garden.    It’s a delight, full of texture and color and fun…and wouldn’t you know it?  Because she lives in the suburbs, she gets agita from the HOA and City all the blasted time.  Research has shown that the suburbs are actually less ‘green’ than urban areas – there are so many rules and restrictions and lawns RULE!  She planted the parkway at the back of her property with native plants to help pollination…and OMG! you’d have thought she punched a kitten in the face!  I remember this from living in the suburbs – there is much resistance to ripping up lawn and replacing it with beneficial plantings.  Shawna has prevailed (and is now something of a gardening celeb) and, perhaps, some of her neighbors will take a shovel from her shed and do the same.  I’m slowly but surely ripping out our lawn (El O was adamant that I not do it so I’m going slow…so far I’ve widened the borders 12inches each year….by next year I will have cut the front lawn by 40%!  shhhhh! ).  I really admire that she is walking her talk.  I won’t waste your time blatheratin’ about her life – you can read it on her blog.   But I am of the Posse, so I wanted to know how she felt about perfume in the garden  (it’s August – and the ragweed is high, so I’m faking the perfume thing.  In truth, I can’t smell anything other than oregano and habaneros right now)……..she is not a perfumista and her garden isn’t chockablock with fragrant flowers – but we talked about herbs and their gorgeous scents.  She crushed some chocolate mint – and suddenly I was surrounded by York Peppermint patties!  Yum!

 

And we looked at her back wall….and if I wasn’t already half in love with her, I was all-in when I came upon this:

I LOVE this!!!

I LOVE this!!!

Alas, we had to cut it short but I came away with a newfound respect for what one person with a vision (which started with her planting around her mailbox, btw –  nothing more than that!) can do!  It doesn’t have to take a lot of money (in her garden’s case, a good 80% of the structural/accessories are found/traded/repurposed) – and it doesn’t have to be done all at once – she’s been working on her garden for quite awhile, in bits and pieces.  And, of course, it doesn’t have to be a garden.   It doesn’t even need to be a ‘known passion’ – she liked to garden but I don’t think she ever envisioned how much of her life it would become.

 

So, verily I say unto you:  what, other than perfume, have you stumbled upon that has become a driving force in how you live your life?    Mine is homesteading – no one, least of all me, could’ve imagined me raising chickens!  Sometimes I feel like wearing my Loubs out to clean the coop!  Tell me your story and we’ll do a giveaway!!.  I’ll have Leg peck a random dot org and the winner will get a little bag of perfume fun.  It’s the least I can do for you guys putting up with my August garden ramblings!

  • Steve Tsotras says:

    Many years ago, my little brother came home one day with 4 goldfish he had one at fair. I have won plenty of fish in the same manner during my childhood, but I would always let my parents take over the task, only to see the fish flushed down the toilet within a week (luckily they were more apt at raising human beings). I figured that I’m old enough to do this myself, and I took charge. What began with a few goldfish in a plastic container being fish fish flakes from Walmart has really taken off into a passion for raising and taking care of fish, so much so that I am now studying fish in graduate school

  • susan says:

    I guess the other driving force in my life is urbanism and local politics. Oh, or maybe Star Wars.

  • Yulina says:

    I acquired a passion in pets, especially exotic, small, unusual ones. I’ve had civet, sugar glider, hedgehog, hamster, etc. before perfumes caught up with me. For now, I only have sugar gliders left. My couple have got two babies, and they may be expecting another ones soon. Besides, I have less time to take care of them.

  • Elia says:

    I go through modes, this perfume one is lasting longer than expected 🙂
    I’ve been passionate about cooking before, baking breads only at one point, the bread passion,
    and even gambling.

    • Musette says:

      It’s getting cooler here (today it’s pouring with rain) and I’m starting to really obsess about baking bread, especially laminated dough!!! xoA

  • Nemo says:

    I love this topic, and I also love gardens! I have nothing but admiration for gardeners, and I’ve never attempted to do much except keeping a cactus around now and then 🙂 I recently discovered I have an interest in martial arts, which completely came out of the blue. Through my hobby, I’ve met all sorts of interesting and friendly people, and I have also learned to appreciate myself and what I can do (despite being rather short and not particularly athletically gifted). It has definitely helped my self-confidence in many ways!

    • Musette says:

      I think that’s grand! Developing interests, whatever they are, really does build self-confidence!!! And getting to know like-minded people is a huge part of the fun, imo!

      xoA

  • HemlockSillage says:

    whoops! my reply to you got stuck below 😀 You have the most amazing collection of interests. Weaving, dancing, perfume. . . It will be neat to see what new interest takes your fancy. Be well.

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Yes! Bellydancing is the best! I took an introductory course from a school that has been in town for over 30 years. . .and realized I could do this for a lifetime. It brings me such joy, and makes me feel so empowered, so womanly. Amazing. The dancers who’ve studied for years are amazing, and have such control in a dance that appears so wildly sensual. I love the contrast. I agree with Gweneth’s post below that perfumistas tend to be sensualists in the best sense of the word. Opa!

    • Musette says:

      I’m intrigued by this whole belly-dancing notion. Everyone who has done it seems to love it! hmmm..

      how are you, sweetie! It’s nice to see you here!!!

      xoxoA

  • Gwenyth says:

    Musette, you are a Wonder! I adore your posts – how you write, what you write and I adore you.

    Reading about life passions or interests simply shows me how much Good there is in this world.
    I feel uplifted and joyful.
    Thank you.

    This little community of perfumistas is great, also. I love reading the comments and thoughts. We are a diverse group of really nice folks with fascinating interests. In general, I’ve noticed that Perfumistas are true sensualists, meaning that each of us tends to enjoy things that stimulate our senses. We love art, we love cooking, we love music, we love scents (however we come by them).

    • Musette says:

      Gwyneth, thank YOU! And I agree – we are drawn to those things that stimulate our senses! Even when I can’t smell (like right now) I enjoy the ‘idea’!

      xooxA

  • solanace says:

    As many from our little community, I enjoy gardening, cooking and baking, little pleasures that make my house smell like home. Now I’m planning vegetable and herb beds concentric to the trees – various citrus and some native friut. If it works, it should be cool.
    The zombie apocalypse kit is beyond amazing!

    • Musette says:

      I think we like those pleasures because they are sensual, like perfume. I love your garden plan! Once you get it set up you’ll have to get your own zombie apocalypse kit!

      xoxoA

  • dinazad says:

    Honestly, life changing things turn my life around so often I feel I’m whirling all the time. 20 or so years ago it was bellydancing. I took one lesson and POW! I knew that was MY dance, the one made for my body. Then there were perfumes – I went from the “why should anybody have more than 3 perfumes” stage to the “why not have 300?” stage in the blink of an eye. Weaving: I suck at it, I tear my hair, but in the end it calms me down and I still can’t believe I actually made those shawls I wear all the time! Lately, it’s walking. I used to walk all the time as a student, but I sort of lost the habit when I joined the work force. Now I get cranky if I can’t walk six or seven miles twice a week. Who knows what will be next? Can’t wait to find out!

    • Musette says:

      Hi, sweetie! I forgot that you weave! I fell in love with some metallic scarves and considered weaving….then I came to my senses! LOL!

      I’m with you on the walking – it really does relieve stress!!!

      I’m sure you will be on to the Next Fabulous Thing – and do it fabulously!!!

      xoxoxoA

  • Maureen says:

    Well, after a bad breakup of a 5-year relationship, I was encouraged by friends to “get back out there.” This was about 2 months ago. So recently I met a younger guy at a nice place where a friend of mine was entertaining. He was charming and seemed nice and was very generous, but after a few weeks of him, I am totally exhausted. He liked me so much he wanted all my free time. He does not have to work, and all he wants to do is drink & party & go out and then keep me up all night. While it was so much fun and Oh so flattering, he just wore me out . I have to work full time, so I cannot be up all night with him. I laughingly broke it off, and have decided to paint my living room & kitchen instead of “getting back out there”. I need the rest! (He did smell good, he wore The One, and it was nice for a dept. store fragrance.)
    I admire you with your garden. I replaced annuals with perennials 2 years ago, and it is so much less work and looks nice, all I have to do is keep up with the weeding. The black eyed susans are taking over though, I have to thin them out. I really enjoy your posts, you make me laugh.

    • Martha says:

      I think that improving one’s living quarters is a perfect way to get back into single life.

      • Musette says:

        I agree! And I love that story, btw. It’s nice to have to kick a guy to the curb because he liked you TOO much (as long as it wasn’t Creepy Stalker ‘like’). xoxoA

  • Jackie b says:

    Ooh, my flag came up as Italy where I am visiting, but frogs were dinky di Australian!

    • Musette says:

      You’re Very International today!!! 😀 I love frogs. My garden was full of tree frogs today but…my chickens free-forage. Every frog is GAWN!!!

      My chickens are sort of loud – particularly now that they are just starting to lay. I think it’s slightly shocking to them – I see them coming out of the laying boxes, looking vaguely stunned and walking kinda funny…like they just laid an egg! LOL!

      xo

  • Jackie b says:

    OK time for weird confessions…I have a thing about frogs, and tadpoles. For years I was a frog carer for a study group that rescued frogs that came to markets in fruit boxes, we would quarantine them and give them out to members to keep. I had tanks all over the house before I moved interstate, you should have heard us at night!!

    We had frog ponds in the garden too, but oversexed frogs drove the new tenants mad and they drained them.

    Are your chickens quieter I wonder?

  • Portia says:

    I wrote to you but it got eaten. I love you Musette, you know it,
    Portia xx

  • Martha says:

    I love gardens and wish I was a gardener, but I’m not. Several neighbors have gardens for front yards/lawns. I am envious because these gardens are practical as well as pretty. The practical part is No Mowing. I despise mowing! Anyway, these gardens full of low-maintenance plants that do well in almost any situation. It is an absolute delight to walk my dog past these gardens every day. Carry on, Musette, I admire your dedication.

    • Musette says:

      Martha, you might be able to do a ‘trade’ with your neighbors. I built my shade garden by digging up and dividing hostas from several of my neighbors’ gardens – they didn’t want to be bothered with it (but needed it done) and I needed the plants. I would happily help a neighbor plant a garden, if they bought the plants (and provided the pizza!)

      xoxoA

      • Martha says:

        Hostas! Pizza! Now yer talkin’. I’ll just add in a nice, cold lager and we’ve got made in the shade. Excellent food and drink for a shade garden. Oh, and maybe a good, sheer green floral to waft about…

  • Michelle says:

    I love reading your posts, no matter what they are about. Right now I am fully facing the damage to my once fit 30-something body after 7 years of grad school and 1.5 years of seeing my partner through catastrophic health crises. Today is my first trip to the megatron boobie squasher 2000, and just the other day, I had the awesome pleasure of having a Dr. ask me if I knew what BMI is. It’s super-fun to have the realization that in this world, no matter what you strive for and accomplish in your life, if you’re fat, forty & female, you are [email protected]!#ed. Off to take fish oil, calcium supplements and my morning power walk (at least I smell awesome in Aterlier Cologne Silver Iris).

    • Musette says:

      OFFSake! are you KIDDING me? The Dr asked you that? Well, I guess it’s better than the Asian tech who, as she was measuring an admittedly-overweight friend, kept saying (as she calipered) “you obeeese”. Yah. Like she doesn’t already KNOW that. But she was able to laugh about it, a little, as we planned a rework of her food intake (from processed to whole, which made a huge difference) and an uptick in her exercise regimen (from none to at least a few blocks’ walk a day).

      That being said, except for your health issues, verily I say unto you: SQUOO THEM! SQUOO THEM ALLLL! You finished grad school and took care of your very sick partner. You are AWESOME!!!!

      Now, go get healthy.

      xoxo(a partner in your quest for health. I’m still working on regaining mine as well!)

  • Ann says:

    Lovely, lovely post, Musette, as always! We live in a traditional subdivision and lawns are it, although we’ve tried to landscape and shrink ours down with drought-tolerant plants and shrubs. But this year we’ve had so much rain that the lawns are a wonderful emerald green, courtesy of Mother Nature.

    • Musette says:

      Subdivs are the worst for ‘alternative’ landscapings – glad you are able to quietly shrink yours down. My problem with lawns isn’t just the water (and resources) use – in general lawns are ecological wastelands. That being said, I’m fine with a bit of lawn, just not acres of it. Unless I’m raising sheep. Then I’m all about the lawwwn!

      xoxoxA

  • Musette says:

    LOL! on the lawn conversion. Lizzy, I feeeel yer paiiiin! What is it with guys and lawns? Perhaps it dates back to our first post- hunter/gatherer days, when men needed a clearing to lookout for predators, whilst women needed space to grow food. Both are essential for survival but now, with sidewalks and 911, a huge expanse of water-sucking lawn is just wasteful and unproductive, imo.

    Your garden sounds lovely. I have had that in the past and will have it again….1 foot at a time! 😀

    xoxoA

  • Connie says:

    Dad and I are remodeling the kitchen- does that count? 🙂
    I’m still trying to find the things that I like beyond the rest- or maybe the problem is that I have too many. I love horseback riding, classic literature, art, classic movies, gardening, cooking.

  • masha7 says:

    For me, it’s been ceramics. I was an Art major way back when, but ceramics was my Waterloo. The worst moment was when I finally got my blob of clay centered on the wheel, then accidentally whacked it when someone scared me with a sneeze…the blob flew with great power across the studio, hitting my teacher squarely in the chest! She fell over, mayhem ensued, and I switched to metalwork that semester!
    So when we had a very stressful move across the Pond, I decided I needed to shore up my happiness and self-esteem, and I found a ceramics teacher. A year on, I’m making some good pieces, and getting some notice for it, though I still dislike wheel work and mostly make hand-built things.
    If I can learn ceramics, anyone can learn anything!
    Oh, and you can write about your gardening anytime, Musette! Love it!

    • Musette says:

      OMG! I am still snorting out the coffee that went up my nose when I read that! OMG! ROFL!

      I did a couple of ceramics classes at the old Lill Street Studios – I made a couple of bowls but couldn’t quite master the art of glazing (translation: I didn’t take the time to learn it). Instead of gorgeous colors, I got ick. Maybe I will retry!

      xoxoA

    • Sally McSweeney says:

      Hilarious visual of the poor teacher – thanks for the laugh!

  • ncmyers says:

    I started doing yoga a year or so ago to treat some chronic pain I’d been having. It has changed my life! Cheesy, I know, but not only is it wonderful physically and mentally, but I’ve met the best people and tried things that I never thought I’d do. I’m almost, gulp, grateful for that pain that got me into it. Getting ready to do some now!

    • Musette says:

      Cheesy? NOT! Yoga is GREAT! I should do more yoga – the small amount I do keeps me from chopping everyone in this town to bits (it’s not the people in the town, just their proximity to my choptastic tendencies)

      xoA

  • poodle says:

    I love my garden and I am also gradually getting rid of more and more of the lawn. I’d rather pull weeds than cut the grass and have that constant battle all summer to keep it green and pretty. I’m trying to grow more veggies each year but this year was a bust. I’m also learning how to put herbs to use more than I do. There’s always work to be done in the garden, but I also love just sitting outside and watching the hummingbirds and butterflies it attracts. For me that’s a wonderful payoff for the work. Next project to get rid of more grass will be to put in a small pond. Over the winter my plan is to get back to doing artsy crafty things like painting and possibly turn that into a part time job that I actually enjoy. So many ideas, so little time.

    • Musette says:

      wow! you’ve got a lot on your plate (and kudos for the lawn decimation; I did the math on my neighbor’s lawn (about 1/3 acre) – $20/per mowing. And he mows it twice a week, whether it needs it or not!).

      Applause, also, for just sitting outside and enjoying it. Birds and their ilk don’t care about weeds – in fact, they often prefer them (I let some Joe-Pyes go to full flower this year and OMG! I have about 230,000 bees and butterflies all over those plants)

      xoxoA

  • patriciaC says:

    My cats-i have two of them and they are my fur-babies. I have to say they are a driving force in my life right now. My therapy and somthing to care for and not have to worry if i’m spoiling too much. I have a tendancy to over care for family and friends. With my cats george and LuLu its ok to over love them.

  • Laurels says:

    In recent years, chamber music. I found an organization that presents free (but first-rate) chamber music concerts, and now I’m on the board of directors. Live music is wonderful, and classical vocal music, especially, is not done justice by recordings.

  • Sally McSweeney says:

    When I first came to the US 28 years ago as a Brit who was raised on mugs o’ tea that were guaranteed to shake you awake and keep you going until the sun went down, I was appalled to find that the definition of that magnificent brew stateside translated as “Liptons.” Surely there must be some mistake, I reasoned. This wishy washy liquid that barely has any recognizable color can’t be that divine beverage upon which an Empire was built! If that wasn’t bad enough, the worst was yet to come. Iced. With enough sugar to keep dentists nationwide employed for several lifetimes. It almost sent me back across the pond. But I was British damnit – I would keep calm and carry on and introduce the real deal to this tea-starved nation. Slowly but surely I began serving my friends Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling, Earl Grey; in a pot to boot (my granny would have been proud, she was never far from her Brown Betty teapot) and not the ubiquitous tea bag. A trip to China sealed my fate – I became a self confessed (and proud of it) tea snob. Gazing in awe at the array of teas in beautiful tins from floor to ceiling in a tiny tea house in Suzhou, I knew I was doomed, but wonderfully so. My love for my homeland’s favorite beverage became my passion which in turn became my business, offering over 300 different teas and tisanes. My personal stash (no pun intended…) soon outgrew the shelf in the cupboard and so my long suffering husband who has gamely sniffed, slurped and sometimes spat each new brew before it passed The Test, built some beautiful shelves that run all around our kitchen on which to display my treasures. Finding the perfect tin for each tea has become a quest in and of itself – at last count, there were 218 of the beauties. Sometimes, when everyone has gone to bed and the house is in that delicious settling-down-for-the-night place, I just sit and look them over, remembering where a particular one came from, as each has a story to tell – with a cup of tea, of course.

    • dinazad says:

      Isn’t tea just great? I love buying it as a souvenir (if travelling to a tea-drinking country or at least one with a classy tea-shop), although I do draw a line at overly perfumed teas with mango-coconut-what-have-you flavoring drowning out the wonderful smell and taste of tea!

      • Sally McSweeney says:

        Oh I agree about the flowery-fruit-perfume blends that abound now. TEA is the point -not floaty bits that turn your cup into potpourri. And I love seeking out tea shops wherever I go – particularly abroad. I recently went to a tea ceremony at the Japanese gardens here in Portland – beautiful!

    • Musette says:

      Wow!!! that’s some tale, Sally! Congratulations on finding your passion – your grandmother would, indeed, be proud (on so many levels!)
      There are so many tea-lovers here on the Posse (I’m sure you know Ann is HUGE on tea!). Is your biz brick and mortar? Internet? Do tell.

      xoxoA

      • Sally McSweeney says:

        I’ve done both – I started with a real life store which was primarily a herbarium as I’m a herbalist, and morphed into a tea store as the demand grew. Then when I closed it, I expanded into online and had that for about 10 years. I just recently shut that down as I find myself stepping out in yet another direction, but do have a space at a vintage mall where I sell both vintage items and teas along with the china stuff. Most of my business these days come from the tea tastings which are a hoot – I love to see the reaction of people as they try new cuppas :-). I’m so glad to have found this blog – perfume is my other love but I’ve been a late bloomer as far as linking up with other perfume fanatics, so this is a piece of heaven right here!

  • leathermountain says:

    I stumbled upon my profession!

    • Musette says:

      What is it? Do you love it? I think a lot of us do that – I stumbled upon my ‘first’ profession then, by relation, my second. The current profession, while not quite a stumble (more of a leap off a cliff), could be thought of thus. I always envied people who just KNEW they wanted to be ___________. And then took steps to make that happen.

      xoxoA

  • Mary P. says:

    A major turning point in my life was when I first learned about the healing power of plants. I was standing in the back garden one day after having been diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening illness and the thought occurred to me that plants had always been used for healing. It ignited a passion to learning about herbs, health, healing and wholeness that has been with me ever since. I had always had a love and reverence for the Earth, and it has only deepened since I stepped on that path.

    • Musette says:

      Wow! That is a profound turning point, Mary. I hope your passion has provided some surcease. I love knowing, at the very least, some of the basics of plant-based healing (and when I say ‘basics’ I mean BASICS. I need to bone up quite a bit before I self-med. Right now, I’m okay with aloe and honey for burns! LOL!

      You know we all send our best thoughts and wishes to you!

      xoxoxoA

  • eldarwen22 says:

    It’s yellow jacket season and my dad and I are the yellow jacket killers right now. I am now looking for something to take care of that stupid nest that is in our garage door. We keep spraying it with the wasp stuff but it don’t get rid of the nest. It’s the side door on the garage. My mom and I are sick of getting stung by these things. On the other hand, I don’t ever recall having a year where I am not rotating my perfume closet. Yes, all of it is on my dresser because we have pretty much stayed in the 70’s temp wise. Thus far, I have only 1 person that is waiting to grab my perfume and sell it.

    • Musette says:

      What? why would someone grab your perfume and sell it!? Keep a close eye, eldarwen, keep a cloooose eye!

      Ow! on the yellowjackets. In solidarity with your stings (so sorry!) here is a poem for you:

      Wasps in August
      By Andrew Hudgins

      With the death craze on them, wasps in August
      rage near their paper nests,
      defending them from raccoons, jays,
      and other ravening guests
      that hunger for the feast, and risk
      the death-watch wrath of wasps.
      They’ll swarm on anything to save
      the spit-and-tissue wisps,
      their soft spawn pulsing as they swell.
      In their united need
      to gorge the hardening larvae in the nest,
      they stand and bleakly feed
      on broken apples in my yard.
      They don’t pause, don’t buzz, don’t
      fly up in fear and light again.
      They simply stand and eat
      then ferry nectar to the nest.
      Death calls, and they’re replying,
      The nest, the nest, the nest, the nest.
      The easy job is dying.

      • eldarwen22 says:

        I’ve hidden my vital perfumes and let ’em know that if the perfume collection dissapears, so does their really expensive handbags. I think it has to do with the fact that they don’t like perfume.

      • Gwenyth says:

        What a poignant reminder of how nature works. Thanks so much for sharing.
        I try to let nature “be” in my yard. All critters and insects are just trying to make a life for themselves – and who am I to stop them? I do my best to co-exist.

        • eldarwen22 says:

          We normally do try to leave the wasps/hornets/yellow jackets alone but when it comes to the house or lawn mowing, it’s a whole ‘nother matter since my mom and I are allergic to bees.

  • Lizzy says:

    Mine has been converting the yard from lawn and hedges to native and drought-tolerant, water-wise plants. It’s been a struggle with the hubs and (somewhat less so) the neighbors, but folks are coming around. I now have people exclaiming how wonderful my yard smells (thanks to all the sages, artemisia, lemongrass, chocolate mint, lavender, rosemary, and bee balm) and asking “what is that beautiful plant/shrub/tree?” (Western redbud, manzanita, California fuchsia…). We now have heavy traffic of bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies–I feel like ours is the most unique and alive garden on the block! It surely is the most water efficient one.

  • Spiker says:

    A few years ago, I was going through a rough time at work. On a much needed vacation I went to Bryce Canyon. Looking at the rock formations and beauty of the canyon, I decided I needed more of that in my life. It hasn’t turned me into a huge fan of roughing it, but any chance I get now I try to enjoy the natural beauty of parks and the outdoors. Those are almost always the best parts of my travels.

    • Musette says:

      It’s funny how those interests so often just plop! into your life, innit? That’s how I got into draft horses – a chance encounter….and I was hooked!

      xo

  • FeralJasmine says:

    My passion for many years was urban homesteading. I live on less than an acre but had layers and meat chickens and milk goats in addition to a front-yard veggie garden and a mini-orchard. About eighteen months ago, orthopedic disaster struck, and has not yet been resolved, although I have high (and reasonable) hopes. This summer my goats loaf around unbred, my five remaining layers eat more than they produce, and my garden produces mostly lambs-quarters (utterly delicious,by the way.) my spirits, though, aren’t half bad. My years of urban homesteading gave me a deep respect for the cyclical nature of life, and this is just a different cycle. My time will come again. Meanwhile, I discovered the Posse and the world of perfume, and had the chance to live in my senses in a way that my former frantic schedule didn’t allow. And after my upcoming surgery, those goats better be ready to get off their duffs!
    Musette, as I watch you move into homesteading, I’m so grateful for everything it gave me. You go, girl.

    • Musette says:

      I admire your stoicism, FJasmine (and I and the Posse-at-large, of course – wish you only the best in your upcoming surgery. Keep us posted). I agree with you totally – working the land, even in smallish areas (we have about 1/3 acre and only layers), forces one to respect that cyclical nature. I came across a dead bat yesterday and watched, fascinated, as Nature began to reuse, reduce and recycle that little bat body.

      xoxoA