Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I have come to the decision that it's time to put this blog to bed. I will still write -- can't stop myself! And it goes without saying, I will still be gardening. This blog will remain up, just not updated, and I may write from time to time on one of my other sites (see sidebar).

I just have to say, it has been exciting and very moving to connect with people through this medium. So, a big Thank-you to those of you who have stopped by from time to time, to share my love of gardening and life. And Thank-you to all those who took the time to comment, to encourage me and to cheer me on.


Monday, October 05, 2009

green urban activism

how to green the advertizing covering by creating plant pockets!



I have always been inspired by people who have made changes to make the world a better place. You probably know some of them. Or maybe you saw CNN's Top 10 Heroes of 2009, announced on Thursday.

Those people saw a need and found a way they could fill it.

But agents of change can be ordinary people like you and me. We all have dreams, creative desires. I think we are meant to be our dreams for ourselves and the world. By being our best selves, to quote Oprah, we are agents of change for the better in our world, even if only in a small way, in our small spheres.

Maybe the change you long for is in your job. Here's what to do in the meantime.

Or maybe you are contemplating ways to fill a need you see in the world around you. Here are some of the qualities you possess that will ensure you can make those changes.

I just passed a "milestone birthday". It has me contemplating what I will do with the next stage in my life. I'll try to update you here on the changes that I'll be making!


run-away dogs

I've been thinking a lot lately (as you probably could tell from my last post) about the troubles between men and women. And as fate would have it, life immediately handed me many experiences to highlight just those problems: a friend had her husband leave her and her children, but not before cleaning out their joint bank account; a woman friend confessed that her young son rules the roost at home; a long conversation with a friend revolved around the many ways her husband either fails, is unable to or opts out of being an equal partner in parenting; another conversation revolved around the unfolding drama of Jon and Kate (of the TLC reality show revolving around the family of twins plus sextuplets).

A story I've alluded to before, popped into my mind. It involves a little dog who was adopted from an animal shelter. Loud noises always caused the dog to panic and on this particular occassion, the dog manages to escape its safe new home, to start running.
It runs and runs and runs, deaf and blind with all the fears unleashed by the loud noise of an automobile back-firing or something. It does not hear its name being called. It is not aware of its loving, adopted "mother" running after it. Perhaps a faint note of recognition registers in the poor dog's head as it hears its new name being called. Perhaps it is just exhausted. However, it finally slows down enough so that its adopted "mother" can catch it and when she does, the dog is shaking, wild with fear.

Now, all too often, the response of the adopted "mother" here could be to yell at the dog, to try to explain how wrong the dog is to run off, even to punish it for running away, for not obeying when it was called. Or, the loving response is, to hug the dog close, comfort it, soothe away the fear and gently bring it back home.

Knowing the back-story, knowing that the dog had been considered practically "un-adoptable" because it had suffered horrific abuse before coming to the animal shelter, the adopted "mother" understood the dog's fear, understood that the only remedy is consistent, unfailing love.

Maybe it is because I was recently bitten by a protective mama dog. Or maybe it is because I had a dream the other night that I was a stray dog myself. Anyhow, the story popped into my head because I was remembering a question my son often asked me when he was growing up. He asked why he should have to pay for the mistakes other men had made in relation to women, why his intentions would be questioned, why he could not relate to women simply as himself, that depending on the circumstance, women would mistrust or even fear him just because he is a man.

In contemplating the story, it occurred to me that in the relationships between men and women, the dog could be a description of either men or women. Either a man or a woman can run away from love out of panic triggered by the fear of something in our history that has shaped us.

And it's just that unknowable history of a stray dog in an animal shelter that is so similar to the can of worms in our personal and cultural back-stories, that can make us re-live history over and over again.

But we know a little bit of that back-story between men and women. We know men profit from the theme of aggression and violence against women (look at some of the most popular video games ). We know that men profit from their position of power. We know that men and women assume a certain order to life, business and personal relationships based on the stereotypes of men in power. And the story isn't over by a long shot.

However, uncovering that story is only the beginning of the healing that I believe is absolutely essential between men and women. And I'm surprised again and again at how difficult even that is, uncovering the story, being able to tell it, being able to hear it.

And yet, here and there, I encounter hopeful signs:

Why the Global Women's Crusade Needs Men