April 2006

Monthly Archive

Last Day of April

Posted by on 30 Apr 2006 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, Politics and War, Uncategorized

A lovely day today, bright sun, light breezes, a few clouds here and there. The grass is that lovely spring green that just seems to glow even in the shade. The chestnut leaves are popping out now, and the golden-yellow kerria flowers look so pretty against them.

Both lilacs are blooming now, though the deep reddish one is a little behind. I cut it back severely this winter, so we could see some structure, but of course that also took out easily half it’s bloom for this season. That’s okay– it looks lovely, and will have loads next year!

Here in the garden, it is peaceful and lovely. But I know that this small circle of calm is deceptive. So many things are going on in the world — difficult, terrible, sad things. Usually I let T blog about the bigger picture, but today I feel I want to chime in.

What place does a little garden and its keeper have when children are going hungry or being exploited? What purpose does this beauty and calm serve when far away only chaos and destruction can be seen? How does planting a flower seed help a child learn to read? How does rearranging benches and pots help a mother feed her children? How does carefully watering a tender plant heal the wounds left by countless generations of hate?

Is it possible that mindfully tending this small spot — admiring its resilience and adaptability, cherishing its personalities and moods, attuning to its needs and the lessons it teaches — provides something greater? Could it be that it is this sort of action which allows for HOPE to remain in the world?

Certainly it is a hopeful act, in and of itself. It is the hope of the new day, the changing seasons, the growth inherent in Life itself.

Does it also provide some hope to others though? People in far-away lands?

Maybe their dreams sometimes stop by my garden and rest in the shade of the elderberry trees?

Possibly the scent of the flowers touches the birds and butterflies, who carry it on to those in the cities.

I would like to think that the ordinary actions of one simple woman in a small garden somehow improves the world, not just immediately for my children, but in an ever-widening strengthening of the core of existence. By resolutely going about my business, perhaps I model a “normal” for those who have none. Can I reconcile my relatively easy life with theirs? I don’t know.

I don’t think anything would be gained by abandoning the obligations I have here and now; I don’t think people on the other side of the world would be helped if I suddenly uprooted my life and family and joined those who have little.

Dare I imagine the day when the women in Darfur, in Sri Lanka, in Harbin, in Punta del Este, in Sibiu, share with me the simple pleasure of watching our gardens and our children flourish?

I do imagine it! And I hope others can, too.

End of April

Posted by on 28 Apr 2006 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

Well, the elderberries are in full bloom. The figs and most of the maples have bright green, new leaves. The cherry’s bright blossoms festoon its limbs. The grass is growing so fast we can’t keep it short enough to look like a lawn.


M is enjoying track, his first meet will be next Thursday. That is also the last concert of the year for G, later in the evening. M’s schedule will slow down in a couple more weeks — G is looking at relief sooner, and he is already enjoying the nice long evenings when he can play outside.

I have been fighting headaches a little more frequently than usual, but I think I figured out why, so will be working this next week to see if my hunch is correct. If not… well, c’est la! When I have time, I keep playing Babble (see the link on the sidebar), and I think I’m getting better at it!

Bloom Time!

Posted by on 21 Apr 2006 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

The elderberry trees are in full bloom. The peach and pear trees are beginning to show some color. The cherry and apple trees aren’t far behind. We can see the beginnings of plums, now the petals have fallen.
Tulips, daffodils, lilies, irises, even some clematis are already budding! A few places have jasmine blooming, but ours is usually later. Dandelions are everywhere…

And life is good. Will be planting potatoes and a few cold-season greens this next week. SPRING is definitely here!

Back to Routine (almost)

Posted by on 21 Apr 2006 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Uncategorized

Had a very busy week!

Went skiiing at White Pass over last weekend. The boys had a great time playing in the snow — I had a great time staying quiet indoors.

Monday the children went to school. Tuesday (and through most of next week) G and I have been hanging out together while the WASLs are administered. M is in school for the period, as the WASLs in 7th grade are much less time-consuming, and actual instruction has been planned for the classes.

Had a small burn pile on Tuesday afternoon, and something in it caused me to have a nasty allergic reaction. Sure enough, it’s triggered the itchy-burny skin reaction I have to perfumes again. Just as I had been able to be comfortable going places again!


Yesterday and today, G and I have been making stamped calendars with Mother; a really nice woman does “Close to My Heart” workshops and sales.

And M is now in track, not sure exactly which events he will do, but certainly he will have fun.

Spring Breakdown

Posted by on 10 Apr 2006 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

oops. That should be Spring Break…

The kids are home for the week. Luckily, so is T. Took the whole week off just to be with us! I am so fortunate. 🙂

Just got back from taking all the boys (including Lucky and M’s friend) for a walk at Frye Cove Park. It was short — mosquito season has begun — but very nice. There are little yellow native violets blooming in a few places, trillium, of course, and the apple trees from the old homestead are lovely — dripping in ice-green lichens and gorgeous white blossoms. They look so much like they belong in Rivendell, or a fairytale farmyard.

Have been playing Babble now for about three weeks. It does seem to get better and go faster, but the real draw has been the conversations on the chat log. There are some truly wonderful, kind people out there and many of them play Babble! Of course, there are also a few trolls… but they don’t seem to stick around for long. 🙂

Yesterday, we went to the Olympia Farmer’s Market with Mother, and she bought us a few plants… some Lewisia for me, alyssum and violets for G, two fuschias for M. Will try to get them planted or potted up tomorrow. The weather has been quite springlike (appropriate) and should be alternately rainy and dry all week. Hope to be in the yard more than inside most of the next couple days…

Milestones and millstones

Posted by on 04 Apr 2006 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

I actually volunteered in a classroom today. First graders, listening to them read. Wasn’t well enough to do that when my kids were little, glad I can now. This will be a weekly thing for me until school is out for the year.

Transplanted the other kiwi. Hope I got enough of its root system — it had gone under a large root. Only one other plant that needs actual digging is the other rugosa. Then I can start planting the trees that are in pots and the tubers in the closet…

Was a fine day here in Western Washington. We could be out in the sun. I actually ate my lunch at the picnic table T brought home Saturday from his friends’ house! That was such a treat.

Everyone is healthy at the moment, looking forward to next week’s unscheduled activities… and anticipating getting lots of yardwork done as the days continue to lengthen and warm.

April Showers

Posted by on 02 Apr 2006 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Uncategorized

Well, it’s been raining off and on (mostly off) the last two days.

T’s birthday, on April Fool’s Eve, it hailed a few times! We had dinner with my folks at a great Barbeque place on Highway 8: The Ranch House.

T helped a friend pack to move closer to a new job with Microsoft on Saturday. The boys and I helped Mother move furniture and other items into the back rooms of the house to get ready for the “reconstructors” who will begin work on the 10th.

Last night, the boys had a friend stay overnight. It was the timechange day, so we slept in and then read the paper in bed! Felt good.

This next week is half days at the children’s school, then a week off for them (and a week ON for me!). Looks like another busy month ahead!