Posted in gardening, Sunday photos

My photography journey 26January20

I love the potted plants at Trader Joe’s! Why more than many other places? I don’t know. Maybe it’s simply because I go there nearly weekly and the plants are right there as I walk in. If you handed me a 20 every time I went and told me to spend it on plants, I could happily do it.

(If I ever got good at keeping them alive, I would start to not enjoy having another $20 to buy plants, but I’m not there yet. When I’m struggling keeping myself afloat, the plants are the first thing to go.)

Regardless, they often have mini roses. Whenever they’re in bloom. I bought a few last spring maybe? Or the year before? Or maybe it wasn’t spring? Time is funny. Anyway, I had some and they lived for a little while but not as long as roses should live.

I have five new rose plants now! I’m not positive they’re in a space that gets enough sun (roses like lots of sun, even here in Phoenix), but I’m giving it another go. Last weekend, I went to a rose pruning event and learned some about care, so hopefully that will help.

Anyway, when you buy them, they have blooms on them already, so after they were planted, I took out the Nikon. Enjoy!

In the same area, I also have a couple of aloe (not from Trader Joe’s) and two other plants that I impulse bought when I went to Home Depot for soil. I don’t even remember what they are, but they’re pretty.

Posted in gardening, Sunday photos

My photography journey 17Nov19

Gardening in Arizona—or at least in the low desert part of Arizona—is weird. Still.

These photos are from our back yard garden.

This has been in since the spring. A few eggplant came to be ripe while we were out of town over the summer, and since then, we’ve had nothing. My general policy is to water it as long as it’s alive. This little guy has a dozen friends on the same plant!

Every year, our watermelon grows well into November. Thanksgiving watermelon?? Last year, we picked the last in December, but it hadn’t had enough warmth and was not at all delicious.

The chard is great! Like other leafy greens, we cut off the leaves and it regrows. This is ready to be eaten and is the fifth harvest we’ve taken from it.

I took two shots of this plant (not a food plant) and can’t decide which one I like better.

Posted in about me, gardening, hope

Hope and excitement through plants

One of my biggest sadnesses in living in an apartment was not having space for garden beds (or not wanting to have to take out beds before moving out).

I was happy to have a house with a yard when The Climbing Daddy and I bought this one!

We’re in our second spring of gardening, and it’s lovely and exciting and gets a little bigger/fuller each year.

What’s out there? (Besides the unstoppable Bermuda grass?)

In one bed: tomato, two types of peppers, eggplant, cucumber, lima beans, lettuce. Lettuce was the only one from seed and I was late putting it in, so we’ll see if there’s any yield.

In the other bed: corn and squash.

In the small bed: strawberries. That bed is new this year and we’re hoping the plants do their magic and send runners out. (It would be great if something desirable would spread like the weeds do!)

In pots: tomatoes, Swiss chard (also planted late), and lots of unknowns. We have a few volunteers, so as they mature, we’ll find out what they are. Also, we got some clippings from a neighbor but we didn’t label them. While several didn’t root and are no longer with us, several more did! Blackberry or mulberry or somethings in that family.

Five fruit trees: apple, peach, plum, Mexican lime, tangelo.

Some succulents, flowers (some still blooming from last year, some growing from seed), a hibiscus, a bottlebrush. The Kid’s cactus.

Seeing new plants sprout up, flowers appear and turn into fruits—it’s all very exciting! As this gets bigger and more complicated, we’re going to need a better watering plan, but for now, going out with the hose still works.

Fingers crossed!








Posted in gardening, hope, meandering

New year’s should be in spring

We put in some fruit trees about a month ago. They were mostly bare at the time but are starting to flower, grow leaves, grow branches.

The growth is wonderful!

So much joy in the greens and pinks!

So much hope for fresh fruit straight from the back yard!

(So many exclamation points!)

It seems to me that spring, the season of new beginnings, should be when the new year begins, when we decide to renew ourselves.

If you skip all that BS in January, maybe consider it now. Beginning with a resolution to get outside more. (Pending weather in your area.) It’s invigorating and wonderful!

Posted in from the book, gardening, hope, marriage, meandering


I’m writing a book. This is a little piece of it, written about six months ago. I expect that I’ll share a few more bits of it, and also that some things I write for the blog will end up in the book. Editing is likely.

I was recently struck by the abundance of hope in my life.

A couple of weeks ago, I built garden beds and planted a garden.

I don’t know a lot about gardening, but I’ve been able to grow a fair amount of produce in the past. The whole process of gardening, right up until you taste what you’ve grown, is a continuous act of hope.

Actually, I might argue that eating truly fresh produce isn’t the end point but merely resets the cycle to the beginning.

In a few weeks, I’m getting married, an act of hope unto itself.

But this is my second marriage. Wrapped up in all of the same hopes as the first one are the hopes that it will be better, that I will be able to implement lessons I’ve learned, that I’m not ignoring red flags.

We bought a house. Are the neighbors friendly? Is the location good long-term? Will it age well? I hope so.

People need hope to live well, even if it’s not something we actively label. (I don’t really think about it most of the time with regards to gardening, for example, but it’s definitely there!)

As a person who has battled depression off and on, hopelessness is heavy. Even a little bit, any slice of light through the darkness, is life-changing.

My senior year of high school, I took World History. I remember two things from it, and only one is academic.


People change when they are without hope—sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. I’ve seen it in my own life. I’ve seen it in others. I was shown examples over and over through history. I see it in our current events.

The other thing I remember? Being on the high speed line (a local train) on a field trip—no idea to where—and Jeff asking Mr. Burke if we could leave our lunches on the bus.

Where do you have hope in your life? Are there places you’ve given up? For better or for worse?