Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chubby Huggs

There used to be a character in the comic strip Get Fuzzy who thought all the world's problems could be solved with a hug. The portly, friendly cat was really annoying to Bucky, the resident misanthropic feline, and a bit overbearing to the sidekick ferret. Notice their less than exuberantly joyous expressions. It occurred to me, out of the blue, that to my cat Fiona, I am Chubby Huggs!

Not only is there a striking resemblance between me and Chubby, but Fiona sure looks a lot like Bucky whenever I try to hug her (check out her eyes--priceless!). Now, I only held her that way to emulate the graphic, but she just does not like to sit on my lap or be held. At all. Which I try to respect. So I hug her about 10% of the time I want to, but to her that's about 90% too often.

I sure am brave--or stupid--to post this photo!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Nomination, a Meme, and a Quandary--Oh My!

A while back, garden girl kindly nominated me for an Arte y Pico award for art and creativity in blogging. It was a treat to be thought of in this light, especially since I've been feeling anything but artsy or creative lately. To be honest, I've been feeling like a washed up Hausfrau run over by a colorful expression and left rumpled at the side of the road, too tired to move. Thanks, Linda, for the pick-me-up!

VP of Veg Plotting (I've always loved this name because I imagine a turnip wearing a black mask and a carrot wearing a stocking over its head, both sneaking around in the dark with flashlights in, say, a vegetable soup factory, rescuing their own kind... Get it, vegetables plotting?! Oh, never mind!) tagged me to a play a Six Random Facts meme, which tickled my fancy. It was fun learning six things about VP, and I'd like to learn six things about some other bloggers, too!

First, here are six random facts about me:

1. I didn't speak a word of English when I started kindergarten. I remember the other kids were singing songs and making hand motions and I just followed along, even though I thought the whole thing a bit odd. I don't subsequently remember the process of learning English, so it must not have been difficult.

2. I've never had a broken bone (knock wood!).

3. When I was in high school, I was enamored of Carl Sagan. He showed me a universe beyond the small town I grew up in, and instilled in me a lifelong love of science. I secretly thought of him as my "Uncle Carl."

4. I'm organized and logical, and I have an inquisitive mind. Despite my appreciation of science, it could never have been my career as my brain doesn't work that way academically. What can I say. I'm a word geek.

5. I'm kind of disgruntled living in Michigan and often daydream about moving somewhere more geographically interesting, not as humid, less economically depressed, and whose main industry is not automotive manufacturing. At the same time, my life is here and I don't know if I'd have the courage to move somewhere I'd know no one.

6. I once created a garden for cats who lived at a no-kill cat shelter. I researched all the plants, designed and planted the garden, and maintained it until a few years back when the property was sold. This was the most rewarding volunteer project I have ever done, and I think the garden was unique to Michigan. All the cats enjoyed going outside, but Onyx was my most loyal companion, especially as I was planting the garden.

The people I'm tagging are (and as VP said, "I always give you full permission to totally ignore this meme or bend the rules as you see fit"):

1. Esther in the Garden (Ooh, what facts might you share?!)
2. Bek of Augenblicke im Garten
3. A Wildlife Gardener
4. Precarious Tomato (will this encourage you to post again?!)
5. Lisa at Miller Time
6. Wurzerl of Garten-Impressionen

My friend Pete and his brother Bob recently went on a trip to the Pacific Northwest (pout pout pout, no, I mean, I was so happy for them). Among the wondrously envy-inducing photos they shared with me, I was taken with a bevy of purple flowers all around Mount St. Helens. I know lupines grow there, but that can't be what these are. Penstemon? If anyone can help me ID this plant, I'd be very grateful! (Click the photo to enlarge it.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Edible Gardens on the White House Lawn!

I welcome the trend of growing your own veggies, herbs, and fruits. Roger Doiron of Kitchen Gardeners International has an idea to take this one step further: He'd like the next President (whoever it will be) to turn part of the White House's South Lawn into an edible garden. Read more at my MLive blog.

Despite this light-hearted variation of American Gothic (carrots in mouths would also discourage bad-mouthing one another!), the message is serious.