My mother and I went to the garden show today. Our city puts on a pretty spectacular show every year and we just love it. We wait for the ads to come on TV and call each other when we see the first one. Its a breath of spring early. when everything outside is still dead and brown, inside the Garden show the flowers are in full bloom, the trees are covered in blossoms, and the coi swim happily in their water features. The scent of Hyacinths is heady and dizzying in that pleasant, warm fresh way that they have.

But this year there was one highly disappointing problem. Three of the five main displays were NOT handicapped accessible. My mother is in a wheelchair so we were unable to see more than half of the gardens. In past years, while it has been tricky to get the wheelchair into the gardens, it has been possible. This year it wasn’t even possible. Very disappointing. We paid the same entry fee as everyone else, we should have been able to see all the displays. There were several other people in wheelchairs at the show, and they must have been just as disapointed as we were.
I wrote the chairperson, and she responded saying they’ll discuss the problem at the next board meeting. I plan to follow up. I get really defensive of my mom and other people I love. It’s bad enough that half the time people don’t notice her wheelchair and just stand around in the way like she isn’t even there. I want to shout ugly things at them, and shove them out of the way. Or maybe throw something at them. I have resisted the urge, thus far.
People do the same to children, not even noticing their presence till the child makes enough noise. The difference is a three foot tall child can duck through the crowd to see the sights, where as a woman in a wheelshair cannot.
Pay attention people! Open your eyes and see what is around you and if you can help someone by stepping back, do it!
Don’t even get me started on non-handicapped people parking in handicapped spots! or using the handicapped stall in a public Bathroom! I have really ugly things to say about that.

self-confessed Snarkling

March 4, 2006

I have to tell you about Miss Snark. I LOVE her Blog. I’ve been reading her for about a week now and she is so witty and fun and more importantly, knowledgeable. The business of querying and finding an agent is a scary one. And even once you have an agent, knowing how that relationship should work–especially if you have no prior experience to draw on–is invaluable. I have an agent for my picture books. She has minimal contact with me and it is–since I signed a contract–always initiated by me. By minimal I don’t mean once or twice a month, I mean months!! I last spoke with her in the begining of January. I have her home number because I wrote it down from the caller ID after she caled here once. Without it I don’t think I could reach her at all. I sent an e-mail last week. So far no response. This was following Miss Snark’s advice, not for me specifically, but so many of my questions are answered incidentally, through her responses to othere writers. I’ll wait a week and send another e-mail, than one more. We’ll see what happens.
I just want to know who has seen and rejected my work. I want to know that someone is seeing my work, and that it isn’t just collecting dust in a file cabinet somewhere.
OK, enough about my agent. Someday, if I have the nerve and a question that I think is valid, I’ll ask Miss Snark. I’m not afraid of the nitwit of the day award–I bet I could earn a few with very little effort!

Any Snarklings reading this: I do have one question, but maybe you could help. How does one go about choosing a pen name (or three). My real name is thoroughly unpronounceable, so a pen name (or three) is in order. If my agent wasn’t so very hands-off I’d ask her. When we spoke the first time and she made a butchered mess of my name I assured her I would choose a pen name, and though she sounded relieved, she made no suggestions.

All Comments/ideas/suggestions/fantastic, memorable, super-duper pen names that I can use are welcome.

Take a nap

March 2, 2006

My dear son has taken to waking up at 5:30am. We are tired. Usually it does mean that he takes a good nap, but today he took a car nap. Apparently 20 minutes rest is all a growing boy needs. Even as I type I hear him upstairs in his room, his feet thump-thump-thumping as he runs back and forth, so busy all the time. I can hear him resetting the cd player, and talking to himself. Or maybe he’s talking to his stuffed goose. He is going to pass out from exhaustion at 7 pm, and be up tomorrow at 4am. I need a nap. I won’t get one, but I need one. He doens’t think he needs a nap. Thump-thump-thump. pause. Thump-thump-thump. a scream of delight. Nnow he’s shoving somthing under the door. Now he’s knocking. If I go check on him, I’ll have to put him back to bed and spoil his fun. He’s calling me now. Off to spoil the fun.

Well, I’m not screaming, though I’d like too.

we just got home from “playgroup”(read a bunch of women who sit around talking while their children run wild) I lothe playgroup. I’m trying to be better, but no matter how positive I try to be I really hate play group. I go because my son loves to play with the kids and he needs that social contact. He needs to be around other kids, and It’s my job to give him lots of chances.
But I can’t stand the “bunch of women sitting around talking” part. I usually stay with the kids. One on one, women are fine. I have female friends and I don’t hate women as a rule. Good thing too, since I am one. BUT . . . If you have never beeen part of a group of women, of any size then you might not know this, but when women get together, the one subject they constantly talk about is PRRREEEEGGGGNNNAAANNNNCCCYYYYY. UGH.

Constantly! Labor, delivery, conception, Blah blah blah blah blah. It’s like they honestly feel that it is the one thing in this world that is important. Not motherhood, mind you–just pregnancy. They just don’t get it. And I can’t make them. It isn’t worth trying. They don’t see that every moment after that child is born is just as important as the begining. A woman can be seventy years old with grown grand children, and she’ll still tell you every detail of her childbirth experience–because, of course that is the ONLY important thing she ever did FOR or WITH her child!
It’s like giving birth is the only thing that gives these women worth in thier minds, and that is a sad situation. If you have no self worth without children, givng birth isn’t going to change that.

Anyway, today it is one particular woman who is driving me nuts. She is–and has been for the last three months–planning her next pregnancy. She just goes on and on and on! “I don’t want to carry the baby during the winter. I want to give birth in November, but we have a conference at the begining.” and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

I get it! you can get pregnant at the drop of a hat. OK! So do it already and SHUT UP about it!

Do I sound a little jealous? Maybe I am, a little. I’m not jealous that she can concieve and I can’t. I’m jealous over the casualness of it. I’m jealous over the ease of it. It perplexes me. I’m not proud of my jealousy. But there it is. Sour grapes folks.

You know, just when I think I’m done with the jealousy and ugliness, I have a day like today and it all floods back making me feel about two inches tall. What is it to me if she pops out babies like toast? My babies come to me in their own time, and her rabbit-like reproductive habbits do not diminsh my joy in my son and his future siblings.

It’s ’cause I’m at the start right now, and the finish line is so far away. I’ll feel better later.

Enough ranting! on to important matters like photos and gardens!

Beautiful Days

March 1, 2006

The weather has been absolutly georgeous the past two days and we’re in for more of the same tomorrow. It’s hard, on a glorious day, to make myself buckle down and get busy. I wrote a whopping 2 paragraphs today. But I also played outside in the lovely warm sunshine with my darling son. His favorite thing in the world right now is his tricycle, which he scoots along on, at speeds too fast for his mama’s peace of mind, ignoring the pedals completely, and laughing like a loon. He is so sooooooo cute! I can say that without conceit, becuase I had nothing to do with how adorably cute he is. 🙂
Tomorrow we go to the local nature center in the morning and in the afternoon I get to break out the power tools! I’m building raised bed boxes for my garden. Super fun!

Well artsymommachic, there really is no such thing as a black or brown thumb. There is neglect and lack of information. But here is the magic–you want your plants to grow and they want to grow too! Think back to middle school science–one of the characteristics of all living things is reproduction. For many living things, reproduction is the primary goal and once it has been achieved, death follows. Many plants are like this, and that is very good for us! See, we want beautiful flowers and tasty fruits, and for plants, that is their whole goal in life. So really we are allies. You and your plants are both working toward the same goal.
I love plants that produce food. I expect my plants to earn their keep. Plus I think it is fantastic when you can put a tiny seed into the ground, give it dirt and water and sun, and it gives you a meal–miraculous!

I love tomatoes for container gardens. They are low maintenance, grow fast, and have a high yield. Tomatoes are very willing, determined plants. More than once I’ve found volunteer tomatoes growing in the compost pile! If you don’t plan to can or make sauces from your tomatoes then a cherry or yellow pear tomato is very nice for summer salads, or–my favorite way to eat them–popped into your mouth fresh off the vine still warm from the sun!

If you start from seed plant two or three, seed per pot then thin to the stronget seedling after thier first real leaves come in.

People with “black thumbs” usually have a water problem more than anything else. I bet you either over or under water. There are a few rules of thumb so you don’t drown your plant. You can A) water from the bottom. pour the water into the saucer under the pot, if the soil soaks up all the water quickly, add more to the bottom, till there is only a little standing in the base. or B) water from the top, wait till all the water soaks in. If the pot drains any water into the base you’ve watered enough.
Your plant needs water when the soil on top is dry to the touch. In summer, a potted plant–like the tomato I know you’re dying to plant–will want a drink once a day, twice in the hottest times. Water in the morning and evening, and don’t wet the leaves in the morning. Wetting the leaves in hot sunlight can burn your plant.
I really like Miracle Grow potting soil for container gardening. I’m not good at feeding my potted plants, so having an enriched soil makes all the difference.
You don’t need any special pots though, a tomato will grow happily in an old boot if it has proper drainage.
Plant some thing this year–your kids will love it and your heart will feel happy!

Inch by Inch . . .

February 26, 2006

Yesterday my first crocus poked his happy, sunny, little face up out of the earth. He smiled at me and whispered a secret. “Spring. Spring.” It’s coming!! My favorite season of all. Oh, I love this time of year. The days are starting to warm up and soon, so soon it will surprise us . . . SPRING! My garden is planned, my seeds are waiting patiently. It’s almost time to get dirty!
With all the ugliness in the world sometimes I feel like we should all take a page from “Candide”, and just go till our gardens! Everything looks better after hard days work in the garden.

Will you have a garden this year? Even a single tomato plant in a flower pot on a balcony can be a garden.

Every year about this time I start to hum. I can’t help it. I hum The Garden Song by David Mallett

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
‘Til the rain comes tumbling down

Pulling weeds and pickin’ stones
Man is made from dreams and bones
Feel the need to grow my own
‘Cause the time is close at hand
Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature’s chain
To my body and my brain
To the music from the land

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
‘Til the rain comes tumbling down

Plant your rows straight and long
Thicker than with pray’r and song
Mother Earth will make you strong
If you give her love and care
Old crow watchin’ hungrily
From his perch in yonder tree
In my garden I’m as free
As that feathered thief up there

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless the seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
‘Til the rain comes tumbling down

‘Til the rain comes tumbling down