Lusty and Energetic: Setting the Pace

You can feel the energy of Spring: building, persistent, energetic, bold, lusty, exhilarating… and exhausting.  How do the plants do it? After this big surge of energy, how do they recoup? This level of energy can’t be maintained for the long run.  They’ve got flowers to produce, seeds to spread (or runners, rhizomes, tubers, etc.), insects and diseases to fight. …

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Purple Dead Nettle Saves the Day

If you have been tending your garden this Spring, you’ll have encountered the PROLIFIC Purple Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum). NOTE: it is NOT related to Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). Purple Dead Nettle is part of the mint family and has the classic square stem. One of the reassurances that Spring is arriving is in the appearance of numerous scattered communities of …

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Ready. Set. Jump!

Walking in the rain with my dog Mel, I rounded the curve and there it was: a large, wet, juicy mud puddle right in the middle of the path. Releasing his leash, I took a running start and laughingly jumped into the middle, spraying dirty water everywhere and scattering a few surprised earthworms in the process. Mel looked at me …

The Joys and Aches of Spring!

Now is the best time to get out in the garden and start clearing and planting. But boy, that can play havoc if you haven’t used those muscles in a while.  Making goals for what you want to accomplish and breaking them into small doable tasks are helpful and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed. However, even with the best plans, …

Get Your Spring Greens On!

Hey you, digging in your garden! What are those weeds you’re throwing out? That can be your supper tonight. These are part of what I affectionately call the Spring quartet: Nettles, Chickweed, Violets and Dandelion. You’re getting a 2 for 1 deal: all have medicinal properties and all are nutrient dense foods. Violets Violets will be blooming (Viola species) by …

When Pigs Fly: Traveling During Chinese New Year Celebration

Who would think layovers could be fun? Returning from Australia we had a 12 hour lay-over in Hong Kong on February 5 and walked into celebrations for the beginning of the Chinese New Year: Year of the Pig. (You can look up the Chinese astrology symbols here). Pigs symbolize wealth and good fortune and are considered diligent, compassionate and generous. …

Blackboys, Squaw Vine and History: Who Gets to Write the Story?

While visiting family in Fremantle (Freo to locals), Australia outside Perth, we got to observe Australia Day on Saturday January 26. Why January 26? It marks the date in 1788, when a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts sailed into Botany Bay, effectively founding Australia.  January 1, 1901 marks the beginning of the federation of Australia. By 1935, January 26 was known …

Whatever It Takes to Feel Better

The Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend followed 4 non-stop days of eating, drinking and celebrating with family. I awoke from another night of disrupted sleep and weird dreams, staggered to the bathroom on tender and achy feet, peered into the mirror at my puffy face and declared “I gotta do something different. I’m too young to be feeling so achy and …

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How to Feed a Fear: Create Attachment to Outcomes

If Winter is the season of the Kidney (rules the balance of water and salt), we are now drowning in water.   The recent snow dump melt followed by the rain fest saw to that. So, what does that mean, besides the weather is crazy right now? I think the weather and seasons speak to us as do the plants.  I’m …

How’s Your Weather?

How’s Your Weather? What’s the weather going to be today?  I quickly consult the Weather Channel: cloudy with a chance of rain, highs in the low 40’s. Drat. Another overcast, cold rainy day. I want it to be SUNSHINE! It’s heading into winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, and I feel a whine coming on. More blue sky!  More fluffy …