Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Honest Scrap

Riki, over at Sprig to Twig, has flattered me with an Honest Scrap tag.

As I understand it, the recipient lays out ten things designed to illuminate facets of the blogger that might not be evident from her/his blog. Then she tags seven new bloggers who repeat the process. Although this is scarily close to a chain letter, I think it has the potential to enhance at least my appreciation of some bloggers I follow.

So here goes my streak of honesty:

  • Peace is the only way.

  • I’m not a US citizen. I was born in London England, so I can’t vote for President and I can’t ever be President (now there’s a weight off my mind.) I always thought I might like to live in England, so I never took US citizenship. Now, with my EU passport, I could live in any number of different European countries. Italy sounds good and warm right now, or maybe the South of France.
  • Reading is something I have always done. I gravitate toward contemporary women fiction writers, but throw in a good amount of non-fiction. Actually, I'll read just about anything, including a box of crackers on the kitchen counter.
  • I belong to a book club that has been meeting for over 17 years. We’re such good friends now that most book discussions eventually finds their way into a conversation about politics or families. I think I've only missed two or three meetings in all these years. Am I smarter because of it? Naaah.
  • I love my two cats: Pearl is a five-year-old, fat, sluggish, gray female tabby who used to mother her companion, Elvis, but has been beaten up enough times that she has pretty much given up trying. Elvis is a four-year-old, sweet, white-and-tabby male, who only resists Pearl’s mothering because she won’t stop licking at a reasonable point. They are both indoor cats, because I care about their safety and the wild bird population in my garden.
  • Chocolate is my downfall.
  • I hope to retire in 2010. I want to be able to do things during the day, like gardening and working with children in school. And I’m ready to quit being in an office for eight hours a day. Even though I often get to do creative, interesting things in my work, enough is enough.
  • I never get as much exercise as I should. That’s one of the many reasons I like summer: it’s easy for me to be outdoors working in the garden in the warmer, drier months. Winter, not so much. I really have to make myself go outdoors when it’s cold or wet.
  • I come from gardening families: My paternal grandfather (whom I never knew) had a beautifully landscaped back garden in London, and my Granny Finch loved her roses. My mother was an avid gardener in multiple hot and trying locales in the U.S. My uncle and aunt gardened extensively in the Thames Valley and their daughter gardens beautifully in Oxford with her husband. My sister’s no slouch, garden-wise, either.
  • I feel exceedingly lucky that my husband, Ben (a.k.a. Mr. MulchMaid), is as interested in gardening as I am, although we differ on specifics: he goes for a cool, woodsy, Northwest native effect, while I aim for a sun-kissed, dry-tolerant, Mediterranean look and feel. His architectural training has given him a landscape designer’s eye, while I am a plant lover, so my beds are less pulled together than his. I strive for the whole, but can get bogged down in the details. Although there are times when I wish my garden planning could be a bit more autonomous, I have to admit our mutual involvement creates a nice synergy.

So there you have me, warts and all.

Now here, in no particular order, are seven bloggers I admire. Tag, you're it!


  1. Oh, good work on all the surprising facts, I have been trying to think up what to say on my own version, and haven't been able to come up with anything I haven't already told people, but these were all completely new info. I'm excited for you to retire, I am a big fan of people retiring, it gives me hope that some day I will too. I would love to spend my days with my garden and my pets, not off somewhere else.
    Having a spouse who is also interested in gardening, I've often thought that could be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing to get help, a curse if they have a different vision. I share both of your styles, I like both hot mediterranean gardens and woodland gardens, so it's a a constant challenge to keep them separate or to figure out a harmonious coexistence, which, from the sounds of it, you must be familiar with at your own place.

  2. Me? Thank you Jane! My scrap post is in the November archives. Boring stuff really. LOL
    Mine, not yours.

    You obviously have gardening in, not only your blood but your bones and your genes! And what a comfortable balance you have with your hubby. It's a challenge to craft a cohesive design when you've just brought home a gluttonous trunk-ful of plants. I know!

    You don't look old enough to retire.

    Pearl and Elvis sound delightful. Cats are so lovably, quirky but we wouldn't have it any other way.

    Exercise? Yep, I hear ya. Always, always an ongoing internal civil war with myself.

    Isn't chocolate one of the food groups?

  3. So glad you took up the challenge in spite of the chain-y overtones.
    If we ever get another cat, I think you should name it.
    I had absolute autonomy in the garden until we moved here and Richard took an interest. I think the give and take makes for better decisions, even when a tinge of annoyance creeps in.

  4. Jane, thank you I really enjoyed reading that. Having seen you in person I second Grace's remark that you don't look old enough to retire! But congrats on the concept. It just sounds like heaven. I would be very good at it I'm sure.

    How does your husband feel about Chocolate? I've introduced mine to the pleasures and he's enjoying it but being a guy he isn't quite as passionate as the woman I know. Just about every woman at work has a chocolate stash in her drawer and when you are having a personal emergency you are free to raid. I don't know a single guy who has a chocolate stash.

  5. Hi Jane! Ha ha, Ricki tagged me too, so now I am double-it. I will try to work up something not too dull in the next few weeks. Please forgive my slowness and thanks for passing on the award.

    Nice to read more about you, I admire your book club longevity and am just like you, I will read the snack box in order just to be reading something! Ditto the chocolate fixation. Give me a good book and some nice dark 70% cacao and I'm happy as a clam!


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