Tuesday, May 21, 2013


These foxgloves remind me that 
patience and perseverance pay off,
in the garden and in life.

Seven years ago,
after my mom pulled all the weeds, 
this bed was empty.
Except for an old climbing rose, 
that you can't see hiding behind the Miss Kim lilac.
I bought six plants, all flowers, 
that year from the farmer's market. 
Four of them are still alive.
Finally, this bed is looking full.

  Five years ago I discovered winter sowing.
I planted fox gloves that first year, 
and the year after that.
But they never sprouted.
The poppies always grow though, 
and the oriental poppies come back every year.

Last year I tried again with fresh fox glove seeds.
Something changed. They sprouted.
But fox gloves require extra patience, 
the biennials don't bloom until year two.

But now, look at them now.
So many more blooms to enjoy.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Stuff Check: Shoes

I am not a shoe woman. Never have been. Shoe shopping has always been more torture than treat. It can't be helped really, with clod-hoppers like mine. Shoes that look completely cute in a size six or eight, looks absolutely hideous when blown up to size-11 proportions.

So imagine my surprise when I finally photographed my shoe collection, as the Center for the New American Dream's blog invited readers to do, and found out that I'm really downright average on the shoe ownership scale. In fact, I own more than the average 19 pairs per American (broken down by gender its 27 pairs for women and 12 for men) since I own three more pair than the 19 pictured above for a total of 22 pairs. 22!

Then I went and counted all the boyfriend's shoes and he only has 20 pairs. I complain about how many pairs he has (many of which he never wears), and it turns out that he has less than me. Ouch. I guess appearances are deceiving since more of my shoes are hidden away and his are out in the open.

Maybe owning 22 pairs of shoes would be okay if I loved and wore them all, but of course I don't. Out of the 22 pairs I own,  I regularly wear five. There are 7 pairs I have worn less than five times. And out of those seven, there are four pairs I've never worn. Ugh. Apparently not being a shoe person does not exempt me from making impulse shoe buys. Plus there are three pairs that should really be pitched, but for some inexplicable reason I keep hanging on to them.

It's time to cull my collection. I've already put two pairs in the donation pile and I'm giving myself six months to either wear or get rid of any unworn shoes in my closet. I'm going to shoot for 18 pairs or less by November.

How many pairs of shoes do you own? And is that number too many, too few or just right?


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