Tag Archives: garden

saturday (summer)

Yesterday marked the start of summer, and I’m just so ready. We’ve never gone on a summer vacation before summer actually starts, but we planned our California trip early so that we could miss the summer crowds at many of the places we were visiting. There was something sort of exciting about wrapping up school and hopping directly onto a plane. But it meant the pace of May was even more frenetic than normal – and when we returned we were already in the middle of June, and it took several days just to wrap our heads around that concept.

The girls have a slightly calmer summer schedule this year. They are getting older, and are more self-sufficient, and camps get so expensive and require a lot of shuttling. So June is a pretty quiet month before they both do a few favorite summer camps in July. They’ve refused to get back on any sort of regular sleep schedule post-vacation. They continue to operate on Pacific Standard Time – and a late version of PST at that. 

If we’re Instagram friends, then you know that I brought home a nice allergic reaction to Pacific Coastal Red Oak – and I’m almost through two weeks of oral steroids to deal with it. It made for a few uncomfortably itchy days, but the weirdest side effect for me was the inability to sleep while on the steroids. I slept less than fifteen hours total the first week I was on them, but as I’ve tapered down, the sleep is returning. The upside was that they made me very productive and focused at work, which was certainly helpful after being out of the office for two weeks. If given the choice between the pros and cons, I’ll take good sleep any day.

I finished sorting through all of our vacation photos last night, and I have a few mini-photo projects still to work on. So instead of posting more trip photos, I thought I’d post these recent garden photos of poppies. We saw so many poppies in California, and they are really one of my favorite flowers. Seeing these photos in my files when I returned brought back a little of that vacation feeling. I’m holding onto as much of it as possible.

We’ve had so much rain, and the rivers are so high and flooding. Even in the gray, drippy mornings, these flowers seem to sing. When I see them, it feels like taking a deep breath, re-centering once again, a pause to watch in wonder at the structure of each bloom.

They’ve been just what I’ve needed in these weeks with a high-running motor, and the missing of long outdoor vacation days stretching ahead of me. They’ve reminded me that I can fit in walking and hiking and running into any day at all, anywhere that I happen to be.

saturday (home again, from california)

Golden Gate Bridge, from the Presidio

I know that I fill this page with garden photos on the regular, but I’m up late tonight – sorting through hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of photos, and I’ve already forgotten some that I took over two weeks ago. It’s like opening a gift to me – remembering all of those little tiny moments along the way that took my breath away. Thinking about how many times I stopped to really look at all the details, and then took off in a little sprint to catch up with the others. I’ve promised so many people that I will organize my notes and thoughts about both of our trips this year – and I promise that I will. But as I do put together the big picture, know that I’ll likely be sharing a lot of the little ones along the way as well. I know I missed a few Saturdays there in a row, but it was such a good break full of adventuring and wonder and awe. So here’s a very, very early Saturday post for a change. Home again, quiet house, full heart.

Golden Gate Park, Jurassic Garden
Golden Gate Park, Jurassic Garden
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Palace of Fine Arts
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers

lately in the garden

It’s been a busy few weeks here as we’ve settled into new school year routines. I’ve started a dozen or more posts in my head but that’s as far as they make it. It’s helpful to remember to give myself time for transitions, and to also maximize my time spent outdoors and active. I know that shorter, cooler days are coming soon, so it feels like I’m storing up sunshine for the winter months.

September brings its own challenges. The Italian prune plums are in the groceries, and I’ve been making plum tortes in every spare hour I can find for the past week. It’s the last dessert I made for my grandfather before he died – I brought it to him to celebrate his birthday on September 4th. September 6th would have been my niece’s 16th birthday, and so in the little tradition that I’ve created over the past few years, I bake those cakes and share them with friends in memory of those we’re missing. It fills the house with the best scent, and I love to think of others sitting down at a quiet table for a slice this coming week.

We’ve encountered more setbacks on the house project, and so we’re trying to regroup again. It feels exhausting at times, and so I decided that this morning I would fight back at that mental exhaustion with some physical exhaustion. I got up for some early miles in Forest Park and then the four of us biked a good portion of Grant’s Trail, stopping for breakfast at Yolklore, before heading back to the truck. When I got home, I walked another cake to a friend’s house and now I’m finally home and showered (!) and drinking coffee like a normal human being on a holiday.

I’ve been struggling with so many current issues that bring up such feelings of rage in me. I’m working on funneling that rage in more productive ways, but sometimes they bubble up to the surface and leave me sputtering and purple in the face. I organized a pretty aggressive reading syllabus for myself, deep diving into systems work – trying to unlearn and relearn a lot. It’s not super relaxing, but it feels necessary to me. I need to know and understand more about so many things.

That kind of work always leads to more questioning and I’m no exception to that. I’ve got a lot to work through, and I do so much of this wrestling here in the garden. The leaves will turn soon, and the flowers will be spent for the season. Even in the colder months, the walk does me good. Thank goodness for this place.

The heat is still incredible here, but we’ve had some good cleansing rains as well. F and I got caught in the middle of one this past Wednesday, and it ended up being one of my favorite walks to date. She is always challenging us, fighting for what she needs or thinks is fair, and she’s not always patient with listening to opposing arguments. But she’s different here, once I get her here. And so am I. We might need a lot more of it this month, but we’re ready.