OK – Me Me

John from A Verdant Life has gone and embarrassed me into doing something on my blog besides dealing with practical or musical issues. These “MeMe” awards are given out to people by people who want to know more about them. I do have a Facebook account under my less-than-mysterious name which comprises my blog’s handle, and, naturally, that is a place I get personal as a rule. But not everyone has that – nor should they, addicting as that place is – and this can stand for a while, as incomplete a picture as it will be. As I hope is obvious, I generally try to stay away from the self-adoration as much as possible in here, keeping it as literal and as helpful as I can. My intent has  always revolved around illustrating how things get done. I really get a pleasure out of that. Naturally, it justifies me some, too. That’s a lot of hard work, dammit.

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Anyway – here are the “Me Me” rules:

1) Link back to whomever nominated you
2) Reveal seven tidbits about yourself
3) Nominate and link to seven other blogs
4) Notify your nominees with a comment on their blogs
5) Notify your nominator(s) when your “acceptance” post is up

Off we go ———–

7 Tidbits about myself:

1. I am a softball addict – I played baseball in high school and college (among all the other sports in HS) and once went 18 years between ballgames. When I was finally asked if I wanted to join a team, in 1985 – in Santa Cruz, California – I asked if they actually “tried to win games”. It was a return to a first love.  For the next 23 years, I played an average of maybe 140 games a year, including tournaments and regular season games. I compete – at my advanced age – in every age level, not just the old guys – or “The Geezers” as my team mates are so fond of referring.

2. I am trying to quit smoking – This is a war. I worked with tobacco as a kid in Kentucky. I first smoked on a baseball team, believe it or not. And we were state champs, no less. It has been over 40 years with cigarettes, now, and I have been fighting a tremendously hard struggle with something so apparently simple. Please send the voodoo and the Karma I need to complete this. This is tough!

3.  I have kept a diary of my dreams – For a full two years, I would wake up at odd hours with them still fresh and write them down. I got the idea from reading CG Jung – who was a hero of mine for a stretch – and I have over 5,000 of them – big dreams, little dreams, Yogi Berra sitting and talking with the Devil, me eating one or two of my friends after a good cooking – you name it! Very bizarre stuff us humans can cook up and I am right in there with the worst of us all! It is a riot, reading them all after the years pass by. And yes, I still do it when I think they are momentous. In the end, it made me appreciate the Creative Impulse in us all.

4. I am hopelessly in love – I didn’t have a child until I was 41 years old. But she owns me to this day. Even the thought of her chills me to my bones, keeping my heart as open as if I were some public open heart experiment. This is the best thing that ever happened to me and I am eternally grateful to the Fates who insisted I taste this slice of Life On Earth. You guys rock! I wouldn’t have it any other way, even in the most ideal Universe.

5. I stumbled into landscaping – Looking for a job one Summer while going to school in Vancouver, BC, I was offered a gig mowing grass. Inasmuch as I am predominantly a physical person at heart and the notion of office work I had already experienced in the military turned me off so, I took to simple lawn-mowing like nobody’s business. It was The Rhododendron that cemented the deal, however. I shall always remember doing some work and noticing this humongous flower one Spring. I got closer to it and it was like I was blasted by lightning. “Dam, that’s gorgeous!”, I believe was the thought of the moment. I began taking the environment and what landscaping could accomplish more seriously.

6. I am nearly completely out of landscaping now – This will tie in with #7 below. The economy ravaged us in Reno and it produced the incentive to move to Portland, Oregon, to start again. But, fortunately, with the help of my webmaster friend, Annette of Pardes Hana, Israel, I have become more of a writer. I am finding it possible to write for a living and I also find it as intriguing as anything else. Its primary benefit is in the portability if affords. I can literally live anywhere now, as long as I have a computer. Because of the next issue, #7, this is important. I still consult – especially on problematic water features and to a few select landscapers who know me. And I expect this to continue – it’s not like I can leave it behind. But it is no longer my primary thing.

7. I am moving – On September 30th of this year, I will board a plane destined for Louisville, Kentucky, one of my favorite cities. For the first time in nearly 40 years, I will leave the West behind. The reason is simple – my Mom is 90 now and could use some help managing things. Her stresses picked up and all of her kids wondered how we could help provide her with the quality of life we want for her. I decided to take the challenge. I will still post in here and I will act like nothing has changed. There will just be more Louisville-related posts, I am sure. Being from there so long ago and being the social butterfly I have always been, there are scads of friends to reconnect with. It should be cool.

Crystal Springs March 3 09 278

Referrals

OK. Whew. Now then, the next rule insists that I choose 7 blogs to refer and why. This will actually be the easy part. For the most part, I spend a lot of time reading some of the more popular blogs located at the very interesting site called Blotanical. (just click the link). Some readers  are not aware of this fascinating place, but it is rife with the best garden Writing in the world. There are some veterans in there who are yearly award winners owing to their writing ability and their encouragement of other bloggers. I will link a few of those simply because they are the best, hands down. The others I link because of my own tastes, which, as my dream instincts show, are diverse enough. I am sure many of them have been linked before but I want them to experience some complimentary words, just because I feel them deeply.

1. Philip’s Garden Blog – I think this is the best blog I ever encountered, I want to say that up front. Philip Bewley’s gorgeous writing style, his subject matter and his overall warmth make visiting him a rare and tremendously special treat. The bad news is he’s been gone for a while. I find this heart-breaking. So I’m sending this out to try and stir that sucker up, as well as to send people to see just what all the hubub might be over. Dig deeper into that blog – it’s a trip.

2. Bay Area Tendrils – I suspect, as I said, some of these people will have been through the whole “MeMe” thing. I looked here on Alice’s excellent blog to see and then realized I don’t care. I just want her to know how fascinating I find her blog anyway. Does that break the rules?? This lady is real prolific. There are new sights nearly daily and they are not your run-of-the-mill pictures of a tomato’s progress. Her subject matter is creative and she visits some of the world’s greatest gardens as well. She has extensive travel experience, history and creativity going for her – a lethal combo.

3. Lostinthelandscape – James is an accomplished photographer of some accomplishment, to begin with. His blog actually shows a side of him I somehow suspect his primary tradespeople don’t know as well. His blog deals with a wide range of subject matter, from Water Conservation locally down there in San Diego to the weirdness of a bloom from some succulent. He finds ways to include us as observers in a human and attractive writing style. Humble, yet professional, I just plain like this guy. I also think his blog is purposefully “spare” in many ways by design. But he is chock full not only of information but in plain honest curiosity.

4. Tulips In The Woods – I just include her because I am in love with her name: Pomona Belvedere. Now that’s excitement! 😉  This gorgeous mind and soul is addicted to science. Her blog is rife with the most informative posts concerning plant species – and most often natives, no less! – than any around, anywhere. She has offered to cooperate with me on a post dealing with Oregon Grape, something you can count on seeing in the future. She has also been featured, I do believe, in this “MeMe” thing before, but she is very influential in my getting pleasure from other blogs. Like the others on my list, she has a definite and obvious humanity about her which makes visiting an additional treat.

5. gardenhistorygirl – Now this is truly shameless of me, to recommend someone who probably has no idea of who I am. I guess she will now. The reason I include this stunngingly informative blog author will be obvious as you peruse her site. She packs historical information into a tight space so well, I have to shake my head. Naturally, inasmuch as she is – or was – researching for school at the same time, she would have an advantage over the mildly curious. But her passion and interests are obvious. I respect this blog as much as any I have ever seen.

6. Shirley Bovshow’s Edenmaker’s Blog – Shirley is not a shrinking violet. Nor does she want to be. Her job is to be out front and she takes it seriously and she does it well. A TV personality as well as – I have discovered – a cool all round person, she does more than just be another pretty face. (That’ll be $10). This is someone with knowledge and an urge to share it. There are garden and landscape lovers who blog about their passions who are extremely riveting and great reading. But in Shriley, I long since recognized a kindred spirit in the “Installation” game, as much as anything. Yes, we both design and install gardens. I have always felt this was a hard-working person and it warms me to visit her site, seeing as how I am probably as vain as she is about working so hard.

7. Miss Rumphius’ Rules – Now and then I like dropping by Susan’s place owing to how I enjoy her artistic sensibility. She is nice and outspoken as well – which I find somehow attractive. She does excellent work and she is one who advocates urban landscaping in ways which I might also, were I in her shoes. In short, I enjoy her takes on art and the illusory natures of things. She already has a MeMe thing posted but I’m sending this anyway just to be a pain and to give her a shout. She has no idea I visit as often as I do, I am positive. But this is a very informative and fascinating blog. I just enjoy the way she thinks.

I’ll predictably forget to notify everyone I listed here, owing to how I need to make dinner now. I do want to post it and I do enjoy thinking how these “awards” might be received. I have a large tolerance for humiliation. Let me also say the obvious – that, at my best and when I have time, this list is a tiny part of the blogging world I visit. It’s one reason I have not done the “MeMe” thing before – as popularity tests, they have some interest. But I would hate to see Francis, Barbee, Philip, Niels, JoJo or any of the wild number of persons who I admire so much feel slighted. Somehow, I don’t think they will.

April283

18 thoughts on “OK – Me Me

  1. Steve: uh oh. Thanks for all those great words. Who was it you were writing about? It couldn’t have possibly been me! (Blush…)

    I’m wondering if these memes are like the flu, once you get it, are you immune? I revealed all a year back at:

    http://www.soenyun.com/Blog/2008/07/15/ive-been-tagged/

    If I can come up with anything else interesting I’ll post it. How thrilling can the life of a photographer/ gardener/library geek/ex-musician be?

    J

    PS–Good luck with the move. Kentucky. That’s a big one! It’s great that you’re there for your mother. Life is weird isn’t it? A decision like this might have been hard just a few years ago, but it sounds like a pile of circumstances have joined to make it possible–and maybe even the obvious thing to do.

  2. Steve, thanks for playing! I’m glad to get to know you better, and I think even more of you for breaking the rules.

    You don’t do much half-way, do you? Good luck with your move, and good luck kicking the cigarettes. My wife quit 12 years ago and had a really tough time—and did it anyhow. “Failure is not an option.” And you’ll have that many more days with your daughter.

    I look forward to reading about your next adventures.

  3. Who knew a literary spinster with an eye for beauty would be as popular as Miss R! What you don’t know, Steve, is that I have been known to lurk here!

    What a great adventure to move back to the place of your youth. I’m sure you will see it with new eyes and I’m looking forward to hearing your take on Louisville.

    Thanks for the MeMe–I included you in MeMe Redux http://www.susancohangardens.com/blog/?p=1146 so you can check my link back to you there–the circle remains unbroken…

  4. James, you put a smile on my face this morning. Yes, it’s you I am talking about. In fact – and I am not sure why I am saying this – my first response to your blushing was to say something like the famous Dan Ackroyd comment –
    “Jane, you ignorant slut!” – but, of course, I deferred, having more class that that. 😉 I love your blog, man – it’s great.

    John, yes, it’s all your fault. You can only blame yourself for the time you wasted here. And thanks on the smoking wishes. I hope.

    Susan, wow, so you do visit here now and again! You are making my day!

    Yes, to all, the return to Kentucky promises many things. Since my daughter thinks she is relocating, that was the only remaining tendril clasping to me and keeping me in the West. Alas, these days find free telephone service and cheaper flights so that can be overcome. Mom is an ex-college professor and still as mentally active as she ever was. The time spent with her is always quality, anyway, so, in her alone, the trip will be a treat. And yes, James, it is funny how events tip in certain directions. Now, as long as I don’t cook her, she’ll be cool.

  5. Steve….. Oh my! I’ve been leaving messages for you all over the place, on Blotanical…on FB, but goodness ;~0 I’m only now making it to your comment page.
    You’ve made my day by MeMeing me in so deliberate a fashion, and I’m beyond delighted to be included in such august company. Our tastes and interests are run parallel.

    To be serious for a moment, your words are gratifying.
    As you mention, I’ve posted a reply to this MeMe, but you may have encouraged my ego to the degree that I’ll feel compelled to write something more. We’ll see!

    I’ll be looking forward hearing all about your relocation.
    And now that we’re connected on FB (took me forever to get there!), as well as the blogsphere, staying in touch should be a breeze.

    Thank you, Steve!!!!!

  6. Well, Facebook is where I get to peer into important people’s goings on. I am a shameless snoop, after all.

    It was totally my pleasure featuring you, Alice. You deserve it. You work hard at what you do and your posts are invariably delightful reading and looking.

    Thanks!

  7. Steve, I so enjoyed reading your 7 items; Yogi Berra talking with the Devil especially. I loved the story of the rhododendron power that drew you into the plant world; isn’t it funny how most of us seem to have these distinct moments where we got a call? I’m also going to send best wishes for parting company (except in a gardening capacity) with the demon tobacco. Have you tried acupuncture, or hypnotism, yet? It can be done, I know those who have done it – but it is hard. You have plenty of courage, though, as exemplified by being willing to pick up and move to Kentucky for new adventures. I’ll look forward to lyrical pieces on your Louisville neighborhood.

    Thanks for your kind and generous words on my blog, Steve. I’m honored to be written about by you. It’s true that, while I try to write more general pieces, I keep coming back to plant portraits; I just can’t seem to help myself. As you know, I frequently refer people to you for Everything on Stone – and also beautiful yet waterwise gardening – not that you don’t know a lot about other important things in the garden, too.

    Since I published my MeMe list recently, anyone who’s interested can see it at http://www.tulipsinthewoods.com/cataloguebookwebsite-reviews/beautiful-blogs/

    Some of the blogs you mentioned in your list are already on my list; I’ll look forward to checking out the ones which are less familiar.

  8. Steve, thanks again for including me in your list of esteemed bloggers! You are very kind and generous in your compliments. I enjoyed reading about you and wish you well on your move to Portland!
    Shirley Bovshow “EdenMaker”

  9. Steve!
    It is so great to hear from you!
    Yes, I have not posted in a while. I was laid off and I have to admit, I have had a great time following my bliss. If I put together a new post (or new kind of blog, working on that now) I will let you know.
    Thank you SO much, Steve, your kind comments touch me deeply.

    Louisville! All my best wishes for your next adventure! Also, being near your mother is a wonderful thing. I look forward to reading about your discoveries there, shared on your great blog. I have so much enjoyed reading your blog for your expertise, your artistry and your great personal spirit.
    All the very best wishes to you and lots of fun and inspiration!
    Philip

  10. Well, you could knock me over with a feather! 😉 Hi Philip!!! Gosh, it;s great to see you stir around again. LOL, some folks feel hurt and undervalued when they get laid off – you go for the bliss. I knew there was a reason why you are so appealing! I hope some of your “bliss-stirring” made included photos. (We don’t need the more intimate ones – you can send those privately).

    Shirley, I find it so easy to speak and comment with you, always have. I feel I know you in some ways. Keep up your great good work.

  11. Hi Steve!
    I think it is great that you are writing, as I have enjoyed your writing very much ( your #6)
    I have spent quite a bit of time cooking! I love getting up very early and talking with people passionate about produce. For me, the ideas in art, gardening and cooking are all related.
    I have bookmarked your site so I can keep in touch with what your are doing. All the best,
    🙂
    Philip

  12. Hey thanks Freddy! Yeah, I mean you know more about me than this stuff anyway, lol. But it works. Alena is happier too, lol. Hey – that matters!

  13. Hello,

    I enjoy your website and thought you and your readers might be interested in an interactive version (using google maps) of the current USDA zone hardiness map at http://www.plantmaps.com/usda_hardiness_zone_map.php
    There are also detailed interactive zone maps for each US State such as Kentucky for example:
    http://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-kentucky-usda-plant-zone-hardiness-map.php

    There is a detailed zipcode to zone search using the latest US postal service zips and giving the reader their zone down to the sub zone level (a or b). By entering your zipcode you can also get first/last freeze, Heat Zones, drought conditions and annual climatology for your area.
    You can also embed the zip to zone search in your website using the plantmaps widget at http://www.plantmaps.com/hardiness-zone-zipcode-search-widget.php

    Thanks

  14. Hey Steve,
    Long time no see. I just happened on to your blog. Nice job! All I need to know about landscaping.
    I now live in Oregon’s capital – though not for long. Drop me a line and let me know of your where- (and when) -abouts.

    DT

  15. Hey Steve,
    My name is John Madole, my older brother, James W. Madole went to high school with a Steve Snedecker in Owensboro, KY back in the 1960’s. I am wondering if you are that Steve. Jimmy past away this past August and I am trying to locate friends who knew him.

    I would be grateful to receive a response from you.
    John

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