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.
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.
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.