Tagged breast cancer

End of summer gardens; lessons in life

I haven’t written much about my gardens this year. It has been a rough, slow start for most of them. My breast cancer slowed me down in the spring when I should have been tending to their new growth, the continual sprummer rain and darkness on beds that were planted for dryness and sun mooshed, damaging hail storms shredded, and, to be honest, my husband and I have been having too much darn fun every Sunday off the property when I normally would be putzing out there.

None the less, nature has its way. Mid August heat and the organic fertilizer I liberally applied—that I normally do in the spring—has given both of us hope. Something a true gardener is never without. But frankly, I don’t mind a bit-messy garden. It is a symbol of other things pressing on one’s time—fun or duty—and I can appreciate that; no judgement here. The mess can also the humbling effects of nature. One weed pulled today is another weed tomorrow. As Michael Pollan so humorously points out in his book Second Nature, man against nature is a philosophical never-ending battle, one I choose to relinquish now and again. Going with the natural flow of things, living in the moment…I learned this a lot in the garden this year.


Blue doesn’t always stay blue and fading can be nice…we all fade.


We planted late.  Sometimes we get a late start in life and big isn’t always better.



Toby, our natural grass barber.  Never let your hair cut define you.


Sometimes all one needs is a good sit and the color red.


…or pink and orange.


Herbs are hardy.  Don’t forget that by adding spice in your life you will become more hardy too.



Next year I will make the brick edging that will keep the dirt in the beds in place; next year, next year.  You do what you can do, “You get what you get and don’t get upset”; Pinkalicious.



16 ways, sixteen days. RECAP: lessons in art and life

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Breast cancer; in case you were afraid to ask. It was sixteen days of radiation after a successful surgery…just in case. During a season when I had little time to be in the art studio, I just had to do something artistically expressive so I turned my daily shoes and accessory choices into an art project. We creatives are like that; express or die.

Shoes are a metaphor for life after all; we “kick up our heels”, we “take things in stride”, we “put one foot in front of the other”…The shoe life lesson here is ALWAYS choose joy first, because I could have led with gloom (dang it).  Joy is the fuel for our existence so the rest can fall into place with grace. Quite literally, the hormones produced when experiencing joy override and numb-out the hormonal feelings of discomfort and fear. Others before have modeled this for me—Mary Ann, Dee, Bonnie, Jules, Joyce… So I offer my own example to you passing it forward.

This choosing is the hardest lesson to learn and even harder to apply. We are all so, so very busy, we all have various struggles and tribulations, our lists are endlessly long. I can’t tell you HOW to do this; you have to figure out how to prioritize it for yourself. An older woman once told a younger me, housework will always be there but your kids will not; in other words, learn to recognize what is important. At the end of our life is it the proverbial tidy that we will remember or those moments of joy and fun? I choose fun— and shoes!

And now for the art lesson…

Assembling color seems to be difficult for many people. Given all the choices it is understandable. When you walk into a paint or fabric store you may be drawn to a certain swatch but then get hung up trying to figure out what other colors to put with it.  Consider these tips:

  1. Use proportion.  Most designers use the rules of proportion when assembling color, expressed as divisions of thirds—1/3 to 2/3’s—or more accurately, expressed by the use of the golden ration 1 to 1.61803.  My daily color charts in 5 parts showed this exactly; 2 square parts to 3 square parts = the golden ratio.
  2. Use neutral. When you mix grayish, brownish, blackish or white/beige colors with colors straight off the color wheel it makes them feel more lively and more balanced.  The most playful color combinations are using the greater proportion of color wheel color and the most subdued combinations are those that favor more neutral.  My daily color charts showed this; 2 squares of color to 3 squares of neutral and vice versa.
  3. Use color theory.  To decide what other color you want to use, find your color on a color wheel then pick a harmony shown there.  I like to use the Gardeners Color wheel because it shows more divisions of color plus pastel.

Below are the color combinations I used in the series.  Feel free to use them…

I am signing off for now.  Back to my garden….


DAy 3 color grad

day 4 colors

16 ways color grad DAY 5

color grad day 6

16 color grad day 6 best

16 color grad day 8

16 color grad day 9

16 color grad day 10

16 color grad 10b

12 color grad DAY 11

16 color grad DAY 12

16 color grad DAY13b

16 color grad DAY 14b

16 color grad DAY 15

16 color grad DAY 16

The shoes I wore on the first day…because I promised.