Five Little Things

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These guys make me almost as happy as the baby goats!

Sometimes it’s the little things. That’s what this blog is all about: five little things that are making me happy.

First…if you like baby goats (and who doesn’t?), check out the Sunflower Farm barn cam. I’m a little obsessed. Sunflower Farm is a pygmy goat farm near where I live in Maine. The cam shows baby goats being born and generally frolicking. It is (a) highly entertaining, (b) cute off the chart, but (c) a little stressful (for me) to watch. Apparently I’m either a goat wimp or cross-species maternalistic because I get very worried and protective of these baby goats. Warning: this site can be very addictive. And very dramatic. But you really should check it out. Hint: It’s much more exciting with sound turned up so you can hear all the goats bleating!

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It doesn’t look like much yet, but just wait…and yes we do still have some snow

If baby goats are being born, then it must be spring, right? YES! Spring. We finally have spring! There are no leaves on the trees yet (and only a few flowers), but we went from snow last week to 70 degrees this week. Today I saw an Osprey and two Great Blue Herons flying over. Song birds are everywhere. Our temps (and winds) will be all over the place for a while, but I don’t think we’ll get anymore snow until fall—which is the important part—so we can get our garden area ready. This all makes me very, very happy. (Until I saw a fly in the house…no. I won’t complain yet.)

Parchment baked chicken breasts. I usually don’t write about food on my blog, but once in a while I need to. A few months ago I started baking chicken in parchment paper—I put (usually three skinless boneless breasts on a piece of parchment paper, squeeze juice of one lemon onto them, add a few tablespoons of wine, sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper, cover with another sheet of parchment, and crimp the edges. Bake until done (usually about 30 minutes), and you’ll have the moistest most delicious, healthiest chicken breasts you’ll ever taste. I’ve also used soy, balsamic, and lemon juice marinade, equally delicious. You can also use this method for fish and vegetables. Cooking Light has a better description of the method—you can find it in this article by Lia Huber.

In case you haven’t been to Google today…you’re in for a fun surprise. In honor of the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express, Google has developed a fun, easy video game. I’ve wasted spent at least half an hour on this today… and I’ve only collected 25 envelopes at best—you have to see it to truly understand. Check it out on Google.

After you finish collecting envelopes, check out today’s post on Writer Unboxed by Therese Walsh. It’s an incredibly helpful blog about multi-tasking—Therese’s third in a series. Therese says this: “If you multitask because you feel you have to in order to stay on top of things; if you’re overwhelmed with too much information and an inability to sort though it all; if you’re losing momentum on your writing projects because there is just too much on your plate… This post is for you.” She goes on to give methods for diagnosing what’s going on (or wrong) with your work habits, strategies for better productivity, and tips and suggestions to be more productive. It’s a really useful and helpful post….

Especially after you’ve been watching baby goats, cleaning your garden, playing Google’s Pony Express game, researching new ways to cook chicken, or generally trying to figure out how to focus more on writing and less on those other non-writing things.

What are some little things making you happy?

Cheers,

Julia

Love Notes: things to love mid-winter

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This photo was from a much warmer day (last summer), but it seemed perfect for a post about love… 

I meant to get this blog posted yesterday, for Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t, and here’s why…

Another blizzard. More snow predicted. But here’s the thing: it missed us. (Collective sigh, followed by a cheer.) Various predictions said we’d get one to two more feet of snow out of this storm, adding to the four feet of snow already on the ground. Instead we woke up to two inches! Yesterday was a flurry of activity to get ready for the possible power outage, being snowed in, etc. We even succumbed to the “bread and milk” grocery run, except since we were baking bread and I’m lactose intolerant, instead we bought flour and yeast. (By the way, if you haven’t seen the hilarious bread and milk youtube video, here’s a link.)

Here are a few more things I love this month:

For my post on Writer Unboxed yesterday I asked other Writer Unboxed writers to contribute Valentines to Writing. Why and how they love writing. Check out “Writing…Will You Be My Valentine?” to see the twenty wonderful love letters, poems, and words about writing. I loved compiling this Valentine box of words.

At Great New Books this month I posted a recommendation for Roz Chast’s graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant. I saw this book as a long love letter to her parents (as they went through the aging process). The book is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking and Chast is amazing at expressing feelings through her cartoons. I loved this book.

Lately I’ve seen a lot of Common Ravens. These massive black birds, “cousins” of the crow, are larger than a Red-tailed Hawk, and I don’t see them often in Maine. (I don’t think… they are solitary birds so if I saw one alone, without comparison to another bird, I might think it’s a crow—crows weigh about half as much, but without comparison, this difference is hard to see). You can tell ravens from crows in flight by the raven’s wedge-shaped tail. I saw a lot of ravens in the west when I drove across the country, but it’s really spectacular to see them in the snow. The contrast is beautiful and striking. I haven’t gotten a photo of one yet, but I would love to by the end of the winter.

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Winter is far from over. This is a shot of the Cousins Island Bridge, looking toward the mainland.

Winter…which is far from over, despite the lack of snow from this particular blizzard. We are in the deep chill, with temperatures well below freezing (we’ve had thirteen days below zero in February; I don’t love that). I still go out and take photos, but with clear skies, sunrises and sunsets are less spectacular (we’ve had a few good ones), most boats are out of the water, and it’s harder to get access to beautiful areas—the snow banks are huge.

Another thing I really love today is that it’s only 32 days until the Spring Equinox. And even though I’m sure we’ll still have snow on the ground, there’s a lot of hope resting on that day!

How’s your winter going? What do you love this month?

Five Things Making Me Happy

photoSpring is finally here in Maine. The snow is gone and the first daffodil bloomed in our yard yesterday, and to celebrate I decided not to wear long underwear today (although I did debate; the thermometer registers just 41 degrees). It’s been a long, hard, cold winter, and I’m ready for spring.

Jackie Cangro’s recent blog really resonated with me. She wrote about why she’s thankful for spring. Even on gray, cold days like today, I’m feeling inordinately happy about Spring along with the need to celebrate the things that make me happy.

Wikipedia says…Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

And here, in no particular order,  are five things creating my personal state of well-being…ranging from contentment to intense joy!

1. Bird life is returning! We still don’t have leaves on the trees (they’re just starting to pop), but that’s almost better—I can see all the birds I hear. This morning we saw a Great Blue Heron land at the tippy top of a tall pine (it was pretty amazing). We also saw a Downy Woodpecker, a Pileated Woodpecker, and two days ago we saw a bald eagle (that’s not the royal we…by me I mean me and MEH—My Engineer Husband). The Ospreys have also returned to the coast of Maine and I’ve seen plenty of those. Along with the exciting, the usual cadre of robins, finches, juncos, chickadees, and gulls are out in full force.

2. And speaking of MEH, he’s back at work… definitely adding to my sense of well being (although I do miss him being around all the time).

3. I’m also learning to live with 24-hour supervision…how can this be good you’re wondering? I recently got a Jawbone UP. Like I said it’s been a long winter and I haven’t gotten nearly as much exercise as I should have. On top of that, I haven’t been sleeping too well. This handy hi-tech bracelet-gadget will hopefully help me by tracking my steps and sleep. It’s also a good way to remind me to not be quite so sedentary in my writing habits—I’ve set it so that it buzzes every 45 minutes to remind meto get up and move around for a while. Now that the ice is gone and the weather is a little warmer I can get outside and walk!

4. Instagram is my new social networking favorite. I’ve been snapping up a storm and (best of all) connecting with other photographers from all over the world. What a wonderful community! I’ve found the Maine group (#igersmaine) and one of my photos was already selected as an #igersmaine picture of the day (the one accompanying this post). I’m mostly enjoying the photos of horses, ranches, cowboys, and the open lands of the western United States because they’re providing inspiration for my WIP. But I’m also loving the photos from all over the world: Moscow, Nairobi, New Zealand, Australia, England…just to name a few. And I’m learning how to do timelapse videos which has been very cool (thank you @timelapse_California for all the help!). Oh… and I love the baby goats…because what’s not to love about baby goats? If you want to connect with me on Instagram, find me @juliamunroemartin.

5. The song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. It’s on my iPhone’s “Feel Good Songs” playlist. The list is an eclectic mix featuring songs of Michael Buble, The Spiral Staircase, Darius Rucker, and Taylor Swift. Call me corny, but these songs really do lift my mood and make me feel more positive—which is one of my big resolutions for the year: focusing on the positive.

What’s making you happy this spring?

Cheers,

Julia

Perfect Writing Weather Video from the Coast of Maine

Note to my faithful readers and commenters: If you left a comment to one of my blog postings earlier this week, it is very possible that it was lost in the great Blogger crash at the end of last week! I realized this morning that at least 8 comments that were originally posted on the blog about Marilyn Johnson’s visit to Portland and several to the guest post by Jane Roper are no longer there, and (although I haven’t checked) I assume the same is true for other postings. If you left a comment on my blog and I didn’t answer, I am so sorry; it’s only because I never received it or can no longer retrieve it. I thank you for your continued interest in wordsxo!

Sunday, May 15, 2011, 1:07 p.m. EST, 50 degrees F

A rainy day in Maine, a bit on the parky side (perfect word of the day from wordnik.com!), so once again we had our jackets on as we stood on the bridge overlook in inclement weather. You can even see the umbrella popping into the shot about 12 seconds in!

You’d hardly recognize it from a week ago, when someone walked her dogs on the beach. But that’s the way spring is here in Maine: two steps forward, one back, and then we fall headlong into summer, never knowing what hit us!

Today, everything is green and lovelyalbeit a bit soggy; the leaves seem to have come on full throttle overnight. The ducks are happy as, well, ducks, and if you had smell-a-vision you’d be able to know what a clam flat smells like. Take my word for it, it’s distinctive but “not a perfume that would sell well,” as MEH (My Engineer Husband) says. More of an aquired taste. Out of camera view, there are more and more lobster buoys bobbing on the water, too, marking where the traps are below.

Now back home….because this weather is perfect for writing!

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? Parky? Or balmy?


Cheers,
Julia

A Beautiful Mother’s Day on the Coast of Maine

Sunday, May 8, 2011, 7:28 a.m. EST, 56 degrees F

What a beautiful Sunday morning on the coast of Maine! We stood on the bridge in light jackets, and even though it was breezy, for the first time it was not bitter in the blowing wind.

A day of firsts, there are also leaves and flowers on the trees, and it was the first time we’ve seen someone clamming (he was not in the video area, see photo below). It felt delightfully spring like, with ducks and birds calling, flowers all around and four dogs frolicking on the beach. At the beginning of the video, the beach is empty, but about 13 seconds in, you’ll see someone walking down the length of the bar with her two dogs—it will give you a feel for the scale of the area.

I would feel deficit if I didn’t mention Mother’s Day—and offer my greetings to all moms reading this blog. Every Mother’s Day I feel grateful and thankful for my two wonderful kids—you’ve given me the best job I’ve ever had. Here’s to you guys: I love you B & H!


Clammer on the mudflats, to the right of the beach
Cheers & Happy Mother’s Day!
Julia

Beach Day video postcard from the Coast of Maine with love from wordsxo

Saturday, April 9, 2011, 9:30 a.m. EST, 56 degrees F

For the first time since we started making these video postcards, it actually felt comfortable to stand on the bridge overlook to the small island beach. There was no wind to speak of, the sun was shining, and it was in the mid 50s. 


(Here’s a link to the very first video postcard we posted on wordsxo. It was quite a different scene, with snow and ice on the beach. Looking at it makes me very cold (29 degrees with brutal wind chill), but it also makes me very glad we switched to posting the videos via youtube. The quality is so much better!)
On the drive to the bridge, people were out: cleaning up their yards, walking, running, and bikingbut mostly just glad to be out after a long winter of cabin fever! When we arrived at the overlook, besides the sweet family on the beach, we also saw a clammer and a couple walking their dog. A group of bicyclists rode by on the bridge, too.

You can’t see it in the video, but the buoys marking lobster traps are popping up more and more. Here’s a photo of lobster boats we took on a jaunt to Bailey Island, Maine, yesterday afternoon.



Inspiration (And Distraction) from Subtle Signs of Spring


Star crocus, years-ago naturalized in the lawn, come back
every year, our earliest flower of the Spring 

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”

  – Hal Borland, American author and journalist


My garden promises that spring is coming. Winter lingers in Maine, and it meanders. For a few days, it might be 50 degrees, then the next day we’ll have snow. But now, after the surprise 8 inches of snow on April 1st, we’re rounding the final corner into Spring.

Sometimes you need to know what to look for, but the subtle signs are everywhere, and the garden is awakening. The view out my office window is changing, and I am both inspired and distracted!

Wild strawberries are one of the first green signs of Spring;
soon these will be everywhere! The tiny berries are a delicacy
that are not nearly as sweet as their cultivated cousins.

I was thrilled to see this catkin on the Pussy Willow bush. We rooted the
branches of a bouquet we bought at the grocery store last Spring.
Now the branches are coming to life!

I suspect this is a mole hole.
And although it is not one of the happier signs of Spring,
it is one that we’ll be dealing with as we attempt to trap
the little critters (at least I may get a good blog out of it!).

It doesn’t look like much right now, but these are buds on the
HUGE Forsythia bush right outside my office window
(the same one featured in the wordsxo blog heading).
In a few weeks, this bush will be aflame with a mass
of intense yellow blooms!

The lilacs are budding out, too! These are the beginnings of
the beautiful purple blossoms that will soon surround this old house.
An earlier dweller of our house, their house, had the unbelievable
 foresight to plant these lovely shrubs along almost the entire
 perimeter of this lot. Beautiful and fragrant!

What are your subtle (or not so subtle) signs of Spring? Or is it already full-blown summer where you are? How does the weather and change of seasons affect your writing?


Cheers,
Julia

p.s. The quote I featured in today’s blog was written by Hal Borland, who lived from 1900-1978. He wrote books and editorials about the outdoors, and like me, he lived in both Colorado and New England. He is a kindred spirit, as evidenced by the title of one of his books: Sundial of Seasons.

In Celebration of Season


This week marked the beginning of Spring. And, in celebration, today’s Wednesday Word is season. As with many words, season can function as either a noun or a verb, depending on the definition you are using, and what you are trying to say.

(1) season: One of the four natural divisions of the year—Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter—in the North and South Temperate zones. Each season, beginning astronomically at an equinox or solstice, is characterized by specific meteorological or climatic conditions. American Heritage Dictionary via thefreedictionary.com

Here in Maine, it still feels a lot like winter. Granted, the temperatures are warming, birds are returning, and the snow is receding. We no longer have perilously high snow banks on every corner, that just last month created hazardous driving conditions—but we’ve had snow fall twice this week. And if you comment to a neighbor about the warming weather, they are likely to issue a standard Maine response:

“Don’t get used to it.”

Too early to garden, but not too early to dream, that packet of arugula seeds is still on my kitchen windowsill. And before long, they will be planted in my vegetable garden. By early summer, we will eat tender arugula, tossed with fresh tiny green onions and balsamic vinegar. And then winter will be a distant memory.

All summer long we’ll harvest vegetables: spinach and lettuce, beets and kale, beans and tomatoes. Finally, as the days shorten and autumn begins, we will enjoy pumpkins, squash, and hopefully a melon. A bounty will remain for us to can and freeze—before the season changes again.

And, that we can get used to.

(2) season (verb): To make or become mature or experienced. – Collins English Dictionary via thefreedictionary.com

I have been blogging now for seven weeks—every day of each week—45 consecutive postings. Although still a newbie, I am becoming a more mature blogger, I’m finding my legs. As I read and watch others around me, I am gaining more understanding and knowledge of this new world I’ve entered. I no longer stress out at the thought of writing a daily blog; I actually enjoy and look forward to it! And as I learn and change as a blogger, my blog site is maturing and changing too—which brings me to the third definition of season.

(3) season (verb): To improve or enhance flavor; to add zest, piquancy, or interest to. – American Heritage Dictionary via thefreedictionary.com

In honor of this definition of season, I am adding zest to my blog with some changes to its appearance. The photos in the heading represent each of the seasons—but also the natural beauty of everyday things that inspire me and my writing. I hope you will let me know what you think—the heading, my blog, and my writing continue as works in progress.

Cheers,

Julia

p.s. Are there ways that the changing seasons inspire you? Where are you in your blogging journey? How have you seasoned as a blogger—and what landmarks or seasons can you identify along the way? And, please let me know what you think of the new wordsxo appearance and contents. How am I doing?

Happy Vernal Equinox from the Coast of Maine with love from wordsxo

Saturday, March 19, 2011, 5:40 p.m. EST, 42 degrees F



We missed the official low tide (5:38 p.m.) by just two minutes, but the tide was plenty low—fully exposing the mud flats. Even though it was 5 degrees warmer than last week, it felt much colder because the wind was howling!

Still, signs of life continue to pick up: if you look closely, you can see two walkers with their dog at the very tip of the sand bar. The birds are everywhere, very active: swimming, flying, and feeding in the mud. All the snow and is gone on the beach, and most of it is gone on the pathway to the beach. It’s really starting to feel like spring (which is good because today is the first real day of Spring!!). Happy Vernal Equinox!

One final note, we returned to the bridge overlook during the Super Full Moon rising last night—spectacular—reflecting an orange-red streak across the water. We took a video, but it just did not do it justice, so I won’t post it here. Take my word for it: breathtaking and well worth the second trip to the bridge overlook! Incredibly inspirational!

Yesterday When It Was Spring


Yesterday when it was 65 degrees, a lot of snow melted so that a corner of the garden was exposed. It made me hopeful, and I started thinking about planting. So much so that when I got up this morning at 5:30 a.m.—and it was dark, thank you daylight savings—I started to write a blog about planting the garden.

My plan was to go out and take a picture of that corner of the garden, to include with my blog.

But then, when it got light, and I looked outside, IT WAS SNOWING. Yep, that’s Maine in Spring. And, as they say in Maine: “Deal with it.”


Cheers,

Julia

p.s. Blog about Spring canceled due to snow.

What surprises did you get this morning that changed your plans?

Sunrise Video Postcard from the Coast of Maine with love from wordsxo

Sunday, March 13, 2011, 6:57 a.m. EST, 37 degrees F

Daylight savings morning at sunrise; MEH (My Engineer Husband) and I stand on the bridge overlooking the “beach.” Although this morning, at high tide, you’d never know there was a beach. The calm, shimmering water covers the sand bar. And it looks more like a lake than an ocean.

It reminds me of a story. When we first moved here, our realtor Dave was driving us around to look at houses. Dave said he was going to take us out to an island where there was a house for sale. Being from the western U.S., I was intrigued: live on an island?

After driving for a while, we came to a causeway (Dave had to explain to me that this is another word for bridge), and we crossed over to the island—past the exact spot we take these video postcards. Used to the Pacific Ocean, the water seemed so incredibly calm and glassy. “Like a lake,” I commented to Dave.

Dave said: “That reminds me of a client I once took around looking at houses, and when we crossed the causeway, she said: ‘What lake is this?’” Dave laughed and shook his head.

That story always stuck with me. Every time I crossed the bridge to our new house (yes, we ended up living on the island for several years), I thought of Dave, his client, and how some of the time Casco Bay can look like a lake. Especially if you’re not from around these parts—and don’t know what to look for.

This morning is quiet, calm, and incredibly beautiful, difficult to describe in words so I’m glad we took the video. It’s overcast, and the sun rises pink behind clouds to our right, casting an even glow across to the main land. The “lake” that is Casco Bay is coming to life after a long winter. Ducks, geese, gulls, and other shorebirds are everywhere: swimming, perching, flying. The sounds surround us—we hear spring: small ripples lapping the shore, flapping of wings, splashes as ducks dive and dunk under water. I was hoping to see a seal, but not this morning.

I enjoy coming to this spot each week to record these videos, to really see and hear my surroundings, instead of just driving by on the bridge. It makes me stop and think about what’s around me, sense it, feel it, and remember the beauty of the place I live. It’s good for my writing and good for my life.

Cheers,

Julia

p.s. Are there landmarks you pass everyday that bring back stories? What helps you see and really notice the things around you?

Video Postcard: Small Signs of Spring from the Coast of Maine

Recorded Saturday, March 5, 4:30 p.m., 42 degrees F



The tide was lower and there were more signs of spring today at the beach overlook on Coastal Maine. No snow on the beach or ice in the water, and if you look closely you might be able to see the birds (white gulls) on both the beach and in the water swimming. They looked cold, but it was good to see life on the beach! You can also see bigger waves and a few small whitecaps–the water was quite rough.

It’s hard to believe it’s the beginning of March and still so cold. The thermometer says 42 degrees F (up 10 degrees from last week), but with the wind it is still no fun to be outside! But spring is in the air: there are buds on the trees, the sun is higher in the sky, and birds are returning after the long winter and we can hear their songs.

Coming up soon in the video postcards: boats in the water, people walking on the beach, children wading, and clammers digging clams on the mudflats. I can’t wait!

MEH, the Amygdala, and Me


In answer to a friend’s question: Where on Earth do you come up with things to blog about everyday?


Last night I sat down on the couch to write today’s blog. With laptop on lap and notebook in hand, I looked through notes I’ve taken and searched the web for exactly what I wanted to write about. MEH (My Engineer Husband) sat next to me, reading a Science News magazine.

Here’s how it went down:

Me: OMG, it’s the last day of the month! Maybe I can come up with some idea about March to write about!

MEH: Maybe…. But how about this? The right nostril may actually come in much handier than the left! An international team of researchers investigated twenty-eight homing pigeons to come to this startling, dare I say life-changing, realization. People may favor the right nostril when detecting and evaluating the intensity of odors! The researchers imply this hints at broader olfactory asymmetry; tantalizing, eh?

Me (typing furiously on laptop, searching google for “March”): Wow, you can’t make that stuff up! Maybe THAT’S why I’m stuffed up only on the left side every morning! I thought it was the large Labrador Retriever that sleeps on my side of the bed! Hey, remember how March 15 is the Ides of March? It’s the name given in the Roman calendar probably referring to the day of the full moon? Maybe I could write about that?

MEH: OK. Listen to this. In an article entitled Brain Boosters, researchers suggest that dietary substances like caffeine and glucose may boost mental skills! Caffeine apparently increases visual and auditory vigilance—like speeding up reaction times. Glucose enhances memory of words or images and verbal fluency.

Me: No kidding!? That’s probably why so many writers congregate at coffee houses. The question is: do writers hang out at coffee houses because they get these mental boosts from dietary supplements or do the people who hang out at coffee houses become better writers because of the dietary supplements? Maybe that would be a good blog….

MEH: HUH! (Loud exclamation, in reaction to another article, not my comment!) Apparently a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience details how neurons in the human amygdala work to assess the value of an object. Now this is the exciting part… (MEH continued, voice lowered) these findings suggest that the human amygdala’s involvement in decision making happens at the time of the choice, and is NOT RESTRICTED TO FAMILIAR SITUATIONS.

Me: Okay, you lost me on that one. Maybe it’s a little beyond my amygdala’s neuron computing skills. Or maybe I just need a double mochacino to reconsider. Have I mentioned we’re out of coffee? Want to come to Starbucks with me?

Cheers,
Julia


p.s. Really coming up in March: The Vernal Equinox. Woohoo, Spring! Time to start planning the garden! What are you looking forward to in March?

Citation: All MEH’s stories reported in Science News, February 26, 2011, Vol. 179, No. 5. www.sciencenews.org

Why This Blog is Not About Arugula


Yes, it’s true. I was going to blog about arugula today. And hope of spring. Because Friday when it was almost 50 degrees and the sun was shining, I went to the grocery store, and there they were. The towering racks of seeds right inside the door. MEH (My Engineer Husband) and I almost swooned. Really.


When you live in Maine, and it’s dark and dismal and cold and icy for endless months on end, you take any sign of spring as an encouragement. Like the groundhog seeing his shadow. Like the garden thyme desperately peeking out from the only non-snowy corner of the driveway. Like one sunny day at the end of February. Like the seed towers at the local grocery store.


And so MEH and I oohed and aahed over every seed packet, every possibility, what should we buy as our representation of spring? To tuck into a prominent spot of the kitchen so we could appreciate the reality that someday soon we would return to the garden, dig up the beautiful bountiful earth, and engage in our yearly ritual of planting.


Flower or vegetable? Root crop or leafy green? Someone walking by might have thought we were playing 20 questions or Animal Vegetable Mineral. Someone walking by might’ve thought we were crazy. No we’re in Maine. They knew. They understood.


Finally of course we knew it had to be a vegetable. We passed by the beets, the spinach. Breakfast radish, a new favorite from last year, almost made the cut. But in the end, we went with arugula. This spicy, almost-bitter green sprinkled with balsamic vinaigrette, is the bee’s knees of culinary delight. Closing our eyes, we could almost imagine: feel the springtime, standing in the warm sun, pinching back the arugula sprouts, thinning and then devouring the tiny harvest. Sublime.


But instead more snow. Only lightly falling, but still. This morning an annoying reminder that we need to wait. And so for now the seed packet of arugula sits on the window sill. A small reminder that soon I will be able to begin to consider that maybe someday, I will sit and think and write and maybe even blog in the warm spring sun while I watch the arugula grow where now there is only snow.


Cheers,

Julia


p.s. How does the weather inspire or discourage you in your writing? What gives you hope for spring? If you’re a gardener, and you live in a warm climate, how’s the growing going?