28 April, 2012


We're almost done preparing our first vegetable garden! When we moved from New York City to Westminster, Maryland one of the important things on our To Do List was to learn how to grow our own food. And now, we've taken the first step.

So far, we have the following veggies in the ground: onions, carrots, 3 pepper plants, brussels sprouts, green & red leaf lettuces, spinach, sugar snap peas, and 3 tomato plants. In small planters, we're going to put a few herbs: mint, basil, cilantro, rosemary, and parsley. And after Mother's Day, we'll add zucchini and cucumbers to our patches.

It was hard work to strip the sod of our 14 x 16 foot area, dig a trench for the fence (to keep out the rabbits, we hope!), till the dirt, double-dig two 4 x 11 foot beds, mix in the compost, finally get to plant the vegetables, and then to put up the wire fencing... but hopefully, it'll all be worth it. And I'm already so proud. Welcome to our Garden :)

09 April, 2012


"What matters is that, for the rest of their lives, both my daughters understand that to reach a goal, they must put one foot in front of the other and persevere. They know that they must expect and prepare for challenges. They know to ignore the naysayers and, instead, to have faith in themselves and their abilities to learn what they need to know. Above all else, they know that little does not mean weak, that girls are indeed strong, and that practically anything is possible."

UP: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure
By Patricia Ellis Herr

I try to say "Yes" to my daughter whenever possible.

I try to encourage her to reach just a little bit further. I try not to give in when she gives up and tells me "You do it." I try to entice her with small adventures and new challenges. She's only 2-years-old... and I hope I am a good enough mother to continue saying "Yes" as she grows older.

But I'm sure there will be times when it's not possible to say "Yes" - or at least not with a few strings attached.

Patricia Ellis Herr's account of her adventures climbing mountains with her daughters strikes me as a great example of the wonderful moments and life lessons that can happen when you say "Yes" to your children. Not only to agree that they can and should try That New Thing, but also agreeing when they ask you to do it with them. Agreeing that YOU can and should try That New Thing, too.

I was amused and inspired by the author's chapter titles which give life to some strong parenting suggestions: Some Things Will Always Be Beyond Your Control; Ignore the Naysayers; Lose the Paranoia; Divide and Conquer; Roll with the Punches; Little Things Matter (a Lot); We Can't Always Make It Better; Enjoy the Journey While It Lasts. Those are simple statements, but just think how good they are as little nuggets of parenting guidance!

I don't want to miss a single possibility with my child by saying "No." I don't want to miss a moment of adventure, but I also don't want to miss an opportunity for learning or for a life-lesson or for growth. I want my child to know extreme encouragement. I want my child to know that I will always have faith in her. I want my child to know "Yes" as often as possible.

For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Patricia Ellis Herr's UP: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure to read and discuss as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.

08 April, 2012


The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. 
 -Hermann Hesse, Demian

Sharing this beautiful photo and quote via foodjoy, a beautiful blog by a beautiful woman.