Don’t lie–I know that the first thing you do in the morning is put coffee on to brew and then go online to see who has “talked” to you since you last signed off. And usually, it’s no one. (Well, what did you expect, they were all asleep, too!) But a few mornings ago, I had a lovely surprise when I booted up my email–an invitation to join this wonderful community at Not Dabbling. Through this site and each individual blog, I’ve climbed mountains with Jen, and grown seeds with Susy, and watched Kim’s kids disappear into a sunflower house. I’ve enjoyed Tennessee sunshine, Ohio winters, and camels in the Pacific Northwest.
I grew my own Chicago garden in lockstep with my family. We moved in to a vast expanse of grass in 1986 (actually a vast expanse of snow, since it was December). Plus, I suppose “vast” only in city terms- 27×60 feet (or 3/100s of an acre) with about 1/3 devoted to edibles, 1/3 to ornamentals and the balance in paths and patios and ponds.
As the children grew so did the garden, adding vegetables, trees (well, the trees come and go), more flowers, more paths, structures, and whatnot.
The phrase “not dabbling in normal” barely touches the surface. I have it on good authority that I’m a little off the beaten track. I’m a feminist homemaker with a full time job, a political leftist with traditional values, and a non-believer who loves ritual, follows the goddess, and asks the unanswerable questions. I dabble at a lot of stuff- fundraising, figure skating, sustainable life style, cooking for non-cooks, gardening and general hell-raising. Normal I ain’t.
I like to think I’m wise, but probably I’m just opinionated. I like to call myself straight forward, but mostly I think I’m just cranky. I throw myself into the fray, and like as not get thrown back out, bloody but unbowed, as the poet says.
My children are grown and gone. The garden is grown but comes back every year, a lovely metaphor on the nature of parenting adults. What can I bring to NDIN? Think of me as the crazy aunt you never had; my children assure me I’d have been brilliant in the role.
I hope everyone here learns something from my gardens (find them at My Folia/xan) and my recipes (find them at Mahlzeit) and maybe even my skating (on Xanboni). I know in the year I’ve been following this blog I’ve learned alot about gaining friends, finding connections, and how to make mayonnaise and baking powder. And I hope to offer a perspective of someone who has always taken the road less traveled, even in a traffic jam.