Posts Tagged ‘October’

Some seasons are better than others.

For everything.

Life. Health. Happiness.

Some of it totally out of our control. Dare I say most of it.

Even gardening. Some seasons are better than others. And some things are out of our control. Or, at least, out of my control.

I love gardening. Relish the actual planting. Ready to hunker down and patiently witness the fruits of my labor. Whether it’s an actual fruit or a beautiful blossom.

But with me? It’s tricky. I forget what I plant. At the beginning of the season I am at the starting line, organized with “plant markers”, and ready to go! Then it all slowly falls by the wayside.

One minute I’m thinking I sowed peas and much to my surprise a pile of beans rises from the soil. Or even one bean 🙂 Whatever. Aren’t peas just the lil fellas inside beans?

It’s all so confusing.

I was happily showing my raised garden bed to my friend, Karen.

I said, “Nothing yet but I think that one’s a pepper plant.”

Her response, “It doesn’t look like a pepper plant to me.”

Anyway, don’t want to digress.

This year was no different when it comes to the “Wonder what’s in Mary’s garden” theme.

For months I thought I was going to find zucchini crawling up the trellis. Nope. Baby, we got pickles. Pickles, baby!

Due to weather it was not a bumper crop this season. Of anything. Tomatoes took longer and wanted to peak in the Fall. Nothing in the garden really wowed me. My interest waned.

Except for a couple of potted plants. I was beginning to shift pots on the back patio. Deciding which ones would join us inside for the harsh winter months.

Besides the bright geraniums I was definitely leaning toward my lemon and fig trees. Had me a little Mediterranean thing going. Honestly, though, neither did much of anything except survive the summer. Just like me.

But I had noticed my fig tree recently showing signs of bearing fruit. I had mentioned this, in passing, to my husband. He, who literally hails from the native land of figs. But I didn’t show him my observations.

Yesterday, I moved the fig tree into the house. Proudly showed my husband the start of a glorious fruit. This beautiful, healthy plant, although a late bloomer, was finally showing its true colors.

He took one look at it and said, “That’s not a fig.”

I said, “What??? Yes, it most certainly is. That’s what’s on the label.”

“So, humans never make mistakes and mislabel something?”

“No, I’m sure it’s a fig plant.”

He continued, “Mary, it’s not a fig. It’s a freaking eggplant.”

I still didn’t believe him. No matter what my eyes told me. I immediately began an internet search for fig leaf and fruit images.

So, you see my confusion? Laugh out loud.

Then, there is this. My compost bin. A symbiotic relationship if ever there was one. I fill it with dry clippings, fruits, vegetables and it generously produces organic matter which will enhance my soil. We both benefit.

But said bin now appears to be moonlighting as a tomato vender. These accidental tourists, who I neglected because they weren’t in my “planned” gardens, exploded. I could hardly access the bin with all the tomatoes springing out of it. Almost October in New England. Always a surprise.

Let’s just say this post is fraught with meaning and lessons. Take from the bounty what you will. Or need.

Sometimes the best things are unplanned.

Planning can be a good thing. But be flexible.

Labels are meaningless.

Listen to those in the know.

Embrace the unintended.

Control what you can-let everything else go.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck -it might just be a duck.

If you can’t tell a zucchini from a summer squash? Who actually cares? Don’t beat yourself up. Probably tastes like chicken anyway.

Wishing you the very best week. Intentional or not.

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Here is number nine on the “Is it April yet?” list.

Find something to serve as a cheerful reminder that sunny days are just around the corner.

I have a few items scattered around my house for this very reason. I really love these guys.


They were a gift so I can’t take any credit for finding them. My daughter, Norah, bought them for my birthday last October.

I love everything about them.

Recycled/renewed. Unique. Useful.

I’m  even happy that I received them after the herb season ended.

Because that gives me just one more thing to look forward to this Spring.

They are displayed on a trunk right by the back door. Ready and waiting!

Find a cheerful reminder. Sunny days are just around the corner.


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I missed Autumn in New England when I was away.

Leaf peepers visit from all over the country and the world to experience the changing foliage. It’s so beautiful.

And who doesn’t love bright orange pumpkins?

I remember, when we lived in Kuala Lumpur, my neighbor Jean’s husband got very creative one Halloween night. There weren’t any orange pumpkins available in our tropical environs so he got his hands on a watermelon and carved it accordingly. Made me chuckle but also realize how humans acclimate.

When our children were young it was always fun to visit the pumpkin patch and pick out the perfect pumpkin. We’d bring it home to decorate and/or carve it. Scooped out the innards, rinsed the stringy seeds, dried them and later roasted them in the oven.

Here is an old photo of Hannie and her carved pumpkin when we lived in California. 25 was our house number at the time. Placed by the front door to greet trick or treaters. Snagged the idea from my old friend, Betsy. Visit her site Farmhouse Wares for cool home and garden items.


Hannie is a bit older now and in her second year of university. She came home for a weekend in October to celebrate my birthday. So appreciated! Of course, we went to find the perfect pumpkins.


Some things have changed since then. Like the number of our house. But some things remain the same. Like our happiness while decorating pumpkins.


Consider this as #2 on my previously mentioned “cheerful list.” The things that add a bit of brightness to my day once the days of summer have passed. Even though it really is more than just pumpkins. It is time spent outdoors. Togetherness. Creativity. And yes, eating pumpkin seeds.


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Almost the end of October! My, how time flies!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everyone knows that.

And everyone knows someone who has battled this terrible disease. Some have lost the battle but many have won.

I recently attended an American Association of Malaysia benefit for this cause. One of the things I learned was not just that one in eight women will be stricken with it. But that many more women are living with breast cancer today than dying from it.

Because of early detection. Get your mammograms. Check yourself.

For you hipsters with iPhones there is even an app. Check it out. And check yourself.

It matters. You matter.

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