Switching to Spring (And a Gardening Book Giveaway)

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For years, fall was my favorite season. Crisp air, pumpkins, all that sort of fall stuff.

But then something switched.

Spring!

Shout it from the rooftops!

G !

The season of seasons.

Maybe it’s my old cold house made warmer by spring temperatures.

Maybe it’s because I’m now a confirmed walker, and there’s no walking like spring walking.

Or maybe it’s because in high school, I went nuts over e.e.cummings.

in Just-

spring          when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

But spring is now my favorite season.

What’s yours?

In honor of spring, a gardening book!

A gorgeous one written by Great Britain’s master gardener Alys Fowler.

 

EdibleGarden_hires

 

Alys writes in her forward:

Making The Edible Garden has been about finding a way to garden that is as gentle as possible upon the world. A garden that will please and feed me and still be a home for all others that visit it. By choosing to grow my vegetables alongside my flowers in a perfectly pleasing muddle that is polyculture, I have found a way that allows the best of all worlds.”

And from Viva Editions, the publisher:

Alys Fowler, author of Garden Anywhere, shares her expertise on floral food and edible landscaping, providing tips and tricks on everything from seeds to compost to preservation. You’ll learn how to:

  •       Mix trees, edibles and flowers in one space
  •       Sustainably forage for wild food
  •       Plant the prettiest vegetables for container gardening
  •       Grow and brew comfrey for “liquid love”
  •       Cook deliciously hearty harvest dishes
  •       Make gifts from the garden: canned jams, chutneys and fruit liqueurs

Giveaway!  Viva Editions, is offering a copy of The Edible Garden to one lucky Friend for the Ride reader. To enter, please leave a comment before May 15. U.S. only, thanks.

Meet Alys and see her garden here:

 

 

Vibrant Voices!

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Vibrant Voices Top Blogger

 

I’m delighted to be a  Replens Vibrant Voices Top Blogger.

Ten bloggers were selected.

Now…

The contest is on to pick the Number One Blogger.

 

Cast Your Vote

If you ask me…

We’re all Number One!

I’m in great company.

To vote for Friend for the Ride…

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Find the ballot box here on Facebook: http://woobox.com/dja8bg

As a thank you for voting, Replens is offering free samples of their long-lasting vaginal moisturizer:

 

Replens

 

Thanks Replens! Very nice people with a great product.

 

Fencing with Breast Cancer (and a Book Giveaway)

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En Garde

A post by writer Ronnie Hammer:

I shivered in my thin, standard hospital gown as I lay on the table in an oncology ward, awaiting my first radiation treatment for breast cancer.

Everything I saw as I looked around terrified me: the huge, cold, threatening machines and the gowned, gloved, masked hospital doctors and nurses.

I felt alone and outnumbered. If only I could see a familiar face, hear a friendly voice or squeeze a supportive hand I’d feel so much better.

But no humans are permitted in the radiation room.

A sudden thought popped into my mind; if I couldn’t have the company of a real person, why not take a lesson from nursery school children and do what they do?

 I could invent my own private friend and protector.

Who should it be modeled after? Who should it look like? What should it do?

Perhaps my enchantment with “Upstairs Downstairs” influenced my choice, but I decided my pretend friend would be a six inch tall British gentleman. “I’ll give him a funny name that will force me to smile whenever I think of him.”

And so Percy Puddlethorpe was created.

Then I designed an outfit for him: a little waistcoat, ascot and appropriate bowler hat. He carried an umbrella under his arm.

And then it happened; the radiation machine was turned on. It was a startling, loud, irritating sound.Those noises seemed to Percy’s call to action. He sprung up and stood on top of the radiation machine. I was astonished as I watched Percy open his umbrella and float down on it.

At the point before my face , he paused, tipped his hat, smiled at me, and continued on his way. His sweet smile was so warm and infectious that it caused me to reflexively smile back at him.

His destination was to the cancer cells, where he joined the radiation rays in their partnership to defeat their common enemy.

Percy closed his umbrella, transforming it into a long, sleek shape of a sword. With the “umbrella sword” in his hand he assumed the “En Garde” position.

He jumped into action, stabbing the cancer cells, as he parried left and parried right, lunging, thrusting, advancing and retreating until all the cancer cells were gone. Defeated. Decimated. Percy emerged victorious.

I might be the first cancer patient who smiled, almost laughed and practically cheered when the machine was turned off.

I was elated; I felt like hugging Percy in appreciation for his victory.

And he came with me to every treatment. I never even had to call to remind him!

If you can believe a woman smiling at a pretend person that she invented, then you understand the reality that this vision had for me.

 Months later, when all the treatments and follow up doctors’ appointments were over, my husband and I were eating breakfast one morning. He looked up from his newspaper and said, “You were talking in your sleep last night.”

Really? What did I say?”

You said, ‘I love you, Percy.’ ”

Giveaway: For a chance to win Ronnie’s book, En Garde: My Battle with Breast Cancer, please leave a comment by May 1 saying you’d like to win! 

Ronnie

Ronnie Hammer’s essays have appeared in the Metropolitan Diary section of the New York Times. She has written for the Jewish News, The North Jersey Orchid Society Journal and Executive Female Magazine. She leads the Madison branch of Women Who Write and is co-editor of Goldfinch, the annual literary magazine it publishes. It has published three of her stories.

Ronnie was director of Power Presentations, a public speaking company, for 22 years. She lives in Morristown, NJ with her husband; their three grown children sought greener pastures.

Guppies? Menopause? Yes!

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Guppy Female_1

Wikipedia has a lot to say about menopause. Check out the article here.

Of all the menopausal tidbits, the one that splashed me right in the face is this:

GUPPIES GO THROUGH MENOPAUSE!!

And I quote:

“Menopause also has been reported in a variety of other vertebrate species including elephants,[129] short-finned pilot whales[130] and other cetaceans,[131][132] the guppy,[133] the platyfish, the budgerigar, the laboratory rat and mouse, and the opossum.”

Bless their tiny guppy hearts.

I had to find out more.

Guppyblog.com to the rescue!

In this post, “Do Guppies Go Through Menopause?” the blogger writes that his/her guppies definitely live another year or so after they stop reproducing.  (This fact has only been verified for guppies living in fish tanks.)

Now take in THIS tidbit, oh Friend for the Ride readers:

Menopausal guppies are bigger than guppies who are still reproducing.

HOWEVER…

Guppies in menopause grow longer  NOT fatter.  Their bellies stay the same size.

I’ve thought it might be nice to be a flying fish. Perhaps a stunning rainbow fish.

But I’ve never once wanted to be a guppy.

Now I’m considering choosing guppy for a next life.

Imagine gaining height in menopause (instead of shrinking) while maintaining one’s midsection.

I don’t know though.

We had guppies when I was little. I won a single guppy for coming in second in the Bible Verse Memory Contest. (I got beat out by the pastor’s son.)

That night, my guppy had babies. “Kids, I’m a grandmother!” my mom called upstairs.

Those guppies produced many generations. From my human eyes, life in the guppy tank didn’t hold many thrills.

We finally gave our guppies away when our newest cat couldn’t keep his paws out of the fish tank.

I think I’ll pass on the guppy life.

Guppy Female_1

But as a member of the Universal Sisterhood, I salute you, Guppy Girls!

Enjoy that fish food!