Thursday, May 27, 2010

river day

Sunshine baby

Throwing stones into the river on our hike on the Warren Wilson River Trail.

Some of my nettle harvest drying in the kitchen.

Veda has been crazy about rivers lately, so this morning we took a trip out to the trail that runs along the Swannanoa River on the campus of Warren Wilson College. We hiked out for 15 or 20 minutes then settled down on a little bank that was covered with sweet, blue butterflies. Veda immediately wanted to get in the water, so it was off with the clothes and she went straight in. Such a good time...we need to do a "river day" at least once a week. :-)

I went by myself yesterday to the bank of the French Broad River, but with more of a purpose than just fun in the sun. I had heard that I could find stinging nettle there...and, yes, there were FIELDS of it! Not something you'd want to encounter by accident, I guess, but for me it was a bonanza. I harvested a huge shopping bag full of beautiful, vibrant green nettle to dry for my daily tea.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Mother's Day at Craggy Gardens.'s everywhere. Too bad there is never enough time in the day to take advantage of it all! Case in point: I had to admit a sort of defeat with my Poem a Day for a Month project.

NOTE TO SELF: Never vow to create a poem a day for a month during a month when you have a child on spring break and two different sets of relatives visiting.

At any rate, I will eventually write enough "make-up poems" to finish out the month...but it will take time, of course. I do believe, however, that ultimately the project was a success because the first couple of weeks where I actually did write a poem a day were phenomenal. I mean, I had seriously forgotten that I was capable of creative writing...of taking the plain old, nothing special moments of everyday life and assigning to them words that evoke images and feelings. Of course, I didn't always do that (which is obvious if you've read the poems! ha!) but there were moments...there were sparks.

This morning, I was talking to my amazing friend Virginia while our insane toddlers hurled themselves with abandon around the slides and swing sets at Oakley Park, and through the child-watching frenzy (only the parent of a toddler can relate to this) we were able to chat a little about being a mom and the creative process.

Virginia does a fascinating radio program and blog (check her out at that takes an enormous amount of time and energy, and she does it while also being a very devoted and conscious single mama. I bemoaned my inability to paint or write or sew or do ANYTHING not directly related to homemaking and childcare for more than a few paltry minutes snatched here and there from sleep time or family time. She agreed, and said that she finds herself to actually be most content when she is devoting herself entirely to being a mom and keeping a clean, orderly household. But, she is driven to create. She is driven to put her voice out there in the universe. And so she goes without sleep...or makes herself a little bit crazier by struggling constantly to carve out time for her work.

She inspired me. So now, I am cutting this short-ish so I can go work on my latest painting. I need it.