My Kind of Dirty

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. George Bernard Shaw

I did a crazy thing this week. I twittered Anne Lammott and asked her if she’s ever been so angry that she couldn’t write well and what does she do when that happens?

That really bordered on questionable sanity on my part.  Why?

1. I do not know her personally.

2. She has  11,000+ people following her and messaging her. I highly doubt I’ll hear back. But you know, I had to ask.

3. I’ve read enough of her books to guess what she’d do. She’d breathe, write a crummy first draft, walk in the hills, pray, love, and maybe eat something. I already know what to do, I just wanted to whine.

Today’s political climate has my blood pressure boiling. Even though I’ve yet to decide who I’m voting for or which issues I believe in or what I think, I’m finding my circle of people I can have an intelligent conversation with in regards to politics to be drastically small. And just a hint, by intelligent I mean void of phrases like “liberal press”, “sluts”, “entitled”, “socialism”, “Communist”, “fair and balanced”, sighs that really imply “Jane you Ignorant slut”, “uneducated liberals”, “fascist right wing tea-parters” “bigots”

I think you get my drift.

I don’t like any of the GOP candidates. Considering I was a member of the Republican party since 1989 – 2011 that’s a tough cookie to chew on.

I think they are all idiots. And by using the word idiot, I have also disqualified myself from intelligent conversation. I do however predict this. The GOP has gone so far in alienating women that they will use Sarah Palin as their VP running mate in hopes of getting us back. I actually like Sarah and I honestly hope she’s more intelligent than to allow herself to be a puppet.

I’m still researching the “issues” and trying to determine where I stand and how I’ll vote. Given the push back and angry accusations from friends and family alike however, I think I’ll be more discreet in my research.

It is my son’s senior year, I have a book to write, poetry to edit, soccer games to attend, and a garden to clean up and recreate. I’m too busy to engage in everyone’s favorite pastime, “fighting on the internet” – so if you don’t hear from me for a while – let me at least show you where I am at and what I am doing. When I’m too angry to formulate intelligent words, I create beauty.

20120314-135212.jpg Our house is and the end of a dead-end road. Beautiful pine trees covered this fence before the ice storm of 2007 took them out. I now have a five year old maple tree to one end and a rose of sharon at the other end by the gate. For three years I had flowers and bushes in this garden. Last year’s record drought killed those. And so I have a clean slate to work with. As you can tell, my grass is still brown but the weeds look great.


This focal point in my front yard always looks beautiful by midsummer. It’s loaded with irises, a nicely shaped evergreen, a Forsythia bush and a Rose of Sharon. All it needs is some weeding and trimming out.This is the garden my black widows like to live in. Must remember to wear leather gloves.


My front entry. You will notice I only have one shutter. The left shutter has removed itself and refuses to reattach. No worries. My handy-dandy power drill / screw driver will cleverly remove lone shutter and I will transplant him with his mate against the fence you see in the back. This space does cry for balance. I have a lilac bush to the right with nothing to balance the height on the left. I’ll have to shop and see what I can find. Yeah, shopping.


This side garden has never really come together. In the far back you can see my pine tree that succumbed last summer, a sweet pea and the twigs of a crape myrtle. Buried under the weeds are also day lilies.


My side garden. The white fence behind the swing on the right separates this garden from the dogs and the rest of the yard. This is my happy place. Usually filled with lilacs, roses, and such, it is in a trans-formative state – meaning I have no clue what is coming back this year and what died for good. Weeding it and clearing the winter debris is a good start to discovering what lays beneath.


THIS will be my biggest project. Prior to the ice storm, this little spot in my yard was home to a Bradford Pear (pretty white flowers that smell like raw sewage) and a pin oak. We’ve tried may things since then including a vegetable garden in feed troughs, but without shade this piece of land blisters in the afternoon sun. That and the fence is broken. We need to work with our neighbors and fix it. The trellis I put up to hide the fact it is broken, isn’t hiding it at all really. I will strip this garden clean and start again. We have utility right of ways back there so I have to be very careful. I am however convinced that I can create beauty back here.

I would rather play in the dirt than sling it, so instead of participating in the online folly, you’ll find me on the bike trails or in my yard. I will be here between games, and senior year activities to talk about what’s going on and what we as women in transition can do for the world and for those we love.

Have a great week you guys.

Great Garden Finds

With the present onslaught of triple digits in Oklahoma, I thought I’d take a few moments to show off some of my Northern Friends Gardens. These ladies are super creative and have inspired me to continue on my quest for garden art. Enjoy.

Concrete Pool Side Dragon, painted and glazed.
Terracotta Pot Garden Man, held together with wire. Do you see the boot on the lower right? It has a pot in it.
A welcoming sign by the front steps.

Gammy’s Gardens

My mother is an artist and even though she has not picked up a brush since the day her father died, she still creates. Her artwork is evident in her quilts, and especially in her gardens. Gammy (as my boys call her) always seems happiest in her garden, and with results like these, who wouldn’t be?

Moonflower beginning to unfold
This moon flower, only opens for one night and then it's gone. It's beauty is worth the wait.
Birdbaths can be found through out her yard.
She even has chipmunks for entertainment

There are hidden treasures in every nook and cranny of her home, from masks, to feeders, to climbers and more. Living in a state where everything dies from the heat, I’m always envious of her results. I’m gathering all of my photographs of her gardens over the years and creating a book for her on my publisher dot com for Christmas. I think she’ll like it. Don’t you?

Hey Ma! Can I keep It?

Chicago Botanical Gardens

I’m hiding in my room today. I actually have the flu, but I’m also hiding from my gardens. I had great plans to write about my fall gardens and the beautiful colors that are coming out. It is time to weed back my summer beds so that my fall mums can bloom. Unfortunately, I believe my mums are going to have to bloom without me this year.

You see, my son found a tarantula this week, and I haven’t recovered. He asked if he could keep it. We have in the past been home to an odd assortment of tree frogs, snakes (hidden in his closet because I had said no to those at some point), hamsters, guinea pigs, lizards, dogs, cats and fish but never a spider, so his request was not unusual. That’s why I’m here in my room and not outdoors. Not because I let him keep his furry friend, but rather because I didn’t and it is now roaming free in my gardens. I hate spiders more than I hate snakes. Over the years we’ve had to edit our pet allowance verbiage. “Must have legs” has now been changed to “no more than four legs allowed.”

I have a tarantula living in my garden beds. And I’ve seen the movie Eight Legged Freaks with my boys and I am freaked out. I think I’ll let him keep the garden.

Charlie is away at college and Dillon is a Junior in high school. I know the day will come when I’ll miss our ad-hoc petting zoo.  Well, I’ll miss the boys, that much I do know.

I wrote a song years back describing life with boys — It’s sung to the tune “My Favorite Things.”

There are frogs on the curtains

and snakes in the closet

lizards in cages

and mud on the faucets

smelly old gym socks stuffed in every chair,

is it any wonder I’m losing my hair?

I don’t know what

happened to me

I used to be so calm

now it’s fist fights

and wrestling in my living room

and endless calls…

for Mooom!

 I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just, no spiders please.

 This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart: Confessions of a Spiritual Bulimic. All rights reserved. September 30, 2010.