thinning the garden

dirty hand holding beet greens

Since planting my parents’ vegetable garden, I’ve been weeding and thinning it, as well as harvesting the vegetables as they become ready. This is a handful of beet seedlings that I pulled up to thin out the beet rows. I steamed them and ate them for my supper the next night.

Have you ever thinned a garden? Did you feel guilty pulling up perfectly good plants in order to let their neighbours grow better?

Would you grow beets if you grew a vegetable garden?

“The greens _________”

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cords

electronics

I recycled a bunch of electronics earlier this summer when a local business supply store was holding a recycling drive. It felt good to get rid of some old phones and cords.

Do you love electronics? Hate them? Can’t live without them?

How many of your old electronics have you recycled? How else would you recycle them if you could?

“The cords _________”

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crayons

Crayola crayons tower 150 pack

I am a crayon nut. I use children’s wax crayons in most of my collage work, and getting a new pack is like Christmas for me. All the possibilities…

Did you like coloring with crayons as a kid?

Have you ever tried coloring with crayons as an adult?

“The box _________”

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crêpe paper

crepe paper

I photographed these rolls of crepe paper on display in a dollar store because I loved the colours. When I was a kid, we used to make crepe-paper garlands for parties by gently twisting them and stringing them from one corner of the room to another. If we had more than one colour of crepe paper, we’d twist two together to get a double-sided garland.

Have you ever strung a crêpe-paper garland?

How did your family decorate for parties when you were a child? How do you decorate now?

“The party _________”

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rubber boots

rubber boots

I love rubber boots. I love anything that has such a wonderful purpose. (I hate wet feet.) Plus there’s just something about tromping through a meadow on a cool fall morning with rubber boots on. They make me feel safe and protected.

Do you own a pair of rubber boots? Do you wear them often? Doing what?

What’s the longest amount of time that you’ve ever worn rubber boots? Did your feet get all sweaty and damp?

“The soles _________”

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toad

toad

I didn’t really care for toads, until I found out that they eat many harmful insects, and are excellent beings to have around your garden. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Frog Prince (of fairy tale fame) was actually a toad – because how much grosser-looking could you get?

Have you ever seen a toad in person? Would you ever kiss one?

Do you have any other beneficial creatures around your home?

“The warts _________”

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pond

pond and woods

In the area where I live there are several glacial or “kettle” ponds. This is one of them. I’m one of those people who loves being near water.

Are you a water person? Where is you favorite water place?

Have you ever vacationed near water? How was it different from a landlocked vacation?

“The water _________”

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boardwalk

boardwalk

In my favorite woods there are a few boardwalks. When I was a kid I thought boardwalks were something special, because of the property in the game Monopoly. Now I realize it’s called a boardwalk because it’s just a walkway made of boards. Some of them can actually be quite humble, like this one which covers a swampy area at the edge of a pond.

Have you ever walked along a boardwalk?

What memories does the word boardwalk invoke? Summer evenings? Playing board games? Ice cream and the smell of the surf?

“The wood _________”

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strawberries

strawberries in blue bowl

I’ve written about strawberries before. Today I’ll just say that they’ve become one of the only fruits I eat, since I’ve cut out sweet and/ tropical fruit. I eat the strawberries plain, without any sugar, and they’ve become an incredible treat. I never would have guessed how much I could love unsweetened strawberries, but when you cut sugar out of your diet, I guess your taste changes.

Have you ever eliminated whole categories of foods from your diet? Why did you do that?

If you were to indulge in a special treat that you only have a very few times per year, what would it be?

“The red _________”

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wildflowers

wildflowers and grasses

When I go walking in woods and meadows, I love looking at wildflowers. To me they represent the indomitableness of nature – always reaching, always reproducing, always beautiful.

Do you have a favorite wildflower?

If you were going to create a brand new planet, what kinds of plant life would you make sure to include?

“The petals _________”

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