Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Late-Season Garden Tour

Last night I had dinner with two old friends (I mean, talk about the gray hair!), and first let me say thank you to Samantha, who gave me the first real celebrity moment I've experienced in my life. (The guy sitting to your left? I based the character of Wes on him.) Second, if you haven't yet been to Becket's in Oshkosh, please do check it out. Great food, great atmosphere, and I need this one to stick around because they have not one, not two, not three, but something like FOUR vegetarian entree choices. This is a small miracle in many northern Wisconsin communities.

Anyway, this was the first time I'd seen M & J in years, so we spent a great deal of time catching up on 'what we've been doing as productive or entertaining members of society.' I wracked my brain to come up with exciting (non-book-related) things that I've done in the last decade. I was starting to feel like a bit of a wanker--I mean, my best friend volunteered for a month at an orphanage in Thailand...other friends and siblings are similarly well-traveled or have advanced degrees OR ARE NOW PARENTS, which is a pretty big deal. What have I been doing? Blogging and using British words like 'wanker.' And then it struck me. I HAVE been doing lots in the last few years! I've been PLANTING SHIT! Just take a look:

My yard. Where the Jolly Green Giant sharted after eating a bag of frozen chimichangas.

My yard. Where the Farmer's Almanac exploded.

A very brave bumblebee. The flower's all, "Hey bee, I dare you to land on my stabby cone spikes to suss out those little flecks of pollen!" And the bee's all, "Look at me on your stabby things! Loser!"

One of the bebes from my monarch ranching project? Perhaps.

The tomato plant that ate the garage. And a small bird. Come to think of it, I haven't seen Daisy in awhile ...

Um, I'll let you caption this one. (It's an EGGPLANT, people!! Honestly, get your mind out of the gutter.)

Things to do, places to go:

If you're in Appleton on Thursday evening (August 28th), I'll be creating a ruckus at the public library at 6:30 pm. (A 'ruckus' just sounds more exciting than 'reading and discussion,' doesn't it?) Friday I'll be posting my final blog entry over at the Debs. I may get all sappy, so bring your tissues.


  1. flower: "Hey bee, I dare you to land on my stabby cone spikes to suss out those little flecks of pollen!"

    bee: "Look at me on your stabby things! Loser!"

    flower: "That's what she said."

  2. I love to use the British expression 'Bloody Hell' a lot. I will have to try wanker.
    Nice eggplant.

  3. the eggplant had me from 'hello'.

  4. Anonymous8:57 AM

    Dang, you have skills with dirt AND with words!

  5. Anonymous3:03 PM

    I'm so impressed with your greenery! Would you please come to my house and show me how to plant stuff? Thanks!

  6. oh Jess. You crack me up.

    And wow - that eggplant is robust. *fans self*

  7. Anonymous6:00 PM

    But you've done so much! Just think of how many people walk around mumbling, "I'm going to write a book someday" and never, ever do it. So that definitely is something. And then, of course, you got married and bought a house, which is the American way. Some women totally live for that kind of thing.

  8. I am so jealous. Today, as I do every Saturday, I make my trip to Home Depot to buy several plants to replace the ones that died during the week from the Vegas heat. Never would I have an eggplant reach the size of even a couple of inches before it would shrivel before mine eyes. I did, however, get a tomatoe...once!

    I finished your book last week, and just have to say how much I enjoyed it and boy you really pegged the emotions all the way around, especially dealing with illness and relationships, you nailed it!

  9. Thanks, Peace! That means so much to me.

  10. Every year I buy one plant for my porch and every year it dies a miserable withered death. SO YOU ARE MY HERO.

  11. Nice pics. Ruckus on!

  12. Hi Jess! I enjoyed meeting you tonight at Colleen's FDL book club get together! Thanks for sharing your background and insights into the publishing world and novel writing. I am also a gardener and love your pics. I am going to grow a heirloom tomato plant next year. I'll buy the smaller eggplants at the farmer's market!
    Looking forward to your next novel!