Monday, May 14, 2007

I Never Saw a Purple Carrot

I had never heard of purple carrots until I visited a site based in the UK called the Carrot Museum. These carrots are purple on the outside and orange in the middle. Much to my surprise, it turns out that the original, wild carrots are, in fact, purple. The Dutch had bred carrots to be completely orange to complement the House of Orange, whatever that institution was.

I found seeds for purple carrots at Jung Seeds, a Wisconsin-based mail order company which specializes in organic plant materials. So not only did I order purple carrot seeds, but also white (Edelweiss), red (Swenson Red) and purple (Fredonia) grape plants for the newly built grape arbor in my backyard. After I saw ready-made arbors for $1,000-plus, I decided to jerry-rig my own using two assemble-it-yourself Tuesday Morning $39.95 on-sale trellises and roof them with a spare piece of raw lattice. Voila! Supposedly, grapes take about three years to go into full production. Here goes nothing!

Read my poem about Volcanic Vegetables: Carrots at the Carrot Museum! ◦

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

When You Run into an Old Friend

Suppose you run into an old friend. I mean someone whom you haven't seen for five, 10, 15 or more years. Where do you begin? Beyond filling in your friend on the details of your marital status, number of children and current job, what else would you tell this once-upon-a-time special person? Suppose you were able to have lunch together and really catch up. What would you talk about?

This is an excellent journal writing tool. Besides running through your list of current hobbies, volunteer work or the blow-by-blow fate of those whom you both know, what would you tell this person about your accomplishments, failures, wishes, dreams? What has happened to you or has changed you since you last met? What are you doing now that the other person would never have dreamed you'd be doing, for better or for worse? What was common behavior back when that is totally not you anymore?

By writing down this imaginary meeting, you will actually be able to catch up with yourself. Those dreams and wishes you hope to pursue may become within reach now that you have them down on paper. While we think we live in the present moment, many of us can dwell on the past or the future. A meeting with an "old friend" can give you a much clearer picture of where you stand today. ◦