Can’t See the Sunset for the Trees

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks about the best place to see a sunset near me.

There really aren’t any good places to see sunsets–or sunrises–for that matter. Connecticut is–believe it or not–a heavily forested state.

Yes, we do have small hills (which we charmingly call mountains) and I am sure that both sunrises and sunsets are lovely from up there but most are located in parks that are closed at dusk. You would have to hike down well before sunset to get your car out before the gate is locked.

As for our beaches, they don’t really face the appropriate direction for sunset.

Luckily in winter, sunsets are fairly spectacular from anywhere so it is possible to see them just driving on the highway. That’s about the best place for them that my terribly unromantic soul can think of–but, as usual, they have been glorious this winter.

Not for Public Discussion

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks about titles for chapters of my autobiography.

Sorry, even though I write this blog and am a public speaker, there’s never going to be an autobiography. So I guess the chapters are titled “non-existent. “

I was queried by the publisher of Prince Harry’s memoir about whether I intended to read it with the obvious follow up question of why or why not.

Although I do read a lot of books (135 last year) and I do occasionally read memoir, I am taking a pass on this one. It feels too much like it has an agenda to me, and is not “just ” a memoir.

But since it is selling quite well, I don’t think that the publisher needs to be worried about my opinion!

You might have noticed that with the exception of #bloganuary, I try to keep this blog about its stated topic, gardening. There’s very little personal opinion in here unless it’s gardening related. That’s deliberate. If I want to express opinion, I get reckless and tweet.

So I am not going to be writing a memoir or autobiography any time soon. Not only do I have nothing to say that I think anyone would care about, if I write a book anytime soon, it is going to be about gardening!

Smarter than Your Average Dog?

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks about something I learned recently.

This is a little crazy but I learned that there are dog intelligence toys (and I thought calling myself a plant parent was indulgent, right? )

At Christmas, my sister gave my dog two different levels of dog intelligence toys. They are about what you might expect: hide a treat under some sort of peg (but not all the pegs, of course) and get the dog to find the treat.

The “intelligence ” part shows up in whether the dog finds only the treats and does just willy-nilly start poking, pulling, or swiping (depending on the game) at the pegs.

I can’t say that I was surprised by my dog’s performance. She found all the treats and then looked at me like, “okay, how about more?”

I have had dogs–same breed–that might not even have found the game on the floor. It all depends. Some are prey and food motivated like Amie. Others, not so much.

But it’s interesting to know about these dog intelligence toys. I would never have guessed.

Did Someone Say Cake?

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks about your perfect birthday cake.

I am lucky because I have a friend who, for my birthday every year, bakes me a cake 🎂 as a present. Usually it is a delicious cherry topped cheesecake.

This year, however, knowing that the Spoiler hadn’t been feeling well, she asked what I might want or if I wanted something different.

So I asked for something that I thought he might enjoy more than the cheesecake (which I usually wind up eating mostly by myself).

Since he is a fan of chocolate–but not too much–I asked for a white cake with chocolate icing. As usual, it was delicious. And the Spoiler enjoyed it too which was nice.

It was a fabulous birthday gift.

Middle of the Road Procrastination

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks about the pros and cons of procrastination.

I am not usually one who procrastinates much so it’s going to be hard to see much benefit in it. Don’t mistake what I am saying–there are good reasons to think about things before making decisions. If you want to call that the “pros” of procrastinating, good.

As for the “cons,” again, I would think that it might be a bad idea to put things off. You might miss opportunities. Work could pile up. You could miss out on leisure or fun because you are too busy catching up–but I am not entirely sure.

Certainly we all play “catch up” on occasion but if it is not a result of procrastination, but merely because of temporary busyness, it isn’t a problem. It resolves itself. With procrastination it can be a lifestyle.

I once knew someone who was so paralyzed by decision-making that he let a job pass him by. That is the true “con” of procrastination–but it’s also an extreme case.

Most of us put off–temporarily–things we’d rather not do. As long as we don’t take it to extremes, I think it’s just fine.

Envying the Rest of the World

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks what language we wish we could speak.

Sigh. I have always been so envious, when I travel abroad and meet natives where I am traveling, of their language proficiency. This started on a high school trip to France when I met other high school students in France. They were from all over–Germany, Spain, France, of course and probably a couple of other countries too. And everyone spoke English well. And they spoke French. Plus whatever their native language was.

And I was trying to muddle by with a couple of years of high school French–ugh!

The same thing happened years later after law school when I was traveling in Europe with a bunch of people from all over. They were fluent in everything. I was meddling by with that same bad French.

So it’s not that I wish I could speak any one particular language; it’s that I wish our United States education system prioritized learning multiple languages at young ages, when it’s easy to do.

And please–I know that is impossible. I know what our education system is up against. I watch the news. I feel for educators. But if I had an ideal world, that would be nice.

A Child of 70s Music

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks about a song or poem that speaks to you and why.

I am sorry to say that there is no particular song or poem but an entire Era of music that speaks to me.

I really hoped this wasn’t true. I even took one of those “online” tests hoping that I would get some other era of music (because of course we know how reliable those tests are, right?)

But what I find, as I go throughout my day, is that I am constantly humming or singing little snippets of songs and usually they are from the 70s.

This morning was a brief exception: as I was leashing the dog, it was “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof…” of course.

But as soon as we opened the door, I hummed “here comes the sun,” –and so it goes all day long.

Why the 70s? My theory is that if I am actually singing–in the car, by myself, of course–there are great songs to harmonize with. Mind you, I did NOT say great songs. Some of the best songs for harmony come from groups like ABBA (I know people love them but I am not a fan) and the Starlight Vocal Band (I think I have that right).

Great harmonies if you don’t care what you’re singing.

Of course other classic groups–Crosby Stills and Nash immediately come to mind– are also fabulous to harmonize with.

But it’s these unexpected things that make me smile.

Now I just have to get the words to “Afternoon Delight” out of my head. It’s an earworm.

It’s the Little Things

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks about how we show love.

Interestingly enough, when I log into my WordPress site every morning to write, there’s a different writing prompt. I guess they do that year-round. Who knew?

Anyway, if you all hadn’t guessed from reading by now, either reading these special posts or reading my gardening posts, I am not a particularly flashy kind of person (although I do like big plants and bright flowers on occasion).

So I am sure that it’s not a surprise that I don’t show love by giving huge gifts like cars with huge bows on top–or whatever.

My idea of showing love is to just consistently consider what the other person–husband, friend, sister, whomever–wants, and to try to do that thing. It’s pretty simple, except sometimes it’s not, as you can imagine. No one is a mind reader.

So if it’s a question of dinner, I ask. And it becomes almost like a comedy routine because I always get the same answer: “what are my choices?”

Well, generally they were the same as last night and the same as tomorrow….You get the idea. You also get the idea that I don’t enjoy cooking. So that’s truly a way that I show love–I cook the Spoiler what he likes, even if won’t eat it.

Just the little things.

Competent Enough

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks about a lie we tell ourselves.

I am not quite sure if this qualifies, but I have always had a touch of “imposter syndrome.” For those not familiar with the term, I am using it to mean feeling like I am not qualified to do whatever job I am doing at the time.

Interestingly enough, I rarely have that in my gardening life. The rest of my “work” life, yes. But when it comes to gardening, it’s certainly not that I know everything–because how could you? But I have been doing it for so long that I just feel confident, I guess.

To add to the imposter syndrome thing, when I was just out of law school–I don’t even think I had been practicing a year yet–I had the managing partner I was working with on something say to me ” oh, I am going to have to watch you. You look so competent. “

Mind you, he was reviewing a 60 page letter on federal and state regulations. Hard to be competent in your first attempt at that, I recognize now, but at the time it was crushing.

By the way, we went on to co-author books together on the same topic so I guess I proved competent enough after all–but seriously, I still remember that, 35 years later. Truly soul crushing!

Surrounded by Flowers

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks about your childhood dream job.

I wanted to be a florist because I wanted to be surrounded by flowers. Now that I am all grown up, so to speak, I realize that there’s so much more to that very hard working profession.

And I did realize a different version of that wish when I worked in retail gardening, at garden centers, for 8 years.

Now I just practice all of that, on a smaller scale, at my house with house plants and my own gardens.