Unbroken Sabbatical

While I am on a sabbatical from my blog, I still have to write my weekly column for the newspaper, so thought I would share it with you. I am not going to edit it into a post–this is how it will appear in the Kingsville Reporter this week (with a fifteen year old picture of me anchoring page 5.)


Happy..Happy.. Mother's Day :-)..

Happy..Happy.. Mother’s Day (Photo credit: Thai Jasmine)

 Happy Mom’s Day

  “I got to grow up with a mother who taught me to believe in me.” ~ Antonio Villaraigosa

My hope is that my children will be able to say that they got to grow up with a mother who taught them to believe in themselves. That is one of the greatest gifts I can think of, and it is a gift my mother bestowed on me. I have been a mother for over twenty-seven years. I lost my mom when I was thirty-nine, but in those thirty-nine years she taught me a lot. And one of the things she taught me was how to be a mom.  I am still working on it  ~  it takes a lot of practice.

 Not too long after I lost my mother, I met Ida Conklin (a well known lady in Kingsville) at the bank. She expressed her sympathy at my loss. She was a bit older than my mother but she told me that one never really gets over losing their mother. And she was so right. Even as I write this today, I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. As Mother’s Day approaches, I would prefer that she were still here and that I not just have memories of her. But, the memories are many and they are precious.  I always have a hard time writing my Mother’s Day column because there is such a flood of memories—and I still cannot seem to put them in words. But, if you still have your mom, honour her. If your mom has gone to what I like to think of as a “better place” honour her memory. That is all I have to say…..for now, except Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, and goodnight.

 Another topic:

            As you know if you read this column on a somewhat regular basis, I have become a blogger—which is just another name for someone who has a presence in the ethereal regions of the internet. One of my favourite bloggers is Heidi@lightlycrunchy.wordpress.com. She has a very down home but sophisticated take on life that I really enjoy. She is not into existentialism, crazy metaphysical hokum, or super analyzing her pain and angst (at least not in her blog—but don’t get me wrong—I enjoy a little metaphysical hokum at times). She is ~ dare I say it, sensible, with a deft sense of humour. Here, just in time for spring is her post on what she intends to plant in her huge garden which she tends with the help of her family. She works outside the home and inside the home. Here is a little example of her life:

Today we cleaned up, the kids did a complete clean out of the barn and there was even a chance for a nap. I sorted through the seed order and am going to use this space to write them down. Last year I neglected to record anything and lost the packing slip, so I am leaving myself a list here where I can find it again when ordering time comes around next year. I am pretty good at keeping records, but lousy at remembering where I put them.

We’ll still have to purchase our seed potatoes, green pepper and hot pepper plants, tomatoes in several varieties and some onion sets, but this will be a good start. Next weekend we’ll start planting some seed.


dill (Photo credit: sweet lil’ bunny)

Here is her order:

 2013 William Dam Seed Order: Basil – Italian Large Leaf Organic/Sweet Basil; Beans (bush) – Provider; Brussels Sprouts – Jade Cross Hybrid; Carrots – Nelson Hybrid/Baltimore Hybrid; Cucumber – Eureka Hybrid & Sweet Success Hybrid; Dill – Bouquet; Lettuce – Great Lakes 659/Buttercrunch/Bon Vivant Salad Mix/ Pinares; Melons – Diplomat Hybrid/Halona Hybrid; Onions – Ramrod/Camelot Hybrid; Parsley – Green Pearl Organic; Peas – Lincoln; Pumpkins-Dill’s Atlantic Giant/Mustang Hybrid/ Spooktacular Hybrid; Radish – Raxe; Rosemary; Sage; Spinach – Space Hybrid; Sunflower (Helianthus) – Mammoth Russian; Watermelon – Jade Star Hybrid, Full Lucky Hybrid; Zucchini – Spineless Beauty Hybrid; Leek – Jolant.”

            I know this list has some of you salivating—and your fingers are just itching to get into the soil, and I know enough to realize that you have probably already done a little planting.  Others (me included) are a little confused, yet impressed with all the seeds that Heidi has gathered, particularly the Spooktacular pumpkins and space spinach.

            Left to my own devices I would probably get a tomato plant or two—but my eldest son is raring to go on this year’s garden—so,… so be it. If you only want to garden in your mind, check out Heidi’s blog—she will keep you updated on her progress as well as show you the fruits of her labour – she cans and freezes and makes spaghetti sauce—and has a husband who cooks! (I love my husband, but I think I could love him just that bit more if he cooked.)

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23 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Heidi is one of a kind and also dealing with some symptoms of MS…She never complains but sometimes I have to remind her to take some naps when she can….Her gardening efforts and afterward the processing and freezing is amazing ….Last year if you remember they had such a bumper crop of tomatoes she had to look for people to share them with….Diane

    • I do remember that–and good for you for taking care of her! You have a lovely heart!

  2. Nice article Louann. Thanks for taking the time from your sabbatical to share it with Us, 🙂


  3. I’m so glad you highlighted Heidi’s blog. She was the first stranger to leave a comment on my blog. Since then she has been a wonderful mentor setting inspiring examples on how to garden, preserve tomatoes and live life simply.

    • I love your blog too–it makes me feel like Heidi’s blog makes me feel – like I know you–and so homey

  4. Nice article and Happy Mother’s day to you as well!!
    come back to the blog-o-spere soon 🙂

  5. Thankyou! That’s a nice surprise, especially on a post that I figured would put everyone but me to sleep. My 15 minutes of fame, coming right up..

  6. I really enjoyed reading your newspaper column, LouAnn. I got a tear in my eye thinking about you losing your mom at such a young age, and the wonderful lessons she taught you. (My husband left for work this morning not knowing WHAT he’s going to write for this week’s paper.)

    • I so know what that is about–sometimes you just have to sit and start writing and reject the preliminaries–I still cannot write a full column about my mom–it is still too fresh and it has been 21 years

  7. Nice but sad. I suppose just about everyone that ever had a wonderful mother is a bit sad on this special day. I think of my mother a lot for the past few years. More time to think when one has unstructured time. 🙂

  8. Thank you for thinking of us & sharing your article.
    Your mom gave you the best gift ever. Believing in yourself is priceless.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you. 🙂

    • you are welcome — and I agree, believing in yourself is priceless and not always easy to do–Happy Mom’s Day to you Rosy

  9. I almost forgot you were on sabbatical and have been wondering for a while where you went. Now I remember…. to have a life beyond a digital one, of course! 😉
    While this post was bittersweet, I think you have the right attitude in staying positive amidst all the other emotions. And this mothering business, from what I’ve seen and heard, is definitely no joke (understatement much?). All those seeds do sound delicious, although I fall into the confused but impressed camp. I unfortunately have a black thumb so the only thing that could thrive under my care would likely be a cactus.

    • I have even killed cactus my thumb is so black–so I understand – my eldest son is the gardener in the family–he lives in an apt so uses our backyard for his garden

  10. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. It’s obvious that she was a wonderful mother – I mean look how amazing you turned out :). Hold onto those memories tightly. They are precious!

  11. Wonderful tribute. I lost my mom in 1987, and to think that I am now older than she was then is a strange thought.

    • It is strange to think that you have outlived your mom–I still have six years to go to be the same age as when I lost her–we kind of use it as a measurement don’t we?

      • Well said.

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