Monday, May 10, 2010

Honest Scrap: About Me

Heidi, over at Gippsland Garden, has passed on the Honest Scrap Award to me a few weeks ago now, and I'm finally getting down to it.  I think it is a very nice idea.  Many of the blogs I read regularly have a little something to them that keeps me coming, and its generally the personality behind the blog.   It's always peeking out here and there and it makes following those garden stories richer.

The whole idea is to list 10 things that readers might not know about you... honest stuff :)!  So here you are, a few things that might be hard to guess:

1)I consider myself a world traveller.  What I mean by world travel is that I have tried my best to experience different places and cultures from various angles.   You can do this across town as well as across the world and I have done a lot of both.   I have been fortunate enough to be able to do some things that no getting around it, you just have to pay for.  Going on a first class overnight train trip is something that sticks in my mind.  I had my own fancy room, but I also had a porter waiting on me, I met great eccentric people in the first class cocktail lounge and dined in fine form with a sharper than me 80 year old woman who had just gotten married for the 5th time.  What a riot she was.  It really was like Murder On The Orient Express.  Minus the murder part... I did bring the book though.  And I'm not sure my dinner partner didn't off one or two of those husbands.  On the opposite spectrum, I spent an entire 63$ for 2 weeks in Bolivia, camping in the altiplano at 17,000 feet.  I saw children working in a mine we bribed our way into (very scary) where the average age of death is 40 years old.  I saw otherworldly landscapes entirely made of salt.    I didn't take any showers and we jumped in some hotsprings to help ourselves out in this department.

2)I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up.  I had acquired a whip and the hat by age 9. I was ready.

3)Before I moved to Charleston I lived and worked in Manhattan for 13 years.  I definitely had my 'Sex in the City' years (though I worked a heck of a lot more than those girls did), and I feel that that city will always be a huge chunk of me.  Yes, I was there during 9/11 and it was horribly awful. Still don't talk about it much.

4)My favorite hobby, bar NONE (even gardening) is reading.  I am a reader of all things.  Put the Cheerios box in front of me at breakfast and by the end of breakfast I will have read the back enough times to be able to recite to you the Niacin content in your spoon.

5)I am an anglophile, and can't remember a time when I wasn't.   I definitely think this has to have come from reading as a child.  Have you ever noticed how many classic children's books and tales take place in England?   I mean, they have a)princesses b)dragons and knights c)wizards and witches d)worlds inside of rabbit holes e)worlds inside of wardrobes and f)Sherlock Holmes.   They also have secret gardens, grand estates and seem to throw fabulous black tie cocktail parties at an alarming rate, at least in fiction.   Anyhow a piece of me lived there even before I ever set foot in the country.

6)I am the eldest of 6 children.

7)I rarely ever watch TV.  6.5 out of 7 nights I never even turn it on.   However, I'm not sure I would survive without my laptop.

8)I own, let say, a lot... of shoes.  As I was mentioning to Meredith, I have been known to be dressed to the nines with 4 inch heels on in the garden with my watering wand helping out a few plants that need a drink before I have my cocktails out on the town.   Not as into clothes and handbags, but the shoes thing gets me.

9)I am 100% a type A personality.  Occasionally I pull off looking like a type B person, but it takes a lot more work than just being my normal type A self!  And besides, only a type A person would even try something like that.

10)I have won the NCAA basketball pool I've been in for the past 2 years straight, picking the champion.  I've won another NCAA pool, and have also won an NFL perpetuity pool, 2 Superbowl pools and an Oscar pool.   I do not watch sports.  I just get lucky. That said, I haven't won a round of Texas Rummy with my family in 4 years.

Now, a lot of people have already gotten this award, so I won't list new requests here, but if any of my readers who have blogs are up for it and haven't done it before, let me know right here and post some Honest Scrap yourself!


  1. Jess, It was fun to learn more about you. Katharine White was also known for gardening in high heels and dresses. In his introduction to Onward and Upward in the Garden, her husband (E.B. White) notes that "She simply refused to dress down to a garden: she moved in elegantly and walked among her flowers as she walked among her friends -- nicely dressed, perfectly poised." -Jean

  2. So much fun to get to know other gardeners. I'm totally with you on the TV vs. laptop, the shoes, and the type A. I've even been sighted in the garden in the occasional pair of heels...tippy toeing so as not to sink in the dirt on my way to an event. However, I've never had a donkey! Too cute!

  3. No heels for me , except at church on Sunday. Especially not in the garden ( I look like a bum out there ), but you get to go out to Charleston on the town so I am jealous afterward. Nice to hear about you, very interesting ! Thanks Jess ! take care, Gina

  4. I did enjoy this post Jess! I love the way you described your traveling adventures and your way of tuning in to the world around you without even leaving your home town.

    I think I'm bringing up a bit of anglophile like you! My daughter loves English stories and is already longing to go there. She has not long ago re-read the Secret Garden and seems to default to Enid Blyton if there is nothing else that grabs her attention at the time.

    I'm afraid I never did get the shoes thing... and gardening in heels?! Are you sure that has never ended in disaster for both shoes and the nice dress??

    It has been lovely to have this chance to learn a little more about you - I wouldn't have picked you for a 'type A' for a moment...but I guess Indiana Jones would fit that bill too!

  5. Your personality keeps me coming back to your blog. It comes out through your writing and I enjoyed learning more about you. Heels and gardening...too funny. I like to read, as well and not a lot of time to watch tv...too busy blogging and reading other blogs. I bet you are a researcher before you tackle new projects...:)I definitely do that..maybe too much. :)

  6. Jean - as always you are a wealth of garden inspired reading material!
    CVF - Yep, you totally get it, exactly. You have to really balance to pull this maneuver off :) it is a skill.
    Gina - I think if I didn't live in a 'go out' type of city, my forays in heels would be limited. Maybe. I do usually wear gardening shoes out there. or flip flops.
    Heidi - I loved reading yours so happy you enjoyed. I have had many shoe disasters over the years, and yes have definitely ruined a few pairs doing stupid stuff in them. And now I don't regularly garden in heels, just sometimes when I notice stuff heading out the door. You know how that is!!!
    Amy - Same to you. I definitely am a researcher. Not insanely so, but I am even pretty good about impulse buying of plants. mostly. I really do like to know what I'm getting in to. Plus like you I am dealing with the exact same 10 foot shrubs were 5 foot shrubs should be... though at least I can blame the previous owner!!! And man, in 6 mos I've pulled up 100s of babies. little invasive suckers.

  7. I also wanted to be Indiana Jones. This mostly manifested as watching Temple of Doom about eleven hundred times. I eventually got a degree in anthropology and am still slightly disappointed it didn't come with a bullwhip.

    My boyfriend looks better in the hat.

  8. That was a good read. I've been trying to come up with 10 things for mine, but the really honest ones would probably see me arrested!

  9. Have you quit posting to this blog? It was interesting.

  10. Is there a way to communicate with you these days? I really need / want the Achemines plant you wrote about. Probably is I can't find it anywhere, either locally or on the web. Can you help?

    1. Oh the achemines... I got them as pass alongs from my mother but I have seen them occasionally online. You'll purchase them as corms.