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Reading, writing...that's what I do.

Love for the printed word, love and belief in ideas.


Maybe we instinctively know that our bodies are fragile. And from the beginning, we crave distance from the pain and suffering of others. But as a child, I did not realize I could give pain to someone else if I looked away from their suffering. 

Maybe I found my way into nursing to better understand that very personal reaction and to acknowledge, to be more open. I believe that each of us, no matter the shape of our body, the losses or problems we might live with, that we deserves the acknowledgement of living as a whole human being. And I have learned not to run and open doors for the handicapped, unless explicitly asked to do so. Once, I did approach a blind man, telling him that the usual entrance to the mall was blocked by decorations. He whirled on me, told me he knew exactly where he was going. I had invaded his space. In that particular situation, I was wrong.


A scary question that makes me acutely aware of the health I do have, yet the attributes I don’t have. The women peering out from catalogs, magazines, television and the internet have perfect skin, defined arms and legs, breathtaking décolletage, slim stomachs, firm breasts and buttocks, incredible flowing hair, just sexy everything.  How can I be happy with my aging self when the world around me has raised the bar to unattainable heights? Well, I can be happy. I can love and care for myself and be grateful for my health.


In my attractive twenties, the bar stated by our culture, just wasn’t that high. I wore ordinary bras. I believe everyone did. I can’t even remember the nondescript panties. And if you did shop Fredericks of Hollywood, you were close to being a slut, though there was the trousseau lingerie you received at wedding showers—considered totally acceptable by your girlfriends, but Grandma and Aunt Harriet? They might have a seizure now. I mean, why do we have to look like we all work in a bordello? Give me a break. I’m aging, becoming obsessed with how to encase my sagging anatomy. What’s a girl to do?

I guess to just get over it. Take the sad trip to (VS) Victoria Secret (are they still around) or some other lingerie department. We have all been there: standing in the dressing room totally naked, looking at sagging breasts, and for some, baby-making tummies, and for others, I-like-desserts-too-much tummies. You check out the fine wrinkles in your knees and the occasional spider-vein, and either cry or just keep sighing as the fluorescent light transforms your skin into a lovely grey, and the tilt of the light reveals every flaw in your face. (Advice: don’t ever bend your face over your mirror—gravity will allow you to see where you’ll be at 90, sans Botox. HELP!!! )


So you stifle the urge to break the full-length mirror, telling yourself: stay cool.  You suck everything in and try on THE BRA. At VS it’s called the “I feel sexy bra,” though you don’t. Because this is the sad trip, the one you take when your husband fails to realize what you went through throwing a surprise party for him. Or your longtime boyfriend was absolutely joyous when he was   transferred to Australia; or your husband seems too preoccupied with football, a sport you could care less about. But no mater what it is, you’re familiar with the drill.

But truly, our bodies, though sometimes thought to be secondary, will always be important to us. And it is not simply HOW WE LOOK, but how we feel. Routine physicals are necessary to make sure we are healthy. A good diet and getting the sleep and rest that we need is essential. So is eliminating stress when possible.

Today, people in medicine are constantly researching, discovering new medications and procedures to improve life, cure disease, provide mobility to people who are handicapped from birth or from accidents. It has always been about living in the body, caring for that body. But today–in so many ways–that task is enlightened and aided by research and knowledge. Thus we strive to care for our bodies, to maintain them–and our minds–to appreciate the lives we’ve been given. Watch your diet, exercise, get regular checkups…and remember to enjoy the body you have today. Life is about change…but you, me…we know that.  




If you ask the evolutionary question: why do women continue to live after they are no longer able to bear, birth and breastfeed children, you come up with a researched and very interesting answer. They continue to be part of the evolutionary plan because they become grandmothers. And that is terribly important.

In the 1980s, anthropologist Kristin Hawkes and her colleagues studied the Hadza tribe, the last known hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, Africa. Their findings:

1. the tribe’s old women did not just rest, they worked, digging up a deeply-buried tuber (potato) which provided the main source of starch for the tribe’s diet.

2. and though the young women also dug the tubers, the older women spent more time at this task, leaving early in the morning and coming back late in the evening.

3. and because of the needed presence of this food in their diet, the grandchildren of these older women had better growth rates.

From these observations, came the “grandmother hypothesis.” 

Simply stated: as the species progressed, women past childbearing age helped not just their children, but also their grandchildren.

They strengthened the genealogy of the family, insuring that the line would continue. Anthropologists concluded, that having this role or purpose eventually lengthened the older women’s life span. When no longer required to carry an infant around, they were freed up to do work that helped their progeny. And very importantly, by foraging for more food, they prevented their grandchildren from dying. All generations prospered, as the lengthening of the life span was then passed on.


The researchers also stressed that the “grandmother hypothesis” clarified why humans are able to have children in quick succession, whereas in other species there are long gaps.

Example: chimp mothers wait 5 or 6 years to give birth to another neonate. But in humans, with tribal grandmothers available, the younger women could continue to have children. This collaborative child-rearing allowed the young woman to focus on the next baby, while the grandmother took care of the toddlers. That is certainly a good way to maintain the species. 

Judith Anne Shulevitz, a journalist and culture critic who has studied the “grandmother hypothesis”, believes that another very positive reason for grandmothers, is that their presence in a family unit changed humans in another way. 

It made their brains bigger. As life lengthened, so did each stage of it. Children stayed children longer, which let their brains develop a more complex neural architecture. Fascinating! 


Some anthropologists believe that the presence of grandparents is the most important family role of the new century; that in a society where many women have to work or choose to work, daycare centers, schools and grandparents often replace the role of the parent. Grandparents can bring much to the children whose parents are stressed and often emotionally unavailable because of work schedules and concerns for providing basic needs. In these cases,  grandparents are vital in helping a family thrive.

Children need guidance, love and someone to listen to their fears and worries. Grandparents easily become that source and a bond forms, allowing for future communication.

Grandparents can babysit, allowing stressed moms and dads a chance to get away and relate to one another.

Grandparents can relate family stories, creating a history that forges a bond and provides a child with a sense of place and security.

Grandparents can be role models for their children’s parenting and for their grandchildren’s relationships with others. The love and gentleness found in the home is the first step to forming good citizens of the world, who will have their own relationships and build their own families in the decades ahead.


There’s the familiar line: “If I’d known how wonderful it is to have grandchildren, I would have had them first.”

What’s that about? Probably that with grandchildren comes experience, confidence in the role to be played, freedom from the harder aspects of child-rearing and the amazing chance to see once again the future in a child’s eyes.

Certainly some grandparents have more nitty-gritty responsibility for their grandchildren than others. Some are doing much of the raising and rearing. Some show up only for the fun times, like birthdays and holidays.

But hopefully, most  grandparents find the middle acceptable ground–they are eager to role up their sleeves and help when needed and they are always desirous of telling family stories, reading well-loved books, taking exploratory walks and singing songs.

It’s a little like reliving your parenting. It’s a lot like looking into the future, and once again having that uplifting feeling of knowing something of you will live on. That’s truly important.


Memories…Do We Ever Really Leave the Nest?

Do people write memoirs to hang on to the illusions of childhood? Oh so wonderful, that lost childhood! Despite my father’s death when I was 3, I think my childhood was just about perfect. And I fiercely hold on to memories that delight me, make me feel loved, secure. But now and again that time in my life rises inside me, tugs me backwards or makes things fly out of my mouth. Like when I remind people that I did not have a father. Why do I do that? Am I still in some pain? So I am asking you—do we ever really leave the nest?

Writers like Jonathan Safran Foer struggle with this question. A female character must be revealing her experience when she says: When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me… A calendar that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did… I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.


These are eternal questions that we all ask, though every person’s childhood is unique to them—some having incredible struggles, some having very few.

If my little world became confusing and distorted because one day my father was there, and then the next he was not—I blocked it out. I have little to no memory of him. Oddly, what I do remember was clinging to the world of my house—the nest.

At three, I started straightening throw rugs. Before I hit ten, I had insulted the cleaning woman by telling her that after dusting, she didn’t put stuff back right. The paperwork my mother did in our dining room to support us drove me crazy. It created lots of litter. In college, I even cleaned up after my roommate. And whenever possible to this day, the first thing I do on arising is make the bed I’ve slept in, even in hotels. And over the years, I have gotten in trouble with various family members by tidying up and putting away something that then becomes undiscoverable.

All of this is part of the 3-year-old child who still lives inside me—a shy person who got over her shyness and became a teacher and a nurse. A person who loves to travel, but also really likes being home. A person who still wants order in her world, and who surprisingly, firmly believes in monitoring and gradually exposing children to the harsh aspects of living.

J.D. Salinger thinks the same way. Here is Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the RyeI saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody’d written ‘fuck you’ on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they’d wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them— all cockeyed naturally—what it meant, and how they’d all think about it and maybe even worry about it for a couple of days. I kept wanting to kill whoever’d written it.

Holden has a real concern. Some children are exposed to awful things at a very young age—right in their home environment. Do they remember? Do those events contribute to the development of the child later on? Did my father’s death make me crave order? Did I block death out because it was so horrible or because I was only 3 and I had childhood amnesia?

The latter is explained in a few ways: Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed childhood amnesia was a response to sexual repression, but another theory points to our lack of language skills before the age of three. It may be that our memories need to be stored conceptually and associated with the kinds of words and meanings that we don’t really get to grips with until we’re about three-years-old. Perhaps all of your childhood memories are still intact, but in a form you can’t access anymore. Yet another view is that young childrens’ brains simply don’t have the tools to store memory properly. Babies are born with billions of brain cells but relatively few connections between them, and so the areas of the brain responsible for processing memories are immature. In our brains, connections are everything and brain imaging studies on babies and toddlers suggest that between 8-24 months is when their brains are most active at growing more connections. 

Okay, so there is no definitive answer, but in my case, and maybe in yours, things that occurred in my childhood have definitely formed me. And I feel that most of them are positive. Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul, would probably tell me that I am not “in pain” when I bring up my father. He would say that certainly there are dynamics and experiences in my life that will make me remember the loss, but that I have the power to control my response, to not feel hurt or pain when thinking of my loss. He is saying it is my choice.

Zukav writes: This is good news. Each time the dynamic is activated, for example, anger, abandonment, humiliation, you will have another opportunity to look inside. You will again feel the magnetic attraction of fear, the powerful pull of judgment, the need to prove that another person is causing your pain. But you can choose to experience the interior source of your pain—instead of blaming it on others. (Or as in my case blaming it on a circumstance beyond my control).

So I believe we finally do leave the nest and grow up, but I think we bring a lot of its remnants with us. If we are fortunate to have experienced good parenting, the remnants we bring can help us deal with the twists and turns of living. But sometimes not. Then we might block the memories or as Zukav warns, we might do more damage to ourselves by allowing them to hurt us again and again throughout our lives. “Only you can do damage to yourself,” he writes. Do you agree? It certainly means coming to grips with the past that has a way of entwining itself with the present. Better to not be angry and want to kill someone like Holden Caulfield. Better to accept the bad stuff and focus really really hard on the good. Please share your thoughts.

P.S. Since publishing this post I found another great article by Kristin Ohlson who also did her research on childhood amnesia. Studies were done with young children to verify the belief that most of what happens to us between the ages of 1 and 3 is lost. 

I walked over to the hill where we used to go and sled. There were a lot of little kids there. I watched them flying. Doing jumps and having races. And I thought that all those little kids are going to grow up someday. And all of those little kids are going to do the things that we do. And they will all kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn’t. — Stephen Chbosky

Thanks to Thought Catalogue 

One day, we wake up and realize we’re not children anymore. Perhaps it’s after we graduate elementary school, or maybe it’s high school, or maybe it’s when we have our first kiss or start to worry about money or death. Whenever it is, we do grow up. We’re forced to. There comes a time that we’re no longer allowed to be dependent on our parents. A time when our innocence disappears. A time when our carelessness is no longer seen as youthful and charming, but as pathetic and unduly childish.

And to end on a humorous note: maybe this is why I loved Snow White as a kid. She really knew how to clean up a mess!!!!


Reading & Creating….The Ghosting Deer and Dylan Thomas’s FERN HILL

Two weeks ago I wrote about critters…deer, a woodchuck, others who invaded my yard when I lived in Iowa. So I was delighted when Joe Queenan’s piece appeared in the WSJ: The Ultimate Insult: Ghosted by Deer…ghosted meaning, the deer simply vanished! Queenan writes that for most home owners deer are a nuisance. “You would wake up in the morning and find your flower bed had been destroyed–that deer had eaten your recently planted garden, and thus gardeners began to purchase only cultivars that deer hate. Queenan thought that possibly coyotes were rampaging in the neighborhood. He, his neighbors began to miss the deer, especially the fawns and their spindly legs.

But then being a writer with a great imagination, Queenan came to believe that the disappearance of the deer had nothing to do with predators. Instead, he decided the deer were GHOSTING US. Why? Because they didn’t gradually disappear over time. NO. “They literally vanished overnight.” And Queenan is not relating their disappearance to the wide use of Liquid Fence. He writes: the deer have simply packed their bags and high-tailed it out of here, making the landscape seem immediately less bucolic.

Are the deer saying as they loped away: “You don’t want us here? Fine. We’ll ghost you. See how you like them apples.” 

But then Queenan makes a more serious point: “I do not view being ghosted by deer as any great tragedy, but I am starting to worry that other creatures great and small may be ghosting us as well. Cardinals don’t seem to come around anymore.” (NOTE: I just had a beautiful singer in my apple tree.) “Humming birds have been giving the house a wide birth. Skunks and possums have joined their invisible confederates.” (I agree, I rarely see them, only occasionaly come upon their scat.) Queenan concludes: “Which leaves us stuck mostly with dyspeptic crows and rabid raccoons. Ugh.”

So over to you, Dear Reader…have you witnessed animal ghosting in your NECK OF THE WOODS?


You don’t have to be an English teacher or even a poetry reader to be wonderfully surprised when you come upon a poem, song lyrics or any work of art that you had forgotten about. For me, and just today, it was the poetry of Dylan Thomas. He was referred to as a tortured poet in an article, of all things, about a now famous singer: Taylor Swift Isn’t a Tortured Poet.

I had not thought of Thomas for years and immediately did a search. Wow, the gems I found. First: Do Not Go Gentle…then Fern Hill….Have you ever wanted to be prince or princess of the APPLE TOWNS? 

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

(Some speculate that his father introduced Dylan to poetry and thus this is a recording of Dylan’s feelings about his father.)

I also love FERN HILL, and am sharing it here.

Please give it a look….you who are writers: this is a poem about MEMORY, about LOVE FOR ONE’S LIFE. A MASTERPIECE.  

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
    The night above the dingle starry,
          Time let me hail and climb
    Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
          Trail with daisies and barley
    Down the rivers of the windfall light.And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
    In the sun that is young once only,
          Time let me play and be
    Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
          And the sabbath rang slowly
    In the pebbles of the holy streams. All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
    And playing, lovely and watery
          And fire green as grass.
    And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
    Flying with the ricks, and the horses
          Flashing into the dark. And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
    Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
          The sky gathered again
    And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
    Out of the whinnying green stable
          On to the fields of praise. And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
    In the sun born over and over,
          I ran my heedless ways,
    My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
    Before the children green and golden
          Follow him out of grace; Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
    In the moon that is always rising,
          Nor that riding to sleep
    I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
          Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.



My title is taken from a song celebrated in the musical OLIVER. In typical Broadway fashion, Oliver Twist and the boys in the workhouse are dreaming of food…and though emaciated and probably starving, they have enough energy to dance around the stage, singing about FOOD. And if they were fed, it would not be foods they were dreaming about, but gruel, a very watery oatmeal, barely able to supply the calcium they needed for strong teeth and bones.

Yes, children suffer in Dickens’ novel, which was widely read by the British populace who were in many ways responsible for the huge gap between those that had and those that did not. But another way to look at this is that Dickens created Oliver Twist, a hero for a lifetime and well beyond.

Thus, I read with interest Anna Holmes recent piece in the New York Times: IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT THE FOOD, her remembrance of reading THE BOXCAR CILDREN, a series of books by Gertrude Chandler Warner, that is celebrating its 100th year since publication.

The basic story line is not roses and lollipops, but I read every book in the series and like Anna Holmes, loved it, remembered it. Holmes writes in her intro: “Of course, in order to live in that boxcar you would have lost your parents (including a father who drank himself to death) and been on the run from “authorities” (concerned adults) who might want to separate you from your siblings or hand you over to your paternal grandfather—a man you heard was cruel.”

A great set-up, one that never bothered me, though by the time I was devouring these books my father had died, my mother was typing insurance policies at home to feed us: fresh eggs and cereal for breakfast; bakery bread sandwiches for lunch, plenty of fresh milk and various dinners that we hurried to the dining room to eat or lingered over now and again…what was that meat? But that’s normal for all kids!

It is also normal for children to be inspired in their creativity AFTER they have read good literature. Thus, my best friend and I tried to create a “house” at the end of her backyard that bordered the Rock Island Railroad tracks…and that backyard still does. We pulled weeds for hours, assuming they wouldn’t grow back. We racked the ground, created seating by piling stones. And food? Our mothers let us eat our sandwiches there, trains occasionally racing by, adding excitement to this place we had created.

In these wonderful books, The Boxcar Children created a home to survive. Anna Holmes writes: “At first, bread, butter, wild blueberries. Later, dried beef and ‘precious little vegetables’ like onions, carrots, potatoes and parsnips. Later still, ginger cookies, with scalloped edges, doughnuts and something called cherry slump. This was a meal ‘that nobody ever forgot.’”

Also in her piece, Holmes writes: “It was enough to make you wish you lived in a boxcar.” Well, maybe. As a child, reading about FOOD was fascinating, because what was being eaten was often different. Think: the Laura Ingalls Wilder Books. All of Louisa Mae Alcott’s books, Little Women, Little Men, the reader being introduced to a different time, place and foods.   

Of course, literature does have the power to tidy things up a bit, if the author so chooses. Jane Smiley, famous for A Thousand Acres, wrote a novel about life in cabins in early times. She did not tidy things up, describing in detail how critters would find their way through the chinks in log cabins, so that when you woke up in the morning, your body heat was helping raccoons  squirrels and other critters make it through the cold of night. Did the Boxcar Children deal with that? No, they had their boxcar and they had Warner’s kind imagination creating a place of wonderment…but not true reality. For children…THAT WORKS.

Warner’s ability to make food central to these books is so appealing to children, who are always looking for a snack, asking what’s for dinner…and writer Anna Holmes celebrates that in her piece. She also caused me and my husband to remember two of our many “food stories.”

The first: we are in Paris, sitting outside enjoying what only the Parisians truly know how to make, a croissant. It’s a beautiful warm day. Across the street a cab pulls up, a woman exits the cab, spends quite a few minutes yelling at the cabdriver, then goes into the building. Immediately, she appears on a balcony above and from there, leans over the grating, tossing coins down to the walkway below. This forces the driver to exist the cab and one by one collet his fair!

Then in Quebec, on our honeymoon, for the first time in our lives, we have lobster, a whole entire lobster with lots of butter…Food glorious food.

The Boxcar Children survived, found their grandfather…but it was always about the FOOD. Thanks for reading. Thanks to Anna Holmes Piece in the New York Times book section. 




When we moved from Chicago to Des Moines, Iowa, we were excited about the deck on the back of our home, the many oak trees providing shade and beauty. We formed the habit of opening our windows to the night air, falling asleep to the sounds of the woods—the chirps of crickets, hum of insect mandibles chewing. Ah, the country, a little bit of heaven.

Think again. One night I was awakened by a piercing screech, so intense I couldn’t sleep. I knew it would keep up until the owl had killed its prey or our neighbor’s cat could free herself from the local fox. Tooth and claw, the survival of the fittest, very alive and functioning just beyond our fence. But the point was we had a fence. I had my territory and they had theirs and we would just keep it that way.

Eventually my neighbors explained that the reason my hosta plants had morphed into razor-edged sticks was because of something called browsing—a word meaning the deer were enjoying a salad. But come on, this was so new to us, we spent a few evenings watching the deer from my son’s treefort. We counted the points on the male’s rack, called the folks back in Chicago bragging about our amazing wildlife.

But then there was the large doe finishing off my impatiens. I clapped my hands, shouted, picked up a stone (a small one) to lob at her. Inner-city deer. She kept on chewing.

Thus the mythology of dealing with deer bloomed. “Put out bars of soap. Scatter human hair. Let your son relieve himself on your plants.” Whatever!!!

The gardening center had shelves of products. I read the labels. Apply frequently; apply when it’s not going to rain; apply and cover each frond of the plant! I had about 90 hostas. And this stuff wasn’t cheap. I bought something called Liquid Fence which when applied leaves a stench that will keep the deer away and your best friends. But I sprayed. And I had my fence, right?

The deer were jumping the fence.  And the rest of nature was just beginning to gear up. The word had gotten around in the critter community—we’ve got fresh meat living in the grey house, go for broke.

There was scratching below our deck. Then I saw a creature scuttle to its new home—under that deck. I found a picture of my critter—a woodchuck. SO…go ahead, start singing the old rhyme. But like skunks, you don’t want one of these living with you.  They are more territorial then I was surely becoming. Oak trees, acorns—this  woodchuck was set for life.

The critter-catcher set up three traps. We caught two possum, two raccoons and the neighbor’s cat. Finally one afternoon I actually saw the critter walk right into the trap. I was so excited I called my husband at work. I’d gone over the edge. The critter-catcher wasn’t far behind. He brought a camera . “I’ve never caught one of these,” he told me happily. We were a pair.

Then at two a.m. there was the bat, fighting the circles of the ceiling fan above our bed. And me with a broom, a baseball cap and a towel—you use the towel to throw the bat to the ground. I was learning!

Now I’m definitely dreaming of a condo—no trees, no animals. But can I give up listening to the sounds of nature as I fall asleep?

A few nights ago: bump, thunk! It’s four a.m. and something has just knocked over the bird bath. I’m awake. Is it deer in the hostas? I haven’t sprayed. A raccoon? My husband says a raccoon is eating through our roof shingles. He’s starting to crack too. I closed my eyes, but all I could see was the yard below swarming with wild life, every inch crawling with nature, vivid with its slither and instinct, its hunger and need.

In the morning, the lawn was full of squirrels and chipmunks. For even if the legal documents for our dwelling has the name HAVEY on it, we now know who truly owns the place.

If you have critter problems, please share.

P.S. This is a favorite, but older post. I loved my life in Des Moines! We then moved to California….loved that too. No deer. And now we are back in Chicago, with a tall fence around our garden, the bustle of city streets in our neighborhood. And thus I have yet to see a deer. But they are adaptable, love hosta plants, and I have MANY.  You just never know. 

Deer-Proof Perennials:

  • Black-Eyed Susans – classic daisy flowers with dark eyes.
  • Bleeding Hearts – traditional, heart-shaped flowers.
  • Coreopsis – colorful, daisy-like flowers.
  • Daffodils – terrific trumpet flowers, toxic to deer.
  • Coneflowers – cone-shaped native flowers with prominent eyes.
  • Ferns – a varied family of foliage plants.
  • Irises – beautiful bearded flowers.
  • Lavender – very fragrant flower spikes with namesake color.
  • Mint – excellent edible with strong fragrance to ward off deer.
  • Monarda – pincushion flowers adored by pollinators.
  • Ornamental Grasses – beautiful, but not as appetizing as a lawn.
  • Sage – spikes of fragrant flowers.

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