I’m home from my travels! I enjoyed both the ASLE conference in Spartanburg and the whirlwind research trip in the UK but I’m plum worn out now and am really in need of a little home time. We just moved into our new house 2 weeks before I left for ASLE, and I am really looking forward to spending some time at home so that I can finish unpacking and getting settled. One of the things I like best about moving to a new place is that sense of “nesting,” the process of making a space comfortable and personal beyond the pure functionality getting the furniture set up.
We are very excited to have a yard and a garden to call our own and, as transplanted Albertans living in Southern Ontario, we are having fun trying to identify all the plants that grow in this zone. (We are also marvelling at both the range of things that can grow here and the longer growing season. We love Niagara!) Scott was tending the garden while I was away, and I was delighted to return home and and see what had been blooming and growing. The tomato and zucchini plants are growing like mad, the raspberries are delicious, the rabbits didn’t eat all of the corn, and both the blueberry and grape plants we put in seem to be thriving. We have big plans to get rid of all the lawn and replace it with more interesting plants (lawn is a particular pet peeve of mine!), but since both time and money are scarce these days it will have to be a gradual process.
And speaking of lawns, a book on my annual summer reading list is Lawn by Virginia Scott Jenkins. I distinctly remember how I first found out about this book. We were living in Kingston at the time, and I was finishing up my doctoral dissertation. One day as I was doing some finicky editing I was finding myself getting increasingly annoyed by the din of the lawnmowers in our neighbourhood (on that particular day the neighbours on both sides of us were mowing at the exact same time), and in a fit of frustration I googled something like “why are people so obsessed with lawns?” This search took me to a page for the (at that time) new book by Jenkins and I promptly dug out my credit card and placed an order with Amazon.ca That day I was irritated beyond belief, but I now see the humour in this spontaneous book purchase as it really speaks volumes about academic life: “when in doubt, see if someone wrote a book about it!!”