Lightning strikes twice

The last tree trunk showing a charred image after lightning strikes.

Last evening, after a challenging week, I decided to listen to some local musician friends play and share their songs. Guitars were strummed, drums rapped, conversation hummed and a happy baby was fondled while original music drifted sweetly by. It was a nice antidote to an extremely stressful week and tiring work day. I drove home sleepy yet happy. I was able to shake off the blues by listening to the blues. But not for long.

As I was mellowing with a cup of chamomile tea – THE LOUDEST BOOM to date richochetted through the yard, my kitchen and heart. The vibration was commanding. I knew lightning struck very very close, because it was the second time in ten months to hit within a few hundred feet of where I stood. Needless to say – I was fully and breathlessly AWAKE.

Half the house was lit. I quickly and correctly surmised that fuses blew. It was an easy remedy to bring all the lights back on. However, a burning permeated the air. I checked every area inside and outside the house with my flashlight and nose. Could not find the source but the decrepid odor did not seem to grow. I knew where my pocketbook and dog’s leash were and was ready to evacuate if necessary. Yes, the dog – my big trembling baby, was attached to my leg shivering silently on such a warm night. Sleep was now a long way off until I could be sure that my old farmhouse would not ignite. Finally finally the dog and I fell asleep.

In the morning, the wired box to the electric gate entry into the nursery-farm was blown apart and scattered along the driveway. Fuses blew in the office and sales room but that was all. The eerie burning scent had come from the wires and lingered slightly into morning.

Of course, I began to wonder if it was a sign from the heavens. But for what? Wasn’t it enough that I had a hellish week? And if you are going to send me a sign – please make it clear. A lightning strike could be a symbol for many things including energy trying to ground itself. In the end I decided that it was just another case of lightning striking twice, and wasn’t I lucky to be able to witness and write about it? (?) It certainly helps to put things in perspective – what’s really so bad about a little stress day by day anyway?

I swear there’s a message in here somewhere for me! The black is the lightning char.

spring peepers’
midnight love songs until
lightning strikes

ag ~ 2012


Rest Stop Rejuvenate

Last night I attended a delightful “Open Mic” session at a local alternative gathering spot as comfy and cozy as my own living room.

Alternative because the musicians, songwriters and poets are us.

Alternative because the room is set up with couches, pillows and stools in such a way as to promote intimate conversation as well as space for tuning guitars, helping yourself to a cup of tea or wide circles of laughter.

Alternative because local hard-working souls by day can get together once a month and sing, strum or drum their hearts out to original or favorite songs.

Alternative because everyone is supported, encouraged and inspired to “sing or play” out loud or not. Especially charming young “musicians-in-training”.

Rest Stop Rejuvenate is community-based space and mind-set where the concepts of gathering and sharing are realized. Vicky Mulligan is the heart and soul and hard-working spirit who birthed and nursed this truly joyful physical and emotional place that I for one have been searching for in a lifetime.

Please visit online:

Vicky is available and willing to share her concept and more.

The Leonard J. Buck Garden

The Leonard J. Buck Garden in Somerset County, NJ is one of the premier rock gardens in the eastern US.  It consists of a series of mature and breathtaking alpine and woodland gardens situated in a 33-acre wooded stream valley.  Mr. Buck and the landscape architect Zenon Schreiber, worked to develop a naturalistic garden which incorporated several large rock outcroppings found on the property.  Their aim (begun in the late 1930s) was to create a garden that would be ecologically correct and not be recognizable as being man-made.  Each outcropping is slightly different, creating varying exposures and microclimates which enable different plant associations to thrive.  Wildflowers flourish and multiply.  This is the introduction from the park commission.  

Their vision is an astonishing success to this day and an inspiration for all gardeners and especially landscape designers.
This an example of a harmonious and spontaneous (happy) plant colony.
A Canada Goose at rest.
If you must have Forsythia – give them space.  Notice that they are not sheared into boxes.  Love the reflection.
~ ~ ~
This garden is simply delightful, oozes charm and is very romantic.
The fairies dance and sing wildflower melodies.
If you are very very quiet and joyful – you may just catch a glimpse of one and if not
you may just fall in love again.

Color ku – 3

Color ku are haiku and senryu inspired by the name of a color labeled on paint color chips. The paint color name is used and italicized within each of the color ku. This is the third posting of the marriage of paint color names and haiku. It’s offspring is whimsy:

on her lee side
a crescent moon


love in a mist
he defines
our relationship


shy blossom
her finger twirls
a strand of hair


my blue silk kimono
to the floor


tilled soil
the musk of you
on me

ag ~ 2012


Andrea Grillo is my guest today.  She writes and gardens from New Jersey and shares her beautiful creations on her blog, A Woodland Rose.  I’ve admired Andrea’s work for some time, especially her facility with one-line haiku (monostich), and asked her if she’d be willing to share some.  Here’s what she has to say about writing haiku, as well as a sampling of her monostich:

“I write haiku because it is a focused expression of my child-like wonder, humor and/or a poignant moment.  Also because my muses will not let me rest until I do!”

–Andrea Grillo

clouds what they tell us what we know

rainy day tide ripples through my doubts

after the rain squall of blue jays

mulberry-stained lips when to stop

alone on shore the moon sends a path

[Sponsored by Couplets–the brainchild of Joanne Merriam of Upper Rubber Boot Books–this exchange is just one of…

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