Who’s your neighbor?

You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.


Fred Rogers was a unique individual – soft spoken, calm, intentional. He was a Presbyterian
minister and was given special permissions to make his show, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, and his audience of children his ministry.

I find this especially interesting, and I don’t ever remember religion being an overt part of the show. Fred was focused on modeling and showcasing what it is to be a good human, to be a neighbor.

I took a deep dive recently into his world through a stack of books available at my local library. Last year as a preschool teacher, I strived to demonstrate patience, to say the right words, and to cultivate an atmosphere of love and kindness like Rogers did. And yet, it was a very daunting and difficult task.

When I found myself failing, I reminded myself that he was looking into the camera lens, talking to millions of children in a one to one scenario; whereas, I can not do the same with a class of eight students who are all tugging at the hems of my skirt for a tissue or to tell me a completely unrelated story while we are reading a book aloud, or ask me a question, or let me know that Susie hit him upside the head with the coffee maker in dramatic play area, or to tell me that Davey is no longer her best friend and he is not invited to her birthday party.


Just for kicks…Anyone else? A widespread meme showing the ups and downs of parenting

Despite not being able to be Mr. Rogers, or to come even close, there are some things I can do…like listen and wait. Be present.

Mr. Rogers was a complex man, and I enjoyed reading and learning about him. Reading these books brought back memories of childhood, memories of Daddy’s graduation from Old Dominion (where Fred Rogers gave the commencement speech). He has so many quotables so I will leave you with a few.

Nobody else can live the life you live. And even though no human being is perfect, we always have the chance to bring what’s unique about us to life.

The real issue in life is not how many blessings we have, but what we do with our blessings. Some people have many blessings and hoard them. Some have few and give everything away.

Our advocate will do anything to remind us that we are lovable and that our neighbor is lovable, too!

The most important part about communicating is the listening we do beforehand.

Anything mentionable is manageable.

Anyone who has ever been able to sustain good work has had at least one person – and often many- who have believed in him or her. We just don’t get to be competent human beings without a lot of different investments from others.

Do any of these quotes speak to you, or do you have a Rogers quote to share that’s not included here? I’d love to hear from you!


Take a walk with me.

When people walk Millie’s garden with me for the first time, many are surprised by the size of the garden.

After finishing most of the mulching for this year, I took a walk to show the size of the garden. I am not even sure that it does the space justice.

Join me if you will, on a timelapse tour of the space.

Four Years of Peekaboo

Looking back at where we started and where we are. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. And Winston.

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.

Winston S. Churchill

And on to the next adventure.

Mon Cœur has officially graduated from preschool, and so now we embark on a new adventure, school at home. Why?


MC is soooo curious. If there is anything I’ve learned this year as a preschool teacher with a class of only 11 kids, kids are curious! And observant! And smart cookies!

Unfortunately, I can not address each little person’s questions and also teach what I have planned. So I can only imagine MC asking all of these great questions to her teachers, and not getting every answer due to time constraints.

I want to encourage her curiosity and observations. I don’t want that squelched. I don’t want her to stop asking questions.

It is so difficult and yet so refreshing to take the time to observe and question with her. This requires some unplugging, some reprioritizing, and some slowing down. And golly, it’s worth it every time to do that. When I take the time to listen to her, I always learn something new about her.


This is a pretty general reason, but we can cover what we need to in less time with just us.

We can have the flexibility to vacation, to go on field trips, or to have a family day on a random Tuesday.

Time is a precious gift, and family is my top priority.

Because I can.

I started to say language and prattle on about how I’d be able to focus more on French…but let’s just simply leave it at… I can. I can do this. I’m qualified, and I believe in myself. That’s a pretty good feeling to have and an essential mindset if I want to be successful. I do. And I can.

A year later…four perennials in the garden


A year ago we plated four deer-proof, beautiful perennials: pulmonary, dianthus, columbine and yarrow. Here’s a quick update on how they are doing:

Pulmonaria – “Shrimp on the barbie”


Ah! How I love to hear Mon Cœur look at this plant and say, “Oh mom, the Shrimp on the Barbie is beautiful!”


I am loving the blooms this year. Of the three pulmonaria, the one that receives the most shade has grown and bloomed the most. We continue to pinch all spent blooms and it has been a consistent bloomer since the beginning of April.

Dianthus – “Romance”


These were a great bloomer last year and were blooming at Mother’s Day. It bloomed a little later this year, and in abundance!


Columbine – “Winky Double Red/White”


This was not the first casualty in our garden, and it certainly won’t be the last. The columbine did not last through the summer despite constant watering and care. I had it in a full sun spot, and believe that is why it didn’t do so well.

In its place, I have planted American Boneset, a native which I found through Good Seeds RVA. It is a sun loving, clay tolerant, deer resistant, perennial that will spread over time. I am looking forward to seeing it grow.

Yarrow – Milly Rock™ Rose


I have spied the Yarrow sprouted throughout the garden, in various places volunteer, although it is a native from our road. Unfortunately this has not come back as vigorously as it was when I planted it last year…



I had originally planned to dig up the canna bulbs for winter, and then life happened…So I was really quite surprised and thrilled to see little sprouts of canna leaves beginning to emerge in mid-April. These babies have really multiplied since the picture above.

What perennials have you had the best luck with?