Freedom To Create


Retherford history5

Easter with dresses made by mom. Me on the left. My handsome father and two sisters.      I was a middle child.


I wanted to be an interior decorator since it wasn’t going to be possible to become a fine artist, as far as I could tell. It turned out that decorating would be mostly about selling things. I wasn’t really any good at selling, unless I was passionate about what I was selling. The passion was in the design end of it, but that far from satisfied employers.

“You know what your trouble is?”

“I just don’t understand. You have such a good command of the English language.”

“Are you still working on that one?”

“Just give them anything. Anything you put together is going to be better than anything they might do.”

“People don’t like you.”

The last comment came almost immediately after one of my clients had come in and sat right in front of me, with my fellow workers looking on, to rave about how happy they were with what I had done for them and just how much they really liked working with me.

The trouble was, I couldn’t stand for someone who thought they knew better than me about what motivated me telling me how to do things. And that particular boss had all of the other salespeople by the nose, but couldn’t quite catch me and it infuriated her.

Money was never the motivator. Freedom was. Freedom to create. It was the sheer act of creating that delivered me to a zone of utter euphoria. As a very young girl, I spent countless hours alone in the fields behind our house dragging things around to create virtual communities for my friends and family. It was all in my head, of course, because even then, “People didn’t like me”.

I didn’t care much though. I liked me. I didn’t think so for a very long time because society forces one to think that if one doesn’t have countless friends, they don’t really matter. What I discovered eventually was that I truly enjoyed being in my own mind, and, for the most part, being with others, crippled that some.

Turns out, I am an extreme introvert. I do love other people and enjoy them immensely; however, interaction exhausts me. I have to crawl back into isolation and recover. And creativity allows me to regain my life force before, during and after such interactions. Any kind of creativity.

One of the first JOBS, (four letter word), that I truly enjoyed was as the Customer Service Manager of a well respected furniture store. I found my life-long BFF at that job, which only put the frosting on the cake.

I took that job after I had a run in with the owner of the same store while I was trying my hand at selling. He didn’t like my performance with a customer he had been hawking me working with, (I knew he was watching and I am NOT a performer), and cornered me later to tell me how to do it better. I watched him pick up that same customer and send them out the door exasperated after having had him use every trick in the book to try to work them.

I wasn’t impressed. During his badgering me, he looked at me and said, “I don’t think you like what I am saying.”

My friend later said, “You don’t have to say a thing. It’s written all over your face.”

So, to preempt what I thought would lead to eventual firing, I saw an opening and asked to be transferred.

I really loved the customer service job. It was mostly paperwork, which I really didn’t like all that much, but it was also schmoozing vendors and customers, (selling just the same), but on a whole other level. And it was creating systems that allowed for the whole thing to run more smoothly and getting things in order, which I still love to do.

Creating. That’s the key to my happiness. Any kind of creating.

After years and years of running in the squirrel’s cage, I finally found a way to get off and out of the world that would rob your very soul. Now I am peacefully planting food and moving things around, creating things and putting things in order; just as I have always wanted to do. And it matters not one iota that I don’t have fancy schmancy things or the latest greatest. In fact, it is far more fulfilling to see what can be made of whatever is on hand. Every time an appliance fails, I try to figure out a way not to need it.

All I need is this, (the freedom and ability to create my own world):




Trash to treasure




…and after




…and on it’s way to after

The time and inclination to build a #SquashPit.


No cost, resources rescued from garden centers wherever they might be found.


#5HugelBed; nothing goes to waste.

Supportive ‘friends’ along the way..


The joys of nature and purple.

I hope you are doing what you love and having all the freedom you need to do your own creating, whatever that might be.


Distractions in Wonderland

Sitting areas, sitting area #UnderTheScragglyTree

My young friend, who refers to me as her “Bohemian Mama”, called wanting to know when I might be ready to start teaching her home-schooled kiddos how to sew. We’ve been planning it for a long time. I had intended to spend yesterday in what I refer to as my #GarageThatWantsToBeAWhereWomenCreateStudio. It is jam packed with sewing resources that need to be further organized, (that’s where I want to set up for teaching). So far things have made it out there from the house but I stopped once spring started its approach to focus on getting crops going. Well, yesterday I went out and flipped the light on in the studio and then remembered a thing that “needed” to be done in the garden before starting. Needless to say, I went from one task to the next and never made it back to the studio.

Years ago, I had a shop in town that was also jam packed with things. Many of which were crafting things as this same friend and I had long wanted to share business efforts and she was convinced papers and things would have a good market. She is a wonderful paper artist. As we both discovered, this depressed area has little market for anything other than garage sales and for those, people want things for nothing.

She came over today to collect all of those crafting things to sell in her Etsy shop. I had invited her to bring her kiddos, she has 5, 4 girls and a boy, because they have wanted to tour the garden. I had my camera on my neck the whole time but got not one single picture of them. We got carried away.

The kiddos ended up collected in the above pictured sitting area, one of the older twins holding the new baby girl while their mother and I finished with our “business”. They were all so well behaved and had great fun going through the garden. They especially look forward to saying hi to Little Red-Haired Girl and Gertie. I put the #Kiddies in their “high-rise loft apartment” so we could leave the doors open. They all took turns standing on the chair to inspect the caged animals. Lucy and Mickey love it out there. They chitter away at birds and lizards for as long as they can.

She brought two #GiftsToTheGarden. A cup of Evening Primrose stock and a Verbena stem already sprouting leaves. I think she said it was lemon. She makes tea with hers.

I followed her home with a car load of crafting things, she was filled with kiddos. I went from there to Walmart to get more compost and then straight back to plant primrose and water everything else.

Little bed in the back yard along the fence footer

Little bed in the back yard below the fence footer

Four little sad looking Evening Primrose stems planted in the front of this little bed that I transplanted watermelon volunteers to yesterday. She said hers came to her the same way. I saw them today and they are looking lovely. Another #WaitAndSee. Below is what they look like thriving.

The #WildGirls followed me around watering and then we all plopped down to take a rest, #UnderTheScragglyTree.


#MeAndTheSidekicks, #UnderTheScragglyTree #FarmersTan

Another distraction from yesterday was to put a bag of compost on the debris under this tree because some of Little Red-Haired Girl’s favorite lounging spots have been cordoned off and there need to be new soft spots for her to land. There was only one bag of compost left, so only part was partially completed. Where do you think she landed…

Partially covered armor debris, #UnderTheScragglyTree

So much for soft spots

…right on the crunchy debris.

We languished there for a few minutes with a soft breeze, birds making their lovely conversations, enjoying our simple life of abundance and peace.

The first thing that sidetracked efforts yesterday was this wire border fencing. It was green. It has a new coat of pink in memory of my sister. Bright pink was her favorite color and I love things that remind me of her. The #WildGirls have been laying on the flower border so the little fence is a hopeful deterrent. The tomatoes in the #RaisedBed are needing a little more protection as well, so border fencing went all around it, pink on one side as that was all there was of that.

Another sidetrack thing was to replace the 4’stakes at this end of the bed with light purple-painted 3’stakes. These keep the hose from running over things. Little things mean a lot to me.

The sidewalks got swept, riff-raff got cleared out, compost was added to the tomatoes and all but 4 of the volunteer watermelon from the #CompostCorner of the #SouthFacingBackYard were put in pots to decide whether to transplant or give away.

The lower leaves of the tomatoes were pinched off, the straw pulled away from the stems, and bagged organic compost added. This encourages them to add roots, making them even more sturdy. After reading a forum on, a decision has been made to refrain from staking them. These are all indeterminate varieties so go wild, getting tall and heavy. It is near impossible to control without constant pruning, which is hard to keep up with. For now, the pinching is to get them to grow tall rather than wide. A piece of arched wire fencing may be added between the rows to keep them off the surface.

My friend looked at the rabbit and teapot on this table and the teacup planter and laughed, remarking that it made her think of the Mad Tea Party of Alice in Wonderland. Kinda does.

Nothing like good friends and a garden for a simple life of abundance and peace.

Community is the new New Deal. Don’t you think? #GiveAndTake

Happy Day to you. Thanks for visiting.