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Another “dangerous woman”…

November 12th, 2003 · 1 Comment

Earlier this fall, I decided to tackle an overgrown area of weeds behind our garage. Tall grasses, blackberry vines, dandelions, seedling trees and all sorts of invasive prickly plants had grown waist-high in the 200 square feet or so of steep clay slope. I didn’t have a good tool for the job, so I headed to the local feed store with my three girls in tow, to try to buy a machete.

At the store, I stood in the corner examining my options. Hung on the wall I saw a machete with a long blade in a sheath, almost like a sword. I took down a zig-zag style blade that didn’t seem too sharp, attached to a wooden handle. And I practiced swinging a heavier version machete with a sharper blade. I didn’t know which one to choose. The simple machete cost the least so I was tempted to try that one for economics, although I liked the idea of having a handle.

With my baby in the backpack and my other two girls beside me, I walked up to the counter carrying the three various machetes, seeking advice from the store clerk.
She glanced at the knives and at my three children.
“A dangerous woman,” she smiled at me.

I confess I liked the compliment, being considered “dangerous” in that sense.
Yet I blurted out what was on my mind, after seeing a report on poverty that morning: “In many countries of the world, a woman with three small children and a machete is not an uncommon sight!”

At the same time I was beginning to tackle the weeds and shop for machete blades, I read Fran’s story Yard-cart derby at Northwest Notes

On Tuesday, I rented a manual sod-cutter. Two men at the rental store gave me a hard time.

Me: I wanted to look into renting a manual sod-cutter…
Man: (blank stare)
Me: …not the kind with a motor, but the kind that you sort of kick…
Man, with completely straight face: I can recommend a good psychiatrist.

Although I was tacking a much smaller project, I felt I could relate to her tale of digging up her lawn and planting a bed (and interacting with store employees!). In fact, I took notes! I’d love to do the same project and pull out parts of our lawn myself. I felt inspired after reading her blog. She even has a picture of herself beside the new bed she made. If I am “dangerous” then Fran is certainly another “dangerous woman” too.

On Northwest Notes, Fran has posted lots of other garden pictures and writing as well. She writes about dahlias and dogwood, reading Lovejoy and researching plants. Here are some photos and here’s a piece about planting bulbs and planning for spring.

Northwest Notes is one of the sites where I saw the Geek quiz which I took also. Fran’s blog is also the one where I read about Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist which Ted installed for me a few weeks ago. I hadn’t had any problems with comment spam since then, until yesterday when I got another one.

Through Fran’s photos and writings, it’s easy to enjoy what she’s done with her plants and yard. She also makes detailed observations in her journal-style entries. In her yard derby piece, she describes the neighbors and people she met while working on her project. What she wrote about looking for birds from the 520 bridge brought back memories to me of my school days, as a girl, commuting across the lake and watching for grebes from the bus windows. I like her photos of the Bellevue Botanical Garden, and her writings about her writing class.

Not sure where I first found Northwest Notes – either via Anita’s LOL or Fragments from Floyd. This post has been on my to-do list for a while, long overdue, so I type it with apologies and gratitude to Fran – thanks! Maybe we Northwestern-gardener-writer-blogger types can meet up sometime!

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Fran // Nov 13, 2003 at 10:32 am

    Julie, thanks for linking to Northwest Notes! I’m glad you like it. I see that you also are afflicted with a “problem area” of a clay slope. Show it who’s boss! I’ll check back on your site to keep up to date.