A day in the life- mid August

pond at Sowada's house

pond at Sowada’s house

The mid-August brisk air (55 – 65 degrees) is perfect for removing the algae from around the edge of our small pond. This task is only done while wearing knee pads (making crawling easy) and in the early morning cool air before the yellow jacket wake up bell.

Before this task I have drunk a cup of coffee and selectively read the newspaper. After this task, I am, with gusto, doing any do-ahead-meal-prep. (This is in my DNA, the need to get things done ahead of time.)

It will be hot later in the day, so I will cook some quinoa, and let it cool. I have also picked mint, parsley, and tomatoes from the garden. These things go in the Tabouli Salad, to be assembled later.

What is next in my schedule?

Summer time has less of a get-into-the-studio-and-begin-working protocol and more of a which-garden-do-I-work-in-today protoccol.

The work of the garden is really the same as the work of the art studio. It is a combination of arrangement and editing. While weeding I am making choices about which plant of 3 will occupy a spot and look nice with other plants there. (Can I transplant the 2 removed plants to other places? It is a risky time to transplant, but this explains why it sometimes happens anyway.) Whether in the studio or garden, I am enjoying and responding to contrasts in color, texture, shape, and size. Is there a theme, concept, idea that will pull it all together? Do I need to find the perfect accent?

My artist hat is always on, even when I am arranging stones, nursery plants, chairs, or the aesthetic placement of the wound up hose! So I may need to stare into space, or move around to other vantage points and do some squinting.


Wake up
Arrange  Edit  Respond
Stare into Space

Tabouli Salad: Bring 2 C. water to a boil, add 1 C. quinoa and simmer low for 20 minutes. (Add diced garlic to the water while it cooks.) Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate. Wash and drain a 15 oz. can of black beans. Transfer to clean towel for a bit, to remove water. Combine cooled quinoa, black beans, 1/4 c. olive oil and juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 c. each chopped parsley and mint, 1 c. chopped tomatoes. Optional items are feta cheese,  sliced black olives, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Harvest, 21 X 29, $375

Harvest, 21 X 29, $375

August, 12 X 16, $175

August, 12 X 16, $175

One Response to A day in the life- mid August

Nancy S. Hildebrand

Hi Joan,
What a lovely interlude you provided while at my desk…looking at art, contemplation, thinking about your tabouli, and how much better at gardening you are than I. Some large pot gardens have this year provided me with some of the pleasures you describe. I love your new pieces as I do your older, family themes. I’ve subscribed to your blog..it will be a pleasure to connect this way. love, nan


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