Andrew's Blog

A City Boy Making His Way in the Country
February 2012

A quick FYI…

Just in-case you didn’t know it, Jack Frost Brunnera is the perennial of 2012, as decided by the Perennial Plant Association ( Thought you might want to know this tidbit of information. Now, get to planting.

As they say:

“Brunneras are treasured for their shade tolerance and early baby-blue, forget-me-not like flowers. Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ has enchanting silvery leaves with green venation and a thin green margin. One common name for this perennial is heartleaf brunnera because the emerging leaf enlarges to a heart shape.”

Plant in zones 3-8. P.S. I’m taking gardening classes, if you can’t tell.

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Pee-wee Herman. ‘Nough said.

Watching Top Chef last week, I was happy to see Pee-wee Herman as the guest judge. Eating a lunch in the Alamo, we were reminded, once again, there is no basement in the building. He looks old, Pee-wee. But familiar. I like to think about things and people who successfully re-invent themselves, altering their old personas but still keeping it true to their original identity.

Pee-wee Herman did it. So did the Thunder Cats. And so too did the Sazerac. Orchard House is the same way. A bed and breakfast in the 1990′s, she has risen again to house weary travelers. We live in cycles. What’s old is new again. We’re happy to embrace our past, while keeping an eye on the future.

Downton Abbey is the new Upstairs, Downstairs. Kathy Griffin is the new Joan Rivers. Miley Cyrus may be cute, but will never be Dolly Parton. Facts are facts. But there is hope for all of us, even when we falter, to get back up, and keep on moving. We can all be Pee-wee Hermans if we want to be! After all, I know you are but what am I?

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What is the shared American experience?

I’ll be honest with you  - I’m watching American Idol right now. Yes, right now. And I’m pondering all those scenes where teenagers are hanging out together talking about how they have a new family (while waiting in line), with all the “kids” singing together and, for a moment, sharing a common experience.

Thinking even bigger, me and millions of people (mainly 14 year-old-girls and me), watch this show every week rooting for certain singers, while, for no reason, hating others. For good or bad, it’s a common experience.

When I’m drinking my white wine and watching T.V., I like to think about these things. What do they do in Austria, to share the collective Austrian experience? In Kenya? But really it has nothing to do with nationality – a Liberian refugee was singing the other day, and I was rooting for him. Does that happen in Sweden? I don’t know. When I was there I just shopped at H&M. Some could argue, though, that was a common experience.

What are some collective American experiences, besides Downton Abbey and Facebook, that you notice we share? I hope it’s something we actually  share – because as Fievel said, “we’re all under the same star,” or some nonsense like that. But in that movie theater, my heart breaking as the cat tried to catch our hero mouse, the audience and I gasped, and shared, for that moment, a beautiful common experience.


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