A challenge, a project and a reward

My brother in-law Brian gave me a challenge, a project and a reward for Christmas this year, all because he picked my name in our annual family Kris Kringle draw.

I am nervous, touched and relieved by his efforts.

The challenge came in the form of a small bonsai tree and a survival guide for growing it. As someone who forgot to harvest her miner’s garlic this year, I’m a little freaked out. According to my guide, the bonsai is a “marriage of art and horticulture,” neither of which is necessarily my strong suit.

That little tree and I have bonded, though, and I feel optimistic every time I glance up and see it there, all green and shiny, in my family room planter. (I also sometimes have to avert my eyes from all that sweetness and trust. Should I water you? Did I water you? Are you getting enough sunshine? Suffering from light stress? Are. You. OKAY?

Apparently, that tree will need to be snipped some day and I’m sure I will need to be counseled through that trauma.

My project intrigued me the moment I picked up the box that held it and almost threw out my back. Turns out Brian also gave me a large cement planter in the shape of a Volkswagen Beetle. I intend to paint it Blue Mist Metallic and place it proudly on my front porch, come spring. It will be the perfect vessel for my annual begonia bunches.

And, for my reward, Brian gave me a gift certificate to Empower Yoga, which is the perfect place to work out the stress of raising a difficult, though adorable, plant, stretch out the kinks from my tender back and breathe.


This adorable little tree trusts me and I really don’t want to let her down. It’s very stressful to own a Bonsai Tree and I hope I am up to the task.
And, come on! How cute is this cement planter? I’m going to paint it to match my car. (May need help with this project too, though. Again, art is not my strong suit. I have visions, though, of an adorable blue Bug).
My happy place, before I get it all sweated up. If you haven’t tried hot yoga, I highly recommend.
I couldn’t find any pictures of Brian and me, mostly because we’re generally the ones taking the pictures, but here he is with my other cool bro in-law Keith and my husband Vince. Thanks very much for the thoughtful gifts Brian!