Sunday, August 30, 2009

Seven things you don't know about me

Garden bloggers Helen and Sarah Battersby of, who visited my garden last month and posted a delightful slide show of my garden, put me up this blogger's meme.

To participate in the "Meme Award" you need to:

* Link back to the person who gave you the award.
* Reveal seven things about yourself.
* Choose seven other blogs to nominate, and post a link to them.
* Let each of your choices know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.
* And finally, let the tagger know, when your post is up.

Here are seven things you don't know about me:

  1. I'm the eldest of six children, which is why I decided – very young (as a preteen!) – that I would be child free. I never changed my mind, but was rescued from full childlessness by marrying John, who has four children. (They are now in their 30s, with eldest just about to turn 40.)

  2. As a child, like many young girls, I disliked physical activity, especially phys-ed classes. A loner, I would constantly sneak away to bury myself in books, and try to avoid chores at home.

  3. I hated gardening. My parents had a farm and huge country garden – both vegetables and ornamental. We children were drafted to work in the garden every summer. As a result I vowed that I would never have a garden like that. So what did my husband and I do? We bought a 10-acre property, and created huge gardens. This means that the physical activity never stops, at least during the growing season. Perhaps this is why I've come to love winter a whole lot.

  4. In my late 20s, I became a fitness instructor at the West End YMCA in Toronto. Because I was chubby and non-athletic as a kid, I was immensely proud of this accomplishment. I ran a Sunday morning class, which ensured that I couldn't get too silly on Saturdays nights. (It was the '80s and I was newly divorced and every inch the urban gal with a license to party.)

  5. My dog, Toby, at his drinking fountain

  6. I am a reformed cat person. As a little girl I befriended the barn cats and felt they were the only creatures that really understood me. In my early 30s, I met a little terrier mixed-breed named Oscar, the first dog I fell in love with. When Oscar's mistress moved to Los Angeles for a year and half, I volunteered to take care of him. After she returned and I had to surrender him, I got my own little dog – Teddy, a pup from Oscar's sister's litter. After Teddy came Toby, and after those two, there will surely be another because I can't imagine life without a dog. What do I require in a dog? Non-hyper personality, soft fur, attractive looks and a one-of-kind breeding (not purebred).

  7. In the late '80s, I lived in a cabin in the woods by myself for a year with Teddy, then just a puppy. It wasn't really a cabin, but a well-equipped winterized cottage (I had a phone, computer and fax machine there, so I could work as a freelance magazine writer). To flesh out the story: While living in an apartment in Toronto, we bought a cottage near Bancroft. We enjoyed it so much that we decided somewhat rashly to move there full time. This turned out to be a bad career move for my husband, and he found a job in Fort Frances (in far-off northern Ontario at the Minnesota border). It was a pulp mill town and I was unhappy there, so John suggested I move back to the cottage. I did and we had a long-distance marriage for a year. This was before email and the Internet. I missed John, but I enjoyed the unique experience of living by myself in the woods, especially in the winter when there were few people around. I could only get to the cottage by snowmobile. For the ride, I would tuck little Teddy into my parka.

  8. I'm a recent Bob Dylan convert. Two years ago, I heard a cut from his then latest album Modern Times which intrigued me because it didn't sound anything like the Dylan of the '60s. So I bought it, and then began to work my way backwards through all the Dylan albums – he has made more than 30 studio albums. Until then, I'd never owned a Dylan record, and was familiar only with the songs that got radio play. (As a kid – I was 10 in 1965 – I liked "Maggie's Farm" for obvious reasons. My parents must have loathed it.) I didn't even skip the albums from the '80s, which the critics savaged, or the ones from his born-again period, which most of his long-time fans loathed. Through my "Dylan project," I've immersed myself in the more than 45 years of his music, and now understand what the fuss is all about. I turn 54 next month, and what better role model can you get for aging than someone like Dylan, who just "keeps on keeping on"? Will I buy his upcoming Christmas albumcalled "Christmas in the Heart"? Yes, of course.
So let's see if I can come up with seven Meme Award nominees:

-My best readers and most faithful commenters, Eve of Sunny Side Up and Lene (aka Salix), of the Willows blog
-The prolific Doug Green of Doug Green's Garden Blog, who publishes a whole stable of gardening websites
-Marjorie Harris, the author of many excellent garden books at
-My new friend Mark Disero of Garden, the website he launched in the spring
-Anna, who gardens in North Carolina in zone 7 of FlowerGardenGirl, who I've met through Twitter
-Helen Yoest, garden coach of Gardening with Confidence, who I have also been privileged to meet through Twitter

Hey, gang: Doesn't this feel a bit like getting one of those chain letters?

© Yvonne Cunnington, Country Gardener


  1. This is great. Loved learning a bit more about you. I was a non-phys-ed girl too. Hated all the team sports, cause I was always picked last! How cool that you were a fitness instructor at the west end Y. I had a membership there in the late 80s, but didn't take any Sunday morning classes.( I would have liked phys-ed more if it had just been individual fitness, aerobics and stuff, instead of all the emphasis on the Winning Team.)
    I'm a big Bob Dylan fan too, although I've always been one. Now my son loves him (after seeing the bio pic last year) and I'm rediscovering some of his music.

    I'll enjoy getting to know your MeMe pics, too. Glad you played along, it's kind of a nice way of meeting and discovering new people.

    Toby's drinking fountain is pretty classy! Love that fountain.

  2. This was fun reading about you Yvonne. We have some similarities...I lifted weights in my 20's and we, of course are both dog lovers! But alone in a cabin for a year and only a snowmobile!!! Wow!
    Ok thanks for sending me this Chain....I mean TAG!! HaHaHa!! I'll see what I can do. Not sure about tagging others, I'll put it out as an "if you want to" type of thing. I think most of my closest peeps have been tagged. Stay tuned!

  3. Yvonne, great reading about you!
    It was fun, but not so easy though, to find some things about myself that might be of interest to others. Just posted on my blog.


Thanks so much for visiting this site. I have a new country garden blog and I will no longer be publishing comments at this blog. If you have a question or comment about the topic here, please use the contact form at my new blog to get in touch with me.

-Yvonne, aka Country Gardener