Welcome

Welcome Readers,

Thanks so much for stopping by.

This site has been designed as a creative home away from home, online digs for work in progress, a place to play and a place to connect. Since bloggers blog at the pleasure of our readers, you wonder what life, change, and compost have in common. What kinds of things are you going to find on these pages?

The tags indicate gardening and aging as two main themes–but we’ll be unearthing much more mischief than that. And is compost a euphemism for all that is a pain-in-the-neck about growing old? Well, yes, sometimes it will be. And sometimes it will stand in for the real thing: the gardener’s mantra: Do Unto Your Dirt….because we all know that the best things in life are messy and well-cured.

I have a garden in Portland, Oregon. Since 1996 when I moved here with my husband and two dogs, my garden has been a backdrop for the parallel changes going on in my own life. And I’ve noticed one important thing: although I love to be out in my garden, my energy for it ebbs and flows. There is freedom in that. I don’t have to get it all right. None of us needs to be pushed around by more things we have to do just so. None of us needs garden performance anxiety.

Now I see that my garden–more than sixteen years in the making–gradually became the backdrop against which I changed, slid into sixty, dipped my toes into new places, threw myself into volunteering, gave cancer the bird (hoping it won’t give it back to me), conjured a new life.

In Portland I also took the time to write. Portland is a city of books and writers, (plus great food, music, passionate environmentalism—but all that is for another chapter).

Those were the days before social media so the volume of personal essays I produced in 1998 was sold one at a time in bookstores and public readings. It was a blast doing those readings and connecting so personally with readers. You can read about it at this link on Book Designer.com. Be sure to check out the comments too because they say a lot about the current world of indie publishing.

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/09/parable-little-book-of-stories/

Between the year I wrote my book and the present, publishing has become a whole new world with new opportunities and new challenges. But some things never change—writers connecting with readers.

That is what I want to do. When you subscribe–and I’m hoping you will–my stories will come to you more or less monthly. A short newsletter will come out twice a year. Less pressure, more fun. What matters most for me is enjoying this experience and giving you, dear reader, some things to laugh about, cry about, ponder, and pass along. If you are interested in life, change, and the mess it all makes in the process, you won’t be disappointed.

Someday—just maybe—I’ll have enough material for a second book. If not, I’ll hone my writing chops.

While you are here, I invite you to check out the links to my previously published pieces on the web. If you like what you read, pass it on. It’s one of the very best things about Change: the world is new every day.

See you down the road,

signature

P.S. I’d love your comments about this new venture. Join the conversation.

Share
Print Friendly

  • Love the Joseph Campbell quotation. Has anyone else noticed that “being who you are” gets easier with age?

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      Yes–I have noticed it for sure. It seems to me to be one of the very best things about getting older! Thanks for commenting Nan.

      Reply
  • Congratulations, Susie! So great to see it come to life. By the way, I thought the ‘compost’ in the title referred to the writing process: We write, we trim, we throw the trimmings on the compost pile of our subconscious and wait for the molecules to rearrange themselves into a new composition. Anyway, I love it!

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      That is a great meaning of “compost.” The title means a whole lot of things for me–life morphing into greater meaning over time is a big part of it. And–irony alert–it also pokes fun at all the three word titles we are seeing everywhere. Life. Change. The evolution into new growth. It’s all part of why I chose it. But sometimes it will be used in a tongue-in-cheek context.

      Reply
  • Marcia Richards

    Susie! I love your new blog. It’s so you – fresh, homey,sassy and wise woman! I’ve subscribed and will visit as often as I can. I wish you well with your writing and much success and companionship on your blog!
    Been thinking about you lately–glad you’re well and happy!

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      Thanks Marcia! I love all those warm adjectives. We worked hard to try and create a relaxed place for people to visit and read. I’ll try to live up to sassy and wise! Thanks also for subscribing.

      Reply
  • Hooray, Susie! It is such a treat to read your stories. Powerful and positive- what a lovely combination. I can’t wait to see where this new venture takes you 🙂

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      Ivy, I’m so pleased you read a number of the stories–that makes me really happy. I am with you about wondering where this new venture will take me….I’ll just keep writing. The blog is a pretty relaxed format and that frees me up–I like that part of this experiment. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  • Katie Dowell

    Susie, the pictures took my breath away. I look forward to continuing on this journey with you.

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      Thank you Katie, the choice of which photos to use was especially important to me. Hey, I’m thinking of doing a photo montage later on called The Dogs of the ‘Hood; featuring all our quirky neighborhood dogs, since the garden and neighborhood go hand in hand for me. (and we know Portlanders love their dogs…..) Hoping to include your two. Maybe we can work together on this one story?

      Reply
  • Ciao Susie, I am on! following your journeys and reflections on this new blog. Your writings have this wonderful tendency to truly warm my heart and more. I am glad I can visit you from time to time right here.

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      Ciao Marisol, It’s a great thing to know somebody as long as we have and I’m still so grateful we met in Italy. The Qigong teachings you have given me have sure inspired me. I just wish you were closer, but you are right–we can meet on these pages. And somehow I doubt we will ever lose each other in any case. When I write about Lea Lelli, promise me you’ll correct my occasional use of Italian??

      Reply
  • Beautiful site, Susie. I have enjoyed your writings in the past, and it is wonderful see them all making a home in such a lovely space. Continually inspired by “Getting to No”, I am delighted that by subscribing to your blog, I will receive a regular invitation to share the moments in life which propel us all forward. You have a gift with words, to say the least. I am looking forward to witnessing the evolution of your blog.

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      Hi Ivy, I really appreciate your visit to the site and your thoughts on my writing. Since you contribute so much to my well being, one day I’ll have to write an article about that. In the meantime, thanks for letting me photograph your beet tattoo and use it on the site. I knew immediately I’d feel a kinship with someone who put a beet on their wrist!

      Reply
  • Margaret B.

    Dear Susie,
    I love the parallels and intersections of gardening, aging and composting. You are an inspiration of how to see into, beyond, and all around life’s experiences, and then use language in such a beautiful way to share with, and guide others. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      I was waiting and hoping that somebody else would appreciate those juxtapositions!–leave it to you Margaret. Thank you. I think your work in hospice means you know how life and aging work in a larger scheme. As you and I have talked about more than once, sorrow and joy seem to be the warp and weft of a full life. Thanks for being here.

      Reply
  • Wisdom, humor, composting, down-in-the-dirt gardening in all its forms– this blog has them all, in spades and happily weeded (sorry, I can’t resist gardening puns). Thanks, Susie, I’ll look forward to reading them all.

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      I’m counting on you, Marilyn, for some of those puns when you guest post to this blog. It has your name all over it…..Love, Sus

      Reply
  • Oh Susan, I love your title. And after this holiday season, I am going to “compost” Christmas next year, “change” for something different and enjoy my “life”. I look forward for more to come and experience at your blog! How exciting!

    Reply
  • Susan Troccolo

    I totally get that Karen! Learning from experience makes me want to do a few things differently next year too. Yes, please stop by often. It’s always great to hear from you. Your take on the title cracks me up–it works.

    Reply
  • Jeff Griffin

    Compost. I learned about compost from Earl. He was taking in at least 2 or 3 cubic yards of grass clippings along with leaves from Bellingham landscapers on a daily basis. And he’d fork it all into a wheel barrow and cart it off to one of his many compost stations. He was wiry, shirtless, barefoot, old (at least 85), and dedicated to organic subsistence gardening. Living by himself in a small open house, and eating most everything raw or dried. I began to watch him through the big living room window on the upper duplex flat that we lived in, recently married, first kid already on the way. Who is this guy? I thought. I was fascinated by his work, his energy, his way of life. And then I tried his spinach. Unlike anything I had every had before. Thick, tasty leaves that hardly shrank at all after a steaming. Wow. How did he do it? He did it with compost. Lots and lots of compost.

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      Hi Jeff, you know I seem to remember this guy Earl. I remember visiting your small apartment before Josh was born and us walking over to see the neighbor’s garden. It didn’t affect me much at the time–it wasn’t until I had my own garden that I got it. Since I’ve noticed a lot of food that I love just isn’t what it used to be (including real thick, leafy spinach) I understand that we are mostly using chemicals instead of the ‘good stuff’ to grow our food. Thanks for your comment and for visiting.

      Reply
  • Glad to see you’re up and running with your blog and newsletter, Susie! I look forward to all your posts, your quirky thoughts and perfectly beautiful way of looking at the world. I hope Winter is all you wished it to be.

    Reply
    • Susan Troccolo

      Thanks Marcia. It was fun to finally get that newsletter out. Your wonderful comments are so appreciated–thank you for visiting. And may we all make the very best out of this next year as writers and bloggers. I hope people will stay around the explore your site if they read ‘Getting to No.’ Cheers.

      Reply
  • Dianne Raynor

    Susie,
    What a beautiful space this is! Wonderful photos and layout! I love your photo too.. it captures your beauty and humor so well. Brava!

    Reply
  • Dearest Susie,

    We knew each other in another life, way back in High School. I was Teri Patton back then, a couple of lifetimes ago. Genene Doty Staats sent me the link to your blog and suggested that I check in since she knew that I also love gardening, AND I live in Oregon, Roseburg to be exact. I must tell you that I have wondered about you over the years. Priscilla Nielsen,(Robyn B.) and I have wondered together… She and I are still in touch, reconnected through Facebook after missing each other for many years. She is one of the few people left on Planet Earth who knew me as a 10 year old. Each time we speak on the telephone I am transported back in time to when we were girls, living one street over from each other in Newhall.

    I am so glad to “see” you here. I blog as well, although, without the wonderful literary spin that you impart.

    I must contact Priscilla! She will be inside-out to find you here!

    T.

    Reply
    • Wow Teri, what an amazing thing to hear from you after these many years. I’m so glad Genene forwarded the blog. I have very fond memories of you! We will have to find a way to meet half-way or something….actually Roseburg isn’t that far. I enjoyed looking at your blog and forwarded it on to a friend of mine who also enjoys fabric arts. There is a piece I plan to re-publish on the blog that is about the high school days. It was in a book called “When you were fifteen”, part of a program for teens and art. You will relate to many of the names in there. Here is my address: susie@troccolo.com. Please share with Priscilla when you see her. Did you know she and I got our first apt. together after high school, when we started college? I’m just blown away by these connections coming to light after so many years.

      Reply
  • Klaus J. Beyer

    Wine, Cheese, Bread, & Friends, all while serenely floating through the French countryside. I must be dreaming…..Pinch, Pinch; it is a dream ….Damn !!!
    Well Done; your blog is wonderful.
    K

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Klaus….I’ll move this wonderful comment over to the “Barging on the Burgundy Canal” where people can really relate. It was JUST like that too, pinch, pinch. I appreciate that you are here.

      Reply
  • Just wondering if you still own that beautiful Martin Guitar? I always wondered what happened to you, glad to read that you’re doing well. Check out my art at my webpage. Take care.

    Reply
    • Hi John, Thanks for visiting the site. I did look at your webpage–you have some magnificent art. What appeals to me most is the relationship to it, your words describing the feeling behind the art. Readers you can find it at: http://www.johneden.org. I do have my Martin 0018EC, the Eric Clapton model. Sold the D-28 which was getting too big for me to play. (Although I hated giving up that Bluegrass machine.) Is that what you were referring to?

      Reply
  • Susie, in response to your newsletter question, “What do you like best about Life. Change. Compost?”, I can’t narrow it down to one thing. I love everything you write and I love the way you see the world.

    You put words together in a way I can’t so I admire that.

    As for who you’re target audience is, based on your writing, I’d say they are women, 35 and older who appreciate the inspiration and hopeful outlook of the writer. They have experienced their share of setbacks in their lives and have powered through them. They’re strong and resilient but sometimes need to know they are not alone in their struggles, their happy moments and the unique way they deal with the world.

    Choose just one of those women and write to her.

    Wishing you a warm and cozy wintry season, my friend!

    Reply
  • This is great advice Marcia. I think you are right. Thanks much for coming by and for always lending your warmth and experience. May your days in the weeks ahead be full of love and light. Susie

    Reply
    • Bonjour Jacques, The boots and toe spacers DID help a lot and I am using the toe spacers most days now even with regular shoes. I appreciate your visiting the site, which is why I am allowing your advertisement. However, in the future please don’t include links to a business in the comments. We have a word for that and you know what it is-:) It’s called Spam. Good luck on your trek–I bet it will be marvelous.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Think Before you Type

Comments are the life blood of this blog--I love hearing what you think!

That said, for the sake of our online community, anonymous comments, hate speech, or advertising will be deleted. Thank you.