Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Daily Frog

Sorry, I've already found my prince!
All summer long I’ve been planting gardens and planning the remodel of our Wine Country kitchen.

The proliferation of one and the demolition of the other has meant that Wayne and I have been on what I like to think of as a very cushy camping trip for these past few weeks.

I don my rubber boots and (on cold nights) my sou’wester to do dishes on the patio, with a glazed ceramic planter serving as sink and the garden hose hooked up to the hot water tap on the outdoor shower we both prefer to use.

The hot water is a luxury—as is the fridge (relocated onto the same patio) and the ready supply of organic greens, berries, and vegetables from our gardens.

The simplest things (as they always do on a camping trip) involve more work and wandering around than they did before our kitchen was torn apart.

First thing each morning, I toddle out to the patio to retrieve our little stovetop espresso maker, the milk frother, and our coffee cups from the dish-drainer. Like a conjurer demonstrating a shell game, I carefully turn each cup or container over to see if it’s hiding anything.

Why? Because every morning, in the mist that comes in through the Petaluma Gap, I have found a tree-frog sheltering inside a cup or bowl or even (more than once) in my shower-cap, which hangs on a hook outside.

They are lovely little creatures, with iridescent green and sometimes pink markings. In my roses, they look like little ornaments that have been placed there by fairies in the night.

I am trying hard not to be surprised—not to jump or shriek or swear—when one stares at me from inside the terrycloth rim of the shower-cap I’ve come perilously close to putting on with frog intact. Or from the well of the espresso maker balanced in my hands with the other breakfast supplies as I struggle to get through the screen door without dropping anything.

I say the same thing—although perhaps to different frogs—every morning. “Sorry, but I’ve already found my prince!”

And, without ceremony but as gently as possible, I shake him out into one of the potted lemon trees.

I have often, in my life, felt like a princess in a fairytale. But never more so than now, in this glorious fifth decade of my existence, when my cup, quite literally, runneth over.
Wayne, dreaming of his new kitchen


  1. I wish this frog/blog has been about 100 more pages; for Barbara Quick has not only found her Prince, she has found her reader. How I love the sight of expresso cups on the terrace, the smell of the lemon trees, the sound of her yelp at the little webby critters. She makes everything more alive than it ever was before-and in living color-and I love her. GRACE CAVALIERI

  2. For those of you who aren't lucky enough to know her, Grace Cavalieri is a spectacular poet, playwright, and (by my lights) bonafide fairy godmother who radiates magic, grace (of course!), beauty, and a wicked sense of irony wherever she goes. I feel proud to walk in the wake of light that follows her.

  3. what does "sou'wester" mean?

  4. A sou'wester is the (usually bright yellow) slicker and hat traditionally worn by fishermen and sailors.

    Thanks for stopping by to read my blog!


Barbara Quick, Vivaldi's Virgins Book Signing

Barbara Quick, Vivaldi's Virgins Book Signing
Barbara Quick

My Garden

My Garden
My flower and strawberry garden (bathtub view)