A mother of two children in Central Florida, gardening is one of the LAST things I have time to do, but what started as a “victory garden” has become a favorite pastime. No longer working outside the home, I spend my days driving through school drop-off and pick-up lanes, running errands, washing clothes, volunteering in the community and managing a household. Visits to the garden have become my personal reprieve!
Unless of course, it’s summertime. Heat and humidity don’t do any favors for the vegetables, let alone my appearance, but then again, summers are for vacations. However fall through late spring is a wonderful time to be outdoors. The harvest from a productive garden is simply a bonus. Besides, it makes a great addition to the dinner plate. While my kids may change their appetites on a daily basis, the two agree: a bean never tasted so good as the one they grew themselves!
My other favorite pastime is writing novels, specifically women’s fiction children’s chapter book. Not that I’ll ever give up my day job as mother and wife, but I would like a more creative outlet than cooking and cleaning. There’s only so many ways you can cook chicken before the family looks at you and asks, “Really? You expect me to eat that? I can’t hardly identify the thing, let alone rally an appetite!” Changing laundry detergents doesn’t impress the husband, either.
“My undershirt doesn’t smell clean.”
I smiled. “I used a new brand.”
He grunted. “Something good for the planet?”
I nodded my head cheerfully. “I put herbs in the dryer, too.”
He paused. “Can we save it some other way? I really don’t care to walk around smelling like funk.”
“It’s lavender,” I corrected, but his point was made.
So rather than dwell on my family’s lack of appreciation, I throw myself into writing. A combination of romance and life lessons, my stories are meant to entertain and offer perspective on some of the most challenging issues facing women today. My children’s books aim to connect young readers with nature and the food they eat. Unfortunately, too many kids today have no idea that a carrot grows under the ground.
While a fan of the old adage “it’s not what you say, but how you say it,” I’ve found many times it is what you say that counts. For that matter, what you do. Each and every day.
As a woman and mother of a daughter, I believe we women need to pull together, learn from each other, and brighten this path we call life by coloring it with our own beautiful, intricate, and individual blossoms of distinction.
Award-winning author Dianne Venetta lives in Central Florida with her husband and two children. It was volunteering in her children’s Montessori school garden that gave rise to her new series Wild Tales & Garden Thrills, stories bursting with the real-life experiences of young gardeners (written as D.S. Venetta). Children see the world from a totally different perspective than adults and Venetta knows their adventures will surely inspire a new generation to get outside, and get digging.
Dianne has been featured on Yummly, GalTime, EarthEats, eHow, IdealHomeGarden, and the cookbook Earth Eats: Real Food Green Living. Passionate about organic gardening, her dream is to see a garden in every school, library, and community.