What Is A Friend…What A Friend Is…What A Friend Does?


Many people have opined on what a friend is.  With Thanksgiving approaching and the opportunity to reflect on memories of family and friendships in the air, I thought I would share a few quotes or statements from some near-famous or famous people as to what friendship really is…or isn’t?  Now, I have got to tell you that I shared this blog with a friend before I published it and she said all of the quotes were very nice, but she wanted to know how I defined being a friend or what characteristics were necessary to be a friend of mine?  I quickly realized that, as a friend, I did different things for different people and I am sure that’s how I pick my friends.  No two people are exactly alike and therefore it was virtually impossible to nail it down to one or two traits.  I think I ask for and give a lot of different things as a friend, so in a way the diversity of these quotes probably reflect my personal behavior in being a friend and choosing friends.  Lastly, I must say that I have some tremendous friends, males and females.  Our love and support for each other is boundless.  I have a lot of friends but only a few really, really good ones.  I am so blessed to be able say to all of them…thanks for being a friend and for allowing me to be theirs too!

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. 

Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.

 Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

Albert Camus


“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you.  You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”

-Bob Marley


“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

William Shakespeare


“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.”

-Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You


“We’ll be friends forever, won’t we, Pooh?’  asked Piglet.

Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh


“What is a friend?  A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”



“How many slams in an old screen door?  Depends on how loud you shut it.  How many slices in a bread?  Depends on how thin you cut it.  How much good in a day?  Depends on how good you live ‘em.  How much love inside a friend?  Depends how much you give ‘em.”

-Shel Silverstein


“Each friend represents a world in us,

 a world possibly not born until they arrive,

and it’s only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

-Anais Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol.1: 1931-1934


“Well, it seems to me that the best relationships-the ones that last-are frequently the ones rooted in friendship.  You know, one day you look at a person and you see something more than you did the night before.  Like a switch has been flicked somewhere.  And the person who was just a friend is…suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with.”

-Gillian Anderson


“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Can miles really separate you from friends…

If you want to be with someone you love,

 aren’t you already there?”

-Richard Bach


“A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. 

He may not be such a good friend after telling.”

-Arthur Brisbane


“When I say it’s you that I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is more than anything you can ever see, hear or touch.  That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without humankind can survive.  Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”

-Fred “Mister” Rogers

“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.”

John Churton Collins


“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”

-Alice Walker


“A good friend is someone that thinks that you are a good egg

even though he knows you are slightly cracked.”

Bernard Meltzer


“By chance we met, by choice we become friend.”

-Millie Huang


Friendship is everything.  Friendship is more than talent.  It is more than the government.  It is almost the equal of family.-Don Corleone”

Mario Puzo, The Godfather


“No man can be called friendless who has God

and the companionship of good books.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


“A friend is one that walks in when others walk out.”

-Walter Winchell


“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”

-Helen Keller


“True friends are like diamonds, so precious and rare. 

Bad friends are like stones and can be found anywhere.”

-Elisabeth Littsey, Original Author Unknown


“A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”

-Lois Wyse


“Who could refrain that had a heart to love and in that heart the courage to make love known.”

-William Shakespeare


“So when you’re cold

From the inside out

And don’t know what to do,

Remember love and friendship,

And warmth will come to you.”

-Stephen Cosgrove, Gnome from Nome


Which one(s) was your favorite?  Did any one of them remind you of someone you know?  I will leave it up to you to figure out which was mine.  I would love to read some of your favorite friendship quotes or a thought as to what friendship means to you.  Feel free to post them in the reply section.  The holidays kind of bring out a real need to be close; as a family, with neighbors and friends…childhood friends, school friends…past or present, as lovers.  However you spend your holiday, I hope it will be in the company of friends… “A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.” – Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter



Source: GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/friendship


All Good (?) Things Come To An End!


It’s Tuesday, October 30, 2012 and I am enjoying fresh vegetables from my organic garden.  Just yesterday I cooked collard greens, boiled potatoes, cornbread with a side of slice tomatoes for my mom.  The greens and the tomatoes were from my garden.  After that super hot and drought-like summer, I am totally amazed that there is anything out there, let alone it being edible.  In addition to the greens and tomatoes, I’ve got yellow squash, peppers, and tomatillos “on the bush” too, so to speak.  This is in spite of the pronounced chill in the air that we’ve had since the middle of September, with a few exceptions.

I know I said I wasn’t going to keep track of what I harvested but I decided to do it anyway.  I am a fool in love when it comes to gardening and it didn’t make sense to abandon the process for one year just because this summer didn’t turn out as well as the year before.  But all things considered, it wasn’t a bad year…it was a good year and if things had been slightly different I would have had a great yield.  At the end of the day my yield was off nearly 45% from the previous year

Vegetable                                                 2011                2012                Diff +/-


Cabbage/Greens/Lettuces/               31.5 lbs.        21.3 lbs.          -10.2 



Beans (all varieties)                            16.3 lbs.         2 .4 lbs.          -13.9


Peppers (all varieties)                        19.75 lbs.      12.53 lbs.      -7.22


Tomatoes (all varieties)                      121.47 lbs.   66.54 lbs.     -54.93


Tomatillos                                                9.01 lbs          4.84 lbs.         -4.17


Zucchini/Squash/Cucumber               22.5 lbs        22.63 lbs.     +0.13


Onions/Shallots                                      9.0 lbs.        .25 lbs.             -7.75


Herbs                                                        1.0 lbs           0.625              -0.375


Totals                                                      230.53 lbs       132.16 lbs.      -98.37


Surprised?  Yeah, so am I!  I am surprised that it did so well. There are some very unique things going on which I should explain so that the numbers make more sense to you.  For example…

  1. I didn’t plant as many tomatillo (2 vs. 4), pepper (24 vs. 51) or tomato plants (34 vs. 34, of which only 14 were not cherry/small tomatoes vs. 5 in 2011) as I did in 2011.
  2. I didn’t plant onions.
  3. My zucchini yield was off this year but the yellow squash made up the difference.  Cucumber yield was about the same or slightly more.
  4. Cabbage production was down significantly (small heads) whereas the greens and broccoli were up.  I did not plant any head lettuces just the leafy varieties.
  5. The bean output was just pitiful.  More plantings than in 2011 and far less yield, the worst ever in 6 years.
  6. 2011, I literally went crazy…planting and cramming as much into the garden as I could.  And when I ran out of room I bought pots and bins.  The goal was to not have to work as hard in my garden this year as I did in the previous year.  I think that there is a happy medium and I am confident I will find it in 2013.
  7. I hand-watered the garden. I didn’t want to water the weeds (which, thankfully I didn’t have many)!   I hand-watered in 2011 too, but it got to a point that I had to use the hose.  2012, though I had fewer plants they needed just as much attention.  Look at the number of plants (see point #1) I had in both years.  Hand watering takes time!  I felt like I was working myself like my mother likes to work my “government mule” ass.  I overworked myself in 2011 and wasn’t going to make the same mistake in 2012…and yet I watered AND WATERED!  I was averaging between 90 – 100 minutes every 2 or 3 days through the middle of August.  Hot days took longer.  The plants looked like they were doing great even with the heatwave, but with the notable exception of the tomatillo plants, which unexpectedly grew to nearly seven feet tall, they were all rather spindly and ultimately kind of weak looking.  But like I said, the numbers were there but the size and weight wasn’t.

In spite of the overall low production, I did have a spell there, for a while, where my dining room table was loaded with vegetables of all kinds. There was more room out of the refrigerator than in so anything that didn’t have to be refrigerated right away stayed out.  My plan was to can and freeze as usual, but there was an insufficient amount of the tomatoes I wanted to can and not enough beans to do a proper freezing project with.  When I did manage to freeze something it actually seemed like it was a lot but in reality I spent only three days in the kitchen, which I intentionally spread out over the days.

I did eat more of the veggies this time.  Since preserving them wasn’t going to work, I took the time to enjoy my garden in the moment…most of the time the veggies were picked that very day.  I had something substantial from the garden every two to three days.  I highly recommend the GRP (Garden Resource Program) Salad Mix of lettuces and their All Greens Mix (great for stir-frys).  I got compliments from everybody that I shared produce with and in spite of my low yield I still shared a lot.  Rotating at the top of the popularity list were the Purple Cherokee Tomatoes, Collard Greens, and the Cubanelle, Sweet Banana and Yellow Hot Peppers.  I had never tried to grow the Cherokee tomato variety nor had I ever had a Cubanelle pepper.  The peppers grew to a very nice size and the tomatoes had a very unique and sweet taste.  Anybody living in Detroit that owns or plans to start a garden should check out the Garden Resource Program at www.detroitagriculture.net.  It’s a great program and resource.

Another pleasant surprise was the shallots!  I didn’t think that I grew that many (20 oz.) but I have been using them about once a week since they were harvested at the end of July.  This was also the first year that my green bell peppers grew to size.  I only had 6 (out of 8) plants that actually grew some and they were beautiful.  I ate these while I froze the Cubanelle and the Sweet Banana peppers.  I was afraid to attempt to let them mature to red because I thought I was pushing my luck with the squirrels.  But, ultimately, I had nothing to worry about.

I had fewer problems with the squirrels due to the inflatable snakes I had in the garden.  In fact, I didn’t lose one pepper to the squirrels and at the worst I probably lost only about 4…maybe 5 tomatoes before the “I didn’t care” mentality took hold (October 20th).  Even now, the squirrels avoid going into the garden…hahahaha!  The garden was also fenced all around, so I didn’t have problems with rabbits either.  The sad thing was that my birds didn’t stop by and visit.  I always thought that the birds came from miles and miles away and I really enjoyed the different colors they brought to my window throughout the day.  But the snakes kept them away too.  Oh well, I guess it was the appropriate trade off, because there is a particular type of black bird that would come into my garden en masse and they would be as destructive as the squirrels.  They loved to attack any green shoot coming out of the ground and fight amongst the squashes.  But this, the year of the snakes, meant no birds…ces’t la vie!

So all in all, I enjoyed this year’s garden very much and I am sorry to see it end.  As I conclude this blog on Monday, Nov. 5th, I am proud to say that I got the most out of it I could.  Imagine picking hot and sweet peppers and tomatillos as late as Nov. 4th.  I had tomatoes out there were still ripening too!  They were small but not much smaller than the heat stricken tomatoes I had in the summer.  And I will concede that they didn’t taste as good either, but still…man…it’s “freakin” November and I was pulling healthy productive plants out of the ground.  What a summer (climate change and all) and what a fall…all good things (?) do come to an end!

P.S. I can’t wait until next year!  I have already planted nearly 60 cloves of garlic of four different varieties (Music, Japanese, Kilarney Red and Chesnok Red) in two 20 ft. long rows.

Thanks to John Adams, Jenni Littsey, and the Garden Resource Program for helping to make this year’s garden fun!