Go Local-Week Five-AnchorMommy Visits

Our guest for week five of the Go Local challenge is Shannon. Shannon and I met when we were about 14 years old. It was actually Drivers Ed that brought us together. I didn't take the life threatening course with Shannon. I took it with her best friend, Jesma, and I quickly learned that if you knew one friend you knew them both. They were an inseparable pair. I remember very vividly having them show up to my birthday party with a pair of baby bunnies. I named them Olivia and Alexandria, which were the two names I thought I'd give my children some day, but I should have named them Shannon and Jesma.

As Shannon says, I'm the friend she loves to lose track of. We didn't keep in touch after High School, but our ten year reunion was an awful lot of fun. Then life got in the way again and it was a few more years before Shannon found my blog through two mutual friends. Shortly after we were reunited Shannon came to a cross roads I knew about all too well. Her Mommy heart was tugging at her, and she made the gut wrenching decision to leave her prestigious job as a news anchor so that she could stay home with her little one. Reading her candid posts and updates on her family blog, The Rayguns, brought me right back to this time last year when I was making the very same decision. It meant a lot to me to be able to read her thoughts and feel that I was not alone. It didn't take long before she found a new way to use her skills and talents as a news reporter, though! This time she is able to combine her love of her family and desire to get back to simple times with her love of reporting. As she says: " The cameras are rolling" as she transitions from TV news to stay at home Mommy. Her new web site AnchorMommy is already full of hilarious web cam videos that ring all too familiar to my own life, though I'm pleased to say that I've never experienced the poop smearing nap time (momcast number 4) that happened at her house. Shannon also shares great tips on summertime fun with kids and kid friendly (vegetarian) meals. I'm excited to get some tips from her on eating local AND vegetarian. The only thing that makes me nervous about having Shannon as my guest is that she's also a typo junkie. I hope she's not finding any blog post fodder here.

Please welcome Shannon:

When I was about four years old, my best friend and I raided my family garden. We made ourselves sick gorging on green strawberries. I can't recall if we were too excited to wait until they ripened, or if our preschool palates just enjoyed the tangy, sour taste. About a year later, my family moved away from that house and garden plot, and that was my last childhood experience with vegetable gardening.

Fast forward 30 years. I am certainly no green thumb (I've been known to kill many a houseplant), but I'm participating in a gardening co-op. My husband and I have teamed up with our dear friends and next door neighbors to plant and care for swiss chard, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, raspberries, artichokes, eggplant and a variety of sweet bell peppers. We use our neighbor's existing garden plot, but share labor and expense.
We have yet to reap the true rewards of all this greenery -- fresh, local produce -- but a few days ago, I spotted a small green tomato. Several sugar snap peas are hanging from their delicate vines like Christmas ornaments. The potato plants are exploding into huge bouquets of leaves, and I can only guess at the growth going on beneath the surface. Best of all, I look at those potato plants and think about who planted them: my two-year-old son. This is a family endeavor. It thrills me to think that at such a tender age, he realizes that food doesn't have to come from the grocery store.
This is a good experience for him, and for all of us. It's fun to get our hands dirty and watch our food grow. Hopefully the garden will save us some money on our grocery bills this summer, and it makes me happy to know we helped support local growers by buying several of our plants from local sources.Now. If I can just have the patience to let everything ripen before digging in.

Thank you, Shannon! I so appreciate hearing about your beginning adventures with gardening. I bet next year will bring even more confidence and excitement. This gardening thing is addictive!

Now share with us. What have you been enjoying this week?
The rules are simple:

1. Please link to a specific post about local food, gardening, preserving, etc.
2. Please link back to the Go Local challenge in some way so that others might join us.


  1. Thanks for the sweet intro Heather!

    I've had such a wonderful time reconnecting with you through your insightful and inspiring blog, and I can't thank you enough for all the support you've given me!

    And I don't know if this makes you feel better or worse, but someone obviously let you know about the typos before I did. I saw 'em. But I must be some sort of sick person, because they made me smile. ;-)

  2. Shannon-Thanks for sharing about all your local and vegetarian fair!

  3. What a lovely post! I can't wait to see how her garden turns out! And don't worry Heather, Shannon also points out typos on my site (which is welcomed!) and I do cringe when I send her some emails b/c I know there are horrible mistakes in them! But we love her anyway!

  4. What a great post. The magic of gardening is certainly incredible at EVERY age!

  5. Shannon- great post!!! I love that your family gardens together! I remember a similar shared garden with some of my family's neighbors. It was such an idyllic summer of eating sugar snap peas right off the vine and keeping track of every little sprouting thing! Thanks for making me remember it! -S


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