Frances Hopkins, creator of the STEPABLES plant line gives advice about how to maintain STEPABLE plants in the garden.


So I have been thinking a lot about my life lately. Lots of new beginnings, lots of ends to things as well. I have said goodbye to a lot of relationships that needed to end and hello to many that have been chomping at the bit to start. Passing of time is relevant, don’t you think? It’s always the view from 30,000 feet that makes you scratch your head and say…what was I thinking??!!  butch-cassidy-and-the-sundance-kid Staying in one place has never been good for me. I am quite fond of the clip from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ( had a Sundance poster on my closet door forever as a teen!) when the old guy in Bolivia is thinking of hiring Sundance and wants him to shoot at the target…of course, he can’t hit a thing. Guy thinks he’s bad. So Sundance asks if he can move…before the old guy can say anything, Sundance swings around, pulls the gun out the holster and hits the tin can dead on…then says “I do better when I move”.
Well…that’s me. I do better when I move. I am as sharp as they come and can outmaneuver most, but I need to be able to move: physically and mentally. Get me in quick sand, or bureaucratic red tape and I am a goner! For the past seventeen years I have been stuck with this bad back…and the last three had seen me house bound. Now I finally seem to be on the right path again. My path. I spent the summer traveling to promote our new programs. First time in years on an airplane…that part still kills my back, but seeing the world again was lovely. Being with my guy through most of my journeys was wonderful and even included a proposal in which I happily said yes!! craig-and-ism Now this is where time is relevant. Craig and I were at a trade show on Navy Pier this last August in Chicago, when I happened to look up and see a couple that I had been friends with years ago, but had lost touch. Chris and Lynnette Shonnard own a wonderful garden center that I used to call on in Philomath Oregon. We spent the next 5 hours catching up at Margaritaville (which included a conga line……don’t ask), which led to an offer to stay at their condo in St. Thomas in January. We were thrilled and happily accepted the offer. This then apparently motivated Craig to ask me to marry him during the seventh inning stretch at a Cubs game a few nights later. Again, yes was easy to say. Fast forward to the holiday’s being over and preparing for our trip, when we ridiculously contemplated that we could pull off a little wedding in two weeks! Again, the answer was a resounding, yet slightly nervous yes.
Here is what I am trying to say… Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright. every-little-thingSay yes, and see what happens. Change happens when we are at the end of our comfort zone. If I had never said yes to this crazy surgery that put this neuro-stimulator in my back, I would have never been able to take a trip to Chicago, to meet up with my old friends, which in turn was a chance meeting that changed Craig’s and my life forever.
Being open to change is scary.  I know, because on St. Thomas, I had to face my greatest fear in life. The ocean. It’s funny, ever since I was a kid, I have been terrified in water. This is so ridiculous, since I grew up a beach girl in Southern California and even have a salt water aquarium. A few bad haunts early in life really made it impossible for me to enjoy one of my greatest loves. This fear has made me hyper-nervous to be in a boat, or to go into a pool, or even step foot in the ocean. It has always been a love-hate relationship with the ocean. There is no place on earth I would rather be than on the beach with the sand between my toes…but Lord help me if you asked me to go in the water. Even when the water was so smooth and so clear you could see forever in it. st-john-sm
So here I find myself, getting married on a boat, planning a deep sea fishing trip and a snorkeling trip…all of which I am pretty terrified to do! But again, the mantra of the trip was to let go and go with the flow. Don’t worry, bout a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright. cf2                                                  Besides…saying yes to Craig on a sail boat, at sunset in the Virgin Islands was more romantic than any girl could ask for; so I needed to overcome my fear.

As I look back on our trip to St. Thomas, the man above was working his magic long before Chicago; long before my implant, long before I met Craig, and long before I ever met Chris and Lynnette. So for whatever reason, it was my good fortune to have looked up that fateful day to see Chris towering over the crowd ordering a drink. How funny that in one particular single moment, a fleeting second really, my life was changed forever.
When you open yourself up to change, the world is at your finger tips. Anything is possible. I have learned that, and am repeatedly reminded to move, to say yes, to be open-minded and let things flow they way the universe wants them to flow. When you do that…let go of control, everything is gonna be alright.

I handled our wedding sailing trip easy–peasy. It was a night to remember and what fun we had!four-sm


The deep sea fishing trip was awesome and I suspect there will be a boat somewhere in our near future, I’m hooked!!  

Now, the snorkeling was a whole different story. Craig knew I was nervous, but had no idea how bad this was for me. I was a rock during the flood, never batted an eye during all of my surgeries; but petrified doesn’t even come close to what I was feeling in 4 feet of water. I couldn’t breathe. I barely could handle the fins, much less the mask and snorkel. We were in the shallow water forever just trying to get me to calm down. I have never hyper-ventilated before, but I now know what that’s like. Holy cow what I was putting my groom through!! But ya know…I married the right man, no doubt about it. Craig never let go of me. He stayed calm through ever cuss word and freak out moment I had. He helped me breathe and would have happily taken me back to shore…but finally said “As long as I’ve known you, you have wanted to swim with the fishies…you’ve come all of this way to do that. We can go back to shore if you want, but I’ve got you, so don’t worry…let’s just swim a little bit and see what happens.” And as terrified as I was, I clenched even tighter to his hand and took the biggest breathe I have ever taken in my whole life. I said a little prayer, and let my feet go behind me and floated to the top to start swimming. In a few minutes I was way out in the ocean and had never realized he had let go and I was swimming on my own!!! He told me later he had to laugh, because I was going so fast, he couldn’t keep up with me! The best moment I had on the entire trip was when he snuck his hand gently into mine over an entire wave of sea fans and we swam together. What a moment of sheer bliss. Swimming with the fishies, with my new husband was the coolest thing I have ever done.

               I am so glad I said yes…to so many things last week.


Craig and Frances White


I’ve climbed the Sydney Bridge to get over my fear of heights. I have swam with the fishies in the Virgin Islands to get over my fear of the ocean. I have had surgeon’s put some bizarre implant in my back to give me every opportunity to live my life to the fullest.
Give me any opportunity to say yes to change…to move in any direction the universe calls me in. To trust that the world is bigger than I am and that I can take that energy, channel it into strength and overcome anything. I can do it now. I know I can.

 Every little thing is gonna be alright.

Now go get dirty out there!!