Monday, April 7, 2014

Hail, spring!

Last year, the winter was so mild, I had cabbages, lettuces, and herbs available all winter. This year, we've had multiple long, cold freezes, so I've been watching the gardens carefully for signs of life, and planting peas and lettuces. After a week away, I returned to find brilliant patches of color bursting through the mulch. Above, the phlox is really amazing.


MY PRIMROSE (excerpt)
by Joseph Horatio Chant

My sweet primrose with thy open face,
And with fringe-like leaves, without a trace
Of coarseness, either in flower or stem,
Among all my plants thou art the gem.


Yep, those are strawberry blossoms! No sign of life yet in the asparagus bed though. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

January seedlings


Hope springs eternal, and every planted seed is a grain of hope for a new year, a new life. This January, I started seeds for the new year. Little lettuces and herbs offer wonderful cheer, brightening a wintry day with their fresh, green shoots. I can sow them in the garden in another month, along with seeds of the same (or different), to fully exploit the wonderful, long growing season here in the mid-South.

In the past, I've made seed pots out of old cardboard rolls, but this year, I found a little wooden pot maker (like this one) to use with newspaper, and strongly prefer the resulting pots. They are sturdier and I think the newspaper will disintegrate better when they're planted in the garden.

Some of these seeds came from my favorite Bunte Forellenschluss, with the life inside waiting, like a djinn in a bottle, for the magic of light and water. In the Talmud, there is a line that says "every blade of grass has an angel that stands over it and whispers 'grow,' 'grow.'" I like to think of all the angels invited into my home, thanks to the sacred magic in those seeds.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Just eat together.

When I started this blog, my goal was to post at least once a month, and I've met that goal until recently. My spouse is in the armed forces and, of late, frequently away from home for long stretches, leaving adult energy stretched thin down here South of Sunnybrook.

I've always been a big fan of family dinners. I loved them when I was a kid, and I love them now. I find it harder to have regular family meals when the other adult is gone, but the ritual of dinner, the giving of thanks and sharing with each other, this is what keeps us sane.

I think the idea of family dinner can be intimidating sometimes. But a bucket of fried chicken around the table is "family dinner." Baked potatoes and broccoli is family dinner. I prefer homemade, but it certainly doesn't have to be fancy.

"It is what it is"
And on the night I took the picture above, I'd been working for a day or two at one end of the table, with beans drying at the other end, and the kids had colored there in the afternoon.  As you can see, we just scooped out spaces for our plates and lit the candles (which "makes it special" according to my kids). By the time the fish was ready, I just didn't have the energy to lead a full-on table clearing, so I let it go.

Sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good. On this night, we laughed, and shared, and had a great time surrounded by the detritus of our busy, bountiful lives.

Share time. Offer gratitude. Eat together.

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And just after I posted this, a friend shared this link on Facebook. Quote: "...life on this little blue planet is too precious and fragile to be spent lamenting crusted Raisin Bran in the sink. That what really matters is grace, forgiveness, and understanding. And love. Always, unequivocally and without fail, love."