May 31, 2010

May Garden Update

My favorite outfit—Dirty Knees
Saturday brought us some sunshine in the afternoon.  Yesterday was rainy off and on, but not enough to keep us indoors.  The garden is coming along just fine.  We have some more ground to plant, but there is already lots of progress.  We got some of the last of the tall weeds out yesterday and readied the ground for more seedlings.  There was some spinach hiding in the weeds that was as thick as celery.  I almost didn't recognize it.  The little green frog we see saw in early spring is still hanging around.  I noticed some purple beans popping their little heads out of the ground, starting to see some radishes, and the artichokes are very healthy.  I am planting more flowers than I did last year.  I want a little more color all over the garden this year.

May 30, 2010

Roasted Beets with Butternut Squash Creme Sauce and Roasted Tempeh

Inspired by my meal in Portland Friday night and the wonderful red and golden beets I picked up at the People's Co-op the same night, I cooked up a very nice hearty meal.  I cut up a mixture of: 3 red beets, 3 golden beets, a large yam, four or five small Walla Wallas, an Anaheim chili, four cloves of garlic, a red pepper, and an orange pepper in large chunks, about 1" x  2 ".  I tossed the vegetables with:  1/2 C filtered water, 3 TB Sunflower oil, some chopped fresh sage and oregano, about 1 tsp sea salt and fresh ground pepper, a dash of cayenne, 2 TB Shoyu, and 1 TB golden balsamic vinegar.  I placed it all in a  9x13 baking dish and roasted at 375ยบ for about 50 minutes until all were roasted and the liquid was absorbed.

I also roasted a butternut squash for about 35 minutes, just sliced it in half, removed the seeds and placed face down in a lightly greased baking dish.  After it cooled a bit I scraped out the squash and placed in a blender with:  about 1/2 can coconut milk, a dash sea salt, black pepper, and a dash of cayenne.  I blended this until it was a smooth creamy sauce, butternut squash creme sauce.

I poured the sauce over the roasted vegetables and then topped that with roasted whole grain tempeh marinated in a lemon herb marinade.

Lemon Herb Marinade

1/2 C Filtered water
2 TB Lemon or lime juice, fresh squeezed
1 tsp Shoyu
2 tsp herbs, minced
I used minced cilantro, crushed cumin, and 1/2 tsp curry.

Old Fashioned Tapioca

I always make us something sweet on the weekends, this weekend I picked up some tapioca pearls and made some old fashioned tapioca pudding. Well, it's almost old fashioned. I don't think my grandmother used non dairy milk. But, then the milk she used, she got herself from the cows raised the way cows should be raised eating what cows should eat. The milk was much different. I cut out the processed sugar by using Agave and Stevia powder. I did use eggs, but I get my eggs from a local farm, I know what they feed their chickens and they roam freely in the sunshine, well, I should say in the rain. :-) I was a little worried the egg whites wouldn't stiffen with the Agave. I don't buy eggs but once a month and only had four. If it didn't work, the pudding would have a thicker consistency I suppose. I poured it in very very slowly as the egg whites whipped. It did work and the pudding came out very creamy and thick as it should.

Tapioca Pudding

1/3 cup small pearl tapioca
3/4 cup filtered water
2 1/4 cup non dairy milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs separated
1/4 cup Agave
1/4 tsp Stevia powder
1 vanilla bean, scrape inside

Soak small pearl tapioca in water for 30 minutes in large saucepan, 1 1/2 quart.  Add milk, salt, and lightly beaten egg yolks to tapioca and stir over medium heat until boiling.  Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir often.

Beat egg whites gradually adding Agave and Stevia until soft peaks form.  Fold about 3/4 cup of tapioca into the egg whites and then gently fold mixture back into saucepan.  Stir over low heat for about three minutes.  Cool 15 minutes then add vanilla.  Serve warm or chilled.  I topped mine with fresh ground nutmeg and fresh fruit.

Buckwheat Teff Pancakes - Vegan Sunday Brunch

While browsing through my Vegan World Fusion Cuisine cookbook yesterday looking for a fun way to use my beets, I noticed a recipe for buckwheat pancakes.   I love buckwheat pancakes, I have since I was small.   They have much more body and flavor than the traditional white flour pancakes.  Of course they do, whole grains have more texture and flavor than over-processed white flour.  I didn't have quite enough buckwheat, but I did have some teff.  I ground some teff and used half a cup of buckwheat and half a cup of teff instead of 1 cup buckwheat.   I didn't have any applesauce, as called for in the recipe, so I just threw a small apple in the blender.  I served them with a drizzle of pure maple syrup and fresh fruit salad made with papaya, kiwi, plum, avocado, and lime juice.

Buckwheat Teff Pancakes with Fresh Fruit

Benevolent Buckwheat Pancakes
Vegan World Fusion Cuisine, page 182

1 C Buckwheat flour
1 C Spelt flour
3 TB Sucanat
1 TB Flax seed, ground
1 TB Baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp Sea salt

1 ¼ C Filtered water
¾ C non dairy milk (soy, oat, almond, hemp, rice)
2 TB Sunflower oil
2 TB Apple sauce, unsweetened (chopped fresh apple will work just fine)
Pinch Cinnamon Powder

Place Wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. I used the blender as I used a whole apple. Combine the Dry ingredients in another bowl and mix well.  Combine all ingredients in one bowl.  Grill as you do any pancakes on a lightly greased grill. Flip over as the bubbles form and pop, about 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with warm fruit, jam, almond butter, or whatever you like on your pancakes.

May 29, 2010

Rhonda's Big Birthday Adventure

The birthday celebration was a success!  We started our adventure in the early afternoon, good thing, it was stormy all day and driving was a little slower than usual.  Rhonda just learned how to use the GPS on her IPhone.   I drove, she played navigator.  We went quite a few places and never got lost.  We had to drop Jose on our way at the wrecking yard to pick up a truck he purchased.  Haven't seen him in awhile either, we had a fun visit.  It was raining very hard and he drove very well from the back seat. :-)   I did my best to stay in my lane/creek on the way.  There were some very interesting trees in the wrecking yard.  The bark looked very unusual, Rhonda thought the tree looked like it had been hit by lightening.  It turns out they were overgrown juniper bushes.  I had no idea they could grow into trees.  

The spa at the Everett house was as warm and relaxing as hoped.  A soak in the flotation therapy tank, a sauna, a little steam room and we left feeling refreshed and ready for dinner.

We enjoyed a lovely meal at the Blossoming Lotus.  Rhonda had the Four Cheeze Lasagna which is made with:  fresh seasonal vegetable marinara, semolina noodles, herbed tofu ricotta, roasted garlic & squash mozzarella, and sesame parmesan. It was served on a bed of kale and topped with lemon-basil cashew cream. This was a lush lasagna, very creamy and tasty.

I had the Baked ziti with roasted eggplant and creamy butternut squash sauce, topped with sage roasted tempe, cashew cream cheeze and bread crumbs also served on steamed kale.  This reminded me of old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese with much more flavors and textures.

We shared some Tahini-Cilantro Pate with their house made savory flax crackers.  Rhonda enjoyed the crackers so much we headed off to People's Co-op to buy some from their raw food section.   I let her know I have the Blossoming Lotus' cookbook and the flax cracker recipe is in it. 

After a trip to the Co-op we headed to Voo Doo for a bit of a different vegan birthday cake, hand made donuts. (Not all vegan food is healthy)  This isn't your usual donut shop.   Most the fun I had was watching the kids look at all the fun flavors, colors, and shapes of donuts trying to decide which one they'd like.  It's a popular place too.  When we walked in there was only two people and some children ahead of us.  By the time it was our turn, there was a line circling around out the door.  You know, our whole evening went like that.  We just had great timing everywhere we went.

But the most fun of all was spending time together and getting to take Rhonda to all of my favorite places for her birthday.   It seems we always have a purpose, like shopping, the airport, or special event when we go to Portland.  This time it was just leisurely fun with sisters.   She had never been to a spa like that, the vegan restaurant was quite a treat, she reminded me to take pictures of the food.  She's got a daughter who's vegan and been learning to prepare meals for her.  She's been enjoying learning about whole food cooking too.  She loved the vegetarian grocery co-op and bought a few things herself, and had never heard of Voo Doo Donuts where you can get hand designed gourmet treats. If you want to call some of their toppings gourmet, they're definitely different.  I think the purple one is flavored with Kool-Aid or Pixie Sticks.

May 28, 2010

Girls Day in the City

There are some great things going on today.  I have broken my isolation a bit, I'm taking my friend, Rhonda, to the city for her birthday.  We're going to do some spa time, my favorite vegan restaurant, and then a naughty trip to Voo Doo Donuts. She has not been to any of these great places.  She takes care of many people in her life, I get to take care of her today. I get to benefit also, I deserve it all too. :-)  It's been a very long time since I had some "girl" time.

I have admitted to myself, and now you, that I am pretty sure I've been isolating for a long time now.  I started seeing it during the Christmas holidays when I noticed I was shopping in the early afternoon during the week, always home before five.  I think I was trying to avoid seeing anyone who might know or ask about my son, Marty.  It seems every time I get a pedicure one of his former teachers is in there too asking about her 'favorite student.'  Although my husband and I have grown very close during this ordeal, I haven't socialized, done any volunteering, or just plain visit with friends outside of work.  I am grateful for someone who recently came into our lives.  We have become good friends and share many common interests.  She comes to the house on her way home from work now & then, it's given me some socializing with the outside world.  Our interest in the whole foods experience has brought us together for a little weekly potluck.  She likes to cook whole foods for her family and likes to experiment as much as I.  We get together and share each others art. 

Rachel was talking to me the other day about this grief thing.  She has also had a rough year of it and mentioned that one of the things that seemed true to her feelings through this pain was the need to find a safe place emotionally and even physically at times.  I think I know what she was telling me. Since my son's troubles, I have changed everything I do, think, feel, and talk about.  Some days I am not sure who I am or which way I am  walking.  It does feel like I am starting all over. There are days when I realize this can be a good thing. Today is one of those days!  I am working to turning the negative into positive today.

May 27, 2010

The Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast

The Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast

Come take up your Hats, and away let us haste
To the Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast.
The Trumpeter, Gad-fly, has summon'd the Crew,
And the Revels are now only waiting for you.
So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions came forth in a Throng.
And on the smooth Grass, by the side of a Wood,
Beneath a broad Oak that for Ages had stood,
Saw the Children of Earth, and the Tenants of Air,
For an Evening's Amusement together repair.
And there came the Beetle, so blind and so black,
Who carried the Emmet, his Friend, on his Back.

And there was the Gnat and the Dragon-fly too,
With all their Relations, Green, Orange, and Blue.
And there came the Moth, with his Plumage of Down,
And the Hornet in Jacket of Yellow and Brown;

Who with him the Wasp, his Companion, did bring,
But they promis'd, that Evening, to lay by their Sting.
And the sly little Dormouse crept out of his Hole,
And brought to the Feast his blind Brother, the Mole.

And the Snail, with his Horns peeping out of his Shell,
Came from a great Distance, the Length of an Ell.
A Mushroom their Table, and on it was laid
A Water-dock Leaf, which a Table-cloth made.

The Viands were various, to each of their Taste,
And the Bee brought her Honey to crown the Repast.
Then close on his Haunches, so solemn and wise,
The Frog from a Corner, look'd up to the Skies.

And the Squirrel well pleas'd such Diversions to see,
Mounted high over Head, and look'd down from a Tree.
Then out came the Spider, with Finger so fine,
To shew his Dexterity on the tight Line.

From one Branch to another, his Cobwebs he slung,
Then quick as an Arrow he darted along,
But just in the Middle, -- Oh! shocking to tell,
From his Rope, in an Instant, poor Harlequin fell.

Yet he touch'd not the Ground, but with Talons outspread,
Hung suspended in Air, at the End of a Thread,
Then the Grasshopper came with a Jerk and a Spring,
Very long was his Leg, though but short was his Wing;

He took but three Leaps, and was soon out of Sight,
Then chirp'd his own Praises the rest of the Night.
With Step so majestic the Snail did advance,
And promis'd the Gazers a Minuet to dance.

But they all laugh'd so loud that he pull'd in his Head,
And went in his own little Chamber to Bed.
Then, as Evening gave Way to the Shadows of Night,
Their Watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with a Light.

Then Home let us hasten, while yet we can see,
For no Watchman is waiting for you and for me.
So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions returned in a Throng.

William Roscoe

May 26, 2010

Love is All - The Butterfly Ball and The Grasshopper's Feast

As I work at turning negative into positive, I know it works so much easier with love. This video was posted on another site I visit recently. The singer, Ronnie James Dio, passed away last week. Artists, poets, and musicians bring such joy to our lives. This just makes me smile all over. :-)

May 24, 2010

Family and Gifts

Saturday was our visit to the correctional institution. It went as usual, two hour drive through the woods, stopping to stretch now and then and enjoy what time we can. We visit for two hours or so, play scrabble, and try to be pleasant and optimistic about the future. Soon to be released from this institution, my son faces more challenges on this journey. It will be over someday.

We do manage to have a good visit. We are a family and that shows. There's plenty of love there. As we were leaving I noticed another father working hard to hold back his tears. I know what he feels like, I had to turn as I had a problem holding back my own at that moment. We were pretty quiet as we left. We found a park close by where we stop and walk a bit after our visits. It gives us time to change our attitudes before our journey home. This time there were a flock of geese resting on their journey. A two hour drive home and Saturday is pretty much over, but that just means there are less Saturday's to go before my son comes home. I have to find something positive to think about. It's hard, but I do manage.

I played in the kitchen and my husband spent some time working in the yard yesterday.  My husband is very sweet, handles things his own way. He takes his camera and brings me flowers. We do have a beautiful home, lot of love, and a lot to be grateful for.

Sunday Brunch - Potato Veggie Bake

I had some potatoes that needed to be used so I made a potato veggie bake. Thick sliced Red Potatoes, about five or six, sauteed slightly until both sides are golden brown with a little oil. Place in glass baking dish. Saute about half of a sliced red onion, chopped garlic clove, one half an Anaheim chili, sliced, asparagus spears in coconut oil until they are tender. I like to begin with the onions and garlic so they cook a bit longer and caramelize. I layered this mixture on top of the potatoes. I dotted the top with some goat chevre, made locally, about 2 TB. Beat about six eggs together with 1/3 of a cup of filtered water. Pour the whipped eggs on top of the vegetables and bake for about 25 minutes at 400°.

I served it with sliced avocado and some fresh sliced pears and kiwi. Brunch is so much better at home.

Rotini with Edamame & Greens

Springtime Penne becomes Springtime Rotini with Edamame & Greens

This kind of a healthier version of Alfredo. I really re-worked the original recipe that was sent to me. I didn't have a lot of the ingredients, but I did have good substitutions. I used Rotini pasta instead of Penne, frozen edamame beans instead of peas, and a variety of greens I had in the freezer from last year's garden instead of spinach: chopped beet greens, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, and some carrot tops. The recipe also called for 1/4 cup heavy cream. I used the cream from the top of a can of chilled coconut milk instead of dairy cream. It also called for a couple tablespoons of butter at the end of the cooking and I just left that out. The only other seasonings I used were sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

I sauteed garlic in some olive oil and then added two cups of organic vegetable stock (low sodium). Brought the stock to a boil then added the beans, greens, and coconut cream. I just simmered this over a high heat for a bit until the sauce thickened and all the greens were wilted. I removed it from the heat and added about a half cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the mixture. This is a vegetarian dish, but made the way I made it without the Parmesan cheese, it would be considered vegan.

Curry, Chickpeas, Onions, and Dried Berries

Another recipe I tried this weekend was very good and so easy.

Curried Chickpeas with Sweet Onions and Pomegranate

I cooked some chickpeas in a 'splash' of oil. (That's what the recipe said, 'splash.') When the chickpeas were getting brown I added some chopped onion and garlic and cooked a little longer. I mixed a half cup of plain Greek yogurt with some sea salt and some curry powder. Mixed them all together and added a half cup of coarse chopped dried cranberries and blueberries. The recipe called for pomegranate seeds, but they aren't in season. I had some dried fruit so I soaked some dried cranberries and blueberries in a little lemon juice and water to add some tartness and texture.

Peanut Butter Granola Bonbons

I received some more sneak peek recipes from The Flexitarian Cookbook.  This one was pretty easy. It only took a few minutes to mix together. Then they cool overnight. Nice whole grain dessert, a no-bake granola cookie.

Peanut Butter Granola Bon Bons

Sugar (I use sucanot)
Fresh Peanut butter
Almond milk
Organic Dark chocolate chocolate chips
Raw oats
Flaked Coconut

May 22, 2010

Message for My Son - Robert

Bob, I noticed you were on Facebook last night and today.  If you happen to check your mom's blog wherever you are, this one's for you.

I got new rain boots for the garden and was reminded of a time when you were small in La Honda.  It was an extremely wet winter and I felt bad you couldn't play in the rain without getting your shoes ruined.  We both got new mud boots and the first thing you said was "Come on mom, let's celebrate and jump in the mud puddles."

I celebrate Robert!

Take Good Care of My Son! We love you!

Rainy Day with Occasional Sunshowers

It's a rainy day with occasional sunshowers.  It'll make our drive to see Marty so much more fun. We should see a few rainbows along the way.  We'll take some home with us in our cameras.  It's Saturday afternoon and already almost a full day for me.  I was up early, as usual, went to a meeting at 6:00 a.m., grabbed some inspiration, and then up to my friend's house to do some work.  I was home by noon and since I got the salad started last night it didn't take too long to finish.  Scott will be home soon and we're off to see Marty in Aberdeen.  That will take up the rest of the day.  We do make it a point to stop along the way and enjoy our surroundings for a little while.  At least it's a very beautiful drive.  I am ready though, salad is made, we have some packed and ready to eat in the woods somewhere today, and I made a pot of white beans before I went to bed last night.  Since today is pretty much taken up, I had to make sure we had out basics in the fridge before today.

Last night though, we did have to shop. Looks like there's lots of room in this refrigerator. 

Just 20 minutes in the produce section, we have meals for a week.

Didn't forget the fruit.

I am pleased at how much fruit and vegetables go through my kitchen each week.  We really have taken on some healthy habits when it comes to eating.  I don't think there are but two or three items in my refrigerator that are processed food.  The ones that are, are vegan.

I received five recipes from The Flexitarian Cookbook in my email box yesterday.  The message said "Here are some recipes to keep you busy until the book is published in August."  I think they'll keep me busy an hour or two.  I am hoping to fit a couple of them in this weekend, tomorrow.  One of the recipes has peanut butter, granola, chocolate, and coconut.  Gotta try that one. :-)  Another is made with chickpeas, sweet onions, and pomegranate seeds.  Looks fun, but pomegranates aren't in season right now so I will have to be creative.  I am going to soak some coarse chopped, dried blueberries and cranberries and soak them in a little bit of pomegranate juice.  Sounds adventurous, but I bet it will work out just fine.  I'll let you know.

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be like it is today, with a few more sun showers. I hope so.  I would like to get some more seedlings in the ground and just be outside.  We went out to take a peak in the rain last night. Things are looking beautiful.


May 20, 2010

Peaceful Indoor Gardening

Good day at work, kinda hectic, but not bad.  I don't have a boring job, that's for sure. I love that part.  We had a quiet evening in the house, my favorite kind of rainy night. We got some indoor gardening done. The latest seedlings are too big for the tray, but too small for the outdoors.  We transplanted 14 cauliflower and 15 cantaloupe.  I am very happy about the cantaloupe coming up, I couldn't get any to grow last year and I tried a few times. The zucchini and cauliflower could be put in the ground, but it is supposed to get real cold again.  Better to wait until the sun shines.

Cauliflower, Cantaloupe, Golden & Eight Ball Zucchini

I'm very grateful for the gardening. It has become the number one joy in our lives. We get to watch something grow, share some love, and spend some cheerful times together outdoors. We really do stand and look at our plants like proud new parents. (Giggling) Guess it is how the little song goes:  "A man who plants a garden is a very happy man."  My friend, Jose, who suggested we get a plot in the community garden last year, told me that he works in the garden to relieve stress.  I listened intently that day, we have some stress.  I learned very quickly that he gave me great advice.  I don't think about my problems while I'm working.  It seems to actually breath some life into me.  While I am there on my knees pulling weeds or digging in the dirt, I listen to the quiet and practice my meditation.  Some may call it praying and I guess I do some of that in the garden too. I do know that all of that works best with a quiet mind and heart.

"To Love Oneself is the Beginning of a Lifelong Romance"

Oscar Wilde

May 19, 2010

Spring Rain

We have rain today, lots of rain.  I don't mind too much, I do like our rain sometimes and our garden will appreciate it.  Nice day to stay inside and cozy.  I have a good book to read and I think I am going to take it easy.  I'd like to be out at the garden, but we have put in some good time.  We have a great start already.  We also have some indoor gardening to do.  There are quite a few seedlings that could use some larger containers already.

Eight Ball Zucchini—Little round zucchini balls great for stuffing        
Cantaloupe— Last year I couldn't get any seeds to germinate. :-)

Yesterday began with rain, but we were lucky enough for dry weather by the time we got off work. When my husband got home all he had to was smile and say  "It's not raining..." I knew why he said that and promptly put on my jeans to get out to the dirt. We stayed out there until almost 9:00 p.m. We worked on our bean trellis. I am hoping in a few weeks I can show you this picture again with the trellis on it's way to being covered in beautiful green leaves. I want to put some small logs inside for a place to sit and maybe even hang a couple flower baskets. 

The sunset last night should have been a clue how the today turned out. I am so impressed at the many colors in the sky last night. 

Peace Friends

May 17, 2010

Raw Veggie Salad, Beans, Spinach Potato Leek Soup, Dairy Free Strawberry Mousse

We spent a lot of time in the garden this weekend, but I did manage to get some cooking done. I made a raw veggie salad with beet greens, escarole, rainbow chard, spinach, diced carrots, zucchini, a handful of chopped cilantro, cucumber, fennel, red bell pepper, diced beets, chopped broccoli spears, diced avocado, the juice of an orange and a little golden balsamic vinegar. We took some of this out to the garden yesterday. It was very nice to take a break and have lunch outside.

I also put together a nice pot of beans. I soaked the 13 bean mixture Saturday night and Sunday morning I cooked them pretty simply. I sauteed an onion, a couple cloves of garlic, about a half cup chopped fennel, a sliced Anaheim pepper, one Serrano chili, and diced carrot. I added sea salt, fresh ground pepper, some ground allspice, 1 TB Agave, 1 TB balsamic vinegar, and dried basil. I added one can of tomato paste and the beans and covered them with water. Simmered for about an hour. They came out a little sweet and spicy. Looking forward to these this week.

While working in the garden I trimmed the spinach plants which left me with lots of fresh spinach. I also pulled out the last of the leeks we had planted last fall.  I chopped some baby Walla Walla onions I picked up at the farmers' market and sauteed them with some sesame oil, the sliced leeks, about three cloves of garlic, one sliced Serrano chili.  I added some thyme, dill, salt, and pepper. Then I added about a cup of organic vegetable broth, chopped potatoes and covered them with water.  I let these simmer until the potatoes were soft.  As it was cooking I used a potato masher to mash the potatoes that were cooked first into a creamy consistency leaving some of the potatoes a little chunky.  Then I added lots of chopped, fresh spinach, probably about four cups. This came out more like a nice stew than soup.  Very hearty and satisfying.

Fresh strawberries are starting to ripen.  We should have plenty very soon.  Still trying to perfect the dairy free strawberry mousse.  This time I blended one avocado, a cup of soaked raw cashews, 3 cups sliced strawberries, about 3/4 can of coconut milk, 1/4 cup agave, about 1/2 cup dissolved Agar, and garnished with shaved very dark chocolate. I saved some sliced strawberries to fold in the blended mixture.

Happy Monday!

May 16, 2010

Sunday in May

Another beautiful day! We haven't seen the cat. We offered him a few ways to climb down from that tree last night including attaching a rug runner to a long tree trimming tool and holding it way up to one of the branches in hopes that he would jump on it and run down. No such luck. We gave up trying to coax him out of that tree and went to bed. This morning he doesn't seem to be up there and we haven't seen him. If he did get down safely, he probably decided he didn't want to play here anymore. I did try to feed him vegan pizza and rice milk. That's all I had. This morning I had my coffee with this little guy. I put a bird feeder with some seeds out on the deck, but the squirrels like it too. I think he was having fun just sitting and swinging.

Balanced Breakfast

Porch Swing

It was a busy day in the community garden.  Lots of people were getting their plots ready and planting wonderful things.  I am looking forward to all the fresh colors and beautiful plants that will cover the garden soon.  It's such a pleasant place to be.  It's fun to see all the different techniques everyone uses.  Everyone has their own special touch. We learn a lot from walking around and looking at all the gardens.  I think there are 120 gardens in this plot.  Today there were the sounds of rototillers, children, dogs, and friends and family enjoying the weather.  We started our bean trellis.  We are hoping to create a little sitting place under our beans, we'll see.  We are pretty pleased with our progress so far.

May 15, 2010

Flowers for the Garden

I am waiting for my husband to arrive home from work so we can get out into the sunshine and the garden.  Made my trip to the farmer's market.  I got some pretty little Orange flowers to plant in various spots to attract the butterflies and just look nice. I am going to concentrate on seeds today, beets, carrots, some lettuce, and who knows what else. Weeding will be part of the day, I'm sure of that. I planted some herbs, basil & oregano in a strawberry pot for the garden we have going in the back of a pickup at home. I'll post some photos when it gets together.
When I was leaving the farmer's market, I felt a drop on my arm. Well, unfortunately it wasn't rain. :-) But, it did make me look up and I saw a perfect rainbow completely surrounding the sun. This was the best photo I could get with my little camera, but it did make me take a moment to notice, breath, and be thankful for being alive today.

Cat Dilemma

It looks like I have a new friend, a cat. I haven't had a pet in a long while and although we've been thinking about a dog, we're not sure we want that much responsibility. We do come and go as we please, not sure if we want to take on another child. This pretty little kitty has been hanging around the house for about a week now. I am pretty sure he's been applying for a job. He's been sitting in my chair on the deck and looking for lots of attention when I am out there. He seems like he likes lots of attention, I don't think he's a very experienced out door cat.

Yesterday I decided I could feed him and if he wants to stick around, that's just fine. I could use somebody else to love right now. After spending a couple hours out in the garden, I stopped by the store and grabbed some kitty food on the way home. I didn't think he would be interested in beans or salad.  I found a bowl the cat could call his own and promptly filled it with food. I couldn't find him at first, but I could hear him. He sounded as though he was stuck somewhere. I looked around the shed and in the bushes. Then my husband spotted him. This cat has a little problem.

Poor guy has been up in that Maple tree all night. I was afraid the large raccoon that lives in the back would find him. I also didn't know how all the squirrels would react when they got up in the a.m. They don't care, they are just running around all over the tree like the cat wasn't even there. When my husband gets home from work this afternoon, we will try putting some kind of ladder from a branch to the deck. Hopefully he will climb down it.

Usually a pet names itself at my house. I don't name a pet until they have been around a few days and show their personalities.  So far, dumb cat comes to mind.

Not everything is as unhappy as this silly cat in my yard this morning. My Iris' are in full bloom and I'm loving it.

May 14, 2010

Herbs, Corn, & Butternut Squash

What a beautiful sunny day it was yesterday.  The sun was warm and we got two full hours in the garden.  Planted some corn, butternut squash, some broccoli, mustard lavender, sage, radishes, and some sunflowers. I am hoping for a lot of gardening this weekend, the sun is supposed to be with us all weekend. It will be good for my body and soul to be outside working in the dirt.  Yesterday I think I went all two hours in the garden without speaking. When I realized that, I tried to listen to the quiet.

Bob is off to Afghanistan this morning, he left last night.  I woke to a voice mail telling me he loved me and will call when he can.  I seem to be having some sort of strange peace inside.  Not bad, not good, I'm just quiet inside.  I am not going to question this, it's OK.  I know there is a wall of frustration and fear right behind this quiet.  I'm going to start the day with a deep muscle massage which gives me some meditation time.  I anticipate a nice day at work.  I have a couple projects and it will be quiet.  The first Fridays of warm weather tend to give people reasons to work or play out of the office.  I am hoping to be done a little early to get some more time in the garden.  Easy Does it Today.

May 13, 2010

Plant a Radish, Get a Radish

We recently saw a performance of "The Fantastiks" by a local theater group.  If you don't remember the story, it's about parents and children and the children growing into adults and making their own decisions no matter how the parents try to interfere.  There is a song in the play that really hit home.  Made us both smile.

Plant a radish.
Get a radish.
Never any doubt.
That's why I love vegetables;
You know what you're about!

Plant a turnip.

Get a turnip.
Maybe you'll get two.
That's why I love vegetables;
You know that they'll come through!

They're dependable!

They're be-friendable!
They're the best pal a parent's ever known!
While with children,
It's bewilderin'.
You don't know until the seed is nearly grown
Just what you've sown.


Plant a carrot,
Get a carrot,
Not a Brussels sprout.
That's why I love vegetables.
You know what you're about!

Life is merry,

If it's very
A man who plants a garden
Is a very happy man!

Plant a beanstalk.

Get a beanstalk.
Just the same as Jack.
Then if you don't like it,
You can always take it back!

But if your issue

Doesn't kiss you,
Then I wish you luck.
For once you've planted children,
You're absolutely stuck!

Every turnip green!

Every kidney bean!
Every plant grows according to the plot!

While with progeny,

It's hodge-podgenee.
For as soon as you think you know what kind you've got,
It's what they're not!


Plant a cabbage.
Get a cabbage.
Not a sauerkraut!
That's why I love vegetables.
You know what you're about!

Life is merry

If it's very
A man who plants a garden
Is a very happy man!

A vegitari-
Very merry

Tomatoes, Lavender, Artichokes, Butternut Squash
Ready for the Garden

May 12, 2010

After Great Pain......

After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes
Emily Dickinson

After great pain, a formal feeling comes
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone

This is the Hour of Lead
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons recollect the Snow
First-Chill-then Stupor-then the letting go