June 27, 2010

Chocolate Beet Cake with Raspberry Frosting - Vegan

It Looks Like Summer

There were fresh raspberries as well as strawberries at the farmer's market this weekend. I found a great cake on another food blog, Vegalicious. It's made with beets and chocolate and almost has the density of a brownie. It's very moist and sweet, no one needs to know there are beets in it.  We had to cut two pieces to get just the right picture.  We didn't mind at all, the subjects of the photos were yummy.

I only made a couple substitutions. I used pure maple syrup instead of brown sugar. I used a little bit less to make up for the moisture, just a cup instead of a cup and a half. I used organic chocolate chips for dark chocolate, 1½ ounces isn't very much chocolate, but combined with the cocoa, it really did the job.I made the frosting a bit different than this recipe called for.

for the frosting:

¼ cup coconut butter
½ cup raspberries
½ seeds scraped from a vanilla bean
1 cup organic powdered sugar
about ½ tablespoon almond milk.

Happy Birthday Isabelle

I think it's finally summer.  At least it feels like it today again.  It was lively out at the community garden today.  Lots of plants are reaching for the sun and growing.  There were many families and gardeners working together in the peaceful field.  I am so looking forward to the changes in the garden in the next few weeks.  It won't take long for the whole place to transform into a tall field of many colors.

I finished my garden surprise.  She's not your typical scarecrow.  I planted a garden princess.   Her name is Isabelle and she'll keep an eye on the garden, but unfortunately she'll probably make friends with the birds instead of scare them.  That's OK, she makes me smile.

June 26, 2010

Strawberry Moon in the Garden

My last post title was "What a Day, Glorious!" I've had one of those today.  We began our day in the garden in the last hour of darkness and the first hour of the full moon.  The Strawberry Moon as it is called in the Farmer's Almanac. In the wee hours of the morning there was a partial lunar eclipse during which the moon partly enters the Earth's shadow.

We have about completed the planting and got together with Rachel to give blessings for the garden under the moon.  We sat in quiet meditation on the herb hill in the moonlight with candles and herbs burning until the morning was bright.  It was a very calming experience.  I generally start my day with some form of prayer and meditation, but this morning was a little more special.

I went to the farmer's market this morning. There were fresh strawberries and raspberries today.  I put ten pounds of strawberries in the freezer and about 5 pounds of raspberries.  I just took a vegan chocolate beet cake out of the oven.  It's a vegan twist of the red velvet cake.  Some of those raspberries will become frosting for that cake.  I will post the recipe tomorrow with the photo just before I try the first piece.  I've got a pot of beans made for our meals in the upcoming week.  I made some quinoa, not sure what I will do with it yet, but it's ready for some veggies and herbs.  I spent some artistic time with a surprise for the garden.  I have an idea for a princess of sorts in the garden.  I'll introduce you when she's completed. 

I've been waiting since I planted these babies in February to post a slide show like this.  Here's some progressive artichoke pictures.  Enjoy!

"Let the beauty we love be what we do.  There are thousands of ways to kneel and kiss the Earth."


June 24, 2010

What a day, glorious! By Ma Muse

I found these beautiful musicians via a friend of mine from Santa Cruz.  These women are riding bicycles from Shasta to BC this summer sharing their music along the way.  Hoping to catch their music in Portland.

MaMuse: (Ma as in Mamma; Muse as in the one who inspires) "Beautiful Harmonies woven into a tapestry of strings and stillness."

    The songs of MaMuse are love poems to the Earth. They also speak to the depths of one's own inner terrain.   MaMusic stirs the heart through deep soul felt lyrics and sparse supportive instrumentation. Sarah and Karisha together create original music that breathes. Tight vocal harmonies ring out a Capella or blend with upright bass, mandolin, guitar, flute, light percussion and finger snaps to deliver the gift of  joyful truth telling.
    The encouragement and support of their hometown Chico, California community (MaMuse has received awards two years in a row from local voting music enthusiasts for Best New Act, Best Folk Act and Best Local Act) has provided the strength for the "rootsy female wonder duo" of MaMuse to make her way out into the world, touring regions across the country as well as establishing a strong presence through the Bay Area and Northern California. 
    Celebrating her second year of Being and sharing, MaMuse delights in this year's 2010 Spring and Summer invitations: Chico Bicycle Music Festival, Davis Whole Earth Festival, California World Music Festival, Esalen International Arts Festival, Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival, Mystic Family Garden Party and the American River Music Festival. 
   Beginning July 31st, MaMuse will set out with a small support of friends to promote their second full-length album Strange and Wonderful. The tour will begin in Shasta, CA and meander northward through Oregon and Washington. In Seattle, MaMuse will continue their adventurous Northwest tour by bicycle, ferrying across the Puget Sound and sharing their music through the San Juan Islands. Bicylces support the journey for MaMuse whenever possible, as they have pedaled their bodies and instruments from their homes in Chico to the World Music Festival (Grass Valley, CA), the Whole Earth Festival (Davis, CA) and the Bicycle Music Festival (San Francisco, CA). 
    The essence of MaMuse is rooted in the transparency of a journey shared by two women who feel a lot and dare to express their experiences through song and story. "As a community we are all strengthened when even one of us discovers his or her voice and dares to share. We dare you to sing with us. We dare you to discover your own song." (Karisha)   
"MaMuse is what a meadow would sound like if she could sing." She can be found singing on the inter web meadow at :
 MaMuse has released two albums to date: 2008 debut album, All the Way and May 2010 new born, Strange and Wonderful. Both are available for purchase online through her website or Cd Baby. 
"Oh what a day, GLorious!"

June 20, 2010

Strawberry Scone Shortcake - Vegan Dessert

And what did I do with the some of those strawberry scones I made this morning?  I added some more crushed berries and some cashew coconut creme with fresh vanilla bean.

Sweet Potato Au Gratin

Sweet Potato Au Gratin—Sweet Potatoes, yams, red potatoes, asparagus, red onion, non-dairy bechamel sauce topped with panko bread crumbs mixed with some parmesan cheese and oregano.

Raw Vegetable salad with many fresh vegetables and fresh peas from our garden.  :D

Black Quinoa salad with raw green beans, yellow bell pepper, walla walla onions, chili oil, and lemon juice.

Garden Update

Even though our spring has seemed like the return of fall our garden is moving along.  We harvested some fresh snap peas and radishes this week.   There will be some fresh lettuce and fennel to pick shortly and everything seems pretty happy.  I love how the artichokes are growing, they are very healthy, firm and a deep green. 

Breakfast - Vegan Strawberry Scones

I was thinking about what I will do with my strawberries this weekend.  I wanted to make some jam, which I did.  I made some freezer jam with 3 cups of sucanat for ten cups of crushed berries.  Much less sugar than conventional jam.  But what kind of fun, healthy snack can I come up with?  I thought about strawberry scones and when looking through the vegan recipes that came up when I searched, I hit on this one Strawberry-Coconut Scones.  I didn't make many changes to the recipe;  I used sucanat for sugars, plain coconut milk yogurt, and coconut milk creamer.  These came out very nice, firm, but flaky and moist, thanks to the chunks of strawberries.

 I served them with the strawberry jam I made yesterday, a fresh fruit salad made with:  mango, bananas, kiwi, sliced strawberries, and a handful of coconut shreds.  I also grilled some strips of sesame garlic tempeh marinated in shoyu. 

Vegetarian Pizza

In the past it was commonly believed that pizza was not really a healthy food. Part of the reason for this is that it was put in the same group as other fast foods, such as hamburgers and fries. This is a major misconception, as pizza can actually be a highly nutritional meal. There are health benefits to pizza, especially home made where I can control the ingredients.

I made a crust with whole wheat flour. Soy, rice, or bean flour can be used for a gluten free pizza.  I brushed a little olive oil on the crust, spread some tomato paste, sprinkled some toasted garlic and oregano, caramelized onions, chopped tomatoes, fresh zucchini and crookneck squash slices, organic mozzarella cheese and chunks of sesame garlic tempeh marinated in shoyu.  I baked it for about 20 minutes at 425º.  Just omit the cheese for a vegan pizza.

Pizza Crust

1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon agave
1 tablespoon oil
2½ to 3 cups whole wheat flour

Soften yeast in  2 tablespoons warm water in a large mixing bowl.  In about 5 minutes when the yeast is dissolved, add remaining 1 cup water, salt, agave, oil, and 2 cups flour, mixing until dough can be formed into a ball.  Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead in remaining flour as necessary to make a smooth dough.  Knead for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, I used coconut oil.   Turn so that entire surface is greased.  Cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm spot a minimum of 2 hours or as long as 10 hours.  When you are ready to assemble the pizza, punch down the dough, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes to make handling easier.  Divide dough in half and shape.  Bake on a baking sheet or pizza pan dusted with cornmeal.  This dough can be prepared and frozen for use at a later date.

June 17, 2010

Balance? in Juneuary?

Yes, it's Juneuary in the Northwest.  I feel like we've seen enough rain to last us until next winter.  We are still wearing sweaters, socks, and long pants to work in mid June.  We have had some sunshine about once a week.  They say this is the longest stretch of rainy weather in spring in 23 years.  I had so hoped to be in my garden more.   The plants are growing, but they are small.  The biggest thing I miss though is the peace I get when I'm out there.

Marty is soon to be released from the prison in Washington and will be transported to another jail in Oregon where he can once again face charges for the same instance and same people.    He has been incarcerated now for the last year and a half.   I fear he has quite a few months or more ahead of him left.  I have seen many courtrooms in the last year and a half, many people who have done much worse have gotten less trouble, from my standpoint anyway.   I don't understand our justice system at all.   I still have problems believing this has happened at all.   I do know what surreal feels like.   We are responsible people, things like this aren't supposed to happen, at least I didn't think so.   I am trying to handle all of this better than I did last year.   This week I am back to screaming inside a bit.  But, I know there are many blessings in my life.   I just have to learn to see them and remember them when I feel bad.

Yesterday I sent my first care package to my son in Afghanistan.  He asked for canned meats and easy meals, the just add water kind, socks, coffee, and foot powder.   They get some vegetables and fruit from local farmers.   Oh my gosh, I filled a box with what I consider "edible food-like substances."   I tried to keep it a little healthy by sending canned salmon, crab, papaya, and applesauce along with the Spam and other cans that had pictures of meat.   But most of the things he asked for I wouldn't buy or eat, but I'm not the one foraging for food in unfriendly places.    He can have what he wants, if I can send it.  He sent me a picture of his cooking facilities and some of their "gardening."  I am pretty sure I wouldn't  like it if these guys came by my garden dressed for battle with loaded rifles. 

Bob's Kitchen
Picking vegetables

And, Fruit shopping, I think this is the closest my sailor gets to water.

The man who helped me at the post office was a jolly character.  He showed me how to fill out the custom papers and handed me a stack of them for the future boxes.   He gave me a whole roll of postal packing tape, and a stack of boxes marked for sending to FPO addresses.  He also went on to proudly tell me about his daughter who just made 3rd class in the Navy, she's deployed, and a son who is about to enter Officer Training School.   Then, he said something that made me feel connected to him and a little relaxed inside, he said his other son was in prison, he had made a stupid decision.  You know that made me smile inside to hear someone else say the same thing I do.  I know how this man feels. He was kind sharing with me even though he was probably just letting it out like I do.   It seems to help to tell others.   If I felt alone yesterday, as I often do in this ordeal, I didn't for that moment.   I thanked him for sharing and told him my other son was also in prison.  He said, "you know, we all have one."   I am so glad I picked that moment to go to the post office, I haven't felt that connected to a stranger like that in a long time.  Somehow that eased the pain just a bit. 

So, yes, I have whined a bit today and I'm not feeling that great.  But at the same time I am able to see that there is some balance to all of this.   Even if I only see a little, I know that I do learn from the trials I go through.  Gosh, if I don't remember this, my friends, the books I read, and the music I listen to remind me of this all the time.   I shouldn't forget it, but I do.  I am learning to appreciate what I do have and not worry about what I don't have.  I can feel the peace when it comes.  I do have a good life, I'm alive, sober, happily married, employed at a job I love, and there are lots of vegetables growing in my garden soon, if the darn sun would shine.

We do try to find a way to make some fun along this journey.  We took a long time to drive home Sunday from visiting Marty in Aberdeen.  We got so wrapped up in catching the beauty of the sunshine and the coast, on the same day, it took us four hours to drive home.  It should only take two and that's with a stretch stop or two.

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

Carl Jung, "Memories, Dreams, Reflections", 1962

June 13, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Glaze Pie

What did I do with my strawberries this week?   Many of them did get frozen, but we eat as much as we can while they are in season and fresh.  We'll have strawberries in most of our breakfast smoothies this week.  Then there are the strawberry goodies.  This semi-raw pie is very simple.

I made a strawberry rhubarb glaze with about two cups chopped rhubarb, two cups sliced strawberries, the juice of an orange, and about 1/4 cup raw agave.  I just let them simmer on a medium low heat until they are tender and saucy, about 3-5 minutes at most.  Remove from the heat and add to the fruit sauce 1/4 tablespoon powdered Agar dissolved in a 1/4 cup of boiling water.   I added about a teaspoon of chopped orange zest to the mixture after it was removed from the heat.

For the crust I used one cup raw almonds, seven med jool dates, and a dash of salt.   Soak the almonds in water for an hour or so and pulse them with the dates in the food processor until the mixture can be shaped into a ball.  Sprinkle about 2-3 tablespoons of raw coconut shreds at the bottom of a glass pie pan.   Press the almond and date mixture in the pie pan to form a crust on the bottom and up the sides.

Then I just layered sliced fresh strawberries in the crust and poured the strawberry rhubarb sauce over the strawberries.  I kind of mixed them a little to get the sauce distributed.  This will chill in the refrigerator for about an hour to set.  I garnished it with orange zest and a couple cantaloupe flowers from my garden.

I think I will serve it with some cashew lavender creme sauce.  I'll try to remember to post a picture of a slice when I cut it later.

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I WENT out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun. 

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939). The Wind Among the Reeds. 1899.

Celebration Salad

I've seen this salad in many vegan and whole foods cookbooks. It's a pretty simple salad of fresh carrots and beets. What am I celebrating?  The first fresh vegetables of the season and for us in the Pacific Northwest, we are celebrating sunshine today. Nice warm sunshine.

This is the way Chef Al Chase taught me to make Celebration Salad.  I grated four small to medium red beets, one golden beet I had, and four medium carrots.  To those grated vegetables, I added the juice and zest of one orange, a little flax oil, and a little chili oil, about a tablespoon each.  I added some fresh ground Celtic sea salt and a dash of cayenne pepper.  I usually use chopped parsley, but I didn't have any so I used some fresh cilantro from the garden.  Not too much, about a tablespoon and a half.  It will settle and become juicy and flavorful after chilling overnight.  This salad definitely makes me feel like summer is coming.

Black Quinoa Salad with Red Pepper and Bok Choy

Now this is an original recipe.   While browsing through the bulk grains at People's a couple weeks ago, I noticed some black quinoa.   I like black rice, I should probably like this, so I bought some and finally tried it today.   I cooked up a cup and let it sit and cool for a bit.   Then I added chopped red bell pepper, a couple diced cloves of garlic, about a teaspoon of ginger juice, a tablespoon of chili oil, a tablespoon of flax oil, a little lemon juice, shoyu, and a dash of Celtic sea salt and cayenne pepper.   I had about half a head of bok choy from last week's market so I sliced it very thin, kind of a chiffonade.  I also added some chopped parsley and cilantro, both picked in my garden today.  It's has a nice zesty flavor and it's pretty too.  It should be really good tomorrow after sitting in the cooler all night letting all the flavors meld together.

Asparagus Cornbread Pudding with Snap Peas

I've been reading a very fun book I received as a birthday gift, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver.  It's the story of a family who ate only locally for a whole year.  I mean locally, they grew much of their own food and what they didn't they tried to obtain from within their county.  The whole family had a hand in writing this book and the daughter, Camille, has her pieces with a recipe at the end of  her commentaries.  I get kind of hungry reading this book.  Inspired by her Asparagus and Morel Bread Pudding I knew just what to do with the fresh asparagus and the little loaf of jalepeño cornbread I bought at the farmer's market today.  I made a similar bread pudding using her recipe as a guide.

I didn't have the morel's, but that's OK, my husband doesn't like mushrooms much.  (I still cook with mushrooms, but make them in very large chunks so he can pick them out and give them to me.)  I did have the fresh asparagus, the loaf of homemade cornbread which I sliced and toasted in the broiler, the spring onions, fresh parsley and oregano.  I used non dairy milk and omitted the butter used in the recipe.  I gently sauteed the asparagus in a little coconut oil and added some snap peas I had from last week's market.  I did use the eggs, but I do use local eggs.  Eggs are one of those things that appear that I am spending more, I pay from $3.50 up to $5 a dozen for my fresh local eggs, but a dozen will last me a month or more.  The cheese I used is a natural cheddar with wild smoked salmon and chives with a little freshly grated Parmesan.  I thought that would add an interesting flavor.

My husband took the picture and not only ate a piece while trying to get just the right shot, he then ate the piece he was photographing.  This is one of those meals that doesn't look too pretty, but it sure is good, flexitarian, comfort food.

June 12, 2010

Farmer's Market, Sunshine, and Gardening

The sun is finally out and the mood was cheery at the farmer's market today.  People are picking up more seedlings to get them in the dirt while we can.  This may be the beginning of our sunny weather, but there is more rain to come.  We generally don't see continual warm weather until after the fourth of July.  There are more edibles showing up at the market and it will get better each week now.

Some of my friends think I probably spend more on my groceries, but I don't think so.   It costs a little more to get the vegetables directly from the farmer sometimes, but all the money goes to the farmer and the fruits and vegetables are usually picked the same day I buy them.  They don't spend a week or more in a truck.  

The strawberries I picked up today are not 100% organic, but they are from a small local farm, just 20 miles away.  Small farms that do use non-organic farming methods, usually farm much closer to organic than a factory farm using less of any herbicides. There are also many farmers farming organically that just can't afford all the testing and paperwork filing involved to become certified organic.

There are many things I can get at the farmer's market too besides vegetables. We have a local coffee grinder, a couple bakers, a local chocolatier, and a goat farmer who sells fresh goat cheese.

Today I spent about $38 and came home with:

A nice large bunch of fresh carrots, I have found ways to use the greens too,
a large bunch of beets with healthy greens,
10 lb of fresh strawberries, picked this morning,
2 lb of fresh asparagus,
1 loaf cracked wheat bread, dairy free, made with whole grain flour, flax seeds, and sesame seeds,
1 loaf of the same cracked wheat bread made with cinnamon and raisins (this is our sweet treat this week), both made by Homer Bread in Longview.
1 small round of garlic cheese bread and a jalapeno cornbread made by at Victorian Acres in Clatskanie,
and two beautiful purple flowering plants for the garden.

The biggest expense was the fresh strawberries. I will buy whatever fruit is in season in quantities every weekend until the end of the season and freeze most of it so we have a continual supply of fresh local fruit into the winter. This year I hope to do some more canning, we'll see. That garden takes up a lot of time.

Speaking of the garden, the sun's out, my husband will be home shortly and it's off for a day outside working our beautiful garden.   Even though it's been cloudy and rainy, very rainy, most days this spring.  There are some plants growing and healthy.  They should enjoy the sun this weekend, I know I do.

This is what the sky looked like yesterday evening in the garden.  

And a happy pepper blossom :-)

The rainbow chard hasn't minded the rain.

Organic Farm Tour

Last Sunday we had a delightful tour of three organic farms sponsored by People's CoopAlberta Grocery Coop, and Food Front in Portland.  There were about 100 of us on this little field trip, pun intended.  I try to stop in at People's most trips to Portland.   I have been to the Alberta Coop, but not Food Front.  I'll have to visit now that I know they are there, I think they have two stores. 

I love shopping and being a member of the Coop.  I know I am getting the best organic whole food as local as possible.  Being a member I feel like I am contributing to a good thing.  The produce section in People's is beautiful even in the winter.  There are many whole ingredients I used to prepare our meals that are either very hard to get in our little community or are more expensive here.  For example, I can get all the loose teas and herbs I need in bulk so I can buy a little or a lot.  Vanilla beans are usually below $2 a piece.  To buy them here, they are packaged in little glass tubes and become $6 a piece, even at the best whole foods store in town. 

They have me pretty spoiled too.  I went to one of those big box stores with my friend.  I won't even go in their produce cooler, it's all mass manufactured, tasteless, chemical ridden food like substance.   Anyway, I noticed a big bag of organic raw almonds.  We use lots of raw almonds.  I thought to myself, yes, they are a bit cheaper than I pay, but even if they are grown organically and perhaps even in a sustainable farm, I don't think the almonds on the bottom of the bag or even half way down are going to be as fresh as they should be once we get to them.  Nope, I like shopping the bulk food way.  Less packaging, I can buy in any amount I need or my wallet allows, and I know what I am getting.

This is a annual trip for members to give us more of a connection with where our food comes from and who the people are that grow it for us.  Even though it was a rainy spring Sunday, it was a great trip and quite educational.  There were three different farms on our journey, the first was more like a research facility and farm run by a retired college professor, the second a cider house and vineyard, and the third a 100 acre organic vegetable farm.  It was like a very very large garden.  It was great to get to meet the people who grow our food and get a sense of what they are about too.

Our first stop was to Sunbow Farm in Corvalis, OR, an organic farm since 1972.  We learned about composting and care of the soil to sustain future crops and protect the earth.  Harry MacCormack is the co-founder of Oregon Tilth.  Oregon Tilth is a nonprofit research and education membership organization dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.  He was happy to tell us of his research with composte, composte tea, and farming while taking care of the soil to keep it resilient.  He is a character, a retired professor and writer, and he's got quite a history.   He's a poet too.  He started the farmer's market at People's and has had a hand in helping others get started.   This farm very much reminded me of The Farm, in Summertown, TN, that I had the opportunity to visit in April.

We had a great vegan lunch prepared by Abbys Table at Wandering Aengus in Salem, OR.  There was a very tasty raw "tuna" salad - a salad of sprouted seeds and nuts with flavors of the sea, lentil salad with parsley and mint.  I am going to try to recreate this salad very soon.  There was a build your own sandwich buffet of great salads, marinated tempeh, roasted tofu, whole grain breads and much more.  It was nice to be with 100 people who didn't mind that lunch was vegan.  I didn't get a picture of lunch, which is surprising, I think I was probably to busy eating anxious to wander around the orchards and vineyards.  There was also some wine and cider tasting.  You have to ask someone else how that was, I don't drink so I didn't partake.   I did however, listen to the trials and tribulations of growing enough good apples to brew the cider.  This was a very pleasant and relaxing stop on our journey.

Wandering Aengus

Our last farm of the day was Mustard Seed Farms in St. Paul, OR.  This looked like a huge garden in my mind.  This farmer produces greens and veggies to coops, wholesalers, and the local community.  He has a different kind of community garden.  Instead of dividing up into plots, he invites the community to come help on the farm for a number of hours each week to contribute to the garden for their seasonal vegetables . 

June 11, 2010

Technical Difficulties, Strawberries, and Art

I've been down a week, well my PC has anyway.  The modem quit working and we learned to live without the internet.  Strange how we felt cut off from the outside world a little bit not having this little electronic box for a week.  You'd think I'd get enough of the computer at work, but that's mainly spreadsheets. 

A week ago Saturday was a pretty special day for me.  The sun was shining and warm and the first strawberries of the season showed up at the farmer's market.   It's been so rainy here this spring, I was wondering if the strawberries would show up at the farmer's market this month.  June is strawberry season here, most years.  I usually have fifty pounds or more in my freezer before the end of the season.  I've been pretty good about not buying strawberries out of season.   We ran out of them in January this year.  I picked up some Nasturtiums, Marigolds, Purple African Daisies, and some blue potato starts for the garden too.   I got a "great pumpkin" plant for our yard at home.   It's one of those that should grow to 100 pounds or more, this should be fun to watch.   Not sure what I will do with it, but if we get one that size, I do know someone who likes to sculpt them and does it well.  The sun came out for both days of the weekend and I spent a lot of time in the garden.  My knees were dirty most of the weekend.

There was also a little flea market in town, The Spring Fling.   I found a painting that just had to go home with me.   The woman who sold it to me knew the artist, but didn't tell me the name of it.   At my house it shall be "Women on Market Day."   It tells so many stories.  The frame is a little warped, but it's in great condition. Hand painted and it was only $7.

June 2, 2010

It's what your supposed to do with a Subaru

Have you seen the Subaru commercial with the muddy Forester in the back of the parade?  I have the matching insides and I like it.  I am always ready to drop in at the garden, mud boots, gloves, apron, hat, tools, and seeds.  The car is always dirty, I don't think that tarp helps much.   I got over being embarrassed about parking my Subaru 'pickup truck' at work because it's all about the good stuff, gardening, love, the sunshine (someday), and the fresh vegetables we grew ourselves. When I picked up the potting soil, the young man loading it in my car said "That's what you're supposed to do with a Subaru."

It's been raining pretty regularly here, I was a little worried about the seedlings I planted Saturday and Sunday.  It really has felt like fall.  Went to peek at them yesterday, they're standing up. :-)


Honeyboat Delicata Squash

June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Blessings

Yesterday was memorial, pun intended.  We usually go see our son in the afternoons on Saturday's.  It's a two hour drive with a two or three hour visit and then another two hours or so driving home.  We don't get home until too late to really do anything useful.  We don't stop to walk in the woods as it's dark and we want to get home.  We thought we'd try for Monday morning since we were both off.  We could stop at some of the places we see but don't have time to stop, get there early, leave maybe around 2:00 or 2:30 p.m. and get home by 5:00ish and still have some evening at home. Great idea!

Well, we weren't the only people with the day off.  We arrived at the prison at 11:30 a.m., they open at 11:00 a.m.  The waiting room was already almost two people deep all around the perimeter.  We got on a waiting list, already number thirty.   My husband said "Let's leave and write him a letter."   I must be getting better because I didn't even have to think about it.  A sigh of relief came over and I said, "Yes, let's not let this take up our entire day off."   It really felt good and right. We thanked the corrections officer and left.  We proceeded to enjoy our day and each other. It was like getting some time back in my life. I wrote Marty a letter today.