Pursuing the poetical, paradoxical, metaphorical, lyrical, artistical, majestical, and mystical.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Freebies

The best things in life really are free.  We sort of live in paradise here in Smokey Point.  Mostly within an hour's drive, we have a playground in any direction.  Over the years, these have been our favorite, very repeatable ways to have free or really cheap fun.   You won't be charged for this info..... 

*Deception Pass Bridge - on of the most stunning locations on the planet.  Walk across, then come back halfway and go underneath and relax on the bluff.  
*Rosario Beach - right before the bridge is a free park on the sound, so pastoral and quiet. 
*The Stilly River - River Meadows or Jordan Walkover Bridge, picnicing or rafting from the bridge to the River Meadows. 
*Howarth Park - right past Forest Park on the way to Mukilteo off 41st.   Gorgeous walk along the creek in the deep woods to the water with a train track and train engineers who honk for you.
*Jetty Island Ferry-Don't do this one much any more, without the kids for inspiration.... 
*Wallace Falls-Great, hard hike, amazing setting.
*Snoqualmie Falls-easy walking trails and platforms-getting misted is exhilarating.  
*Lake Stevens-easy sun/water/people watching.
*The old pioneer hwy from I5 take Silvana exit, going to Stanwood, N to Conway, to LaConnor....this is such a beautiful drive in farm country. 
*The cascade loop out of Darrington!  The moss on the trees is spectacular!  
*The drive to LaPush on the coast.  Most mystical beach I've ever seen.......
*The Ballard Locks-great place to have fish n chips or pack a lunch and eat on the grass terraces watching the little, medium, big and bigger boats come back in Sunday afternoon.
*Driving the cascades to Winthrop.  Taking the Loop from there to Chelan, the most beautifully clean water in the world and home again through Snoqualmie. 
*The Everett Marina is just fun to walk along. Music in the summer....
*Alki Point, So. Seattle has a wonderful esplanade for bikes and one for walkers along the water for miles and miles.  People watching at it's best!  
*Greenlake-rent a kayak for 1 hour for 12 bucks and coffee at Peet's after.   Bliss!  :) 

I could list more, but these are the places Craig and I revisit again and again because they are fun, easy and mostly free.   Hey honey, am I a cheap date or what?  We have our own favorite places to kiss......these are the ones!   Being a mermaid/selkie and all, it's not weird that most of these are by water.   Gotta have options for getting my scales wet if'n they dry out, don'tcha know?  

One of the biggest bangs for your buck is the Washington State Ferry system.  'Walk on' to Friday harbor, get a great lunch, browse and come home......not free, but might as well be.  

Get out, go play, be a participant instead of a spectator in this colorful, wonderful setting we have.  Find your own special places and tell me about them.   Share the goods mon!   :)




Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love Engraved

When Craig and I started having romantic feelings for each other after 4 years of a warm, easy, comfortable friendship, his most used line was "me too".  

I read a lot, love words, in fact am completely smitten by the written word, lyrics, and love listening to people who are true wordsmiths, word crafters etc.   (I prefer subltitled movies so I can read it while watching)  

Some of my verbal acrobatics could and did make Craig dizzy often, as in frequently.   It took me about 4 months to realize that he was saying 'me too' often, as in frequently!  :)    After an especially poetic, mushy, sentimental expression of love - he would shyly say with his dimple flashing,  'me too'.   That's all!  

It was effective anyhow, as he took me effortlessly to a world beyond mere words.......  

The day before our wedding, we got our plain, simple, $99.00 JC Penney's wedding bands engraved. His, a size 14 has "Forever and Ever, Amen" engraved.  My permanent token to him.  When Craig asked the jeweler if there was room for that, he replied that there was enough room for the Gettysburg Address. (The ringbearer fiddled with that ring until it almost got tangled around his little wrist)

Craig's engraved token to me could only be "Me Too" in reply. 

We still have and wear these rings and the engravings are still visible and readable.  There are nicks and scratches on the outside, but the inside is slick and still new looking.  

The thing I appreciate most after all these years is Craig's simple use of words.  They are real. Sincere.  Non manipulative.  Few.  Worthwhile.  Genuine.  Full of wisdom and common sense. So sweet.  Encouraging.  And his truth and correction is easy to swallow.  Worth listening to. The man's timing....he knows when to talk, how to listen but mostly knows love is an action verb instead of just a word.  

More often than not these days, it's me saying a heart felt  "Me Too" to some beautifully expressed words from him that are just right, like the baby bear's porridge.   

  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lagniappe Day

Today had lagniappe  - "a beneficient kind of extra, an extra you weren't expecting, but immensely glad to have." 

It turns out that someone I wanted to encourage and nurture, ended up comforting, listening, understanding, counseling and praying with me.   I came away feeling like someone had given my heart and spirit a massage, a chiro adjustment, a good scrubbing and put me to soak in an herb steam sauna all in one fell swoop.  Wow.  

Then tonight,  my darling family went and finished the job with sweet smelling 'moisturizer'.  Great steak supper out in the garden room, help in the yard and funny comic songs around the piano - hammin' it up.   

Life is beautiful.  It truly is a wonderful life.  But the truly part is a mixed bag; mostly life is lots and lots of swimming upstream and sometimes it feels like by the time you make it to the spawning ground your eyes are hanging by a thread, your fins are tattered, your scales are coming off in patches, your flesh is half rotten and your strength and courage nearly used up........but, you are compelled to finish the job - lay eggs, give life before yours is gone.  

So to rephrase it:  Life is really tough and in many ways hard, but it has these epic moments of awe, wonder, loveliness, kindness, inspiration, creativity, hope and best of all 'lagniappe', making it a beautiful, wonderful life over all. Truly.  

My paraphrase of a paraphrase from The Message - "Come away with me and rest awhile and learn the unforced rhythm of grace"     Sigh.  You'll find me there.  Swingin'


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hairy Toes

How could I grow up 'normal'?  Not a chance.  Mom lured a young deer into our car and brought it home from a park.  That crazy thing would sit on the couch with it's front legs on the floor like the rest of the family.  When it jumped up on her bed and urinated buckets, she decided it needed to go find it's parents and took it back.  Borrowed deer.  The ranger didn't say a word about that deer going for a visit.  Probably thought he was seeing things.

Once, a litter of the cutest baby skunks was crossing our driveway and she opened the car door and we all started chasing them.  Think we caught a couple. When she asked a vet about getting them de-scented, he was adamant that they might have rabies and it was not possible to keep them as pets.  

The one animal that she wouldn't ever let me have was a monkey.  On the wharf by Cannery Row in Monterey there was a hurdy gurdy man with the cutest little monkey all dressed up.  He would come around and hold out his cap when the wind up music played.   I really wanted one of my own, but mom hated them, said they smelled and had fleas.  No monkey.  I might need therapy for that one.  

We had every stray animal possible, as she couldn't bear for anything to be homeless or hungry. If it was injured, orphaned, an abused runt, helpless-she nursed it, bandaged it, fed it, kept it warm and cried if it died.  Us kids had a never ending supply of funerals to stage, all with very poetical, dramatic and grief stricken sermons, hymns, wooden crosses and burial plots. She's the reason I tried to incubate a bird egg, yes, nestled between my warm motherly breasts. It didn't work.  I tried to nurse the kittens and bandage frogs.  Craig has good naturedly stopped and let me pick up 'almost road kill' a few times, until watching the tragic deaths made me just look the other way and tell him to keep driving.   It's also the reason my milk almost feels like it is letting down when I hear a baby cry.   :)   I can't stand for anyone to be homeless or hungry either!   

Mom would gather us all together with banging pots and pans if she knew a big buck was going to be a target for a bullet.  Made the hunter soooooo mad after several failed attempts, he could have shot her.   

When we were in the car, trapped, that is the time she would practice yodeling.  She has a beautiful pure sweet voice, but no matter how hard she tried, it wouldn't 'break' like a true yodeler.   I tortured my children the same way, never could succeed either.   Why we had a yodeling fascination, I don't know-it's not in our gene pool AT ALL!  

Once when some friends were spending the night the little boy leaned over and whispered that my mom was a witch, and wondered if I knew.   I was horrified and asked why?  He told me that she had long hair and hair on her toes and could see from the back of her head.  Now, I hadn't noticed the first two, but it always had freaked me out that she could see and know what I was doing and thinking without seeing me or hearing me say anything outloud-so I considered that it might be true.   When I hesitantly got the nerve to ask her later, she laughed and laughed till tears came out her eyes and she couldn't breathe.   

Thankfully I have many many memories of mom singing and many more of her laughing till she cried.   Hopefully our girls will have memories of Craig and I laughing and singing....... Craig whistles, which is a very cheerful thing.     

Wonder when a mom loses that 'eyes in the back of your head' thing.  Freaks my girls out now when I do it to them.  

I'm not wanting to talk about hairy toes at this time, thanks.  (But is this normal?)







MIA

Being 'voted off the island' is really painful.  

Missing your tribe feels vulnerable.  

Ever meeting the leaders again who cast the deadly vote is difficult.  

When they say how much they miss you and how good it is to see you, it is so confusing!  

Huh?  Really?  How so?  
  


 


Friday, May 22, 2009

Glenwood

Gardening has become a passion for me.  Finding a rare or new plant to tuck in a free space that will fit perfectly to create the most promising vignette is becoming an addiction..... 

But there is more going on.  I think I'm recreating some memories.   It hit me as I found my arms loaded with 3 pots of different types of woodland 'shamrocks'.  Also,  every kind of fern I discover comes home with me.  Obsessively gathering.....so I will capture the magic?

Wisteria and roses make me get a lump in my throat.  A magnolia tree can take me back 44 years quickly.   Ferns are primal.  Shamrocks still hold a mysterious secret.  The smell and feel of familiar trees or plants transport me to the time of my life that seemed like paradise.   This amazing  environment had the deepest imprint on my personality.   I still have trouble being inside or confined or fenced in......serious trouble.   Concrete and synthetic Vegas or Disney environments also make me shatter inside,  and long for breathing room and green things. 

We lived part of my childhood surrounded by woods, 150 acres.   I had the freedom to roam, explore, experience, ramble - discovering every nook, cranny, creek, hill, ravine, animal, reptile, bird.....completely unhindered and unlimited.   Complete freedom with few parameters.  

When you can forage for food and water if needed, get in the shade or water when it gets too hot, it's simple and easy. When there is an absence of fear, delight is normal. 

I seriously believed in  the 'little people' who lived under the shamrocks,  and would lay on the forest floor on my tummy, still, quiet and patiently beg them to come out and play with me, promising not to hurt them or tell anyone about them.  I would try to bribe them with the tastiest little wild strawberries, which  would eventually get eaten.  No matter how hard I pleaded, not one ever trusted me enough to show itself.   These woodland shamrocks or sorrel that grew in the shade had stems that when sucked and chewed gently, quenched the thirst with a tangy refreshing juice. 

The ferns in some of the gullies must have been over 6 feet in height.   In the fall, we would take a frond with the most golden spores underneath and press it carefully on our clothes to 'stamp' a fern print.  

The magnolia tree would drop these pods after the  flower dried up.  They resembled 'fisher price' people with their stubby shape.   To me, they were armies, ladies in waiting, kings, queens, jesters, jokers, servants and children with lively happenings every day.   The big magnolia leaves were the choicest writing material available.  With a sharp stick you could draw or write gently on their large surface, set it to dry and presto, permanent message or art.

Grandma had a patio with an arbor covered with rambling roses and wisteria.   It had been an ongoing war for years ~ I think the wisteria won because it was slowly lifting the house and cement patio up.  And holding up the ancient arbor.   Grandma's roses had names and were an important part of her heritage.   Belle of Portugal and Camille.   The starts had been passed from mother to daughter for generations and of course a new start would be brought to a new home.  Grandma had a passionate hatred of the vinca that grew everywhere in the shade.   She would chop at it constantly.  Since she didn't have any grass and it was a perfect ground cover for the area, as an adult, I think she was taking out some vengeance, anger or just using it for therapy.   It was pretty harmless as it came popping right back up overnight.   

The scent of the acacia trees, bay laurel, wisteria and roses is just as real in my imagination and a  sweeter remembrance than any perfume.  We had a hammock strung between 2 acacias where many a hot afternoon was spent dressed only in my shorts.   Dreaming and swinging. 

We would go rob the bay laurel tree to gather leaves when mom or grandma needed them for cooking.  In the spring, grandma needed them under her pillow to help her breathe when she got hay fever from the acacias in bloom.   I finally figured out why I love golden chain trees!   They are the closest thing resembling acacias that will grow here.   And the pungent smell of eucalyptus.....cleans your nose, the air and your brain.   It is my favorite scent from Bath and Body.   The bark is baby butt smooth because it sheds all the time.   Sort of messy, but good messy.   

And trillium.  It takes an ant burying a seed deeply in the perfect surroundings and seven years to germinate.  I could still take you to the places that that the trilliums grew.   The river property that I wrote about earlier has many of the same woodland flavors of Glenwood.  I know where the one trillium grows there too.  It is a gift to wonder at, worth stopping for a while to marvel at the miracle.   I have one wild one and 2 cultivated ones in my fern garden.

To finish my memory garden all I need is a golden chain tree and a eucalyptus.   Will have to settle for the small florist bush kind because of  our zone and the space needed even if it was warm enough.  

Such a childhood, was it even real?  The woodland plants make it so.  (And the 3 swings and 2 hammocks)    

Graham Crackers and Milk

Last night, even though I was tired by 9:00, midnight found me still awake.   It was miserable!   I got up to change the scenery.  The kitchen is the preferred one at times like this.  Cold milk, peanut butter and graham crackers.  There are food rituals that are personal and go back a long time ~ in this case, to childhood.  

I heard Brita rattlin' around upstairs, so invited her down to join me. Right before she came down, I thought I noticed that the crackers were much skinnier than usual, then talked myself out of it.  Must be seeing things.  Like the smaller and smaller but more expensive ice cream NOT half gallons, what do they think?   We're stupid?   Chalking it up to my imagination, thinking, 'why would THEY change all the machinery and packaging in the factory to shave off some graham cracker goodness to try and trick us?'   Hmmmm.  

Brita opened her section and started to make her pre-peanut buttered stack for the ritualistic dunking, then exclaimed mid stroke, "Are these smaller, mom?"  

I was so glad she noticed - made me feel less insane at midnight.  

She tells the funniest stories, so soon we were laughing so hard our jaws and ribs hurt.   At one point I think we had milk coming out our noses.......

Think of the calories we saved by the company shaving the sides off my favorite ritualistic food.  It just didn't dunk the same, however.  Sort of sad how we didn't have to maneuver it to fit down in the cup, sheering the sides off as it went.   Weightless.  

We went to bed and sleep came effortlessly.  Graham crackers, peanut butter and milk happy!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Turning The Page

It was a really good day, a friend called for a duela for a new mom and her baby.   I like encouraging and nurturing.  They were both so beautiful and peaceful when I left.  Mama glowing, baby nursing enthusiastically in the rocker.  Cozy.  

Planted several flats of impatiens all along most of the shady borders of the yard.  Little plugs of color that will bloom effortlessly all summer and make the dark shady spots look like it has bright spots of light.

Last week the family property in the woods, in the Santa Cruz Mtns was sold.  I grew up part of my life there, then spent summer vacations after we moved, lived there as a single gal for 4 years until Craig and I married.  Tessa was born in that little cabin.   Grandma and Grandpa are gone now, nobody wants to take it on or live there so it has passed on to someone else who is dreaming new dreams for it.  

Craig's dad is getting the homestead ready to sell in a few months.  Hopefully a young family will move in, farm the acreage, make memories in that lovely old home where Craig's family
lived and played and worked so hard for 2 generations.  I dearly loved that farmstead from the first moment I laid eyes on it.  The prairie was a new experience.   

Then, today Craig told me that my magic spot on the river is being parceled up and sold.  I love it so much because it reminds me of the woods I rambled freely as a child.  It is quiet, local, beautiful, and sort of untouched; a wonderful place to restore body and soul.   

My heart sort of hurts and my eyes are leaking, even though today was good.   It is just that all three of these special, sentimental places that I have special memories of......are out of my life for good.  No getting that 'I'm HOME' feeling again, because I can't go back.  

In all three situations, new people will hopefully love the land and appreciate it.   Find solace and comfort in exploring, making it beautiful and productive.   Make it home.  Work to make their dreams come true.  

But it is an ending of a chapter of my book of life.  I need to have the courage to turn the page and peek at the next new paragraph of the next new page of the next new chapter.  


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Winning Can Be Fun!

Someone asked the other day, 'How did YOU get HIM?"  I surely don't know, but every time I go on a trip and return home, where Craig is waiting with open arms and a smile a mile wide - I wonder about the same thing.  Pure gift I suppose?   Fortunate woman, me.  

I'm so thankful for the freedom he gives me to go, to be me, to 'fly', to have adventures.  No jealousy.  No entitlement.  No guilt.  A 'yes' face.  It attaches me deeply to him and makes me so grateful and thankful.  Wise man.   He has more of me because he lets go of me.  Secure. Trusting.  A paradox.......a lovely paradox.  

He says we have shaped each other over the years.  Trained each other how to love the other one the best way possible.  We have absorbed the good parts somehow and lost the sharpness of the weaknesses a bit. Softened edges.  I'm not as messy, try to be consistent out of courtesy for him, want to serve him more instead of taking all of his generosity and kindness for granted - I want him to feel how he makes me feel....loved, respected, cherished, honored, chosen, wanted and liked.  

He has made himself take more risks, which isn't easy as he loves security and safety.  He sees how much fun I have with adventure and wants some of his own.   Fun to watch!   It seems like I am taking on some of his traits and he is trying on some of mine.  Hmmm.  

"Winning can be fun"!   :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bibs Needed.....

Tessa and I are home from Biloxi.  We experienced a crawfish boil.  Spicy, messy, sensuous dining standing around a plywood octagon table with a 2x4 lip to keep the steaming pile of corn, potatoes, sausage and crawfish confined. Watching it being dumped out was stunning.  A plastic pail fit neatly in a hole cutout in the middle to throw shells and waste.  Easy hosing off after.  Then remove the 20 squares of 'paper towel bib' dripping with juice and other remains of the carnivorous feasting.  The evidence was piled up and obvious-no mistaking what we had just done!  Stained fingers, wide smiles, full tummies, burning lips and glazed-over eyes.  

It was good to see the beach pretty again, the new graceful bridge, the bulky strong fishing docks out over the water and so much other restoration after Katrina.  

We had the best roast beef po'boy at Fayard's BP gas station?  Unbelievable good.  Yes, it was a gas station that had a full meat counter with meat right off the hoof it looked like.  Fresh, no plastic wrap to keep it 'fresh' for 4 weeks!   

The thing I can't figure out is why all Southerners aren't 500 hundred pounds.  The food is love, it is so good, so available, so part of the culture....but they aren't.  Maybe because they eat when they're hungry.   Stop when they're full.  Eat what really satisfies.  Hug alot.  Take naps.  Sit around and visit, friendly like.  Love the older folks.  Go fishin'.  Make music.  Dream.  Play.  


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Supernatural Shuffle

Sleep is wanted, but not happening tonight, it seems.  "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is looping over and over again, first from Simon and Garfunkel on my ipod, then in my mind.   I love being crooned to!  :)  It's a very sweet comforting song.  Song lyrics are good Rx most any time.  Put it on 'shuffle' and see what playlist supernaturally plays special just for you.   It's always a delightful surprise and usually always fits the mood, the time, the situation, the need.  Ministering angels shuffling songs?  :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Southern Speciality

Being in Biloxi again 3 years after Katrina hit so hard has been joyful, as in full of joy.  The slideshow in my mind's eye isn't matching what I'm seeing now.   The scars, the tearing, the dead grey mess is gone.  Today we visited a house that is now not only sheet rocked, but all dressed up and home again to the generous people who let relief crews bunk in it for months and months. We ate breakfast at the one-on-every-corner 'Waffle House' ~ a pecan waffle, side of bacon and what tasted like Folger's coffee?  Hot, steamy and slapped down with gusto by the efficient waitress.   Tess and I are grazing our way through the weekend and will be waddling home soon, after Ryan grills his speciality  tomorrow night and a crawfish boil sunday.  Did you know you can buy Zataran's spice by the gallon here?  Bam!  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Large Dollop

A small group of us went to Biloxi to make them a Christmas dinner after Katrina devastated life as those sweet people had known it.  Sheetrock 'tables', a couple roasting ovens, a washroom sink and one oven - our kitchen.  An outdoor grill donated for the guys to cook their meals at night.  

Seeing pictures stapled to a post where previously a stately southern mansion had been before the water swept it out into the gulf was only a small part of the tragedy.  The toxic, greasy black coating that covered everything made it hard to breathe.   The trees were a weird rust color and covered with garbage, clothing, household effects and everything in between. Bridges were out, boats were high centered in trees and yards.  Some houses were moved off their foundations.  

People everywhere just wanted affection and someone interested in hearing their story.  Lives were lost and almost lost.  Faith found again.   Everyone had a story.  All were heart wrenching and so fresh still.   The landscape looked desolate, empty, grey and colorless.  My eyes craved somewhere to feast on something beautiful, something colorful and whole.  

We tried to wash and wipe off some pictures and treasures we gleaned from the nasty pile of rubble from one gal's home.   One little box was the only thing she had left.  The same story was repeated over and over and the insurance companies and FEMA could not or would not come through for most.

Those people were so strong and lent me courage.   They wanted to stay.  They were determined to rebuild.  They kept the flame of hope alive.  They united and held each other up.  

When we got home the feedback wasn't very good from my leaders, I received a lot of personal negative criticism.  It was harmful/hurtful,  as the investment in time, money, energy and love was great!  
  
But, my friends in Biloxi don't feel the same.    I'm so glad!    :) 

Thursday, Tessa and I leave to go visit them again.  I kept in contact with a few new friends-it will be so good to see them and catch up....and get another dollop of courage and inspiration from them.   They are teaching me resilience.   They didn't keep asking why, they just kept asking what next?   WOW!   It will be fun to see what their 'normal' lives are like and observe the restoration....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Birthing Tomatoes

When we lived in ND, the girls were small, our farmstead a whopping 80 acres with plenty of room for the garden of my dreams.  I thought.   Craig dutifully tilled up a huge plot with the big daddy tractor as if it was a small field being carved out of the prairie for a crop of wheat or sunflowers.   Virgin soil.   

Prairie shopping is mostly done from catalogues/mail order.   All winter I perused every seed catalogue for the wonderful pristine garden that was going to look just like the pictures. Idealistically, I passionately believed in organic sustainable gardening, without knowing the word 'greener'.    I had read that soaking broccoli in salt water would raise the little green inch worms and float them, that vinegar and boiling water could/would kill weeds and many more hints on how NOT to ruin the land and contaminate the water and save the bees. 

Winters are long, so by spring, every sunny window in the house had boards and tables with hundreds of little paper cups filled with dirt and seeds.  The tomato section  was at least 70 cups worth.   I sure didn't want to waste any.   The peppers and peas and green beans were the same.   My still new father in law's eyes about popped out of his head when he realized I was going to plant all those baby plants!   He had the good grace not to say anything negative and waited patiently for fall.  He did tell me to cover the carrots with a board, after scattering the seeds in a row about a hands width wide.  He also said to plant 3 corn kernels in each hole-one for the crows, one might rot and one might germinate.  

I planted sand cherries, egyptian walking onions, asparagus, strawberries and filled that 'field' with every seed that came in exquisite packages.  I think seed packets are 'art'.   Because we put uncomposted steer manure over the fresh dug dirt, every weed was ready to go as soon as it rained.  I NEVER did get control of those weeds, it would have been a 12 hour a day job.   Couldn't ever find those strawberries and the night before the corn would be ripe enough to eat those dang raccoons would have a feast with every relative in the county.  We tried Tabasco on the tassles and tried putting paper bags around the ears, nothing worked....... and the tomatoes!  Everyone I knew got homemade canned salsa for Christmas that year made completely from the onions, peppers and tomatoes and tomatillos from my weed/garden patch.  They kept producing  and producing prolifically like monsters.  Gordon just smiled and still didn't say anything as he would pick one and eat it like a juicy apple.  And who wanted to eat broccoli that maybe still had a stuck worm that didn't mind the salt?   After seeing the sink floating with  green worms I didn't eat the stuff for years and years!   :)    Give me the poisoned kind.

16 years later, I'm really taking a risk doing a vegetable garden.  Trying to grow tomatoes in Washington takes a college degree, faith and a brave heart that won't get broken when the blight hits, as I'm told it ALWAYS does.  Everyone has a 'secret' weapon for getting a few healthy tomatoes.  Kind of like childbirth hints and advice........(Buy a tomato plant and you have instant comraderie with everyone, sort of like when you walk the dog or have a baby.) 

Tessa and I  will birth a juicy sun ripened tomato, we will, we will.   Are you wondering how many plants we planted?  

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bees Knees

Supposedly the land that the houses in our subdivision were built on used to be all strawberry fields.  Sandy fields.  Every year we bring in at least a yard of dark, rich compost to work in. Still, there are parts of the yard that have this flour like dirt that isn't even sand, and won't absorb water.   It is the strangest thing.  We will have to continue to amend the soil forever to get and keep it healthy.  

Because I want to invite the birds, bees, hummingbirds and butterflies, I'm trying to learn how to use non-harmful methods of controlling weeds, slugs and such, which is a challenge!   

Gardening for me this spring has been nonstop!   We built and filled 3 raised beds.  Put in strawberries, veggies and Tessa's herb garden and veggie bed.  Hopefully we will have grapes, strawberries, rasberries, asparagus, rhubarb, and blueberries and vegetables in abundance to enjoy.  Hope!

The wild flower border all around the yard actually came in thick, the sunflowers will need transplanted soon.  

Today one of my last projects is filling all my containers and baskets.  It is like dessert, so I saved it for last!   Why is a plain simple red 'geranium' in a pot so fun?  Why do baskets frothing with flowers and hummingbirds make us smile?  

Starting seeds is the biggest bang for my buck, so I am still planting little seed cups.  I feel like a child checking everyday to see if a little tiny shoot of green is popping out yet.  It is always amazing!  

We took out the landscape fabric underneath the cedar chips in 'Rosebud Park' out front. Quite a job!  I absolutely will never use that stuff again!   It is the equivalent of taking a shower with a raincoat or having sex with a condom.  The soil underneath just can't breath right, or benefit from the natural decomposition properly, etc.  My instincts were right.   It looks so happy now!

Soon all the hard work of the last month will have abundant benefits.  Fruit.  Flowers. Nourishment for my heart, body and soul.  

If I could jump up in the air while clicking my heals together, I would.  My body can't, but my heart is!