Monthly Archives: July 2014

Where I Want to Be

Yesterday as I entered the house after letting the chickens out, a dog and a cat pushing past me, I had a glimpse of a thought I had a long time ago.

Before I had my children I had thought the goal was to live in a picture perfect apartment. Nope, not even close.  I shrugged and went to work.

I have begun to carve out a yard work routine on Saturday mornings that I get the hard part done before 8:30.  After I get the chores done, I’ve let myself sit and enjoy the show.  And today I saw a hummingbird! It flitted through so fast, I didn’t get a picture.

Wouldn’t have been able to enjoy that in that picture perfect apartment.  It’s nice to be where I want to be.

How about you?  Are you where you want to be?

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Another Type of Crabapple

On Sunday I learned there is more than 1 kind of crabapple.  There is an ‘eat off the tree’ variety.  It’s a bit bigger than the kind we had growing up.

Those were good for neighborhood kid wars and having Gma make jelly.  Oh, those were the days.

I ate one on Sunday and had the good fortune to take a bunch home.  I thought fondly of the jelly my Gma made but I really don’t have the equipment to do that properly.

So I pulled out my cookbook and made a crisp.

I didn’t have enough brown sugar.  Forgot to put it on the list this week.  But I did have a jar of molasses in the back of the fridge.

I mixed the topping and covered the apples.  I had quartered them and saved the seeds.

I had a hard time waiting for it to cool and then wished I had vanilla ice cream to go with it!

 

Crabapple

Crabapple

Doing What I Can

I posted the other day about children at the Texas/Mexico border in dog kennels the other day.  Yesterday, I talked to someone about the children in Chicago and how we don’t take care of them either.

My frustration lies in the fact there is little if anything I can do about it.

Last night I taught juggling at the local library.  I live in Pleasant Grove and if you look it up in the Urban Dictionary, it is one of the worst places to live.

So far Pleasant Grove has been a very good place for me to live.  I’ve met some of the nicest people.  Gpa and I built quite a nice life here.  I’m figuring out how to continue on without him.

Hence the still teaching juggling on Tuesday nights.  There were about 9 kids and 4 adults participating and 6 spectating.

I woke up this morning realizing that though there isn’t much I can do about what I see and hear on the news in other places, I am doing what I can.

You may think that juggling is just a pass time, it is much more than that.  But even if it were just a pass time, here is an hour where kids (and adults) can spend an hour having fun, being care-free, socializing with others and learning something new.

I’m OK with that.  I’ll keep showing up on Tuesdays and throwing things at the library until they kick me out.

Isn’t it Political Asylum?

The images that accompany US / Mexico border issues are of children from Central America in dog kennels.  Leaders are pushing to send the children back and to beef up security on the border.

These children are coming many miles alone.

Why aren’t we asking why?

As a mother, I can only imagine how severe the conditions are at home to send a child so far away. Alone. In droves.

The parents of these children want a better life for their children.  These parents are wanting life for their children.   They are taking desperate measures because they are desperate.

Our eyesight is only on the border where the children are coming into our country.  Is anyone looking to see what is happening in their country?

If they are fleeing in fear of their lives, aren’t they seeking political asylum?   And if it is, would we still be gathering them up and putting them in dog kennels?

 

 

 

 

Zinnias

Before I joined the community garden,  I didn’t give zinnias much thought.  They are nice to look at and come in many different colors.  Well that’s what I knew about them.

What I’ve learned is they attract the beneficials.  The beneficials will come because of the zinnias and then stick around to pollinate the vegetables.

I’ve also learned that the more you cut the blooms, the more they will bloom.  So during zinnia season, my house is filled with them.  I even planted some in my backyard garden.  Saturday I took a good look at them and it looks like there’s little flowers in the middle of the flower.  Quite a lovely surprise.

 

zinia

a flower within a flower

Surprises in the Garden

This morning I got up and did yard work.  After taking care of the lawn, I trimmed the sunflowers.  Some of the leaves were in my way and one was getting so heavy, it leans now.

Then I noticed the four o’clocks have seeds.  So I collected them.  And I found a caterpillar.  Only the one.  I would have thought there would have been a slew of them.  But I couldn’t find another one.

I sat on the lounge chair to cool off and watch the bees cavort with the sunflowers.  Other beneficials flittered around the plants I have for them.  One orange one didn’t find what it wanted.  It would flitter from patch to patch, go over the fence, then back again.

Too bad the passion vine blooms hadn’t opened yet.

I sat and enjoyed until the house no longer shaded the yard.  It’s supposed to get 100 degrees today.

I’ll check on the caterpillar later when it gets cooler. Gpa would have know what kind it is.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

A Benefit of Community Gardening

Even though this is my third year at the community garden,  I still consider myself a beginner.   I still think I’m not up to the task of tending a 10×20 plot and the amount of grass that is growing in it points to the correctness of my thinking.

However, I am learning by leaps and bounds.  Not only am I gaining a great deal of hands on experience, I am also learning from what the other gardeners are doing.   I found out that a couple of people planted artichokes this year.

Artichokes!

I love artichokes!  My kids love artichokes. Though I only buy them when they are in season.    And the season doesn’t last long enough to get our fill.

I would have never guessed that they could be grown locally.  Maybe there will be one or two growing in my plot next year.

Well just like anything else, you have to tend to it.  If you don’t harvest, the plant will flower / go to seed.

And I would have to say that the artichoke flower is a very nice addition to the garden indeed.

Do you have a favorite vegetable flower?

Artichoke flower

Artichoke flower

 

 

Blooming Sweet Potato

A favorite thing I’ve learned at the garden is to eat sweet potato tops.  I love to have them in my stir-fry.  I’ve also learned that they root quickly if put into water.  Becky gave me some a little over a week ago.  I took them to work and put them in a vase.  They were a lovely decoration and did root quickly!

So about a day after Becky put hers into the ground, I planted mine.  She had to go out of town this weekend, she asked me to keep an eye on her plants and water them if they got droopy.  They did and I did.  And I found that one had a bloom on it!  I’ve never seen a sweet potato flower.

Beautiful!

blooming sweet potato

blooming sweet potato

Benefits of Weeding

The rain has caused the plants to grow!  All the plants.  The  grass is taking over my garden, so while the ground is still wet and I have a couple of extra days, I weeded.

And as I got the peppers and eggplant and peppers, I was delighted to discover, I had some!

And they were tasty too!.

 

Eggplant and peppers

Eggplant and peppers