This Growing Season

Lemon Balm

This year the hubby and I are having what I’m calling an “off year” for growing. It wasn’t something we planned or decided on. Rather, due to weather and a bit of procrastination, it just kinda happened. First off a late frost threw us off schedule. Then we got a lot of rain through May and the early part of June. My favorite thing to grow are herbs and jalapenos. While the rain wouldn’t have bothered the herbs much, it would have made some “duds” out of the jalapenos. Too much water effects the capsaicin, the compound in peppers that give them their heat. Hot, dry climates create a beneficial stressor which activates the capsaicin. The more water a jalapeno plant absorbs the more it will taste like a green bell pepper rather than spicy flames in your mouth.
It hasn’t been particularly hot and dry in our neck of the woods so we held off getting starters to do any planting. By doing so we missed out. This year we went to our usual gardening center to get starters only to discovered it had been picked clean. Fortunately the hubby was able to get a few tomato plants from a co-worker since his thing is growing tomatoes.

So as I mentioned before, I like to grow herbs, particularly those from the mint family, which tend to come back on their own. But as I’ve discovered, they can be pretty invasive. Last year my garden bed had lemon balm, chocolate mint, apple mint and anise hyssop. This year the lemon balm turned into pac man and completely took over the whole bed. It now looks more like a shrub than an herb plant. Luckily I managed to get a good cutting of the apple mint before the lemon balm devoured everything. So for this growing season it’s just two tomato plants, some apple mint and this monster of lemon balm.

Apple Mint

Actually not doing much this year is a welcomed break. Last year we went overboard and grew way more than we could possibly use. We were up to our eyeballs in tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, lettuce and herbs. Lets just say my poor hubby heard a lot of fussing from me. There’s only so much salad, salsa and tomato jam a woman can eat. So this year we’ve decided to keep things small from now on for both our sanity. 😊

Found some clover in our backyard. Hope this brings some good luck. 😊

Advertisements

Another Year Under My Belt

Is there a remedy for cookie hangovers? It’s my birthday and I’ve eaten way too many of these things… topped with ice cream. (Yes, I know, I’ve completely regressed into a 12 year old kid.) Dear Double Chocolate Chip cookie…”I wish I knew how to quit you”. 😳

Signs

Sometimes life can be a bit…odd, to say the least.
I have this art box, which pretty much looks like a plastic tool box for art supplies, that I’ve keep since the 90s. It’s stuffed with all sorts of things, pens, erasers, pencils, exacto blades, glue, watercolors, pretty much all the stuff I’ve experimented with over the years. So today I went rummaging around in it looking for some watercolor pencils I knew I had buried in this eclectic mess when I came upon this rock, which clearly looks like it has a pictogram of a rabbit on it. Obvious at some point in my life I either got this rock for some reason or someone gave it to me. I just can’t remember from where or from whom but I suspect it either came into my possession from one of the pow pows I’ve attended throughout the years or from that little Native American shop in South Bend I used to frequent some time ago. Either way I find it rather peculiar that I would find this little thing at a time when I’m just now getting over my issue of being creeped out by rabbits. To cause my eyebrow to raise a bit more, just last night I was researching black American folktales, when I got to reading about Br’er Rabbit and now here, I find a rabbit in my art box. Is this a sign? I have this saying that if something happens once or twice, it’s a coincidence. If it happens three or more times, you need to stop and pay attention.

I’ve now given the rock a permanent place in my Sacred Space. 😊

Solitude

…though at times I feel a bit guilty for wanting…no, needing, solitude. Without solitude I would be a nervous wreck for too much stimulation and social interaction fries my nerves and exhausts my energy. Solitude is a necessity for me. It’s how I recuperate, regenerate and create. Yet I always feel a tinge of guilt whenever I pass on a social gathering. It’s not that I don’t like socializing, I just don’t need it as often or to a great intensity as others may need. Fortunately being an artist gives me an excuse to spend time in solitude but I wonder, are people who are creative more prone to desire solitude or are those who have a natural disposition for solitude more likely to develop creative pursuits?

Friendship

A little good news came my way this morning. My dear hubby found his best friend from childhood on Facebook today. He’s been searching for him for some years now, wondering, fearing that something had happened to him. But fortunately, now he knows that at least his dear friend is alive and appears to be doing well. Even though he has been downplaying the effect that his best friend’s absence has had on his life, I know deep down, he has been troubled by it. To see the relief in his eyes warms me and I feel happy for him.
I think culturally we need to give more honor to our friendships. Our friendships can effect us so deeply. I’ve always joked around and said “Friendships are no different than marriage…minus the sex and bills.”
We love our friends. Some friendships last into old age. Some last for only a moment. Some friendships are a refuge of peace and some are filled with ruckus and silliness. Some end tragically. Some end dramatically. And yet some fade quietly only to leave those involved wondering what happened.
It’s sad that we don’t give as much honorary significance to our friendships as we do our romantic relationships. Friendships are their own unique love stories filled with laughter, fights and tears. There are memorable moments, close calls, hidden scars, buried hatchets, secrets and skeletons. There are parts of ourselves that we may share with no one other than that beloved best friend, yet for such closeness we can turn around and be so frivolous with our friendships. We toss them aside so easily through the act of avoidance. Unlike romantic relationships, where an end needs to be declared or an explanation is warranted, no such thing is required for friendships. People just stop talking or stop hanging out. And in the wake of such break ups there’s no support. To where or to whom do you turn when your heart is broken from a jilted friendship? What support groups are there for when the one person who has known you since the sandbox no longer cares to have you in their life? We may bare our bodies to many lovers in a lifetime but it is often our best friend to whom we bare our souls, yet we have no special ceremonies to mark these relationships, no process or protocol to signal their end or any support system to grieve their dissolution. We walk around conflicted as how to express the significance of our friends in our lives and quietly bare the anguish at the loss of those friendships.
If nothing more comes from my husband finding his old friend on Facebook, I at least know he can carry on in peace knowing that his friend is okay. It’s a chapter in his life he can give some closure to and to that I’m grateful.