Monthly Archives: September 2013

Rain for the Garden

The thing we pray for the most for the garden is rain, a gentle soaking rain.

The weather man has been promising all week, ‘We might get some.”

And we did!  Last night, all night.  It has stopped and it is nice and cool outside.

The hens are happily checking out the yard and all the bugs that have come out from hiding.

This is so good as the seed have started sprouting and the water will give them a boost.   I am so glad I got the plots planted and mulched.  I can’t wait to see how tall the buck wheat has gotten.

The hardest part for me at this time of the season is thinning.  I just put that seed in the ground, and now as the plant comes up, you want me to pull it back out?  How do you know which one to sacrifice and which one to let grow big and strong?



Today is Giving Day

First I want to say YAY! And THANK YOU!  to everyone that has put this together, matched funds and/or given to the charity, non-profit of their choice.  It is so good to see that there are still people who care about other people.

The choices people make today will make a big difference.  And that is Awesome. Truly Amazing.

However, does only the giving done today count?  What if I am not able to participate?  Though, if I can scrape together $25 it gets matched and I double the good I do.  So I plan to figure out a way to come up with the money.

I have in the last year donated at least 112 hours at the community garden.  This is just on Tuesday mornings, I haven’t been tracking the Monday nights that are official work or other week nights that are unofficial.

How do we value sweat equity? How much is 112 hours worth?  If I was at Habitat for Humanity,  I may have earned a house.   Or if I calculate what I am paid at my job (approx $2,250 net)? Or am I required to bump the dollar amount down to minimum wage?  (approx $812 gross)

If I volunteer or give different than what / when everyone else does, does it count?

For some it doesn’t.  If they don’t see it, it isn’t valid. Those 112 hours have been spent harvesting the pantry plot.  I can’t point to the spots where I have put my time and sweat. So for some, my efforts don’t have a value.

Good thing what they think doesn’t change what I choose to do.

Or does it?  The director who is over all 5 of the gardens doesn’t say hello to me when he comes to our site. When I mention it to other’s, I am told, “that is the way he is”

Um, I see him chatting up a storm with other people.  So it isn’t that he is shy, and it isn’t that he can’t socialize.  So I assume it is because he is rude or doesn’t value me.

He doesn’t see the good I do.  And lately it doesn’t look like I’ve been doing much.  The 3 plots I care for are sorely overrun.  Until last week, the grass has been waist high, the path ways don’t have wood chips, the fence line has wasps and morning glories going to sin (one of the bigger sins).  The disarray makes him look bad.  Very bad.

I have to confess his inability to even say hello to me makes it really hard for me to push the button to give that $25 I’ve scraped together.  This behavior even makes it hard for me to want to give any more volunteer hours into the food pantry plot.  Especially until I get the three plots in the shape they should be.

What I’m thinking I’ll be doing with my dollars is to donate it to the food pantry.  The few times I’ve been over there, people have stopped what they were doing long enough to at least say, “Hello, how are you?”

Why Yesterday Reminded Me of Paris

Yesterday I met with a lawyer.  I haven’t probated Gpa’s will.  He didn’t leave enough in assets.  However, I made the mistake of telling the IRS that Gpa had passed away.  And never got his return.

After many calls to many numbers, I got a live person!  YAY!

He told me that the power of attorney is void when the person dies.  I now have to prove that they can release the return to me. Looked like I was going to have to probate the will.  REALLY?

No, the lawyer looked at the form and said if I check this box: I don’t have a court appointed right. And this box: I will disburse the money and give them a copy of the death certificate.

UM, they have my only copy of the death certificate.  The funeral home was charging me $21 for each copy. Not the usual $21 for the first and $6 for each subsequent.  HMM.

The lawyer gave me an address downtown to get another copy.  Being only 3:30 I figured, I had time to get down there and take care of business and get this finished.

When I got to the window, after filling out the paperwork, I was told not this office.  I have to go back to my car and drive to this other building.  Following the little piece of paper, the street dead ended at the building I wanted but I didn’t see signs for parking.  The next street I came to was one way the wrong direction.  So I drove around the block and parked at a park .   I have one hour free parking. YAY!

I’m so glad it was only 98 degrees outside yesterday instead of the not so distant past 100 + temperatures we’ve been having.

As I was trudging up the hill to an inverted triangle building with extremely wide pathways and very modern sculptures, I noticed my back hurt.  I was rushing as it was 4:00 and the office closes at 4:30.  The signs pointed me to the other end of the building.  But I couldn’t find any direction inside.  So I called the number on the little piece of paper and I was at the wrong end!

This seemed very familiar, when had I been walking with a hurt back in the middle of town around interesting architecture and art?  It took me a bit and then I got it!

I limped all over Paris.

Great memories.  Lillie and I were celebrating graduation.  She got her BA and I got my MBA.  We rented an apartment for a week.  Good thing as she’s a night owl and I’m an early bird.  We would have hated the holiday if we couldn’t go to our own rooms when needed.

Most days we’d pass Notre Dame, walk alongside the Seine for a bit to get to the Metro.  Never did go inside the church.  And the one time we tried to go to the holocaust memorial, we got there 15 minutes before closing and we weren’t allowed in!  Since we had very rudimentary skills in speaking French, we didn’t even attempt to negotiate that we could remember the holocaust in 15 minutes and the gate keeper would still be able to go home on time.

I am so glad that the 15 minutes I had once I got to the window was utilized.  I walked away with a new copy of the death certificate and an unexpected yet lovely trip down memory lane.


Almost an Italian Weekend

I got excited on Friday.  A notice went out on the ukulele meet up that there was to be an Italian ukulele player giving a workshop on Saturday.  I thought that going might be fun.

Earlier in the week a friend had given me a newspaper clip about a church giving a concert series and on Sunday the violinist would be from Italy.

Oh how fun.  I even thought about maybe fixing an Italian meal.

Non of it happened.

The workshop isn’t until the 28th.  (need to pay attention to the details)

The newspaper clip told about 4 different nights and the Italian played last week.  I did see the violinist who played last night and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  (Again need to pay attention to the details)

And I never got around to fixing or going out for Italian.

Maybe I’ll plan to do that on the 28th.

I hope you had a great weekend what ever you did.

Digging for the Pony

The lady at the garden who has cancer is home from surgery now.  She’s resting and still has a tendency to be negative.  She was negative before she found out about the cancer so I don’t think anyone is surprised.

However, in the last week I have heard about 2 different women who are 25 facing cancer and they both have small children.  We all have something we have to face.

This reminded me of the story of twins.  One was a pessimist and the other an optimist. They wanted to do an experiment and see if they could change the kids attitudes.

So they put the pessimist in a room full of brand new toys and he burst out crying. “Why are you crying, the room is full of new toys?”

“They will all get broken”

They put the other boy into a room full of manure.  He quickly began to happily dig. “Why are you so happy? The room is full of manure?”

“Will all this manure, there has to be a pony somewhere!”

I tend to look for the pony.

And I dug for hours yesterday!

I wasn’t expecting a pony since I was digging up weeds and grass to plant fall crops.

I also wasn’t expecting to find shallots, onion and elephant garlic!  I had planted the shallots but the other was from the person who had the plot before me.  All season I enjoyed the plants but totally forgot there would be the benefit of harvest.

I gave what could be used for lunch.  And I think we all enjoyed the meal.

Even though I didn’t find a pony yesterday.  It was a good day overall.


On Being Anti-Social at the Community Garden

I’m thinking being anti-social at the community garden is a bit of an oxymoron.

But today I was anti-social.  There was a work day but I’ve been behind on what I need to do on my plot(s) so I was there when the other volunteers were there.  They all worked on the same plot and I was at the other end at my plot.

And that suited me just fine.  I was missing Gpa and didn’t really feel like socializing.  It’s only been 9 months since he’s been gone.

I did stay for lunch and visited.  That was nice.


Quick Recipes for Leftovers

Following  is a couple of things I’ve done with leftover sauteed greens.

1. buy puff pastry, cut into triangles, place a little bit of the greens and cheese of choice if you’d like seal and bake.  YUM

2. buy pie pastry. (yes I could have made it but I didn’t want to take the time. ) This time I cut into squares and stuffed so full I had to put another square on top to seal.  Bake. I told my daughter we were eating math as we I have cooked Pie Squared.

Both are good hot or cold.


Propagating Passion Flowers

In the Spring Season, I helped clear a bed.  I was wanting to get some flowers to attract the pollinators to my garden at home. I was thinking Zinnia’s so I dismissed the offer to take the stray passion flower vines we were pulling up from the bed.

I was told that at the nursery, they go for $20 a pot. Sometimes I’m slow on the uptake.  It took me a few minutes of working and thinking to process: Passion flowers attract pollinators.

And here I was given the opportunity to have 6 plants for effort of digging them up.

I took them, planted and watered.  They looked like a bunch of sticks for quite a while but I’m happy to say, I’m getting flowers now.

passion flowers

Passion Flowers in my backyard

What the Dog Did

Well the dog appreciated the library book, but not in the way the chicken or the cat did.

He chewed it!

I can no longer laugh when someone says their dog ate their homework.  I have that dog.

If I had let the library replace it, I would have paid a $24 dollar processing fee.  However, the librarian told me if I brought in a replacement book, it would only cost me the price of buying the book.

So yesterday, I turned in the new book to replace  the old one.  I am now the proud owner of a chew-toy book on foraging.

I guess the dog took the title a little to seriously.



Ant Bite Bracelet

I have taken on more than I can handle.  I know this as I’m feeling overwhelmed.  There is so much to do and I am so behind at the garden.  It’s time to plant for fall harvest.

I’ve taken the last few days to concentrate on the old plot.  I’m trying to keep as many of the marigolds going as possible but there is a lot of grass in between.

So I’ve been hacking away at it with a great hoe.  Sunday night, I got into a patch that had fire ants.  I am so glad I had on gloves.  They couldn’t get to my hands.

I do have bites around my wrists and on my left hand, the welts look like a bracelet.

They also got into my rubber boots and I grabbed the hose and filled them up.  BIG mistake.  The water only made the ants madder.  I had to sit down and take the boots off.  I am polka-dotted.

I sat and cried for a bit.  It was dark and I hurt and the plot still wasn’t seeded with buckwheat.

Then I pulled myself together, gathered my things and went home to take a shower.

After a good night’s sleep I was ready to tackle the day and after work, I finished planting.  Whew.

Now to finish the other plot.