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Recycled Celery

Instead of throwing this celery butt in the compost I decided to stick it in a bowl of water. This picture is about three days later.

I haven’t told my husband but I have plans to grow some fresh veggies in pots in the windows this winter. I have to admit that even though I didn’t tell him, I did consult with him on a good day for potting. He’s the expert on astrological matters. So tomorrow is the day I’m going to put this baby in a pot, and a few volunteer tomato starters from the compost…

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If Dirt Could Move Itself

A big pile of dirt and an empty bed of a golf cart.
The dirt has to get from the pile to the bed of the garden cart….

It would be nice if I could smile sweetly, or tilt to one hip, or whisper promises to this pile of dirt to get itself in the bed of the garden cart, and then remove itself again onto my strawberry bed… but it ain’t happening. There’s a shovel in the shed with my name on it.

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Food is Beautiful

The varicolored inside of a carrot from my rainbow carrot crop.
The varicolored inside of a carrot from my rainbow carrot crop.

One of the pleasures of cooking, for me, is that food is simply beautiful. Many times I feel like stopping chopping to take a picture. Most of the time I don’t actually stop, except to appreciate the unmatchable art of Nature. The color combinations and hues, the textures and arrangements are, to me, what tubes of fresh paint must be to a painter, pure pleasure. The benefits of home cooking are numerous, and if we are earnest, we can remind ourselves of them in moments of weakness. Handling exquisite beauty should be one of those things on the list of benefits!

Cinnamon, orange peel and cloves steeping in a red zinfandel.
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Humble Hands

Gardening has its rewards but it’s dirty work. I do use a trowel, but sometimes I just dig with my bare hands, pulling up the roots of pesky weeds. These strawberries have been sending out shoots and need to be thinned out.

On Monday of this week I made a resolution to use gloves when I’m gardening, but on Thursday I was thinning out and transplanting strawberries without gloves on. It seems like a small thing to talk about, but perhaps I have not been giving my humble hardworking hands the respect they deserve. Since my little golf cart is broken (again), and I didn’t feel like walking up the hill to get my gloves when I remembered my resolution, I just went right on working without them.

I love the smell of the lavender bushes when I’m working in the garden. The exercise helps me keep my girlish figure. The sunshine makes me happy in the early morning. But my hands, my dependable hands, busy and productive and indispensable, they get dry and cracked from gardening. Clayish dirt gets stuck under my nails and stains them a brownish color. I can’t cook with dirty hands, but I garden and cook almost every day.

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Three Happy Hibiscuses

I transferred these hibiscus trees to bigger pots.

These hibiscuses were so root bound in their previous pots, that I had to water them every day. They grew a lot in the last year. They should be happy now for another year or two. I just have to remember to bring them inside before the frost comes. I’m ready though; even though they’re heavier now, I have them on wheels!