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I didn’t sleep well last night. I’m out of the small caliber ammunition I use every night, and thought I’d try sleeping like a normal person for once, and then when I finally figured out that wasn’t going to happen, it was too late for the .30.06 slug and I just had to lay there and twitch, and get up to pee every half hour, because my body thinks when I’m awake at night it must be because I have to pee, ergo…
So now, I’m awake because of coffee, but too tired to actually DO anything like, oh I don’t know…go outside and plant spinach and kale and mesclun and other nice cool weather edibles. That need to be planted NOW. And it’s sunny and not the coldest it’s ever been. I did get the sugar snap peas and snow peas planted a few days ago, right before 3 days of rain, so they’re probably really happy.
Ok, before you get all impressed that I have this massive garden, I don’t have a massive garden. I have 2 raised beds, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. The soil is deep and massively enriched, so I can grow about 3 times what you’d normally grow in a spot that size. Plus I water with Miracle Gro every 2 weeks. Anyway, I do this intensive gardening method I learned as a kid from Mother Earth News (I learned other things from that magazine, too, stuff my parents didn’t know about because I always got it first and ripped out the Sex Articles). So, with Japanese intensive gardening, it works like this. I have peas, that will grow up a trellis. I have spinach, that needs a touch of shade, so I plant it under the peas- 2 crops in 1 spot. THe raised beds are built out of cinderblocks, turned to the holes face up, and those are filled with dirt, where I plant beets, or flowers, or carrots and radishes. I have 2-2foot square spots that I plant with mesclun, alternating every 2 weeks, back and forth, so we have nice salad greens until August, when it’s just too hot. When the peas and spinach come out, tomatoes, peppers, and basil go in. And squash under the tomatoes. Sweet Daddio has promised me 2 more beds this spring, and #4 wants to try his hand at growing a square watermelon. I’m putting sweet peas and morning glories along the fences, because I love them so.
There is no optimist like a gardener. And that’s the truth.
RIght now all I have the ambition to do is sit here and think about it.
I love fresh from the garden squash. I pick them when they’re tiny and tender, and that also keeps us from being overrun, which would cause me guilt about throwing away perfectly good food. The food bank at the old town would take garden produce, I need to check and see if the one here does that. Squash is one of those Things…you know, Childhood Issue things. Something you discuss with your therapist kind of thing. My mother always had a huge garden, 1/4 acre or so (and if you comment to tell me “that’s not a big garden, mine was bigger” save it. If you’re 9 and you have to get on hands and knees and weed 1/4 acre overrun with bermudagrass, it’s huge.). She always grew 4 varieties of squash : yellow crookneck, zucchini, pattypan, and spaghetti. For 6 months out of the year, whenever we had spaghetti, we had spaghetti squash instead of pasta. If she was feeling adventurous, she’d let a zucchini grow to the size of a small canoe, and we’d have that, scooped out and filled with meat sauce, topped with parmesan cheese, and baked. Or sliced thin and used in lasagna in place of the noodles. But the rule of order where squash was concerned, was to let it get as Big As Possible. Hence, my squash philosophy: pick it while the bloom is still attached. I like them tiny. They’re tender that way, and 3 makes a serving, so you can pick them , throw them in crisper drawer until you have enough for a meal, and there you are. Squash, once a week, no more. My favorite is pattypan. They’re cute, they look (depending on who you are)like little pies, or spaceships. They have a sweet, mild flavor and a dense texture. I think they are officially a gourd, hence the texture, but you eat them young, before they have a chance to turn into a gourd. Spaghetti squash has been banned from the Toot household, because 3 times in a row, when we ate dinner with my parents, Mom made spaghetti and used squash instead of noodles. Sweet Daddio declared that to be An Abomination Before The Lord and as a Baptist, he couldn’t allow that to happen. So, even though spaghetti squash actually makes a stellar squash casserole, none such shall pass between the lips of the Lord of the Manor. So Be it.
Tomatoes are important to all of us. The menfolk wait, and watch, and rub their hands, in anticipation of the first mammoth Beefsteak to ripen, and be made into the Epic Tomato Sandwich. It must be done Just So. The tomato is sliced 1/4 inch thick, salted and peppered, and nestled lovingly between 2 slices of Roman Meal bread, heavily slathered with Hellmans Real Mayonnaise. mmmm…Ambrosia. Served just like that, with a tall glass of icy sweet tea, it’s Southern White Boy Heaven. I grow beefsteaks, sweet 100′s (little cherry tomatoes, I keep them in a bowl on the counter and we eat them like candies), and Brandywines-excellent for cooking. Whenever a beefsteak of appropriate size is ripe, we look for tasty ways to take advantage of it. Grilled burgers, 1/3 pound thick and rare in the middle. Tomato salad, with slices layered with fresh mozzerella, fresh basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil and a splash of white wine vinegar. Sometimes I just eat them like an apple, in the garden, warm off the vine. I don’t ever fool with putting them up. I hate canning, I mean, when it’s 101 outside who wants to stand over a steaming canner and handle hot glass jars? Not when I can buy a can of perfectly grand tomatoes for $1. Nuh uh. no canning here. We just eat them all fresh and raw. Or maybe I’ll cut some up in soup, but canning, nope.
The only food preservation I do involves herbs and seasonings. Hot peppers, mainly. I dry them, make a ristra that I hang somewhere in the kitchen, and cut them off as I need them. I freeze basil, too. It darkens, so it’s not as pretty as fresh, but in January when fresh is out of the question uless you pay 3 kinds of prices in the store, frozen is just as good. And, it lasts until the new crop of fresh is up and ready to start picking.
Obviously, gardening isn’t a money-saving endeavor for me. It’s a pleasure, and I enjoy providing fresh food for the table. I like getting dirt under my nails, and seeing something come up where I planted it. It makes me happy, and I am pleased that we live in a spot where I can have a garden. For 9 years we didn’t, and I missed it.
Now, I have the garden I’ve always wanted. Small, contained, neat paths covered with pinestraw between the beds, an aggressive wisteria trying to take advantage of my innocent and lovely beds. It’s fenced all around to keep the dogs out, and I grow lovely blooming things on the fence. There’s a nice gate, and a gnome. There’s a tree at the western corner, that provides shade in the afternoon, just enough for a chair and a little table. Hmmm. It makes me happy.
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had this on her site and it made me laugh, so I’m sharing the love.
“I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we all could use more calm in our lives.
By following the simple advice I heard on a Dr.Phil show, I have finally found inner peace.
Dr. Phil proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started.
So I looked around my house to see things I started and hadn’t finished; and, before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Cardonay , a bole of Baileys, a butle of Kehuha, a pockage of Tim Toms , tha mainder of bot Prozic and Valum scriptins, the res of the Chesescke, some saltins an a baxa cholates.
Yu haf no idr who gud I fel.
*Peas sen dis orn to dem yu fee ar in ned ov inr pece “
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#3 asked me this morning, obviously worried, “Mom, those penises weren’t real, were they?”
“I doubt it.” was my answer.