Saturday, June 1, 2013

It has been the best day. It has been a growing day. A soothing day, and I haven't left the property and I've hardly spoken to anyone either, for that matter. Mr. Moon took off in the early afternoon to go attend to a project involving an Airstream Trailer and not that I don't like having him around or anything but if anyone in this world loves a bit of solitude now and then, it's me.
Well, me and that Buddhist nun who went off and meditated in a cave for fourteen years or something but that's a bit extreme.

I read Madame Radish King's posts wherein she talked about making some bread and proofing her yeast and it reminded me that I have been severely neglecting my sourdough starter which is not only a living, breathing thing but was given to me by The Sauce Boss himself, Mr. Bill Wharton, and even though yes, yes, YES goddammit, I said I was going to quit making bread, I just couldn't help myself and I took a bunch of oatmeal and ground it up in the food processor and then I added some hot water to that and some honey and made a sort of slurry out of it and then dumped in some of the stirred-up starter and added flour and mixed all of that and some salt and an egg and olive oil up in a big old bowl with my own hands and then I kneaded it by hand just for the pure pleasure and gave the Kitchen Aid dough hook a day off. It's rising like crazy, nice and lovely, sitting on top of my stove, the second rising in fact, and I think it's going to be good bread with mighty shoulders and a nice crispy crust.

I vinegared the coffee maker and then dumped the vinegar water in the washing machine to clean that out and did a few loads of laundry and washed up the dishes and then I went out to the garden and did a little weeding and planted a nice, long row of cucumbers, four different varieties, along the fence in a place where they'll get some damn light because the earlier cucumbers I planted are shaded by the peas and aren't doing shit. Then I weeded an area right by the front of the garden and planted one and a half packs of zinnia seeds, Giant Mixed Colors, my favorite. I remember distinctly the very first seeds I ever planted as a child and they, too, were zinnia seeds that my grandmother had in a glass, stoppered bottle and why, I do not know. I don't recall her ever growing anything except demented but she was a sweet soul and she told me those seeds were old and probably wouldn't grow and she was right. I remember going out every morning to check them and not a one of them came up but somehow it did not deter or discourage my future gardening attempts. I don't even know why I love to plant things so much. My horrible stepfather, The Asshole, as we call him, loved to garden and actually, he was a planting fool and he could grow anything and you'd think I would refuse to do any activity which he loved but I do believe that the love of growing things is a powerful force in our very DNA and so there you go. Growing shit and keeping chickens. Yep. Right there in the DNA. They'll find the genes for those things eventually, just as they'll find the genes for Patriotism and Religion, and they needn't bother searching my DNA for those because, as I have said a million times, I am lacking them.

I knelt in the dirt to weed and plant and it smelled so good and a couple of times I brushed up against the basil and that's all you have to do to release that good scent. I gave my weed scraps to the goats next door because I feel so sorry for them. They never get anything fresh and green and they run for it in a thundering herd when I dump those weeds over the fence. I was sweated through and dirty as hell by the time I set the sprinklers on the garden and came in and took a shower and then I went around and took a few pictures.

Who doesn't love an oak leaf hydrangea? Yes. I have already posted pictures of these blooms this year but I can't help doing it again. They are just magical to me. Tiny tissue-like flowers on a cone-shaped bloom, white as angel-light, airy as a perfect meringue.

These are the beginning blooms of the lace-cap hydrangea. I think that's what they are. They're going to be pretty, trust me. I hope. They don't really get enough sun (this is a theme in my yard) but they look like they might do something nice this year.

And then this. Oh my god. I feel as if I've just given birth.

Can you see it? Probably not. Here. Let me give you a better view.

The teeny-tiny leafling of the giant begonia that I've had rooting since last November. NOVEMBER, PEOPLE! I've kept the soil moist and watched over those things so tenderly for seven months! And I started the original plant from a few cuttings that a woman I know who works at a nursery gave me some years back so it's not hard to understand why I feel so very maternal about that tiny green leaf. I expect more and if all goes well, I shall gift them to people when they are big enough to leave the nursery pot.  
I am a fool for begonias. Yes. This and the love of wild birds is a definite sign of aging. 
Fuck it. Makes me happy. 

All right. One more picture.

The vegetables are what I picked today. The snow peas are still coming on as is the squash, and the banana peppers are just becoming mature and those cherry tomatoes are our first of the year. 
The eggs are some of what we got today and yesterday. Some. I hadn't had one of the Tiffany blue eggs for quite some time so I was happy to see it. 

And that's what I've done today. Planted and picked and punched and cleaned and weeded and watered and restored my very soul. My husband's on his way home and Prairie Home Companion is on and the bread is just about ready to go into the oven.

Don't tell me I'm not the luckiest woman in the world. Don't even try. Because I know that I am.


  1. I always know you are! Your life is idyllic compared to mine.

    I made sweet potato biscuits the other day, totally from scratch. Can you believe it?

    Glad you had a very good day. Have a martini.

  2. SJ- Girl, I sure am having a martini. I just made a slaw from a cabbage, snow peas, raw squash, banana peppers, green onion and a carrot. All grown by us except for the carrot which our friend Tom grew.
    I've got sweet potatoes in the oven and I can't tell you how proud I am of you for making biscuits with this golden vegetable.

  3. That is the best kind of day. It doesn't matter really what the task outside. It is the being outside and touching the dirt and the living things and the nurturing of it all. And being nurtured. My garden is not doing so well. The peppers are doing good and the little eggplant but the cucumbers have not wanted to grow or bloom the tight kind of flower, the tomatoes don't want to bloom or set blooms, the squash has given a few but mostly they turn yellow and fall off when they are about an inch long and no one can tell me why. Last year we were already inundated with squash and tomatoes were coming on fast but the peppers didn't do squat. Go figure.

  4. Anonymous- Yep. I sure am.

    Ellen Abbott- And this is why I could garden for one million years and still have no idea what I was doing.

  5. Oh, lovely. The bread, the making of it, the saving of the starter, the bounty from your garden, the eggs.
    This is a wonderland. And we're almost as lucky as you are, because you share all this magic with us.

  6. It certainly does seem like an ideal Ms Moon day. You are the epitome of earth mother and you should be sainted as such - perhaps in tomorrow's sermon at you church of the Batshit Crazy? Even if you talk about side boob it will be inspiring I am sure. Sweet Jo

  7. Wow, that does sound like a great day. I've just been writing about how all the tasks in my day have made me cranky, and you go and show me that we can revel in our daily tasks. Clearly I need an attitude adjustment! :)

  8. Holy Crap, woman! I haven't done anything for days. Oh, yeah I washed a bunch of lettuce so I could have salad on a moment's notice. Lettuce I grew? Nah.....

  9. I could eat bread for a living. I have the bread-eating gene. Fresh, hot bread with sweet cream butter and an icy diet Coke, Oh. My. God. If I ever visit Florida, you and I must break bread together.

  10. Mel- And when are y'all going to show up to help with the housework? Huh? Kidding. I've given up on housework. And I do love to share. Thanks.

    Sweet Jo- Well, I have a post up. It is painfully uninspiring today. I will try to do better tomorrow.
    Or, you know, later.

    Steve- Honey, housework makes me ill. And angry. So I get it.

    Denise- Right. All you've been doing is taking care of your mama and probably writing a novel. Just because I need to fool around in the dirt doesn't mean everyone does.

    Nancy- You got it.

  11. We are planting fools here too. And have those oak leaf hydrangeas too. Gotta love them.


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