Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pictures and Pictures.

It has been such a good day today, this day of the solstice. I spent a great deal of it doing small and simple catch-up tasks. Things I could not get around to while the boys were here. I think after all of the years of having children at home, I start to get anxious if I can't keep up with at least the basic maintenance of the household, knowing that if I fall too far behind I will never catch up. And so today I did laundry and hung it outside. Oh, my raggedy dish cloths which I use to clean everything from boys' faces and hands to spilled smoothie on the floor. But still, I manage to go through paper towels too like nobody's business. 

I got the things off the line just as a bit of rain started to fall. Not enough to really do much good besides dampening down the dust but it was cheering for a moment there, to have the tease of the possibility, the thunder rumbling in the distance, the breeze turning eerily chilly for a moment. 

I cleaned out my refrigerator and thus- goal for the weekend met! I threw out so much stuff and gave a lot of it to the chickens. It felt wonderful. It had become as dense and jungley in there as the Amazon rain forest. I was creating soil in my vegetable bin. It depressed me every time I opened the door but now it is a thing of organization and beauty. 
Well. That's bullshit. But relatively speaking, sort of.

I swept under beds and watered porch plants. I went across the street to let out and feed our little neighbor's doggie who is under my care for a few days. I tidied the kitchen. I cooked soybeans which we will have for our dinner. I am quite excited about this although truthfully, it is the goop I make to go on the soybeans and brown rice which is the best. I got that recipe from a cookbook called, "The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook" which I have had for approximately one thousand and three years. The goop is made from mayonnaise, garlic, vinegar and soy sauce. 
Does that sound odd? 
Trust me. It is delicious. 

I took pictures today of the way things look on the summer solstice, 2014. Here are some of them.

Figs. I love the way the light filters through their leaves. Oh, I do so hope that they come to maturity this year. I sent a recipe today to my sister-in-law who has a tree in her yard in Texas. It's a simple recipe and good and has figs, water, sugar, and lemons in it. If you need a fig preserves recipe, I'm your girl. If you need actual fig preserves, well, we shall see.

All right. This.
That is the coming-on bloom of the Voodoo Lily. Yes, I have scheduled the pacemaker implant because Lucille laid an egg AND that lily is blooming. I cannot wait to see how it develops.

My office yard with some of my blooming phlox. I will get into that office tomorrow to write or know the goddam reason why.

One of the phlox I have transplanted to the front fence. Some day they will grace the entire front fence area. In gardening, as in so many things, one must have patience and fortitude. The older I get, the easier this becomes.

Zinnias in the garden, sprung up from the volunteer seeding of last year's crop. They are tall, sturdy, and healthy.

The way they look after I cut some of them and brought them inside and put them in one of my grandmother's vases. This vase is most mysterious to me in that it has an outer part and an inner part. I think it is made of copper or brass. The inner part is a tube and the whole thing is somewhat primitive and I know it was made by an artisan's hand. Anyone have any ideas on its origin? I do not and I so wish I did. But I have been putting zinnias in there for forty years. It is one of my most precious possessions. 

One of the things which I almost gave to the chickens but did not was a pack of tortillas. I decided to make baked chips out of them and I did. I brushed them with some macha sauce I made a few weeks ago, or at least the oil from it, cut them up and baked them. They are spicy and good. 

Here is a picture of the older hens, scratching in front of the house. From the left there are Sharon, Ozzie, Ms. Bob, Trixie and Mabel. Elvis is nearby and appeared immediately after I took the shot.
Here he is. 

My friend Tom gave me the two palms you can see in those two pictures. I planted them and they are growing well and someday, they will be towering. Again- patience. 
When we moved here, there was a dearth of palms and camellias and I have, in my opinion, rectified that situation. There is also a mulberry tree and the figs which I planted. And the ash magnolia and all of the ferns and let us not forget the Voodoo Lily, the lemon balm, the phlox, the butterfly gingers, the Susan Suchan Day Lilies, the jasmine.

When I feel as if I have done nothing on this earth, I think of all of that and also the Live Oak I planted where we last lived and the Little Gem magnolias and I think, okay, I did that. 

It is not quite unlike the feeling I have when I look at Owen and Gibson and of course, my children. 

These are my thoughts on the Summer Solstice, 2014, and I am, for once, content and happy enough with my life so far. 

Time to make the goop and I will not have to rummage, cursing, through the refrigerator to find the mayonnaise, having things drop from the shelves onto my feet, but will be able to put my hand on it immediately. And yes, I think, I need to make a salad and there are cherry tomatoes and green peppers from the garden to add to it. 

Not so bad, I think. 

Quite fine, in fact. 
Quite fine indeed. 

Yours most truly...Ms. Moon


  1. You must still be in turbo mode because you got so much accomplished today! Yay! I love days like that!

  2. I enjoyed all of those pictures. Thank you for taking the time to take them and post them. And the goop meal sounds lovely.

  3. Thank you for the wonderful pictures and the solstice thoughts. I have the sense that everything around you us just blooming and that it all is flowing outward from you. Beautiful. Sending love.

  4. It was a hot day here for the solstice. Threatening to rain but not a drop yet. Great photos--interesting how the zinnias came back. None did here. But the yard looks great anyway. Hoorah for irrigation.

  5. Heartinhand- And yet, I moved like an old turtle. I swear I did.

    Jill- It is my joy and I am not kidding you.

    Angella- Ah. I have the feeling that as it all blooms and grows, I bloom and grow with it all. It is all blessing.

    Syd- We have had a good year of rain. We've had to water the garden some and I water the outdoor potted plants and the porch plants. Otherwise, no irrigation needed. But summer is barely born yet, as you know.

  6. Those flowers so pretty and Elvis so handsome. Your day sounds absolutely productive no matter how slow you might have moved. It inspires me for tomorrow. I must get ready for company coming in for the night on Tuesday... Sweet Jo

  7. You know, that Elvis is one fine looking rooster.

    XX B

  8. I admire your creativity in figuring out what to do with the stuff from your fridge. The corn chips look tasty!

    Sounds as if you are in a good frame of mind on this solstice. :)

  9. What fine solstice pictures! And hooray for the chicken photos. Honestly, you could do a close up (if that's even possible) and a brief bio of each one, and I'd love it. Of course then you wouldn't have time to do all the things you do and write about all the wonderful things you write about.

  10. Your home always looks so yummy and comfy and pretty. Such a Home. I want to wander through your yard and garden and see the light in the trees and your chickens on the ground.


  11. my volunteer zinnias from last year because I did not plant new ones this year even tho I have a packet of seeds are decidedly not blooming. and the phlox. love the phlox but I have never seen phlox get tall like that.

  12. Sweet Jo- I think we get as much done if we move slowly as we do if we rush. As Yoko Ono said once, "When in a hurry, dress slowly."

    Beth Coyote- He really is a fine specimen of a rooster, isn't he?

    Steve Reed- Very fine indeed!

    Denise- You know what? I would LOVE to do that! It wouldn't be ridiculous and self-indulgent?

    Michelle- After ten years here, I am constantly amazed at lost I can get in the way it feels and looks to me. Always the same, never the same as the light changes, the plants bloom, the wind and breezes change the tempo of the dance of it all.

  13. Ellen Abbott- I have about four packs of zinnia seeds but do not see the need to plant them as these volunteers are doing so well on their own.
    These are a different sort of phlox. I know the ones you speak of. I love those flowers and have tried to start them here but they do not do well. I think the ones I have are more loving of the shade.

  14. i consider mayo the other butter personally. so anything made with it has got to be damn good.



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