Gardening + Nature

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Up yonder – roasted zucchini soup with toasted pepitas and a chicken thigh with smoked paprika gravy. The soup is a godsend when your giant Costco bag of zucchini gets overlooked for a few days, and the whole three pounds needs to be eaten, pronto. Just roast it under the broiler until it’s got a nice char, and whir it with a little bit of water, a can of green chiles, garlic, cumin, and salt in your Vitamix. Done and done. Here we have homemade tamarind soda, not a root beer float. I’m a big tamarind lover! Nothing tastes quite like it.

neighborhood blossoms

Our garden, complete with lovely butterfly on Thursday. I was out there soaking up the beauty and thinking what a great year it’s gonna be out here.

Then the snow started falling Friday afternoon and didn’t stop until nearly a foot fell at our house. We went out a few times to shake the heavy snow off flattened bushes and trees, which gutted me, truth be told. It’s all melted now, and does look a bit worse for wear, but most of it is better than I expected. Grandma’s rose still has tons of blooms and even more buds! There are quite a few other broken bits that I don’t think will recover, sadly.

This being me, it should come as no surprise that there is much to be happy about here. Redemption! Drought conditions and red flag wind stoked too close for comfort wildfires within minutes of our house earlier in the week. They’ll be put on the back burner for a bit, as the ground is positively saturated. So, yeah, gratitude runs the day!

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snowball
fern bush
New Mexican privet
golden currant
peony
serviceberry

Well, after much observing and trying the hubster’s on my own self, I decided the Napsack was a win for me, too. It was a cool morning when these photos were taken, and I felt none of it. Though, I believe I will be reversing it to the dusty pink side, and pronto!

The months and months-long brown out gets me down, down, but oh, how it quickly it turns when I spy the green-yellow-touch of red coming out party that is S P R I N G ! ! My grateful heart overflows.

Hope your heart is finding a reason, too, however small it may be.

p.s. May the Fourth Be With YOU!

Michael, Mary, and Jesus came for a visit! The weather was warm enough to go without a sweater, the food and company so good. Juniper and Jesus were best pals, eating from the same plate, drinking from the same bowl, playing in their odd way. In one of those mind benders, the time spent together over a mere twenty-four hours morphed into a jolly few days of activity. We grilled, puzzled, chatted, laughed and laughed, walked, shopped, and ate and ate and ate.

It is an old refrain, but dang, what would we do without the support and company of our very best friends? I will never stop marveling at my wonderful circle of loved ones. With them, I may not be able to understand a world of war and poverty and senselessness, but I can certainly feel less alone in it, embraced in warmth and joy.

Farmer Greg broke out the big guns this year, buying a grow mat (the basement floor is very cold) and a light. There were a few seeds that never sprouted and a couple that did, then died, but overall, it’s been a successful start. He’s growing several varieties of pepper, tomato, nasturtium, ground cherry, beans, fennel, and zucchini. It is very exciting to watch!

We are nearly finished with our spring garden clean-up, with the front yard remaining, though it will be (or just seem) like ages before everything is well and truly green. There are leaves budding on the rose and fern bush, nascent lilac blooms, tulips and daffodils popping up and a lone pasque in full flower, which is always such a treat to witness.

The chickadees have made a nest in the bird house again, and I love their earnest endeavor to make it safe and cozy, mom and pop darting to and fro with every manner of material. We are all connected in our own little worlds, so sweet.

Hope this April day is a fine one in your neck of the woods…

Matrix

Greetings from a very magical morning last week! The day prior was adrizzle (not a word, but I’m keeping it) for hours upon hours before evening and the tiniest of feather flakes that latched together, one upon another upon another, creating this wondrous matrix of frost. We had already planned to spend the morning at Garden of the Gods and thusly could not believe our good luck to have the splendor of it taken up and up and up.

We have been venturing out a little bit more, Colorado Mountain Brewery here, Shinsadong there, dotted, as always, with trips to the library, where the books have been plenty but my pleasure in reading a mixed bag. I seem to snag a truly good read about 10% of the time. Oh, how I wish it were more. For old school viewing, we are rotating between episodes of Raising Hope (SO funny!) and Pushing Daisies (Funny and LEE PACE!!). Also rather enjoyable was Station Eleven. It is a shell of the book but quite an extraordinary one. Then there is season two of Beforeigners, which is just as good as the first and the new Sex and the City. I have zero complaints in the viewing department. Amen.

And in the big “L” life department I have been pondering the idea of fulfillment. Right?! I did say big L, peeps. I believe I’ve come to the conclusion that it is better to abandon the pursuit of it. That maybe in so doing I will not be as judgmental about any lack in my life. I kept wondering if it is really only something momentarily obtained. I did this (wrote a novel!) or that (was a teacher!). That thrill is gone. Now what? Flee-ting.

I suppose it is like mindfulness? Be here now, find peace now? Maybe more accurately, find peace in what exists now? Imperfection. Boredom. Daydreaming. Desire. Walking. Cooking. Laundry.

I’ll tell you how it goes.

Our neighborhood Thursday morning, after hurricane force winds (100 miles per hour) blasted for the better part of Wednesday. We lost power for nearly five hours, sadly, even with the benefit of solar panels. After a bit of research, we learned this protects line workers. It would be mighty dangerous thinking there isn’t power on the line, when our house is sending it back into the grid.

As stressful as it was to be without heat or power, hear the wind howling, see every manner of debris flying so VERY high, and witness the aftermath, our city was largely spared. Unlike the horror of the tornadoes in Kentucky, I have not heard of any injuries or deaths associated with the storm. And, by golly, it is like every tree that fell did their best to do as little harm as possible. Walking around, we were amazed at how few of them actually landed on houses or cars. There are still thousands without power here, but it really could have been so much worse. Hope life is good where you are!

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