Feeling mighty philosophical lately. It’s all this growth all around me, I think. Well. Here’s another crazy picture dump, as I am wont to do these days. I hope to do more regular and moderate updating soon, but until then…
Things are good. Things are thriving.
Baby likes food. Baby does not like to be spoon-fed. I figure he’s indulging in food in a way that he won’t really be able to again. Food is an experience, isn’t it? So yeah. We feed him close to naked and then hose him off afterwards. It’s a good life.
Vera is so fun to play with these days. It’s so great to get down on my knees and just have a tea party or to be a "Mama panda". I try to make a point to enter her world and participate in it.
We finally got around to having fires. So nice. We will be doing this for the next 5 months. Also, you must try fire-roasted bananas with maple syrup or brown sugar… thanks to my little sister I think they’ll be a regular campfire delicacy. I will most certainly do a food post about this soon.
Everything is planted! Well, okay, not everything
, but the important stuff is in. Garlic and potatoes are growing like mad. Our tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage we started are doing wonderfully. Our peppers didn’t do so well- only about half of what we wanted to plant made it. Also, we lost a few tomato plants (although a good 40 made it!), and our eggplant didn’t germinate until we decided to give up on them (finicky little buggers…). We went out and bought some seedlings, and so we’ve filled in gaps and everything looks good and sturdy now. Things that are also planted but are not yet so visible are: lettuces, beans, spinach, radishes, cucumbers, melons, summer squash, winter squash, parsnip, rutabaga, carrots, beets, arugula, turnips, kale, collars, kohlrabi, and birdhouse gourds.
Our new asparagus bed. I planted 20 crowns here, but they aren’t doing a thing… I don’t know if they’ll make it. If they don’t, I’ll plant again. I won’t be thwarted- I will have asparagus!
We’ve filled in the big hole and moved that old shady perennial bed. It’s really nice to be getting this stuff done. I repurposed some of the pavers here. I’ll be filling these in and planting cilantro and sorrel and other lovely things… like perhaps alpine strawberries which can tolerate partial shade.
Speaking of strawberries, ours are lovely and cute. We’ve only gotten a couple from our 8 plants, and I wonder how many I’d actually have to plant to get a years worth for our family… I might end up with containers everywhere! I do like going strawberry picking, but I am concerned about the pesticides they use- and there aren’t any organic farms around here.
I love LOVE summer light. It lets me photograph this wild girl.
Today we were outside during Asa’s nap. I was sitting with my work and was deep in thought, while she pattered around in her pool. She stopped and said "Mama, you’re the best!" It made my day, I tell ya.
We’re eating well. Yesterday we had a little potluck with a few folks and man
… We know how to eat! We had bbq beef sandwiches, strawberry-rhubarb lusciousness, fennel mussel something that was incredible, deviled eggs that were the best I’d had in a while, saucy black beans with all sorts of fixings, and a decadent salad with homemade honey mustard dressing… oh my. We do know how to eat. I love food. I do.
Anyway. Below is a picture of another of my ways to use leftovers. You take whatever leftovers you have and assemble them in a puff pastry. Here I had refried pinto beans, a little beef, a little red pepper, asparagus, onion, cilantro. I seasoned it all, added a little cheese on top, wrapped it up, and dinner! Just slice it up and serve it with a nice salad. So good, so fluffy and crispy and satisfying- and a great way to use all the little bits of leftovers you’ve got. This is hopefully making up for the missed WFP… a little. I’ve got one coming this week.
Lately the same phrase has been popping into my head over and over. What’s this life for, anyway? I read this article recently about the top regrets people have on their deathbed. It was pretty interesting. People wished they had been truer to themselves and that they’d had the courage to live authentically. People wished they didn’t work so hard- they missed their families and kids and wished they had lived more simply. They wished that they had nurtured old friendships and maintained their communities. They wished they had been more honest about their feelings. And lastly, they wished they had let themselves be happier. They didn’t realize that their happiness was largely a choice.
I guess it might be kind of strange to be thinking all the time about what it all means. Why am I here, what’s my purpose? I don’t know that I’ll ever really know. Although, I’m getting glimpses here and there. When I eat good food with good friends, when I am growing and learning and challenging myself. I think "What’s this life for, anyway?" and get a surge of energy. Like, yes, it’s for loving and sharing. And yes, it’s for being afraid and then triumphant. And yes, it’s for being drastic- digging deep into the richness that this life has to offer. Yes, it’s for really connecting- to the earth, to each other. It’s real and it’s worthy of that depth. I don’t want to have those regrets when I’m headed on. If I keep thinking about what it’s all for, I don’t think I will. One of my new favorite poems puts it so well:
The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Everything looks so summer and happy. Glad things are going so well.
In that picture where he’s got his fist in his mouth and looks so serious, Asa looks SO MUCH like the early/toddler pictures of Vera. She’s grown up a bit in the last year, her face isn’t quite the same but that picture, they’re DEFINITELY brother & sister, and decidedly your babies. Too cute 😀
Love your garden pictures ladyface. 🙂
All of it is so adorable!!! The kids, the garden the food! What treasures to enjoy.
Asa really is an entertainer. What a fun, little goofy guy! lol Vera… has some secrets. I think she’s been around the block a few times. Also, she has some knockout eyes, Grace. Beautiful!
The garden looks great! I am so happy the projects have turned out for you so far.
The poem is very lovely. So good to be in tune enough to not need answers and just get to be. ♥
I really look forward to the upcoming entries. With as much time as it takes to be juggling all of it, I am so grateful you make time to post it all on LJ!
Asa and Vera are too cute! I remember when I was a child, and my best friend’s mother always ate with her hands. I thought she was so lucky, and I was able to eat with my hands while at her home. It’s interesting, not until relatively recently did people even use utensils to eat. Anyway!
Everything looks awesome and delicious. I am coming to Ann Arbor from the First of July until the nineteenth. I would love to see you all!
I just love your garden so much! You’re going to have so much good food! 🙂
I agree with what you have to say about what’s life for. I feel like my main purpose in life is to enjoy my kids and my family.
Love it! Love seeing happy faces and happy plants.
Happy is great 🙂
I agree with Vera: You’re the best!
Also, I can’t believe how BIG Asa is!! He looks so much like his sister and so much like himself. I just want to cuddle him. Preferably after he’s been hosed down. 🙂
That puff pastry idea is great. I love to have a repertoire of throw-in-all-the-leftovers recipes, and this is a new one to add. Lately I’ve mostly been using frittatas for this purpose, but I’ll give the puff pastry a try.
Fantastic pictures, as usual! That’s a very cute series of Asa with food all over his face–I love the variety of his facial expressions. What’s the white stuff he’s eating? Yogurt?
what a nice poem that is.
your kids are getting gorgeouser* and gorgeouser!
*gorgeouser is a word!