Sunday, May 30, 2010

Henry's Garden -- Memorial Day Weekend

There was some sadness in the garden this week.  While we were in Vicksburg fetching our son, Thomas, a truly despicable something-or-other attacked our beautiful squash, and they are done for.  We have every reason to expect that, come July, "we" can replant and try again.  Having had three for dinner one night before we left I am already looking forward to a second harvest.

RIP, squash

On a much happier note for the tomato lovers 
out there, looky here!

And then look again, because these are 
gorgeous, and I don't even eat them....

This week's beauty interlude features our canna.

These two photographs are just here to show my husband's ingenuity and resourcefulness.  We have bamboo that the former owners planted (apparently knowing they wouldn't be living here long enough to have to deal with the general pesty-ness of the things), and neighbor kids sometimes stop by and cut them down for fishing poles.  Henry needed some stakes for his tomatoes, had an AHA moment, and here we are.  

The radishes are played out, and I have to apologize to those who wanted them.  I love them so much I sort of ate them as fast as Henry pulled them out of the ground.  They were most excellent.

We're still looking forward to okra, eggplant, beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, and cucumbers, so stay tuned!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Henry's Garden, May 23

Craziness is beginning to happen out here, folks.

I mean it.  Even rebar and twine have gotten involved this week, enlisted to help my cucumbers flourish.

The beans are waltzing to the tops of the trellises.

But the most important thing is that there have been spottings of ...

squash and....


Friday, May 21, 2010

Just Because

These beautiful hydrangeas were the centerpieces at the luncheon I attended today. I just wanted to share, because they were a little oasis of beauty in my day.  I hope they will be in yours, too.

Oil On My Hands

In the aftermath of the oil spill, when follow-up reporting began to suggest that BP might not have done or been doing all it could to do to make things right, I found myself pulled to join with those who have made the decision to stop patronizing BP.  I've now decided that I will not participate in this de facto boycott, and here's why.

1)  The least important reason is that the only gas station that is on my regular driving route is the BP station just down the street from my house.  To fill up my car anywhere else would require a 4-mile round trip just for that purpose.  BP is not the only, nor will it be the last, oil company who finds themselves responsible for making a mess of our waters.  It is only a matter of time before this happens again, and isn't the bigger issue reducing our dependence on oil in the first place?   How does that get accomplished if I use more fuel now? 

2)  Maybe you don't live in a neighborhood that is suffering -- mightily -- from urban blight.  Maybe you don't live in a neighborhood where businesses have closed up and left empty buildings and empty lots to degrade your geography -- but I do.  At the intersection through which I pass multiple times daily, one of the anchors is "my" BP station.  If that's gone because business falls off precipitously I have become part of another complex problem, one that will affect my neighborhood in a devastating way now -- and in the future. 

3)  Usually, I fill up my car and pay at the pump and never see the person inside.  Occasionally, however, the need does arise to go in, and no matter how infrequently this happens, there is always a human being in there (usually a woman, and usually a middle-aged woman) working behind the counter.  One must suppose that if she had amazing, marketable job skills she might be working someplace safer, with a better chance of advancing and making a much better life for herself and her family, if she has one. If I stop using "my" BP station, and if others do the same, and they close -- where does this woman go?

I understand that on a big, global scale, forcing BP to its knees financially might make folks feel better; might actually effect some sort of change, so y'all rock on with your bad selves and your boycott, free of any disapproval from me.  We all have to to what we have to do.

But as for me?  I'm going to continue to invest -- not in BP -- but in my neighborhood, and in That Woman Behind the Counter

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Henry's Garden, May 16

"Our" first harvest is in!  I am here to tell you that you have not experienced a radish until you have had loving hands yank a fist full of them out of his garden, and had them presented to you as if they were some exotic variety of rose.

You just gotta love a man who grows you food.

For some reason today I'm having great difficulty getting picture to load, so I've put the rest of today's garden pictures in an album which can be found HERE 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good Friday

No, not that Good Friday;  more like just one of those days where many generally nice moments converge, and make you glad you showed up for the day.

A customer came in the store this morning looking for a book on Africa.  He had something pretty specific in mind, which we did not have, so Cheryl invited him to look over her shoulder while she did a search to see what we could find and get for him.  A short time later I sat down in front of the computer where the list she'd pulled up was still on the screen, and the word "Lompopo" leapt out at me. 

I told Cheryl I couldn't see that word without remembering listening to a recording made by Boris Karloff of Rudyard Kipling's The Elephant's Child, wherein that particular child wanders down to the "great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River" and gets a comeuppance that had everlasting repercussions. 

Well, I'll be darned if later in the day a customer didn't come in and ask if we had a copy of Kipling's Just So Stories. We were out, but I related to her the Lompopo moment from that morning, and my delight at remembering that wonderful old Caedmon recording, and turns out it was exactly that story for which she was looking!

These sorts of things just make me happy, so imagine how much more tickled I got when even later another customer came in hunting for yet another title by Kipling!   There's no telling how many months have gone by without a single request for anything by old Rudyard, and here he was the Theme of the Day. 


As if all that happy stuff weren't enough, I met the most delightful man today, the import of which requires I back up a bit.

Some months ago I sold a copy of Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog to our customer, Mr. Scott, that he thought would make a fine gift for a friend of his who, like me, has a deep appreciation for  the lost art of sentence diagramming.  Once or twice he's mentioned it to me, and we've laughed over my insistence that there's nothing wrong with America that a really fine session of diagramming couldn't cure.

Imagine my glee, then, when Mr. Scott came into the store today with his friend Gene Moutoux, who -- literally -- wrote the book on sentence diagramming!   I am not kidding, and if you'll click on Dr. Montoux's name, you'll see for yourself!  

For those who might be finding themselves thinking I am making this up, well, here.

Dr. Gene Moutoux, Drawer of Sentences

I suspect some of you (even those of you who know me best) didn't fully understand until this moment just how much I mean it when I say it just doesn't take much to make my heart go ZING!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thank you, Lawson Bryan!

From his sermon this morning, an excerpt.  It was all I could do not to stand and cheer.

“…. We live in a world where there are many doors that divide us, where nations are stuck when it comes to opening the doorway to peace; where races and backgrounds and nationalities and cultural groups are stuck in the cycle of hating and killing each other. In Jesus Christ a door has been opened that can never be closed… We can intentionally choose to be a part of keeping that door open and inviting people who’ve been on all sides of these issues just to come to know each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. That is not our dream; that is God’s dream. It cannot fail. The choice we have is whether we will invest ourselves in the fulfillment of that dream.”      

Dr. R. Lawson Bryan
May 2, 2010

Garden Update

Things are looking mighty fancy out there these days.  For some reason the carrots are not cooperating, but judging by the number of radish leaves and the thriving okra out there, I suspect we may be hawkin' these things off the back of a pick-up truck in a few weeks. 

The big wooden tomato cages have been put in place -- Henry made those, by the way.  I am reminded nearly every week while I watch him work in his garden (he usually gets up and tends it before I'm awake) just how much stuff this guy knows, and knows how to do, that comes in real handy all the time.   Have I mentioned he saved us a couple hundred dollars in plumbing repairs last week by suckin' something that went down the tub drain out with an indoor-outdoor vac?

(Okay, so I actually ran across that hint on a website -- but some guys are just more sorely tempted to try that than others, and I have me one of those.)

Did I digress?

There are some ridiculously healthy eggplants, considering nobody even wants those things but Henry and my Mama.   The squash are looking very good, and the lima beans and the dragon tongue beans are coming in strong, too.

There are still two rows not spoken for:  I'm gunning for bell peppers.  I figure the guy who actually goes to the store and stands out there batting the mosquitoes away gets the final say.  All thoughts are welcome!