Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Harvesting Dinner

Last night I had the distinct pleasure of harvesting my dinner. What fun. I have never seen basil so big and so green, even though I grew it for years. There were several beans to go along with it.

I put the shredded Parmesan on the plate, put the cooked buckwheat noodles on top, let the cooking water (buckwheat noodles take little water)reduce with the olive oil, basil and garlic to make a little sauce and it was delicious. Could have used tomato or sweet pepper for color. Next time.

This is inspiring me to grow more garden! It is so much fun to be self-reliant, to have absolutely fresh food and to use what is on hand. Now I think I want to try making my own yogurt for the yogurt cheese maker for this would be a yummy variation on the Parmesan. Yogurt cheese with chopped basil and garlic would also be good.

What can I make for myself today? Hmmm. More basil.

The new toy that I bought from my niece's Pampered Chef business (see link to the right) is not a toy, but an excellent tool. It is the garlic press, the best one that I have ever owned. It presses the clove through the skin so peeling is not necessary. It comes with a cute and clever little tool that presses the residue back up into the press to clean it. No poking with a toothpick to get all the garlic out. I love it and will be pressing garlic frequently now. Yum

So this morning I am grateful and happy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Week and New Beginnings

Monday again and a whole week stretches invitingly ahead. Will I use it well or will it just slip by me? The weekend was spent on household chores. How can one person have so much laundry, so many dishes and so much stuff to shovel around? How can so much paper accumulate that needs to be shredded? The whole concept, as well as the shredders, didn't exist when I was growing up. Now I waste a major amount of time on this.

I am beginning to see that there really is a dining room here. Could be a pretty room too, with the clutter pushed back. There is slightly less mess in the living room which has been a holding for sorting room for the last year. Not what it was meant for. Today a friend is coming over to help me tackle that. A professional organizer, she is giving me the gift of her time. I am also hoping to sell the piano so that a major large piece of furniture will move on. Anyone want to buy a piano?

I spent some delightful time this morning reading Linda's blog. Jim has completed the race and they have a week in Hawaii before sailing on. Fair winds, little boat. Take my friends safely on their adventure and bring them home.

Meantime, my big adventure is to finely reclaim this house for a party to celebrate with family and friends. That is something to look forward to.

More later, when more is accomplished. I am grateful for good weather and the gift of time.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday at Week's End

A feeble pun on wit's end. I have been busy this week setting up a new watering schedule and devising a new way to do some of the watering chores myself. Two half gallon milk jugs and a watering can come into the kitchen sink and are filled then hauled to the porch to do the honors. People are away this weekend and so I want to see if I can manage this myself before finding more friends to help. So far so good. I have also potted up the irises a friend brought over in holding pots before someone can plant them in the ground.

The larger of the yellow roses that I posted Tuesday grew to be six inches across. A truly large rose. Three Mr. Lincoln's are fading on my counter now. As they fade they turn an almost purple not quite magenta color that I can't quite capture with my camera. (I probably need filters that I don't have. As well as knowledge that I don't have.) The camera is such a gift. My digital camera was preceded by a 35mm camera, a gift from my parents when I graduated from high school.

This week I have been scanning slides from that time into my desk top computer. It is amazing how many Christmas tree pictures my family took. As though we would never have another Christmas tree, we snapped shot after shot of the trees. The shots with the lights on never turned out. Then as I was laughing at myself for having expended so much film on the trees, and wishing also that I had taken more shots of the people, I found it: the magic Christmas tree.

One year in the eighties when a tree truly wasn't in the household budget and I had not expected to have one, Papa came into the house on Christmas eve day with a scrawny, not terribly beautiful tree, the last one in the grocery store lot. He went to the garage and brought in the boxes. He set it up where I would be able to look and look and look at it and even helped me decorate it. I hadn't thought that I had any pictures of it at all and the slides had turned a funny color, magenta like the roses on the counter. With the help of the computer, I brought it back to green again. It was such a joy to see it again. I spent hours that Christmas, in the evening with my feet up on a stool just looking at the tree. That was the first time, too that we did not put lights on a tree. It was so dry that I did not think it was a good idea to put the light on it. Papa was grateful. I have never put lights on one again. Symbol of the Light as it is, it doesn't need electricity to make it work for me. Everything on it is shiny and catches the light. I take better pictures of it this way too.

Somehow I think the picture taking is an attempt to fix the object. The picture is never quite the same. It doesn't capture the magic. It is why I keep taking pictures of the flowers too, I think, turning the ephemeral into something that lasts longer; holding on to memory that I don't quite trust to do the job without the visual cue.

Memory too is an elusive thing, not as fixed as we think it is, the memories change as we go forward in time. The way that I remember my childhood is not the same as the way I remembered it in my twenties. My memory of the Christmas trees, or the roses, is not the same as the trees or the items themselves. I will still try to hold the moments in time making memories by taking pictures for as long as I have the gift to see well enough to use the cameras. For the art, the technology and the gift of sight, I give thanks tonight and am grateful.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Friendship and Flowers

My friend Linda, who is like another sister to me--she was even born in the same month as my sister--has embarked on a new life under sail for the next three months. Before she left she brought me two roses from her beautiful yellow rose bush. I can share the pictures that I have been taking, but there is no way to share the fragrance over the internet--yet. (When that time comes, the computer will be able to deliver dinner too--not just by ordering out, that it can already do.)

Linda will be gone for three months as she and Jim sail from Hawaii to the San Juan islands, around the San Juan islands, in and around Puget Sound and then finally home to the Bay Area. (Jim is already on his way in a sailing race that began ten days ago.) I have linked to her blog, sea-of-change, since she is sharing this adventure with her friends on-line. I am excited about having a vicarious adventure along with her as she shares.

Looking at the roses and smelling the beautiful fragrance has made me think of her even more than I would have without them. Flowers are one of the interests that we share, along with gardening, cooking and photography. I am looking forward to pictures of the sea and sea creatures that I know she is eagerly looking forward to taking.

Friendship and flowers have a number of things in common, I think. Beauty is in both of them and they are both treasures. Tending and respect are needed for both and love is part of them too. Flowers remind us of how fragile life is and of how we need to slow down to appreciate it more. Friendship is one of the best things to slow down for.

So Linda, this blog post is for you. Thank you for the treasure of your friendship, your time, sharing your mind and your laughter as well as your kindness. Thank you for caring for me and for bringing me flowers (as well as food from TJ's--our nearby Trader Joe's). I miss you and will think of you often. Good sailing, good wind and good weather go with you and Jim. Godspeed you back to home, friends, the cats and Little Bird. The Fall will come quickly, I know. Fun and adventure aplenty abound in the meantime. Stay well.

Appleberry Promotion to end Domestic Violence

I am sending this to a number of people and organizations as a press release/promotion for my Mary Kay business. It is a bit long, but it is important to include all of the information, I think. Back to regular blogging later today or tomorrow. In case it is confusing to anyone, I have been Peggy to family and friends for most of my life, choosing recently to write and design under my baptismal name of Marguerite. So Peggy and Marguerite are one and the same person.

Independent Beauty Consultant, Peggy Manor of Mountain View, CA is participating in the Mary Kay promotion to break the cycle of domestic violence. From May through December of 2008 Mary Kay® will donate 100% of its profits from the sale of Beauty that Counts™Mary Kay Creme Lipstick® in Apple Berry to help change the lives of women and children around the world by partnering with Break the Cycle®.

In addition to the company’s donation, Peggy will donate 10% of her profits from all lipstick (and lipgloss sales) to the Community Services Agency of Mountain View for use in support of the women’s shelter that it sponsors.

Apple Berry is the most popular shade of lipstick in Mary Kay sales world wide, so it is particularly appropriate to this campaign since it suits the complexions and coloring of so many women of all ages. Free samples are available by contacting Peggy.

To see the Appleberry promotion on Peggy’s website please follow this link

For all Mary Kay products please visit Peggy's website Products may be ordered directly through the website and all major credit cards are accepted. Peggy will also be happy to help you with a makeover using the newest, most beautiful mineral powder foundations and mineral cheek and eye colors. These products contain vitamins that are good for the skin, are long-lasting and in a new range of colors. Elegant brushes and compacts are available with these new products as well.

Contact Peggy at with questions or to arrange for a consultation.

Mary Kay is committed to Break the Cycle's® work of preventing domestic violence by providing education to young people so that they will be able to build more positive lives. Mary Kay, Inc is sponsoring a prevention curriculum and DVD which will be available to groups working with young people.

If you are a teacher, counselor, minister, parent or family member who might utilize this curriculum, please let me know and I will email you when the DVD becomes available. For more information visit the web site at

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Today is my only nephew's thirtieth birthday. Such a beautiful baby he was and it doesn't seem that long ago. (Although in some ways more than that, time is doing an elliptical thing on me now at my age.) Now he is the father of a baby who will soon be one year old himself. They are all in Toledo, celebrating this milestone birthday and a first wedding anniversary.

We are the old folks now, even though we don't feel that old. Just tired. I remember Mama and Papa on the day my nephew, their first grandchild, was born. They were so proud and pleased, wishing that 2500 miles didn't separate them from holding him and oohing and ahing. Those same miles separate me today, but with email, and digital cameras and youtube, we are only minutes, even milliseconds away.

As I have reveled in the pictures being sent back and forth this year, I have also dug out the old photos, sent by snail mail and just as eagerly awaited and enjoyed. The pictures of a tiny baby lying still curled up and with his tiny little perfect rump in the air. Later the toddler. One Halloween a little boy in a Davy
Crockett hat and costume, perfectly tucked away and waiting for him, saved by his father's mother. A mental image of a large pile of luggage piled into the garage and a small boy asking, "Aunt Maggie do you always travel with so much luggage?" "Only when I'm moving home, my dear." (An equally impressive amount of luggage and boxes and whatever filled the borrowed van when his parents moved him to collage fourteen years later.) A photo of a small boy getting on the school bus for the first time is followed by many Christmas and Easter photos with a pretty little sister, both in their holiday best.

One year when Toledo stores where depleted of that year's perfect toy, Papa and I scoured the stores out here and found He-Man's castle. Before it was sent on I had to play with it myself (just checking to make sure that all the parts were really there, you know.)

Baseball, basketball, football and finally Lacrosse filled my nephew's growing up years along with school, friends, family and Scouts. One of my most cherished photos shows him with his parents on the occasion of his Eagle award. Now, I believe, he is leading a Cub Scout troop himself and coaching Lacrosse. Service is a family tradition as his Dad coached Little League and his Mom is still a scout leader.

Pictures of graduations have given way to one with a chocolate Labrador. That has finally given way to the picture on my dining room table. Taken on the beach at Key West it shows a handsome and confident young man with his beautiful new wife. I love you both. Happy birthday, happy first anniversary and many more. May you grow in love and peace.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


This is one view of my basil plants. They make a privacy screen of sorts between my front gate and my front door.

The marjoram has grown to be quite a pretty plant.

I am already dreaming of what will come next. Fall and winter vegetables would be good. I dream of kale and chard and onions and even more herbs. For next spring and summer flax and wheat and amaranth and teff--just enough of these major grain plants to have a demonstration garden that I can photograph for my writing and designs. I also want to put in a cover crop in the front yard, but finding helpers to do that may be too difficult. The front yard looks abandoned and it needs to be double-dug, not an easy task in hard, baked-clay soil.

It is amazing what sun, water, a good pot full of good soil and some tending will do for a plant. This marjoram was one of seven baby herbs given to me by a friend in a wonderful long planter that I still hope to use to grow scallions, radishes and carrots nearby where I can tend to them.

I think that the heat did in the beans. They were beautiful and delicious while they lasted. I hope for more next year.

I am setting up a Squidoo lens on Healing and Herbs and another on the mMeaning of Herbs. For like flowers, herbs also carry meanings that are symbolic--give your love basil along with the roses and the flowers can go in a jar while the basil goes into the blender to be made into dinner. Both signify love.

I am grateful to be recovering the garden and the lore that I spent time learning in the 1980's--two decades ago. It seems longer, but time is becoming compressed now--a sign that it will be time for me to go.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Prayer for a Farmer or Gardener

Last week while I sweltered, my plants throve. Basil is large and green and the best I have ever had. Marjoram in her pot looks almost as full and pretty as she would in a lovely well mulched spot in the ground. The roses are blooming. Indoors, each of the little pots in which I planted seeds a week and a half ago has baby plants in it.

The sea breeze, one of the most beneficent aspects of the climate where I live is blowing in on me as I write this. The house is a temperature that would be almost perfect any time of the year and wouldn't be anywhere near this warm in the winter.

Yesterday as I sorted a collection of holy cards that I have had for more than fifteen years, I came across one that has a prayer on the back titled, "Prayer of the Christian Farmer and Gardener". It seems like a suitable prayer to share in light of the weather disasters of June in the Midwest and California.

"O God, Source and Giver of all things, Who does manifest Thy infinite majesty, power and goodness in the earth about us, we give You honor and glory.

For the sun and the rain, for the manifold fruits of our fields, for the increase of our herds and flocks, we thank You. For the enrichment of our souls with divine grace, we are grateful.

Supreme Lord of the harvest, graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil, in union with Christ, Your Son, as atonement for our sins, for growth of Your Church, for peace and charity in our homes, for salvation to all. Amen."

That we have clement weather, rain in due season and respite from heat and from fire, from flood and from wind I pray. I am grateful tonight for cooler weather and for the friends who are making my beautiful garden possible and a blessing to me. Thank you all.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Blessings

Today's weather has been a blessing--summer at its absolute best! If it would just stay like this, I don't think many people would mind.

As I write I am looking out at my porch, the bag of potting soil under the potting bench, the basil plants in their pots on the top of it, tall enough now to begin forming a privacy screen between my half gate and my screen door. The rose bush that was looking most scraggly and shabby has come back beautifully in a bigger pot, fresh soil and a little shade. It is blooming prettily with pink roses.

The Mr. Lincoln is rapidly outgrowing its pot and will have to have a new one. (I think this is something like kids with school shoes. Every time you turn around they need new ones.) It is reaching toward the sky too and if each of the six buds it currently has mature, I will have six more magnificent and fragrant roses. M chose well when she picked this out for me last year.

The economic news this evening and yesterday has been so scary that I just cried and changed the channel to the weather channel. I can't believe the egregious stupidity and greed that went into making this mess and how much we are all going to suffer before it is over. Regulation and stability would make so much more sense.

On a lighter note I have added another goodie to my ultimate gadget wish list. Remote control for my bedroom drapes and I think it is within reach of my budget! Yippie skippie as my Mary Kay director says.

Over all I am grateful.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Gadgets and Gizmos

The heat should abate today and just about everyone in the area is talking about it. How to cool the house more effectively? Today my neighborhood email list had a marvelous post from the President of our Neighborhood Association detailing all the various kinds of air-conditioning. There are many choices short of the costly solution of full air.

I am thinking about a ceiling fan or a roof exhaust fan to pull the hot air out of the house. Basically, if I can gain a few degrees I can stop fearing the heat exhaustion that inevitably sets in after several days of this. Ideally I would like something solar powered to make it not dependent on the power grid.

More fans are definitely in the offing. The ones that are small personal fans that run on batteries have struck me in the past as toys. Still they would be a back-up in case of a power outage.

The most decidedly low-tech cooling solution is dousing my hair in cold water in the morning. Personal evaporative cooling, stays with me in any room of my house. In addition, a long piece of discarded t-shirt fabric wrung out in cold water is draped around my neck.

Now if I could figure out a way to cool the computer!

More when the weather is cooler. I am grateful that I am surviving and that the fog is on the way!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gadgets and Gizmos

The day went by quickly yesterday even though it was so hot. Today it will be hotter. A friend has lent me a spray mister that has a small, but powerful and effective fan for trial use. (I think I am going to buy one.) When I first saw it, I thought it looked kind of weird and awkward. It is an absolute Godsend. Everyone should have one. It is low tech, doesn't require electricity--survival in case of a power outage and is portable.

Right now at around 8:00 am it is cooler outside by five degrees than it is inside. Cool air is blowing in on me thanks to one of three box fans of varying age that I have in the house. These are fairly low tech too, actually. Faithful and simple in design they plug along year after year. Of course, they don't get used all year round. It doesn't feel like it could possibly become as hot as it is slated to be, but it will, so I need to run around the house closing windows behind me as I go. (Image a slightly elderly lady wheeling around her house wielding a cane. No she is not bats, nor is she chasing anything, the cane allows her to reach her window cranks and open and close, close and open. Tedious, but low tech, adaptable and effective.)

The "new" --nearly ten years old now, but I still think of it as new--furnace came with a programmable thermostat. I am tempted to put a piece of tape over the display. Do I really want to know how hot it is at the end of the day? Won't make me any cooler, but I can't resist looking at it.

My last gadget for this post is a lovely absolutely darling, kitchen toy er tool that scoops cookie dough in just perfect balls to plop on the baking sheet. It is a Pampered Chef goodie and may be ordered by clicking on the link to the right that goes to my niece, Jennifer Knapp's Pampered Chef site. (Shameless plug over.)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday Blessings

It was a gorgeous day, not nearly as hot as I feared, although more heat is predicted for later in the week. I often find myself wishing that Papa and I had been able to install full air before he died. Each summer I struggle through the heat waves, which seem to be coming closer together and happening more frequently. Or is it just a drought year?

It is good to hear that the fire in Goleta, where someone I first met when she was six and I was in my twenties lives and works is being contained. I hope that she and her house are safe tonight and will remain so. It is also good to know that the fire in Monterey County has bypassed, at least for now, the town of Big Sur. I have been to Carmel, including the Mission and to Point Lobos, but I don't remember Big Sur.

My friend who has the Gravenstein apple tree in his back yard brought me two big bags of apples today and a bag of apricots. He was on his way to Mass and it was good to see him, this Marine of the greatest generation who recently celebrated his 85th birthday. He is always kind and cheerful and has a fund of fine stories to share. It was an especial pleasure to see him today for it had been sometime.

The pots with the seeds--that I hope are germinating--are sitting in the front hall where they will be out of the sun's heat. I misted them twice today and then brought them inside.

The neighbors' sunflowers soar to their roof and are dwarfing their garage. This is a delightful thing to look out at from the vantage of my front door.

I have seen several hummingbirds, both the male and female in my backyard. They are my most favorite birds.

I am grateful for the day and hope for tomorrow that it will be good and not as hot as predicted.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Excessive Heat Warning

Again the yellow band is flowing across the bottom of the television screen when I check the weather channel to see if it is time to start opening the house. That time is when the outside temperature is three degrees below the inside temperature and it has held steady for at least forty minutes or so. Right now it is perfectly splendid, a breeze is blowing that is visible in the swaying branches of trees. Increasingly, I give thanks for these trees.

I was hoping so much that we could get a few more weeks away from the longest day of the year before having to endure this again. Once we have lost an hour or so of daylight, my house is not so hot and cools down more quickly at night. Alas, it is not to be.

For the sake of the firefighters too, I was hoping that we would not have another excessive heat spell for a bit. The fire at Big Sur is so huge, so complicated and surging over such rugged terrain that they are not expecting to have it fully contained until the end of July. This means it will not be controlled until next month and it will probably be the fall rains that will finally put it out.

We could use a rain right now over all of the state. A real rain that would fall gently and steadily restoring moisture to parched land and trees. Not dry lightning which makes for more wild fires, but water. On the other hand would it just make the weeds grow to make more fuel in a few weeks? I don't know.

There is talk about a new tax of $12 to be paid for by all property owners. I think it would be more fair to tax those living in the areas that are at risk, but since I breathe the air, I will pay my tax without a protest.

Better management of water resources and forests is needed in this state. Fifty years of underbrush and dead trees should not be left to stack up to burn in a drought year. I am, of course, a city girl; born in a city, living in an urban megolopolis and having lived for six years in one of the country's biggest and grandest cities, I don't view wilderness in quite the same way, I suppose, as those who live near it.

Still, if I were living in the wilderness or close to it, I would want to be able to clear defensible space around my dwelling and outbuildings. As a taxpayer and a voter, I think it is time to call the National Park Service to accountability. It is time to temper environmentalism with stewardship and change some of our policies. The health cost of these fires as the air continues to be choked with ash and smoke hasn't been calculated. I can feel in my lungs and energy level that it is taking a toll on me and I am sure that I am not alone.

I am grateful that I do not live inland or in one of the areas of fires and that the longest day of the year has past. I will be grateful when next weekend comes around--I wish I could just hibernate and sleep until then.

Friday, July 4, 2008

July 4, 2008

Independence Day. The day for flags, buntings, fireworks and too much ice cream and other summer treats. As a day for celebration and food it rivals Thanksgiving and there is no other day like it in the calendar.

When Papa was alive we followed the custom of reading the Declaration of Independence aloud. It begins, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

These are words worthy of consideration on any Independence Day, especially one that falls in an election year. By our votes in the fall, we will ratify an old government or elect a new one; a more peaceable process than a War of Revolution. The duty becomes more serious and more somber when I think of it like that. To avoid the process of Revolution, the destabilization that would bring, we have a quieter process and through it we provide ourselves with stability. Now if we could figure out a way to provide ourselves with a stable economy.

After a long list of grievances against the king, the Declaration ends with these words, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

This group of aristocratic landowners pledged everything and I have always been stirred by these words, especially the concept "our Sacred Honor". I think our service men and women resonate those words in the service that they give our country and us. May all of them come home safely to their families and friends.

I grew up in the 1950's, a time that was patriotic to the hilt and right after I learned my Hail Mary's and Our Father's, I learned these words and the parallel words of the Constitution. Patriotism was a secondary religion, questioned only when our involvement in Vietnam caused such disillusion and skepticism that I, as so many of my generation, have been distrusting of government ever since. Now, I think, that it is a certain amount of the duty of citizens to have skepticism and to study the issues at hand. We should follow the shining example of the framers of our government in taking the process seriously. They did--all the way to pledging lives, fortunes and honor. Something to ponder as we go toward the election in November.

For more on the declaration here is a web site,

  • I am grateful for the heritage of this declaration, our democracy and freedom, as well as the election.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008

    Dreaming Vegetable Dreams

    Yesterday I transplanted five basil plants by myself thanks to having an IKEA shelf on the porch now to use as a potting bench. The five plants greeted me when I looked out this morning and they look so pretty and cheerful.

    Seeds for four kinds of tomatoes and some sage will go in the pots just vacated. These pots are deep enough to give any seedlings a good start and that will allow time for friends to prepare the bigger pots for the tomatoes. These are getting off to a late start, but we can still pick tomatoes into early November here. The leftover seeds should still be viable to plant in the Spring.

    My package from Bountiful Gardens came Tuesday and it is so good to be connected again to Ecology Action, an organization that does such good work around the world to promote sustainable agriculture. We do not need to rely entirely on big corporations, making big corporate profits and taking away independence from small communities and individuals. In addition, intensive, natural farming respects the earth and is a form of shepherding and stewardship. Stewardship is foundational to the so-called "green revolution" (and we need to take care of the ways in which that will be commercialized as well.)

    I have been eating the first beans from my garden; the first ever beans that have been grown on my land. They are delicious. Pretty too, as there are both green and yellow beans. I am blessed not only by the beans but by the friends who have planted, watered and now are picking them for me. In a very real sense my garden is a friendship garden.

    Bountiful Gardens catalog is a temptation. More vegetables than I could possibly ever eat! Herbs and flowers--oh no, not again! This time, I hope that I will remember that each plant gets bigger than I think that it will and needs enough space. (On the other hand my rosemary that I joke is trying to take over the county began as a cutting and is now more than twenty years old.)

    Gardening is a life-time avocation. It connects us to the earth--it felt good to have dirt on my hands and to smell the good smell of healthy potting soil yesterday--and to the past and the future. It grounds us in time while at the same time reminding us that we will not always be here. It invites us to be good stewards and to enjoy the bounty, not only of the earth itself, but of our work as well.

    I wish that everyone could have a garden even if it is just one potted tomato and one pot of basil. I am grateful for mine.