a bit of earth

May 28, 2009

Can it be true? Dare I hope that the bud shall blossom, that the fruit shall flourish? Could I have miraculously managed to nurture such a delicately vegetal life?
I do dare . . . do choose to hope, against reason, perhaps, that this small sphere signifies some small seed of a successful gardener within my unlikely-exteriored self . . .

in the act

May 26, 2009

In case you have been inclined to disbelieve my tales of such oddities as green eggs and shameful egg-thievery, I humbly submit this photographic bit of evidence to you, the jury: this is me, today, caught in the act of said green-egg-theft . . . um, would that be caught green-handed? :-)

. . . but I must admit to being rather fond of it :-)

a bit of my own

May 20, 2009

Recently I have begun to compile some of my photography, finally organizing my messy hard drive into something coherent enough to pull together on Picasa. While doing so, I realized I had some scanned images of artwork I have done, so I thought I’d be brave enough to post one here :-) This is a portrait I did of one of my students in Zambia. It was also my first foray into the world of pencil crayons, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked the medium; in the past, I have always gravitated more towards pastels and oils if doing anything more than line sketches . . . so I post this with the qualification that I am by no means a true visual artist–only a dabbler!

a "master" competitor

May 14, 2009

My grandmother rushed off directly after dinner tonight: as we had lingered over the tomato plants beforehand, we were left with little time before her choir practice by the time we sat down to eat. So left to amuse ourselves in her absence, my grandpa and I decided to scour the house for that missing box of dominoes. Oddly enough, when PaCharley triumphantly emerged from the den he was holding not one, but 2 boxes of the “missing” game.
Having played much more recently than I, PaCharley entered into the game with the self-appointed role of instructor; and, consequently, he spent the entirety of our 2 rounds patiently laboring in his task of tutoring me in all the ins and outs of the game.
Soon thereafter, as my grandpa had to concede to my resounding triumph, I consoled him with the fact that, this being my first game since graduation, he could not begrudge the win of a “Master” . . .
Having entered into the Golf Masters lottery for years now, longing to win those coveted tickets, I am perhaps naively choosing to believe that this is an adequately convincing consolation :-)

After spending the beginnings of this planting season longing for all variety of gardening delights, this morning was a strange gift. I should perhaps first explain that I have had 2 particular leanings: one being perennials. Not trusting my gardening prowess, I have loved the thought of not counting on one summer alone for the plants to overcome any damages I could have inflicted during the first season. The second leaning has been towards vegetables; or, possibly more to the point, towards anything I can put to practical use, be it herbal of vegetable in nature. Mind you, I am also inclined to find a bouquet of fresh flowers to be sometimes just as “practical” as more obviously useful greens . . . but I digress. Back to the story at hand, I finally broke down last week and purchased a single Basil plant. This was about all I could fathom splurging on, seeing as how I imagined my black thumb to be destined to doom anything it had touched. Shortly thereafter, a good friend bequeathed 2 of her tomato plants to me. I was immensely proud of my paltry little garden, especially since a good number of bulbs managed to bloom from last year as well.
But this morning I was visiting a neighbor and commented on how lovely her yard looked, with its proliferation of vibrant, fuschia poppies. She explained that she had planted a few last year and that they had just taken root, and taken over since then. I replied that, “one could do worse than be overrun by perfectly purple poppies.” She laughed and then pointed to the wheelbarrow filled with uprooted blooms, begging me to take some. I obliged, and promptly lined my deck with a row of these hopefully brilliant lovelies.
Shortly thereafter, I was planting again . . .
Passing by another neighbor’s house, I was stopped, called over by an unknown voice. She hesitated a moment and then asked if, perchance, I would be interested in some tomato plants. Would I? I gasped at the question. Of course I would! It turns out that she runs a mail-order nursery from her home, This year she had planted more tomatoes than usual, from seed, anticipating high sales. But no one seemed to want these, so rows of perfect little plants, of all varieties, were doomed to the dumpster! I warned her of my own bad history with gardening but we decided that they were better off with a not-quite-certain death by black thumb than they would have been with a certain dumpster death.
So in one single day–my “Sabbath” as it were, the day in which I long for solitary work after the happy but tiring nature of worship-leading and church responsibilities–I have been graced with all manner of garden-ly gifts . . . with a boon of blooms :-)

this means war

May 9, 2009

Pardon the poor quality of this photo. My intention today, however, is not to produce award-winning photography; I am inclined, rather, to document the war that I have declared today. The adversary? Slugs. The weapon? A nice, frothy cold one. That’s right . . . the gardening expert informed me that a mere soap solution was child’s play when it comes to slugs in the garden. I had to break out the beer. It seems that slugs have a taste for it, more so than their appetite for my garden greens. So they will drink the beer I so kindly poured for them and then, I suppose, forget about all their woes . . . so long as they forget about my Sweet Basil, I will be quite content . . . may the best taste win :-)

The current canvas, unfinished . . . I can post the finished product as well, if you all in blog-land are interested. But I will not be too hurt if this particular masterpiece does not have you clamoring for an update :-)

recipe resource

May 1, 2009

I am feeling the need to gush about a recipe discovery, thanks to another blogger, at Twin Yolks . . . the one I tried was the super-simple, nameless one dish that she writes about along with the breakfast eggs, at the post titled “oui, asperge.” The epitome of compliments came last night [upon my first attempt at the dish] when, after the first bite, my dinner guest said, “Wow–this is great! Can we have it again?” Considering the fact that I am never comfortable with making a dish until I know I can do it well, I figured this was a good sign. I also was quite pleased with the sum total for the groceries, considering that I ended up with leftovers enough to make the entire meal again, planned for tomorrow. One tip I would add is that I ended up getting a foccaccia from a local bakery, and I suspect that such a firm and crust bread was the perfect choice. I was also able to save by getting the day-old discount which, as I was baking it anyhow, made for a perfectly tasty end product!