Tag Archives: natural

What’s Happening?

An overload of work, combined with the sheer overwhelm of ‘letting things go’ during the overload, resulted in a paralysis of sorts.

Then spring temperatures arrived and the daylight lengthened – and a dear friend said “send me some pictures” when I told her I wanted to spend time in the garden.

She knew what she was doing.  I required the prompt to recall that I have cameras for just that purpose – to take photos.

Here’s what’s happening in the garden, sans any human intervention for the past nine months.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Grape leaf bud
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Blueberry flower buds
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Peony leaves
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Sunflower seedling
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Tarragon regrowth
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Self seeded carrot growth
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Healthy asparagus
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Overgrown Raspberry canes
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Potato amidst the onions and garlic
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Lemon Balm
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Parsley return
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Overwintered broccoli blooms
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Sage
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
New water trough planter 

Experimental Gardening

Vacation and preparation for vacation consumed my attention, as did the pre and post work weeks.  Arrival at home was a welcome scene as our cat bounded from lap to lap enjoying the sorely missed human contact.

Then came reality – jungle style.  Our lawn and gardens had thrived beyond our imagination during the eight days that we were absent.

Today, finally, I was able to conquer the gardens, spending time placing boundaries and limits on my crop of weeds and tending carefully to the new starts of volunteer beans, tomatoes and flowers.
coreopsis pair

Established coreopsis has quadrupled with seeds scattered during the fall.horsemint color

Horsemint, a new introduction, has thrived in the multiple locations it has been placed.sweet clover highlight

One sweet clover plant was allowed to flourish and it has attained a height of over 6 ft and a spread of at least 4 ft.
wood ear fungus

Wood ear mushrooms have staked a claim on the rotting log borders in the garden proper.baby grapesThe grape vines have set fruit abundantly, already leaving me guessing at the harvest and sharing season.
narrow leaf plantain flowers

Narrow leaf plantain has established at the garden boundary, allowing it to flower and set seed.
wild mustardWild mustard, overseeded from the fall, has established in the pollinator garden.

Overall, once the allowed weeds were culled back to an acceptable state, and the volunteer flowers were forced into their proper boundaries, the garden looked quite healthy and tidy – as tidy as a mish-mash of weeds, herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables might look.

I’m claiming success, although the season is quite early.  There are not large productions of any one thing (except grapes), but just enough of this and that to provide for our household.

Better yet, it seems to be sufficient for the large variety of natural critters that have taken up residence.

Preparations: To Look Ahead

A signal for special Hebrew preparations, the twelfth new moon sighting was recently announced.  That triggers my attentions to my larder, my pantry.

As commanded in Exodus, the new year will begin soon.  It’s signaled by the first moon during or after the aviv stage of the barley in Israel.  From Wikipedia, ” aviv is the stage in the growth of grain when the seeds have reached full size and are filling with starch, but have not dried yet “.

This twelfth month means that soon there will be teams searching to determine the barley stage just prior to the next new moon – if the majority of the barley is at aviv, then the new year begins with the next new moon.

That means that Pesach/Passover and Chag Ha’Matzot/Unleavened Bread would follow shortly after.  Time for me to begin using up what I have of leavened items/leavening in my cupboards.

Last year, I was not as prepared, and tossed out nearly $100 worth of prepared foods from the outer food storage areas:  deep freezer and pantry.  It’s what had to be done.

This year, I’m trying to be less wasteful.  It’s so hard to remember when I’m at the store, buying in excess – “no, the remaining panko breading is enough to get through the next six weeks”.  I hope I’m not talking out loud when I remind myself, but that seems to be one of my recently acquired skills.  Ah, the freedom of age, eh?

 

 

Spandex Woes and More

I post a lot about feelings.  This blog is basically my online journal and showcases how alike you and I might be with our differences in beliefs.  Yet, I forget to let you in on some of the extraordinary portions of my life – the details that are specific to being Hebrew.

What I find to be one of the more complicated matters of Hebrew life is that of clothing.

The command not to mix fibers leaves a modern gal mostly flummoxed when confronting the clothing aisles.  Linen/wool blends, linen blends, wool blends, cotton/poly blends, linen/cotton/wool blends… it’s like looking for a sinew needle in a 500 gallon bin full of multi-fiber yarn.

I can tell you that I have to be in the mood to shop when it comes time to buy clothes.  The time I spend poring tediously over every content label would unnerve me to no end if I were simply running an errand on a tight schedule.

Since I work in an office, I typically settle on man-made clothing blends, hoping for a label of 100% unnatural vs mixing the natural cloth fibers.  Poly, nylon and spandex are my primary work-a-day options.

lace light

When I find the rare item that is 100% single fabric, I’m overjoyed.

The most recent find was on clearance as well.  Label me the proud owner of 9 (yes, nine) new pairs of 100% cotton jeans, purchased for $6.67 per pair, plus shipping and taxes.

Come now, don’t hate – I cannot find jeans without that tidbit of spandex added to the cotton.  When I do…

Call it prepping, call it hoarding – I call it practical.  It will save me hours of search time over the next few years.  With that practical mindset, I also varied the sizes, to account for minor fluctuations on the scale over time.  I like my chocolate and I’m prone to the occasional baked goods binge.  It’s not going to leave me pant-less.

But wait, there’s ‘More’.

While commanded, there is no penalty listed for this guideline.  Should I find myself facing no options but mixed fibers, it would not be a death penalty.  There is no slap on the wrist listed.  Many of the guidelines in Torah have no retribution, contrary to what some might believe.  I like to think that Almighty was keen to the possibility that there would be times when it would be difficult to live those ‘lesser’ commands.

Would I know?  Certainly.  There is that.  I would know that I had tried, but not met my obligation.  I’d have to live with that.

What a beautiful methodology.

 

Early Warming and Bare Toes

The first week of February is simply too early.

Buds on trees.  Crocus blades nearly two inches above ground level.  Daffodils pushing hopefully sun-ward.  Tulips rising in anticipation.  Blueberry bush buds, like little flames tipping the ends of the bare branches.  Song bird songs and mourning dove coos… it’s simply too early.

Granted, when there are several days of 60+ degrees, these things are bound to occur.  But dang!  It’s not typical, I say!

Enjoyable, definitely, but it makes me leery for what the consequences might be:   the options seem to fall anywhere along the lines of an extraordinary proliferation of bugs due to the prolonged warmth, or a snap kill-off of trees and early plants due to a harsh return of  winter.  I’ll hope for middle ground.

In the meantime, I took myself right out the door and immensely enjoyed that warm ol’ Kansas sunshine.

Lake Dog

A visit to a nearby lake with the dog, then  a meetup with friends at the lake.

lake treasures

Walking around the yard barefoot, giving early test of foot to rock callous as I ambled over to the dead grass.

Oh the feeling cannot be described as I rounded the corner and found the patch of freshly damped bare loam!  A few spots that do not get much sunlight, in a high traffic area.  The result is a finely powdered dirt, newly enriched from a recent soft rain, finely soaked in to leave what felt like milk chocolate for my feet.  It was pure enjoyment.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of the term ‘earthing’.  It’s a movement of sorts, the principles and theories of which I’ve not researched thoroughly.

ground

What I know, for myself, is that there is nothing quite so satisfying as touching Almighty’s creation.

Skin to creation.  Simple pleasures are the best.  🙂