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Taking a Break for Writing

Note: I wrote this post yesterday from the iPad, then sent it to my computer by email. Perhaps one day I'll learn to cope and paste on iPad. Anyway, by evening, I was too pooped to get on the computer and publish this post. In the end, does it really matter if I had? :-)

I'm taking a short writer's break from being a domestic goddess. Brief no doubt because I have been thinking about writing that first sentence for the last 10 minutes. Every so often that sentence repeated itself in my brain when I wasn't distracted by The Solid Gold Oldies music station on TV playing in the background and by the ambitious things I want to complete before dinner begging for mental attention.

Sigh.

I forgot. What was the intent of this post?

Probably to brag about the things I have finally got to and then some. Should that be one word: then some, thensome?

To my great surprise the Blenheim apricot tree gifted us—and the birdies—with many branches full of fruit. We can't eat the apricot…

Our Own Mustard "Field"

Wild mustard greens is one of my favorite foods. I like to sauté the greens in garlic and soy sauce. Add a bit of bacon grease, if I feel like being fancy. Yummm.

When I was a kid, it was common for the Daddy to pull our car beside an orchard or field full of wild mustard. The parents got out to collect bunches of greens, while I wandered about, gazing and doing who knows what.

These days I wouldn't gather any wild mustard unless I knew the property owner and was assured that the property is certified organic.

Last year, the Husband and I decided to grow our own mustard "field", not only for food but also to help put nutrients back into the soil. We purchased a pound of mustard seeds online, but sowed about a third of the bag. Toss is more precise. In December, I tossed the seeds willy-nilly into the backyard.

Today it's a mini jungle of green and yellow back there. Some of the mustard plants are nearly five feet tall. I read that these plants can grow between six …

The Letter A

So, what did you think about when you read the letter A?

The Scarlet Letter?  Alvin from the Chipmunks? "A-a-a-a-a" as in the Fonzie's?

Nope. You get no analyzing from me about your answer.

Mine, you ask?

Avocados. That's because an avocado fell from our tree during the amazing storm this past weekend. Most of the fruit are at the top, which surprised me. I didn't think we'd have much of a crop because of the big one last year.  But nearly every time I looked at the avocado tree, and it was infrequent, I found another hidden among the leaves. Trés cool.

I read that avocados start ripening once they're picked and that the best place to store avocados is on their tree. In two or three days, the avocado may be ready to eat. Maybe four days. If so, our feasting on avocados begin.

Once all the avocados are harvested, we'll lop off the top branches. The Mama taught me to prune high in the tree so that the fruits would grow low on the tree. We shall see.


Cheers to a New Calendar Year!

"What got into you?" asked the Husband, looking across the table as I cracked walnuts.

"The bananas got browner just like you said would happen," I answered. We bought the bunch of organic bananas yesterday afternoon. I only wanted three bananas, but when I saw that the bananas were a bunch for a dollar, I couldn't bring myself to buy three bananas when I could purchase eight for the same price. Would you?

I don't remember if I fully answered the Husband's question. I recall that he went back to checking out Facebook so I must've said that I want the walnuts for making banana bread. Now I think I'll bake scones. Easier. Then I'll freeze the rest of the bananas. I found out I don't even need to peel, slice, or stick them in freezer bags. And when I want to use one or two for baking or smoothies, I simply microwave the bananas for a minute or two. Voila!

It's been a good new year so far. I've been very productive, too. Along with…

Harvest Time — Not So Easy Work

Harvesting crops is hard back-breaking work. Every time I pass by a field of workers, I'm very grateful to them. How can anyone not want to give them a living wage?

It wasn't until 1978 that farmworkers on large farms were finally included under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which required their employers to pay them minimum wage. Still, in some states today, farmers can choose to give their workers a piece-rate wage rather than a minimum hourly rate. It's not a high piece rate either.  For instance, if a worker receives 50 cents for every bucket of tomatoes she picks, she would need to pick about 2.5 tons of tomatoes to earn an equivalent minimum hourly wage for a 10-hour day. I think all states ought to mandate hourly wages for farmworkers.

I've got a Mama story for you. She always laughed when she told me about her first year working in the fields of America. It was either the first or second year that she was living here, so that was 1950 or 1951. She decided to p…

Friday's Hunt v.2.9

The cues for Friday's Hunt this week are: 1. Starts with I   2. Week's favorite   3. Pink

So, here's my week's favorite picture: The pink-faced Husband quickly inserting himself into the photo I was taking of the apples and lemons that I harvested from our trees.  I love that silly guy.


Friday's Hunt is a weekly meme hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills. To check out the other participants, please click here.


Baaaaaaaa

Good ricotta?

I think it is made from sheep, because that's the artisanal stuff we bought at the independent, natural goodness supermarket in Santa Cruz last week.

I forget that cow's milk isn't the only source for cheese until I eat cheese that's made from other animals. Maybe if I'd been more careful, I could've found the good ricotta made from cow.

For breakfast I ate a peanut butter-ricotta-honey sandwich. As I chewed, I thought of sheep, their wool, their face, and their hooves. I recalled the Warner Brothers cartoon in which the wolf wore sheep's clothing to get closer to the sheep. The sheepdog always beat the wolf at his game. Of course. The funniest part about the cartoon was the end when both the sheepdog and wolf clocked out of their work shift and said, "See you tomorrow."

Molly the Cat came mewing to see what I had for breakfast. She likes cheese, too. I gave her a pinch of the ricotta from my sandwich.  Sniff, sniff. She walked awa…

Friday's Hunt v2.3

I love it when I can share a photo that captures all three items in Friday's Hunt, hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills. This week the items are 1) starts with C, 2) week's favorite, and 3) unique perspective.

The best part about this photo is that it came together all of a sudden this morning when I decided to de-pit a bunch of tart cherries with my nifty cherry de-pitter tool. No doubt there is a proper name for the tool, but I don't feel like doing a Google search for it.

I don't know what I'll do with the de-pitted cherries. Any suggestions?


To participate in the photo hunt and/or to see other participants' finds, please click here.


The Mama's Apples

Two of Mama's apple trees are producing quite a lot of fruit this year, unlike the past two or three years. Some of you already know about the story of her apple trees. So, please bear with me as I say again that the Mama's apple trees started from seeds of apples that the Mama ate about 28 years ago.

The Mama was told:

"They'll never grow into trees."

"They'll never bear fruit."

"You won't be around long enough for the trees to grow and bear fruit."

Ha. Ha. And, Ha!

The Mama tasted many years worth of apples from her trees.


Today begins a new round of the alphabet at ABC Wednesday, a delightful weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continuing under the administration of Roger Green and his ABCW team.  Click here to join in or to check out what bloggers are writing about the letter A.

Some Are Growing, Summer Eating

This morning I plucked the orange cherry tomatoes in the photo from the limbs of Jo. Yes, those are tiny orange tomatoes. When the first ones ripened, I wondered why they weren't getting red. It's a good thing the short-term memory box of mine kicked in before the fruits dropped off their branches.

Led Zeppelin and Valerie are producing fruit, too. Barely. They're bravely keeping their tiny fruit going. I haven't been very good about remembering to water the trio, especially during the hot days. When I do water them, I don't promise that I'll be better about the task. I hate breaking promises.

The yellow fruit in the photo are Asian pears, which are from our small tree.  It has produced a big crop this year because of the winter rains. I'm picking the fruit as they ripen. I wish the Mama was here to enjoy them.

I'm sharing today's post at Seasons, a fun weekly meme hosted by Jeanette of St Germain's Blog. Please click here to join in and/or ch…

The Three Amigas

Photos for this week's Friday's Hunt, hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills, include:
• Starts with T
• Week's favorite
• Evening

My favorite photo is of the three different types of tomato plants that are now residing together in my first veggie garden in a long time.  Meet Jo, Led Zeppelin, and Valerie, from left to right.  Jo is already sporting a tiny tomato. Yaay! Led Zeppelin is quite a survivor, having almost dried up. And, Valerie is a volunteer and quite a fuzzy gal.

The three amigas are nightshade plants. Nightshade, evening. Close enough. 

To join in on the fun and/or see what photos other participants are sharing, please click here

Surprise: Apple Blossoms!

When Molly the Cat and I opened the curtains in the living room this morning, the first thing we noticed was the puddle of water on the patio.

"Look, Molly! It rained during the night." Noticing the white petals in the puddle, I glanced up at the apple tree. "Apple blossoms!"

Molly the Cat looked out the window, posed in her So are we going outside to explore further stance. She didn't seem as pleased about the apple blossoms as the Mama and the Husband did when I told them.

It may be a good year for apples from that tree, which the Mama planted from seeds 28 years ago.


I'm hooking up with Seasons, a new weekly meme hosted by Jeanette at St Germain's Blog. Click here to check out other participants.


Eden Hills Friday's Hunt v1.10

It's time to get back into the swing of participating in Teresa's Friday photo hunt meme at her blog, Eden Hills. This week the hunt was for photos interpreting the letter J, week's favorite, and a cuppa.

A Cuppa Joe
I drank a sweet, amazing cup of mocha this afternoon, the first taste of coffee in more than three weeks. As I sipped my personality quickly changed to big smiles, floating contentment, and yakity-yak. Ahhhhhhh.

If some of you are wondering, I'm still on my No-this, No-that food program. After 16 days, I'm  allowing myself a treat now and then. So, while we were doing our Saturday errands, the Husband and I stopped at our favorite cafe, Vertigo Coffee, in San Juan Bautista. The above photo isn't of today's wonderful creations by Ryan, but of the amazing mocha's that we had on my birthday in December. If you're ever in San Juan Bautista or passing through the area, check out Vertigo Coffee. The cafe also serves delicious artisanal sandw…

Day Nine

"Hey, kid, you want me."

That loaf of sweet French bread jumped out at me as I entered the kitchen.

"One slice won't hurt you," it purred, smiling seductively from the kitchen counter.

Sigh. 

Deep breath.

Ignoring my yearning for a taste of the bread, I gathered ingredients to make sandwiches for the Mama's and the Husband's lunch. I simply pretended that I didn't like bread.  It worked, thank goodness.

Turns out I still don't know better.

Nine days ago, I started to limit the foods that I can eat because I was lethargic and scatterbrained. For the last two months, I had been consuming too many desserts, bread, potato chips, and beer without doing any worthwhile exercise to offset the yummy calories. In addition, my eczema was constantly raging and, frighteningly, an insect bite turned into an ugly fungal infection, which was a first for me.  Burp. Burp. Yeah, a lot of those, too. So, no gluten foods.  No fried foods. No desserts. No peanut bu…

Boinggg. . . .!

Boing! Boing! Boing!

Its boingness is more so since I only drink it now and then. Boing! Boing! Boing!

Yesterday was my day of Boing! I brewed coffee for the Mama, the Husband, and me to sip as we ate old-fashioned doughnuts. Yummmmmmm.  Boing!


It's the letter B on ABC Wednesday, the weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continued today by Roger Green and his ABC Wednesday team. Click hereto participate and/or to check out other participants.

Recalling The Best Thing Done with Lemons

The memory of the best lemon meringue pie I ever ate

Still makes me smile.

Still gets me goofy with a sugar high.

Still makes me feel weak at the knees.

A sigh of deliciousness.

That slice of the best lemon meringue pie is very long-time gone.

Back in 1984.

In a red building in a small shopping center in the middle of cowboy country.

On The Big Island of Hawaii.

A sigh of deliciousness.


Persimmons!

The Mama's persimmon tree gave us an abundant crop this year. We're sharing the fruit on the top branches with the birds and squirrels. I told them to leave the lower branches for us. So far, so good.




Patiently Waiting

Our original avocado tree has about 30 fruits. The Mama and I counted them a few weeks ago.

I learned that avocados start to ripen once they're picked, and the best place to store avocados are on their trees. Up until a point. And, that's when they look like they're about to shrivel, which means they'll soon fall. Those we won't want to eat. I'm sure the Mama would still say, "Nothing wrong with them." Anyway, I don't want the avocados to get to that point.

Maybe after Thanksgiving, we can pick an avocado and see if it'll ripen in two weeks. Yummmm. Knock on wood.


Experimenting with My Diet

You know how sometimes you wake up one morning and you decide to be good about what you eat. That was this morning for me. I haven't analyzed the why-fors. Maybe I won't. I just went with the mood. Not that we have a lot of junk food in our refrigerator and pantry. The "worse" is a half bag of potato chips and a bunch of blueberry cheese pastry bits. The latter is the Mama's, which the Husband and I help consume, otherwise they go stale.

This morning, I chose to forgo my usual breakfast selections -- peanut butter and jam sandwich or peanut butter, apple, and raisins rice bowl. Peanut butter, processed grains, and food loaded with sugar could be contributing culprits for my eczema flare ups. Hence, none of those foods for awhile.

What did I eat for breakfast then? I made a salad out of organic baby spring lettuces, leftover roasted sweet potato rounds, and a handful of almonds that I topped with balsamic vinegar. Someone told me that the sweet potato satisfies th…

Peppers & Persimmons

Sounds like a nice title for something -- Peppers & Persimmons. Or, perhaps, Persimmons & Peppers. Maybe without the ampersand, and italicized: Peppers and Persimmons;or, Persimmons and Peppers.

The pepper plants have been kind to us this year. Three of four fruits every couple of weeks.

The persimmons are slowly ripening on the tree. We're going to have an extra good crop this year. 

See you tomorrow.