Monthly Archives: June 2012

Baby News!

Our newest grandchild came into the world so quickly that I missed his grand entrance, but I was able to be with Soldier and Joy and their dear boy for most of his first several hours, along with his other grandmother, who is my long-time good friend. We all stared at his face that is so strange but also familiar, and put our fingers into his little fists for grasping.

It’s clear that God loves us!

Almost Perfect World

Yesterday I got up on the wrong side of the bed. A cup of tea seemed to be in order, and when I saw the special tea blend from Germany, “Perfect World,” I knew it was the right morning to open that package.





There is no ingredients list. I sprinkled some leaves out on a plate to give it a look. There are chamomile flowers there, I can see that much.

I poured boiling water over the herbs in a measuring cup, and brewed it what turned out to be too weakly. After a few minutes I put the pretty liquid in a pretty teacup for beauty’s sake. That wasn’t enough tea to direct my mood in any way. I’ll have to try it another time, stronger and in a big mug.

Today I woke up again. Almost before I figured out what side to get out on, my dear, sweet-hearted, only-beloved husband brought me flowers. It’s been a nearly perfect day so far.

Keeping the tomatoes straight

[Picture of bee on lavender is down the page]

Brazilian Beauty

This spring we planted seven new varieties of tomatoes, and a total of ten plants, which is the most diversity we’ve ever had in all our 35 years of backyard tomato-growing. I know from the past that it can be hard to keep track of what fruits we are harvesting, because long branches start to criss-cross each other.

So I planted the cherry types alternately with the slicers, and the non-red next to the red ones. Still I needed markers to help me identify which unfamiliar red slicer is which, and I made these labels.

Northern Lights

In the recent past I’d taped labels to the cages or stakes, because when they are in the ground they get lost amid the branches or stepped on and broken. Last year’s name tags faded into illegibility, though, so this year, hoping to prevent that, I used some narrow masking tape and black Sharpie to form the letters — that’s why they are so big and blocky.

Some of the varieties are: Sun Sugar, an orange cherry that we grew last year and like even better than Sungold, Czech Bush,  and Ailsa Craig. The types we’ve grown before are Persimmon, an orange slicer, Early Girl, our all-time favorite, and Juliet, a large grape cherry.

Mr. Glad wanted to plant two Juliets just in case everything else fails. So far, everything else looks very good.

There are lots of honeybees in the yard which makes me feel good about the world. I took about twenty shots of them on the lavender so that I could post one happy picture.

Nature comes with sweets

Our city is pretty broke, and you can tell by the changes along the bike path where we often take our walks. Nothing gets pruned anymore. If a large tree branch falls across the pavement, it’s dragged off to the side and left to rot.


Weeds grow up tall and threaten to become a fire danger. Then we notice that they were mostly cut down, apparently by some large machine that doesn’t get the borders of anything.

So to the eye, the landscape is less lovely than before. Not like the countryside, which is normally wild and ungroomed, but like a planted garden that is neglected.

It’s not easy to tell which shrubs were planted decades ago by the city, and which have come over and under the fences of the yards bordering the walkways. The privets are obviously man-planted, and there are rows of the big bushes with hundreds of honeybees drinking at them all right now.

On the last few walks I didn’t notice the raggedness so much because the higher temperatures have brought out the warm aromas of summer, and I was looking around hungrily to discover the source. Mr. Glad and I usually stride along at the fastest pace possible, and I’ve been wanting to get back there by my lonesome to meander with my camera. This morning I did.

There is a lot of this sort of thing, a messy mix of oak, privet, and foxtails. But those foxtails and other grasses are some of the sweetest smells filling the air.

The quietness is lush. Maybe all the children were enjoying the first days without school by sleeping in, or something less wholesome. Other than a couple on their bikes, and one woman walking her dog, I was alone with the songbirds and buzzing insects.

Sequoia sempervirens

Whatever cut the weeds, it threw layers of the cuttings to the side, on top of the desirable plants, jumbling up the scene even more.

But a flowering vine had escaped from a back yard and made a bright spot in the tangle, and the growing tips of redwood trees always look fresh and clean. There are lots of pretty plants I don’t know the names of; I’m happy they don’t pay any mind to property lines.

This is one that makes red berries for us, to decorate the house with at Christmas. Now is the time for it to make heady aromas. Potato vine was climbing over wooden fences…

…And honeysuckle – While I have to keep after the vine in my yard with clippers, so that it doesn’t take over, along the bike path it can do what it wants, and bless my nose every time I get near.



Looking down toward the creek, you can see past the Queen Anne’s Lace the lower road running under the footbridge. I crunched through stickery stuff to get close to the flower.

I went down to that dirt path for a view of the creek, which is not noticeably flowing at this time of year. Horsetail grass and other more watery plants still grow in the mud.

horsetail grass

On my return loop I passed the park where our children used to play soccer, and where they claimed their own particular redwood trees to climb and perch in. There wasn’t much competition from the neighborhood children because it’s a prickly business, climbing a redwood tree.

Years after they abandoned their trees the city began trimming the lower branches. I don’t know if that would make climbing harder or easier.

All these soft comforts of a summer morning were better than breakfast. Next time I’ll try to get out the door even earlier for my sweet treats.