Morning Melange

As I was getting dressed and forgetting to make my bed this morning, I listened to Fr. Michael Gillis of Praying in the Rain blog, on his podcast of the same name, an episode in which he “deconstructs the notion that choice translates into freedom.” I really liked him, and the message. His recent blog post about fleeing to the desert (a little bit), is really helpful, too. How can we flee to the desert when many of us aren’t leaving our houses? It’s a provoking meditation, in the best way.

Before sunrise, I had trekked downstairs in my slippers to check on the greenhouse heater that I finally installed last week. The thermostat was set so that it should have come on, going by my phone, where I read that the outdoor temperature was 32 degrees. Yes! Success!

Last night I had defrosted a container of the tiny snow peas I toiled over preserving last spring. They were incredibly labor intensive at every stage, and I vowed never to buy from that seed company again, and only to use seeds that were likely to produce large pea pods.

But this morning the peas I’d saved were a welcome addition to the pan to which I added eggs, and this seasoning mix from Trader Joe’s that I seem to be sprinkling on everything lately.

I ate a giant pink grapefruit, too, which made me think about my childhood when I didn’t like that fruit, and about the funny name of it, which was easy to learn in Turkish because they call it greypfrut. Who named it first? I couldn’t remember, so I looked it up in this wonderful book that was my grandfather’s. He was a citrus farmer, too, and when he was visiting our family, there was no chance of any child getting out of eating grapefruit for breakfast. We were allowed to put honey on it, but in my case that didn’t help much.

That book, The World in Your Garden, is the source of the pretty picture at top. It says that the name originated in Jamaica!

Grapefruit is one thing I wouldn’t try to eat while sitting at the computer, so I watched the birds. All the larger species were visiting, doves, and the blue jay, and even the flickers. I’m pretty sure I saw the Cooper’s Hawk, too, spying out his breakfast.

I’ve been trying to find the right food to scatter on the patio for the doves and other ground-feeders. So many blends I have tried in the past have some ingredients that are ignored, and go to waste. My latest offering is something designed for pigeons, and many of the birds have been eating most of that mix. There are still some split peas, they look like, that go untouched so far. When this bag is gone, I will just buy some plain millet; that’s what I have been looking for for a year, but haven’t found it yet.

I’m leaving soon to drive to the beach — again! I have been doing it a lot, and plan to start a sort of Beach Diary page here on my blog. But being on the beach is taking time away from writing… By the time I get there, morning will have turned to afternoon, and I hope the sun will be shining.

Blessings to all from my corner of the cosmos.

9 thoughts on “Morning Melange

  1. I use Wild Birds Unlimited white millet, and the doves adore it. There are several stores roughly in your neighborhood; if you don’t want to go there, they’ll ship. I buy 20# of millet, 20# of the no-mess blend (shelled sunflower and peanut chips) and 20# of shelled peanuts for the bluejays, squirrels, and woodpeckers. I put out dried mealworms, too, for wrens, robins, mockingbirds, and other insect eaters. At my store, if you buy more than $75, you get free shipping (or free delivery, if the store owner’s going to be in the neighborhood!)

    It’s the best quality seed I’ve found. It might do well for you. They have five pound bags, too, if you wanted to give it a try to see how the birds like it.


  2. It made me so happy to see The World in Your Garden here! When I was 14 I was home from school for two weeks with a bad case of tonsillitis, in bed very sick for much of it. And my father opened the mail from National Geographic and there was this book. He gave it to me with a drawing pad and colored pencils and I spent hours copying the pictures. I think I even remember the page that grapefruit was on because pink grapefruit was a favorite of mine and we had it for breakfast a lot in the winter because Daddy was produce and garden buyer for the Middle TN Kroger grocery stores. I loved it broiled with sugar for dessert too. But I remember being fascinated by all the vivid pictures in that book. Such a happy memory even though I was so sick I thought I was going to die and hurt so badly that I sometimes wished too.

    We’re big bird feeders too. I’ve said for years that my husband runs a Hilton Hotel for them! This morning we had seven Canada geese near the kitchen porch eating up all the food put out for the songbirds and our family of crows that are practically tame. It was a standoff for a while but the crows finally admitted that the geese were bigger than them and gave way.

    Such things are a big part of our entertainment for the day.


  3. I hope you had a wonderful time at the beach. A Beach Diary is such a good idea. Does it sometimes feel like the days are too short for all the things you want to do? I suppose that’s better than being bored.
    I love the variety of birds in your yard.


  4. What a delightful read! I adore grapefruit and used to eat a lot of it when we lived in a citrus-growing region in my younger years. I use crushed maize for the larger birds, such as doves, and grass seeds (sold as mixed bird seed here) for the smaller birds. I also put out fruit and sugar water daily. Sometimes I might provide left over salad or fish or meat that has been cut up very finely – to my surprise, even seed-eating birds tuck into this fare.


  5. I would love to hear about your beach days!!!! I am glad you have them, they are so good for the soul!!! I did not like Grapefruit until I was an adult! I met Fr M. G. once when he was just new to the lower mainland of BC Canada! I have friends who go to his church! He’s lovely. I should check out his stuff again! I have in the past! I find him very thoughtful and measured. I love your blog, but you know that, I just feel like saying it again 🙂


  6. There are some posts where you love every word. This is one of them. The grapefruit illustration is beautiful — what a treasure of a book. I love grapefruit (it is an acquired taste and I don’t think kids “get it” so much. When I started my heart issues I guess it conflicts with my meds so I reluctantly gave the gorgeous fruit I found to Rick. Well, it’s a short season but always a treat.

    I loved that he: “deconstructs the notion that choice translates into freedom.” Exactly. I might have to find that one to listen to — it sounds quite fascinating and well done.

    Ah, the birds. Linda (Shoreacres) mentioned Wild Birds — they have wonderful seed. Not inexpensive but the birds like it — and as you know, they don’t like everything. Have you tried Amazon? They have good prices but not sure on the seed. I love watching them and so does Lizzie. On a snowy day it’s like a food fight out there!

    Enjoy the beach!


  7. A beach diary page sounds lovely! I liked grapefruit as a child. My mother had special grapefruit spoons with jagged edges. Then when we’d cleaned them out carefully, we were allowed to turn the halves upside down and cut little doors and windows in them, as if they were igloos. I loved playing with them.


    1. Mary Kathryn, we used those serrated spoons in my family when I was growing up, and I still have a set of them that I received for a wedding present, when I had yet to develop a taste for grapefruit. 🙂


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