She visits her garden… sometimes.

I wish I could be a better gardener, the kind who visits her garden each and every day for at least a few minutes, to pull one weed, or sniff a flower, or pinch aphids. Today I got my hands into the dirt and into the slimy fountain, and accomplished the setting out of these starts I bought a week ago. I checked on my worm bucket and found the worms happy. I picked all the Swiss chard from two mature plants and cooked it up into a recent favorite: Extra Garlicky Chard with Cannellini Beans; this time I threw in some dried tomato bits as well.

The last two weeks have been full to bursting with all the best sorts of non-garden busyness. Two book clubs had discussions in the same week. At a sister parish a baby was baptized, and another baby soon to be born into our parish was showered.

One day I drove to Sacramento and Davis to visit people, and another day I took care of two girls, A&Z, who played house upstairs and down, using all my dress-up collection, every doll and doll blanket and stuffie and pillow, toy animals and Playmobil…. Most of it they dragged over by the (cold) woodstove and set up their house with the two loveseats for beds, and played going-to-sleep.

This all may sound mundane to many of you, but to me it is unusual; never in my family or my children’s families have we birthed two girls in a row in the same household, and when you have mostly boys, or girls five or more years apart, the children play differently. I have been fascinated to watch these little homemakers.

For Valentine’s Day my grandchildren in Colorado sent me a box full of heart cookies that they had baked, redolent of butter and love ❤ They didn’t last long!

One day I spent experimenting with red dye to color eggs for Pascha. As some of you know, because I asked you directly for advice, I offered to take on the project this year for our Orthodox parish, which gives out about 200 red eggs on Pascha night. I wanted to try different dyes, colors of eggs and methods ahead of time so that during Holy Week I would have my plan firmly in mind, and the best dye on hand. I have yet to write up all that I learned so far, but I accomplished my goal that day, and also ended up with quite a few eggs, in various shades of red and pink, to eat in the next week.

I have been doing at least a little bit of my Purging-Organizing Project every day. I took a carload to the thrift store, and keep dumping pounds of papers into the recycling bin. The  more of that I do, the more fun it is.

My church Book Group #2, which I might call the Wednesday Book Group, to distinguish it from our Women’s Book Group, is reading C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, also called the Ransom Trilogy. Though I read it two years ago, or maybe because the story is fairly fresh in my mind, I am really happy to have an excuse to get into it again, and have a really diverse group to discuss it with, too.

There are always so many things I want to write about, regarding my reading and thinking. But less and less do I feel the liberty to spend the necessary time to think that much — so I am considering replacing at least some of my blogging with barking….

13 thoughts on “She visits her garden… sometimes.

  1. Please,as we approach Lent, would you kindly share your chard/cannelini bean recipe? Many thanks,God bless and good Lent toward glorious Pascha!


  2. You have been busy. I wish I was some kind of gardener, too. My gardening consists of pulling weeds and hoping I don’t kill off established plants. It’s been years since I read the Space Trilogy…
    Have a great week!


  3. What fun to have those little girls for the day. I can imagine all the fun they had.
    The coloured eggs look like yummy ripe plums. I hope you can create the shade of red you want for the many eggs that will need dying.
    The heart-shaped cookies look pretty. Perfect for Valentines day.


  4. Ooh, I haven’t read the Space Trilogy in some time. I tried to listen to an audiobook of it but it just wasn’t the same. Glad you are having such good discussions in your book group. And gardening. Even if only to pull a weed or three, it feels good to be out there.

    Also, you can just come here and bark, incessantly or not 🙂


  5. I hope you don’t drop the blog for barking — feel free to bark here! I love that your grands sent you those pretty cookies and your eggs look great. This is such a wonderful slice of life post, Gretchen. I love those!


    1. What a beautiful photo inside the church! I am eager to garden. We have snow here in NY and so I must wait. Have you used yellow onion skins for coloring eggs?


      1. Martha, I haven’t tried the onion skins, even though I have been saving them myself for months. For our parish this year I decided to use some Ukrainian dye I got from Legacy Icons. I’ve been toying with the idea of trying the onion skins next year, if I can find a helper to collect the skins; that part of the project I can’t imagine taking on…


  6. What fun to watch the girls play. They surely went home happy! So many good things in this post – the bits of gardening, the coloured eggs, the sweet cookies, and getting together with others to discuss books.
    The cartoon is all too true!


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