Grateful for Good Harvests…

I’m a pretty simple person…

Yes, I’d love to have a cup of tea over in London again — or relish baklava in a Greek bakery or enjoy an appetizer at an elegant party while all dressed up and sporting an up-do.

But most of the time, I’m satisfied with a couple peanut-butter crackers at home. Or a piece of cool organic fruit on a beach. Or trail mix under a tree.

I guess it’s my split-down-the-middle personality of being both extroverted and introverted (according to those personality tests). Out mingling with the rest of the world has its appeal on certain days, as does being totally alone or just with one other person on other days.

Peace though in all situations is what I crave lately.

And one of the prime peaceful places I know is the garden. It’s also thrilling — peaceful and thrilling — to hunt for those hidden cucumbers that seem to grow overnight, and to find the showy orange-red color on the tomatoes.

There’s also peace in being grateful.

And today, I’m grateful for good harvests…


The First Cucumber of the Season

Fresh from the garden… We made cucumber salad with this first one. If you’d like to make this summer side dish, marinate sliced cucumbers in apple cider vinegar, water, and sugar. (We don’t use a recipe, so just adjust the amounts to get the flavor you like; add more water than vinegar though.)

The Pears…

These pears seemed to sigh in relief after much-needed rain… I love rain — especially when it’s unexpected — as long as it’s not for days on end. However … there are places right now that could use days-on-end rain … and I pray along with you all that they get that downpour soon… Here today, it’s sunny and in the 90s; am grateful Mom has a water pump to keep all the plants watered… Am grateful there’s air-conditioning… Am counting my blessings… Isn’t is something that even in the middle of everything, there are always reasons to be grateful? God is good, no matter what.

Anticipating the Sunflowers

I’m anticipating the sunflowers… Have always loved them. And, yes, I have a framed print of Monet’s “Sunflowers.” But I’ve never grown them. This year, I’m using these gorgeous creations to design the garden — one between each tomato plant. Started from organic seeds, the plants are now about 4 feet tall. I can’t wait ’til they shoot up to 8 feet, or maybe up to 12, showing off their beautiful, colorful flowers. I won’t even mind the birds eating the seeds. It’s fun to plant a garden, growing enough to share with neighbors, including the nonhumans. ; )

Once again, I’m learning life lessons from nature. God really has placed the most wonderful school in our laps, hasn’t He? Looking forward to these sunflowers reminds me — yet again — of the millions of seasons and stages of life, and that each is good and precious and creative and brilliant and beautiful. Even when it seems dark with no growth, so much is going on beneath what we see with our earthly eyes. Like with anything though, we have to choose to make that leap to stretching our vision, our eyes, our hearts, our faith…

The sunflowers may be short and flowerless right now … but just wait and see how God blesses these plants with a little tender loving care from this novice gardener… I wish I could see what He’s causing to bloom in your lives too — I know it’s something good, if you let it be!

A happy and sunny Sunday to us all — especially those of us who feel a little “short and flowerless” at the moment… Our days in the sun will be here before we know it! : ) XOXOXO

First Summer Squash

It’s amazingly wonderful to enjoy food grown from the seeds you planted… We ended up sautéing our first summer squash tonight in coconut oil, along with onions and ginger, then added a bit of salt, pepper, and walnuts to top it off. Interestingly, I recently found organic ground ginger in our neighborhood shop that was less expensive than the name brands; the flavor was heavenly (so was the cinnamon!), and of course the health benefits are wonderful. Try a twist with your favorite vegetables this summer; variety’s not the only “spice of life,” but it truly is one of them. I hope you’re having a flavorful new season!