Summer’s remnants

tomatoes in the gardenOur summer garden limped along this year, started late and plagued by under-watering (I couldn’t stem my drought fears, not even for veggies, and as we drift into fall our tomato plants are as dry and golden as our once-green lawn). Our exposure on the veggie boxes is not ideal, and our small gardeners prefer digging and whacking over, say, weeding and pruning. We managed to harvest red and gold and the occasional green tomato, chiles galore, huge handfuls of basil and thyme and cilantro, even a solitary yellow squash. Nothing like the careless, constant overproduction of our garden-from-before, but still something. We got our hands dirty, we watched things grow, we understood first-hand the crumbly, deep dryness of the droughtContinue reading

A particular wish

LulionWith the springtime falling of rain, our yard washed over with dandelions. As each came into its own puffy fluffy fullness, Lucas would find it. Each newly-found dandelion was a discovery, a delight, a cause for celebration. And after each celebration there was a pause, while he considered to what use he should put this particular wish. Then his lips would pucker like a kiss, and with a whoosh the seeds would sail into the air, off on their own adventures and (I suspect) eventually coming back round to our own weed-riddled grass, to sprout and to grow and to flower again. Continue reading

What flowers grow

flowering weedsThe boys have been intent on reminding me this week that THOSE ARE NOT WEEDS! They are FLOWERS! Their insistence comes after I went on a bit of a rampage clearing out a flower bed and into the green bin went a heap of their beloved sour grass. But they are not alone in their enthusiasm; at our market this past Saturday I met a farmer whose entire acreage is given over to what grows there of its own volition. She had strawberries for sale, tiny red ones. In big buckets were curvy-stemmed, three-foot-tall gaggles of weeds. Or flowers, if you’d like. With thoughts of my guys, I brought home a bunch. Continue reading

A nudge

sconesAndLuThere are many brands of maternal guilt that can swamp us. The version I’m currently swimming through involves failing to notice, despite three days worth of complaints about “itchy” hands, that my son was having a life-threatening allergic reaction to an antibiotic. I did notice, eventually – right around the moment he woke up covered in head-to-toe, blistering welts, his eyes swollen to bloodshot slits. Continue reading

What we choose to keep

serrano chilesMy dad and stepmom had a bumper crop of Thai bird chiles this year. Thai birds are a mouth-punching terror of a chile, so we figured it out quickly when Lucas came in from their garden screaming and wiping frantically at his mouth, Jacob hot on his heels calling “He didn’t listen to me when I said that it wasn’t a tomato!” Continue reading

Fits and starts

cauliflowerTransitions are sometimes rocky. (Can I get an Amen, my fellow parents of preschoolers?) I know I was just talking about the celebrations and the asparagus and the season of the egg, just a week two weeks ago in fact. But. Continue reading