Thursday, February 25, 2010

Did I fall into a deep, black hole or what?

I find it hard to believe it was that long ago (Nov. 2008) that I typed my last post. Where in the world did that time go? It seems like only yesterday that I typed out those emotional thoughts. It almost pains me to read it now. Just so you know....I am much better now. Yes, I am still tormented from time to time by my decision to leave work and focus more on other things. Taking a larger role in raising my wonderful daughter. Taking better care of my two furry soul mates. Spending more time with my husband. Having SOME time to myself (as a working mom, I never had one moment to myself). Devoting myself and my time to fostering better relationships with my family and friends. And, as is the reason I started this blog, to live more locally. Have I been successful? Well, yes, I would say I have. My biggest and proudest accomplishment was growing my own organic veggie garden last year. It was AMAZING and a great experience for my entire family (as well as scores of neighbors and friends who benefited from all the excess).

Before starting, I enrolled in an organic gardening class at the local community college. I learned so much - thanks to my crunchy, knowledgeable, inspirational professor. Seriously, I've rarely met individuals that passionate about anything. This guy really loves to garden! With the help of my father, I built a 6x4 foot raised bed. In that, I grew 4 tomato plants, 2 basil plants, 1 Swiss Chard plant, 2 bell pepper plants, 1 cucumber plant and 1 eggplant plant. Originally, I also started a cilantro plant....but my husband, in all his excitement, cut off about 90% of the plant for a recipe he was making...and the plant literally died by the next morning (lesson learned!). I also added to my herb garden with chives, mint and oregano. We LOVED the herbs. My personal favorite was the mint plant as I am a tea fanatic. There really is nothing quite like tea steeped with nothing more than water and fresh mint leaves. I was smitten from the first try. It just seems so, well , healthy. And delicious. Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!!!

The photo currently on display is from our beloved cucumber plant. In honor of that plant which provided so many glorious cucumbers, I will have to share my number one favorite story from last year's gardening season.....

We have a lovely dog named Hubbell. He is a rescued Golden Retriever. He's been with us for about 8 years now and words alone cannot describe how much we love and adore him. I often call him "The Mayor" because he's never met a stranger and, upon meeting him, everyone falls swiftly in love. My mom was visiting one weekend last summer in the peak of growing season. One afternoon she opened our back door to let the dogs in. Hubbell, who is normally already waiting at the door, was nowhere to be found and wouldn't come when called. My mom gave out a loud whistle (you know the type....when you put your fingers in your mouth and blow really hard!). Suddenly, out pops Hubbell's head from the cucumber patch. Mom had interrupted him in mid-snack. When she relayed this story to us, we wouldn't help but giggle at the image of his head popping up from "THE BLOB" (as we lovingly named our cucumber plant since it tried to take over the entire yard). The very next afternoon we found a large cucumber out in the middle of the yard.....with 4 holes right in the center....right where Hubbell's canine teeth would be. As the summer progressed we had many of our own opportunities to see that large, handsome, pineapple head poke up out of the cucumber patch when called. We never could bring ourselves to reprimand him. Honestly, that plant produced enough cucumbers that we could all share. And it never got is honestly one of the cutest things I've ever witnessed. Yes, I plan on growing cucumbers again this year. And I'm hoping Hubbell hasn't lost his taste for the lovely green veggie. In fact, one of my goals this year is to snap a photo of his head popping up mid-snack. When I catch it, I will post it right here for all to see....

Until later...

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