Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hello Friends & Growing Things

When I was a little girl and I needed time away, I would build a tent in my bedroom using blankets and chairs, and stay there for hours with my Barbie dolls, books and snacks.
It was my way of blocking out the cacophony of yelling, fighting, crying (mostly mine), late-night door banging, bottles smashing, gunshots in the neighborhood I lived--growing up in public housing in Boston.

Though I no longer live in a place where crime is the ubiquitous background noise, or build tents in my bedroom, or play with Barbie dolls, I still have the habit of seeking silence when the inconsequential begins to hum at equal pace with the symphony of good and meaning and tangible in my life.

An incident with a mean man at the bank, an argument with someone you love, or maybe worse, someone who is not meaningful to your life in any real way expelling that kind of energy from you, a health scare, etcetera...All possess the power to shift you off balance, but I believe the power of silence is much greater. There are occasions in life where getting back to the silence of salubrity takes hard work. Being truly alive is hard work. Setting your senses ablaze is no passing feat. but fire to your senses should meet.

It's important to know that, no matter where you go, there's always some place, someone, to come back to. That being said, I'm so glad to be back here with you, heart, mind and spirit dancing in accord with the symphony of the silence restored.

What/Who represents balance in your life?

Growing Things

One of my favorite ways to restore peace, is a walk to the fruit and vegetable store around the corner from my house. You can fill several bags with a myriad of goodies and spend no more than 20 dollars, as most of what they sell in less than a dollar and fifty cents.

The only thing that tops that, is a walk to my "pot garden," where I can pick my own fruits and veggies for free!

This year I'm growing:

Thai Basil
Sweet Basil
Green Bell Peppers
Yellow Cherry Tomatoes
Hybrid Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes

I'll have pictures of everything once I've transferred the rest from their starter planters, but here are some...

Parsley (I use parsley in place of cilantro, which for me tastes like soap.)

Lavender (I'm looking forward to cooking and baking with lavender for the first time; cookies, cakes, ice cream. Yum! I picked some yesterday and the air filled with lavender scented perfume.)

Rosemary (My very first blog post was Sweet Potato and Beet Chips with Rosemary-Garlic salt. They were so good I had them three days in a row. This is incentive to make them again!)

Thai Basil (I recently found a Martin Yan chicken recipe that features Thai Basil. I'll make and blog about it soon.)

Sweet Basil (I tore pieces of this basil over my Gourmet Veggie Pizza last week. It was Won-Der-Ful! If I could only grow one herb, this would be it.)

Green Bell Pepper (I love Bell Pepper on pizza, salad, roasted with red potatoes...The possibilties are limitless.)

Yellow Cherry Tomatoes (Once these grow in, I'm going to make a salad including bell pepper, basil and mozzarella with freshly made vinaigrette. Doesn't that sound good?)

Cucumbers (I entrusted the planting and care of these to my grandmother who, unfortunately, planted them improperly and didn't water them enough. As soon as I noticed they were dying I re-planted, fed, and attempted to support their growth. In 1 week they've grown over an inch and are beginning to show signs of new life. I'm hopeful.)

Strawberries (Several posts back, Re: Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream, I mentioned strawberries tasting like rain. I recently picked and ate the strawberry in the picture below, grown after weeks of sporadic rain, now I'm sure strawberries are rainy deliciousness!)


  1. I thought you left the blog world! welcome back. Your plants look wonderful. I have a terrible green thumb. I tried to grow tomatoes last year, it was an epic fail. I never could keep plants alive but right now I have two that I am trying my hardest at.

  2. Hi Daisy! Thank you. Oh no, I was sick for a couple of weeks and then became so enthralled with reading and resting, it kind of took over. I continued to cook and take pictures, though. And missed visiting blogs, your in particular.

    Did you start your tomatoes from seeds? If so, you might want to try a starter plant. They're several weeks old when you buy them and simply need transferring into a bigger pot, sun, watering, maybe daily depending on how hot it gets and how dry the soil feels and something to hold them up as they become bigger.
    Bell Peppers are just as easy, and herbs, of course, but I've encountered trouble trying to keep bugs from eating my basil. I don't blame them! =)p Also, if you were growing them in the ground, that could have been why. I had so much trouble for years trying to get things to grow in the ground. Eventually, I stopped trying and switched to pots.

    I'm sure your plants know how hard you're trying and are grateful to have a Mom like you.

    I say, don't be discouraged. Give tomatoes another go.

    Thanks for stiopping by. So good to see you again.

    I'll be back to your blog soon to answer 'Ditch, Friend, Marry'. I already know to whom I would marry. ;-)p

  3. I missed you.

  4. Hi Jacqueline. You made me emotional. I missed you too, Hun. It means so much to me that I wasn't forgotten in my time away, and that I have such wonderful friends to come back to. Thank you. You can call on my anytime.

    Daisy, I thought this link might be helpful:


  5. It's great to see you back at it! Gardening is a wonderful thing for peace of mind. I always had a large garden until several years ago. We have so many large trees and too much shade to do it now. Your plants look great and I love that lavender. I used to dry it and stash it in drawers, etc. Wonderful aroma! Silence is a wonderful thing too. I like being up early in the morning when it is so quiet and hear the birds chirping away! Have a good day!

  6. My dog is what represents balance in my life. He is always there, always consistent, and he is just my rock! I love cuddling him everyday and taking him on walks.

  7. Thank you Pam. So glad to be back and seeing you again. This is the most we've grown. Before now I've only grown tomatoes and bell peppers, but since we (My grandmother and I) were successful the past few years we expanded.

    Too much shade, huh? That's a bummer. I imagine you're as talented a gardener as you are a cook.

    Smiles and Hugs Jackie. =) (((HUGS)))

    Aww, I love that answer Ali! I was going to mention my two cats. Their love truly is unconditional, isn't it? Wouldn't it be great if all relationships flourished if you just gave a person their favorite treats, played with them and rubbed their belly? ;-)

  8. Wow Ree! I am so jealous of your garden. It looks amazing. This post was very touching. It definitely is really nice to have someone/somewhere to go "home" to.

  9. Hi Ms. Meanie. Do you grow anything? I love gardening! Growing more things than I usually do this year. Whoa! It's a lot of work, but very fulfilling.
    Thank you so much. It really is nice to have somewhere/someone to go "home" to.

    So good to see you!

  10. That's so impressive that you're growing all of those!

  11. Hi Ree,

    so good to hear your tent story. Reminds me of my childhood. I would make a tent on the last couple of stairs (right before the rooftop) and pretend to be on a voyage. Of course with my bears and dolls :)

    I am growing too..Basil and rosemary. You know I am waiting the chicken recipe with Thai basil. I am already sure I want to do it :)


  12. Hi JW, You know, I think kids could entertain themselves with two sticks if they had to. Some of my favotite childhood memories and good times included things I came up with on my own, like tent building. *giggles*

    I was going to make fake-out, take-out first, but since both us Boston girls are looking forward to the Martin Yan recipe, I'll make that for us in the upcoming week instead. It looks and sounds divine.

    You're growing too? Awesome! Have you used any of the basil yet? I was really impressed in the difference in flavor.

  13. I was a tent girl too! I used to make them in my backyard during the summer next to a giant bush. Then I would pretend I was camping out.

    There's nothing better than having a choice of herbs right at your fingertips! I am growing some of the same things. It's grounding. And makes me feel earthy...

  14. Hi Cinnamon-Girl,

    Tent building--I sometimes miss feeling that small in the word. =)

    Thank you for visiting! I totally get it; I feel so much more connected to the earth and growing things and life, in general, having a variety of fresh herbs, fruits and veggies at my fingertips.


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