Monday, June 30, 2014

This Green Has Become My Favorite In The Garden

First I bought it in a low growing shrub.  Then the heather which is this green in summer and bright orange red in autumn.  Now I have the flower heads of overwintered kale producing this color and it's good to eat.

The color palette of this garden is quite soothing to my eye.  I also add a bit of soft pink to the green to set it off.  I can imagine stepping from stone to stone, to reach the chairs.  I wonder what is in front of the chairs?  What do you see from those seats?

We have carpenters here today.  Finish work on the half circle arch above the French doors and the "boxing" and installing of the ceiling fan above the dining room table.   Twelve feet over our heads. G has already called the carpenter three times from Lowe's.

Yesterday, at work, was hot and terribly boring.  No customers.  Standing.  My back was so tight when I got home I had just enough energy for a shower and then I tumbled into bed.  About an hour flat on the bed and I revived enough to eat dinner and watch Mystery.  I don't know how many of these days I still have in this old (and getting older) body.  Doing nothing is so much harder than doing too much.  A body in motion.......

I have my peonies to clip.  The flowers just don't last long enough.  I have two rescued orchids to repot and re-energize.  I have plants to plant in my daughter's garden, but first I need to water them.
And I have my 10 by 10 to work on and a second one to think about.  Time is racing by.

A blog I read suggests I write three things each day.  What I value about myself that day, what I am grateful for, and what I am glad I spent my time doing today.  Today will be easy.  Yesterday I would have struggled to find things to value, be happy about and be grateful for.  But, perhaps I needed to be mindful.  Perhaps the day would have been better if I was thinking about these three things?  Looking for them in my day at work.  Perhaps that is the value in recording the three.  Paying attention.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Some Place Cool

The summer heat and moisture has arrived.  I walked out to the front porch to water my purslane hanging basket and the moist heat hit me like a heavy wool blanket.  Ugh.  The inside of the house is cool so I am staying in.

I had two overly ripe bananas so I made a loaf of "incredible" banana bread for G with chocolate chips and walnuts.   G purchased blueberries for me ( 2 pints for $4) but I don't really like them and have bags of them from the garden in the freezer (I feed them to Riley).  So, I have the bowl of dry and the measuring cup of wet standing ready when the loaf of bread is out of the oven.  They just went in.  I used the whole pint of berries not the 1 cup in the recipe.

I guess I will use the second pint for my yogurt and fruit lunches or more muffins?  I just finished the sliced peaches with raspberries (from freezer) and had blackberries (from freezer) last week.  I have a pineapple in the fridge and a bowl full of red grapefruit waiting.  More than enough fruit.  I also have five nice cucumbers to slice up for my favorite meal--cucumbers, dill and sour cream.  I have weeks and weeks to wait for my tomatoes.  The only thing my garden has produced so far is a handful of radishes.

I have some hand sewing to do on my 10 by 10 for the Art Auction.  I am planning to enter the work in the advertising contest they do.  I have the work pinned to the wall across from my chair at the table.  So, at every meal I contemplate what the work needs.  G suggests I make a companion or "mirror" piece as my second entry.  He feels that if someone wants one--they will want both.

I had to make the work more "realistic" and less abstract.  The buyers dictate what the artists make. The most popular items are seascapes, boats and houses with water views.  This is Maine.

Work has de-volved into "personality" issues.  This happens in close quarters with little to do.  It's July.  July is when I think I should take up smoking.  If I had regular "smoke" breaks up by the dumpsters, I could get away from the "issues".  I could just go up there and not smoke.  I am limiting my involvement in these issues to listening and nodding.  The nodding could get me into trouble but I have to do something to signal that I am listening.  Even when I am not.  Nursery has sod to water and that's a nice place to be alone for long periods of time, soaking the sod with water.  I have impatiens to clean of dead petals. Six tables of them at the exact wrong height (too low) so my back gets tight.

That's my story.  I changed the bed sheets, have the baked goods well under way, need to wash dishes and clean the counters, check the garden and put the tomato fence I found in the dumpster up against the fava beans (so they stop tipping over) and then work on my "art".  I also have pants to hem and some sewing of a more domestic kind to do---little pillow cases for my personal pillow.  The muffins are done.  Looking good.  Very juicy.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thanks For Visiting, Come On In!

I'd have to have a closet removed to get this 'look" in my house but I like it.  I wouldn't like the coats hanging there.  G and I don't have coats that look nice.

Five Things:

1.  On Monday I looked at the house next to the work parking lot and said "I want my Thermos back" because it's been missing since I set it on the ground two weeks ago while loading my car.  We checked the dumpster.  G searched the car.  I searched the car.  I supposed the neighbors saw it on the ground and came and got it.

 I wanted it for yesterday at the Book Sale Set Up.   This morning, I was looking for my raincoat in the car, pushed up the back seat (which had been moved down to load boxes) and "what to my wondering eyes did appear?"  My thermos.

That is really a surprise.  More like a shock.

2.  The Book Sale Set Up yesterday was sort of like Homecoming for me.  People I worked with back "in the day" (18 years ago) are long gone but people from 10 years ago showed up and helped.  G came to help and he hasn't in many years.  The team I recruited to head up the sale organization arrived just in time to bid farewell to the guy they recruited to take over for them.

No one has volunteered to take the job for next year.  And movers had to be hired (and paid) to move the boxes of books.  Times change.  Perhaps the Boomers won't be much like their parents--The Greatest Generation--who still come to help--in their 80's.

3.  I walked for two whole hours with my friend on Tuesday.  After work.  My knee feels better and my leg hasn't been as swollen.  Not perfect.  Just not as bad as usual.

4.  My friend P and I went to the "retail store" on Monday evening.  She was shopping for her parent's 70th anniversary.   I was looking for linen shirts and linen pants.  I was greeted by almost every employee who I had worked alongside last winter, and some I didn't remember.  With smiles and happy comments, asking if I was returning.

It would have meant more to me if they had actually done that when I was employed.

5.  Tonight we are going out for French onion soup.  It's 60 degrees.  The heavy rain last night trashed my peonies.  The deer have eaten every single pretty plant in my garden beds.   The hosta are gone.  The tops of all the roses are gone.  The pretty blue flowers (whose names are not coming to mind) are gone.  I need some comfort.

French Onion Soup should make it all better.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Window Boxes Are The Best Decoration

It's like "eye candy" when done just right.  Shows off the house, the windows etc.  I try my best to send customers off with a great window box.  Or boxes.  I ask about the color of the house, sun or shade, watering etc.  All the facts!  I need to ask about shutters.  I love the pale blue green of these.  Like sea glass.

My hours at work have been cut again.  Down to 6 hours a day.  Which is okay.  Business is slow and it's hot.  Nice to be able to just leave.  On the way home I got myself a strawberry ice cream cone.

And on the road to my street, the strawberry pickers had set up shop for the first day, I think.  I didn't have any cash (I had spent it on the ice cream) so I had to get home, find money and get back in the car, with Riley, and by the time I got there, they were out of berries and rolling up the flag.  I reserved 2 quarts ($5 each) for tomorrow at 2:30.

I am CRAZY for fruit right now.  Bananas at work.  Cherries while watching television.  Red grapefruit with my yogurt for lunch (when I have lunch).  A pineapple to cut into chunks, also good with yogurt for lunch.  The watermelons (small seedless ones) were $6.99.   I skipped it because of the strawberry ladies.  I love strawberries.  Especially the Maine ones when they are deep, deep red.

Sunday wasn't a very pleasant day at work because of a nasty co-worker.  Today was better (she wasn't at work).  I need to get to bed an hour earlier and sleep more, even though I wake up long before I need to.  I'm not tired, exactly, but I think I need more sleep.

Book Sale set up on Wednesday, all day.  I hope they have watermelon chunks on the snack table.
We have 2556 large cardboard boxes of books to unpack and set up on tables.  Over 70,000 books. And it's my job to get all the volunteers trained and keep them working until everything is out of the boxes and lined up, facing the right way so customers can read the spines.  Then we sweep the floors and take the flattened boxes to be recycled.  Yes.  All in one day.  7:30 to 4pm.  It's amazing.

Tonight it's hot Italian sausages, fried potatoes and onions with a side of sour cream, dill and cucumbers.  Yesterday I had the last bowl of elbow pasta, heavy cream and melted sliced American singles.  It was so good, I was sad that it was all gone.  

I'm hitting the shower.  Doing a load of darks and then starting dinner.  Bye.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Peonies Are Blooming

And these, are roses!!!   What a dummy I am.  But I have little time right now to go find the peonies, which are the same pink.

It's a beautiful Friday.  Not cold.  Like last week.  Not raining in buckets.  Like last week.

Riley and I walked about this morning, checking out the garden beds.  Some hosta has been eaten by the deer.  A new plant is in flower.  In all probability it's a weed but the blue/purple flowers are interesting.  The vetch is flowering (why such a pretty blue on a weed?) and I am pulling it up.  I may go snap a picture in the late afternoon.  Not now when the sun is too bright.

Did I just say that?  The sun is "too bright"?

Now to pack my lunch and dress for work.  We are suddenly busy at work.  Bugs, diseases and fertilizer will fill my day.  How will you spend yours?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Riley's View Of The Back Stoop

G built these square wooden planters years ago and last summer added the wood "bandaids" to hold the boxes together.  We leave the soil in over the winter which is not a "Good Thing".

I have two small pieces of a lovely pink dahlia in each box (in the center) and surrounded that with a selection of orphaned petunias and some of the Loew's zinnias.  The slugs or snails are working on eating the zinnias.  I also notice, now, a few yellow dahlias.  We sell them as annuals but they have a tuber so, technically, could be lifted and saved from year to year.

The terra-cotta (plastic) pots hold over wintered geraniums.  Still haven't made any flower buds so I will be surprised to see what color they are.  Over to the mid left you can see my three year old rosemary plant and, if the photo was better, my two year old Bay Laurels.

G re-covered the deck with a man made 'wood" decking.  Very, very hot.  No bare feet on the deck. I often worry about Riley's paws as he waits by the door to be let in.  I might have to add a throw rug. The white wire chairs are vintage IKEA.  1983 in Germany.  I still have the original chair pads as well.  In fact, I have all the IKEA stuff we bought.  And it's all being used.  I remember my brother visiting and he and G sitting and working on all the screws and little fasteners that came in the flat boxes. Cabinets with many drawers.  Still in use in my sewing room.

I am dressed for a very hot and humid day at work.  Very baggy, old lady shorts and a lightweight white linen shirt.  Yesterday "would" have been my first training day at the retail job.  Until 11 pm.  I am so thankful that I called and said I had changed my mind about working.  Today would have been another work day until 11pm.  And then the ride home.  Not in bed until midnight.

I used the hip and knee problems as a reason and it was a good call as both are acting up and causing me to hobble around like a need a cane.  The left hip, mostly.

I have a question.  If a person is telling a lie, which way do they look? Up to the left or right?  I have a co-worker who, I think, is not so much lying, but not exactly telling the truth.  And she looks up to the right when doing any talking.  Or is it just a defense mechanism?

Time to pack my bag and start off to work.  I have an order of 200 succulents arriving and I have to do what is necessary to keep customers from taking them before the owner arrives.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Views Of My Garden this Morning

This is the "heather garden" I began last Spring.  The heather turns yellow green in summer and then red orange in the fall.  At the back is the purple smokebush.  I have some day lilies there to the right.  I have mixed in sedum (green and yellow Angelina) and pink creeping phlox to give the bed some color "pop".  It isn't much and there is little maintenance but the results are so much more than the effort involved.  I love this little bed.

Here is another plant that has been moved several times.  I think it has finally found it's "spot".  Bergenia.  Pig Squeak.  It got it's piggy name because when the leaves are rubbed they give off a sound very much like the sound pigs make.   Bergenia puts up a flower spike in spring of the nicest deep pink flowers.  Quite a nice thing to happen here at the corner "of nothing happens in Spring". This is the area in from to the front porch.  The tall plant to the left is a pussy willow and behind that is a pair of Maidenhair ferns.   A nice shady area.

Here is the shed.  Looking quite British and neat at this moment in time.  Riley actually tried to get into every picture this morning.   We have bearded iris (given to us by someone who decided she didn't like them), Jacob's Ladder (variegated), to far left is a Japanese white lilac tree and to the very far right is a Beach Plum in it's second year with us.   It just finished showing off a million or so tiny white flowers.  I planted magenta SunPatients in the window boxes along with orange flowers.  So far, nothing.  We'll see what happens.

Here is the Herb Bed in the vegetable garden.  To the left you can see the escaping spearmint.  Feverfew is the white daisy.  Borage is the plant with the fat leaves.  Lavender in the large pot at the left back next to a David Austin Rose.   I have dill, calendula and caraway to the right.  Lots of thyme creeping about in front of the lavender pot.

Hard to take good photos in the morning sunshine.  Better to do it in the late afternoon.   The shed came out best as it is in the shade in the morning.

My knee hurts today because I knelt in the garden Saturday planting the last of the seedlings.  It looks like it will be very hot today so I am happy to be having a day off.  We seemed to have sold every thing worth having yesterday at work---so today the trucks will be bringing in replacements.  I hope I get a full order of the herbs I need.  Everyone wanted rosemary.

This happens every year.  They want rosemary around Father's Day and we have NONE.  Then, later, we have tons of it and well, the customers bought it elsewhere.

PBS had a very disturbing new mystery on last night.   The Escape Artist.  I loved the "look" of upscale London and the insides of expensive homes but the meanness of the murders?  I find it hard to comprehend the sickness of people who do these things, even though I read mysteries with gruesome murder in the plots.  It's harder to "see" the murders on the screen I think.

We had lovely baked potatoes, grilled steaks and roasted asparagus for Father's Day dinner yesterday. Our daughter purchased the food and dropped it off Saturday night as her gift for her dad.  Our son called and had a nice long conversation with G while he was walking Riley.

Riley found something VERY disgusting to roll in and there after got three complete baths (under protest) until he didn't smell like anything.  There is the great divide between dogs and G and I.  Dogs like smelling really, really bad.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Town At Dusk

Maine Street.  The old paper mill is at the back by the river.  Twilight.  My little Town has  a small (20K) population and an enormous property tax burden.  We also have a popular Music Theater in the summer (that crowds the locals out of the restaurants in Town).  This month we have a Buddy Holly tribute.  I have read the reviews and I guess the "older" crowds rock the house with each performance.  Maine has the oldest population in the 50 states.  Baby Boomers.

My day off.  I have a nice piece of pork in the oven turning into "southern pulled pork" with a cider vinegar base(Martha Stewart).  I also have rhubarb bars baking along side.  I added more oats and, well, more of everything to Smitten Kitchen's recipe (which left much to be desired).   I have now tried two recipes from her site and will not be trying any more.  They are okay.  Not great.  The fried zucchini thing went down the disposal after I picked out all the zucchini and washed off the pasta.  Ugh!  Pretty pictures and dismal food.

I turned a few things lingering in the fridge into baked cheese manicotti last night after work.  It was so cold and wet at work--and customers wanted me to "take" them out to look at things.  In the pouring rain.  Not a drizzle.  A downpour.

So, a nice warm meal was what I wanted.  I mixed whole milk ricotta with egg and parmesan cheese then rolled it up in sheets of fresh pasta, covered everything with a large can of Trader Joe's marinara (very good stuff) and then the remainder of the whole milk mozzarella I got for G's pizza.  Could have used more mozzarella in the filling but there were no complaints when the dish came out of the oven.  We both had seconds and I'm sure we will fight over the leftovers.  Then we settled into the couch to watch Damages.  We were at the end of season two.  And now we are at the beginning of season three.

I have seedlings (that I started under lights a week or two ago) of cucumbers (pickling and burpless), yellow summer squash and zucchini to plant today.  I also have three eggplant and one yellow plum tomato.  One more tomato.  I chose the yellow plum to add another color to my tomato dishes.  Red, orange and now yellow.

G ALWAYS says we have too many tomatoes.  Now, I never have any extra tomatoes to give away.  We (I) eat them all.  So how could there be "too many"?  I used the not so nice looking ones to make jars of delicious tomato jam last summer.  G loved it.  And any overage gets roasted in the oven and packed in freezer bags for winter pasta dishes.  Well, now I am thinking two yellow plum tomatoes. I hear they are absolutely huge plants.  Covered in tons of little plum shaped yellow tomatoes.

G is out giving the hydrangeas a heavy "blast" of Bloom Booster. Phosphate. They should suck it right in after all the rain yesterday.  And the garden is getting more Miracle Grow.  I have to replant beets.  The first crop failed to thrive due to a lack of fertilizer at the right moment.  The seeds in the compost pile continue to germinate.  I have bok choy, arugula and now a mass of Sweet Annie.  Borage seedlings are popping up all over as well.  My blackberry bushes are covered in pretty white flowers.  Looks like a snow storm.  I guess they appreciated the 80 pounds of cow manure we fed them.  Sounds like a blackberry pie is in our future.  Yum.

I am wondering how my three pots of potatoes are doing.  Have to check on them.  They like massive amounts of fertilizer as well.  But never cow manure.  The spearmint is doing well in the herb bed and in the path next to the herb bed.  It escaped.  The thyme is everywhere.  I have a good crop of dill and caraway (for seed) and my tiny, tiny basil plants are starting to make some new leaves.  The Fava bean plants haven't made any beautiful white flowers yet (which is the reason I planted them).  They look like hibiscus when blooming.

It was supposed to be sunny today.  But it's overcast.  I had best use this perfect time to get my seedlings planted.  With fertilizer.  So, farewell.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Where Do You Sit To Unwind?

Wouldn't it be great to sit here?  On the beach.

We had chairs like this once.  Very difficult to get in and out of them.  And I had to sand and repaint each summer.  Finally, they were so "wiggly" we tossed them on the October brush pile fire.  Wowza did they light up things.  I think it was the paint.  Combustible.

I am not interested in buying any more of these.  But I still think they LOOK so great.

I ordered books from the library and G will be picking up Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson for me. I think it was recommended by a Reader (wink) and I have you to thank for many hours of good reading.

I finally asked another Master Gardener for advice on my "failure to thrive" vegetable garden.  Things are alive.  But not growing.  Seems like all the stuff I added to the garden in October, was mostly for good soil texture and structure.  But not for soil nutrition.

Gardening isn't actually easy.

So today the garden got a big serving of fertilizer.  I can only hope it isn't too late.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Outdoor Shower

My friends in Florida have one, but right out in the open for all to see. They use it to wash off beach sand so it's not tracked into the house.  A good outdoor shower needs walls and a door.  And plenty of hot water.

I remember when the kids were very young and we were very poor, we went camping with a tent. We usually stayed at campsites with toilets and showers.  I would take the kids into the shower with me and scrub them down (and out of their bathing suits) and then push them out to G who would towel them off and dress them in pajamas.  Then he would take them off to the tent and I would have a proper shower and unlimited hot water.  Washing away sand, dirt and whatever else the kids had rubbed all over me.

Then I dressed and went to the tent and G took his shower.  By then the kids were sound asleep.

I never slept well on those trips.  I'm not a good tent sleeper and usually chose to sleep in the car. People are either "good campers" or they aren't.

The joke in our family is that I consider "camping" to be a hotel without room service.

But an outdoor shower?  When we have just finished digging in the garden?  Okay!!!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Summer Time Rooms

My actual bed is black but it's a four poster from Ethan Allen.  I have always like the "cannonball" style beds and this fat one in black looks good to me. I think the current Ethan Allen catalog has one just like this.  My side dresser is old Maine Camp, pine I think.  The black bedside lamp is hung from the wall as a sconce.  The chair is piled high with my basket of socks.  I do have a huge fluffy down comforter on my bed and this reminds me to add the white linen dust cover to the box spring.  I think I need a green print pillow to make it all "pop".  But then the pillow will spend most of it's time on the floor.

I am trying not to scratch all the mosquito bits I have on my ankles right this minute.  I was standing out on the porch with a June referendum campaigner discussing the annual rise in taxes due to the school district.  I am not a fan of the school teacher's union or the school superintendent.

G is cutting the grass across the street and then ours.  The weather has been perfect for growing grass.

It's also been perfect for mosquitos.

I managed a visit to Goodwill and got a nice grey tank top, a grassy green (roomy) quarter zip sweatshirt (which will be very useful for any chilly restaurants this summer with my capri black pants) and a pair of linen mixed fabric capri pants.  Large enough to allow breezes to cool me off at work.  Linen is really the best fabric on 80 to 110 degree days in the greenhouse.

Needless to say....... my tan is already dark enough, thank you very much.

I am trying to think of work I should be doing right now--but, actually, I just want to sit here in the cool house and veg out.  Work is so hot.  And, while Saturday was super busy, Sunday was not and we were just bored and hot and wanting to go home from 2 to 5 pm.  I stayed busy for some of that time by watering the entire perennial yard.  So now you know why my tan is getting so dark.

I think ice cream is on my menu for dinner tonight.  And I think, if I go out to the store, hotdogs.
I already had toast for lunch.  It's 80 and sunny.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

An Ode To Summer Finally Arriving

I saw this on the Style Files this week and WANT one.  All loose and breezy on steamy, buggy days.
Yesterday I was asked if I was dressed for casual Friday.  At work.  Which is actually quite hilarious. Since we dress like bums.  Old pants. Old company tees (because our employer only gives fresh tees to new hires).  And we are all, basically, dirty within 10 minutes of arriving at work.

Yesterday, I had on a very new pair of (20 Cent) pants (lightweight cotton), rolled to capri level and a lemon lime linen shirt.  It was going to be sunny and 70 degrees.  Which translates, in the greenhouse, as close to 90.  I wanted loose and breezy.  Not hot and dark green (the tee shirt).

You are wondering about the ultra sound.  Well.  Nothing wrong with my leg or knee (according to the nurse who left the message).  Still swells up. Knee still hurts.  Fluid was noticed around the knee.  I will admit that the swelling and pain are greatly reduced.  Not gone.  But I think my doctor is gone.  On vacation.  So no news from him until he returns so I am taking Aleve every night so the knee pain doesn't ruin a night's sleep.  Not worrying about blood pressure since it was 118/66 at the doctor's visit.

When I wore the rolled up pants, my ankles were noticed because of the short pants and the fact I wore no socks.  And they were both swollen due to torn tissue from years of sprained ankles.  I was a VERY clumsy person.  Last week one leg was nearly double the size of the other so I wore pants to cover the ankles and dark socks.

I got a number of mosquito bites yesterday while hanging out in the Perennial Yard trying to catch the thief who has been stealing plants for the past two seasons.  Yesterday was her first, noticed, visit and we were determined to stop her.  I was blocking the stairway to the employee parking lot where her husband was parked (in the getaway car).  And I was going to ask to see her sales receipt if she tried carrying plants past me.  She tried her best to out "wait" me but I had a radio so I could deflect any customers needing help.  In the end, my employer called her out and told her to take her stealing business elsewhere and then called the police.  We have an order on her now and she isn't allowed on the property.

That was about the most excitement we have had so far this year.  Me dressed in Friday Casual and the Perennial Thief.

Today is "planting the vegetable garden" day.  The knee is "good enough" to use my kneeler and get down close to the garden beds.  I have tomatoes and peppers to plant and a few herbs.  The zukes and cukes are still growing under lights.  Wish me a pain free day.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Who Do I Want To Be?

My doctor's appointment is later today.  Yesterday was pain free.  Up and down the stairs to the office and everything.  As usual.  I make a doctor's appointment and then my symptoms take off.  There is still swelling (not as much) so we'll discuss that.  Because I don't think it's a "good thing".

G sprayed the back yard last night, so we have a week of mosquito free living outdoors.  I am always very, very sad when the "good weather" arrives and I have to stay in the house and only look at it.  Mosquito bites, on me, swell, turn very red and itch like crazy.  Make me miserable.  And I don't think being covered in large pink blotches of calamine is all that attractive.

I have a few things I want to accomplish this month.  So I need to make a list and check it every day to see if I can stay on track.  One item----- making ART!!! is something that will be number one on the list.  Getting all the "summer" veg into the garden will be #2.  The summer squashes, peppers and tomatoes.  Hard to believe it's time for that when the spring peas, lava beans and kale are still infants.

Tales From The Compost Pile.  Story #1.  Many years ago I purchased a box of bok choy and planted it in the garden.  I was busy and didn't notice, until too late, that the BC had started bolting (going to seed).  And since this was a "new" vegetable for me, I didn't know (then) that the little flowering stems are very delicious (indeed) lightly sautéed or even raw in a salad, so they were pulled and tossed into the compost.  I was tempted, this year, to buy another box.  I had been clipping and eating the little flower stalks off the boxes at work.  Lo and behold------ there in the compost pile (after all those years) is a little crop of bok choy.  Free.  And it's a wonder.  As there were three or four years of compostables tossed onto top of the pile.  On top of the little BC plants.  Some of the "volunteer" plants are already sending up little flower stalks.  This must be a variety that bolts very quickly.  Anyway, I am planning to add them to my salads for the next few days or even a week or two.

Tales From The Compost Pile. Story #2.  When I pulled the big overwintered kale plants out of the garden to make room from the new plants and seeds, I forgot that the old kale plants make great flower heads also.  A real "treat".  So I pulled them out of that same compost bin and replanted the roots.  The replanted kale is sending out new leaves and delicious little flower heads.  More stuff to add to the daily salad I take with me to work.

My lunches are either Greek yogurt, Bran Buds and Fruit (this week red grapefruit from Texas).  The fruit is whatever is on sale at the grocery or what I pull out of the freezer as I still have berries from last summer.  My other lunch is a large tub of salad greens, carrot sticks, edamame beans, feta, Greek olives, spinach, bok choy flowers, cabbage, raw beets and even HB eggs.  The dressing is usually good olive oil, S/P and Balsamic vinegar.  Occasionally I sub in Ranch dressing (usually with the Feta).  I like red onion in my salads, but not at work.  I am looking forward to adding beet greens and radishes from the garden to my salads this month.  The arugula didn't come back (too much soil turning) and I miss the "bite" of that green in the mix.

Today I am digging up the lamb's ears and putting it somewhere else.  I think I might sprinkle seeds for arugula there when I get it all out.  Lamb's ears are a real pain.  They start out cute and well behaved and then take over.   Sort of like children.