A Gardener’s Response To Hail

What is a gardener’s response to hail?  If hail has left damage to your garden what should you do? I’ll leave it to the experts to give you sound advice on how to take care of your plants. Instead, let me share with you my very mature response to hail.

hail damaged garden

How Laura Responds to Hell….ooops Hail.

Number 1:  

Ordinary Can Be Extraordinary

We often fail to realize that the ordinary can be extraordinary. This is one reason why hope can wane during times of trying to make ends meet, when we are putting one foot in front of the other, doing our day-in and day-out tasks.  Read the quote in the image below and ponder it for a minute.  Read it 2-3 times and soak it in.  Then read on.

Ordinary Can Be Extraordinary

You are busy so I’ll keep this post short.

Ordinary Can Be Extraordinary

I have loved

Picture of Mums

This quote makes me laugh.  And it is so true for me and for many gardeners I know.  In fact, for most people who have something they do with their hands (woodworking, cooking, knitting, building an engine) they are happier.  And happy is NOT bad.  If we do something in the pursuit of happiness as an end in itself, we may end up disappointed.  But to do something so that we do it well and so that others are served, then happiness happens!  So does joy.

Yes, this quote rings true for me.  Gardening has helped me find joy (an attitude) and happiness (a state of being) in the midst of tough times.  Thanks be to God.  What is one thing you can take up doing — something that requires the use of your hands?  Do it.  Take it up.  It will bless others.  THAT brings joy.  And your spirit will be lifted.

Lost Memories And Laughter

Lost memories AND laughter?  Yes. With my mother, often this is the case. She can just crack me up and crack herself up.

picture of filing cabinet drawer marked with word memories

photo courtesy of istockphoto/thinglass

As we were driving across town today my mother brought up the subject of her second husband and his cigars.  As a chance to “test her memory” I asked, “Tell me Mom, where all did you live with Nord?”  [She had only lived in one place with him, for 18 years.]

“Oh I don’t know.  Hmmm.  I don’t have much of a memory anymore.”  Then she shrugged.  This lost memory was significant to me.  Why?  

Late Summer Salad

It is mid September here in Colorado.  We had some really cold weather last week, so cold I had to cover up my garden goodies two nights in a row.  But this week it has been in the low 80’s and I am finding a few gems out in my backyard garden.

Late summer salad beautifully arranged on a white plate.

Finding gems.

Late summer is a time for that.  I may think my pole beans are done, but I find a few more on the vine.  And then I peek close to the ground and see a few last cucumbers.  That one more ripe tomato makes me scream with delight.  Am I being melodramatic? Yes, I am and I don’t care.  A garden is worthy of drama.

If you are a gardener,

Taking Away The Car Keys

Taking away the car keys is one of the hardest tasks in eldercare. Hard, grueling and just plain ugly it is. This was the day I really had to be The Lone Caregiver.  No one else could do it.  So I had to be The Mean One.

Daughter Taking Car Keys Away

photo courtesy of istockphoto/3bugsmom

For about a month I lied to her every time she inquired about her car’s location.  “It’s in the shop Mom.”  She would relax, take a deep breath and say, “Oh OK.  That’s good. Thanks for taking care of that honey.”  There were too many other changes going on. It needed to be a while before I could tell her that she’d no longer be driving. This is called “therapeutic lying.” Look it up. Really. There is such a thing.

But therapeutic lying couldn’t go on forever about such a thing as car keys.  So, I broke out in a sweat and finally told her.  But then she’d forget we had that conversation and wonder AGAIN where her car was.  And AGAIN I’d break out in a sweat and tell her. It was horrible.

Due to Alzheimer’s,

Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup

I want to give you HOPE about growing things.  Growing squash is a slow and arduous process.  Growing anything in life is like this.  And we forget that there is often a gift coming in the midst of the waiting and watching.  In this case, as I watch my squash grow (or not…and I decide to run to the farmers market instead), I think about this yummy recipe that my personal chef created back in 2010.  It truly is a bowl full of fall. The garnishes take it to OVER THE TOP goodness.  Trust me.
My brother Lee and his wife Lucy occasionally test my Personal Chef’s recipes in their New York City kitchen.  With this recipe they used a beautiful squash from their local farmer’s market in the city. To make soup with your squash, read on!

Bowl of butternut squash soup, garnished with pear and pumpkin seeds.

Freeze Tomatoes Whole Skin On

Yes, you can freeze tomatoes whole skin on! Perhaps you have an abundance of tomatoes, or like me you have a generous friend with an AMAZING garden who has given you an abundance of tomatoes. Or maybe you have heard that tomatoes from the farmers market, put up for the winter, are better than any canned tomatoes you can buy. But, you don’t have time to can or don’t know how. That would be me.  Thus, I often decided to freeze tomatoes whole skin on. Let me tell you, this is EASY PEASY!

Read below….so FEW steps!