Praying For...Quinn that he will learn patience, gentleness, and civility in his childhood, making him a builder of the Kingdom...a return to civility in Western Culture...family gardens so that neighbors around the world can grow food, serenity, and beauty instead of engaging in violence...
Bibliophilia...sent If I Ran the Horse Show: All About Horses by Worth, Robert the Rose Horse by Joan Heilbroner, and Spooky Riddles by Brown to Quinn. He enjoys the Suess early reader books quite a bit, as they are not as daunting as Magic Tree House. Suess early readers and MTH are about the same reading level, but our soon to be first grader likes shorter books for personal reading. I'm screening a few that might be good for Gayle, Sammy, and Oakley. Re-reading Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster. It has a greater impact now that it's relevant to my experience.
Movement...biked most days this week with one ride being 11.5 miles...still going strong with essentrics...not sure though if all this exercise is so good, while I'm trying to recover from that horrible flu. Well, I guess I'd rather spend what little energy I have improving my health than something of less value.
Dr. Ginger, Medicine Woman...I thought I would never get a message, but all the sickness last month left me with a very stiff neck and numb arms. I was quite surprised how professional message therapy is. It felt every bit as businesslike as any doctor's office, except the staff went out of their way to be pleasant and friendly. And it feels like I get more for my money than a 10 minute chiro adjustment. I'll make this a regular thing; I think.
Cucina Fresca...I've been experimenting for some time and came up with a popcorn snack for Joseph that works. I put 1/4 c popcorn in a brown lunch bag and microwave for 2.5 minutes. Then I sprinkle on a bit of salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. At only 131 calories, it is idea to stave off my hubby's snack attacks without damaging his health. I'm so glad I discovered sun dried tomatoes. They are great cooked into my quinoa salad and in my herbed polenta.
Garden Gate...In hot, dry environments, raised beds dry out quickly and may damage tender plant roots. So I dug new sunken bed in the garden, where I planted garlic cloves, garlic chive seeds, bee balm seeds, daikon radish seeds, and boking 14 comfrey roots. Or rather I completed the bed next to the house on the north side, since it encompasses my espalier apples. Daikon's long tap roots (which are mostly not going to get harvested) are wonderful for breaking up heavy clay soil sort of like implanting compost three feet into the ground. Comfrey also has taproots that can get 10 feet long. Not only does the root bring up minerals from deep in the earth, it brings up moisture. When we chop and drop the plant, in essence we compost without the hassle of composting. Comfrey mulch/compost holds moisture in the ground, encourages earthworm proliferation, and enriches soil humus and fertility. When used as a mulch, it has nearly the same composition as barn yard manure with a slightly higher level of potassium. It can be used as animal fodder for chickens, goats, and rabbits, which we don't have and don't intend to acquire. It is an excellent medicine to heal wounds and broken bones of all sorts. (Many people are afraid to plant comfrey, because it's invasive reputation. Russian comfrey or Boking 14 isn’t invasive with sterile seed. It stays were you plant it.) Comfrey should be used in all stages of soil building and in every part of a permaculture garden. Rabbits hate the smell of garlic, so the chives repel the little pests. Tomorrow or some time this week, I'll go get a bucket of earthworms from the bait shop for this bed.
Grandma's Girls...we had our first girl's luncheon or hen part without Grandma and Aunt Kathy. At first it was a bit awkward until I mentioned it felt a bit awkward. Everyone acknowledged that truth and then settled down to the business at hand--the grand gab fest. I love these daughters, step-daughters, and daughters-in-law of my dear, little grandma. Aunt Kathy's memorial was yesterday. Since she was adamant that she wanted a party instead of a funeral, we celebrated with a pot luck luncheon memorial. It was wonderful to visit and eat and look at pictures of Kathy. There were even a few taken in Japan, where she spent the first three or four years of her life. The last time we visited, she told me she didn't consider herself Japanese. How could she, when she was an beloved, intrenched member of our family? Only the mirror told said differently. Kathy was similar to my grandma in that everyone loved her. She was pretty outspoken, in contrast with Grandma, but somehow it was never offensive. She was so happy and positive. Cancer is a horrible enemy.