Monday, April 20, 2009

Hope you're hungry for Amish Paste Tomatoes

My sister gets most of the credit for this seedling bounty:

And this is just the start...(Becca here).
Our major growing this year (hopefully for profit) will be in paste tomatoes (like giant romas - great for preserving), baby lettuce, spinach, collards, onions, hot & green peppers, cucumbers, parsley, basil, red and thumbelina (small sweet) carrots, and red & gold baby beets. Also in the pots and ground for ourselves are summer & winter squash, herbs, potatoes, other tomato varieties, peas, rhubarb, asparagus, broccoli, and others I'm sure I'm missing. The idea was to pare it down to the varieties we "really love" this year - these are the ones, but I probably wouldn't call it paring down! Once we start, there's no going backwards - it's always a beautiful, therapeutic, stressful process. And I can hardly bear to look at the barren garden beds any longer - they just gaze at us expectantly up from the ground, simply covered in mulch, waiting for a little foliage to foster. It's the least we can do.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

When people have amnesia, they start to call insomnia amnesia

How can sleep be such a dreamy, velvet drape or such a hard-eyed mistress, cheating on you repeatedly with the cheap and easy sleepers of the world?

I've been plagued with insomnia lately, and if you are one of those infuriating people like my husband, who could fall into a coma instantly while sitting up straight on a ceramic couch covered in tiny, sharp, conical objects, this post will most likely be meaningless to you (or yet less meaningless than my other posts, I should say).

But for those of you who dutifully take their chamomile tea, their melatonin, their valerian and their Advanced, Fast-Acting 5-HTP/Suntheanine cocktail and still find themselves staring at the ceiling at 12:45 trying to make out the face of Jesus in the paint pattern and then panic because it's now officially morning and dutifully swallow their 30 mg of Temazepam (aka "Restoril" - does this not sound like the name of a sword in the Lord of the Rings, by the way?) and black out for 5 hours, because that's the amount of time you get from 1 a.m. to when your child wakes up, this one is for you.

First off, has anyone else found that insomnia causes an insatiable craving for maple bars? Is this a medically-sanctioned side effect? Do you think my HMO would cover them? Anyhow, there are plenty of other irritating consequences, like being perpetually slack-jawed and glassy-eyed, falling asleep at inopportune times (sorry, honey), forgetting to eat ... anything green, neglecting blogs, blanking out on my child's name, and reading little Okra the same story over and over again (oh wait, he actually requests this).

But the worst part about my insomnia is that those things - those things that people use to describe other things? Uhh. You know. Those things. Thooooooooooooooossssssssssssssseeeeeeeeee thingalingadingdongs, thingy-wingy-dingy- Words! Words. I lose words. And to a writer, losing the words is akin to, well to use my second Lord of the Rings reference in this post *geek alert*, kind of like Frodo losing the One Ring. But not exactly, because the Ring is evil, and words are not evil! No! But they can be used for good or for evil, kind of like a sword. Let us just call this sword Restoril. I have temporarily misplaced Restoril. It lies in the bottom of the stream in Hobbiton, just waiting for one of the River Folk to STRANGLE another one of the River Folk and take up his mantle and wield it! For the benefit of all mankind! And then give it to me!

Sweet dreams.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Easter Egging

As our Friends at Maple Hill Farm remind us (one of my favorite childhood books), spring means the arrival of eggs of all kinds. Around here our hens are giving us nine a day, and with such a surplus, we were excited to introduce the boys to egg decorating this week. I have such fond memories of dying Easter eggs at the card table in our kitchen growing up...those little wire dippers, the smell of vinegar while the color tablets dissolved in each cup, coming up with new ways to create the coolest egg in the carton.
We were lucky to have our cousins Joel and Elissa out for a visit when we pulled out the egg decorating kit, as they are some of our most creative kin (not to mention wonderful to be with)!

Elissa blowing the eggs out - BIG time entertainment for the boys.

Post-egg decorating studying.