The last few days…

The last few days have been the warmest of the year. The nights have been cold dipping below zero. I have been out working in our flower beds that are against the house. I cleared all dead fall. I cut down the dead stalks on what is left of last years flowers. We have snow drops, two varieties of lilies, forget me nots, daffodils foxgloves, poppies… are coming to life and the rhubarb is even breaking grown.

It just felt good to have my hands in the dirt. I have missed it so much. I have heard that gardeners live longer and healthier lives. I always thought that was because of the exercise which is obvious. I really Think it is the state of mind working in the garden creates. The peace, tranquility, harmony I feel when I work in the garden. Stress melts away. Gardening takes patience and time. We are in no hurry to get everything landscaped in one season. We want to live in it and dream what we want to make it look like and then with time make it our reality.

Every year I find new flowers that come up that were under the over grown flower beds. I work the ground every year airing it with a pitch fork. Last year we worked the flower bed under the kitchen window. We removed a foot of dirt or rather compacted roots. It shocked me that anything could possible work its way to the surface through it all. Under all that there was dirt and all kinds of hidden treasures. We sorted through and set aside the bulbs. We separated them and broke apart the huge clumps of tubers. We replanted everything and added soil and manure. It was gorgeous all summer long. Our landlord came by and said it was really nice. He thought we had bought all the flowers. I laughed and said all these flowers were here all along. We just helped them come up.

Summer time is when we grill out most days. We like to sit and look at the garden and admire all our work. I been thinking about my recipes. I have a lot of recipes to put up, but I just don’t know whether to write the recipes or make them and photograph the process. It would take me a lot longer.

I guess I will have to think about it. Right now I am planning to experiment baking with Stevia instead of sugar. We recently discovered this product ourselves. It is a south American plant that the indigenous people have used for 400 years instead of sugar. It has zero calories and is a gluten-free product. The carbohydrates rates are so incredibly low. It is exceptionally good for Diabetics. I will have to learn how to cook with this new product. This will be interesting. We have tried it with coffee and ice tea. It taste great. It can even be used in canning and making preserves. I usually bake pies during the summer time. I guess I will write the original recipe and Stevia recipe for baked goods. Giving you the reader a choice.

The other product I am trying to learn about it is Quinoa which you pronounce Keen-WA. It is organically grown and the company name is Ancient Quinoa harvest. It is wheat free and a gluten-free product. It is a 100% whole grain. It is easier to digest. This is a product originated in the Inca Civilization. It is also made into a flour as well as other products. It is also beneficial for diabetics. I figure that I will like the Quinoa because I like all kinds of rice and couscous but Hubby is a different story.

Have a little patience because we are working on so many things. I am still rattled from some tragic news we have just received. Our long time friend has struggled with Glioblastoma Multiforme (an aggressive form of Brain cancer). The doctors removed the original tumor in September 2013. It returned a second time they removed the new tumor in January 2014. We just found out on March 5th that the scans taken on February 28th show that the tumor has already grown back for the third time….

It is hard being supportive when this news has devastated us like it has. I can’t even imagine what this family is going through. Our dear friend’s incision had just healed enough to begin Chemo- and Radiation therapy. We are awaiting news on what the doctors recommend now. Then we have to await our friend’s decision. We have been by our friend and his family’s side through out this period…. We know it is terminal. I try to remind myself that, The journey is heartbreaking, not the destination.

I am anything but organized at this stage of the game. I am working on it.. There is beauty in every facet of life. That is why the lesson for me is enjoy the present. Enjoy the life you have now. I count my blessings everyday.

Posted on March 13, 2014, in Everyday Life. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Oh Honey, what a beautiful and yet poignant post. We seem to be sharing the same weather and with it comes such peace and harmony in the garden. And yet, as you share the news of your friend and their illness, it is also a worrying and uncertain time as well. I feel that you have such a deep appreciation of the blessings of life and the joy that comes with it. It can be hard to hold steady in this view when tragedy hurts those we love. Getting back to what you were saying about sharing recipes…I so hope you do. But posts which feature dishes and how to make them do take a lot longer. I was thinking that during the summer when there is so much to do in the garden that I might do fewer cooking items. Take care-Karen.

    • Thank you for your sweet words on this post. I just talked to our friend and his wife on skype. We talk at least 5 times a week. We were thanking them for a package that we just recieved from them. It was a belated anniversary present for us.They wanted to thanks us for being there for them through this difficult times. We were very touched.

      As for recipes, I agree with you that I cook different with each season. I think I will post when the mood strikes me during the summer. It will be more barbecue,potato salads..
      We will have pictures of the work in the garden. I just will get done what I can, when I can. Thanks for the good advice. How is Ossie doing?

      • I am waiting for the vet to call today or tomorrow. Ossie can not smell, so he does not recognise food. It is so hard, I try not to get upset, but spend time opening or making food he just walks away from. I suppose we must all learn acceptance and that there are some things we just can not alter…….Karen.

      • I understand exactly what you mean. I think we are too detached in our society from death. We use to give birth at home and die at home. It was part of every day life. We forget that their is a cycle of life….

        Keep me informed of his progress

      • I understand exactly what you mean. I think we are too detached in our society from death. We use to give birth at home and die at home. It was part of every day life. We forget that their is a cycle of life….

        Keep me informed of his progress

  2. I’m sorry about your friend – it must be very traumatic!

    On a lighter note, amazing that stevia can be used in preserves. I only recently learned of its existence through a MOOC I have been doing.

    I think that quinoa is a bit of an acquired taste – it maybe needs to have strong flavours from the things that accompany it, but that could just be me 😉

    Anyway, I am sure that gardening must increase longevity… It always does me the world of good!

    • Thank you for your concerns over my friend. Yes, it has been very difficult. We have done a lot of research for him on the net… We found a treatment that injects a new type of chemo directly into the tumor. His doctors contacted this doctor in New York after this new developement. They are working on sending him there to get it. My friend is very hopeful on it’s success. We just spoke to him on Skype yesterday…. If it doesn’t cure him I hope it will give him more time. Only time will tell what kind of success he will have with it.

      I found Stevia recipes on, ””. Last night I made their brownie recipe it was delicious. My husband had tried to make peanut butter cookies with our regular recipe and it came out really dry and crumbly. Stevia needs extra ingredients to make it more moist. Sometimes you need apple sauce or extra eggs.. One other bit of advice follow the sequence of these recipes to get the best results. I always follow the rule when I bake that I mix wet ingredients and dry seperate and then mix them together. I have notice by reading the stevia recipes that it doesn’t follow that rule like baking with sugar. I plan to try their perserves recipes this summer.

      I made quinoa pilaf last night for dinner with chicken. It was delicious. My husband even liked it. I did not make it spicy. Here is a recipe site I substituted oregano for koriander/cilantro and I put a vegetable bouillion in it. I only made 3 servings not the 6 serving so I cut the recipe amount in half.


  3. By the way, I think pictures with your recipes would be good.

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