I am a very amateur musician, and I don’t mean a rhythm that tight, but I am a gardner.
Gardening has a rhythm, you plant in the spring and early summer, you harvest when the vegetables ar ready. Each veggie has it’s own unique rhythm.
Soon we will have an abundance of Asparagus. It will be welcome and wonderful. By the time it warms up good and that harvest is over, I will be tired of Asparagus and will wait until the next spring for my next splurge.
Of course, I could buy it in the grocery store, year around, at $3 to 5 a pound, but that is flown in from some country Ill never visit and the taste is flat too.
Strawberries, fresh fruit, berries, each will be cherished as their rhythm and my tastes coincide.
Our modern supermarket (the one where we shop covers abut 6 or 7 acres) has pretty much the same produce year round. You can buy grapefruit about any time, but I have a preference (big time) to Texas pink grapefruits, and I will check the labels. Until the pinks are in the store, I skip the dry sour versions.
And so it goes.
For dinner today, this is February, after all, we are having Lentil soup with a side salad and whole wheat bread. I know I did not grow the carrot nor the celery, or the lentils for that matter, but this is winter!
I finished reading “Letters of a woman Homesteader.” by Elinore Pruitt Stewart.
Read it on my smart phone.
In 1912, she wrote about her garden, planted that year.
After harvest she writes: “Our cellar (is) full, and this is what we have: Two tons of potatoes, half a ton of carrots, a large bin of beets, one of turnips and one of onions, one of parsnips and on the other side of the cellar we have more than a hundred heads of cabbage.”
Our "christmas cactus" does not know this is February. That is OK. The mother plant was a gift from Mrs. Forsythe to my Grandmother about the time Harry Truman was stopping the buck. Starts from that original have gone to daughters and friends.
Tuesday we set a new record as the warmest February 15.
As long as we have been keeping track of such things, a long time in my life vision, but a mere spec in global time, this was the warmest.
So, yesterday was cold. Sleet and snow, and a little of it still on the ground in the evening. There was a wind storm that went through our little valley and prostrated some tall old trees along it’s way.
This morning I wake up, much too early and there is fresh snow on the ground.
Guess this is what the weather guys told us would happen. Changes in weather patterns, drought where it usually is not. Record colds and record highs.
I did not sleep any where enough last night. I’ll say that the neighbor’s dogs woke me, but my aging bladder probably had more to do with it. Bored dogs serenade almost every night.
Why do people have “pets” they don’t really take care of? These are not farm dogs, there are no farms that close. It is not the dog’s fault, they are just plain bored.
Usually I can wake up go to the bathroom and then go back to sleep, unless my mind starts to turn, then sleep does not happen. Miriam is always scolding me because I don't’ sleep enough. She is right, of course.
When a camera was designed to be JUST a camera it could be designed to maximize that function. Now we use phones for cameras. The camera part is OK, but since they were designed for something else, there is not automatic place to put your fingers, for instance! Pictures with finger shadows are routing, I find!
To salve my curiosity I looked up how much I “should” be spending for food.
The stats weren’t too hard to come by.
USDA put out a list 2010, so it is pretty up to date. By their standards we should be spending at least twice as much as we do for food.
We have a garden, which contributes some, we are vegetarians, which helps a little too. We are the kind that rarely eat “meat substitutes,” which are spendy and probably not too healthy.
Mostly, I think it is because we come from a long line of scratch cooks. There may be a box or two of graham crackers (an admitted indulgence), but not much else in the cupboard that comes "ready to eat."
But we eat well.
Thanks Mom, and both Grandmas! And thank you daughters for your guidance and support!
Happy Valentine all you lovers out there! I have always been leary of events that were sponsored by a company for their own profits. Christmas can be considered in that category, but certainly Valentines Day. Seems to me we should have a lot of "love days" during the year, not just when Hallmark and Whitman say we should. So today I will make Miriam a special breakfast, and a good lunch and I will hug her a dozen times (or more) and I will say I love her often. But, shucks I do those every day any way!
It was at the same parochial school I graduated from 56 years ago.
The president of the class made a speech in which she thanked the faculty for teaching them about “the love of God, and the evils of socialism.”
That caught my attention.
Do they have a class in the downside of capitalism or the upside of socialism? Probably not.
Of course when we think of socialism we think of Cuba or Russia and maybe China. But they are socialistic dictatorships.
If you want to really look at socialism, look at the countries in Northern Europe: Sweden, Norway et al.
Their people pay about half of their income for taxes, but in return they get medical care (note I did not say free--they pay for it), a quality college education among other things.
That got me thinking. What if my doctor, rather than having a quarter million of debt when she began practicing medicine, instead had zero debt. What if she was given a “full ride” scholarship (like we give the jocks) and graduated to go use those skills.
The implications are enormous. Maybe she would even be paid less, maybe that would allow her to practice in places that really could not provide an income to live on and service a quarter million in debt.
I am not really pro socialism, but I am into fairness, and proclaiming socialism evil and capitalism good is a bit narrow. Both systems have good points, and both systems have their soft underbelly.
It comes down to how they are managed.
The Swedes I know are very happy with their system.
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.