Rise crackle flop.

The fire’s been burning for days now. There’s something primordial about a fire. There are few things that can cause a group of people to just sit in silence and stare. A fire is one of those (a newborn baby is often another.) Yesterday, I really was able to scratch the itch of generations by having bread rising on the hearth while planning the spring garden. In short order, there were fresh hoagies to polish off the last of the Christmas prime rib complete with sauteed peppers and shredded cheese.
Not these Christmas-lights-looking peppers, but close.


I was mistaken about the last of the tomatoes. I picked a few more yesterday, although they were not immediately gobbled up. So in an odd turn of events (like sowing next year’s exactly when I’d planned to) and weather (the lightest of freezes only days ago) the tomatoes of 2015 have gone full circle and this house shan’t be without a tomato plant even in the depths of winter…provided the seeds sprout.


I do hope to keep track of the labels from sowing to potting up to planting out this year. It’s my goal every year, and so far I haven’t done it quite as I’d like and tend to only hazard guesses as to which varieties of what end up where.

Speaking of plans, my first attempt at paperwhites (thanks to Stacey for the idea!) didn’t quite make it for Christmas blossoms.


But this cold cloudy weather has the bulbs planning their own New Year’s Celebration.


The lemon basil is officially a weed, and officially the most stalwart garden companion I’ve ever had. Summer drought and triple digits? Sounds good. Frost and short days? Ok, sure. Floods and wind and hail? Why not…


The lettuce is trying…we’ll see how it goes.


The citrus is happy, but nap time is ending and that’s all for now. Happy New Year!



I believe the tomatoes are finally done. Fitting, that they’d last until now, as this is the week I sow next year’s seedlings into the dark promises of starter pots.

After we arrived home most days, we’d go in the front door and straight through the house, climbing out the back door, hand wrapped around finger. I’d think about what needed tending where, but she would make the same loop each time. “Namayos? Namayos!”

Whether they were actually tomatoes, or sometimes reddened jalapenos, she didn’t much mind…until she selected one to sample. Jalapenos always came back out with a hand off to me and a simple “papa’s.” A paste tomato would follow suit. But oh, the Chadwick Cherry tomatoes. Off came the cap with a “yuck! bye bye” and into her mouth it went. “More?” could just be deciphered through a mouthful of tomato.

We were expecting our first freeze Monday night so I had to cut any dreams of vine ripening short. We harvested the final stragglers before I put (nearly all of) the vines out of their long-seasoned misery and into a wheel barrow.


We went out again, albeit without school this week it was mid afternoon, and had a good chat about how tomatoes don’t always grow. She looked to their beds, saw no vines, and went straight to the jalapenos (which I had yet to remove.)

“Namayos?” she inquired.

“Not in the winter, love, but soon,” I replied.

Dig in.

Sometimes I have a day. As everyone does, somedays. Today was one of those days. And on those days, whether or not the weather is game, a good sweat with a shovel solves most things.

With the sweat and the shovel off limits a few months yet, I took to the fingertips. One fresh, soft, new tuft of grass at a time. Into the bucket with you! With you, and also with you. And the calm came and the methodical was found and all was well again soon enough.


Dig deeper.

If at first you find only frustration and disappointment…

Dig deeper.


It’s not quite the fifty pounds from a few years back, but for the size of that planting and the size of this one I’d say it’s a tie. 28 pounds of sweet potatoes and I’m pretty sure I missed a few that dove down or escaped under the planks to the edging paths.

And while I felt a month late, apparently I’m 11 days earlier than 2012. Also, note to self: if you want to turn questionably nutritious soil into glorious earth sow sweet potatoes first. Now what to sow tomorrow to keep it lovely until spring?

Shadows cast.

The roses have buds. Branches glow, casting brisk lines. Cranes blot the sky as the earth sheds the day. The seasons have changed and the world feels crisp, crunchy.


The sog battles the snap underfoot. Giving with one step, resisting the next, I feel the transition dance through my soul.




My timing is off. The beat, I’ve lost. I am not the only one out of sequence.




It’s time I pause to join once again in the rhythm of things.