New Beginnings

I have been a little online-absent. You'll have to excuse me. But matters of the household and lifestyle needed to be tended. I know you're thinking that I have already forgotten about blogging after 3 or 4 posts. But I haven't. This year's posts will be better than ever. So hold on to your seat!

I hope you enjoyed your New Year's Eve. Mine was a lot of fun, and that's all a girl can ask for. On 1/1/12, I woke up to a whole new calendar year, a little bit of a hangover, and sunshine.

It was a gorgeous start to 2012 in the Delta. It felt like spring outside. You would think with all the complaining I have done about winter this winter, life would let me have it. On the contrary, it was a beautiful day with beautiful people.

Blue sky! Nice.

Blue the cat! Nice.

She was unusually lethargic on New Year's Day. I've never seen her calmly cuddle up in my arms like this with her legs crossed. At first I was worried she was sick, but then I realized she was probably just hungover.

How does your garden grow?

Seriously, I want to know. I need all the advice I can get. I started this "winter garden" at the end of September. I just kind of trotted out to my yard and decided I needed a garden. So I crawled up under the house, met some critter buddies, inhaled some dust and dirt, and actually dragged bricks out from underneath my house. Yeah, like something a body builder does to get into shape probably. Except I'm 5'5 and have arms made of spaghetti and maybe some rubberband too. After I gave myself a minor heart attack, I shoveled dirt and and removed the first layer of grass and dirt from the ground.

I proceeded to develop my garden into this weird U shape you see in the previous photo, scattering potting soil and some impromptu compost of dead grass and dead leaves.

I know you're thinking, what about your big strong husband? Where was he? Well, as I said, it was the end of September. You try getting a farmer to help with a tiny little winter garden while he's freaking out about peanuts, soy beans, and cotton. I wasn't going to go there. But I did surprise the hay out of him when he came home that day.

As you can see, the turnip green section got a little out of hand. That's because I was so tired and fatigued out at the end of all the work, that I took a handful of seeds and violently threw it at the garden in disgust.

But I came back the next day apologetically and planted some cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Although I had expended labor like I had never known before, pretty equivalent to working in a gold mine in my opinion, I didn't want that hard work to go to waste. I was going to eat something out of this garden someday, dang it.

This is the only brussel sprout plant that survived my negligent gardening. You can see that the buds are showing up on the stalk. Will asks me how the brussel sprout plant is doing every week, I'm pretty sure. I think he likes brussel sprouts. Ironically, this is the only plant I chose not to harvest yet. It's taking over 3 months. I know that's not right, and that it should have been ready at least a month ago, but you know what? I'm new at this so chill out.

For every failure, there's sure to be a few successes though. We picked the cabbage for good luck (money please), and also the little bit of broccoli that made the journey. And here we picked the cauliflower. We ate it raw, dipped in some good dip.

This is all the veggies from the garden out on the counter of our kitchen. Nice little display.

Our friend Sha came over to cook with us. Yes, I used his real name. By the way, I don't know why I've been using initials of husband and friends that I mention in the blog. Not sure the reason I started that. I guess it was a matter of privacy? Maybe I was afraid some stranger out there would read my blog, hack into my computer, steal my identity, and come ransack my house. I'm pretty sure that everyone who reads my blog probably knows me. Or maybe not. But in any case, I have decided to start using real names. Got it? Good.

Sha is Will's cousin. That's his hand delicately placed on the cutting board. That's us dipping the caulifower, which was delicious. I had a little victory there. I like it when that happens. But of course, it wasn't me. I just planted it and then got busy and started ignoring it. Like I said--novice gardener.

Sha cooked black-eyed peas and greens from the garden. When Sha comes out here, he ends up cooking. Because he is good. And we are not that good...yet. Will and I run around in circles like chickens trying to figure things out in the kitchen. So when guests come, it's best to let them eat well so we make our guests cook.

Joking. But sometimes, it's best to get a helping hand from a friend. I know it's not rocket science, but we've done our fair share of burning. And with all the superstition going around on New Year's Day, let the experts take control while the peanut gallery helps.

Not saying all is lost, we just have a lot to learn still.

While we waited for things to cook and football took over the house, I went out and picked some pecans for us to eat in the meantime in between time. That silver-looking squirrel thing is nut cracker. And that plant is an aloe plant, just in case you were wondering.

This is the pecan orchard in our yard. I really like this picture. They are great climbing trees. Yes, I climb. Like a little kid. I will never grow up.

A new year is a perfect opportunity for a fresh start obviously. Many will be making resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, quit smoking or drinking, or get out of debt. But I am going to be resolute in living the fullest life I can live. I really owe it to the one who gave me this life--all this beauty and wonder around me. I mean, we could live off our yard's bounty if worse came to worse for goodness sakes! How blessed can you be!

But life is an adventure, and as you can see with my garden, there are plenty of mistakes and successes to be made. And a whole lot of learning--learn from the mistakes and be thankful for the successes. And to stay in the game, keep trying new things. Enjoy the adventure and mystery of it all!

Life is short. Just think about how fast 2011 went by--and remember that life happens in present moments, not in past or future, but right now.

I hope your new year is really happy!

Liza Jane
Liza JonesComment