And I, for one, am glad for it. I love new years. They signify new opportunity, new hope–new everything. As an avid gardener, I embrace the chance to begin a fresh new gardening season, improving upon the last. This year, my goal is corn. I’ve grown corn. I’ve had success, as you can see from this beautiful specimen…
But alas, I’ve also had less than stellar results. On other cobs, my corn kernels were full and beautiful, up to a point.
*sigh* Something about pollination, or the lack thereof, prevented the cob from filling out to its peak of perfection. Might be due to a fluctuation in watering. Might be due to the fact that my corn plants weren’t staggered appropriately alongside one another, allowing for the wind to carry “the goods” from one corn plant tassel to another.
However, I will NOT be deterred. Persistence and perseverance are the name of the game in gardening (this applies to my writing career, as well) and I WILL prosper. In fact, I’ve already learned how to make lemonade from my lemons: a lovely roasted corn side from my half-pollinated cobs.
Doesn’t it look divine? It was, and totally easy to prepare. Simply scrape the “good” kernels from the cob, the ones kind enough to grow properly, and toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I threw in a few chopped red jalapeno to the mix, just for fun. Spread mixture out onto a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. Delicious! And a wonderful beginning to a fabulous new year.
Like Kimberly, I’m looking at Christmas in a new light this year. My kids are teenagers now, and while they haven’t lost all of their magical appreciation for the season, they do have a very frank understanding of Santa which significantly alters the gift-giving angle. After all, the reason for the season isn’t gifts, its God. Jesus.
Makes a gal feel kind of superficial and materialistic focusing on the shopping business. So I won’t. This year isn’t going to be about finding the perfect gift, the one that lights up their faces on Christmas morning. Nope. There will be gifts Christmas morning, but greatly reduced. I’ll carry the sentiment through Christmas dinner. As hostess for the family gathering, I’ve asked the relatives to dispense with our customary gift exchange. It only adds chaos to the evening, anyway. I mean, we’re talking 25 people for dinner and my house is far from a mansion. Trust me when I tell you it gets a little crazy. And to exchange gifts right before we’re serving a home-cooked meal? Double the chaos. We need all hands on deck to carve the turkey, make the gravy, toast the marshmallows atop the sweet potatoes, warm the veggies… The list goes on.
Recently, I discovered that one family in our community celebrates the season without gifts. For themselves, that is, including their kids. Instead, they wrap a gift box, cut a slit in the top, then deposit money into it throughout the month. A week before Christmas, they take the money and buy food for the hungry, clothes for the homeless; wherever they see a need, they fill it.
I like it. It embraces the charitable spirit of the season and reminds me it’s time to focus on the basics. Family, friends, charity, hospitality, song and prayer. How about you? Any changes this season to your celebration?
I began the day gardening, enjoying some of Florida’s first fall weather, and was surprised to come across this little guy while amending my beds with compost.
He popped out of the dirt as I was raking over my row. Not very cute, but friendly enough. And odd, because I didn’t realize toads lived in compost. And when I say “in” compost, I mean “in” as in beneath the leaves and dirt. He had to have been buried fairly deep for me not to have noticed him while transferring the stuff from compost pile to wagon. Huh. I always thought toads lived in dark, wet places–not dark, wet and dirty! Who knew?
But it was an interesting find. As I continued with my business of gardening, he happily hopped away, leaving me to wonder if he’d find his way back to the compost pile. Do toads have a sense of direction like, say, cats? I guess I could have followed him, or helped him along his way–except that I’m not THAT much of a nature girl. Sunny, outdoorsy, yes. Icky, yucky, no.
Doesn’t make me a bad person, does it? I mean, I regularly squash bugs and fat, hungry hornworms (to save the lives of my plants, of course). This little fella should be happy I left him alone! Hopefully, he’ll warn his friends that the compost pile is NOT the place for toads eliminating future such dilemmas.
Oh, well. Just another life in the day of a gardener. How did you spend your morning? Everybody’s life looks a bit different, doesn’t it? 😉