I spent many years in an apartment without any outdoor access and when I moved here there was a marvelous south facing balcony. And I immediately started a tomato. It grew like a marvel but had terribly disappointing tomatoes. Just slightly bigger than a cherry. They were OK tasting. But just not quite anything size wise.
The following year – a friend gave me one of her seedlings and it got a fungus and was generally not producing anything due to the disease.
The next year I fell into a mental health hole and my cats chewed my seedlings to bits and I just didn’t have a tomato. It was a sad year.
So this year I bought seedlings online from Laurel’s Heirloom Tomatoes. She has a 4 plant minimum so I bought 4 and gave 2 to a friend as a housewarming present. They arrived yesterday.
It’s all VERY exciting.
I know what you are thinking – what does one person need with two tomato plants. But it’s OK. They are different tomatoes. One is Green Zebra and one is Paul Robeson. So. Don’t judge.
Anyway – today I started to clean out the pot that I grow tomatoes in. And there was a damn volunteer!
So now I’m going to be growing 3 tomato plants, which I admit, is perhaps a bit much for one person. But I can share. Everyone loves tomatoes. It’s a pandemic, dammit. Tomatoes are the only good thing a person can look forward to, you know. I’m just saying.
The real question is – where I am going to put the third one? There’s one good spot for sun on the balcony because it’s a covered balcony. There’s a second reasonably good spot and everything else is basically very bright partial shade. It’s a dilemma. It’s gonna take up some of my thinker space to figure it out.
I consider my volunteer to be an excellent omen. It’s going to be a very good crop of tomatoes.
There are a couple of authors whose books I have read so many times I know some passages by heart. Georgette Heyer is one of them. Pulling out one of these books is like sitting down with an old friend. They are comforting and good company.
I know what is going to happen, but it doesn’t matter, I’m never bored. I’m just happy to feel the familiar company. To visit places I love. To hear the words in my head, that I’ve read so many times, is a delight.
I’ve spent the last couple of weekends reading these books again. It’s like being cuddled in a down comforter. Warm and snuggly.
It did not snow here, but did snow a bit north of my location. In the 2nd week of May. On the one hand, it’s does seem like Mother Nature was showing her Schadenfreude at watching us all wither under her whim of a virus. A small smug smile on our collective misery.
But I’m a bit perverse. I find the oddity of a snow in May quite charming. Mostly because I haven’t got any plants out yet, so I was not disconvenienced by the dip in temperature. And of course it didn’t actually snow in my location. So I could just lean into the marvel of a late snow. Lots of pics were posted. We live in an age where one can enjoy a thing without actually experiencing it.
I did worry a bit about FC. But since he was out and about, eating hearty meals, I tried to remember that he is in fact a feral cat and must have managed with far worse weather. But not this past season. That’s when he was allowed into the apartment downstairs during cold days. sigh.
Yesterday he let me get quite close but still refused to be pet. He still limps but it seems to be improving. Perhaps just a sprain from a bad jump?
I love to be cozy in bed when it raining and am extra delighted by the wind. It’s just a feeling of cozy safety to be inside and warm in such weather. It touches on that deepest hindbrain feeling that comes from ancestors who had to deal with weather directly, living out in it. To know I am not out in it, but safe inside is lovely.
I have a tin roof over my balcony area. Rain on tin roofs is also a lovely sound. It seems to hit a note in my head that resonates nicely. Happily the place I work also has a metal roof and so I get that lovely noise quite often.
I had a lot of anxiety dreams last night. And woke up to one that kept it’s hand on my chest even after waking. In those moments, finding a thing I can deliberately delight in, is a path away from from the anxiety. I usually have to look for it. Because my mindset was already in anxiety, a significant portion of my brain wanted to consign the noise of this rain into the anxiety. But I know that I have always enjoyed that noise while in bed. So I recalled and considered that past delight until it arrived in the present.
This post is part of the process. Sometimes the delight does not come spontaneously. Sometimes it needs to be pulled out of the ground like a paleontologist pulls out a dinosaur bone. Much digging into my memory, much slow and deliberate brushing off of that remembered feeling, much consideration of where the delight belongs in the moment I’m living right now.
It doesn’t always work. But it seems to have done today. The pressure is off my chest.
I’ve been doing a variation on gratitude journal. I’ve been blogging about things that delight me. I started doing it just before the world began to implode.
It’s an interesting thing because it requires attention. Delight I find to be a fleeting thing. A quick moment that makes me smile, or a moment where the brain grenades recede because I found some sensation that overwhelmed them, like the soft fur on my cat or the smell of bread baking.
I think the attentiveness of it is part of it’s therapy. Of trying to notice those tiny moments of delight that exist but are often as quickly forgotten or not given the importance they deserve.
It’s becoming a bit harder as the numbers of infected increase. I have a tendency toward hypochondria, so I’m just waiting for the symptoms. No. I’m looking for the symptoms. When I’m home I take my temp 5 or 6 times a day. I’m not helped by having spring hay fever.
But as I look at how my brain has been dealing with this pandemic, I’m fairly pleased. I have not fallen into a stillness. The brain grenades have stayed mostly at a distance. The worst part is the hypochondria. And I am wondering if some of it is my attention to delights. Of course Spring is here and that presents me with lots of moments of delight. Walking outside to sunny skies and 60 degrees is just a rush of delight. Seeing flowers growing all over the place when I take my walk is lovely.
I have had times in my life where I went through the whole spring without paying the slightest bit of attention to the white puffs of pear trees and cheerful dandelions and laughing daffodils. And I think it’s not good for me. I’m glad I’m noticing the delights of life.
I’m not being sardonic, ironic or sarcastic. I truly love Broccoli, although I keep misspelling it, so my delight does not extend to all it’s aspects apparently. Thank you, Spell Check for your minatory corrections. I’m frankly also glad for spell check, although I mostly express my annoyance with it. Having grown up and lived my young adulthood in a time before it’s existence, I know the suffering, the embarrassment of being a poor speller.
But back to the Broccoli. I love it. Raw or cooked. Frozen or Fresh. I don’t think I’ve ever had it canned. I’m mostly not a fan of canned veg so probably wouldn’t love it. But maybe?
I use broccoli slaw on my sandwiches instead of lettuce. It provides crunch and a marvelous taste. And so many more nutrients than lettuce.
I often take mashed potatoes and broccoli to work as my lunch. It’s marvelous in a soup. It’s a lovely additive to nearly any casserole. Particularly those Mid American casseroles that generally feature Campbell soup of some variety.
Of course I love a lot of foods. But what makes broccoli special is that it’s GOOD FOR ME. This is what makes it delightful. To love something that is actually good for you is so rare that it’s nearly like finding the Hope Diamond, fully cut, in your backyard.
I felt it had to be celebrated. Broccoli. It’s Good.
Last week was a particularly craptastic week but was relieved by one moment of light. A tiny very brown puppy with floppy ears and enormous eyes arrived in a box sitting on a red tea towel and looking slightly worried.
Buster Brown, as he was later christened, had been temporarily part of one of the dispatcher’s households but the extant dog was violently against the puppy and it was deemed safer for the puppy and the children playing with said puppy if it did not stay. So, an empty nest couple who work evenings agreed to adopt Buster. Consequently, he arrived in his box looking a bit nervous and cowed.
And thus I was introduced to him. After spending a day in near tears, suddenly all the anxiety and exhaustion that had plagued my day fled in the face of a brown face with large eyes.
Buster is never going to be big. He’s a dachshund/chihuahua mix. He is a gorgeous chocolate brown color that I have rarely seen so perfectly and beautifully grown in a dog’s coat. He has lovely soft ears and is calmer than I would have ever assumed any offspring from those two breeds could be. And right now he is just about the size of a man’s hand.
Happily, Buster was surreptitiously brought back again the following evening, after the big bosses had left. He’d had time to be recognize the safety and love that was his new home and had lost the sad worried look. One of the girls in the office took him off his leash and ran him up and down the office space and he had all the spunk and happiness that is puppies.
I hope that Buster visits us regularly. He is a boon to my mental health. A temporary relief to anxiety and sadness. Joy is his vocation.
I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of the Joy of Buster. Perhaps I will remember to take one this week if he visits, instead of just enjoying him.