Tuesday, May 18, 2021

This Little Figgy

    When I moved to the South one thing I really wanted to grow was figs. I love fresh figs so much and you can’t buy them fresh in stores, only dried.  
And a dried fig is nothing like a fresh fig at all.

 We have had this fig tree for four years now and gotten a little fruit, but this year we are going to have a bunch.

  The yellow triangle by the top fig is a blossom and they don’t open any more than that. Not very showy, are they? And how do they get pollinated?  I don’t know!
  The Writer turned the sprinklers on the front lawn and look who came hustling out of the azalea bushes to see if it was raining. 
  It’s Yertle, our resident Eastern box turtle. 

  Did you know that Eastern box turtles can live a hundred years and once a female has mated, she’s good for four years of egg-laying? 


 Bob was inside and curious about what we were standing around looking at.  

  We have moved further agrarian pursuits to the front yard after many failures at raising a garden in the backyard.  I think we are finally going to have a tomato success story this year. 

  The cool spring we have had, along with 12 hours of direct sun a day, have inspired these two “patio tomatoes” in pots to shoot up to 4 1/2 feet tall and produce dozens of green tomatoes! 

And don’t you just love tomato blossoms? They’re so fancy and frilly when you look close. 

  And one final yellow flower photo: the hanging basket on the front porch. It seems like every year they come out with a fresh take on the plain, old-fashioned petunia and this one appeared simultaneously at every place in town that sells plants.  Never seen them before and I like the stripes a lot.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Signs of the Times - Latest Edition

  Panic buying. Long lines at the store. Empty shelves.

  Rumors of who has some and who is all out.

  Sound familiar? 

It’s not toilet paper or hand sanitizer 

or Covid vaccine this time. 

It’s gasoline!

  Colonial Pipeline, the main gas conduit supplying the East Coast, was closed down late last week by a cyberattack. By Tuesday night it was dawning on people that possibly there wouldn’t be enough gas to go around before the pipeline was up and flowing again. In spite of reassurances from officials and experts and pleas not to horde, people rushed out to top off their tanks, whether they needed to or not. Long lines at every station still open resulted in traffic jams.

   “Panic pumpers,” the media is calling them. 


 By yesterday we were low on gas and searched for over an hour before finding a station with fuel.

Why was there no line???

  They were not price gouging as some stations were but they were only taking cash.  

  We saw several cars drive away but happily we had some cash and were able to get some gas in our tank and be on our way.

 By last evening there was no gas available in town.  

Here’s a good motto for the 2020s.

(And carry cash. 😊)

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Farmer’s Market is Back

  So happy to have our farmer’s market back for the summer. It’s small (maybe three or four families selling their wares each week) but everything is actually local.  When we were getting ready to leave the house I got my market basket from a hook on the sunroom wall. To my surprise, someone else has been using my basket!

 Carolina wrens!

They are perky little birds that are very determined to get inside buildings and construct their scruffy, inconvenient nests among humans. This one had just begun so I moved the nest outside to the azalea bushes and off we went to the market.

  Selection was limited as things are just getting started and prices are high. Purple buttercrunch lettuce, kohlrabi, radishes, and strawberries made their way into our basket. 

  The kohlrabi balls will be sliced and eaten raw as hummus scoops. 

  The tops have already been cooked and eaten, mild greens with salt, pepper, garlic, and vinegar. 

  Lettuce and radishes will provide us with colorful salads for a few days. 

  And the strawberries, oh, the strawberries! They burst in your mouth with juicy flavor, nothing like those hard things you get in the grocery store trucked thousands of miles across the country from California. 
  Nope, these are South Carolina berries, ripened in the hot South Carolina sun. 

  One of my favorite desserts is strawberry shortcake and that’s where our berries went. I can’t eat wheat flour (something in it triggers migraines) but I have perfected the best recipe for shortcakes with no wheat or gluten. Would you like my recipe?

Almond Flour Shortcakes
1 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
Good pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sugar (or honey, maple syrup, etc)
Stir the dry ingredients and make a well in the center.
In the well, add 1/4 cup full fat plain yogurt and beat
1 egg into the yogurt with a fork.
Mix all and drop in four plops on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.  If you want the tops brown and crispy, turn the oven up to 400 for a few minutes.

Monday, May 3, 2021


Paraprosdokian — a figure of speech in which the latter part of a 
sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected 
and is frequently humorous. 

(Winston Churchill loved them.) 

Where there's a will, 
I want to be in it.

Since light travels faster than sound, some folks appear bright 
until you hear them speak. 

If I agreed with you, 
we'd both be wrong. 

We never really grow up, 
we only learn how to act in public. 

War does not determine who is right, 
only who is left. 

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. 
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. 

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. 
To steal from many is research. 

You do not need a parachute to skydive. 
You only need a parachute to skydive twice. 

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, 
any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. 

You're never too old 
to learn something stupid. 

I'm supposed to respect my elders, 
but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

Murals from ArtsFields