Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happiness Is

Today is one of those perfect days. The sun is out and it isn’t super hot like it has been so the dark clouds around us might yield rain, something we haven’t had in a week or so. My water bill and my vegetables will be most appreciative. Whenever I’m finished working in the yard, I always reward myself with flower arrangements. It feels completely decadent to have a house full of cut flowers. My perennial garden is amazing and we are blessed with monarch butterflies as well as honeybees. There is a working farm nearby and I wonder if they are keeping bees which would rock to find local honey. A few weeks ago, we were discussing the lovely alchemy of keeping bees and wouldn’t it be an interesting thing to do. Deadly in her case because she’s very allergic, but in theory it would be so very Zen. Handling bees you must absolutely be in the moment. I have a hard time being in the moment so tasks and jobs feel mysterious and sacred to me. Bees and butterflies are two signs of a healthy garden. I’m not sure I could stand the bliss if I had frogs, too. Poor frogs are dying off all over the world. We did see huge frogs at Angkor Wat in the reflecting pool and heard them at night and in the early morning at our hotel outside of the city.

Tending the garden, yard and flowers never fails to make me smile; even when it’s hot dry and dusty. This year’s beds aren’t as lush and varied as last year’s when we had a wet and temperate summer. But I am a little concerned about the front flower bed, everything bloomed way too early and is now dormant. I’m wrestling with setting more things out, annuals and such. I do have zinnias (the most cheerful flower, according to Oldest Friend) which will bloom in a week or so but otherwise the terraced bed looks a little woebegone and sad. Even the 4 O’Clocks are being stubborn and refusing to grow and bloom. Much to be joyful about today despite my worries.

My step-mother’s granddaughter (my--what--step-niece?) is an amazing artist and keeps a lovely blog, today she listed pictures of things that make her happy. This being a perfect day it was easy to find things that make me happy. Here are eleven (I like prime numbers) as they occurred to me.

Summer days when it’s not blazing hot, dry and windy so the back porch is “Command Central”

My flowers

The Girl is making chicken and polenta for dinner tonight and C from next door is coming over, maybe with her new beau who isn’t terribly handsome but he adores her and thinks she is the most amazing woman on the planet.

My Oil d’Provence (an infusion of my own herbs d’Provence in olive oil) was a huge success.

Tending the vegetable garden and worrying over the delicate tomato plants which were set out a little late and on a very hot day. Finding big sweet carrots, sweet peas, three habanera peppers, four cucumber blossoms and the golden beets which will be ready any day now. I’m boiling them and serving them on their greens cold with a pungent blue cheese and pine nuts. I. Can’t. Wait. I have fantasized about this beet salad for a year.

Getting to spend the whole day with TG.

Honey bees.


The dog hasn’t turned over the trash can or escaped from the backyard today.

Wally let me take a picture of him.

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