Thursday, July 24, 2014


They frame my day: breakfast and dinner. Maybe you think it's because a retired person's day is so without structure that I've been forced to look to meals to mark a beginning and an end.


It's been this way for a long time. Breakfast opens the day for me, dinner closes it. These meals are my bookends. I treat them with utmost care.

My breakfast today is like all other summer farmette breakfasts  -- on the porch, with Ed.

In its predictability, it remains a tough event to photograph.  Ed isn't oppositional to my picture taking, but nor is he helpful. I have about five seconds to come up with something before he'll slink into a pose that is totally not fitting for the sweetness of an Ocean commemoration.

But for me, it's important to take note of this meal. Here it is today:


And then dinner -- I don't often take pictures of it and sometimes I dont even write about it, but nonetheless, it's hugely important. And this has been so for the last forty years of my life: I care about each dinner, every day. And on the days that I cook it (which these days is nearly always), I worry about its details and I look forward to its preparation. Shaking pots, moving plates, making it all come together in a dramatic and victorious moment -- I love that challenge!

Today's dinner isn't especially fine. Chicken brats with spinach and feta -- that is the anchor. Oh, but build me a dinner in July! This is the time of abundant markets and too many choices. Our own local market tonight has fresh corn from just up the road, and another farmer still has a large pile of sweet peas. We pick up both.

And when you cook up those brats and the corn and the sweet peas, and then chop up your garden cucumbers and, for the first time, your garden tomatoes (in addition to a salad which, in this house is a staple), when you put all this together on one wee table that you always use for supper -- well now, it's a meal that properly closes the day.

Of course, if the two meals are bookends, then what of the time inbetween?

Today, I weeded and watered...


...while the cheepers pranced, then rested (but always keeping tabs on what I was doing)...



...and the bees did their thing and the butterflies did their thing...


...dizzy from the utter abundance of blooming things...

(toward the sheep shed)

(toward the farmhouse)

...and Ed attended to his sniffles and, too, did what he so often does -- created stuff on the milling machine in the sheep shed...


In terms of garden work, I'm still catching up with where I left off in June, even as the season progresses and plants come into their own, and indeed, some have already faded  -- nothing is ever as it was the day before. Even if I do use many of the same ways to describe a day: ate, weeded, watered -- it becomes a standard line, but one that is lived differently every single day.