Thursday, August 30, 2012

Aloyssia Grattisima or White Brush

I looked up the medicinal properties of this prolific weed.  Several websites suggest that the leaves or bark of this fragrant bush can be boiled and used to treat digestive difficulties or anxiety.

As I biked down the street, past the big overflow ditch, the perfume overwhelmed me.  The plant is nondescript.  Tiny reams of tiny white blossoms on a scraggly bush, perhaps 5 feet tall, with rather scraggly silver gray leaves.  Definitely not much of a floral super model.  Typically prefers to reside in ditches, little draws.  Anywhere that might catch a little run off in a late summer thunderstorm. 

They won't catch your eye.

Oh, but we have many other senses, and they will make sure you don't forget the olfactory!

As I bicycled along, I tried to come up with a good description of the fragrance.  Pink.  Wait.  That is not much of a description of the smell.  The bush isn't even pink!  But it smells like some kind of pink candy.  Cotton candy? 

Sweet.  A perfume specially designed for 6 year old girls.  Or 45 year old women for that matter! 

I have heard some people describe the Chihuahuan Desert as a place God-forsaken.  Brutal.  Boring.  Harsh.

I wonder if those people ever got out of their car for very long? 

You might be surprised at the many delightful sights, sounds and smells this beautiful desert gives.  I haven't ever gotten around to boiling the leaves or bark of this bush, but I can testify that bicycling past that draw filled with carnival candy perfume definitely drops my blood pressure a notch or two. 

Just ask me about the antidepressant properties of the Pitaya, fruit of one of the local cactus here sometime.  We enjoy the tuna, the magenta fruit of the prickly pear, but pitaya is in a category all its own.

Think pale pink strawberry flavored kiwi.  Tangy.  Actually the size of a medium kiwi.  Covered with a skin loaded with 3/4 inch long spikes.  Which easily peels off with a paring knife.  Revealing the pale pinkish flesh, dotted with tiny black seeds that pop when you bite them. 

No food has awed me so immediately as the pitaya.  No food has ever wowed my friends like the  pitaya. 

We don't have many, but we have one big cactus by the steps to our bakery, and I keep my open for the fruit as they turn from green to red.  They make me smile.  Even more so than the figs in our back yard.  Can you believe that? 



Dropped of the Face of the Blog

Um.  Well.  This is a bit awkward, isn't it?  That moment when I come back and say sorry for walking away with nary a word. 

I feel kind of bad, like I was breaking up with all my loyal blog-friends, since I have not blogged for almost three months.  I hit a big block and couldn't even force myself to sit down and type.  I didn't journal.  I didn't facebook.  Well, except for a rare response to a nice message.  I didn't respond to a bunch of emails, which makes me feel like a terrible person, even though I read them all and appreciated them. 

Several of you sent me kind notes.  Encouraging notes. 

It is hard to express how touching it is to know that you care about what is going on in my life. 

Nevertheless, I had to pull things in a bit.  I was doing lots and lots of writing.  But not the fun sort.  School paperwork for five kids.  Financial aid paperwork for a college bound son.  Mortgage application.  Insurance applications.  Doctor paperwork for athletic packages for several kids.  College application.  More banking paperwork.  Lease agreement for the farm.  Bakery paperwork.  Boring, tedious, terribly unfun writing.  In the last two weeks alone I have probably filled out and signed over a hundred pages of drivel related to my childrens' education. 

Not exactly the entertaining stuff of blogworld.

And then we have had several major milestones which are the stuff of blogworld, and they were too painful at the time to share, so I just called a friend, old or new, and did quite a bit of crying on R's shoulder when I had him near. 

Add to that one little laptop shared between 5 or 6 people, several of them who like to check into facebook and twitter, a busy business, and a family to run, and I just threw in the towel.

Mind you, there are dozens of blogposts in my mind, scribbled in my memory, taking note of lovely things that took my breath away.  But once I reached the several dozen point (of lovely things, that is), I gave up, figuring it was useless to try to capture an ENTIRE summer!

But not writing is making me feel sad and blocked up.  Even though it seems narcissistic to write, and I guess deep down I struggle greatly with feelings of inadequacy, and the thought of other people reading about our world occasionally freaks me out.  I cringe at the thought of my unedited verbage being thrown out to the world, prime target for the grammar police, the editing squad, the critical meanies who might judge without knowing the whole story. 

I don't even know what this blog is about, now that we have no farm. 

The other day I decided I would aim to get back to writing.  I will attempt to forget about the big audience, just as I was instructed to do in a vocal performance, and will write.  To myself.  To Thomas.  To Mom and Daddy and the rest of the kids.  I probably won't edit because I just don't have time.  I hope you check in when you feel like it, because I appreciate our blog neighborhood.  If you find anything that resonates, that makes me glad.  If you don't, well, there are about a billion other blogs out there, and I bet there are a few hundred that might fit better!

Thanks for reading.  Your affirmation and encouragement bowl me over.  Thanks for sticking around.