Monday, June 23, 2014

By the Way, a recipe

The other day we enjoyed a most delicious soup of leftovers.

I boiled the carcass of our homegrown roast chicken with carrots, garlic, celery and onions. A pinch of salt.

When the broth was nice and aromatic, after three hours or so, I strained out the odds and ends. Added cumin, some crushed tomatoes, a can of corn, a cup of quinoa, salt, pepper, a can of green chilis (I know, I know, wouldn't you like the false idea that we only eat foods harvested from our little small town backyard, but fact is, I work many hours, and sometimes, cans are a girls best friend),and half a jar of leftover salsa, and a large zucchini grown in my BFF's backyard. Nothing fancy, but quite good for leftover scraps.

If I had a bunch, I would have thrown in a handful or two of chopped cilantro. But my first crop has gone to seed, and the second bunch is still tiny. If I had had a bit more energy, I would have harvested some oregano and chives and thrown in for good measure.

But this recipe is to remind us all that sometimes what we have is plenty good enough.

PS we have harvested a dozen and a half little eggs from our teenage flock of hens. They are so precious to me. Isn't it crazy that a bunch of messy chickens can give me so much joy?

Monsoon Season in the Desert Southwest

Each afternoon these days, the skies darken. Black blue clouds promise cool breezes and electric flashes. Mounds of masterpiece cumulus surround our little town. We hope. We hang our clothes on the line. We water the garden. We leave a couple of car windows open. We threaten to do silly, crazy things, like dance naked in the streets. But I suppose nobody has done so, because the clouds scurry away, the sun comes out, and the laundry dries thoroughly.

But I have faith. My buckets and tubs are poised, ready to catch the spillage of our forecasted showers.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

time flies...

Patrick graduated third in his class last Friday. He has worked very hard these past four years. I am so proud of him. He set a bunch of long distance records in cross country and track in our high school. He went to the state level in history fair, twice. He was in FFA leadership, FCA leadership. He volunteered in a variety of local efforts. He competed and went to district and regional UIL competitions, in literary criticism, current events and social studies. He has boxes of medals and awards. Was homecoming king and prom king.

He will be going to the University of Texas in austin this fall. A campus of over fifty thousand students. He received a very nice academic scholarship and with financial aid should do alright. I took him out to lunch yesterday. As he ate his sandwich and I my bowl of soup, watching the boiling clouds to the east, I asked him if he were nervous. Of course he is. But excited, too. I reminisced about my transition from high school to college. We talked about his dad and admitted that the weekend stirred up some moments of intense grief we didn't quite anticipate.

This summer he will continue to help me with this and that and work at his job with a local cleaning company. Yes, the king scrubs
toilets and washes windows. And knows how to butcher chickens, milk cows and haul hay. He is loyal, faithful and true. I have no doubt that he will contribute mightily to his world. Future educator? Writer? Counselor? Politician, scientist, minister, journalist? Time will tell.

In the meantime, I am bowed down in gratitude for the amazing influences he has had in his life.the loss of his dad was most traumatic. But it would take longer than I have to write right now to list the folks who have been instrumental in getting him on, and keeping him on his path. Friends in the Daleville farmers market who took him under their wing when I would drop him and bread and other farm goods when he was much too young to be left alone! Brett Roach, his youth leader at church of the holy spirit who was more than a leader. Our many other CHS friends and Quigg who loved on him. The Thomas's and their little Boone who taught Patrick to be a mentor. "Sean and other friends who let him chase after them. Max and James who dreamed and built and created worlds. The other parents who fed him and hauled him. The family who provided the undergirding
The siblings who gave him his positioning. How about some of the most amazing educators and encouragers out there, Coach Keith, Caroline and Doug Fox,Ms. Donaghey, Mr. Saunders, and many others who are slipping my mind right now. Taylar, his sweetheart for the last four yearss and friend for even longer.

Patrick, it is a joy to think about the life ahead of you. I will miss you. Please don't leave quite yet! I have a few more heavy things I need you to get for me. A a few more trips for you to run to the grocery store. Glad Maggie all.most has her driver's license!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Our Very First Egg in Alpine

A pale blue surprise
Tucked in a little corner.

I was rewarded for doing chicken chores this evening. I thought we had another two months to go before we needed to build the nesting boxes. I gathered some old discarded deep kitchen drawers, a pile of hay, some boards a hammer, nails and a piece of hardy panel. It isn't very pretty, but I think it will do for the now.