Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Green Day, A Lasagna Garden

I spent the morning gardening, but not in my own yard. Through Junior League, I have had the pleasure of spending three Saturdays over the last eight months or so at a farm in Moncks Corner. Fields to Families is an organization that grows gardens to feed the hungry (in cooperation with Whole Foods of Mount Pleasant). It's a wonderful project, and you can find out more about it at

Since the field is (like my yard) made up of red clay that will not grow jack squat (except for some stubborn weeds), a method called lasagna gardening has been utilized. Beds have been built on top of the ground like so:

-Lay newspapers flat on the ground, and wet them so they don't blow away.

-Mix up some peat moss and spread it on top of the newspaper.

-Spoiled hay or straw should be tossed on top of the peat.

-Next, grass clippings.

-Compost on top of the grass clippings.

-Vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc. (These can be saved in a baggie in the freezer until you are ready to use them.)

-Chopped leaves

-Potting soil (can be the fertilized kind)

Now, you can plant your seeds or young plants and watch them grow! It is an amazing process to watch!

Not only do I have the reward of knowing I have spent these days farming food for the needy, but I have learned an extremely valuable skill. Today I was picking collard greens from one of the 46 beds at the Moncks Corner farm, and I realized something. In September, I helped build that very bed. In February, I planted those very collards in that bed. And today, I picked them. I truly got to be there at every phase for those collards. Sometime in the next few days, someone who is needy or hungry will be eating them. That gives me incredible joy. I have also pulled weeds. I have planted and/or harvested potatoes, onions, peas, cauliflower, cucumbers, rosemary, field peas, and other produce that I can't even remember right now.

If you haven't done so lately, go out and get your hands dirty. Plant something and watch it grow. It's a miracle, really.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Battle Royale

"I just don't understand why you care," said my husband last night. This was, of course, in reference to Will and Kate's royal wedding that took place this morning. I tried my best to explain it. It's beautiful. It's romantic. It's historic. It's grand. I remember getting up in the wee hours with my mother, thirty years ago, to watch Will's parents walk down the aisle. My husband wasn't persuaded.

If you're a young girl, watching a prince and princess get married is like a fantasy come true before your very eyes. You can think about what your own wedding will be like. If you're a married lady, it might make you nostalgic about taking your own vows. It made me remember the excitement I felt on my own wedding day. I tried to explain all of this to my husband, to no avail. He just shook his head at me, unable to grasp why I would get up at 5am and turn on the tv, riveted for four hours. Yeah. There are some sports events about which I feel the same way.

Anyway, I thought it was just Chip who didn't get it. Then I logged on to Facebook and saw how many of my friends were posting that their husbands just didn't understand why their wives were setting their alarms to get up and watch a wedding on tv. They were having the same conversations with their husbands!

So yes, I got up at 5:30am and watched it. I loved every minute of it. In fact, it put me in a wonderful mood for the rest of the day. I did have to pause to get dressed, but I raced back down the stairs in time to see the royal couple kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Chip still doesn't get it. I don't expect him to, though, because men and women are just plain different. We always will be, because God made us that way. And praise the Lord for that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's almost time for hydrangeas.

I love this time of year, in spite of the allergies that come along with it. There is always something blooming from late February until the end of summer. I have been in planting mode recently, and have been looking for some roses and hydrangeas to complete my planting projects.

I found a lovely hydrangea for only $5 yesterday, and will be getting it into the ground within the next few days. It's already revealing itself to be a soothing periwinkle blue. I don't think they usually bloom this early, though . . . I know they bloom in early summer, because that was the flower I used most in my June wedding, nearly five years ago. On the big day, the cake lady delivered the cake to my grandparents' house several hours before the wedding. It was three delicious, square tiers of mouth-watering sour cream pound cake. The fondant pearls glistened. It was planned that my mother would then arrange hydrangeas in an artistically pleasing way (as only she can do) around and on top of the cake. I knew it would be perfect and beautiful.

Shortly before getting dressed, I floated downstairs (yes, floated - it being the happiest day of my life, and all) and rounded the corner into the dining room. My mother was just finishing up with the hydrangeas on the cake. My hands flew to my face and I gasped. It was literally the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. She had not just used periwinkle, the most common color of hydrangeas, but every color in which they grow. Light blue, dark blue, pink, fuschia, purple, green, white. Every time I see a hydrangea, it transports me back to my wedding day in June of 2006. The celebration of color that decorated my wedding cake was like a trumpet blowing a melody of beauty in harmony with the song in my heart that day.

It's almost time for hydrangeas again, and it's almost time to celebrate five crazy, wonderful years with the love of my life.

Friday, April 22, 2011

New Horizons

The other day, my husband said, "I looked at your blog last night. How come you haven't written anything on it since October?" October? Oh my. I had no idea it had been that long. How easily life can distract us from the things we really want to do. In 2011, I have been hard at work selling my book, A Quiet Cup of Tea both to individuals and to gift shops and bookstores. I have learned first hand that what they say about being a writer is true . . . you only spend about 10% of the time writing, and the other 90% marketing yourself. My husband has been an incredible help to me, schlepping boxes of books to book signings for me, selling books to practically everyone he knows, taking care of our son so I could write and make phone calls, cheering me on.

And yet, there are never enough hours in the day! Isn't that exactly what I wrote about in A Quiet Cup of Tea, though? The main character sets out to do what she wants to do one morning, but her life (as she has defined it, structured it, and as she prefers it) keeps popping up all day long to prevent her from what she set out to do. Like her, though, I find myself at the end of the day blissfully happy and knowing that my life is still heading where I want it to go. "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

So the project this week has been rebuilding my website. I think it's appropriate to make some type of new beginning on this Easter weekend. So stop by my website, if you have a moment, and let me know what you think!