Friday, September 28, 2007

Two weeks in France have come and gone. I enjoyed every single last second of it. I felt very at home there; the walking, the biking, the baking, the weather, the individuality in people’s dress, the incredible gardens and flowers everywhere. I felt so incredibly lucky to spend two weeks there, so appreciative and so alive.

We also saw lots of old stones:

Which works on a person’s perspective. I’m not religious, and don’t go to church, but the size, beauty and age of these amazing buildings really gets to you. Standing inside an enormous church, ruin around it, that was built in the 9th century makes you feel very small in the scheme of things. I thought so often about all the lives that had passed through these buildings; the sorrows and joys people had brought with them to these places, now long gone and forgotten, and I know that my life in the grand scheme of things is just a blink of an eye. I experienced that kind of happiness that teeters on the edge of overwhelming tears for most of the trip, because I could see in these ancient stones how fleeting it all really is. Note to self: don’t sweat the small stuff!

It has been almost exactly 15 years since I met this guy in a cafe in Dahab Egypt, both of us with backpacks and me with only $5.00 left in my pocket. I took a huge leap of faith then and accepted his invitation to travel overland to China. I know now, once again, that traveling with him is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It still is all these years later.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Here comes the rain again

Yes, it is raining again in Houston, like it does everyday. It could put a crimp in our summer grilling routine, but I live with an adventurous griller.
Our grass is like a full sponge, there are tadpoles in the neighborhood puddles and I have to wipe the dog's feet before she comes back into the house after our walks. I have yet to see "gentle rain" here in Southeast Texas.

In other news I went a little crazy last week at co-op and bought 30 pounds of these organic Heirloom tomatoes:

And 16 pounds of organic Strawberries, here are some of them ready to be dehydrated:

8 hours later I had canned tomatoes and strawberry jam along with 4 lbs. of dehydrated strawberries. You'll just have to believe me, at the end I was too tired to take pictures of preserves.

Last year just didn't feel right since we didn't have a garden in and I didn't can my own tomatoes. These tomatoes really tasted homegrown, but of course, were not. The only thing that ate tomatoes out of my yard this year were squirrels (and peppers too!). Considering growing tomatoes in this climate is a crap shoot (it gets too hot too fast for them) and they don't taste nearly as good as my northern tomatoes I think I'm giving up the ghost on tomatoes. This winter I will depend on snap peas, chard and greens, all things that do well here. In other produce news my Meyer Lemon tree is full of, yet to mature, lemons.

Tomorrow I am going transatlantic for two weeks, alone with Juan. The kids and my mother in law will hold down the fort while I work on my chocolate and cheese diet, a big thick book and a few slender things I plan to read while sitting outside in no humidity temps of around 70 degrees. Heaven.