Wednesday, June 20, 2012

neighbors and kale chips

These little bits of summer here on the Palouse are renewing my joy and thankfulness about our move this fall. I've taken to timing how long it takes us to get everywhere all over again (pool: 6 minutes, Carli: 7 minutes, Lynda: 3 minutes if I hit the traffic on Grand right; church: 5 minutes...) There are so many parks to choose from and most of the time we go, we run into friends; the pediatricians office is a few minutes away; it takes about 10 minutes to get to Moscow and the farmer's market and the fabric store; our backyard and driveway are fun for the whole family; and our neighbors have come out from their hiding spots and we like them even more than we thought.

For example, I got a text from my neighbor across the street this morning inquiring if I was feeling better. so nice. I called my next door neighbor to see if she wanted lettuce and she laughed because she was about to call me to offer up some lettuce and while she had me on the phone she wanted to know if Sydney could come play tomorrow. I went next door the other way and shoved a bag of lettuce at them, barely asking if they wanted it, and they said they couldn't wait to give me tomatoes when they're ready. That is a nice little snapshot of our neighborhood. We live amidst really great people who are nice to us even after the kids were out in the driveway riding their bikes and yelling, "wahoo!" at 7 am earlier this week. I am so thankful!

And, of course, the garden. I hardly know what I'm doing, but I'm so happy when I'm out there with dirt under my nails and plants that want to give me food. Bits of poetry pop into my head most of the time I'm out there or hymns come to mind that suddenly need to be hummed. I know that by August I'll be weary of dirt under my nails and the morning/evening ritual of watering (I never water plants enough, so I'm taking to watering them twice a day). For now, I'm finding it amazingly therapeutic and motivating. I've never eaten so many greens in my life!

I learned today in my lettuce gathering what "bolting" means. good to know. My neighbor told me to dig those bolty lettuces up, so I did with only a little bit of sad sounds.  I'm glad that I decided to cut myself some slack in this first year of gardening and to be pleasantly surprised when things go right instead of being bummed and full of feelings of perfectionist failure when things go wrong. It's quite freeing.

After discovering what bolting was in the red leaf lettuce section, I panicked that the kale might also take a bad turn and we had kale smoothies for lunch (recipe here, sans celery for us). They were surprisingly good! While preparing the kale for the smoothies I realized I had enough for my entire extended family to have grande smoothies. So, I made kale chips (recipe here) and was giddy when Nick ate them and then actually ate more! He's generally opposed to kale and my plants are doing way too well for him to not help out with the harvest.

I realize this was rambly, but I have a mean cold and that's how it goes today. Mostly, I'm just overflowing with happiness, despite my cold and the kids' colds and ear infection and pink eye and it needed to flow out somewhere... thanks for listening.


  1. love this post, tif, in all its rambly-ness! so glad you're plugging in to your neighborhood, both figuratively and literally. miss you lots, but it makes me happy to know your heart is so full right now!

    1. Thanks, Amy. Love and miss you, as always. Thanks for sharing in my happy. I want to hear about your race! And I want you to come eat a big salad with me over here.

  2. What a tribute to summer! I love that it brings neighborhoods out to be together, and it makes me happy that you have such a nice neighborhood. (I also love that summer brings our kiddos out to ride bikes at seven, complete with yelled wahoos.)

    Thanks for the idea of kale chips. I had gotten some kale in a bountiful basket and wasn't sure what to do with it. I made these for lunch today...tasty!