Friday, March 16, 2007

New Beginnngs

Fewer things, at this point in my life, bring me greater joy than seeing the promise of new growth in my yard. After our really harsh freeze this winter, I was sure nothing was coming back to us. Everything looked dried to a crisp...barren...dead. I was heartbroken. In this dry desert environment, I took great refuge in the growing sanctuary of greenery beginning to expand over our backyard (and frontyard for that matter). All was lost...all of our hard work and nurturing...all for nothing. Not to mention the cost involved in replanting everything. I really was really affected me. It is true...some things were lost, but how wrong I was not to have faith that beneath the "dead", "unfruitful" facade were so many new beginnings.
I started trimming back a (what was) huge purple snail vine, expecting once I got to the root I would just be able to pull it out, but...once I got all of the dead branches out of the way I looked in amazement and what was underneath. At the very center of the base, about two inches high, was a single green stem and some green leaves. It was alive and struggling with all it's might to be fruitful. I was thinking to myself, "What if I would have just given up on this vine, not thinking that beneath all of that dead mangled mess was the possibility of life, and just yanked it out." This was one of my most loved vines and I almost ruined it because of what I saw on the outside. This thought caused me to reflect a little on my own life. That possibly, beneath the mangled ideas of "unfruitfulness" and twisted words of discouragement, with a little self care and nurturing, lies the miracle of life. "Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie". (Shakespeare)
Hope you have an inspired day!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Olive Mill

A couple of months ago I discovered that I like an Extra Dirty Martini...let me re-phrase that...I discovered that I LOVE the Extra Dirty Martini! :) I've always been a fan of green olives. My mouth literally begins to salivate at the mere thought of twisting the top off of an olive jar and popping the salty, bitter, tangy morsel in my mouth. Yep...there it goes! :) So, when Matt proposed going to The Olive Mill out in Queen Creek for a tour on Saturday, I was more than a willing partner. Test tasting olives for free! What could be better than that?? Well, it definitely wasn't the "tour". :) However, we were very well educated as to the top reasons we should buy extra virgin olive oil above anything else. It's amazing to me that they can actually squeeze oil out of an olive. I mean, think about it...oil out of an olive! In the retail area they had everything you could possibly think of to make out of an olive, and probably more! Our selections were...of course...extra virgin olive oil (the kind I can use in baking), some olive based chapstick :) (pink grapefruit flavored), spanish olive Tepanade, and Jalepeno Mexican Spice stuffed olives. In case you're wondering...yes, my mouth is watering. :) As interesting as it was, as much as I enjoyed tasting all the yummy free samples, and as enjoyable as my partner was, I probably won't rush back anytime too soon. Well, except as soon as my jar of Jalepeno Mexican Spice stuffed olives runs dry! :)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

It's a Ducky Day!

What a joy to wake up to ducks in our pool! :) We watched them for nearly 1/2 an hour as they paddled around, ducking their heads under to splash water on their backs. They got in, got out, got back in, and for the most part the Mallard hen was copying everything the drake did. I found it fascinating to watch them. I knew from being at the park a few weeks ago that it was definitely mating season. As they got out of the pool for the last time, it seemed very obvious that they were looking for somewhere to nest and that this was the drake who had "conquered them all". I was glad to see that he was doing all the work, looking for the perfect haven for her, paddling around so that she would just be swept in his current and didn't have to use much energy. Due to the violent and brutal mating rituals ducks exhibit, I was surprised he had even stayed around...or that she kept him around for that matter! But...who am I to judge. She had obviously forgiven him so I decided not to hold it against him either. Secretly I hoped that our environment would be just what they were looking for, but since the harsh freeze this year our yard is anything but lush. He searched and searched, but nothing was good enough for his queen. They flew away without another thought and I can't help but feel that I somehow let them down.