Needs & nourishment

Herbs to soothe, nourish and satisfy. When we moved here 3.5 years ago, the strip of so-called garden alongside the path the back door was filled with gravel in an ugly attempt at a no-maintenance exterior. Not long afterwards, I found that my baby daughter was lying across me, not a good move for a woman who not only didn't want a caesarian, but wanted a home birth. I did a pile of exercises and got her to turn breech. Next stop, to turn her head down. Every day I would part fill a bucket with stones from this strip on my hands and knees. Brighid turned, we got our home birth and the previously neglected strip of stones was planted with broccoli, then garlic and later herbs.

When life is so busy I barely get to look at my garden and weeds grow rampant and unchecked, my herb garden, with its minimal care requirements and all season greenness (temperate enough here that the herbs mostly don't die off completely), brings me great happiness.
Above is the rosemary and the lemon thyme, with new arrival, echinacea, in the centre.

Marjoram and sage. I plan to fry sage in butter a lot this winter.

Flat leaved parsley. I am now onto generation three of self seeded parsley. Sometimes I pot up the little seedlings and give as gifts.
Today was wonderful. We stayed home all day. I made Brighid a new skirt. It isn't about to win an A & P show prize, but her capacity for going through multiple skirts and trousers each day called for more items. Earlier in the week I checked at Postie Plus and shuddered at the thought of paying over $20 for a pair of trousers for a girl who will need to change them before lunchtime. I could pretend that the ethics of buying cheap Chinese sweat shop labour-produced items drove me to the sewing machine, but really, I was more skinflint than ethical. Below, Brighid models her new skirt. Perhaps she is also modelling her haircut. Like it? She did it herself...

Today at lunchtime we had reheated bacon hock soup and sourdough rye and caraway bread. The soup was solid gel when I took it out of the fridge, so lots of good minerals and chondroitin there. Oldest three people ate it; the girl may have eaten the toast.
Dinner: into the oven at 150 celsius: one chopped up small pumpkin kindly gifted to us by a local gardening friend, one chopped onion, some chopped garlic cloves, two sprigs of rosemary, some chopped up anchovies, two tins of chopped tomatoes. All went onto a greased oven dish and cooked for 80 minutes. Cooked some macaroni pasta and then mixed the two and topped it with parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and basil, black pepper and chopped olives.
Frankly, it tasted too much like babyfood. Brighid didn't eat much, though she had gobbled cheese and olives while I was cooking. Fionn told me it was "yum". Price and Fallon probably diapproved of the tinned tomatoes and the pasta and I can't remember what they have to say about olives. If I were to muck around with something similar again, perhaps I would try shakshuka instead.
Usually I avoid gratuitous pictures of my children (I like to look at those of other people's children on their blogs, but by the time I am blogging at night, prefer to forget my own children, though they frequently have other ideas), but I am rather taken with this recent one (below), and include it to demonstrate what we observe so often with children who appear not to eat: they look the picture of health and are clearly getting enough sustenance somehow.

I've been plagued with disquiet over my fragmented life lately. It's not that it is going badly at all. But I seem to be busy all the time and have nothing tangible to show for it. Often as I work (consider that paid and unpaid, with an emphasis on the unpaid stuff), I add up what I have done that day. So many little bits. Today as I sewed Brighid's skirt, it was nice, but still not the thing I need.
ah yes. the need word. Heard often around here. Sometimes I want to ban it. Turns out I want a turn.
I need to write properly. Not as in suddenly I will become J K Rowling or Maurice Gee but because I suspect it is what I need to do to make sense of my life. I'm not a poet, but I am inspired by the energy and particularly the Tuesday poem series in blogs like Janis Freegard's. I still admire and think about Freegard's short story "Mill", which you can read here.
Right now I am going to bed to read Under the Tuscan Sun or whatever Frances Mayes' memoir of redoing an ancient house in Tuscany is called. I found it at a garage sale. Where other people think they will start their diet tomorrow, I am more thinking I am too tired to write and will delay it until the next day.
How serious am I?
Not hard to be more serious than I ever have been about that ridiculous pastime beloved of so many people, dieting. Properly then, off to make notes for my proper story about May Day in Blackball. No it won't be online for a while yet.


Mary said…
Hello Sandra, nothing very interesting to say except hello! I'm still here, still reading and enjoying your blog, but often reading with baby in arms and no access to the keyboard...
Hi Mary, thank you. Lovely to 'hear' from you. I'm off to read your disco post shortly.
Janis Freegard said…
Thanks for your kind words about Mill, Sandra, and hope you find time for your writing (tho' I think writing a blog counts as proper writing). One of the best pieces of advice I ever had (from Frances Cherry) was 'don't be afraid to write rubbish' ie don't expect it's all going to be great, and accept that most of us have to write a lot to get to a few gems.
All the best, Janis

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