Flower Visualization

During my morning yoga practice, I’ve been incorporating a little visualization exercise that I might use during labor. Blooming flowers are a picturesque metaphor for the birthing process so I picked eight of my favorite flowers to visualize.

I thought I’d share my selections with you.  Enjoy!













queen ann's lace

queen ann’s lace

morning glory

morning glory




Last Week: Outside

Last week we enjoyed a Memorial Day cookout at the home of new found friends.

Our rhododendron bloomed.














We planted vegetables and flowers.














The boys worked with Dad to make planters for the garden.














We went out for pizza with a friend and then to his old home place to pick up some soil.














The boys observed the start of the racing season.











Jack and I found time to go down to the river.














It was a good week to be outside.







Groundhog Day

We had an uninvited guest in our garden today.  I knew someone was munching on our bean plants, but I figured our guest would come only at night….This afternoon I was brainstorming bean plant protection while cleaning the kitchen, and I happened to look out the window.

And there he was in broad daylight!  A big groundhog was standing on his hind legs in the middle of the garden, happily munching our our bean plants!

Honestly, he was kind of cute.  He might have enjoyed posing for a garden-munching portrait, but we chased him away instead.  All I have to share is the picture of his handiwork.

We got to work right away putting netting around the beans that were left.  We had already tried a pepper spray solution, but as a Western New York native, this groundhog apparently likes his greens seasoned with Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce.  Hopefully, now our bean plants will be safe, and our guest will not be interested in any other garden fare (like my sunflowers).

On a brighter note, groundhogs don’t seem to have an interest in zucchini plants, and I think we’re about to have a good crop.

I much prefer these guests.




Radish Recipes

I finally pulled up a good portion of the radishes early this week.  We have really enjoyed them sautéed because they acquire a nice mild, buttery taste.  I’ve done my best to write out the recipes for you.  Please note that all quantities and times are approximate.  (I really don’t measure very much when I cook.)

The inspiration for the first recipe came from Wheat-Free Meat-Free, but I did change it a bit.  Mostly, I cooked everything longer.

Green Beans and Radishes

  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1/2 pound radishes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • olive oil, salt, pepper
  • sunflower seeds if desired.

Wash and trim green beans.  Then blanch in boiling water.  Do this by bringing salted water to a boil and then adding the beans carefully.  I boiled them for about 6 minutes.  Rinse the beans in a colander.

Slice your onion and your radishes. I sliced the radishes thinly, and then cut the slices into half or quarter circles.  Melt butter or margarine over medium high heat.  Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes.  Then add the radishes and sauté for another 5 minutes.  Add the green beans and keep sautéing, another 5 minutes.  If the vegetables look dry or start to stick, add some olive oil (and perhaps turn down the heat).  Season with salt and pepper.  Add a sprinkle of sunflower seeds if desired.

Turn the heat down to medium low and cook covered for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve as a side dish.

My second recipe is still wheat free, but it is quite far from meat free.  Actually, my first choice for pasta would be a whole wheat pasta, but since I was serving this to the entire family, we went gluten free.  I tried some of the new corn pasta from Wegmans and it worked quite well.  It had a good taste and texture.

Pasta with Radishes, Peas and Bacon

  • 1 onion
  • radishes, about 1 3/4 cups, sliced
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 pound pasta of choice (we used corn flour penne)
  • Parmesan cheese if desired

Fry the bacon ahead of time and crumble.  Slice the onion and radishes as for the first recipe.  Then, like the first recipe, melt the butter and sauté the onions over medium high heat for 5 minutes.  Add the radishes and sauté for another 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the peas and bacon.   (My peas had been sitting on the counter for about 10 minutes before I added them.)  Cook, uncovered for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Turn the heat down to medium low, and cook covered for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  During this time, cook your pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and rinse the pasta.  Then combine everything in one pot and make sure it is heated thoroughly.  Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Even the boys liked it.

It turns out that radishes are good for you too.  They are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potassium.  Of course, they might be better for you without the bacon.






The Year of the Radish

Who knew radish plants could look like that?  I didn’t.  I doubt that I’m supposed to let the plants bolt, but they’re just so pretty….Radishes are a first for our garden so this is my year to learn about them.

I decided to plant radishes because I had read that they are good for marking the rows of carrots and parsnips which are slow to germinate and grow.  (Parsnips are a first for us too, and I’m really not sure how they are doing.)  When our seed order arrived this spring, there was a sample packet of “Purple Sparkler” radishes.  I thought I’d give them a try.

Now, when I read about “marking the rows” with radishes, I don’t think that meant to let the radishes dominate your little four by four foot garden.  Like I said, I’m learning.

A little carrot plant grows in the shelter of the radishes.

The carrots seem to be doing fine.  I might even have some parsnips hiding in there too.  And we are harvesting the radishes.  Jack was the first to make a harvest from one of his two big pots that he is cultivating on the driveway.

Farmer Jack and his Radish

After his successful harvest, Jack declared that he is going to be a farmer when he grows up.

That radish was followed by many more from my garden.  What to do with them all?  Using them at the rate of one-per-salad would require the eating of many, many salads.  I do try to eat salad for lunch frequently, but I can’t make myself do that all the time.  If salads are your thing, you might want to check out the new e-books here and here.   As for the Dukes, we like our radishes cooked.  Stay tuned.  I’ll be posting the recipe soon…





In the Garden


Borage is an herb, although we've never used it as such. It reseeds itself so we let it grow where it will.


Jack feeds our two goldfish. I'm not sure why he is wearing blue tape.