Published in the Rains County Leader on September 26, 2017:
Okra had no place in our home when I was a kid. I don’t know if it was because nobody liked it or because it didn’t come in a can. Mom and Dad both worked long hours, and I began cooking dinner for the family when I was eleven, so there wasn’t much time or skill for preparing fresh veggies.
Okra wasn’t one of those dishes that made a regular appearance at church or family potlucks either. Fried okra doesn’t travel well or keep well like fried chicken, and boiled okra is – well, it’s boiled okra. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 20, 2017:
To say that I decided not to plant a garden this year wouldn’t really be accurate. What really happened was that I procrastinated. Taking it one day at a time, I told myself that I would begin the tilling, the preparation, and the planting tomorrow or next weekend. I told myself there was still plenty of time until now it’s almost time to begin thinking about a Fall garden. The amazing thing is, after all that dawdling, I’ve discovered that I don’t need a garden after all. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on April 12, 2016:
The gophers will not be happy!
The big garden news this years is that there’s not much garden, at least so far. The gophers will be disappointed to know that I missed the fall garlic planting altogether. About eight or ten volunteer plants sprouted in the garden area, and about that many came up around the back porch where Kitty knocked them off the drying rack last summer. Aside from that, my little underground friends will have to go elsewhere to find seasoning for their Italian meals, and the squirrels will have to do without early tomatoes for their salads. (more…)
Kitty weighs 6 pounds now.
For those who have asked recently, Kitty is doing fine. She is still in residence at the Brendle home and is still an outside cat except on days when it is extremely hot or rainy. On those days she is invited into the laundry room where she enjoys lazing on the cool tile floor, playing with the work boots and shoes lined up in front of the washer and dryer, and occasionally turning over the trash can. (more…)
This is what I wrote for my City Girl column in the Rains County Leader this week:
I may be in danger of losing my identity as a city girl. Last week David and I drove into the city, and I didn’t like it very much – at least the city part of it.
In February, the winter weather prevented some of our friends from the Dallas area from coming to Emory for my first book signing. Two absentees were Peggy and James, the former neighbors and motorcycle buddies who play several pivotal roles in my book. Even though we hadn’t seen each other since 2007 when we came through the Metroplex in our RV, Peggy and I have kept in touch by email and Facebook. Disappointed by the lost opportunity to reconnect at the signing, we devised another plan – she invited me to speak at an upcoming Sunday school dinner. As the time drew closer, James suggested that we spend the night so we could have more time to catch up. (more…)
In the past few years, my garden has been a source of both life lessons and writing material. This year, however, the cold, wet weather that has called for school closings has also kept me out of my classroom. The call of the outdoors is strong, though, and last week, in spite of the still-squishy ground, I spent a little time outside where I managed to learn something about expectations and flexibility. (more…)
I’m moving a little more slowly than normal this week. Saturday, after a month or so off, I was back in the garden. My friend, the garlic king of our neighborhood, has been spurring all his gardener friends into action by passing out bulbs and reminding us that October is the time to plant garlic.
If you’ve followed my column for a while, you know that I’m and amateur gardeder and that I have a running battle with the gophers in my yard over my garlic crop. Two years ago, I started with twenty plants, and I lost a quarter of them to the little critter. Last year, I think he invited all his relatives to move in with him. I planted fifty bulbs and lost over half of them. This year, Dirk wanted to be sure there would be plenty of the tasty treat for both my cooking needs and for the snacking pleasure of my resident rodents. He gave me a large ice cream bucket full of planting bulbs. (more…)