Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Day Out

The Strong Mothers
by Rachel Bush

Where are the mothers who held power and children,
preserved peaches in season, understood about greens and two classes of protein
who drove cars or did not have a licence
who laughed, raged and were there?

They have rested their bicycles inside their garages
let needles lie in the narrow chest between verandah boards.

They have tested the last jam on a saucer by a window
comforted the last crying child they will ever see,
and left. How we miss them and their great strength.
Wait for us, we say, wait for me.
And they will.

Speaking of mothers who raged, I had to go and snuggle the little boys who had had a sound telling off before bed. You can't sit down and write a wholesome blogpost when there is resentment in the air.
Well it was my birthday and Mama sent me a poem in a card. I love this poem. Thanks Mum. One of my presents was this Granny Smith apple tree (it's the stick on the left). Where to plant it? The frost flows down like water and pools at this fence, but in turn it shelters the tree from the wind. The shade from the house, the amount of sun, the heat from the bricks, the downward run of any moisture, so much to consider not to mention can the hose reach? That's one variable that can be easily fixed.
Smith is a traceable theme around here (it being my maiden name). Among other Smith things, a pastel by Bill, 'Family Reunion' . Yep, that's what those apples will look like.

The vege box lost a passenger this week. Asparagus is over for another year so that it can recuperate. Don't be under any illusion that the children eat plates of vegetables, but we had broad bean tops again this week and Louis said, 'This is nice silverbeet'. Still eating the smaller broad beans whole with butter, like asparagus and Jude said 'These are quite nice'. And one more vegetable triumph, they have discovered the fun of wrapping dinner up in lettuce leaves as they eat it. There's that many lettuce coming on I'm keen to plow through them. Day in and day out, apart from the potatoes, the most useful things at the moment, for the least effort are spring onions, parsely, mint, basil and lettuce. So on to the big day out, we took the little red car up to Oamaru and Riverstone Cafe for lunch. Here's Bill in the car park afterwards trying to work out which car is ours. They were both red. It quickly became apparent on the big road trip (about 300kms round trip) that the brakes had finally gone on the car so we travelled in an orderly manner with the occasional judicious use of the hand brake.

As we drove past Moeraki on the coast I thought how nice it would be to paddle in the water. Remembered the sacks in the boot of the car, 'just in case' and look, treasure. Seaweed. Doesn't it pay to be prepared? It's in a well covered drum of water now. Leave for a month and dilute 10:1. Celery and Asparagus particularly like it but I'm sure everything in the garden will be saying, 'choose me'.
I have toyed with idea of a bucket and shovel in the car 'just in case', and a pair of rubber gloves. If you can't guess what they are for let me tell you that roadkill is a marvellous addition to the compost heap...apparently. I'm not sure that I'm ready to go there yet but I won't discount the possibility: 'I get older, ever learning many things.'

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  1. Yes and happy birthday to you! I thought of you on Sunday and hoped you were having a quiet day to see off the November birthdays.
    Very impressed that your children are eating broad beans. Very. Very. We had a wee friend over for dinner last night who passed on the pasta but instead ate a whole plate of broccoli and peas. See kids? That's how it's done.
    Roadkill in the compost heap- now that's thrifty.

  2. Yes Happy Birthday for Sunday from me too. Will send you a little something in the mail some time this week but glad the Jamie Oliver book came through.

    Wish you here to do my garden. Seriously.Nothing I planted went to plan, mainly because I didn't realise once you plant something,you actually have to look after it thereafter. Easy care natives?? Na, they died just like everything else.

  3. I love the poem. I love the pastel of smith apples. I love the photo of your hubby. I love the photo of you, flushed with the outdoors and full of life just like your wees ones look in their photos! I love that you might pick up roadkill for your garden. Now that is devotion, as well as just completely insane. Happy Birthday! Your painting was posted last week, I hope it gets there very soon.

  4. Hey, did you know that at the Portobello Aquarium they run a Saturday afternoon course about harvesting and eating seaweed? I went today and it was brilliant. I have eaten seaweed in about thirty different forms today and most of it was delish. And of course we are surrounded by it!