My thoughts for today began with a hole in a leaf. Friends and family often ask where I get my ideas for my daily posts. I can only tell you that most of them come to me in the garden. The process is a mystery. If you figure out how my mind works, let me know! I only know that God seems to give me what I need to say.
So yesterday I found myself staring at this hole and I realized it had been made by a grasshopper. Then I noticed a plant that had been stripped by a caterpillar. I’m inclined to be annoyed by the grasshopper, and tolerant of the caterpillar. Why? Because the caterpillar will turn into something beautiful! I realize that at each stage of a butterfly’s life it must have a different food, and so I am willing to sacrifice a few plants to the “babies” in order to enjoy the adults.
Stay on the path with me…my next thought was that while animals generally eat specific foods at various stages in their lives, humans will eat almost anything, AND try to eat like children forever! That stopped me in my tracks! That’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I know intellectually what I need to eat as an adult, but the child inside my brain wants to eat anything and everything that I ate at my mother’s table. Cookies and ice cream and cake and candy are the stuff of childhood- reminders of good times and celebrations. Macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, biscuits, fried chicken, and gravy are reminders of my mother’s love and devotion to us. But do I still need the food to convince myself that I am loved? No. Will eating the foods of childhood make the problems of my adult life go away? No.
I’ve lost two pounds this week. I accomplished that by getting very serious about eating only what is best for me- lots of vegetables and fruit, lean meat and fish, and very little else. God challenged me with something I can’t tolerate and I knew I had to rise to the challenge or be miserable. Before, during, and after vacation my feet swelled. You may have even noticed that in one photo I’m using a cane. After vacation my feet were actually worse and I had trouble walking, wiggling my toes, and just standing. Before vacation my doctor assumed it was a medication problem and changed my blood pressure meds. However, when I called him after vacation his advice was to “really cut out salt” and report back in a week. I cut my salt intake from 2,000mg to 1,200 and felt relief within two days. This morning my feet are free of any swelling.
Obviously it is time for me to eat like a grownup! At this stage in my life my physical health is more important than my emotional whims. So, my feet have led me to better path and I will try my best to stay on it!
The garden has helped me in other ways this week. I am harvesting the things I love and eating them daily. I had squash and okra with some couscous for lunch yesterday. Last night we had fresh raw zucchini with our dinner. I love it! Can’t wait for the tomatoes to start ripening.
Just a couple of random notes:
1. I located a butterfly identification book that I bought several years ago. I can’t specifically identify individual butterflies yet, but I’ve figured out some of the basics. Butterflies are divided into two superfamilies: true butterflies and skippers. Skippers are the hairy little ones that we often mistake for moths. I know now that the groups I’ve photographed so far are hairstreaks, sulphurs, angel winged, fritillaries, swallowtails, checkered, blue, and boldly patterned. I can’t tell you if today’s duskywing skipper is a “funereal” or a “mournful”, and I don’t know if the buckeye is a “Florida” or just a regular, but I’m not sure I need to be that specific!
2. Gotta love those end of season sales brought on by heat and panic! LOL Yesterday Lowe’s marked their vines and shrubs down 75% and since Gary was at work he noticed, called me, and brought home a huge hardy hibiscus, a lavender clematis, a blackberry, and a blueberry-all for $24. Yeah!
Yesterday there were three different dragonflies within two feet of each other in the garden!