I was grateful to see this beautiful couple in the yarden when I woke this morning, and not troubled that he was scratching his head on the wild plum tree. And I was grateful to see the moisture still dripping from the trees after a light rain overnight.
I’m even more grateful than usual for the Cheese Sandwich. I realized today as I was making a simple havarti, lettuce, and pickle iteration just how much stress I’ve shed since surrendering to my obsession and delight in eating a cheese sandwich almost every day for lunch. As long as there’s bread in the box and cheese in the fridge, I no longer have to think, wonder, or worry about what to have for lunch. I am grateful to walk into the kitchen at lunchtime day after day and pull a delectable assortment of supporting ingredients together with cheese, bread, and mayonnaise to create a delicious, nourishing and often unique cheese sandwich. For most of my life meals were a twice-a-day struggle I was rarely prepared for. This has been another gift of the quiet solo time these past few years, settling into simple food routines that allow more peace and ease. As always, I’m profoundly grateful for the luxury of sufficient food.
And finally, Wren is grateful that I made her another batch of Dog Fud. She watched the whole time I chopped and added ingredients, then devoured her dinner. This batch contained quinoa, ground turkey, black beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes, along with wax beans and zucchini from the freezer. Later, she watched hopefully as I packed the cooled food into containers, and was rewarded by getting to lick to pot clean. Another simplifying routine becoming habitual.
On this precious day that will never come again I am grateful that I got to spend more time outside in the beautiful fall sunshine and colorful foliage. The red crabapple tree, the orange Amur maple beyond the house, and the stunning accidental aspen.
As I continue to put the garden to bed these weeks, I get to tend each raised bed adding soil and compost as needed. And today I planted a six-foot long bed with tulip bulbs of four colors as Wren supervised. I top-dressed the bed with an inch of compost and a mulch of hay and watered in everything. Later this week I’ll plant some more garlic, and maybe I’ll get a bed ready for some over-wintering carrot and greens seeds. The greens I planted last winter did really well under plastic when spring came and gave me plenty of food early before the grasshopper plague that stunted later crops.
There’s a brand of frozen ‘fresh’ dog food that I tried a subscription to: the introductory offer was great, but with the next step of ‘transition’ food the packages were 20% smaller, cost 50% more, and looked more like canned than ‘fresh’ food. I canceled that subscription, and just fed her the last of it yesterday. All along I was planning to cook homemade food to supplement Wren’s high-quality kibble, but just hadn’t made time for it — until today! I’m grateful for saving lots of money by spending an hour cooking a month’s worth of food for her. I chopped potatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli, grated a couple carrots, and boiled them til they were soft enough to mash; then mashed in a can of black beans and a pound of grass-fed neighborhood ground beef that includes some organ meat, and simmered another ten minutes until it was a chili consistency.
When it cooled enough, I packaged it in three freezer containers and one for the fridge, and spooned a bit into her bowl even though she’d already had breakfast. She was so excited, and licked her platter clean.
Some days are hard. I’m grateful that today was an easy day in so many ways, and especially in my mind. As I kept moving through the moments of the day doing the right next thing, appreciating the environment I moved through, enjoying interactions with people and other animals, I felt like I was enough.