November completes a year without Rich. There have been times of struggle but each day begins with Thanks Giving.
I may not have lived my life exactly the way I wanted but I helped Rich live his. He showed more happiness those last three hours of his life than I can express. The visual memories of that happy face have allowed this year to gently pass with joy in each day. It is the happy memories to be chosen if we desire.
I want to repeat words I have shared before from gardening friends in letters and conversations. Words can inspire or inflame. Do you use yours to build up or tear down? You are in charge of your attitude — good or bad. Whatever you take into your body determines the person you are: healthy, sickly, good or bad. Words can change an alkaline body to an acid body whether it’s you speaking them or being spoken to you. Alkaline body = sweet, gentle, healthy. Acid body = sharp, mean, unhealthy.
We were comparing this to our garden. Toxic chemicals can change our garden pH (acid and/or alkaline) of the soil. Words can be toxic to you and others. They have the ability to give strength or weakness.
As I was going through my garden seeds the other day, I found kale seeds, 7 years old! I planted them in a little pan here in my kitchen window, never thinking they would come up. Well, I believe every seed came up! I’m now setting the tiny plants in gallon pots. I have a grow light that will light 6 gallon pots. I’ve wanted to use it. With winter coming on, I will enjoy the experiment.
I have vines, some flowering plants in the house to keep the air fresh with oxygen. There is a teakettle of boiling water in front of the fireplace to keep the air humid. I remember we need 55 percent humidity both winter and summer.
This is a good time of year to sprinkle sulfur and lime around your fruit trees, grapevines and berry bushes. This will help prevent disease next summer. Now is also the time I like to prepare the area where I will plant tomatoes. Sprinkle a thin layer of lime and sulfur, then cover with leaves or old straw.
A friend has brought me a beautiful kitten from the animal shelter. (I can’t go there because I would try to bring all the animals home with me.) This fine animal is a gardener’s dream! He goes with me to the garden, plays while I work, and comes into the house when I do. He is then ready to eat. He likes most cooked vegetables especially carrots and potatoes. He is a dandy!
A little quote from Wit and Wisdom by Abraham Lincoln: “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 hours sharpening my ax.”
Lallah Lee Ostergren has been an organic gardener for close to 40 years