Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 63: A Cucumber a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

It's day 63, and we're in the thick of summer. Most days, I've forgotten that I even used to watch TV. Given where I started from, I find this amazing. When people told me after a month I wouldn't miss TV at all, I thought they just didn't know me and how deeply rooted was my addiction. Now I understand the real meaning of out of sight, out of mind.

It helps that I've been so busy! My first book is being made into a short film (I wrote the screenplay, too), and I've been on set. It is unusual for the author/writer to be on set, however, this is a small picture, and I'm trying to wear a lot of hats to make myself useful, from doing PA duties when needed (like running errands and picking up lunch from the caterer) to helping with props. I even got a chance yesterday to be in the movie - controlling a few of the puppets, fulfilling a life long dream - remember, I love Fraggle Rock - and crossing off an item on my bucket list.

Me (background) and Stephen from the Art Department (foreground) controlling the magical dragon puppet in front of the green screen.

I'm also continuing to write my next novel. I'm about 30 pages in and the story is starting to write itself like I'm reading a book, always a good sign. I can't wait to see what happens next.

All week, I've been so immersed in the filming and the writing, I feel like I've been on another planet. I walked out into my backyard today to find the garden almost unrecognizable to me. It has been rainy off and on all week, so I haven't watered in a while.

My dream for some time has been to put on a flowery summer dress and floppy hat, float back to my garden with a wicker basket, and gently harvest all of my amazing vegetables. Instead, I threw on a t-shirt and jeans, a pair of hiking sandals, stomped back there with a mission, and plucked two cucumbers, raising them in my hands triumphantly like I'd just won a few Oscars. Funny, the last few days I've been feeling like I'm getting sick (scratchy throat, really tired, headache), but today when I snatched those veggies out of the dirt, I felt refreshed, like I hadn't had such a crazy whirlwind week. Maybe a romp in my garden a day will keep the doctor away. It did great things for my spirit to bite into a fresh cucumber that I grew on my own little piece of Earth. I think every child should have to grow something edible as a class assignment - it will certainly make me appreciate in the future all the work that goes into the food on my plate. Not just the value of a dollar, but the care and effort that goes into growing something that will nourish my body.

A few pics of my growing garden - and then I'm off to take a nap. Yes, I've finally mastered the art of the afternoon nap, now that I'm not sleep-watching the television set.

Cucumber City. I had no idea the leaves would get so big or that they would climb the fence! I may have to offer my apologies to my neighbor by delivering a few fresh veggies to her doorstep.

This is a tomato plant. You might mistake it for a vigorous weed or even a small tree. It's ginormous, and it's beginning to overshadow the smaller tomato plant and the marigolds below it.

Can you see us? We're going to be cherry tomatoes! Hopefully, we're high enough off the ground and buried deep enough within the plant to hide from the squirrels who ate our brothers off the small tomato plant.

The pepper plant continues to grow, as observed in relation to the cage around it. However, I didn't expect peppers to take so long. The plant is flowering, but has been doing so for a while...and still no signs of peppers growing.

A cucumber! There are lots like this one - I picked two today.

The cantaloupe plants are doing well and recently began to flower prettily. I'm hoping this is going to be my gardening success story - from what I hear, cantaloupes, with their tough outer skins, are pretty resistant to bunnies and other critters.

Just a shot from the left of the most successful part of the garden - notice the marigolds are growing bigger? They may not do squat for chasing the bunnies and deer away, but at least they look good while doing nothing else of value.

Two cucumbers...yes, they could have waited a little longer to harvest, but I have my reasons.

I know it was probably a little premature to pick these today. However, after my beautiful tomatoes were eaten right off the vine and my green beans have been chewed to almost nothing, I really wanted to make sure I got a chance to pick and eat something, even if it wasn't quite ready. Also, there are lots of cucumbers out there, and I'd like to pick them in various stages to get an idea of when they are perfectly ready. We ate one of these today and it wasn't quite ripe, but still pretty darn tasty - crisp and warm, straight out of the sun and into our kitchen!


  1. Congrats on the 'fruits' of your (our?) labor.

    oh, and what exactly is a 'hiking sandal'? :)

  2. I hate that I don't see comments more often. They come to my gmail, which I never check! Yes, congrats to us on the fruits of our labor. Eating that salad with our own cucumbers and tomatoes was awesome. :)

    And "hiking sandals" are just my way of clarifying that I was wearing my tough Columbia sandals...not wearing my fashion sandals with heels and no support!