Mountain Sunset Haiku and “Enviation”

purple serenity
soothing summer evening sky
clouds that drift and sigh

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Photo credit: Nancy L.

My friends stayed at Little House in the Rockies last weekend, and one of them snapped this lovely picture.

We get their photos from social media and feel oh-so-happy for them. But we also feel a little jealous because they’re there and we’re not. I like to call that feeling “enviation,” a mixture of envy and appreciation.

Enviation. That’s how I feel right now. I’d like to be on that porch at Little House in the Rockies, looking at that sunset, feeling the mountain air, shivering just a little.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Haiku: Marching to a Different Drummer

Haiku is becoming a family thing.

Many of our millennials were here with us at Glover Gardens this weekend – yahoo! In casual conversation over appetizers last night, we noticed and remarked on similar patterns in the clothing several of them were wearing. The Girl Who is Always Hungry told us how on one recent day, all 17 members of her grad school cohort were wearing blue shirts. Eerie! She told us this in a couple of short, pithy statements, and I said, “wow, that’s almost a haiku”. Hmmm.

Before I could go on to restate her story into a haiku, the Musical Millennial (who was not dressed like anyone in the group and resembled only Waldo in his red and white stripes), interrupted and said, “no, I got this; this haiku is mine“.

After a very brief moment, he came out with:

everyone’s in blue
nah, this must be some omen
i gotta get out

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That’s my boy! No automaton life for him, or any of our millennials, for that matter. They are all incredibly unique individuals.

Thomas as Waldo
The Musical Millennial in his Waldo stripes, with Godfrey the Cat

© 2018, Glover Gardens

 

 

3-Pepper Haiku, or 3 Haiku about Pepper, or the 411 on Peppercorns

Haiku

A few pepper-related haiku for you:

“That’s too much pepper,”
said no one in our family,
at any time, ever.

~ or ~

the pepper grinder
might have a flat tire ~
we need a spare

~ or ~

How many grinders
does one little cabin need?
Apparently, three!

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Backstory

It made me smile when I realized that we have three pepper grinders in one tiny 2-bedroom log cabin. Why? We love our pepper! At Little House in the Rockies, Glover Gardens, or anywhere else that we take a meal, there needs to be pepper. Freshly-ground preferred! I have a pepper grinder in my desk at work and sometimes carry one in my purse. You never know when you’ll need it! 

Colossal Pepper Grinder in London

Imagine my delight when I saw this pepper grinder recently at an airport hotel restaurant in London. Bring it on!!!

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That’s my colleague snapping a pic to show his wife. The waiter, a marvelous fellow from a faraway place, was excited about being in the blog. I want to go back to show this to him, and to get some more pepper from that appropriately-sized grinder!

Why More than One Grinder?

A good reason to have multiple pepper grinders is to dispense multiple types of peppercorns for different pepper needs. (I’m serious here, pay attention.)

  • One grinder might have just black ones, for those times when you want a straightforward, traditional pepper hit. A weeknight, for instance.
  • Another grinder might have 3-pepper blend, a mix of black, green and white peppercorns, when you want that all-over-the-tastebuds, broad pepper experience. On a steak, or grilled fish. Or atop the cream cheese on a bagel (try it, you’ll like it!).
  • 81lVYxALZOL._SX355_A third grinder might have a special mix that includes the rarest of peppercorns, the red ones, or perhaps you’d put the Tellicherry peppercorns in it. Tellicherry peppercorns come from the same plant as regular black Malabar ones, but are larger in size, having been left on the vine to ripen longer. They have a more complex flavor and hit different taste buds. They rock.
  • And maybe you’d need a fourth grinder – don’t forget about Szechuan peppercorns! They’re not from the same plant as the others, but also pack a potent pepper wallop.  If you’re a pepper fanatic, that 4th grinder for Szechuan peppercorns (also spelled Sichuan) might be a necessity.

The 411 on Pepper: Did You Know?

Other than salt, pepper is the most-used, most-traded spice in the world. It is actually a fruit and has medicinal benefits. Really! It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial substance, and can increase the absorption of some nutrients (like Vitamin B and selenium). It is also said to be thermogenic, meaning that it increases the rate that you burn calories.

No wonder I’m addicted!!!!

Did You Further Know?

Pepper has been with us humans for a long, long time, possibly as far back as 1200 B.C. It has been called the “King of Spices,” AKA “black gold,” and I couldn’t agree more. Some ancient cultures used pepper for currency, and some treated it as a delicacy to be enjoyed after a meal, like a mint. It was used in the mummification rituals with the pharaohs.  It was also known as a remedy for cold and flu because it helps to dry up congestion. And still is!

What a wonder-spice!

What Did Chef Paul Say?

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Available on Amazon!

You might know if you’ve been following Glover Gardens for a while that Chef Paul Prudhomme is a family hero. My Mom, an oil and gas kid who grew up all over the country living wherever her geophysicist Dad was working, came late but came hard to the joys of Cajun-Creole cooking. Chef Paul was her teacher, via his cookbooks, along with Justin Wilson and his TV show.

Chef Paul’s introduction in his Louisiana Kitchen cookbook (which I highly recommend) has a wonderful description of how to use the different peppers. A gift from my Mom, I treasured Chef Paul’s seminal cookbook when it came out in the 80s and read the intro multiple times to understand and absorb his philosophy.  Here’s what he said about the different peppers.

I try to make my food “round” in taste. We have a variety of taste buds in our mouths and when food is “round”, it touches all of them in turn. One way I make food “round” is to use red, white and black peppers in the same recipe, which you’ll see I do frequently (as a matter of fact, not just frequently, but in nearly every recipe except desserts!). Different peppers excite taste buds in different parts of the mouth, and this makes you feel that you want another bite – that you just have to have another bite. The peppers also cleanse the palate and keep the food interesting by making it change with each bite. This keeps your taste buds happy!

Viva la Pepper, the “King of Spices”!

I like that mantra from Chef Paul above: Keep your taste buds happy!

© 2018, Glover Gardens

~ with thanks to our friends Carl and Rose for the baseball bat-shaped King Pepper pepper grinder in the centerpiece of the 3-peppergrinder picture

 

Haiku: The Wheelbarrow’s Promise

Wheelbarrow Black and White

worn but not broken
ready for the next adventure ~
just waiting for you

Wheelbarrow in Color

This haiku sprung into being when I was walking around at Little House in the Rockies at the top of Indian Mountain and spied the wheelbarrow, resting at the moment but ready for action. Doesn’t it look plucky and determined? I would want it on my side in a fight.

You can take the Wheelbarrow’s Promise literally, or as a metaphor. I wonder what it means to you…

I couldn’t decide between black and white or color, so I’ve shared both. Black and white might fit the mood of the tired but determined character of the wheelbarrow, but I really love the contrast between the green of the summer aspen trees and the rusty red of the hand-wagon. What do you think?

© 2018, Glover Gardens

 

 

A Fire in the Fireplace in the Middle of Summer, a Haiku, and Wildflowers

Escaping the Southeast Texas heat for a few days, I’m chillin’ in the mountains at Little House in the Rockies.

Oh, the glory of it! 

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Dusk falling over Palmer Peak

It was 40°F when I awoke this morning (that’s 4.4°C for my international readers).

Oh, the glory of it! 

A little fire in the fireplace was just right for morning coffee and reading. And finding the names of all the Colorado wildflowers I picked yesterday.

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Oh, the glory of it!

Fire is mesmerizing – have you noticed? I sat with my coffee, staring into the flames, and dozens of welcome ideas came knocking, like neighbors with fresh-baked cookies. So here’s a haiku for the inspiration that flames can bring:

gazing at the blaze,
fiery hues, controlled-burn warmth,
flame-thrown ideas

Now to jot all those ideas down before they leave like Thanksgiving guests when it’s time to do the dishes!

But first, the wildflowers. What a beautiful bounty! Here’s a rundown of the bouquet: Bigelow Tansy-Aster, Black-eyed Susan, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Fairy Trumpet, Giant Red Paintbrush, Mountain Parsley, Parry Primrose, Canada Thistle and White Yarrow.

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I gathered this clutch of color in about 20 minutes yesterday afternoon, right before a mountain rainstorm came sweeping through. I hunkered down inside our tiny cabin with a book during the storm, listening to the rain pound rhythmically and peacefully on the metal roof.

Oh, the glory of it!

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The storm is coming over the mountains

I’ve been busy with the camera, so you’ll see posts about hummingbirds and mountains and chipmunks (oh my!) over the coming days and weeks, even as I settle back into the summer heat at Glover Gardens in Southeast Texas.

Wishing you a peaceful and cool Sunday.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Haiku from Where I Grew Up, the Bolivar Lighthouse, and Please Pray for Mary

A friend of mine from high school posted an absolutely – heartbreakingly – beautiful photo of our lighthouse.

I say “our lighthouse” because if you grew up there, on the Bolivar Peninsula, it feels like it belongs to you. That’s my latest picture of it, just below. It belongs to me. It’s part of my childhood DNA. You understand, don’t you?

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I took this photo in the winter of late 2016/early 2017

You do understand, I know. You have landmarks from your own hometown that belong to you, too. Will you respond to this post and share them???

A pretty picture.

My high school friend posted this lovely picture of the Bolivar lighthouse yesterday on Facebook in a group, the Bolivar Peninsula.

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Can you believe how gorgeous this is?

The sun is coming up on the Lighthouse at Bolivar Pointe, he said.

And 312 of us have “liked” it, so far. “Liked” is such a relative term. I love it. It reminds me of happy times when I was growing up. It reminds me of waiting for the ferry when my Mom was taking my brother and me to Galveston once a week in the summers to get books from the library and “gourmet” groceries that couldn’t be found on the Peninsula (no Dijon mustard in a 30 mile radius!!!).

I asked my friend if I could share the picture, and he was generous. More than generous, he was sweet and harkened back to old (good) times.

Yes, of course. I was just talking about growing up in church with you and your family.

But – he also said his Mom was ill.

Mary.

Please pray for her, or send good juju, or whatever you do to ask for good things to happen for good people.

Mary is good people.

Oh – the haiku.

bolivar lighthouse,
reminiscent of good times.
but we can’t go back

© 2018 Glover Gardens