Catch A Wave

“Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world”
~The Beach Boys
 
I have been thinking of this post for days.
 
I have been wanting to bring all my blogs together in one place.
 
I have kept an online journal since 2000. And then started this Blog. And the poetry Blog. And the recipe Blog. And the prosperity Blog. And I started another titled My Mom’s Bible to promote my Christian Totes & T-shirts online store.
 
I stopped updating my online journal one month ago. Most of my time has been devoted to journaling in a paper notebook;

 

counting gifts throughout the day. I have Ann Voskamp to thank for this and Jennifer Dukes Lee to thank for the title of this post.

 
The counting of gifts has become the record of my days, from the time I wake till the time I fall to sleep. Counting gifts and giving thanks. Catch a wave? I caught the wave of Christ. It is like this. No, it is this:

Thank You God
For these GIFTS
I am about to receive
Through Chirst
Our Lord.
Amen.
All day. Every day. All is grace. The counting of gifts has become the music of my life. I counted:
 
On Sunday, July 20 I woke at 5:00 to feed our cat, Nadine. I then went back to bed and got up at 6:15. I woke Freddy and went on a short walk with him. We played Frisbee in the backyard and then I had a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. I trimmed the cucumber plant in my garden. I weeded the garden. I watered the garden.

 I edited photos. I made pickled Jalapenos.

I sat in the backyard and read. Freddy sat at my side. I wrote.

 
Sunday afternoon spent
Waiting for the bright yellow
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
And the bright orange
Monarch Butterfly.
There is now
A Hummingbird Moth
At the butterfly bush.
Yesterday I saw two
Bunny Rabbits, one zig-zagging
Across my neighbor’s lawn and
The other still as a statue
Like the Robin I saw
Dead on the side of the road.
I was a witness
To my granddaughter’s Baptism


Last Sunday and afterwards
Attended a party. We celebrated
Emily’s Baptism and the birthdays
Of my son and his girlfriend.
She received from us
A bracelet we bought
At the Christian bookstore; Peace
Inscribed on the bracelet and 
My son received a photo album
Recalling our trips from Boston
To Austin. I made
A salad for the party.
Two night ago I grilled 
Shetland Salmon and made a sauce
With dill and cucumber from my garden.
Last night I made Salmon Cakes and
Tonight I’ll grill hamburgers and
Make a toasted millet and bean salad.
There will be wine, too and
Desert–a cake or ice cream cones.
On Monday the 21st I got out of bed at 6:30. I had a short walk with Freddy. I made Bacon and Egg Sandwiches on Pittsfield Rye for Susan and me. A long walk, then, with Freddy.

I watered the garden. I read The Wall Street Journal in the backyard. Tuna on Rye Toast for lunch. I mowed the lawn. I enjoyed a beer in the backyard. I made Tomato, Basil (both from my garden) and Mozzarella Salad for dinner. We watched Mass on Catholic TV. We watchhed a documentary about an baby elephant, Eisha. I fell to sleep reading Exodus.

 
On Tuesday the 22nd I got up at 5:30 to feed the cat. Back to bed and then up at 6:30. A short walk with Freddy. Coffee and a bowl of cereal. A long walk with Freddy. Picking up our car at the auto body shop. I photographed a Cone-flower in the garden bed in the front yard.

I photographed a Zinnia. Made pizza for dinner: Mushroom, Mozzarella. We watched Mass. We watched Jeopardy. Finished reading Exodus and started Leviticus.

 
On Wednesday the 23rd I got up at 5:30 to feed the cat and I stayed up. Spent time of the computer before waking Freddy at 7:15. I made Bacon & Egg sandwiches for Susan and me. A long walk with Freddy. Watered the garden. Leftover pizza for lunch. Read New York Times and The Wall Street Journal in the backyard. I saw a new butterfly at the butterfly bush.

In and out of the house numerous times with Freddy to play Frisbee or tug-of-war. Slow-cooked pork for dinner with corn-on-the cob and carrots. Watched Mass. Watched Jeopardy. Thunderstorm. Freddy frightened. Sleeping next to Freddy on couch.

 
On Thursday the 24th I slept till 7:15! A short walk with Freddy. Coffee. A long walk with Freddy.
A drive to the recycling center. A piece of toast. Sitting in the backyard. Leftover slow-cooked pork for lunch. An afternoon nap.  And I remembered:
There is a dead peony
In the garden
Behind the house
Where Wallace Stevens lived.
We could sell the dead
Peony on Etsy to raise
Money to buy the house;
I hear it is still
For sale
And a good location.
 
My garden? Green.
Lime green.
Forest green.
Apple green.
Avocado green.
Moss green.
Olive green.
A half eaten green
Tomato on the grass.
My dog found it.
Where? A squirrel I know
Took it out from the garden
And an eggplant, too.
 
On Friday the 25th: Woke at 6:00. Woke Freddy at 7:15. A short walk with Freddy. Went for blood test. Made bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. Watering garden. Playing Frisbee with Freddy. Vacuuming house. Food shopping. Mowing lawn. Reading New York Times and Wall Street Journal in backyard. Bacon, Swiss Chard over Linguine for dinner (Susan found the recipe; YUM!). Watching Mass. Watching Jeopardy. Making Dilly Green Beans for us and our sister-in-law (for bloody mary’s).

Watching the comedy network. Falling to sleep reading Numbers.

 
On Saturday the 26th: Up at 5:00 to feed the cat. Back to bed. Up at 7:00. A short walk with Freddy. Coffee. Making Corn & Raspberry Muffins. A long walk with Freddy. Watering garden. A kind note from Debbie Taylor Williams about being moved by my photography. Editing photos. A trip to Enders State Forest with Susan and Freddy.

A visit to The Garlic Farm. Where there is field of Zinnias:

A visit to Eleanor’s. Bloody Mary’s and Martini’s at Eleanor’s. Ordering out for meatball grinders. Watching a documentary on The Real McCoy. Falling to sleep reading Deuteronomy.

And then this:

Refrigerator Dilly Beans

Who knew how good these would be—and how wonderful in a Bloody Mary. From Country Living; via The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook © 2011 by Brent Ridge, Sandy Gluck, Josh Kilmer-Purcell.

Ingredients

         
    • 1 bunch(es) fresh dill (from my garden)

 

  • 2 clove(s) garlic, peeled

 

 

  • 1 teaspoon(s) yellow mustard seeds

 

 

  • 1 teaspoon(s) dill seeds

 

 

  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper

 

 

  • 1 pound(s) green beans, ends trimmed

 

 

  • 1 1/3 cup(s) cider vinegar

 

 

  • 1 1/3 cup(s) water

 

 

  • 2 tablespoon(s) kosher salt

 

 

  • 1 tablespoon(s) sugar

 


Directions
    1. Place 2 pint-size canning jars and their lids in a pot of boiling water and heat for 1 minute. Lift out, drain, and place on the counter. Divide fresh dill, garlic, mustard seeds, dill seeds, cayenne, and green beans between the 2 jars, packing beans in lengthwise.

 

  • In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve.

 

 

  • Pour boiling liquid over the green beans and seal. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate 2 days before serving.

 

 

  •  

 

One Thousand Gifts

One Thousand Gifts
 
I counted to one thousand
Gifts on Friday, June 27, 2014;
The same day I wrote a poem
“Table of Grace” for Ann Voskamp.
I did not know this at the time
As I transcribe from a journal
Of scribbles once a week to a another journal.
She who taught me
To count gift and after gift. Today
Seven tomato plants growing
In the garden. Two jalapeno plants
And two rows of beets.
Three rows of lettuce.
Two eggplants. Twenty-five
Bright yellow marigold plants.
One large butterfly bush. Zinnias
Bordering on the garden
On three side. There is
Much to see. A pink clematis
Growing up the garden arbor.
A garden gate opening into
The slate path leading
To the ripening red tomatoes
And green jalapenos.
I keep looking.
I keep counting.
Three basil plants.
Cilantro. Tarragon. Oregano.
In the middle of the garden
The garden fountain spray and
Birdbath. Three purple
Finches drinking at it and
A monarch butterfly circling 
The garden. I keep looking.
What am I missing?
The six decorative croquet balls.
The cucumber vine I am 
Training to grow up the arbor.
A gargoyle on the fence.
The cosmos.
Fern-leaf dill. Parsley.
A bright red fuchsia plant
Potted in a painted yellow colander
Hangs from a garden hook in the corner
Of the garden. In this journal
I started counting on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
I have been counting all along.
Years I ago I wrote:
 
There is an Edward Weston photoOf a woman naked on the sand

Perfect too as my son is here bathing

This morning and there is

Danielle running back toward

The wildflowers, her red and green

Party dress blowing round her as she

Twists and turns round the dreams

And nightmares going on for days

And days until she has settled down

To catch her breath and stand alone

In the field among the flowers

Her dog whose journey is the same

Standing beside here alert and steady

Her mind at peace overflowing

No reason to hurry anywhere

She holds something in her hand

And she laughs and laughs and laughs

When I woke

In the middle of the night

I saw a black bear outside

I heard a baby crying

At the window the bear

Stood and he knocked

I opened the door and invited him

Inside he sat on the couch

I offered him tea

I told him I read

Some people say we are the dreams

Of animals, their nightmares, he spoke

As someone who knows and rising

From the couch he said “Come

Come with me.” I climbed

On his back and we

Walked out the door

And he took me to a time of long ago.

And last summer I wrote
A poem called “Our Path:”

Without incident we walked
And every few minutes I talked.
Good dog, Good dog.
On we went through the park.
All the time my dog here
There, everywhere
A scent sensation.
And when I wanted
To stop to photograph
This late September early morning
I said, Freddy, sit, and he sat
And he waited and when I said
Okay on we went
Our way past Meadow Trail And Beaver Brook.
This is my path. Our path.
We came to a hill.
I huffed and puffed to the top.
And my dog wagged his tail To the top.
We made our way Home.
I cut zinnias.
Red, orange, yellow, cream
And purple cosmos
For a vase that rests on a table
Next to my garden.
Soon I will be dead-heading
All the cosmos and zinnias flowers.
There must be thousands!
Still bright and bold and colorful In the garden. I change
The water in the three bird baths.
I prune the rose bushes and I am
Not sure at all of what I am doing. I water
The potted plants. So many bumblebees!
They fly from zinnia to zinnia
To cosmos to cosmos.
They do Their job.
Never I imagine
Thinking I am so busy today.
They follow their path.
Gary Snyder wrote: 

“Reality-insight says get a sense of immediate politics and history, get control of your own time; master the twenty-four hours. Do it well, without self-pity. It is as hard to get the children herded into the car pool and down the road to the bus as it is to chant sutras in the Buddha-hall on a cold morning. One move is not better than the other, each can be quite boring, and they both have the virtuous quality of repetition. Repetition and ritual and their good results come in many forms. Changing the filter, wiping noses, going to meetings, picking up around the house, washing dishes, checking the dipstick—don’t let yourself think these are distracting you from your more serious pursuits. Such a round of chores is not a set of difficulties we hope to escape from so that we may do our “practice” which will put us on a “path” — it is our path.”

I made dinner. Black beans
And rice. And wine.
And our dog and cat
Slept as we watched Nashville.
And I am Blessed.
Our house.
Our family.


So I reached one thousand gifts
A few weeks ago; the gift was
Visiting my mother-in-law and
Ann has taught me the counting
Ceaselessly, the praying ceaselessly
Is another gift, grace and gifts
From God; a poem
Of my life, a symphony and
Have I shared with you 
The sounds in the garden?
Listen.