This summer I grew black beans in my garden. The pods turned magenta as they ripen and provided about as much beauty as you could ask for from a bean. I didn't plant my beans until later in the summer, and only got a couple pounds worth, but what beans they were! We ate a whole bunch of them tonight in a wonderful black bean soup, and they were marvelous.
I love beans. We didn't eat them growing up, not the dried kind you have to soak overnight, or really any kind other than green beans and baked beans on the 4th of July. When I discovered my first bean eaters in grad school, I was a little dubious. I did not find their black bean stews visually appealing. But after my first bowl of black beans and rice, I was hooked.
As I plan my spring garden, I will make plenty of room for beans. I want to grow beans that you can't find in the store--cranberry beans and scarlet runner beans and rattlesnake beans. There is something so satisfying about growing your own gorgeous protein and then eating it in a soup on New Year's Day. Very fine.
Christmas has come and gone. It was good, it was fine. I don't love Christmas, except for the part where I get to spend long stretches reading new books. There's too much work involved, too much money spent. I took a lot of notes in my Christmas notebook and most of them have to do with not getting so much next year--food, gifts, wrapping paper. Scale it back.
My two favorite parts of Christmas: 1) The Christmas Eve service we attended at the church up the street (the one where we spent so much on pumpkins earlier this fall), which was lovely and peaceful, and 2) The Christmas quilt I made, my first big applique project. Wanna see?
I wish the picture were better. I think if you click on it, you can make out some of the details. It was like putting together a puzzle. I see much more applique in my future.
Yesterday I went to the side yard with a saw in my hand and started pruning the fig trees. We have two enormous figs that we have not pruned an several years, and they've grown up to the second floor windows. We talked about hiring someone to prune them, but I decided that I should at least give it a try before shelling out any money.
Reader, I felt like Pa Ingalls out there. I can't think of the last time I sawed anything, but honey I went to town on those trees. It was hard work (I need to invest in a pruning saw, methinks), but so satisfying! And now I'm thinking I can take on the scraggily trees in our front yard, the ones we want to get out of the way so that Will can play football with his friends there. I think I can clear out the underbrush (now that the snakes are gone) and take care of business.
I had no idea I could cut down stuff all by myself. I feel like a new woman. That's a nice way to feel on New Year's Day. Who knows what else I might accomplish? The mind boggles, doesn't it?
I'm a writer and a stay-at-home mom who keeps meaning to mop the floors because I think it would make me happy if I did. I love books and music and writing, spend entirely too much time in the dentist's chair (I bet I have more crowns than you do), and used to think I was sort of bohemian, but now I wonder. No tattoos. Minivan. That story.