more silver linings

2-quart black Le Creuset pot, bartered

Yesterday started the first full day of the new restrictive anti-inflammatory diet. So I looked for bright spots. First, the sun was shining, always a mood booster. Also, as of this week, I now own a black Le Creuset pot via barter with my friend Jeff, whose mother has an uncanny knack for thrifting Le Creuset at Goodwill. She's found four or five pots in the last six months since he turned her onto the sport, all in different sizes and colors, including a rare eggplant-shaped casserole, while all I've ever seen at Goodwill are a couple stray lids. This black casserole wears a black resin rather than stainless-steel handle, and it's only a 2-quart size, but it's perfect for cooking grains or lentils, and I love it. I traded him a couple Crate & Barrel bentwood chairs leftover from my marriage, which he's been borrowing since December and which to me are just baggage, so we're both happy.

He also overwintered my three little red geranium plants for me, one of which started blooming this week. They're still recovering from getting hung over the railing a couple months ago, after having been coddled inside for six months, while spring did its usual bipolar mood shifts, but I'm seeing some new green leaves popping out. And yesterday I saw my first hummingbird of the year, hovering over the petals before blitzing off.

red, overwintered geraniums

Another bright spot in the day was finding, on my way out to the parsley, that a handful of raspberries were ripe, the first of the year, the starts donated a couple years ago by my friend Sarah, who has a large and well trained raspberry patch (unlike mine, the canes of which have entangled themselves in the dead rosemary bush, but I guess that works, too). Nothing says "Summer's here!" to me like raspberries because as a kid, when school was out in June, I could either be found lying somewhere in the house or yard with a book or standing out in my grandparents' raspberry patch next door, plucking and eating warm berries off the vine.

garden haul: parsley, dandelion crowns, and raspberries

And the last bright spot of the day (other than slipping into the library right before closing time) was finding that the strawberries in the bed downstairs, despite the biggest and best being bored into by slugs because I still need to locate some straw, do not (yet) contain the tiny white worms they did last summer, which a student Googled the other day for me in the lab at school and found to be fruit fly larvae. Gross. But they're not here yet, so that's a silver lining, especially when the cut strawberries will be bathed in a little clover honey.

garden strawberries

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