Napa Cabbage replaces lettuce in my book

Ok so it was necessary since suddenly all lettuces and kale don’t agree with me. I happened all of a sudden with no warning. Since salad greens have always been a basic plant source for me, I had to do something fast to serve as the delivery system for all other vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and even chicken and croutons.

Enter Napa Cabbage. Not a big cabbage fan…ever…SO I was shocked to learn that is was quite tasty, especially when mixed with Caesar Dressing. I picked up some Napa Cabbage while visiting my youngest son in Nashville and the rest is history. It will be on my list whenever I do my weekly shopping from now on.

Here’s what I did: I washed and cut up an entire head of Napa Cabbage-cutting in three lengths, then crosswise into edible chucks. I topped it with onions, homemade croutons and my favorite Caesar dressing: I only used 1/4 of the head for first meal but would use the entire head if I had company coming.

For the dressing (two generous servings), I used 1/2 cup Kewpie Mayo {I buy at the Asian Market}; 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (someday I will graduate to real anchovies, but not yet) thank you). I was surprised to learn that my Lea & Perrin already contains real anchovies and for now that was good enough for me. To the dressing I also added two chopped garlic cloves, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated, 1/2 of juice from half a lemon. Oh, and salt and pepper. I threw some shaved Parm on the top. Voila, Salad again!

My signature fragrance – eau d’cow manure 

I’m sorry but when your find your passion you automatically assume  an evangelistic fervor which drives you to spread the word to anyone who will listen! 

Can you stand one more diatribe on the joys of gardening.  One can start small and stay small or grow it into a business and save the world! My spark came when a friend gave me a garlic plant about 5 years ago – little did I know that garlic plant would blossom into a show stopping corner of alliums so beautiful I couldn’t possibly consider eating the garlic!

When you dig around in the soil, planting flowers and harvesting vegetables, they tell me you are coming into contact with something called Mycobacterium vaccae, beneficial bacteria that help to stabilize mood and promote better sleep.

. (If you think Mom’s crazy now you should have seen her five years ago,” say my children.)

What’s even more interesting is that you don’t even need to dig in the dirt to be exposed, because simply being outside in the garden and inhaling can do the trick quite nicely. We are trained to think that all bacteria are bad, but that is not necessarily the case – exposure to these “good” bacteria in the soil can help to strengthen the immune system. 

As you continue gardening and expanding your skills through trial and error, a mushroom effect occurs as you branch into related activities like building garden rooms outside, pathways to nowhere and experimenting with non-traditional garden art.  

My friend and garden mentor Charlie Weatherly took an old dresser outside into his huge garden and created a prayer and meditation space.  That was 15 years ago and that one revelation is what sparked my interest.  And my close friend and neighbor, the late Brenda Chamblis, showed me how to find joy in the garden while covered with mud and smelling like cow manure.  

Old friends take every chance to celebrate

It used to be weddings and birthdays, but now we celebrate anything – new cars, holding a plank for more than 15 Seconds, losing a half pound in a year, etc. but always, ALWAYS we celebrate another birthday,

So was the case today when we celebrated the matriculation of two classmates into another year which gets more precious as they fly by. Norma Clark Atkins and Ann Edwards Gatlin were the honorees and a bunch of old friends flocked in to help them mark another birthday.

I had an appointment at 2 p.m with a friend who was going to help me move a piece of my mother’s furniture to Starkville. Running late I flew down Waverly Road completely oblivious to the speed limit. Just as I passed one of West Point’s finest, his blue lights came on and he made a U-turn and came after me, (Maybe trying to outrun him wasn’t the wisest choice.) I pulled into a drive way and started up the road toward his car, kinda bent over, holding my hip and shaking ever so slightly,

Sir, I chirped with what I thought a 90-year old woman might sound like, “I’m trying to get to my old home place to get my dear Mama’s table before they give it away. I never do this and will pay whatever you want.” I was fumbling with a well worn hanky,

“You probably didn’t realize you were doing 45 miles over the speed limit ( that means I was likely doing 85). But I’m going to let it go this time but I’m following you to make sure you get there alright,” he said in a kindly manner. Did he really pat me on the arm? Oh brother, now I was really going to be late.

But I learned a lesson, age does have its privileges if you know how to use it to your benefit.

A movie for Netflix weary Boomers

If you’re sick of perusing the tired offerings Netflix continues to post, shut it down now and go to IMDb and dial up “The Last Movie Star”. The star’s swan song is now playing on the free movie channel app (along with many other classics you would have to pay for on traditional streaming services).

It will forever be a favorite of mine – not just for the entertainment value but for the message it conveys. An aging former movie star is forced to face the reality that his glory days are behind him. On its surface, the film is a tale about faded fame. At its core, it’s a universal story about growing old and squeezing the last bit of joy out of our time on earth. I loved it.

Gardening is dangerous business

So I haven’t had lip augmentation yet. I don’t need it even at the ripe old age of sixty-twelve when most women’s lips just up and disappear.

Mine are nice and full today, thanks to a gardening accident which bloodied my mouth and almost knocked out my front teeth. I issue this warning to all you tomato growers who are probably giving up on your tomatoes about now and ripping them out of the ground, cage and all, while dreaming of a nice patch of Swiss Chardonnay or cabbages.

One cage was really really glued in the ground and as I planted both feet on the ground, I gave it a huge tug with all my might. The thing popped out with such force it felt like That time I got decked in a bar fight. (Not really}?

So, y’all all be careful out there. What with Round-up, snakes, rabid mosquitoes, and who knows what else out there trying to spoil our fun, we must plant at our own risk.