Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Backyard Plant Update

A few plants around our yard seem to be growing well. This orchid (cymbidium) bloomed for the first time since arriving at our house several years ago. It grows outside in a container that gets watered about two times a week.

These garlic chives (below) also seem to be doing just fine. We chop off a couple and eat them with our eggs in the morning. I'm often surprised by how "bug free" and green they are.

And finally, our rosemary bush has grown to over three feet high. About six years ago, when we lived in our apartment, it was a 4-inch plant that I purchased from Home Depot. It has endured drought and flood conditions -- growing in plastic pot on the balcony. It even got "spray painted" once, and we contemplated throwing it away. This guy is a survivor, and it now resides comfortably in our backyard.

Rosemary comes in handy for making "Rosemary Chicken" and other cooking projects. It can fight off free radical damage in your brain. It blooms every year with many blue flowers that attract bees. If you look closely, you'll see the bee in the photo.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Recession or Depression?

It's good to know that I still have a job on Friday the 13th. Today driving back from work, I listened to the AM radio news about the fluctuations of the stock market, the uncertainties of an economic recovery, the increase in the jobless rate, the increase of home foreclosures. Continuing to listen, the news report added a shooting, a murder, and some kids getting ill from drinking wiper fluid. It's good to be informed of these current events, but it could turn the economic recession into an emotional depression.

Anyway, I eventually turned off the news and the radio noise. Otherwise, it was a beautiful and sunny spring-like day in LA. Noting the wonderful weather is a great way to redirect one's frame of mind -- to step outside the artificial "Matrix" (as some computer people like to say). Taking a short walk outside, and working in the garden offers new perspectives as well...

This spring, we've started a new garden in our backyard. We've created two 4'x4' raised garden beds. Last week we were mixing in some compost, manure, and other organic matter into our (mostly clay) soil. We're looking forward to growing and eating fresh vegetables. It was a lot of exercise, but a great way to literally get back in touch with "Mother Earth". Nature is a good reality check and to remember the things we needed as a newborn baby. Yes, really.

When a human baby is in the womb, it is "hard-wired" to "mommy" via its umbilical cord. Everything this baby wants and needs (nutrients, oxygen, and waste disposal) passes over this connection. After the umbilical cord detaches from inside "mommy" at birth, the baby connects to "Mother Earth" and loving parents for life's basics. From our first breath of outside air, the environment and our ecosystem sustains us. Our health and survival is intertwined with our planet -- the air, water, sunlight, land, plants, animals, and other life forms. It doesn't get any more real. Sometimes it's easy to forget our important relationships during an economic crisis.

Recession or depression, my hope is that we will continue to strive in the right directions for the right reasons. Our world will continue to exist, and we'll adapt and adjust. And hopefully, we'll remember and appreciate the Earth that sustains us, and the brilliant stars over our heads that continue to shine. At the end of the day, Hikaru and I often go outside to "see stars". We look for the constellation of Orion, and pick out the three stars of his "belt". Orion has looked the same as long as I can remember from my childhood. No reason to tighten this belt.