One of my Christmas gifts this year was an indoor herb garden. We’ve all seen indoor herb gardens—ho hum, the herbs wither and die before you can do anything with them. Not this one! It’s hydroponic, automatic, and nearly foolproof. You place little cups of pre-planted seeds in the designated holes, fill the receptacle with water, and plug it in. The light in the arm over the plants cycles on for 16 hours, off for eight; all you have to do is fill the reservoir with water when the indicator gets low. My gift came with a wide selection of seeds—later I read the reason the starter kit was three basil plants is that basil is easy to grow and fairly unforgiving. I didn’t read that in time, so I planted basil, mustard greens, and romaine—shoot, if it’s dangerous to buy, I might as well grow my own. The kit comes with two extensions for the light arm so as the plants grow you can raise the light and allow them to increase in height.
Called Click and Grow, the company has a web site and is most responsive to questions—I asked about why my light was going off and on because the instructions didn’t say, and I got not one but two quick responses. Apparently, there are also all sorts of videos on YouTube about pruning, etc. I will explore, but for now I’m in the seedling stage. Even Jacob is having fun watching them grow.
Last year, neighbor Jay planted basil outside my front door. It struggled but finally flourished into a big plant as basil will do Trouble was I couldn't get down from the walker to harvest it, so if no one was around to cut it, I couldn't get to my basil. Now it will be handy on my desk top.
|A last look at Christmas ligh ts|
It’s all over but the shouting and maybe that’s over too—another holiday season has come and gone. Son Jamie, giver of the herb garden, was here today, and he and Christian had a mournful discussion about how sad it makes them to take down the Christmas tree. “The house looks so boring,” Christian said. I definitely feel that and am turning on my Christmas lights as long as I have them. Tonight, Jordan whisked away the wreath from my front door, the snowman who stood outside the steps, the large snifter of Christmas ornaments, and the German Kinder Claus and Scottish Santa Mac from my coffee table. I’m back to Mexican tin art—a Chihuahua and a wise old owl--on the coffee table. I’m sure the tree and the lighted glass block will disappear soon, so I took one last picture. My spray of green neon lights—from a diffuser that throws these dots of lights on the neighbors’ wall—remains all year, and I love it. Somehow though I haven’t figured out the cycle. I turn it on in the evening and off when I go to bed, but if I wake in the night—says three or four in the morning—the lights are on again, though they are always off when I get up in the morning.
Last night, Jordan and Christian lingered by the firepit after the guests had left, and Jordan found herself buried in dogs with the most amazed expression on her face. This picture somehow seems a fitting end to the holiday season, though I must say I woke during the night because the cottage smelled to strongly of pinion smoke. Today I’m used to it, but Jamie said he smelled it immediately when he came in, and Christian came in and threw open the doors to get fresh air in. Next time we have a fire we will keep my French doors closed.
The end of a wonderful holiday season is but the beginning of a new year. May all your dreams and hopes and wishes come true and may the Good Lord smile upon you.