Butterbeans

I can’t tell you just how freeing it has been to my spirit to not worry about making art for sale any more. I’ve definitely had some physical challenges, but they are nothing compared to the mental roadblocks I run into every time I start selling my work on a regular basis. I always think that it will be different this time, that I won’t let it happen, but it digs a pinhole under the current of my creative energy until I am drained.

It was a lovely evening and now a pleasant rainy morning. North Carolina has been in a bizarre weather pattern all summer. We have had way too much rain. Right now it is downright cool. Highs in the low 70s are unheard of in August. Normally it would be averaging around 90, and we had a really bad triple-digit heat wave in August only a few years ago. I turned off the AC and opened our windows last night. This house is almost soundproof so I don’t usually hear the crickets and a soft steady rain with the windows closed.

The mosquitoes, as you might guess, are horrendous. If we get a break in the rain, I’ll cover up with long sleeves and plants and try to pull some weeds while the ground is soft. My back is still healing up so I need to be careful. Yesterday I found two beautiful cucumbers that are almost too ripe because the weeds hid them so well. And I’ve been checking that plant every other day! I think that I’ll try to seed them and chop them up for a cream cheese and cucumber spread.

Pulled up the squash and zucchini plants, except for one squash plant that got a late start and is confusing me because it is not what I thought that I planted. It has one green striped squash on it the shape and size of a butternut squash. The other squashes were ruined by powdery mildew.

Lots of delicious figs, and I continue to pick a few butterbeans and a smattering of green beans from the couple of plants that survived the rabbit attack by mixing in with the butterbeans. Hardly enough for one portion, but a few are better than none! Tomatoes have been the biggest disappointment. We planted seven plants in half-barrels and have our usual volunteer Juliets, and we’ve gotten exactly one ripe tomato all summer. Maybe next year I will plant all peppers (they have done well) or lettuce and carrots.

I’m very happy with the front garden, which is much more decorative and has several kinds of herbs. The potted Meyer lemon tree has two large green lemons on it for the first time ever. It has fruited before but the biggest they have gotten has been dime-sized before they fell off. It is in a fairly sunny place outside and has gotten the benefit of all this rain.

Last night I played with painting Citrasolve on the pages of a National Geographic magazine. It was good, mindless fun and I got wonderful pages out of it. You can’t get much easier than this technique. My friend Diana Trout posted a video tutorial on her site. The interesting part was that while I was futzing around with the pages at the front of the magazine (after painting the pages with Citrasolve), the really cool effects were happening all by their little lonesomes on the back pages of the magazine. You can buy Citrasolve at Deep Roots Market here in Greensboro. I love it for cleaning – at last there is a scent in my house that I love and doesn’t make me sick!

Today I need to do some cleaning but I’m also going to get my hair cut and play in my new studio space some.