What a nice day. I swear, y'all, the weather makes such a difference. To me, and to everyone else. People are nicer, calmer, they're smiling, bodies relaxed. I sure am, mine sure is. I had a few hours alone with each of my  little boys, a rare treat, time that is special not least because it's easier and also a bit of time for me too. A huge vat of strawberries, rhubarb and lemon is macerating now; an absolutely wonderful jam, I'll put it up tomorrow. I putzed in the garden and gleaned great joy from each and every perennial rebirth I saw. Perennials are like the Post Office in the best of times; no matter the weather, they're coming back. Perhaps slowly, perhaps even late, but steadily and consistently with little attrition. Despite the fact that everyone but me can grow both rhubarb (a perennial; so hearty it's sometimes considered a weed) and basil (an annual that I only ever hear is SO easy to grow but at which I fail most every year), I am otherwise a perennial-grower success story and cheer each plant on as if it's another of my children. The lilies have emerged like proud soldiers at attention, the marjoram and sage never really went away. The Astilbe bat their leafy eyelashes in a shy yet flirty way; the fern's fiddleheads consider unfurling. Hello, Columbine shoots, welcome back Bleeding Hearts. As if old friends have returned, another year advanced in age, experience and comfort, I welcome them all, happily envisioning the festive scene in my yard days, weeks, months from now.

T and I dined al fresco tonight, a meatless picnic dinner that was an acknowledgment of today's blogger movement against hunger in America (use what you have rather than buy new and risk waste), and, thusly, a terrific opportunity to clean out the fridge and freezer. The evening was gorgeous, the dinner perfect in its casual, tasty mien.


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