Friday, May 18, 2007


Yesterday while I was cutting the peppermint in our backyard, a baby rabbit jumped out of the barrel and hopped all the way to next door neighbor's garden. I started looking further among the peppermint and there were two or three more tiny rabbits trying to hide in the corner. I hurried up with my peppermint, went into the house and watched the rabbits from the kitchen window. I washed the peppermint to put into the water and the ice tea pitchers, added a few drops of fresh lemon and ice cubes so we could have refreshing and healthy drinks instead of soda or expensive artificial drinks.

I don't remember what year, must be about five years ago that my husband put a row of three wooden half-barrels in the back of the garage, filled them up with soil so I could plant a few tomatoes, green pepper and hot red pepper. At each corner of the patio, CP also put two more barrels and planted some flowers for me to enjoy from the kitchen windows.

The first year we harvested a dozen of tomatoes, good size of green pepper and a handful of red pepper. The second year did not turn out profitable as we again spent almost $50 worth of little plants and harvested only a few tiny tomatoes, pitiful looking green pepper and again a handful of red pepper. We decided not to plant anything the following year and purchased the tomatoes and peppers from the store.

In July 2005, after my Mom came to visit, I found some left over peppermint that my Mom did not use in her cooking. I decided to plant them in one of the barrels. Actually all I did was covering half of the peppermint with dirt and water weekly or whenever I remembered while sitting outside reading my books. Summer in St. Louis could be unbearable not only with the tempature almost 100 degrees but also the humidity and still air circulation. I was pleasantly surprised to find the peppermint growing, filling up the barrels without any help from me.

The peppermint came back last summer and again this year. We agreed that instead of wasting another $50 on tomatoes and pepper plants, peppermint will be the only plants in the barrels. I also try to find out the name of a plant to serve as a backup in case the plants my mother has fondly nurtured again accidently destroyed. During a recent phone conversation, Mom mentioned that the plants she has been using in her special cakes and also for medical usage in controlling diabetes had died. I listened while she explained what happened. I learned to let Mom talk and didn't try to comfort her or offer solutions because she only wanted someone to listen to her story. She told me that this special plant was only available from California. I am glad to report that when I called this week, Mom said that a few new leave came back but it would take a few months before the plants would be full with usable leave again.

Last week we found a bird nest in the flower basket hanging in our front porch. The protective mother flies away whenever we open our front door. She did not go far, just above the roof as if keeping an eye on the nest. Today, there are two little eggs in the nest. Last year, we also found a bird nest on the supporting beam above the garage. The nest is still there but it is empty. We jokingly said that the bird has moved to a wealthy neighborhood or to Florida!

This year we decided to add minor landscaping to our yard. For the front of the house, we plan to replace the old rotten railroad wooden logs with brick walls. CP plans to install retaining walls along the fence in the backyard. He has worked deligently the last few weeks to clear the bushes. One day as I watched CP worked, I saw a robin following as CP unearthed the ground, the robin bravely swept down very close to CP and flew off with the worms. I watched the robin and realized that there were three little birds with their mouths opened waiting to be fed in a nest high on a nearby tree. I stood and watched the robin repeating her feeding. I learned to enjoy the moment instead of rushing to find a camera to take photos. I learned to be in the moment. I learned to live a simple life by watching the rabbits and the robins living their simple lives.


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