A Peaceful Day

Last night I had a craving to go to the Candy Kitchen to get ice cream. The place was packed! Looks like the folks from up north have re-discovered us.

Candy Kitchen

It’,s that time of year in St. Pete when we pinch ourselves and say, “Gee, do I really live here?” It’s October 30, 2010 and life in the little city has never been better! Excuse me if I just take a moment to embrace the balmy days of fall.  It was actually hot today.  The weather was great for walking around at Circus McGurkis, the people’s fair, with my friend K (since K is a very private person, I won’t use her whole name). The Circus is where the hip and groovy stock up on the latest tie-dye fashions. Don’t look for me in tie-dye though, except for my gardening clothes. It’s an ironic fact that I’ve never been able to pull off the flower child look! Anyway the Circus is also a wonderful place to get an astrology reading, eat some Uhuru potato pie and add a new piece of jewelry to your collection.

Next, I visited the Saturday Morning Market to buy four tomatoes. That seems to be the perfect number to last a week. K and I stopped at he Habana Café tent and ordered hot pressed Cuban sandwiches for lunch: sandwich $4,  a diet Coke $1.  Great lunch and budget friendly!

I then came home and commenced to making 40-carrot soup. It took three trips to Publix to get ingredients that I didn’t have, thought I had but turns out I didn’t have, and told-my-husband-that-I-needed-but-he-didn’t-believe-me so he had to go back for. When the soup was all done, I didn’t like it.  It goes to prove the old proverb about making soup: if you don’t have the ingredients on hand, then the soup probably won’t be any good anyway.

And just to add a sigh to a very peaceful day, I watched the Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in America. I thought I’d just catch a few minutes, but I ended up watching two hours worth. Loved Tony Bennett singing America the Beautiful at the end.

Cheers to Healthy Living


Last Saturday was a good day for healthy living.  I started the day looking for good food for my insides at the Saturday Morning Market (Al Lang Field in St. Pete). It’s been awhile since I made it down to the market. The weather was perfect and the parking was easy. We bought fresh asparagus and tomatoes. The vegetables are so vibrant with purple, orange, red and green, it was as if the color radiated from the baskets. And, what’s a fresh market without sunflowers? They were there for the picking.

On a muscular skeletal note, I imposed on a yoga buddy who knows ergonomics come to my house to assess my workspace. I’ve been having shoulder strain for a couple of months and decided to track down the source of my discomfort. It turns out my entire workspace was a bad fit. My chair back was too high, my keyboard was too low, my monitor was too far away, and my mouse ran away requiring a long stretch to catch it.  I had no idea it could be so wrong. Since my workspace makeover, I no longer fear my right arm will be permanently frozen in the extended position. All I have to say is, thanks Debbie! I owe you a bottle of wine!

More good stuff

Mother’s Organics engineers compost

If you’re a gardener, you probably have a compost pile. I know I do. Mother’s Organics has the mother of all compost piles. They are banking on the grow-local movement in a big way.

The Bay Area Daylily Society took a field trip there this past Saturday, March 20th to tour the facility that is on the site of an old marrow pit scraped down to its solid clay floor. They get most of their natural material from Hillsborough County’s yard waste recycling pick up.  It’s piled, ground up, sifted and piled again into “highly engineered” compost rows. Finally, they get high quality soil mediums. In operation for only three years, they’re still experimenting with making a nutritious potting soil. So, what they sell is an amendment.  They also sell mulch, natural fill for erosion control, storm water treatment and grow systems.

I belong to two garden clubs, The Bay Area Daylily Society and the St. Petersburg Garden Club. Both clubs are my main source of earth-friendly information. The garden clubs provide a fix for my addiction to pretty plants to satisfy my eyes and tasty plants to satisfy my palate.

I have always been a little bit “granola,” but I can’t say I’m a vegetarian. In spite of collecting a whole closet full of vegetarian cookbooks, I still can’t make tofu tasty.

Recently, friend from up state New York sent me a magazine she thought I’d like, Edible, with a note attached: “I can’t believe I don’t see more about eating local down there.” Ever since she mentioned that, I have noticed that Sweet Bay advertises produce grown locally. My New York friend wondered whatever happened to all the farm stands she used to see at the intersections.  In fact, the corner stand I bought all my tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, squash, onions, garlic and in-season fruit closed about 3 years ago. I miss them.

So, I did what any gardener would do, I planted my own backyard veggies. Gardeners know it’s all about the soil. Since, the ground in my backyard is mostly sand, I use Earth Boxes (I have 3). The boxes come with a reliable soil recipe, so I’m almost guaranteed success.  But, I digress.

To my New York friend, here’s one way that recycling in Tampa Bay is helping the grow-local movement take root from the ground up.