Cupcakecacheblog Inspired

What a joy it is to find blogs in my inbox inviting me to squander time! And even better, to find blogs that impel me to elaborate on a theme.

Today, Cupcakecache entertainingly meandered about, sharing banter, musing about her sunflower germination failures and plant shopping success, and generally reveling in the day’s tasks ahead, which prompted me to do the same.

Yesterday, I received a box, shipped from a friend in Oregon. She had some books that she didn’t want to send to the thrift store and thought I’d enjoy them. And while she was at it, she stuffed the box like a Christmas stocking. She has a quirky sense of humor, appreciated and shared by her family, and so she tossed in a collection of gag gifts that I presume she had received over the years, along with other random useful items. Perhaps the quirkiest of the collection was a rubber lip enhancer (size XL) and the most useful was a pair of socks. The books were primarily The Best American Science Writing (2000 – 2010) and The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2000 – 2008), of which I had read only one. She also sent three novels of which I had already read two, which illustrates why we remain friends even though we have lived in separate states for the past 35 years.

Being lazy readers, my husband and I are fighting over who will be the first to read the Carl Hiaasen novel.

I bore you with these details for two reasons: One, a joy to be appreciated has to be shared, and what a joy her box of pleasures is! And two, perhaps it will inspire others to do something similar.

One of my other pleasures, is my garden.

Judy’s Food Pantry

In the foreground the garden is ringed by Teddy Bear Sunflowers, purported to be favored by birds and bees. I didn’t get very good germination but I kept replanting to fill in the gaps which will actually be a good thing as it will ensure a longer supply of blossoms for the bees and seeds for the birds.

Immediately behind the sunflowers are the beans, which I hate to pick but can’t resist planting anyway.

Behind the beans are cucumbers that I’m trying to train to climb the trellis. Like the butternut squash in the back ground, they are wayward and resist my gentle ministrations, preferring to choke the walkway between them and the apple tree and tomatoes.

I have three kinds of squash which are hemmed in by Marigolds that are three feet high. I kid you not! I never dreamed when I planted them for pest control, that they would present such an impediment to harvesting the squash. I fear the local fruit stand is suffering from my competition as I’m supplying all of my neighbors, my mail man, my sister, and my boss with squash, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Among the joys of gardening, are the feral pets that move in, various birds (who hopefully look for insects to eat), pollinators, horned tomato worms, and a Southern California Toad.

I would like this guy to settle down and raise a family here, so I plan to create a hospitable habitat for him/her. I think toads may be on my side in the organic gardening battle with the bugs.

Now, I must delve into my box of goodies. I think I’ll start with The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000, edited by one of my favorite authors, David Quammen.

19 thoughts on “Cupcakecacheblog Inspired

  1. Judy, your sunflowers are beautiful! So is your farm. Carl Hiaasen is one of my favorite writers. I am glad that you are your husband both like him! He writes about the oddities of living in Florida. Your food pantry is inspiring. We help support one just up the road which is fun by a neighbor from her home. Thanks again. Today was a good day for me. I actually by allowing myself to relax was able to work on a short story and submit it. As we know, the luck is often in the number of times you submit and the hard work editing. I hope my sunflowers grow like yours.


  2. Ha ha, the rusting shed in the background does make it look like a farm, doesn’t it. It’s actually a plot about 200 – 250 square feet. I can’t wait for the sunflowers to blossom; I’ll post photos!
    Where do you submit your short stories? Can your followers read them? Being a confirmed dilettante, short stories and essays are my favorite entertainment…other than epic novels, books of history, travel, etc. You get the picture…I just love to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I use Submittable to find places to submit my short stories to. Yes, I have had the honor of being accepted by Spillwords and my story (Link) will be published on my blog in another week. Sometimes I find places randomly through googling or through other bloggers. One blogger suggested “The Finest Example” and I submitted an excerpt to them.

    My husband and I are both big readers and will read most anything, also! I am trying to write a children’s short story with a friend. It is slow going but we are trying to work together through Zoom during this time.


  4. Your 3 foot tall marigolds immediately took me to the play “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds”. Anyway that joy box is lovely! It would be a real pleasure to get such a gift! It sounds like there is a good balance between whimsy and practical to make anyone pleased… We are inundated with summer squash (thankfully only 2 kinds) but I’m getting sick if it and we have only harvested 4 of them! We’ve had green beans 3 nights in a row and there are more to harvest… And soon the tomatoes will start producing. I’m just happy the arugula is done and the kale is almost too big and tough to be able to eat! Sparky is planning on harvesting the radishes on Monday and replanting so he can get 2 harvests. At least the zucchini plants got sick and died so that’s not a worry anymore. Next year I’m going to suggest more peas and beans and lots less squash…


    1. The trouble with squash is that you can’t depend on every plant to produce, so you plant two hills. Then you want a variety, so you plant two hills of crook neck and two hills of patty pan. Then the seeds you ordered are finally delivered so you plant two more hills…and that’s how you feed a neighborhood.
      One of my tomato cages collapsed under the weight of a prodigious crop. I scrambled to prop it up but I fear I will lose half of my Improved Big Reds. I pulled off all of the tomatoes that were showing any signs of ripening, hoping to lighted the load. I don’t know why I care since I’ll just give them all away anyway.
      I knew you would covet my treasure box and I thought of you when I opened it.
      I will have to look for “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the Moon Marigolds”. The title alone is enough to pique my interest.


  5. What a lovely post, Judy. You tiny plot is amazing. Who knew marigolds could grow to that size? And you’re doing just what God intended us to do with overzealous gardens–share the produce. I was amused by the contents of your care package. Before COVID, I was a regular sender of USPS one-rate packages. It would start with a particular item (like Thai lettuce bite sauce for my friend who loves it), then I would stuff a bunch of random things in there “to get my moneys worth.” Candy, tea, local raw honey, curry paste, jasmine rice, gardening gloves, crazy socks, treats and toys for her cat (including ponytail elastics, his favorite), paperbacks, poetry magazines, a book of stamps… You’ve inspired me to collect some “treasures” from around the house and send her a fun surprise. Have fun with your XL lip enhancer–I expect they’ll be looking full and pouty in your next photo. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your garden , Juduy, looks like the Eden Garden ! How much green and flowers ! What a delight for birds and bees . A hive is just missing!
    All of my compiments to the nice and successful gardener, lover of the Nature.



    1. Your site inspired me to try growing a larger variety. I love tabouli and I have tomatoes and cucumbers galore, but I failed to plant parsley. I suspect that in my hot climate, parsley won’t thrive when I have tomatoes and cucumbers.

      Liked by 1 person

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