Cucumber Lemonade, Breathing New Life into Parsley, and the Emerald Buddha

The three baby lemon trees are on their way!

This season’s giant pot of early Italian parsley by the kitchen door started going to seed a couple of weeks ago. I trimmed away the seed heads as they came along, but eventually, it became an untenable job. And the parsley, which had matured, had become tough and bitter. So I gave the whole pot the Chelsea Chop three days ago. About an inch above the soil line. Last night, when I checked it, it was easy to see that it liked what I did and intended to grow back. Already, little wisps of young parsley are stirring. Yes.

I found a recipe for a cucumber lemonade I’m going to make this weekend. It sounds like the most quenching summer drink. Have to get creative with the windfall of garden cukes that are coming in. Last night’s dinner was an amazing dish of mushroom tortellini with our own garden arugula, kale, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, and parsley. Raw cucumbers on the side.

We have another big flat of arugula going. But this time, it’s living in the shade. And despite this very warm weather, it’s doing great. I enjoyed spring’s arugula crop so much I tried planting again in late June, but I planted it in the hot sun. It germinated, got a taste of the heat, then died. So I tried again with shade. Doing much better. Never give up.

Not even a month ago, I ate an exquisite organic lemon that thrilled me so much that I took its seeds and poked them into the soil in our large pot of lemon verbena. A few days later, I saw that they had sprouted! So I carefully removed them and potted them up in individual containers. I’ve been giving them daily feedings and keeping them moist. Then, the day before yesterday, I ate this amazing organic orange from Garden of Light. So I planted its seeds in the same magic pot of lemon verbena. Stay tuned.

I’m not going to tell my husband yet, but I’ve been thinking a lot about a trip to Thailand. Ever since I found those photos from my time in Hong Kong, I’ve been building a mental bucket list of places and things I want to see.

I’ve always been intensely drawn to Vietnam and Thailand – so intensely that I’ve wondered many times if I’ve lived in either or both countries before. Was I a Thai Buddhist? That would be very cool. Thai Buddhism has moved to the forefront of my studies lately. My practice is still and will always be rooted in Tibetan/Mahayana. But even the large Buddha statue at our home shrine is of the Theravada tradition. It just ended up that way.

Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai and Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha) are the two Buddhist temples in Thailand I would make time to visit no matter what. These are very holy places that happen to be beautiful beyond comprehension.

I’ve always wanted to stand in the presence of the Emerald Buddha. Wat Phra Kaew is home of the Emerald Buddha, carved from a single, giant slab of jade. It sounds otherworldly.

Wat Pho in Bangkok is another place of pilgrimage. Inside is a 160-foot statue of the Buddha in repose. I’d love to see that too.

It’s definitely those urges and ideas that nag and nag and won’t go away that we should listen to. So I’m researching a Thailand travel plan. In my nomadic youth, I traveled everywhere. But in recent years, not outside of the U.S. at all. This is starting to wear on me in a big way.

The baby mango trees have reached the size when they have to be separated and each given its own home. These little trees are my pride and joy right now. I’m going to have to do this transplant very carefully. I’ve learned the hard way that mangoes don’t like to have their feet touched.

The weekend is almost here. Today, I’m entering the heaviest days of my moon cycle, so I’ll be relaxing. Luckily, I have nothing pressing to do besides get some blessed sun, pick garden veggies, cuddle the dogs, make great vegan meals, do walking meditation, lay in the grass, read Sagan, and plan Thailand. Sounds like an extremely decent weekend to me.

Live in peace.

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