New Joss Sticks, Vegan Pancakes, Garden Greens, and More Buddhist Studies

We burned a new sandalwood ceremonial incense in the gardens and at the outside entrances to the house this weekend. This incense is a real find: it’s fragrance is exactly that of the devotional joss sticks burned by Buddhists at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. The fragrance brings me back to that beautiful summer.

Burning our new joss sticks at dusk.

It won’t stop raining here. We had a wet weekend, which lent itself to lots of reading (I felt drawn to the Irish authors this weekend, probably the weather), dog bathing, more purging of personal things, cooking (an awesome vegetable curry with fresh pineapple and rice, lots of ceremonial cacao, and Bánh Bō Nuông), incense and sage burning, and cuddle time with husband and dogs. My husband made improvements to the boat, and did some lawn work.

We went out for breakfast Sunday morning, and our favorite breakfast café in Granby is now serving UH-mazing vegan blueberry pancakes! I pretty much ate until I was unconscious. The boat stayed docked, which didn’t make us happy, but summer has just begun. Despite the weather, it was a peaceful weekend at home.

The pandan paste finally arrived, so we made Bánh Bō Nuông and shared it with friends.

This weekend’s author of choice was Christy Brown. And this is my old, dogeared copy of Brown’s ‘Down All the Days’. I think it dates to my grad school days.

Our favorite café is now serving vegan breakfast! Here’s their blueberry pancakes, which are YUM. I was a brat and asked them to consider adding banana pancakes to the menu.

Aside from the Summer Mindfulness Retreat at the Buddhist Faith Fellowship I registered for last week, I found a three-month course of study held at Wesleyan’s College of East Asian Studies that I also registered for yesterday. ‘Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path for the 21st Century’ will be taught by Senpai Daishin in the Main Practice Room at the Sangha. There are two course texts and some short assignments. Looking forward to both!

In the garden, the yellow squash plants and the tomatoes have both put on flowers. It’s right on time for the squash and early for the tomatoes. The arugula suddenly bloomed, so now it’s too bitter to eat raw. This week, I’ll pull it and plant again. It takes no time for arugula to grow.

We harvested a ton of young kale over the weekend, gave some to neighbors, and sautéed some for ourselves. We also bushwhacked through the lettuce bed and filled three gallon-sized bags. Our peaches are getting bigger, but some are dropping to the ground. I’m keeping an eye on them. We have some early raspberries on the raspberry bushes. Both potted banana trees are putting out keikis. The jalapeno plants have flower buds, and the lemon tree has lots of flower buds.

Today is June 19. June is in full swing, and despite the overabundance of rain, the gardens are doing well. If it were to dry out and get warmer, the gardens would be doing great. By next month, we’ll have plenty of summer squash, jalapenos, some tomatoes (early!), lots of herbs, and possibly some early produce from our Asian garden.

The solstice is in a few days. Then, summer begins in earnest. This is what we’ve all been waiting for.

Live in peace.

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