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Friday, May 5, 2017

Grubbing raspberries with homemade margaritas for my reward

After my morning yoga class, I made another foray to one of our local nurseries, then it was home to the work in the garden.  After I'd planted my new treasures, I had to turn to grubbing raspberries.

Until the last couple of years, I'd not had much experience with growing raspberries.  When we grew them at our Dunn County place, the Gumbo Lily Ranch, I was busy with my career and raising my children, and raspberries are my husband's favorite, so he was in charge of these.  He likes to say if there would only be one fruit, it would be, in his view, raspberries.  We planted these the very first spring we were living in Red Oak House, and I had no idea that these spread by suckers (I guess I thought these spread by the billions of tiny seeds found on the fruit).  My sister Beckie Walby has her patch in a much more intelligent location, against her house, bordered by grass.  Ours are along a side fence and, in front of these is a perennial bed.  So, off I go to grub the suckers out of my perennial bed with my spade.

Ours produce fruit in late summer and early fall.  My sister's come in earlier in the summer.  This spring we've added a raspberry bed on the east side of the house and here we planted two different kinds, one a golden raspberry from our dear friends Jan and David Swenson's patch and the other from my sisters' patch (in the hopes that we will extend our raspberry harvest).  I hope my neighbor doesn't cuss at me when those suckers grow up in his grass as much as I cuss the ones that pop up here and there in my perennial bed.

A few days ago I planted a shrub rose, yellow, my favorite color.  I haven't had a shrub rose for several years now and visiting my friend Rhoda Hilden reminded me how much I miss their beauty.  Stay tuned for photos.

I think yellow is such a happy color, and many of my flowers are yellow.  As I described in my blog talking about our household decor and our acquisition of one of our Navajo rugs, the yellow one, I am immensely cheered by the color yellow.  Close your eyes just one moment and think of a lemon.  Sunflowers are, as I'm seeing on various knick-knacks, "sunshine on a stem".   But, I assure you, gentle reader, yellow is mixed in both inside and out of the house with many other splendid colors.

Today is Cinco de Mayo, and as I worked in the warm sunshine, I kept in my mind the delicious homemade margaritas that Beckie is making us for a Mexican feast at her house.  Everyone (of legal age, of course) loves these, and I know for her they are a labor of love.  If I'm going to spend Cinco de Mayo anywhere but in Mexico or the American Southwest, it should probably be at Walbys, where the food is always delicious and the margaritas are perfection.

When I was a kid living in El Paso, Texas (my father was stationed at Fort Bliss Army Base), we would have pinatas for our birthday parties and one of my mother's best friend, Mercedes, was Hispanic.  I loved going to her house in a beautiful part of the city (we were in a nice but ordinary suburban part of the city).  In school, we all studied Spanish as it was one of our classes along with math, science, English, and social studies.  Sadly, once we moved to North Dakota, where Spanish was not taught at our local school, my Spanish skills slipped to almost nil.  Now we joke that at least we know "uno cerveza", an essential skill (look it up), however, I do wish I could speak Spanish as I did as a child.  I made a stab at it this winter but failed miserably.

As my husband and I were winding down this day's work in the garden, I announced that tomorrow morning for the first time this year, I'm having coffee and breakfast on our patio.  He heartily agreed that this was an excellent plan and so we shall.

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