I've lost 7 pounds in the last 2 weeks without even trying. Go ahead, ask me. What's my secret?
Moving and building a new plot.
Carrying box after box, piece of furniture after other piece of furniture, and rearranging everything at least 5 times in the new place is a great workout. But even more work is tearing a plot out of the dead grass and hardpan. After cutting up the soil in a 15 foot square, I'm getting pretty good at wielding a pickax. Too bad my more tender sentiments won't let me apply those pickax skills to the gophers that are the cause of so much work. This area, on the edge of wildlands, is riddled with gophers, and this little ranchito of ours is no exception. So, I'm cutting out the dead sod, shoveling up tons of soil, laying down mesh wire to keep the buggers from the roots of my babies, and shoveling the soil with added compost back over the wire. All this for just a little plot in which to start my garden: I've got almost a quarter acre left to figure out how to protect!
I'm sore and exhausted, but you won't catch me complaining, for most of the time nowadays, I'm just grinning. I have space that is mine to plant. I have skies to grow under. I have room in which to dream.
Every day at work, I look forward to being able to come home—not because I don't like my job for (as you know) I do really, really love my job—but because I am so excited about this new home and all my free mental space goes towards putting it together. Today seemed particularly long, partly because I don't feel very well and partly because the weekend is so close; so, when I did get to come home, imagine my delight when I saw my husband out in the yard, sweating away in the 98 degree heat, pulling out an evil, poisonous oleander unfortunately growing smack-dab-in-the-middle of prime garden space.
As much as ECG likes the fact that I garden and am working more and more towards self-sufficiency, in general, the garden is not a place that draws him the way it does me. For him to choose to sweat the oleander out of her hole in this heat is further proof of his overall amazing awesomeness, as if I did not have enough evidence. This man deserved something refreshing, cold, and worthy of the occasion, so fresh squozen Watermelon Limeade it was.
I have no real recipe for this, but quickly I'll tell you how to make an overheated homo sapien happy after unpleasant manual labor. Chop up half a small watermelon into large chunks, and using your hands, squeeze the fruit over a strainer over a bowl. You will get juice on the kitchen counter, but deal with it, because the overheated homo sapien is much more important than a few spatters. With either your hands or a juicer, squeeze the juice of 4 limes and pour the lime juice in the bowl with the watermelon juice. Add simple syrup (if you haven't begun before this, now is a good time to begin keeping a jar of simple syrup—one part water to one part sugar, heated until dissolved and then cooled—in the refrigerator at all times) to taste, stir, and pour into a big glass you've kept in the freezer until just this occasion.
Pour yourself a glass too, and look up: isn't it just beautiful?