If we get hit with a 3 foot snow storm or a pandemic, I’m your girl. But last night my oldest son surprised us with a visit from his new girlfriend, a lovely Ukrainian economics professor whom I had never met. I was woefully unprepared. I had a laundry basket in the kitchen, my cross stitch project on the living room sofa, nothing to eat but chicken and biscuits and I could have really used a shower. They showed up laden with lovely gifts and fresh as daisies. I could have smacked him for not calling. Thank goodness for the Creamery. They went there for dinner and brought back a pie for dessert. We spent a very nice evening discussing international economies and customs while V… (I can’t remember her name) apologized for her English. She’s fluent in three languages and is apologizing for what she refers to as primitive sentence structure.

The visit came just when I was planning to download yesterday’s pictures. I’ll try to get to it later as I want to show off my citrus trees and my mushroom culture. The trees have a lot of fruit. I was expecting them to be nothing but conversation pieces, novelty items but those little sticks that Neddy sent me for Mother’s Day 5 years ago are producing real food. They spend the summer outside and sit in front of the glass sliders to the deck in the winter. I give them a mist of water each day and a bit of fertilizer once a month, water once or twice a week and I get lemons, limes and little oranges for my trouble. I got Bruce a portabellas mushroom kit for Christmas and we have mushrooms. Again, a real harvest. They’re still small now but I’m betting on several pounds out of this one box. The sawdust will go in the garden and the plastic bag dome can be reused so there is little waste. This is my kind of gift.

I have a busy day ahead. A friend gave me a Pilates session as a gift so I’m headed there this morning then returning home to pack up for the NOFA Conference in the morning. I’ll be brining a notebook and pencil for John Jeavon’s keynote. I could use some inspiration. I think I’m going to can stew beef in red wine sauce for my demonstration and open a can when we get home as it will be late and we’ll be starving by then. I do love fast food.

Speaking of canning. I visited a website called markdown.com yesterday. They have one deal each day and keep it running until the items are gone. They had Tattler lids yesterday. I got 100 lids and rings for 40% off and no shipping. It came to about $87.00. That’s a lot fo money but for something that can be used shared, bartered or given as gifts, I think it’s a deal. I think the deal is still running if you’re interested.

I spent a long time on phone yesterday making medical appointments. By the end of February we will all be caught up with eye doctor, dentists, physicals and couple of little medical issues will be addressed. I think that medical preparedness is so important. All things are easier if you feel well.