The Dream of the Fish and the Chips

Last night, I dreamed that Clif and I were making fish and chips. We seemed to be in the hall of the Methodist Church in town. You know how dreams are. People kept coming for our fish and chips, and I was afraid we were going to run out. But lo and behold! Suddenly there was plenty, and when our friends Alice and Joel came, we had enough to give them. I have no idea what the heck such a dream could mean, but it makes me giggle just to think about it.

Now on to other matters in the hinterland.

My birthday is right around the corner—in September—but my friend Barbara will be home in Pennsylvania by then. So we got together for tea and cookies, and she gave me a lovely tea towel.

“I thought ofΒ  you when I saw it,” she said.

“Oh, it’s so lovely. I don’t want to use it,” I replied.

Barbara gave me a stern look. “I gave the towel to you to be used.”

She’s right, of course. What’s the sense of having the towel and not using it? So here it is, covering rising bread dough, and this is how the tea towelΒ  will be used from now on. But the tea towel is pretty, isn’t it? Wouldn’t you hate to use it?

And speaking of pretty…I am slowly, slowly coming around to begonias. They’re bright, they do well in part sun, part shade, which is the best my yard gets, and they last straight through until fall. In short, they are troopers. (I hope you noticed the little fairy hovering over them.)

Readers might recall that this was the year I succumbed to hostas. I had lost far too many flowers in the dry shade that is the reality of much of my yard. Finally I snapped, digging like a fiend, splitting up hostas I already had, and planting them wherever there was a hole left by a dead plant. And there were holes aplenty. Now, in late summer, I see the wisdom of all that mad activity in the spring. The front yard actually looks pretty good. There are no masses of flowers, but that’s pretty much true for the entire season. Most important, there are no ugly bare patches.

In the backyard, a plant has crept onto the patio, and Clif thinks it might be an evil creature from Doctor Who. But Clif is wrong. Instead, it is a cucumber, exploring and expanding. So far, I’ve only gotten a few cucumbers. I hope I get more before the frost comes.

This last shot might seem a little odd. This really is our kitchen wastebasket, and there is nothing distinguished about it. I included the wastebasket because in an effort to reduce trash and my carbon footprint, I had set a modest goal for myself. Instead of a bag of trash a week, I resolved to have a bag of trash every other week. I am happy to report that this goal has been met, chiefly by buying more in bulk, cooking more from scratch, and being careful about the packaged goods I do buy.

My next goal? A bag of trash every third week. That one will be harder to achieve.

Stay tuned!


41 thoughts on “The Dream of the Fish and the Chips”

  1. I have often thought that I’d like a bumper sticker that said “Id Rather Be Reading.” (I’ve seen I’d rather be – dancing, skiing, fishing – but never reading) Your lovely towel is the closest I’ve seen to the sentiment.

    Your garden looks wonderful! I love seeing the results of all that spring transplanting.

    And – wow – you decreased your trash by half. That is encouraging, indeed! Thank you for the inspiration, and a big thank you from Mother Earth, as well.

  2. Hostas are great for shade (so long as you aren’t plagued with slugs or deer πŸ˜‰ ) as are begonias, which are reliable for color.
    I’d be likely to use the tea towel for show, with the one I used right along side of it. Definitely made for you!
    Have you heard of Zero-Waste Girl? She’s a hero, leader for the rest of us.

    1. I had never heard of Zero-Waste Girl, and I watched the video of her and how little trash she produces. Wowsah! She’s something else. In central Maine, we don’t have as many options as she does in New York. But I’m going to keep on reducing! Might never get to zero waste, but I think low waste is possible. Thanks for sending the link.

      1. She sure is! I doubt that I will ever be able to get to her level, but I am going to do my best to reduce our carbon footprint, which feels as big as a yeti’s.

  3. Kudos to you on one bag of trash for two weeks! Wish we all could achieve that goal. You front yard is lovely and I’ve never known you to not have plenty of food to share. You have a gift for planning and hospitality.

  4. Fish and chips and feeding lots of people – love that image. Sounds like your writing and books are food for the soul (sole?!).
    Your garden is looking fabulous, especially knowing it spends so much time under a deep blanket of snow.
    Well done on the waste front – it is a challenge that we can all have a go at.

  5. What a lovely tea towel Laurie – it looks like you have found a great way to use it. Your yard is looking extra happy with a fairy watching over the flowers and bravo with continuing to be green! πŸ™‚πŸ’–πŸ§šβ€ xxx

  6. That is a funny dream! Though now you have me thinking of a big platter of fish and chips ( or maybe clams), which we have not gone out and had yet this summer! Maybe we are looking in the wrong places for where our meal awaits!

  7. Love seafood, and my consumption increases between the week after Labor Day and the week before Memorial Day – when the tourists are not here in such volumes. I love begonias and always have them in my shade garden including in hanging pots. As you said, they do well the entire season. I work on reducing my trash and have made strides, but no way could I go weeks. Applause to you.

    1. I, too, love seafood. Fortunately, central Maine does not get tourists in any numbers. As for reducing trash…it is a lot of work. Funny, isn’t it, how using less requires more work?

      1. I still remember back in the 90’s when recycling was just getting going. A coworker who was older than I was being encouraged by his teen daughters to recycle at home. He looked at me one day and said, I can’t believe they have me washing my trash. I still think about that when I’m cleaning plastic and tin to recycle.

  8. I love your Tea towel about reading .. I felt like that especially when my children were small and there was no time. Well done on reducing your trash … I’m trying to reducing packaging & plastic. .. we’ve become so used to these things.

    1. Thanks so much. You certainly got that right about becoming used to things. The supermarket is full to the brim with packaging. Some of it is necessary, but some of it is not. Anyway, just one senior citizen from Maine trying to do her bit to live more sustainably.

  9. Absolutely love the tea towel and the thought of fresh bread and fish & chips! Your yard and flowers look wonderful and your hosta photo has convinced me to spend some time splitting my hostas.

  10. Such a wonderful post with so much to inspire! Growing green to going green with a dream about a miracle…fish and chips and then a loaf under a wonderful gift…Such a sweet fairy in the garden! Lovely, positive ways to create a better earth and fuller life!

  11. I weave a lot of kitchen towels as gifts and it makes me crazy when people say they are too pretty to use! We use other pretty things–our clothing, dishes, furniture, etc. Use your towel and enjoy it every time you touch it!!

  12. Derrick is right – your dream does sound biblical. I’d be delighted to use the tea towel. Several of mine have had such a long, useful life that their patterns are no longer what they were, but I love those ones the most.

    1. I have gotten to the age where I want to save things for good. Don’t know why. Perhaps we become more careful as we get older? Anyway, my friend gave me the towel to use, and using it I am. πŸ˜‰

      1. I’m sure we do. The two oldest tea towels were my Dad’s choices, with flower identifications on them. They are wonderfully soft and absorbent. That’s why I use them well beyond respectability.

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