Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

Upper Kern River

The five little things that made my week…

1. Getting older gets better and better every year. For my birthmonth, we spent the week camping, floating, and relaxing on Upper Kern River. We came home yesterday, only to unpack from the trip and repack for the second installment of birthmonth celebrations: road tripping through the Arizona desert, into New Mexico (where we’ve booked a stay in an Earthship — more to come on that!), across the Rockies to Colorado, and over the Colorado Plateau in Utah before making our way home to Los Angeles again. This will be Sprout’s longest road trip yet, but if past experience is any indication, she will be such a curious and happy passenger. Follow along with us on Instagram!

Floating on the Kern River

2. Not even three months old yet, and Sprout just checked another adventure off her life list: floating on the river! (Floating in place, that is — our innertube was tied off a tree.) She slept most of the time (thanks to the gentle rocking of the ripples) but when she was awake, she was all smiles.

Two-year-old tomato plant

3. I’d once read that tomato plants are tender perennials, but by the time winter rolls around, my own plants are far too sad and gangly to keep around. Well, this is what a two-year-old tomato plant looks like. I thought it was going to die at least three times; I even turned off the irrigation in that bed over winter. Every time I remembered to pull it out, it would grow a few new shoots and unveil a few more flowers, so I’d prune it and leave it to see what would happen. It’s like the Charlie Brown tomato plant, and while it’s not the most attractive plant in the garden, its tomato game is strong this summer!

Banana stalk laden with fruit

4. Sometimes I envy those picture-perfect gardens where every plant is perfectly trellised and every bed is perfectly mulched. Our garden, like most days, looks like chaos. We have several banana trees fruiting right now, and each stalk is so heavily laden with bananas, we have to prop them up with wooden planks. They’re everywhere. I suppose it’s a good problem to have!

Kaffir (makrut) lime tree

5. Very excited about my new container citrus, a kaffir (makrut) lime tree. It’s unique in that the fragrant leaves are used more often in cooking, especially Southeast Asian cooking. I don’t hear much about the fruits themselves, but I see a lot of experimentation in my kitchen this summer.

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »