Coconut connection

21 09 2009

A week or so ago there was a spot on the radio about the latest thing – bottled coconut water. Two companies fiercely competing for shelf space in NYC.

This summer we bought a coconut – it was Robin’s choice, actually (“any fruit you want”, I said). We shared the liquid amongst ourselves. Like so many things in life, it came as happiness and sadness. It was fun to see how much was in there, and the taste was sweet and unusual. It was a nice memory for me, remembering the few times we had them as a kid, my father showing me how to strike a Phillips screwdriver into one of the three depressions in the skin, telling me of collecting coconuts along the street in San Diego. Everyone was savoring their individual servings when tragedy struck, a small puddle on the driveway had just been in James’ glass. Small things loom big in a child’s life, and he could barely keep from sobbing. Even after we all shared some of ours with him, he was still sad; it made it all seem more real. The white meat inside, so surprising, was less of a hit.

The same day as the radio spot, I looked for anything on the web about my friend Melanie Faith’s poetry chapbook. I found a review, which reviewed several works, including Paul Hostovsky’s Bending the Notes, which has this poem as its first

Bear with me I
want to tell you
something about
it’s hard to get at
but the thing is
I wasn’t looking
I was looking
somewhere else
when my son found it
in the fruit section
and came running
holding it out
in his small hands
asking me what
it was and could we
keep it it only
cost 99 cents
hairy and brown
hard as a rock
and something swishing
around inside
and what on earth
and where on earth
and this was happiness
this little ball
of interest beating
inside his chest
this interestedness
beaming out
from his face pleading
and because I wasn’t
happy I said
to put it back
because I didn’t want it
because we didn’t need it
and because he was happy
he started to cry
right there in aisle
five so when we
got home we
put it in the middle
of the kitchen table
and sat on either
side of it and began
to consider how
to get inside of it


Poem: “Coconut” by Paul Hostovsky from Bird in the Hand. © Grayson Books. Copied
from (buy now)


21 09 2009

I’m thinking about getting one of these motion sensing sprinklers to keep the deer away from my roses next spring – and from decimating the Nasturtiums as well. Seems to work fairly well for deer, some say.

But not for all animals, says this review from

does not work, June 29, 2009We installed it about a month ago. Now the geese walk real slow so that the motion beams are not tripped and they walk right up to the back patio to eat my grass and leave me little “presents” all in my yard. This morning, one goose was actually drinking the water sprayed from the Havahart 5265 Spray Away Motion Activated Water Repellent. They have gotten used to the spray and some even wait out the 8 second delay or get behind the chairs on my porch to wait out the 2 second spray then continue to eat and **** in my yard. They even circumvent the whole system. (We installed 2) We have even moved the system around to fool them which has not worked either. Thanks but no thanks. I would not recommend this as now I have more than 40 geese take up residence since it was installed.

Well, that’s OK – I plan to get the other brand anyway! 😉

Watermelon Rind Preserves

16 09 2009

When I first heard of watermelon rind preserves, in an ancient (to my young eyes) Pogo comic strip, the idea seemed miraculous. It seemed like soup from a stone – too good to be true. And what quantities of watermelon rind I had so thoughtlessly discarded! Texas watermelons – Hempstead, Texas – are gourds almost beyond belief, so I imagined gallons of sweet preserves.
This year, for the first time, I made them! But they aren’t what I thought they would be. At least, this recipe wasn’t. It was a pickle, actually – an Indian-style pickle, with ginger and lemon peel and allspice berries and cloves. It needed to mellow for a month or so in a jar – now it’s been three, so I had some today as a relish for some hot dogs – yum! Many years ago I made a green tomato chutney that was a surprise hit as a hot dog relish. This isn’t quite as perfect, but it is still a good match. Just imagine – soup from a stone. I mean, just imagine – you can eat those rinds!
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