Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

March 31, 2021
by jenniferpuryear

Halfinated and It Feels So Good

“All is swell here, I’m halfinated,” my friend Don texted last week – and I think he’s come up with the cleverest word I’ve heard in a long time.

They’re giving out shots like candy in Georgia where my daughters live. Both girls – in their 20s – are now halfinated. As are more and more people I know.

My friend Carrington came over a few days ago and we were talking about these things – all these first shots. It means the return of micro-tenderness, she suggests. All the small, kind, daily interactions we’ve missed so much. The opposite of micro-aggression, she says. My heart lifts.

My heart – along with the spring wildlings in my yard.

Please come with me on a tour of hope in bloom…

Let’s begin with the first wild volunteer we see – Italian Arum, native of the Mediterranean, otherwise known as “Lords and Ladies.” I wonder about their journey from there to here.


To get anywhere in my yard, we’ll walk through Chickweed – dense, thick, soft, with the tiniest white blooms you’ve ever seen – so named because chickens like it. Apparently it’s a lot like arugula.

I don’t have chickens; I have only read that it’s favored by chickens. I have not yet tried it in a salad myself.

A tiny forest of Little-leaf Buttercup flourishes at the base of the old Hackberry. This flower is also known as Little Crowsfoot.

I suppose from there we should visit the place where I buried a robin this week, among the Lenten roses, watered with tears before the storms. That’s a story for another day.

My husband thinks I am a crazy person. This is possibly true.

Now we travel over hill and dale to see three exceptional specimens, each of them found in only one place in my yard…

Butterweed, a gentle giant, nearly a foot tall…

Okay maybe more like 8-10 inches

Crowsbane (false garlic)…

Theory: people naming weeds centuries ago had a lot of experience with crows

And Fairy Spud, which has tuberous roots that taste like chestnuts when roasted (or so I’m told, by the PictureThis app).

Small lovelies flourish everywhere in the yard…

Purple and common henbit…

Common henbit


And wild strawberry.

Let’s finish, my friend, at my favorite place of all – in the sea of field balm. Worries are soothed, and cares are eased, and tenderness is the salt in the sea.


*     *     *

March 26, 2021
by jenniferpuryear

Dead and Buried

I was already feeling bad about uprooting the orange and black pansies – flourishing in their pots since October – for the sole reason that they look like Halloween, not Spring.“I’m sorry,” I whispered to them. “You have been very good pansies.”

I felt like crying. What is wrong with me, I thought. 

“I’ll meet you in the dirt,” I whispered, but they just kept their stoic Mona Lisa smiles as I wrenched them out of the pot.

(To be continued, in days to come… in the story, “Daisy and The Day of the Dead”)

In the meanwhile, if you are interested in thinking about the interconnectedness of a pansy – and you – and me, please read Eckhart Tolle’s “The New Earth” with me…

I began it on Audible on a recent drive. It’s a bit woo-woo. But it’s given me a lot to think about.