Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

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.


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  1. Loved getting the names of a few of my round up victims…. feeling a little regretful. Xo

  2. Your words and photos combined with this beautiful choir- what a lovely way to start this dreary day!

  3. Impactful- stunning—. Worthy—-file me under C for crazy

  4. Micro-beauty (with thanks to Carrington!)

  5. I love the way you view the world, Jennifer, finding beauty in things most of us overlook.

  6. I’m so glad to get some names of common wildflowers! Chickweed is also taking over my yard and flower beds, and I can tell you from experience that chickens do indeed like it. It’s not at all like arugula though—sweeter, not bitter or spicy!

    • Thank you for confirmation on the chicken front, Caroline! If it ever gets sparse at your house please bring your chickens over. It is really profuse over here (to say the least!) xoxo

  7. PS. I love the word “halfinated”! Will definitely be using it!

  8. A healing balm for today. I have always loved that spiritual and this version is especially restorative! Thank you also for the image of balm..

  9. “When life is not coming up roses, look to the weeds and find the beauty hidden within them”. L.F.Young wrote that, but I think it could have been you, Jen. Keep looking for the beauty and keep sharing it with us. xo

  10. Your post made my heart swell and I felt a little teary – just feeling joy to see people coming out along with the flowers and birds.

  11. What a wonderful piece! Thank you, Jennifer.

  12. Just what I needed for Holy Week Jennifer…just loved the choir’s song! Thank you for this…and love the word hafinated!

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