I picked even the tiny flower buds off the Hibiscus sabdariffa -- Roselle, the hibiscus of hibiscus tea -- and boiled down the smaller pods and buds to make hibiscus syrup. Not bad -- i think there's a slight vegetal note that probably would be absent if i hadn't included petals. It has a beautiful ruby color.
I found yards of white and black seam binding at the thrift store. I've bought spoonflower printed fleece to make lap blankets for Mom - just a little more dignified than the towels Dad uses.
The lemon grass i potted to bring inside seems to be doing well. The holy basil lost many leaves but i think three of the four plants have new growth. We'll see if it will thrive. There's only one place in the house with sunlight. This summer i found a console table that gets the plants to the level of the window and clears the air vent with plenty of room. I assembled it today and put the plants on it. I think i'll try starting some winter plant seeds inside as well, and then move those to the greenhouse, and then eventually set out.
This morning's depressions, written out in hopes of exorcising them:
* Mom is so clearly tired of Dad's cooking. Dad isn't a bundle of energy whom we can encourage to stretch his cooking skills. He's never been an adventurous eater: Mom has. But he's sort of the same things all the time. Sister L and i are strategizing. I could bring more lunches. We can suggest some easy broadening of his limits. Sister L will cook some meals with Mom from her cookbooks. I've ordered $100 of collapsable silicone freezer-to-oven containers.
* Of course, this makes me think about our own dining which isn't dramatically diverse, either, but at least we make up for it by buying some prepped things that spread the flavors out. And i do think we use some different seasonings for different meals. Dad is onion, celery, bell pepper, salt, pepper all the time.
* Christine and her elephants.
* The fig tree's frozen leaves. And the sad not yet ripe figs.
Lunch and poking at the internet has helped perk me up. Christine took a nap, too, and hopefully the elephants are at bay.