A Breath of Fresh Air

Those who know and love me understand that I am going to let them down at the holidays. It’s just not my thing – not that I haven’t tried. Not that I haven’t tried to do it up, that is, not not that I haven’t tried to let folks down. It’s inevitable that I let you down, because even though I try, I’m not that good at doing it up. Huh?

Point is, I suck at holidays regardless of my intention, but I’m a spectacular holiday voyeur. If I were to do Valentine’s Day for all ya’ll, I’d give you the gift of clean, fresh air. TreeHugger just posted a list of the plants I would consider for you. How cute is this Philodendron oxycardium (in lay terms, heartleaf philodendron)? It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day and a good air filterer to boot (whatever “to boot” means). Incidentally, you can buy a whole book, How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office, on this subject. Maybe you could even pair the plant and book.*

I’m sure that I’m breaking some bloggy rule by reposting for a third year in a row an excerpt from a Valentine’s Day past post, but no one is paying attention anyway. This year, I think I might rather like some Garbage Soup.


February 12, 2007

Please don’t go out on Valentine’s Day and drop a chunk of change on flowers that were coated in pesticides, kept in a green house, and shipped across the country. What is that supposed to say? “I love you so muchly that I’m giving you something unnaturally begotten. Also, in its making a part of the world was poisoned. Lastly, even with the aspirin dissolving in the water, it’s doomed to die leaving nothing to show for the cash. THIS is the symbol of my love for you.” Please. Save your money.**

I am compelled to request that you forget the expensive roses! Instead, share this recipe for Garbage Soup, from Dining with the Desert Museum* (with editorial). It would be good for your wallet, the environment, and an honest statement about the longevity of love.

water (the elixir of life)
vegetable waste (eggplant sounds like elegant fare for a Valentine dinner, but gack!)
coffee grounds (from the pot you shared over morning breath)
eggshells (you already walked on them so they are nicely crushed)
other similar kitchen waste (so not the shit you sling at each other like monkeys after the kids are in bed)
not grease (this is about living plants not the yummy goodness of slaughtered lambs)

DIRECTIONS: Chop waste in food processor or blender with equal parts water. Mix it up until it’s as convoluted as your fights. Bury soup around outer edges of plants along side the hatchet.

Commercial fertilizers can kill beneficial microorganisms in the soil. This recipe for plants can be used in lieu of those fertilizers. Can you feel the love?


* Did I mention I am a sell-out, er, Amazon Associate?

** Populist, perhaps you could illuminate for us the reasons why guys buy temporary tokens of their love as you told me outright last year, “Your understanding about why men give Valentine’s gifts is obviously different from mine.” I’m willing to wager dollar to dime even in this recession that you know a damn sight more on the subject than I do. What would Grace think?

2 thoughts on “A Breath of Fresh Air

  1. populistpugilist says:

    I think I probably was trying to be simultaneously crass, coy and clever. I usually at least bat .333.

    To the extent I understand Grace, I think she measures a gift, if at all, by the quality of its intent. I doubt she’s thrilled if she gets useless and/or irresponsible crap (incl. hothouse flowers), regardless of the motivation, but I’d imagine she weighs the value of making a point to the giver against nurturing scarce instances of genuine affection and actual generosity. I don’t speak for her, but my impression is that at the core she’s all about attention to particulars, fine distinctions and nuanced judgment.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Gee. You make me feel lame for giving pet rocks. I should have given the plants I am constantly rooting. I even have 7 of the heartleaf ones rooting right now. at least Alaina’s teacher liked hers…Am I the only person without a real blog?


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