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This morning was gorgeous, sunny, hot in the sun, cool in the shade. We had lunch and walked across the street to the flower show in the garden and surprisingly, it wasn’t crowded at all. Every year I look at all the beautiful flowers and terracotta pots and ceramics and I want ALL of it, but honestly, our little garden can barely hold what it already has. I almost broke down and got a few gourds and a pumpkin and a few ears of decorative..as I write this I realize I grew up calling it Indian Corn, which I feel can’t possibly be correct anymore…ok, it’s Flint Corn – I looked it up. I envisioned a beautiful display by our front door complete with the bale of hay we got to top the grass seed in the spring. Then, I thought the same amount of money could probably be a plane ticket for a mini vacation next month and I said screw it- I’d just be tossing them in a few weeks anyway.

Now – plants that produce something and are useful are on another level, and so I relented when Rami got incredibly excited and bought us one of the creepiest trees I’ve ever seen.

This type of citrus tree “may have been brought to China from India by Buddhist monks and cultivated in ancient China” and is called the Buddha’s Hand because it resembles a hand with closed fingers, but I’d honestly say it looks more like a Grinch hand before ripening. There’s no real pulp inside, so no creepy lemonade, but we’ll have lemon zest forever, Rami is planning on making limoncello and infusing vodka and doing other mixology inventions, and it apparently smells amazing – so you can put it in cleaning products, and even use it in the laundry? I’ll get back to you on that one.

We also got an extremely thorny type of lime tree that has leaves that have the same taste and smell as the fruits. So – lemons and limes forever! Right in our backyard. I just have to get over the look of the hands though, and the fact that they’re called hands – the more proper name for the plant is fingered citron which helps nothing.

While I was outside in the yard with Luna this afternoon, my neighbor came home and noticed the tree – precariously placed on top of the AC unit so Luna wouldn’t eat it before we planted it.

“Ah! You guys got a Buddha’s Hand!” he exclaimed excitedly. I was surprised he knew it, but coming from New England, I realize now I basically knew nothing about fruit other than apples before I moved here.

“Yup – creeps me out,” I said as I threw the ball again for Luna.

“Eugh, can you imagine if they moved, climbed up onto the window at night-”

“Nooooo!” I wailed, and he cackled. But honestly, it would be horrifying. So now I’ll probably have plant nightmares. This certainly wasn’t what I was expecting to pick up at the Autumn festival, but as I repeatedly say, you really can’t plan anything while living in this crazy place – and I honestly like it that way most of the time. It gives life the chance to surprise you – today it gave me creepy lemons, and now we’re going to make Limoncello.

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