...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Accidental Carrots

Today I was working in my yard when I noticed some frothy white blossoms growing out of the middle of a patch of Black Eyed Susans.

Now, I LOOOOOVE Black Eyed Susans.  I tried planting them at our old house and I never could get them to grow so I'm kinda thrilled that they are thriving here.

And that's why I wanted to get rid of whatever intruder was edging its way into their territory.

So I followed the stem of the invader down to the ground and used a shovel to loosen the dirt so I'd get the whole root but not dig up my happy, yellow, beauties.

And I got the whole thing.  Right down to the root.

This was the root.

Yup.  It was a carrot.  (I've never had a carrot get to flower before so I had NO idea that this is what they looked like when they do.)

Unbeknownst to me, underneath the canopy of Black Eyed Susan growth, there was a family of carrots happily thriving in the shadows.

I was clueless (um, what does that say about my gardening prowess).  I have been unwittingly caring for carrots all summer and until now I was in the dark about the whole thing (sneaky little creatures).

But, hey, that's a happy accident.  I've never had much luck growing carrots on purpose, who knew I was much more skilled at growing them by mistake.

We ended up with a good little haul of yummy orange friends and they made a delicious addition to our dinner.  Some people around here whined about the unexpected vegetable, but I told them proudly this is something we grew in our garden...even if we didn't know we were doing it at the time.

I'm sure there's an analogy in there somewhere.

Sometimes life gives you weeds, and sometimes it gives you carrots.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nose bopping and other frustrations in marriage

My husband and I had a fight today.

Ok, maybe fight is a strong word.  But we couldn't agree and we both ended up mad and it wasn't exactly pretty.

It all happened on an aisle in Lowes.  We have been building a back yard shed (more on that another day) and we were planning to put some shelving up and we both had different ideas on how that should be done.

We were actually trying to each grasp the other's point of view in the beginning, but we weren't seeing eye to eye and we weren't understanding completely what the other person thought and it blossomed into hurt feelings and frustration.  Josh headed off to get other items and I stalked off to the paint section to look at color samples for paint that we don't need (I mean, there's always something that needs painting, right?).

We were both steaming.

And, to be honest, sometimes that happens.

Our marriage is good.  Like really really good.

Even when I am THE MOST frustrated at Josh he is still my favorite person on the planet (I just want to bop him in the nose to help him see straight sometimes).

But that's just it, we are both people.  We both have ideas and opinions, we both make mistakes, we both get impatient and grumpy sometimes, and sometimes we are selfish and stubborn (I'm pretty sure stubborn came on my warning label at birth).  It's not something to be proud of, but it's just a fact.

Two people living together, going through the ups and downs of life, dealing with kids and houses and cars and the day to day grind of being a human are not going to get along ALL of the time.  They are going to disagree.  They are going to dislike something the other person says or does.  They are going to have to compromise.  Each one is going to get their own way sometimes, and each one is going to have to give in to the other person's way sometimes.  That's the way it is.

And once in a while, it is good for me to be reminded that my very own happily ever after is not a collage of exclusively perfect, pastel colored moments.  There are some dark strokes in there, but that is part of what gives the picture its depth if we stick with it and see it through.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it's good to argue -- but what is good is realizing that not every moment will be perfect and that one dark corner is not worth giving up the beauty of the whole creation.

So back to Lowes, I waited for Josh at the front of the store (after briefly considering the long walk home but falling prey to the allure of air conditioning).  He eventually came up and gently suggested we try the shelving dilemma again.

We returned to the scene of the crime and then we tossed aside our two original ideas and happened on a third option that was completely different than anything we had considered before, but it turned out to be just the solution we needed.

That's generally the way it goes.

Troubles come.  Arguments happen sometimes.  But we're in it for the long haul.  That's something I know I can rely on and there is great comfort in that.

And even when I really want to bop him on the nose, I'm exceptionally grateful he got stuck with me as a partner.  Overall, we make a pretty good team.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Raspberries-R-Us (yippee!!)

Tis the season for raspberries.


And for the first time in forever (yup, I hear a lot of "Frozen" so I totally sang that line in my head while I typed) I have more raspberries than I know what to do with.

Ok, actually, not more than I know what to do with, but lots more than I'm used to having.

So hooray!

Here we are all clean and cute and so cool we're ready for the freezer.

In the past, I have had to rely on my friendly, neighborhood berry dealer to help me get my fix.

She did even donate some starter plants to my cause a couple of years ago, but they weren't producing much more than a handful by the time we moved out of that home (hopefully the new owners are happily indulging).

However, the previous owners of our new (to us) house had the foresight to realize I am a raspberry lover and so they kindly planted and nurtured raspberries.  I think that was pretty kind (I haven't met them, but they sound like they are really great people...and planting a mess of raspberries is pretty good proof if you ask me).

Our biggest berry patch all barren of red fruit.

Anyway, the point is, now I have enough berries to munch on by the handful, make jam for the year, AND to freeze berries to use in recipes for a while (not to mention all the berries that got gobbled up by my dog and my chickens...rotten creatures!).  My kids have been picking every few days and I even managed to convince the neighbor girls that picking berries is fun (don't worry, I paid them in plump fruit).

A glut of raspberries is a great problem to have.

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