Friday, June 19, 2009

Still here, I promise

Hi~~ This is me, waving at you!

I've not fallen into a crack in the road - just hit a speed bump that slowed me down a little. :D

Remember when I posted about the volunteer potatoes ~ the ones that came up from last year? Well, I needed to mulch the garden and also plant things that needed to go in, so I dug up the volunteers. 12 pounds of potatoes - all because during last year's harvest, some potatoes got left behind. That's frugal gardening, I do believe!!
I'll be back posting soon ~ thanks for checking in

Monday, June 1, 2009

Independence Day Challenge Week 5

Raspberries blooming.

1) Plant something:
Okay, I had to re-plant the yellow & butternut squash and the loofa. The ones I started indoors didn't survive the transplant, even though they were hardened off. The ones coming up from seed look 1000% stronger anyway! I also had to re-plant 2 tomatoes that didn't survive. I'm still not done planting tomatoes or peppers because this new garden spot is just not cooperating. Also, another row of radishes (what's the secret to getting them to form a bulb?), lettuce, spinach and my 3rd and final attempt at peas. Plus, sunflowers, watermelon and cantaloupe.

Someday, I'll have a camera that takes amazing shots. Until then, please admire this blurry jar of jam :D

2) Harvest something:
Just a few handfuls of lettuce and all the rhubarb (about 1.5 pounds). OH! And, the meat birds!! 55 pounds of chicken. Jerry, his dad and the boys processed the 10 birds in about 2 hours. Boys said it was gross, nasty and smelly. Jerry said it wasn't too bad. His dad didn't say much, other than my MIL said he better NOT bring home a chicken. Ok, more for us! I refrained from showing you a before and after. I LOVE before & after photos, but I know that not everyone is fond of home grown meat. Seriously though, it looks just like supermarket chicken.

3) Preserve Something
I went to the Farmer's Market in search of strawberries, and I found the last of the harvest. $4 a quart. I really wanted to make jam this year, so I forked over $8, happily. They were so good!! I stopped by Dillon's on the way home and found the above strawberries on clearance for $.79 a pound. I bought 14 pounds. They ended up in a strawberry rhubarb crumble, strawberry rhubarb pie and JAM, glorious, ruby red jam. My children have already tackled the first jar and declare it's the best jam ever. I know it wasn't local (strawberries were grown in the U.S.) but I saw the bargain and had to have it.

4) Prep Something
Remember that giant, 5' x 5' compost bin I had? In the middle of the garden? Well, I was soooo tired of looking at it smack in the middle of the garden. It was too big and hard to reach in and turn the compost. Jerry was convinced that it could be cut down and repurposed. He spent an afternoon chopping thru the free pallets and re-making them into this wonderful, 2 holer!! WHOOT!! I'm so excited!! I've now got hinged doors!! That makes it so easy to pop open, and flip the compost from one bin to another. We still have the old, black composter, sans lid to hold the excess. It's now hidden behind the shed. In it's old place, I planted watermelon. Hope it's not too fertile there. We shall see. :D

5) Cook Something:
Making jam was new to me. First year to harvest and cook the rhubarb. Surprisingly, it was so simple. Why was I worried? The jam set up nicely too! And the crumble? It didn't last long. It was SO GOOD! We are having the pie tonight. It may be all we eat, but that's how we roll. :D

6) Manage Reserves:
Still washing jars in anticipation of more canning sessions. Added more toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant & razors to the stockpile. Stockpiling is so new to me... it feels weird to have excess stuff. But, I'm learning that combining coupons with sales really DOES save a lot of money.

Knee-high by the 4th of July? Yep, I think it will be!

7) Work on Local Food Systems:
Planted extra Row for the Hungry. Donated some tomato plants to community garden.

Chooks in the garden, eating bugs, earning their keep. In a few weeks, I hope to have the garden fenced in so that the free rangers will stop eating the good stuff that I'm trying to grow. Seriously, we've gotten ONE strawberry ~ they've devoured the rest. They'll have 1/2 acre to roam and I do have 2 raised beds full of greens for them that they haven't discovered yet.

Etched In Stone

Yesterday, in my fine town, a man walked in to a church and shot another man, in the forehead. He killed a husband, a father of 4 and a grandfather of 10. He killed Dr. George Tiller. An abortion doctor.

No matter which side of the issue you are, this post isn't open to debate.

It is, however, my story. A deeply personal one.

Have you ever heard the theory that we are all born with a chalkboard? Everytime something is said to you, good or bad, it gets recorded. Sometimes, the writing fades over time if you don't hear it enough. Other times, what's said over and over eventually gets etched in, deeper and deeper until it makes you who you are.

I believe this. I've struggled for years to erase things on my slate that others thought about me and said to me, things I know to be untrue. But, there are some things that are etched so deeply, there isn't enough spackle to fill in the fissures.

On an ordinary summer day, when I was nine, my mother turned to me and casually said,

"Did you know that you were supposed to be aborted?"

My earth stopped and I was in some kind of a vacuum. What? What did she say?

"Yes," she went on, "your dad only wanted one child, so when he found out I was pregnant with you, he wanted to have you aborted, but I said no."

She went on to say that there was a doctor who was in agreement. Supposedly there was a sonogram showing me as having no arms or legs - just a torso and head. This was used to try to convince her that an abortion was a good idea.

Knowing the narcissist that is my mother, I wonder if she said it for shock factor (probably) or to get me to hate my birth father (probably), to garner sympathy (of course) or to hurt me.

I didn't know how to respond. I mean, I was 9 and I just heard that I was unwanted and should have been dead. What do you say to that?!?!

Over the years, she has said it a few more times, each time, forgetting that she'd already told me. Everytime I heard it, it etched deeper, and deeper. She even said it to me during my pregnancies.

Had I been aborted, I would not be here. My five wonderful, delightful, blessings from God would not be here.

When I hear the word Abortion, it etches this even deeper into my soul.

I wasn't wanted. I wasn't supposed to be alive. The pregnancy was to have been terminated. I was to have been terminated. Eliminated.


I believe that every human is on earth for a reason. It's up to each person to make their own choices and discover what they need to. I'm not here to judge. What you choose is your business.

I just wonder, who was eliminated, by choice? What futures will never be?

I don't wish to open this up to discussion or debate. Yesterday, my world was a firestorm of personal opinions and debates and I sat by, quietly watching, listening and praying.

All I ask, is if you have people in your life that you care about, look deep into their eyes and see what has been written on their slate. See what's been etched and what you can help to erase. It's never too late to change the slate.