~in the garden~

Gardening and I have a very complicated relationship.

I think it stems (no pun intended) from back in my childhood where I would read books that had a gardening theme to them. You know, the ones where a little girl and/or boy get out their hoe, and in the course of one page, hoe up and weed the entire garden area. Then they get out their little packets of seeds, plant them, and in about three pages, they have gorgeous plants, and are harvesting delicious squash, and corn, and whatever else they had planted.

It was all so simple and easy.

Going into gardening with this preconceived notion in the back of my mind, I was not prepared for the reality.

Hoeing up unbroken ground is a pain and extremely time-consuming. There’s a reason tillers were invented.

It takes more than three pages to get from seeds to crop producing plants. Patience may be a virtue but it is one that I am still greatly lacking.

There are bugs, and caterpillars and all manner of gross, disgusting things that like to eat and kill plants. Mind you, mainly YOUR plants. The one’s you’ve worked so hard to plant. Do they bother the weeds? nah.

And THEN there’s the different dirt deficiencies, and diseases. The unseen things that make your plants suddenly start having yellowed leaves, or brown spots, or who knows what else.AND, let’s not even mention the weeds.  Weeding, for most people is, well, weeding. Not so for me. It’s more along the line of hacking through the jungle in inner Africa. Yeah, it’s that bad.  “Does anybody have a safari outfit I could barrow?”

By about middle to late July I’m asking myself “Why?” WHY am I trying to garden? What’s the point? After all, we do live in the day and age of farmer’s markets and produce sections. But whatever the why’s, each spring, it happens again. I start planting a garden. When asked why, I can’t explain. But whatever the reason, from the looks of things, as long as I have dirt and a few seeds or plants, every spring I will yet again endeavor to be a gardener.

And  I am proud to say, after many weeks, I picked my first yellow squash of the year a little while back. Who cares that our neighbor has been giving us squash by the bucket-full for weeks already. I will not let that deflect from my accomplishment.

I have reached the pinnacle of success.

Thank you all very much. You can look for me in your local farmer’s market any day now.

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~july 4th~

Happy Day-After-4th-of-July!  Hope everyone’s July 4th’s were lovely!

Sometimes, all of a sudden on a holiday, I get the urge to bake and decorate something holiday-ish, but normally I’m busy cleaning, and getting the “real” food ready that I don’t have time, but this year, since we were having a potluck picnic, there wasn’t much preparation that I had to do, so I made sugar cookies.

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And see? they’re even in the shape of a flag! Adorable! (sorry. just a little bit excited there)

In case you’re in doubt, they were delicious.

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…and a couple more pictures just for good measure

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The cookie recipe I used came from Here  and the icing is from Here

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Can we just take a moment to admire the cuteness?

So, you’re asking, why are these cookies such a big deal to me?? I think it’s because I see things like this, fun, simple things to do to celebrate different holidays, but so often I get so caught up in going over-board with house cleaning and other things like that, that I don’t take the time to be creative and make a little something cute and festive. I see these cookies as a step in the right direction. Learning, (slowly, oh so slowly) to take a step back, leave the laundry in the baskets, and the house the way it is, and take time to do something special.

I had never done the smooth icing for cookies like this before, and while I stayed really simple, didn’t go off trying to do any pretty designs or anything, it was a lot of fun. I hope to experiment some more with it in the future.

Here are a few more pictures from our day (don’t worry, it’s not more cookie pictures. ;-D )

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Happy Summer!

~A