The Payoff

All the hours of hard work putting in the gardens begins to really payoff this time of year.

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Summer is in all it’s glory and produce abounds not just in my back yard but on every corner especially when you live in a valley full of farms! (I still prefer to grow my own.)

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What a beautiful wonderful time of year. From the glorious summer sunrise to the cool evening fires under the stars, summer can leave us feeling refreshed and full of life. From ocean trips

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to mountain hikes

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and everything in between, summer just makes me happy!

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I want to enjoy every beautiful moment of it because just as the summer season will change all to quickly and the cool winds of fall will bring the changing colors, so it is with life. In a few short weeks I will move my second child off to college. I will feel those cool winds of change yet again and wipe away the bitter sweet tears of sadness and joy as I wish my son luck as he takes the first big step into adulthood.

And just like that I will see the result of all that hard work of parenting as that now young man walks off talking and laughing with a new group of friends. Brimming with excitement at the thought of independence and dreams to be pursued. Like the beautiful brilliant colors of summer turning into the cooler deeper colors of fall, I will remember that each season of life brings with it something just as wonderful as the last.

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Just some growing things and a summer drink that made me smile…

This time of summer the gardens start to actually be worth looking at. Lots of weeding and watering reaps pretty blooms and nice green plants to not only look pretty in my yard but taste amazing too.

So here’s a toast with my delicious and light summer drink to real food and starry summer nights around the fire watching for shooting stars. (If your feeling a little more adult add a splash of coconut rum too!)

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The crooked, scraggly looking rows are at least producing something a little prettier to look at than two weeks ago.

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The potatoes are doing their best to survive the war the Colorado potato beetles always wage on them.

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The popcorn is even “popping” up.

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The peas are snappin’ and the flowers are bloomin’. And all of it makes me smile.

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The sunflowers are stretching and the tomatoes are soon to be blushing! My gardens pale in comparison to my husbands. But I win the award for best tasting produce. Corn and soybeans aren’t nearly as tasty as all the colorful, delicious things I grow.

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Wishing you all happy summer days and peaceful summer nights!

Monday Morning Treasures…

The weekends always fly by with a flurry of family time and activities. I treasure those times so much and will miss them terribly when the kids are gone. The last kid is driving and life is changing at a pace faster than I approve of. When you are raising your kids and have a house full of toys and games and noise and spend your free time running to sports and playdates it seems like it will always just be that way. Then you blink and they are moving out and the house is quiet and life is a little slower and quieter. It’s a bit of a sad time in ways but it’s also a very exciting time.

Time to find my interests again, time to build a stronger relationship with the love of my life and form a new friendship and connection that is hard to do when the focus is the kids. We are planning exciting trips and trying new things together as friends and not just as parents and I love it. This stage of life has it’s stresses like any other but it is also one of my favorites, but that isn’t saying much I have felt that way about every single “stage” so far!

Monday morning’s are often a time of reflection for me. The kids are at school, my husband is at work and I am cleaning up the piles of laundry and dishes from the weekend and putting things back in order. I often use Monday mornings to think about life, the things I want to work on and the things I am so happy with. I rejoice in the positive and give thanks for it and I recognize the negative and am thankful for the challenges it presents to me.

This time of year especially I look forward to getting up early before it gets too warm and checking out my gardens and flowers. This morning was one of my favorite times in late spring, it’s the first “picking” and I look forward to it every single year. When those first tiny baby spinach leaves are ready and those crisp new romaine stalks are big enough to finally make a salad out of. And of course there is nothing like the taste of the first cut of broccoli. I even found a pretty little radish. Little treasures with big taste and the satisfaction that I grew it and it’s real, whole food! Yum. So, here’s to growing kids and growing plants! blog 5-21

Look for your own little treasures and be thankful for another Monday morning!

 

HAPPY 40TH TO ME!

I had no idea how fast life was going to fly by but it sure is and with every year comes more challenges but also more wisdom. Today I celebrate 40 years! Some easy some hard, but all wonderful!

I married young, became a mom young and learned a lot of lessons very young! And I am so glad I did. My kids are almost grown and the joy of sharing in seeing them become young adults and start their own lives is the most exciting thing I have ever experienced.

The older I get the more I realize life is about the simple things, the real things. Time together with people you love, laughter over stupid things, crying happy tears, appreciating nature and for me personally growing things! Recently we had to take a tree down that was too close to the house (so not as fun as growing something but it had to be done) and as we were cutting up the wood I found this birch tree had a heart. See its the simple things that make me happy. BIRCH HEART

I am so excited to finally see some things starting to grow and have it feel a little more spring like here in good old PA!

I am happy to be alive and healthy and celebrating 40 years on this amazing earth. I have a wonderful husband that has made my life complete, incredible kids and wake up to fresh country air every morning. Life is good and I look forward to seeing what the next 40 holds. Feeling thankful today.

Here are some random pictures of my favorite red maple,IMG_5871

blueberry plants

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strawberry plants

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apple trees

and the beginnings of the potato patch

and a goofy dog and cat that just made me happy, so I hope they make you smile too.

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Happy Monday to you all and wishing you all a wonderful week.

 

Let it grow

There just may be enough signs of spring for me to finally start believing it might actually come to stay!

Wouldn’t that be wonderful! Growing things never ceases to amaze me and bring me joy every single year. I never get tired of sowing seeds and anxiously waiting for the first little sprouts to pop up through the soil. SPROUTS 2Never gets old. I will never stop feeling my heart leap at the first sight of the buds coming out on the trees on the mountain behind my house. I will never get bored of things slowly turning from brown and barren to a whole rainbow of brilliant and beautiful colors! RED BUD TREE

Being outside in the fresh air and sunshine is the best therapy in the world. Take a deep breath and let the stress go. Appreciate the simple things maybe its just a quick chat with your neighbors. And it’s ok if more of my neighbors are cows rather than people, they are very friendly and will listen without saying a word. cow neighbors

Enjoy this spring or by the looks of it maybe even summer like week we are about to have. Look for beauty everywhere sometimes we are so busy we forget to stop and enjoy simple things like a fresh bouquet of flowers. (That’s why I buy myself flowers any chance I get.)tulips Sometimes beauty is right beside us outside our car window, like this gorgeous magnolia tree I spotted while I was waiting at a red light. Happy Tuesday, enjoy every moment!MAGNOLIA TREE

 

Simply Complex

via Daily Prompt: Elaborate

Sometimes we make the mistake of calling things simple that really are anything but simple. Like nature for example, its easy to say lets get back to the simple things in life like enjoying nature or growing a garden or even farming. Sustainable living and all that fun “simple” stuff.

But nature, the natural, beautiful, amazing world we live in is anything but simple. Taking a walk in the woods is about simplicity but the growing changing forest full of wild life and amazing diverse plant life is hardly simple. Growing a garden may sound simple but its a ton of work and sweat, it is simply amazing picking your own food and eating it though. Farming looks quaint and beautiful and a lot of it us but there is a lot of back breaking work and loss and frustration in it too.

More often than not, the simple things are quite elaborate. Enjoy them, appreciate them!