Thursday, April 23, 2009

Berry Patch

I made my own little berry patch today!

Last year, my Mom bought me several raspberry sticks for my birthday. That's exactly what they looked like... remember? Well, this year they are back and green and even a few little extra sprouts came up. They are in their own little garden in the corner of the yard that used to have some sort of big bush or small tree in it due to my forensic root studies. :D I've been trying to decide who was worthy to share a spot with my raspberries... I decided today!

When we bought this house, we found random strawberry plants in a couple of different places. There is a railroad tie-bordered garden along the short fence in the back yard that has heirloom lilacs in it. Last year they were just green leaves and this year they have little purple buds! Underneath the lilacs, there was a sprawling strawberry patch that had "run" amok. Above all this is the oak tree, showering leaves over all. I don't know if you've ever tried to rake leaves out of strawberries, but it's not very easy. They are low to the ground and have big leaves and would rather "hatch" the oak leaves rather than let them be combed out. The other unexpected place we found strawberries was a little strip along the edge of the grass right next to the deck. It's hard to mow around them and these strawberries don't grow very well in the near-constant shade and they weren't very happy. Not to mention the wasps that built a nest in the deck right above them and dined on them until their nest was pretty much pink!

Anyway, today I armed myself with various shovels, a kneeling pad, gardening gloves and a wheelbarrow and I trekked all of those strawberries to the other side of the yard and put them at the raspberries' feet. :) Now they will be easier to put a net over to keep the birdies from eating them and they will be much happier in the more temperate climate on that end of the yard. It is supposed to rain this weekend, which is perfect for new little transplants. In fact, it was sunny all day today (Yippee!) but right as I finished patting them all into the ground and watering them in, the clouds shaded the sun so they could rest and relax in their new bed! ;)

I am beyond excited!! I can hardly wait for all that photosynthesis to take place and to get to eat strawberries and maybe even raspberries!!

I've even gotten so brave that I want to try growing choke cherries, but I haven't decided if they'll go there by the berries or somewhere else. My Grandma Lee had raspberries and made THE BEST jam in the world! She would freeze the berries and then can jam in the winter when a hot kitchen is more desirable. :D I remember while I was at Ricks, she gave me a freezer container of raspberries and I made it last all year! I would just go dig out a scoop and savor it every once in a while. :D The choke cherries are for her, too! She made this amazing choke cherry syrup. Oh man, was it good! And you know something funny? My Dad just told me that the syrup was an accident! It was meant to be jam, but after that, they'd always ask her to make it into syrup. :D Lucky me, because I love it as syrup!! :D We had strawberries in Rose Park and truth be told, that was the first gardening experience I ever had. Mom and Dad would make little sections of garden for each one of us and we could plant whatever we wanted. :D I want to do that for my kids someday. In case you haven't already guessed, I am a very sentimental gardener, just like my Mom! ;)

Just for the record, the picture doesn't do them justice and I promise to take more when they've been there for a little while. They're just tired from their long journey in the wheelbarrow! ;)

This is a silly picture of Emily who didn't help at all, but who is still cute! :D You'll notice her backpack is still on... we led her out with her eyes closed to see what we had done while she was at school. Gracie helped quite a bit and Landon we mostly chased out of the berry patch! :D

Monday, April 06, 2009

I am Significant

Sometime last year, I had a few unfilled moments and after reading my friend and first Ricks roomie Nancy's blog, I clicked on some of her friends' blogs just for fun. :) I had a few grins and went about not really thinking about it. A couple of weeks later, Nancy put a plea out on her blog for a sister of a friend who had been in a plane crash. I went back to a blog I had chanced upon and a very strong connection formed for me and a lot of other people to this beautiful family. CJane's sister NieNie and her husband had been in a plane crash in Arizona. I have a hard time describing how much their story has touched me. I always think about leaving comments and I never do because I never know what to say. That's what this post is for me... just working through it and attempting to say what's in my heart.

The biggest chord that this touches in me is that of a mom not being able to take care of her children. This is a fear of mine. My family is so unique with all that Becca brings and I get in this place where I think that I am the only one that can do it. It's what keeps me from hiring babysitters and what makes me apologize over and over and over if I leave them with family overnight. Most of this stems from how high maintenance I know they all can be. Becca is 9 and has to be changed often if you want the surface underneath her to stay dry... and she isn't able to tell you what she needs, you just have to know... and her feeding tube can make you feel squeamish and... and... and... My death or incapacitation (not being able to take care of them) are great fears of mine. Sisters and family stepped in to watch over and nurture NieNie's children while she healed. I know that people would do that for me, but I know I would apologize if they had to. Over and over. Its being difficult is not something I shy away from and I embrace it and love it even! But the thought of someone else having to shoulder that burden is hard for me to think about. Am I selfish? Why am I not able to lean on others, but would gladly take upon me any burden of theirs? If any of my nieces and nephews got to come live with me, we would have so much fun! And I'm sure there would be stressful times, but honestly, there is so much love in my heart for them, it would be far more blessing than trial. Why can't I afford others that feeling?

Another reason NieNie's story touches me so much is the healing process she is going through. I have tried to imagine waking up in a hospital bed and being told all that was needed to be told and then having such a painful process to go through. Physical pain of healing skin and surgeries and physical therapy. Spiritual pain of watching others do for my family things I cannot yet do. I get this super-human feeling when it comes to how strong I think I am. I am tough because I have to be and I do what needs to be done regardless of what I'm thinking or feeling or doing at the moment. How would it be if that were taken away from me in a very tangible way? How could I relinquish my duties?

When I was young, there was a woman in my ward who was diagnosed with cancer. She was a very controlling person and was very adamant that this would not happen to her... she would not let it. Her husband would not marry anyone else and this just would. not. happen. Well, it did very slowly take her life away. I have reflected on this often to mean that Heavenly Father is in charge. The trials that He sends us are for reasons that He alone knows sometimes. I don't want to be someone who is ungrateful enough not to learn from my trials and mistakes. But it is so hard to let go of that control. I want to learn how before I am forced to. I think that, in its very core, is why I love to read and cry along with NieNie and CJane. I want to learn how to be humble and grateful. I love basking in her strength and the strength that emanates from their whole family taking care of each other. I want to celebrate being able to pick up a toddler and walk around the house because I do that and it IS very significant. I want to have more meaning in a whispered phrase because it IS significant that I get to do that.

My life seems more significant when I invest my heart in their story. Thank you NieNie for the tears and the lessons I learn from you. I am so glad that you get to be there for your family. I am so happy that you have such a wonderful bond with your husband and that it wasn't taken away, only strengthened. Thank you for sharing all of your moments, great and small, with the rest of us because it means a lot to me. And even though you don't know me, that IS very significant!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Random Questions

Be tagged and do this on your own blog if you wanna! ;)

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops? No

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters? I usually avoid them, truthfully, but yeah, pretty much. :)

3. When's the last time you've been sledding? at least 10 years ago.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone? Only hubby... I will re-tuck in a kid and talk and sing to them if they need it, but they sleep in their own beds. Firm rule. :D

5. Do you believe in ghosts? to a degree

6. Do you consider yourself creative? Depending on the medium, yes. :) Fabric... big yes. Writing... yes. Paper arts... not so much.

6. Do you think O.J. killed his wife? Oh yes!

7. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie? Hmmm, as artists, Jennifer Aniston makes more movies that I am willing to watch and she seems like a genuinely nice person... I guess I'd choose A over B.

8. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics? Yes, I'm very much for voting for the person and not the party and so I try to research things out before I vote.

9. Do you know how to play poker? Nope and don't care if I ever do.

10. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? No, I don't think so. My body shuts down if I try to stay up even one night all the way through... I've never been able to make it.

11. What's your favorite commercial? I loved the rubberband man one for Office Max with the guy who ended up being on "My name is Earl." :D Still makes me jive. :D I also, guiltily used to love the Joe Boxer commercials. I CANNOT watch that one and not crack up laughing! Apparently I have a thing for dancing black men. :D I'm sorry you had to find this out about me, Mom! :D

12. Who was your first love? Well, honestly, if we're going for really, really first here I'm sure it would be Big Bird. If you're going for really real honest, healthy and returned love, that would be Geoff. :) Awwww!

13. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run the red light? Probably not. I would, however, back up over the sensor again so that it would turn green! :D

14. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you? I don't think so. I mean, I don't tell other people's stuff unless they say it's okay, but I think there are people that know pretty much everything about me... if they put it all together anyway. :D

15. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees? Let's see... those are somewhere East of here, right? :D

16. Have you ever been Ice Skating? Yes at Ricks with my fabulous, Olympic ceremonies skating roommate. :D It was fun because she had fun. :)

17. How often do you remember your dreams? A lot and I always have super weird ones when I'm pregnant!

18. What's the one thing on your mind? Well, after looking it up on youtube, those commercials are now stuck in my head! :D

19. Do you always wear your seat belt? YES. Always.

20. What talent do you wish you had? Playing the piano.

21. Do you like Sushi? I have no idea.

22. What do you wear to bed? Pajama pants and a tee shirt... sometimes socks, sometimes not.

23. Do you truly hate anyone? No, it's not worth the canquer on my own soul.

24. If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would it be? Religiously... Elder Eyring. Worldly... Anne Hathaway.

25. Do you know anyone in jail? Yes.

26. What food do you find disgusting? Mushy asparagus.

27. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back? Maybe in retrospect I have shared a funny anecdote or two with my husband about people in my past, but I would never be malicious. Mostly because I would hate it if other people talked that way about me.

28. Have you ever been punched in the face? Yes, actually. I was working at a haunted house for a service club at Ricks. A couple of guys (who turned out to be drunk) came through a room and the one says to his friend, "Watch this!" and lays back and slugs me. I was completely shocked and had a incapacitating headache the next day.

29. Do you believe in angels and demons? Yes.