Friday, April 27, 2012

That moment when..

She looks at me with a furrowed brow and quizzical look.  I can see the thoughts: "is this okay?  Is it safe?" run across her face.

She's searching my face for the answer.  I send her a smile.
Her smile is now beaming back at me, eyes twinkling and a happy smiling mouth full of baby teeth.

Those moments, one of the best feelings ever.

Monday, April 16, 2012

'Round here

Family Garden
I grew up less than five miles from where we bought our first house.  Growing up, my grandparents lived in the house next door (later moving in with my parents for their care).  In our rural area clusters of homes are separated by large farms and the towns consist of local businesses sprinkled with franchises.  After any introduction with a "local", the question "Well who's your Daddy?" is never far behind.  "Oh! Your one of Donnie/Anne's babies." (There are four of us).  "Yeah, I knew your Granddaddy too, he used to farm __so and so's__ land..." or "Yeah, I went to church with your Grandma was a real sweetheart, loved to laugh..."
Start 'em young
I don't consider it prying, although I can see how some people might think it's being nosey.  Around here it's just another aspect of southern living. 
Getting chicken out of the smoker
Throughout my childhood I heard stories of how my grandparents made their own mattresses stuffed with straw, washed their clothes in the nearest creek, and when the river was too high to cross to get to the one room school, older kids would wade across carrying the younger ones on their shoulders.  Work started before dawn and the day ended shortly after supper.  I considered these stories of an era past, true accounts of hard work, times, and living.

Dad and Corey installing our wood stove

My experience living in this small southern community:  Church parking lots packed on Sundays.  Men break their backs working hard for their families and women are the glue that hold it all together.  It's okay to tell the neighbors you'll be out of town for the weekend, as a matter of fact, tell our neighbors we are out for the weekend so they can watch the house.  I have had the same best friend since kindergarten and our kids have regular play dates.  When driving around you'll notice that you will get a wave or head nod from almost everyone.  The bag boys at our grocery store carry out the groceries and neatly pack them away in your car.  We grow our own vegetables and what we don't eat we can away for the winter.  Our freezer is stocked with locally grown and locally butchered meat.  It's a down home, swinging screen door, sweet tea kind of feeling that you can easily take for granted having lived it your whole life.

Playing in leaves with Daddy
Four wheeling baby
When I was in high school I would roll my eyes at "Drive Your Tractor to School Day" (and I'm not talking about lawn mowers). But now that I'm older, wiser, married, and a parent I find a lot of comfort in that southern charm.  I feel safe here.  I'm happy to raise our kids here.  As they say, home is where the heart is and there's no place like it.  Maybe I'm turning into an old hick.  Maybe I've been one my entire life and I'm just getting around to accepting it, either way is just fine by me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hey last frost, hurry up!

Just look at these guys! So ready to get their roots in some freshly laid soil.  I am also very ready to plant them and reclaim my crafting/sewing area (the dining room table).
So far:
I planted the seeds for the california wonder peppers too deep and it took them a while to surface.
My sweet peas have grown into one huge tangled vining mess, I failed to stake them in time.
The raised beds are packed full of fresh dirt!
The seedlings are crowded, but they are growing!  I plan on letting them get a little more established and then I'll replant them individually to harden before their final resting place in the garden. (I'm going to have an absurd amount of tomato plants, I'm planning on giving a lot of them away).
So far, we'll have cherry tomatoes, rutger tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, oh-boy tomatoes, sweet peas, and california wonder peppers.  Also on the agenda are cucumbers, sunflowers, zucchini,  and yellow squash.  Still contemplating adding to this list but I'm waiting for our garden center to get more seeds.
All said, I love seeing all of the progress!

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