The Simple Life - Saving Seeds
- The Simple Life
Funny how we wish it would rain (for several weeks, now) and as
soon as it starts raining we wish it away. The grass is growing
again and we are glad that the earth in our area has received some
relief from the recent drought. Here in Michigan, we had a near
miss with frost, but it will be here before we know it. You can
prolong your harvest and colorful fall flowers by covering them with
old blankets, tarps, plastic, or buckets. From the garden you can
harvest all that is possible. Tomato plants that have lots of green
tomatoes left can be pulled from the garden and hung in a shed or
garage until a hard freeze. This allows tomatoes to gradually
continue to turn red. I have seen them last until Thanksgiving this
Flowers can also be potted and brought in on frosty nights,
until real freezing weather settles in. Sometimes we long for
warmer areas where we don't have to worry about such things as
frost, but in reality, we would just be trading one set of problems
Now that we have had some rain here, and it looks like thanks
to the "BIG" hurricane most of the east of our country will be
getting some rain, we can get lots of weeds pulled from the garden.
* * *
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your
eyes off the goal." ~~Hannah More (1745-1833)
"If something appears to be a block, then it can be a stepping
stone. All the force that is pulling against you can be changed to
lift you." ~~John-Roger
Anytime now will be time for collecting those seeds for next
year's plants. I once thought that all garden plants had to come
from a store somewhere. But then it happened. I long ago noticed
the baby plants of some hollyhocks that just wouldn't quit. Since
it was one of my first learning experiences, I also was disappointed
to learn that hollyhocks do not bloom until the second year. But
with all those little hollyhock plants, there WAS hope. In the next
few years, I began to recognize other baby plants - cleome,
petunia, alyssum, violets, pansies, black eyed susan, and lots
more. This year I learned baby delphinium and balloonflower
seedlings. Once you learn what the babies look like, you won't be
thinking they are weeds, and this is a good way to make your garden
bigger and even more colorful. Some plants can still be started by
seed this year for next years blooms.
Ever seen an unhappy retired person? Sometimes yes, but,
fortunately, there are more happy retired folks around than ever.
It's easy to spot these people, because they have such huge grins.
Where do you find them? At hospitals, schools, Walmart, libraries,
museums, campgrounds, and wherever there are needs. In fact, happy
retired people usually don't even have the word "retired" in their
vocabulary. And that is exactly what makes them so happy. They
haven't given up on life - not by a long shot. They are surrounded
by children and adults who are really glad they are there. They
offer a helping hand to a child who needs help with reading, a dish
for a funeral, or a hand on a shoulder to someone who needs
Some volunteer jobs, such as Hospice, are not so easy. But
you will never hear a complaint from a one of them. Retirement can
be a hard time for many. A feeling of not being needed can creep in
and make people miserable until they decide that life isn't over
yet. I have met retired people who are busier, and happier, than
ever. They have found a wonderful way to get back into life.
Whether it's knitting caps for newborns, making quilts for a
shelter, baking cookies for the youth group at church, or coaching a
youth hockey team - the sky is the limit. Sometimes the "older
folks" are the best at what they do. They should be, they have the
most experience. If you need a job done, ask a "retired person".
Just don't forget to pay them in the way that works best, a thanks,
a handshake, a pat on the back, and a smile never hurts either!
"We are to others what shines from the outside; but we really
are is what shines from the inside." ~~ Patty Frisko
Very Simple Tapioca Pudding
A healthy snack for evening that my husband Richard and I enjoy
is tapioca pudding. Tapioca is a good way of having milk, without
too much sugar. I used to think tapioca came in a box like jello,
but browsing in a natural food store once, I saw that it came in
bulk and it was much cheaper! There really is nothing hard about
making your own tapioca.
3 T tapioca (there are different sizes, pearl being the largest)
2 3/4 c milk
1/3 c sugar
1 t vanilla
Place milk and tapioca in a saucepan. Let it set for at least 15
minutes - for pearl, at least an hour - the longer the better. This
allows the tapioca to absorb the moisture and will keep the pudding
from being runny. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well, and
bring to a boil. Boil for 1 2 minutes. Cool and serve. Serves 2-
Caramel Apple Cake
At the picnic I mentioned last week, my friend Betty Bobon
brought a yummy caramel apple cake that was so good we all wanted
the recipe. The recipe was so easy we didn't have to even write it
down. (That's my kind of recipe!) In fact it was so good, it's hard
to believe it was so easy.
1 yellow cake mix
1 can apple pie filling
1/2 c applesauce
Mix and bake in a 9 x 13 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Frost
with your favorite caramel frosting. Cream cheese frosting would be
great, or vanilla. You can experiment with different cake mix
flavors and different pie fillings and find your favorite
combinations. This is a very moist cake that won't last long at
your fall party!
* * *
Two things that parents need to be in a family are the
recreation directors and they need to be courageous. If you provide
lots of good family activities, have lots of fun going on with your
kids, be affectionate, your kids will need a peer group much less.
Find other like-minded families to do fun things with. Keeping your
kids busy keeps them out of trouble. And (this is where the courage
part comes in) don't be afraid to say "no" when you have to.
Teenagers are sometimes nothing more than large 3 year olds who
throw bigger tantrums when they don't get their way. If we teach
them at young ages that they don't get what they want by throwing a
tantrum, they will be easier teens to have around. It's nice to get
along great with our kids, but not at the expense of their safety.
I can clearly remember being in the grocery store with one of
my children who asked for a certain box of cereal a full price box
of cereal a real no-no in our family. But no matter the whining
and nagging, that cereal did not go home with us. Kids are great at
emotional blackmail, they just didn't know there was a term for it!
They pretend to hate us sometimes, even though they well know that
we give them everything they need, and then some. If our children
genuinely need something, that's different. And I can assure you
that that cereal did come home with us on another date when it was
on sale. Funny, I don't remember that child saying "Gee, mom,
thanks! I knew you would get it for me when the price was right,"
but I bet it tasted just as good maybe better!
The worst thing we can do as parents of teens is throw up our
hands and say "they are going to do it anyway." Our teens need us
to say no. When we say yes, we need to know when, where, how late,
and who. Dr. Kevin Leman says "be your child's excuse." His kids
knew that they could always use him as their excuse "Dad said no",
when they didn't really want to go, but felt too much pressure from
their peers to tell them no themselves. Hang in there. Say yes when
you can, but the day will come when we realize that our kids are
responsible enough to start using their own "No's".
* * *
Keeping things simple,