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The Simple Life - Saving Seeds

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  • Sheryl Simons
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 16, 2003
      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
      way.
      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
      for another.
      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




      Simple Seeds
      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.

      Simple Retirement

      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
      comforting.
      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
      1 egg

      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-
      3.

      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
      2 eggs

      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,
      Sheryl
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