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  • Archive for the ‘Memes’ Category

    It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these, last August, in fact!
    This will be one part good things, one part things I’m reading/link-ups, and maybe one small rant.

    1. Blackberry Jam! Last summer I made my first ever batch of blackberry jam. It was a half batch and the jars lasted all year after I had canned them. This was awesome! About a month ago I was going to open the last jar to use up before the blackberries came in but I was dismayed to see that the jar had come unsealed! So sad! I opened it and it smelled fine but I wasn’t about to test it and end up with botulism or something so into the trash can it went. Booo! Well, now that we’re fully into a new blackberry season with blackberries out our ears, I made some jam one evening after work and canned it. The good thing about canning the jam is that it only takes 5-10 minutes for 1/2 pints (one site said 5, another said 10, so I split it and did 8). The recipe is super simple, it was the one I used last year, and I knew I could do it one evening. Now I have another 11 jars of jam! But, it looks like we have plenty of blackberries to do another round of jam so I may make another batch this weekend so we will have some jars to share with friends and family. Since I’m on a jam kick, I was flipping through a jams and preserves cookbook Chris bought years ago and I saw a recipe for strawberry jam. Strawberries are in season at the store so I might make some of that, to!
    2. The evening light. I’ve always been a sucker for noticing the light, how it falls during different points of the day and year. I even noticed this as a kid. Inside the house around 7pm the light pours into the living room from the front door and staircase portal window such that it really reminds me of Samson. He used to lay in a puddle on the floor during the evenings, soaking up the sunshine, or sit on the stairs and look out into the garden and yard. I miss that little kitty. Outside the light is spectacular when the sun starts going down behind the trees across the street and I’m always looking up at the trees above the garden to see how the light is coming through the leaves. And of course the light on the side yard garden during that time is my favorite!
    3. Return to sprinkler season! I pulled out the sprinkler the other night for Forest to have his first foray into playing in the water for the summer. We started it rather late last year so he didn’t get to play as much as he could have so I am trying to make sure he gets a good amount of sprinkler in this summer! I need to pull the little pool out for him this weekend so we can keep it out, too.
    4. Quiet time in the garden. Usually Forest is around me when I’m in the garden and sometimes it can be difficult to get a decent chunk of time in to pull weeds or just inspect and look so if I can get a bit of time to myself where Forest is with Chris, then it is really nice to just sit and pull weeds or quietly look around. Right now a lot of the frogs start their chorus at a particular time so I love listening for them, or maybe the birds fly over head. Last night I was in the flower beds pulling basket grass and saw something that looked like a weird snail—turned out to be a leopard frog. Yes, your thinking how does she get from snail to frog? Well, I was looking at the frog’s eyeball and it kind of threw me and as I was reaching to inspect I focused in and saw the frog was half covered by some mulch and was just chilling. The frog stayed there while I continued to weed around him—having a little companion to enjoy the garden time was pleasant!
    5. A few links for reading:
      +Is the U.S. Education System Producing a Society of “Smart Fools”? via Scientific American.
      +How to Raise a Feminist Son via The New York Times. Something I think about a lot!
      +The Myth of the Kindly General Lee via The Atlantic. This isn’t quite a new discussion but seems to be more on the forefront given today’s political climate. Chris was mentioning it to me the other day an on-going discussion about the removal of certain Confederate statues across the south and because he saw something about a Sam Houston statue being protested. We had a mild debate about it but I didn’t know enough to have a huge opinion one way or the other; if anything I was definitely on the side of not having schools named after Confederate generals/soldiers/”heroes”. But this definitely gives a little more sway to that thought. I’m not for eliminating the history of certain historical figures of question, but it does bear some thought to figure out where they should stand in our cultural memory and how we should choose to figure out where they stand in significance as subjects such as statues and the like due to their conflicted narratives. This is definitely a much broader discussion than should be covered on this little blog, but it is something to ponder and think about.

    And a couple of two thumbs down:

    1. Anne with an E on Netflix. I have a lot of thoughts about this and will probably write a spoiler filled post about it soon, but I almost threw the remote at the tv after the final episode, because what the fresh hell was that???
    2. Leaf footed bugs on the tomatoes. I’ve never had a huge problem with these bugs on the tomatoes, we have them every year, but this year seems to be an all out population explosion of them. Because I hadn’t had a huge problem with them I wasn’t really squashing a lot of them but that was to my detriment on one or two particular plants that have suffered some tomato rotting because of their sucking on the tomatoes. So, now I’m squashing a lot more of them and taking a more active role in trying to control them a bit. I’m not a huge fan of kill-all-the-pests in the garden but these buggers could use a little taming right now.

    What about you? What are some favorites in your life?


















    One evening about a month ago I was on the side yard garden taking photos. The light was getting good over there, a mix of darks and lights from the filtered evening sun, and I had been filling up one of Forest’s watering cans for him to water plants, or as what usually happens, his feet. Letting him play solo, in eye and ear shot, for a few minutes I wandered around the garden. When I came back to see what he was doing I found him making a muddy mess in a half filled planter that wasn’t being used by the potting bench. It was nearing bath time so I let him be, going to town with the mud and water and in general having a grand ol’ time!

    The light continued to be good so I messed around with settings to see what I could come up with as he played. It reminded me of some of the mud pies I would make as a kid his age, where I played in a sand box near an old playhouse in the house I lived in from birth to 5 year old.

    This kid is the best! In that second to last photo he is showing you an ‘icicle’—aka: triangle.


    +In My Head
    Loving the weather right now, though we could use a bit of rain! I finished an actual book made with paper this weekend—that felt good! I’ll talk a little bit about it in the reading section.

    I’m thinking of dipping my toes back into the political realm again. I listened to a Pantsuit Politics episode and got a little bit of information about what is going on in the world but I’m not sure I’m completely ready yet. I have also started trying to listen to NPR and Democracy Now a little bit, but we will see how long that lasts!


    Not a lot these days. With full evenings outside and a child who likes to boycott bedtime, I frequently don’t get to watch on time the few shows I am still keeping up with. Better Call Saul is back for its third season and is decidedly taking its turn into Breaking Bad territory. Yellow tint and all. My dad said he stopped watching after the first season but I think my brother is still on board and so far I’m sticking with the show. It’s a slow burn but I’m really enjoying it!

    Call the Midwife is back again with new midwives and new stories from London’s East End in the early 1960s. I like how the show merges culture from that time and it is interesting to see the slow change from midwifery in homes to midwifery in hospitals and now the show is looking at how even the smaller medical outposts were being phased out for the latest and greatest in medical technology in the form of larger hospitals. I always get wistful after each episode.

    And The Big Bang Theory is hitting it out of the park this season with some honest, if brief, segments with Bernadette and how she’s dealt with everything from breastfeeding to deciding to be a working mom. It is affirming to see that story woven into the show.

    The one show I am looking forward to, with trepidation of course, is the Netflix adapation of Anne of Green Gables. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle a non Meagan Follows, Jonathan Crombie, Colleen Dewhurst saga. I’ve been mulling over an entire AOGG series re-read for a year now and just haven’t settled in to do so. The entire LMM collection is begging to be revisited.

    +Outside My Window
    Hummingbirds sipping from the mimosa tree, bats chirping in the evenings from their bat box along the driveway, deer nibbling from the yard in the evening.

    Plants digging deep and getting ready to go all out with summer’s pending heat and humidity.

    +In The Art Studio


    Ok, seriously, I’ve been thinking of getting it cleaned up and in shape because Forest seems like he might be ready to spend 30 minutes at a time in there with me in the coming months. I’ll have to get him set up with his own craft items but I see this being something we can do in the evenings when it is dark again. We’ll see!

    +In The Garden

    Evvvvvverything! Savoring it all and a separate post or posts is/are coming soon!


    As I mentioned above I finished an actual paper book over the weekend, Michael Pollan’s Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education which was written in 1991. I’ll probably write more about it when I do an April and May book report later this month, but it was a treat to read. For a 25 year old book, things haven’t changed and they’ve changed. I think the one thing that really stuck out to me was the language being used around climate change and how less confident people were about using it and stating equivocally that it was human influenced/induced. Ah, a quarter century changes everything!

    I’ve been reading quite a lot lately, though am finding myself in a slight lull right now. That’s to be expected, I always seem to have a pause for a week or two before digging back in.

    One of the more timely and relevant posts, especially for Florida outdoorists and hikers, would be this post from Florida Hikes: Closing the Big Bend Gap. It is about the recently opened gap after a huge swath of timber lands were sold and the trail has had to be rerouted. I think I was hoping it was a temporary affair but it looks like the Forest Service wants to make it permanent, which I think is a travesty to that section. I need to read the proposed reroutes and submit my comments and have got to find some time to do this. One of the proposed reroutes also avoids the Aucilla Sinks which is a HUGE travesty—that area is super cool and worth taking the trail by.

    I’m due for another Florida Trail In The News round up, so maybe I can get one up soon.


    I just finished a 2.2lb bag of Ruta Maya coffee the other day. I get mine at HEB and it lasts about a month. The price at HEB is steller, about $16 for that bag, a price you don’t find easily with coffee in that quantity. I’m back to a dark roast Starbucks blend for the time being.

    My kombucha scoby bit the dust, again, because I neglected it. I can get another bit from my mom if I want but I’m so bad about being consistent with drinking the kombucha that I don’t know if I want it. I need to look into small batch kombucha brewing. I just can’t drink the amount that the recipe calls for and I’m hesitant to be adjusting ratios. Anyone out there brewed small batches of kombucha before?

    +I pretty much think about plants and gardening when I’m not focusing on other things sooooo….plants it is!
    +Digging into some older episodes of podcasts I love. Some I listened to 3 or 4 years ago but they are great to listen to again.
    +Piling up the books to-read. So many books! I mostly flag them in HooplaDigital or Goodreads.
    +Tomato season is upon us!
    +Blackberry season is upon us, too!
    +Toddlerhood turning into little-kid-hood. Yes, I miss Forest being little bitty but having him talking clearly (for the most part) and being able to follow directions (for the most part) and doing more things a independently has been wonderful. He’s also interested in watching us do things in the kitchen, which is fun too! And in the last few weeks he has been able to behave himself on the dock and fish with Chris, reeling them in, too! This means he get some quality time with Chris and I can have a few minutes to do something else. It is amazing what changes in a few months at this age!

    What’s up with you?














































    Every evening we venture out to the garden to see which strawberries have ripened enough to pick. I usually get an idea of what we need to get when I go through the garden at lunchtime, so when dinner is over and Forest is ready, we get a bowl (or sometimes a plant container) to hold our berry haul. Last night Forest picked out the biggest and ripest of the bunch and chowed down on it, leaving just a little bit of the tip when he was done. This kid eats his berries backwards, from the stem side first!

    Once strawberry season is over it will be snap pea season, bean season, tomato season, and onward throughout the summer. Which means picking something in the garden most nights from here on out!

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