Seeds and sanguine expectations

Seeds and sanguine expectations

Last week, James and I tackled the springtime task of starting a vegetable garden at Gramma's—something I've never attempted in the past due to an egregiously non-green thumb. After seeing how well Brianna's garden grew last summer, I decided to give it a shot at my place.

So James and I planned, prepped, and planted with sanguine expectations seedlings would soon sprout.

Our eventual bounty will include...

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Friday briefs: Squash, cinnamon rolls, and Instagram weirdos

Many successful gardeners — my daughter Brianna included — recently began seeing the bountiful fruits (and veggies) of their spring and summer labors, picking, pulling and happily harvesting this and that from their yards.

I'm not a successful gardener. I am, though, happily awaiting the right size and right time to pull and prepare the two — count 'em, two! — squash I did manage to grow in my woebegone garden of sorts.

zucchini and summer squash

Woot! I'm celebrating the wee bit of success for this black-thumbed gardener wannabe. (Truth be told: I'm pretty sure they grew only because Brianna started them for me at her house then passed along pots with the babies for me to plant and finish the job.)



It has never resonated with me when friends (and strangers and social media connections) mention eating entire containers of ice cream or cookies or bags and boxes of chocolates all on their own, being literally unable to stop themselves. Because I'm not all that in love with sweets. I've never really gotten...

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My (uneventful) week in photos

I haven't done much of anything worth writing home about about on my blog this past week. Which, in all honesty, is okay with me. Sometimes busyness and booked calendars are highly overrated (not to mention exhausting).

Even with nothing much on the agenda, though, I did manage to take — and in one case, appropriate from my daughter's Facebook page — photos of the nothing much marking my days. Following are a few such markings from my past week.

bear yard art
A chainsaw-crafted set o' friendly bears a neighbor recently...

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Odd balls

Those of you who are friends and family in real life have likely been to my oddball house. Those of you who have become friends and like family through this blog, may have read about my oddball house, in posts such as the one about my creepy wallpaper and the one in which I beg to be HGTV'd.

For those who have done neither — and to refresh the memories of others — the condensed story of my home is that a Polish couple immigrated to Colorado in the 70s, purchased parts and pieces of 1800s homes and city landmarks that were being demolished (we're talking staircases, fireplaces, wood floors, cabinetry, and more) and used those bits and pieces to build in 1974 a unique and endlessly fascinating home.

The Polish couple eventually had to part with the home. The second couple who owned it added some artsy pieces, some functional ones (skylights!), and some pretty darn bizarre bits of their own.

Jim and I, the third owners of the home, have done our best to restore and highlight the original charm and historic significance envisioned by the first owners, while keeping a small portion of the whimsy and wackiness of the second.

Wackiness does abound here, and visitors often comment on some of the oddities inside our home (like the aforementioned wallpaper). But the home's interior is not the only place one can find the wacky. No, there's quite a bit of wacky outside, too.

One of the more peculiar things that remain in the yard, mostly just because we like the sheer "WTF?" of them, are the bowling balls. Two of them. In the backyard. Plopped amidst greenery, as if they're growing right along with the flowers, ferns, and bushes. (Well, it's supposed to be amidst greenery, but the green just ain't happening too well so far this summer, thanks to the lack of rain and abundance of heat and high winds.)

Anyway, the other day as I stood watering the wildflowers I hope will soon grow big and tall, I pondered the balls. And it came to me, for the first time in the three-and-a-half years we lived here: I think I know what the odd balls are all about.

I can't confirm this with the previous owners, of course, but I'm willing to bet that the guy who sold us the home was once told that he needs to, well, grow a few...ummm...balls. He's of the back-slapping, beer-drinking-buddy variety, and I have no doubt such a statement certainly came his way, probably more than once, probably all in jest from his similar-minded buddies. Having learned through our summer of interacting with the guy while he wooed us into homeownership that he was quite quirky, to say the least, I'm pretty darn sure he got a kick out of such a statement. And decided to do just that. By "planting" a few bowling balls and pretending to his buddies that he was working his darnedest to make them grow.

I don't know if it's true; I'm certainly not going to contact the guy and ask about his balls. But I say it's as good of an explanation as any. And it's the explanation I plan to share the next time I get the "WTF?" question from visitors regarding my bowling balls in the garden.

If you have a better explanation, if you know of some gardening trick or tradition of which I'm woefully unaware, I'm happy to consider it...later. As for right now, I've got a wee bit of ball-watering to do.

Today's question:

Fill in the blank. The most unusual thing I've ever grown is _____________.