Category Archives: Garden Stories

The Good

Overwhelmed doesn’t seem to be a big enough word to apply to our world today. It doesn’t really touch the full scope of events ping-ponging around the globe. It’s easy to get caught-up, wrapped-up, stressed-out and over anxious. We can spin each other up like angry, fearful tops if we let ourselves.

So let’s not.

Instead, let’s look at all the good shooting like a geyser through the world.

Let’s be amazed with all the creativity restaurants, flower shops, and other small businesses are coming up with to adapt to this new time of social distancing.

Curbside pick-up at fancy steak restaurants. Art shops offering “To Go Kits” with a fun art project for pick-up or delivery. Major entertainment chains like Chuck-E-Cheese offering “Family Fun Night” packages with pizza delivery and a goody bag.

Businesses are adapting with lightning speed to this new world.

Let’s be awed by the ability to reach out to each other virtually so we don’t feel alone.

Museums, zoos, aquariums and art galleries around the globe offer virtual tours. The technology has been there, but now we are forced to take advantage of it even more than before.

And let’s be excited that we are coming up on gardening season. If we have seen a boom in gardening over the last 5 years, we are about to see an explosion. Grocery shortages have people ready to plant.

The weather will turn and once it does, many people, who have never gardened, never wanted to grow their own food, will be plunging their hands into the soil and planting their first seeds.

All the good.

 

 

 

 

 

Mischief Makers Day 9: Crafty Capers

Miss yesterday? Read Day 8 or listen here!

 

Day 9 Crafty Capers

Pixie and Figgy looked down at their toes while Nim and Lil discussed what was now known as “The Elfie Incident”. 

“Listen guys,” began Lil. “I know we were a team last year, but…”.

“There’s only so much we can overlook,” said Nim. “And this…incident, well…it’s too big to ignore.”

“Did you have to take all 6 bags of M&M’s at once?” Lil shook her head. “I mean, you could have made a second trip, right?”

Pixie sniffled.

Figgy gulped. 

Glitter, to everyone’s surprise, snorted. “Do you really want to talk about cutting corners, Lil?” 

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“Now wait just a minute Glitter, I—.” 

“And do you really want to say this tiny incident is ‘too big to ignore’? I seem to remember a certain Mischief Maker taking down the entire Christmas tree last year.” 

“But that was different! I mean, it…well,” Nim smiled sheepishly. 

“I suppose you are right, Glitter,” said Lil. “But, what happened you two?”

Pixie took a deep breath and turned to Figgy. “We are just so worried that we are going to be responsible for Joe losing his Christmas spirit that I guess we just took our worry out on each other.”

Figgy reached out for her hand and squeezed. “I’m sorry, Pixie.”

“I’m sorry too, Figgy.” 

“Finally,” said Glitter. “Can we get going now? We have a fleet of snowmen to build.”

As the three headed out the door, Nim and Lil looked on with concern. What were they going to do if Joe stopped believing?

*           *           *

“How does this one look?” Pixie held up a cute tealight with a red and green scarf and tiny, sparkly googly eyes.

Figgy smiled. “Looks great, Pixie! What about mine?” Figgy showed her his.

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“Er,” she said, scrunching up her nose. “It has rather a lot of eyes, doesn’t it?”

Figgy took another look at his creation. “Oh! You’re right!” He removed one of the 11 googly eyes. “There, now it’s even!”

Pixie laughed and rolled her eyes. They spent a few more minutes building tealight snowmen in silence and then Figgy voiced the thought that was on both their minds.

“Pixie…what are we going to do?”

Pixie set down her ribbon and slumped. “I don’t know, Figgy.”

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2018 Mischief Makers Day 8

Lil meets Pixie

Day 8: Googly-Eyed

 

Did you miss a few? Here they are in order!

Prologue

Day 0: The Launch

 

Day 1: Broken Bones and Promises

Day 2: Tinsel Town

Day 3: Snowmen at Night

 

Day 4: Cookie Clutter

 

Day 5: Elf in Trouble

 

Day 6: Scrooged

 

Day 7: Night Ninjas

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Mischief Makers Day 6

My favorite character changes with just about every story. In Scrooged, I’d have to say Glitter takes it with her “stern talk” with Nim about his very un-Christmasy attitude. Enjoy!

Day 6: Scrooged

Did you miss a few? Here they are in order!

Prologue

Day 0: The Launch

 

Day 1: Broken Bones and Promises

Day 2: Tinsel Town

Day 3: Snowmen at Night

 

Day 4: Cookie Clutter

 

Day 5: Elf in Trouble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better Late

The air was warm
when I stepped out.
A humid breeze.

The garden called
when I walked past.
Look at these!

The weeds were tall
and overgrown.
A gnarly mess.

But in the jumble
when I looked close…
Can you guess?

A spot of red,
a strip of orange
and brightest green.

Two giant bowls
of shiny peppers.
A brilliant sheen.

Competition Update

The 2019 Garden Competition is going strong. The harvests are not as big as we had hoped, but we are happy with what we do get.

So far, Jake has taken the lead in the biggest harvest with his summer squash. Jake is second with his cucumbers and I in last place with mine.

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Jake is also the front runner for most oddly shaped.

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Joe’s homemade refrigerator pickles are delicious. They are “sugar free” and he even used a “secret ingredient” to give them that extra spice.

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Jake made squash cookies which forced us to split the Best Recipe category into two: sweet and savory.

Jake will be making squash pickles for his savory entry and Joe is waiting for his pumpkin to grow so he can make a pie for his.

 

Although he has rearranged, lost and buried much of his gnome village, Jake still has the Best Decorated category locked as well as the Biggest Plant with his massive squash.

Joe’s garden has been hit hard by drought and cat attacks, but he’s still in the lead for Most Colorful.

My harvest has not been as plentiful. I am last place in every category. But…I am hopeful that my watermelon will save the day and get me the Biggest Fruit trophy. Although, Joe is determined to take that title with his “experimental cucumber”.

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Grrrr…

The kiwi vines are thick and green,
hanging heavily on the wires,
Small fruits hide, camouflaged
in their dense, jade spires.

Smiles of surprise and delight
with every precious find.
Each new bunch of grape-sized
fruit brings thrills to heart and mind.

Steps falter, a gasp escapes,
the cold grip of dread replaces
the bright hand of happiness
that just filled our faces.

Tiny iridescent blights of death
crunching on thick leaves.
My heart fills with angry woe
at these loathsome insect thieves.

That these horrid bugs dare
to threaten and cruelly waste
our long-awaited first harvest…
leaves behind a bitter taste.

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First Taste

The first taste of his radish,
brought big smiles to Joe’s face.
He savored it a moment,
then spit and gagged…with grace.

Jacob’s find was better.
A snap pea, sharp and sweet.
The crunch was loud and crisp,
a taste that can’t be beat.

They each pulled out a carrot,
the root was thin like hay.
“Oh boys, you won’t have carrots
until another day.”

They pulled some weeds and chattered
about their garden dreams.
It took just one small veggie,
now they work as a team!

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Hardy Kiwi

Tiny, rosebud flowers
grow on every vine.
Hiding brightly in the green
waiting for their time.

So far, every bud we find
is female through and through.
Just like squash, we need
a male to pollinate them too.

Is this the year we eat one?
Will fruits grow big and sweet?
Or will we lose each tiny bud
to beetles we can’t beat?

Tiny, whitish flowers
grow thick on the vine.
Hiding softly in the green
waiting for their time.

Stage One: Planting

The 2019 Garden Competition is well underway.

Our first step: Get the beds ready and plant the seeds we got from our field trip to Spence Farm.

Then, we took a trip to Big R. I gave the boys each $30 to spend on their garden. They had to decide how much they wanted to spend on flowers, vegetable starts and garden decor.

Jake, who loves gnomes in the garden, spent more on decor, but he did buy one pack of tomato starts, some corn and a few flowers.

Joe, who loves bright colors and flowers, spent the majority of his money on an assortment of blues, purples and pinks. The only vegetable start he bought was corn.

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We were at Big R for almost two hours. All in all, it was a successful trip. The boys picked out their own plants, decided how much to spend in each category, and purchased from the cashier.

Even though we had talked about sales’ tax, Joe was a little disgruntled when the total came to more than what he had figured. He even re-counted his purchases to double check. The cashiers were very patient and made the learning experience a lot of fun.

It was a great outing for all of us and raised some interesting questions and discussion about all the different types of taxes…more on that in a future post!