Monday, July 4, 2011

Feeling Better About the World

After 10 days of not wearing shoes, napping and generally going at whatever pace I wanted................. it's back to work today.  Our family enjoyed a week at the beach and with the way the 4th of July fell this year, we had a good three days to get home, unpack and get some stuff done at the Ponderosa too.  that was a welcomed treat.  Coming home from vacation, unpacking that night and going to work the next morning is a huge drag.

We vacationed with the wife's family to a small and relatively underdeveloped South Carolina barrier island called Edisto Island.  Neat place with a lot of history, one grocery store, one gas station a hand-full of restaurants and shops and 4 million rental houses.  Very family oriented.  I'm not a big fan of the beach really.  I prefer fresh water adventures.  The wife and kids enjoy it though, so it's worth every penny.  We did rent a house with a pool this year.  Also......worth every penny!

As I typically do each year, I took a 2 day vacation from the vacation and came home to take care of some chores.  This time it was cutting grass.  If you've read any of my garden updates this year you would know that we were very dry this spring.  I pretty much called it quits on the garden just before we left for vacation.  Well, we have received as much rain in the last week as we did in the previous five months.  In fact Wednesday afternoon we got right at 4 inches.  Insane.  Garden is over but the grass is looking great!  Maybe this will give the pine seedlings the chance to get down a good root entering their 3rd year.

So the title of the blog......  I did come across a few things during my vacation that has me feeling better about the world.  Sometimes I watch the news, read certain publications and I just get down in the dumps.  There is hope though.  Here are a three reasons why:

1.  My kids set up a watermelon stand this weekend.  Through no prodding by me, my oldest said that he wanted to set up a watermelon stand and sell them for $1 each.  Great teaching opportunity I thought.  We have already established that "you get money by working."  This was a chance to teach that you can also get money by selling something that you "created."  Under the direction of the oldest, the boys did everything themselves.  The planned how they would set up, made a sign and even decorated.  After some help from Daddy in getting loaded and some stern words about staying out of the road, they were off.  Not a lot of traffic in our area, LOL.  They were troopers though.  Stayed with it for a good while.  We finally had a generous visitor who bought the only 4 watermelons we had left.  The kiddos were fired up to have money in their pockets.  A trip to the store will soon follow.  Why it makes me feel better about the world - I seem to be making some headway in showing the boys that you have to work to get paid.

2.  Cars 2 is in theaters now.  Cars is one of my all-time favorite movies.......animated or not.  Pixar does a good job of making kids movies that the parents can actually enjoy as well.  For those of you who do not have kids.............. that's a big deal!  Naturally I was excited to see the sequel.  This would be the oldest son's first trip to a movie theater too.  The theater we chose was really nice.  Very clean, modern amenities and free popcorn!  Maybe that's customary now.  I have no idea since I've not been to a movie is 5 years or more.  It was a small popcorn, but still roughly the size of a gallon tea pitcher.  Of course the one pack of  M&Ms and two bottled waters were $10.50.  Glad to see some things haven't changed.  Davis really enjoyed it and even kept quiet.  That was a shocker.  Despite being a social commentary on alternative energy, the movie was great.  I enjoyed it for what it was.  It was a movie about talking cars that had races all over the world and a redneck tow truck has some interesting adventures along the way.  What's not to love about that plot?!?!  Why it makes me feel better about the world - Even with the social commentary about "big oil" and alternative energy, the movie still had room to provide a plot about friendship, cooperation and respecting others.  Good reminders for children and adults alike.

3.  My garden wasn't the only one that sucked this year.  They say misery loves company.  I guess that's the case here.  In talking with others from my area, Wilt Virus was very bad on tomatoes all over the region.  The lack of rain was universally troublesome.  Some folks burnt up, others drowned.  It was neat to read and converse with other gardeners across the country this year.  Maybe a few of our ideas can translate the some of our starkly different climates.  We got food in the freezer and on the shelf.  I should absolutely not complain.  Why it makes me feel better about the world - I'm not the only one........ and there are countless resources from which I can learn.

Writers block is starting to set in once again.  I do have a few drafts in the hopper, so I'll be good for a while.  However, the garden updates have really kept me writing regularly.  Honestly though, writing solely on that was starting to get a little boring to me.  Glad to have a little break from it.  Suggestions for topics?  I'd appreciate them.

Y'all take it easy,



  1. I love your blog and like to think of myself as someone who is quietly and slowly withdrawing her money, energy and time from the relentless rat race and sinking it back at home where it belongs.
    How about some posts on self sufficient tips and tricks, how to manage money or things you've learned.
    Plus, I always like seeing what other people are reading. Not that you need to do a book report or anything, but if you come across something interesting, share it!

  2. Sounds like the boys are learning valuable lessons that will last a lifetime. The vacation must have been amazing, but we do the same thing with taking extra days upon our return home to recuperate and catch up. I call it, "The Vacation After the Vacation." It's completely necessary to get re-aligned. As for gardening and rain, etc., we are in a severe drought. Actually, parts of Houston have been getting some rain, but we are not that part. Everytime, it skirts around us. Sometimes the rain clouds are so close that we can see them drenching the nearby town and we can only stand there and pout! Our tomato plants seem to be holding out and I sure miss them! The greenery is holding in there, but the hot, hot weather is not helping. We can only water so much...we desperately need a good rain soak!

  3. @Lindsey: Those are great ideas I appreciate the suggestions! I'm sure I can come up with some tips and tricks to share. My reading tends to focus on fellow bloggers. I should do some recaps and referrals. Thanks for taking a moment to read. I really appreciate it!

  4. @Lana: Thanks so much for taking a moment to comment. We are in a really nice rain pattern right now. Too bad the garden has been mowed. Yard looks nice though!

  5. Today hubby drove me back home after being away, nursing my mother after surgery. He said he wanted to stop at a roadside stand selling watermelon, but drove by any because he saw one with yellow watermelons on the way to pick me up. He wondered why more people didn't grow yellow watermelons, and I wondered too, since so many are into differently colored produce these last few years. We have a yellow watermelon cooling in the fridge right now 8^)

    On the way home, we saw numerous fields with knee high dry corn, thanks to the Texas drought. We also saw many cotton fields - the plants were green, but only about 1 foot tall, with a few white whisps here and there.

  6. Thanks for stopping by Shreela! I think a lot of folks stick with the typical varieties because they aren't sure about the others. When I was a kid, my Dad planted a variety called Sugarbaby. It was an almost black watermelon about the size and shape of a basketball. They were delicious!

    The cotton and peanuts here look pretty good, mainly because the farmers waited to plant. The harvest will be late, but at least they stand a chance to make something. The corn....well... that's another story. Most of it aborted once it got about 2 feet tall. Not good.