Putting On My Super Hero Big Girl Panties

My recent absence from this blog is an indicator that I , myself , am much like you.  I share my journey to simplicity through 0DB31FC6-2FF9-418B-9D53-BE9B9F5C7390writing, but I claim no expertise. I struggle. My house is still as messy and cluttered as yours (maybe worse, even), my schedule has a tendency to get out of control, and the chaos can easily become overwhelming.  It’s a challenge to write on a subject when you’re knee deep in it crashing down around you.

Our daughter recently returned home from a mission trip to New York State with our church youth group. I had missed her, and her dad had to go into work, so I agreed to take her and a friend to see a movie that evening.  We saw The Incredibles 2, a fun film!  During it I heard my daughter lean over and say to her friend, about Elastigirl, “She looks like my mom!”  Mind you, this comment didn’t come as this flexible super-mom reached beyond-human lengths (literally!) to perform an amazing feat or super heroine rescue.  No. She was standing at the bathroom vanity while brushing her teeth and speaking to her husband with a mouthful of toothpaste!  Nonetheless, we do share a physical resemblance and my ego was just a tad inflated, briefly, to have heard my 14 year old daughter compare me to a super hero.

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Ellen Parr, Elastigirl, from the Pixar franchise The Incredibles

Undoubtedly , I fall short – so short – of claiming such a grandiose title. I struggle, REALLY struggle, under the daily weight of responsibility and obligations. I think, if only I had enough time, or energy, to get this or that done. If only I could snap my fingers and my house, yard, gardens and shed would be decluttered, clean, and in perfect order. If only I had the super-power and strength, the amazing flexibility of Elastigirl…

How can I get there? You have followed me as I’ve taken time off work to make serious strides in our basement. You’ve been with me while I took a leap of faith into a smaller, more manageable closet of clothes, pondered ways to reduce my carbon footprint, and even as I attempted different methods of gardening to produce more food with less effort and limited space for my family… These are all things I do not regret and I have definitely learned from and strive to continue.

However, life marches on and keeps throwing new curves. Yep. We’ve had lots of green beans this year! Some tomatoes are starting to ripen, I’m assuming all is well under keeps with the potatoes, the loofah are growing on vines with vibrant yellow flowers, and pears are hanging low on the trees waiting to be harvested. But… I have had another year of battling the critters. It is so disheartening to lose ALL of our zucchini, spaghetti squash, pumpkins, acorn squash, and kale. No blueberries, peaches, or apples. Not a single bite has been left unconsumed by the groundhog, bunnies, deer… Yes. It is very frustrating.

Has my wardrobe grown? Sure – I’ve added a few pieces here and there. But the seasons have changed here, and I am still pretty committed to letting go of what isn’t working, I haven’t used, or have upgraded.

Not sure where my environmental footprint stands these days (feeling like Bigfoot here), but I can say that with recent news stories I am convicted more than ever that we need to stop using all of this “throw-away” plastic and packaging. I am wishing there were more places that would commit somehow to selling items with less packaging. It actually sickens me to realize how much we alone toss, as one small family, and even the amount of our weekly recyclables. It’s staggering.

And the basement? Oh. The basement. It continues in its apparent quest to mock me and remain the family dumping ground and go-to spot for quick stash and dash operations!  I am taking another week in September and will be tackling some of these long-neglected on-going projects once again.

So, now that I’ve “come clean” – yeah, that’s right, corny pun fully intended. It is time for me to put on my big girl panties (or Elastigirl cat suit!) and stop wallowing in my emotionally-stagnating LACK of self-proclaimed simplicity. It’s time to take responsibility for my part in this ongoing declutter of so many areas of my life, stop being overwhelmed by it, and do what I can to continue moving toward the beautiful, uncluttered life of my dreams. It’s that simple.

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A Pinterest-Worthy Garden

IMG_9165This year I have created my first Pinterest-worthy vegetable garden.  It’s far from perfect, but I justify referring to it in this way because of all the research, learning, planning, and serious effort that went into the final product. 🙂  I should say that, though I have been organically growing since I started gardening, I have come from the old school of tilling the ground and planting in rows.  Over the cold winter months, however, I spent much time visiting blogs, listening to podcasts, collecting images and ideas on social media, reading books, and learning all I could about different methods of growing food for my family.

During this time I quickly came to the conclusion that there is not one technique only that will work for us. Instead, I was intrigued by varying types of ideas.  Using a number of these this spring, I was able to create an aesthetically pleasing garden, planting a variety of vegetables in a limited space to feed my family.  I believe it will be a work in progress as I implement different methods and varieties of vegetables over the next couple of seasons to determine what thrives, what veggies we really enjoy, and which methods produce best and make the most sense for us.

There are, as mentioned, a few ideas that I have begun to put into practice this year.  One of those is vertical gardening.  For the first time I have used a few different types of trellises: A bamboo tee-pee for climbing beans, a square cucumber trellis, and an a-frame for varying types of squash, under which I have also planted some more shade-happy varieties of greens such as lettuce and spinach.  In addition, I am trying no-frame raised beds.

As most do, I planned and dreamed of what I would plant while waiting for spring to come.  I poured over catalogs, bought my seeds, and was careful to look for organic and heirloom seeds only.  I am very interested in food sources that will return year after year, or seeds that can be saved from season to season, having a proven track record for being hardy varieties and growing well in our area.

 

With my mind set on my first attempt at no-till gardening, I was heavily discouraged by our lingering winter weather with late snows, freezing cold, and frost that wouldn’t stop. I was wishing that I’d known more about no-till methods in the fall and had prepped the ground then for spring, but since I didn’t, I was confused about when to begin and missed the mark when I should have started laying something on the ground to start killing off grass and weeds before the weather turned.  Before we knew it we’d gone from winter into summer-type weather without much of a spring, and the pressure was on to get all of my seedlings into the ground and we ended up tilling.  We did add loads of peat moss, and I created no-frame raised beds, covered them in mulch, with fresh straw for walkways between the beds.  I am hoping that this will do a good job of keeping the weeds at bay.

We were able to get a chicken wire fence around the garden to keep those pesky groundhogs and bunnies at bay this year, and I have employed many marigold and nasturtium flowers to repel them as well.

Large pots were put into use for the first time, as well, to stretch growing space, and I will also continue to plant seeds on varying weeks to stagger harvest times and keep food reaching its peak consecutively instead of all at once.IMG_9163

It has been several weeks and so far we have seen kale, lettuces, green beans, and asparagus. I am patiently awaiting other vegetables to start growing.  The foliage looks great so far, so I am anticipating many types of squash, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, cucumbers and strawberries among many others healthy options for our family.

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Simply No Sleep Tonight

So, what do you do when your pets are keeping you awake all night? Write a blog post, of course!  With two cats and a large dog residing with us in our small home, it is not unusual for this to happen.

083B84A4-FA0B-4BF1-B369-97205C429EEAThere seems to be no rhyme or reason to it, and tonight it simply happens that one of our cats insists on being in and out of our daughter’s room, which is right outside of our room.  The door remains closed because said daughter does not keep everything up off of her floor, and our doggie has a penchant for a good sock! So, needless to say the cat needs in, so that she can meow and scratch to get back out, so she can meow and scratch to get back in, and so on and so forth. This can go on endless times as fickle kitty can’t make up her mind. (Can’t we just clone her to be in two places at once?, I start to wonder around the 10th time of crawling out of bed to open and close our daughter’s bedroom door.)

It was only a matter of time before the dog, who was sound asleep under our bed, would be disturbed by the ruckus and decide it was time to get up and add a little bit of her own action.

Sinced I’d crawled in bed early, I hadn’t taken her out for her final potty break of the night. As soon as I said “outside, go potty” our Golden Retriever had a burst of energy, bouncing and flouncing on the bed as I tried to sleepily pull myself from it, yet again. Because we live in a cold winter clime, I had to dawn a coat and boots, waking my husband in the process, who had fallen asleep on the couch watching tv. Sure, if I have to be up, why shouldn’t he? Lol!

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Out we went. Tromping through the snow, down past the berry patch, fruit trees, the garden area, and duck coop, making our way over the hill for a little “rest stop” along the way, and some exercise for us both (and wanted by only one of us!). After nosing around for some tracks, some droppings, checking the deer feeding stations and salt lick our neighbor keeps, and the bunny tunnels in the straw and grass clippings out behind the shed, we made our way back up the hill for a little raucous “frapping” in the snow, as we call it – when a dog simply breaks into a manically fast sprint of abandon in circles and all around the house or back yard, all in fun. Willow loves the snow and has a favorite level spot in the yard where she likes to let this urge take over!

All business done, we’re back in the house all cozied down again with fingers crossed for a bit of peaceful rest. Following one last bout of “I simply must chew my noisy bone at the foot of the bed, and shaking the whole mattress while I’m at it…” we are now finally settled and, I hope, ready to get some sleep in the few meager hours left before sunrise.

Goodnight!  Rest peacefully.

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Oh. My.  I just realized it’s Daylight Saving Time and I am losing an hour, to boot! 😱

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Winter

FFC9DE0D-9A90-455F-8524-E1F6A59EA18EOne thing that makes my already rewarding job fun, are visits like the one I enjoyed with a potential new donor-partner yesterday. I had the pleasure of a personal, guided tour through the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, in winter.90E72807-5EF5-473E-867A-150798CAD497 What a beautiful season to experience their 60 acres – salvaged and restored from a decimated strip-mining location – and now full of wooded hiking trails filled with whimsical curiosities, and educational stops, for both kids and adults alike.

Not all of the acreage at the gardens are developed at this time. They are still a young attraction of a mere 2 years.  But, they have grand plans for the future, and much is in the works currently.

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Right now, the gardens can boast a grove of Colonial variety apple trees, an original 1700’s restored log cabin (with a chicken coop housing several gorgeous Plymouth Rock layers), a lotus pond stocked with bluegill and bass, a combination educational building and gift shop, apiary with working honey bees, a gazebo, picnic grove, a variety of educational tours, and a penchant for doing things as organically as possible (for instance, hiring a host of local goats to clear invasive plant species from a hillside that was then developed into their Asian gardens).

While we strolled, sharing knowledge of all things nature, we found ourselves tracking a possum, several deer, and possibly a fox or coyote along our way. I was intrigued, too, by their penchant to protect and bring attention to trees that are indigenous to our region. I am 2D310CCD-B044-43BC-B399-954687D3ADD8definitely going to be checking out the app that was recommended for identification of trees in our area. (Virginia Tech’s V Tree.) I was inspired, as well, to dig deeper on my own into our local agricultural extension through Penn State University.

This visit truly inspired and reawakened my passion for gardening, tracking, hiking, plant identification, natural survival skills, living off the land, and all things wild and natural. It fueled the fire of my already smoldering spring fever. But even better, it reminded me of the importance of simply being one with nature.

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Catching Up On Simple Pleasures

Catching up on simple pleasures this morning. I woke, again, to the purrs of our little Milly next to my pillow. Always a joy to hear that soft little vibration, and feel her tiny cold-wet nose and whiskers brush against my cheek, rousing me back to consciousness following a deep night’s rest.

As my eyes adjusted to the early morning light, I noticed a rosey glow around me and turned to face the window. I was immediately taken by the majestic sky before me and jumped from bed to snap a few photos. Just gorgeous. God’s simple gift to start my day in gratitude.

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No edits or filters used – simply our Heavenly Father’s creative touch.

It lasted only briefly as the sun lazily rose in the sky, but long enough for me to breathe the cold morning air deeply into my lungs and open my heart and mind to a fresh new day laid out before me.

I couldn’t help but pause to give thanks for the amazing beauty of this fresh morning slate. And a simple two word phrase quickly came to mind, “But God…” There is no worry, struggle, or challenge I will face today, followed by those one syllable words, that I will not have the strength to overcome.

So, I look forward, setting my eyes on my goals and knowing that there will be more beauty in my day if I am aware and open myself  up to receive it. The simple joys in life that can be missed if we are not intentional about slowing down and seeing the small pleasures in our day.

Slow your pace. Be intentional in your plans today, and each day. Make it a habit to look up and notice what’s around you. Really see it. What is right outside your front door today?

We can move through life so quickly on our personal missions, driven by our to-do list, obligations, and responsibilities. But God…

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Morning on the hill.

“From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭50:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Stomping Out My Carbon Footprint

I’ve been contemplating my carbon footprint lately. Thinking about little ways that I can make a difference. I already have strong personal feelings about walking when I can, recycling, buying local, wearing classic clothing that will last for seasons – preferably years (or buying secondhand to begin with), saving and using items I’ve already got, gardening, making purchases with less packaging, etc.

So when I went online to calculate my actual footprint, I was aghast at the results. Admittedly, I did not know the exact answers to many of the questions off the top of my head, but made my best estimated guesses just to get an idea.

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Well, I am ashamed to admit that it is significantly larger than I would have thought. In fact, it is larger than the average American. What!? I don’t fly, drive recreational motor vehicles, have a sauna or heated pool or jacuzzi… and our house is one step away from being featured as a “tiny home.” Luckily, a footprint can be significantly lowered with some minor changes. Here are a few things I have learned during  my research. Some will not only be easier on the environment but will save you a decent amount of cash over time and many are good for your health as well. (Bear with me if these are not new to you.)

img_7004Power down your gadgets. Unplugging your chargers when not in use, and putting your computer into sleep mode can save you hundreds of dollars and help save the planet.

Adjust your thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down two in winter. This can also save you 15% on your heating bill.

Invest in a programmable thermostat that can be set to shut off, or dramatically reduce the temperature setting, when you will not be at home.

img_6900It may be a little cliche, but I love this one. Plant a tree. One 10 year old tree releases enough oxygen to support two human lives.

Wean your family from processed foods. Go vegan or raw a couple of days a week. We already have Meatless Mondays at our house, so this is not too much of a stretch for us.

Switch from disposable household products to reusable. Eliminate paper towels and other paper products, invest in reusable sandwich bags, bento boxes, etc. Use your own totes at the grocery store, and buy biodegradable trash bags.

If you live someplace where public transportation is an option, utilize it. But if you can’t, even driving the posted speed limit (or 5 miles less when you can), and avoiding rapid acceleration and braking can alter your fuel consumption.

And of course, my all-time favorite – hang your laundry out in the fresh air and sunshine to dry instead of using the dryer. It will smell wonderful, eliminates most wrinkles, (Hey! No using up electricity to iron either!) and the UV rays from the sun will naturally fade stains on fabric.

I have found that The Great Energy Challenge website is a reasonable place to start. So much information there, and practical ideas for you and your family to begin a new “energy diet.” I will definitely be incorporating several of these ideas into our lifestyle. Some we are already doing, and some may take us a while to implement. But, we’ve got to start somewhere. I believe that by slowly integrating any of these practices into our everyday it will collectively make a difference.

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Isaiah 24:4-5 “The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers; the heavens languish together with the earth. The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants … .”

Psalm 96:11-13 “Let the heavens rejoice and the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord….”

October Prose

img_6005The colors of autumn doth spiral from the trees, one, by glorious one.

The crisp air swirls beneath the leaves, dew-kissed with drops before the sun.

With brilliant light, and colors bleed,

The soul of time and space she heeds,

Upon the briskness of the air, with breath and delicate steps she dare,

Crisp and curling stalks blow hither,

With thoughts, and spite, of coming winter.

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Beneath the majestic oak,

in morning, grazes;

The graceful doe, God’s creature, praises.

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“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭150:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

My Autumn Basket List

imageWhen it comes to seasons, there’s not much I love more than the first, almost imperceptible noticings of the coming fall. The cooler nights, the crickets’ incessant chirp, dewy mornings, flocking starlings that cover the yard searching for insects to fill up on for their journey, the sweet smell of hay being mown and stored for animals to feast on over the inevitable colder months, the placement of the sun lower in the sky, the early morning chill, and that crazy unexplainable sense when you step outside, that it just “smells” like the first day of school!
As the calendar sneaks its way into September, while we’re still not quite sure where summer went, or that we even want it to end at all, suddenly it’s back to school again and we shift our focus to all things fall.

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First Day of School

Over the past year I have done much to hone my planning skills, to help keep on top of things, and to simplify my days…and life. I do try to make my planning times fun, or at least somewhat creative (by using a goals planner with lots of colored pens, highlighters, and stickers, journaling, incorporating fun apps on my tablet and phone…) and I would like to incorporate the idea of a seasonal “bucket list.” Not keen on the term, however, I think I’ll mix it up a bit and call it my Basket List. Who doesn’t love the beauty of a simple, well-crafted basket?

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So, as I sit with window open, listening to the gathering crows, a hawk’s shrill call, and enjoying the cool breeze with my second cup of  morning coffee, won’t you join me as I contemplate the things I would love to accomplish this autumn? Fun things, things that need done, healthy changes, and goals to make our family life more efficient and enjoyable.  Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to start your own list.

My 2016 Autumn Basket List:                (In no particular order).

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  1. Change floral arrangements and front door wreath to Autumn.
  2. Declutter our home office.
  3. Clean the carpets.
  4. Lose 10 more pounds.
  5. Harvest the last of the pears.
  6. Visit the large local crafts store with my daughter to plan some fun projects.
  7. Go through my cool weather clothes and donate what no longer works.
  8. Prep gardens for cold weather.
  9. Buy and carve pumpkins from Ritter’s Farm up the road. (Plus get gourds, Indian corn, hay bale and corn stalks).
  10. Schedule another riding lesson for our daughter.image
  11. Visit the Tall Ships Festival on Lake Erie.
  12. Prepare and freeze make-ahead meals.
  13. Harvest any remaining root veggies in the garden.
  14. Dry herbs for winter use.
  15. Visit Soergel’s Orchard for apples (still not producing worthy apples from our own tree) and enjoy their Fall Festival.
  16. Make gingerbread.
  17. Visit a haunted house.
  18. Do hay rides out back for our daughter and friends.
  19. Plan a trip to Lancaster (Amish country).
  20. Winterize the duck coop.
  21. Rake our elderly neighbor’s leaves.
  22. Purchase two new comfy sweaters (and let go of two older ones).
  23. Oraganize the pantry (which I just inventoried yesterday – yeah!)
  24. Trick or Treat with neighbors.
  25. Have every last back yard fire with friends that we can squeeze in.
  26. Enjoy that first day in cozy-clothes for fall, curled up and reading a good book.
  27. Watch spooky movies with my hubby.
  28. Celebrate our 22nd anniversary in October.
  29. Winterize our fledgling wisteria.
  30. Finish cleaning the garage.
  31. Start downstairs remodel that didn’t happen last year when hubby got sick.
  32. Move holiday bins to the new garage shelves!
  33. Finish writing friendship journal and mail to BFF in Ohio.
  34. Start daughter’s dance lessons again.
  35. Buy daughter new winter coat and boots.
  36. Make chili and cornbread.
  37. Start a new study with my small group: Francis Chan’s Forgotten God.
  38. Change garden flag to fall.
  39. Purchase local winter honey.
  40. Read two books just for enjoyment.
  41. Start a small quilting or crochet project.
  42. Hike Boyce Park with a friend.
  43. Make crockpot apple butter.
  44. Start weekly walks with my sweet neighbor.
  45. Ride my bike in the cooler weather.
  46. Attend Laurelville Trust retreat with Mia Khoene.
  47. Continue planning ahead and setting goals.
  48. Clean off back porch and store patio cushions and wicker.
  49. Write out Christmas cards (with all school photos that haven’t been shared)!
  50. Start Christmas shopping.
  51. Start paying more attention to moisturizing skin and caring for hands, feet, and lips.
  52. Attend Shaker Wood’s Christmas in the Woods Festival.
  53. Alter this list as needed!

So, as the days grow inevitably shorter and we wake one morning to realize the leaves are turning, I hope that you’ll turn a new leaf with me and make a conscious effort to slow down and enjoy your surroundings, your loved ones and friends, your neighbor’s, church family, and all of God’s bountiful gifts this harvest season!

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““You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

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Having arrived home after a long talk with a distraught friend, I was feeling very blessed by my own humble home and surroundings. I sat down on the front stoop and the sight of my perennial gardens gave me the sense of relaxed peace that my friend was so desiring.

I truly wanted to share with her how I’d arrived at my own level of comfort and contentment, but how?  Truth be told, there is no “magic” formula, and I don’t know if anyone ever fully arrives. I think that it is different for everyone. But what I do imageknow is that one day you come to realize that you’re happy with yourself…with who you are and the direction that you’re heading.

I am by no means perfect in any way, in fact, maybe that’s where my comfort zone lies. I’ve stopped trying to be. Perfect, that is, by the worlds standards. Instead I have accepted myself as perfect in God’s eyes. In self acceptance of who I was designed to be and being ok with the realization that I’m a little bit different.

imageSo what can one do to reach this point in life, regardless of her age? I have actually been thinking about this for a few days, now. Struggling with how to compose this post, and thinking of my friend who is struggling with her own issues – unable to let go of her troubles and continuing to pull them back from God to handle on her own.

This morning some thoughts occurred to me, as I sat with my coffee on the back porch, and picked up my current study on Becoming A Woman of Simplicity (Cynthia Heald). The Message translation of the verse Matthew 11:29 reads, “Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” Perhaps that has been the answer all along. Our acceptance of His grace so that we can live our lives as He intends. Being who He created us to be. Doing what He created us for. When we go against the grain, and are not in His Will, there is tension. Discord. Discomfort. Chaos and uncertainty.

This doesn’t mean that we need to move on, or get away from every situation in which we find ourselves. Or that life will be a bed of roses. Honestly, in hind sight, most of my struggles in life have taught me many valuable lessons. How not to treat others. The ways I want to raise my own child. The importance of respect and hard work, and that I am capable of so much more than I ever would have believed. They have made me who I am and often allowed me to help others facing similar issues.

imageSo sure, I tend my gardens… With love, and care, and patience, hope, and anticipation. I know that they will inevitably flounder while they are struggling to be established, or be required to fight to overcome disease or pests that are hard to co-exist with. While the trials of harsh weather bear down on my delicate flowers, they will somehow be stronger for it. Just as we are when our Heavenly Father toils and tends to us.

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Local Summer Honey

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My daughter and I were on the lookout for local honey. Recently a sweet friend of mine had mentioned (in the middle of one of my particularly nasty hay fever attacks) that if I began taking a daily dose of the most local honey I could find, then I would build up an immunity to the local pollens that aggravate my sinuses and eyes so much this time of year. Well, that seemed to make sense, and there are days when I would try just about anything to relieve the symptoms that come with the seasonal allergies I have struggled with since I was five years old. What could be simpler (or tastier!) than a couple of teaspoons of honey a day in my tea, on my yogurt or oatmeal, or maybe topping some juicy melons with a bit of granola?

So one evening while driving home from a dance rehearsal we spotted a sign, “bee crossing” and “local honey.” Excitedly we made a mental note to come back when we had the chance. I always enjoy the adventure of exploring a new and local source for any agricultural, or other, type of product.

imageThis past Sunday, after church and chores, we decided it was time to venture down the road a way and see if we could meet some local beekeeping neighbors. It was a beautiful, sunny day for a country drive, and it was only a short jaunt over the hill before we once again spied the hand lettered sign and honeybee crossing. Pulling into the drive, we were excited to realize that we were still on our own road! (It’s a long road.) How much more local can you get?

A little giggly and nervous, the two of us made our way up onto the front porch to knock. It was a nice log cabin style home with flowers lining the walk up to the house. I let out a nervous giggle and elbowed my daughter as I looked down at the porch chair and table to our left where a pellet gun and its ammo rested. An older gentleman answered the creaky screen door and told us he would get his son when we inquired about the honey.

“Do you want the light or dark?” He asked, as he invited us in to wait for his son to come down.

“Well, I don’t know,” I answered. image“What’s the difference?” Allow me to interject right here how little I know about honey. It’s sweet. Bees make it and it tastes good. I know it’s good for me, especially in its raw form, and never spoils. That’s about all I know, as fascinating as I actually do find the topic of bee keeping.

In a short while Anthony came downstairs and we introduced ourselves. We asked some questions and he confirmed that he too had heard that local honey can help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies. We learned that the difference between light and dark honey is that the light version is made in spring/summer, and that the dark version is their winter honey. I chose the summer honey since it would contain the pollens that normally send me reeling in a fit of sneezes.

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Curious, I asked how far the bees will travel for their pollen?  Anthony knowledgeably stated that they would fly up to 3-5 miles. I smiled imagining that the bees that produced this honey may have rested on my own perennials!

After securing a good-sized bottle of the sticky golden sweetener, and a complimentary flavored honey stick for a treat, we thanked the two gentlemen and said our goodbyes while voicing hopes of another visit in the future.

On the drive home we discussed how great it is to know that local honey is so close by, and that someone is caring for the honeybees in our area. They are so important to our crops.

What a simple pleasure it will be to enjoy a cup of tea with a bit of honey and cinnamon on the back porch. Wondering if the bees resting on one flower and then the next in my perennial garden, will be buzzing their way back to the hive to manufacture my next bottle of honey?

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