Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unexpected Beauty In Letting Go

Hollyhocks, self sown, are among my favorites this year.
They help welcome everyone to the garden.

I have been looking out my window at the summer flowers in my garden and thinking about how much I have enjoyed them this year.  This is in spite of the fact that most of them were planted where they are without any help from me and grow in places I would have never wanted to plant them.

The wanderers
Jacob Cline Monarda and Cooley's Hedge Nettle

Between the mole moving bits of roots and bulbs around to things self sowing, it has become a surprise every year as to what will come up where and the garden has become less and less of what I planned it to be and more of a wild child.  In spite this the flowers are still performing beautifully...maybe more so than when I wielding control of it.

Adenaflora...Under the Quince tree?
I never planted it there!

I have spent many days in angst over what I have defined as the crying child who I am unable to console.  By that I mean I can no longer keep it weeded and keep plants in their places.  But as I think about what I have witnessed this year I have to say, in spite of this anxiety there has been a blessing  born in every new batch of flowers that open up...fantastic, beautiful, sweet and bold flowers!

This garden is a far cry from the well groomed, regularly mulched garden with trimmed chamomile pathways and plants kept within bounds that I used to maintain.  And as I consider what I am witnessing I think I have a huge lesson God is teaching me...I need to relax a lot more.  He has shown me that control does not give me what I think it will.  It only serves to make me feel I need to always be in control.  And if my efforts are all spent on control, how much do I miss out on when I am so focused on needing to be in control?  I think I have missed out on a lot of opportunities to see His beauty in my life because of this. But am hopeful for the future as I let go and let Him have His way as I remember that nothing is loss in God's economy.

Astrantia major doing a major job of self sowing
where Iris siberica 'David' also grows.

If you can relate to what I am saying then I encourage you to take today and try to enjoy the blooms you find in your life, especially those that pop up in unexpected and seemingly unwanted places.  And don't be afraid of let go of those plans for your life.  Let them go and hit the ground and let God raise them up like an emerging plant from a seed buried in the soil emerges in the right time.  Letting God direct and design the plan for our lives will bring about His best for us.

Bronze fennel self sowed amid the tulips
and I loved it!

Make room for what God wants to grow in your life, surrender to the Master Gardener.  Lay down the shovel of self-will, the wheel barrow of pride, the hoe of anxiety and the rake of rebellion and the tiller of selfish ambition and let His eternal beauty will begin to bloom in the garden of your life.  Ask Him for help if you are struggling with this.  I had to, my entire identity used to be tied to this garden back in the day.  I prayed to God that if it was not a place where He would be glorified and where people would be able to experience His love that He would take it from me.  He hasn't taken it from me but He has changed the garden and at the same time has changed my hearts desire for it.

Designed by my team of moles
Garden Phlox behind Nectaroscordum
Not bad, Not bad at all.

God's will is for our good; a good that is more often defined differently than we define it but in the end will bring forth such amazing beauty where only the weeds of sin once grew. May His beauty be born out in your life today as you start trusting Him for your future.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Copyright © 2012 by Patty Hicks
All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. All reviews must include author's name and a link back to this blog.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Corn Shucking Magic...Really it is!

Magic about to happen

Doesn't fresh corn on the cob just give you warm fuzzy memories of shucking corn for Mom to cook up on a summer's day?  My own corn memories also include "Corn Day".  Corn Day was annual gathering together with house mates around a pull behind trailer filled with fresh picked corn.  Then there were the corn shucking races, batting at yellow jackets, corn jokes, corn with lots of butter for lunch and more corn jokes and those wonderful bags of fresh frozen corn that were worth every minute of the day long labor that we feasted on all winter long  (Yum.) 

There is one memory though that I am am pretty sure is not a favorite for anyone...fighting to get the silks off the ears.  Oh how I used to wish there was some magic way make them disappear during "Corn day".  Actually my wish came true this year through a pin I saw on Pinterest and since I am trying to actually use at least part of what I pin so I gave it a try.  Well actually that's a lie.  The real reason I tried it was because I could not believe it was going to be that easy.  Boy was I in for a surprise.

The original post said to cook one ear for 5 minutes and then cut one inch off the bottom of the cob after the corn is cooked.  Just so you know, trying to cut a corn cob before it is cooked is like trying to cut a tree branch with a table knife. I decided to pre-cut my corn where the bottom end of the cob would be cut off only going in as far as I could without hurting my hand and before I had a major accident with my chef's knife and then removed a few of the outer husks.  Then the corn was microwaved 7 minutes for 2 ears, turning them over half way through.  (Not all microwaves are made alike and mine is a commercial unit that is high powered so your corn may need more time.)

Husks are scored through before cooking

One tip...be sure to use hot pads when handling the cooked ears, they'll be steaming and very hot.

Slices nice as pie

With the bottom end cut off it was time to watch the magic so I grabbed the silk end of the corn and shook it releasing my beautiful corn-on-the-cob onto the plate.

This really can't be that easy or can it?
TA DAAA!  Isn't that just amazing?  No I'm not fibbing this time...it really does work like magic.

Wowwie zowwie, would you look at that!

So now you can wow your friends and neighbors at your next barbeque.  Have fun! 

Copyright © 2012 by Patty Hicks
All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. All reviews must include author's name and a link back to this blog.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Falling in Public and Other Summer Fun

Yes I am having fun, can't you tell?

Lets just say this has been one of the most interesting few weeks I have had in a very long time.  First off I have been trying for weeks to write but was taking a medicine for chronic pain that left me feeling mentally dead and unable to write or even come up with things to write about.  That was like losing my soul so when it stopped working for the pain I was happy to stop taking it.  I have always thought that stuff was brain poison anyway and you should have seen the doc's face when I called it that.  Let's just say he didn't find funny but oh well.

Anyhow, the day after my last dose of the brain poison I decided to go to the local farmer's market and while stepping up on to the curb, I caught my toe and fell in front of EVERYONE full force onto my right hand. (Uhg...why is this kind of thing always in front of a crowd?)  As I layed there unable to get up I looked at my poor hand.  Yup...this was not good.  There was what looked like a bone out of joint or something sticking up on the right side of my hand above the wrist joint and I could not turn or bend it.  I waiting wondering if anyone was coming to help and felt like people had just evacuated the sidewalk when I fell...that was a really weird feeling.

It took onlookers what seemed like forever to figure out I could not get up on my own and those who helped were so sweet. I was laying there on my back and they were all trying to help me up not knowing I could not get up from a sitting position.  It was a circus of kindness but they finally got me on my feet. (Thank you to all of you who helped...whoever you are.)

I was in shock for about 15 minutes and given a comfortable chair and some ice for my wrist and then I drove myself back home and wrapped it up and tried to not use it.  That was interesting.  Try not using your favorite hand for an evening and see how you do.

The boat cast the doc first put on my hand that lasted 24 hours

By Monday I was at the Urgent Care clinic, x-rays showed it was indeed broken and my paw was set in a boat cast (a type of splint that is made up of the lower half of a fiberglass cast).  I got to stand along side the doc and read the book on how to treat this type of injury.  I now know the names of th bones in my hand...well some of them and in my arm too. (I'm a nerdy girl and eat this stuff up).  My doc was not very up on how to treat my injury and I knew it but gave her the benefit of the doubt.

By Tuesday morning I was ready tear the boat cast off my hand and throw it through our front window after a night of constant readjustments and rewrapping the darn thing.  It just wasn't staying where it needed too and the nerve pain it was causing was ridiculous.  The first thing I called the doc who told me I definitely didn't need a cast (yippee I think) and I could use a store bought splint but it needed to be a firm one and that I needed to be able to move my fingers "a lot".  I am a notoriously bad patient when it comes to not using my hand as I have discovered too.

So here I am...it will be 2 to 4 weeks stuck in a splint before I am back to being able to using my hand freely again and typing with a single finger is honestly a drag.  No gardening, no crafting, I can sort of cook but can't chop veggies so what fun is that?  I should get a video of me trying to dish up food...that is laugh.

At this point I am painfully aware of every curb or step I cross and am getting board out of my mind.  So how's your summer going?  I hope you are all staying safe, remember to pick up those feet when you step up on curbs and thanks for listening.  If you have a funny story you wanna share here, feel free.  I could always use another reason to laugh.