Life happens so what do you do?

As the title says sometimes life jumps in front of all your plans and you end up making big changes to them.

Right now my plans are for making my garden more productive.  Or at least grow some things that we can use.

I started out planting peas, beans, parsnips, carrots and radishes. Well, they all seem to be doing well except I think I pulled the parsnips up thinking they were weeds.

I have never seen parsnips growing and also have never tasted them. They just did not appeal to me, but my husband said he loved them as a kid when he would raid a neighbours garden take them home and fry them. So I planted a couple rows just for him. After figuring out I have pulled most of them I spent a bit of time planting more seeds. The 2nd ones are coming up now.

Word of advice: when gardening make sure you know what the plant looks like before you go out and pull weeds.

The radishes are getting big and we are having them in our salad every night, which is wonderful but I also plant more seeds every time I pull a couple to use. This way hopefully we will have radishes for the entire summer.

The salad mix of seeds are now being used for meals. So with bbq’s every night and salad from the garden I feel pretty proud of myself and even manage to forget the sore back I have from picking food and pulling weeds.

Now this next is where life steps in front of your plans.

The rhubarb patch has been in the yard since we bought the house 13 years ago and I would go out and pick it then put it into the freezer for later use.  I would make fruit crisps for a change during the winter. But my husband has diabetes so the carbohydrates in the topping is not a good thing for him so no more crisps. What do I do with rhubarb?

I found a really simple recipe for jam so now I have 40 pint size jars of rhubarb jam and 20 jars of a mixture of crab apple, pineapple and rhubarb sauce, which can be used as jam or a dipping sauce for pork or chicken. I made it with Splenda so it is fine for Don to have. Much tastier and healthier than commercial plum sauce.

The problem is that the rhubarb seems to be never ending. I have been making jam every 2 days for the last 2 weeks. So that takes away from other things I should be doing and my energy level is not very high right now. But the feeling I get seeing all those jars sitting on the shelf full of good things to eat when the season is done sure gives me a boost.

I also made half the preserves with sugar so now I have spur of the minute gifts for friends and they will make a nice base for Christmas gift baskets. Last year I gave nibble plates to friends and acquaintances so this year I will start with the jam and figure out what else to put in the basket as it gets to be time for Christmas gifts.

I also found a recipe for making plum sauce so when the prune plums start showing up in the grocery store I will get several baskets and attempt to make this. We use a lot of plum sauce since I cook chicken quite a bit, but this recipe will also go nicely on toast or muffins, so another gift idea for baskets. Again half will be made with Splenda and half with sugar.

As you can see this will be a busy part of the year for me. Which was all in the plans I had set up.

What life has done, is damaged the garage roof and walls, so they have to be taken off and put up new. We went out last week and ordered the wood, hired the neighbour to help with the work so this weekend that is the major job. The neighbour has already started ripping off the shingles and he put his foot through the roof. So since he is the 2nd person to do this I am glad it is being done properly this time. My son Dan did the same thing last summer while helping make repairs which helped, but now is the time it will be done completely. I am sure Dan is glad he is in China this time or he might have to get back up there and help.

I am not involved in the labour of fixing the garage but I will be called upon to get drinks and small tools so I can’t really do any big jobs around the house since they will be interrupted as soon as I start them. I know this from experience so I guess it will be puttering around with small things, knowing that most of them will not be done completely. Oh well, such is life.

Another problem with the building of the garage is that one end has a lattice face and it is covered with Virginia Creeper and Clematis vines. They have taken me 4 years to grow enough to cover the entire wall. They will have to be cut down so the wall can be replaced. I told my husband to cut them down to the ground and try not to trample the roots, so hopefully they will come back next year or maybe even a bit this year. I would hate to have them die or be killed as they look very nice from the road. So I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Another problem with life and plans is when you are dealing with other peoples plans combined with yours.

My son Dan and his family are planning on moving back to Canada this year. They were supposed to come for a visit this summer so we planned a week long camping trip with my other son and his family. Well now the trip from China is no more and we are camping with my son and his family. The campsite is paid for and all we need to do is pack up the gear and boat and take the week in July. Sounds good on paper but not so good in real life.

I have a great deal of trouble physically with rheumatoid arthritis so walking is very painful. We are camping at the Sleeping Giant provincial park which has hiking trails where you climb onto the sleeping giant and see Lake Superior at its best. When both boys were going to be there I figured I could stay around the camp site and beach with the youngest granddaughter while everyone else took off for hiking. Now I will be left by myself to read and relax.

Also my daughter in law and I have absolutely nothing in common so it makes it hard to talk with her. She is a nice lady but I am not comfortable with her so the week may not be as much fun for me as it would if all the grand children were there. The 3 children who will be are all of an age where sitting and playing with grandma just doesn’t give them much fun. They will be climbing and hiking most of the time and that leaves Don and I sort of at loose ends. They will go fishing with grandpa and dad and that leaves mom and I back in camp together. This may be an opportunity to get to know each other better so things would be more comfortable for both of us.

Sure hope this is the case or it will be a long week. But such is life and we will survive.

When life steps in you had better have a sense of humour or you will find making changes a bit more stressful.

Learn to laugh at yourself and situations and make the most of what you have to deal with.

Life is too short to panic over small things like garage roofs, and plans that just don’t go the way they did on paper.

Hope everyone is having or planning a nice relaxing summer. Stock up on the sun because you will need the memories of it when winter returns.

Have a good day and if you have plans you would like to share feel free. I love hearing what others do when life steps in.

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About Grandma

I am a grandma of 4 I write stories for children I love to talk about children and give tested advice.
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