Green Thumbs and a Purple Shin

Some people have that magic touch. They can take any green– a flower, a bush, or a vegetable plant– and make it grow. When I picture these people, I always see a little of the stereotypical Disney princess in my mind — surrounded by birds and woodland creatures, singing to the sapling as it happily grows towards their voice.

When I picture myself as one of these people, I always see more of a Jack and the Beanstalk type giant stumbling around and squashing all the pumpkins in the field kind of thing.

I’ve never had much experience with gardening. My mother planted some flowers when I was young, and sometimes I would help pack the soil, but other than that, my main experience is with pre-cut flowers purchased from a store. It was nothing I ever felt I would be good at. I watched my friend in college bring one plant after another into her dorm room and manage to, not only keep them alive, but make them thrive in a cinder block cage. I always told myself that that could never be me.

Now, I’m married to a man who also seems to have that green thumb. He grew up helping his father garden on a small piece of land outside of town that they called “the farm”. His father grew up helping his father, so it is kind of a family thing. Now that we are getting ready to move onto our own property, my husband is getting more and more excited about gardening and yard work, something I have generously told him is “his circus, his monkeys.” He can do whatever he wants out there, just don’t ask for too much help from me unless you want help killing it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fresh produce that we get from his father’s garden and may get from our own someday. There is nothing like homegrown tomatoes, zucchinis, green beans, eggplants, and sweet corn. In fact, I happily welcome any time my father-in-law tells us to go to the farm and get whatever we want, which is exactly what we were able to do recently that prompted this post.

My green-thumbed husband offered to go into the corn stalks and, as his father used to do when he was a kid, throw the corn out for me to catch and bag. I wish I had asked more follow up questions before this “game” started.

For any of you who haven’t had an ear of corn chucked in your general direction, here is a tip: Don’t try to catch it!

Because

  1. They are heavier than you think. Catching it with your hands doesn’t feel the best.
  2. And if you don’t catch it with your hands, when it bounces off the ground into your shin, it hurts like a mother and leaves pretty purple bruises.

See! These are the horrifying images captured before a hasty duck and roll to avoid getting blasted again!

Even though my shins hurt for a few days, I will say, there is nothing better than fresh, homegrown sweet corn. Seriously, that was our dinner almost the entire week long!

Maybe once we get a garden set up in our yard, I will find that I am not as squashing giant as I think I am. Maybe I’ll find a real sense of accomplishment in growing my own vegetables or herbs. Maybe I’ll find out I am capable of having BOTH a green thumb and a purple shin!

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Rolle’n Through the Weekend

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

I hope you were able to enjoy the long weekend (if you got a long weekend, that is. If you didn’t, I apologize for rubbing it in.) I certainly made the most of the extra day off. I was so busy enjoying the weekend, in fact, that I did not get to post any new activities since Thursday!

However, the reason I was too busy to post since Thursday is that I was busy spending time with family and DOING a bunch of new activities. So many activities to share with you!

Every year, my husband’s family has a Labor Day picnic on the Saturday before the holiday. His family lives on the outskirts of a tiny town on a small farm. They have a few cows, some barn kittens, and recently lost their mini horse Buckey (he lived a very long life. RIP Buckey). Family comes from all over, as far as Arizona, for this picnic. One of my favorite parts of the picnic is the hay rack ride, where the adults stuff beer cans into their pant pockets to make sure they have enough alcohol for the 20 minute ride. Kids go too, but we know who it is really for!

This was my third Labor Day picnic with the family, but this year there was a new activity. In my husband’s tiny home town, the game Rolle Bolle is a very big deal. They have tournaments regularly and most kids are given their own engraved bolle by the time they are in elementary school. I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve heard about how good my husband apparently is at this game, but for some reason, for all this talk, I’d never seen him play. I’d never seen the game played at all, actually.

For those of you like me who had never heard of this game before, it is a mix of boccie ball, horseshoes, and bowling. The simplified goal of the game is to roll your bolle towards a peg in the ground and be the closest to it. The bolle is a hard rubber wheel-looking thing with one beveled edge. This edge is important for making the bolle curve certain ways that require way more skill than I acquired in an hour of playing.

After a few rounds, I started to get the hang of it. I started to get my bolle closer to the peg slightly more regularly. Even so, I am very glad we did not play for money or bragging rights. We played with children with the goal of learning. I will say, I ended up being better at it than I thought I would be. I have a tendency to be really good at activities I’ve never tried before, a fact that kind of annoys my husband. He hates introducing me to new activities that he enjoys because I almost always am better than him the first time I play. I tell him it is beginner’s luck, whereas he is better off because he actually has some technique. See how well he does even with two cans of beer in his hand.

*I was told that it is a requirement to play this game with some form of alcohol in your other hand. Must add an additional difficulty level or something.

Another thing I will add, the bolle is kind of heavy. After an hour, my wrist was very tired and it has been sore for the rest of the weekend. I may need to do some resistance training so I can increase my bolle hand strength.

So, how do I feel about Rolle Bolle, you ask? Is this game I would recommend others try? Well, I’ll let me face answer that one!

Now to find the energy to “rolle” into this four day week!

To a Tee

One of the most common things you hear when you ask someone about their hobbies is the sports they are interested in. Whether it is the sports they watch and cheer on obsessively, or the sports they play in their spare time, it is a pretty universal hobby-type. There are the common ones, like baseball, basketball, and football. And there are the lesser common ones, like darts, Frisbee golf, and ping-pong.

This weekend, on a date night with my husband, we stretched one of these hobby sports to make it fit my needs. Though I intend to try a real driving range in the future, this weekend was the short range fun kind- Mini Golf!

My husband, a semi-avid golfer prior to his shattered humerus last year, decidedly told me he was going to “wipe the floor with my ass” when we arrived, so I was feeling the pressure to beat him mercilessly. Just some old-fashioned, goodhearted competition between spouses. So, when we counted after the 9th hole, he was pretty grouchy that we were tied.

Look at that serious stance!

When we went into the 18th hole still tied, we were both feeling the pressure. We decided to make it interesting- loser buys ice cream! He putted first. I told him not to choke. He didn’t appreciate it. He was even less appreciative when we ended the 18th hole still tied.

When your husband smack talks you the whole way to the course, you are not allowed to end in a tie. It just can’t happen. Thankfully the 18th hole did not take our balls, so we replayed a hole that was close to us where there weren’t other people. Which, very happily I might add, ended with a hole in one and a boast-worthy victory for me.

Don’t feel too bad for him though, cause I was still a nice wife and bought him ice cream anyway! So we both won, because I enjoy activities that end with ice cream! And as you can see, we were still friends at the end of the evening!

Now that I am warmed up, I am looking forward to trying a driving range for the first time. However, with a background in softball, everyone near me better beware, cause I can’t guarantee I won’t swing it like a bat.

Come back later to see how that turns out!

Gotta Cache Em’ All

Friday night, shortly after posting my first post and spending an hour Google searching hobbies, I changed out of my work clothes, put on my tennis shoes, and dragged my husband out the door towards my very first hobby attempt.

If the title didn’t give it away, here are a few more hints as to what hobby we tried:
– This hobby is close to the top of any hobby list; you wouldn’t have to hunt for it.
– You will find that it can be challenging, but very rewarding.
– The needed materials will not be hard to map out.
– While doing this, you may look absolutely outraGEOus to the general public.

Have you guessed it yet?

We went Geocaching!

Geocaching has been around for a while now, but in case you don’t know what it is, it is essentially a modern day treasure hunt. Using the Geocaching App and GPS tracking information, you are led to hidden treasures literally everywhere! (If you are looking for additional information, check out the Geocaching website!)

The only supplies you need to get started are:
– A vehicle (if you plan to go long distances)
– A phone (for the app)
– A pen (to sign the logs when you find the caches)

And if you are like my husband and me, the last needed essential is:

-Iced Coffee! (This is an essential for all activities, really.)

After the coffee was stirred and secured in cup holders, we were off!

The app uses GPS to help you get in the vicinity of the cache. After that, you are on your own. We found one hidden behind a fuse box in the back of a business building!

By the end of the evening, we had found 7 caches. We were only unable to find one, which was great! But, the one we couldn’t find was (of course) the very first one we tried to find, so that was a little discouraging. However, the app has a log that tracks who has found the caches and when, and we later noticed the first cache was reported to be missing from the site. No wonder we didn’t find it!

Smiley faces represent found caches! Green are available to find. Grey require an in-app purchase.

Once you find the cache, you sign the log inside of it, log it as found on the app, and place it back to be found by someone else. Some caches are large enough to hold hidden treasures, like coins, temporary tattoos, poker chips, etc. We did not find any like that, but the fun is in finding it, not getting something from it. At least, it was for us!

My husband signing the log.

The best part of Geocaching is knowing how stupid you must look to anyone who sees you. You are tripping around parking lots, fields, businesses, and personal property (all caches are placed on personal property with permission), walking face down into your phone and searching high and low. They say you are supposed to be sneaky so you don’t get caught by muggles, but that is easier said than done at 6:00 p.m. on a Friday night in a busy town.

Overall, we had a really great time. It was the perfect activity for a beautiful Friday night, and even better, short of the gas money and iced coffees, it did not require any $$ at all!!

I can absolutely see us going Geocaching again! If you’ve ever gone, leave a comment about your experience and if you found anything cool!!

I’d definitely say Hobby #1 was a success!