July 31

Because I am such a pleaser, I went outside foggy bright and early this morning to get pictures of my lovely Rose of Sharron ‘fence’.

And now I feel compelled to tell you my saga of these poor bushes. This group that you see here were planted 5 springs ago. Superman and I planted them in the rain.

I hadn’t ordered enough, so the shortest one that you see was where we had to stop. (For that year)

We also planted them on the other side of the house.

Interestingly, the neighbor’s 2 dogs faithfully watered the other side and they all died.

So, I purchased some more, and 4 springs ago, found Superman planting again.

Superman is my hero, because he hates to plant these things.

I make him talk to them.

At that time, 3 little boys lived 2 houses over and they ran their motorized Jeep all over my freshly planted ‘fence’.Β  Only 3 survived.

I was. not. happy.

We also replaced the ones on the other side as well, and did all manner of things to discourage the dogs from watering my ‘fence’. It helped, but some died.

3 springs ago, I purchased my last batch of Rose of Sharron ‘fence’, daring anyone or anything to kill my plants.

Superman and the boy planted them, and I made them both talk to them.

This is why you see varying stages of growth, and varying colors.

I love them all.

This year, just before Superman left for Columbus, he mowed and weed whacked my lawn for me. He got way to close to my ‘fence’ and shredded the bark on the dog side. A few stems have died.

I have suggested to him that if he wants to plant more of these things, please…continue to weed whack my bushes.

I seriously doubt that the weed whacker will ever be seen on that side of the house again.


Now for the give away.

We all have fears of baking something. I was always afraid to use yeast. I stubbornly refused to even try to make bread, or any other baked good that used yeast.

Then bread machines came along.

I got one.

I used it.

Fresh baked bread was so much better than that nasty store bought stuff.

That machine gave me the courage to try to bake bread on my own, and I have never looked back.

So, today I am giving away a King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cook Book.

To try to win this lovely book, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you are afraid of in the kitchen? What are you afraid to cook or bake.

I will turn to the trusty number generator and have it pick a winner, which will be announced tomorrow.


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Just an average wife, mother, and homeschooling woman

52 thoughts on “July 31”

  1. Your Rose of Sharron are lovely. How tall will they get?

    My fear in the kitchen is….making whole wheat bread. Tried 20 yrs ago before I understood how yeast actually worked. I want to try again now that I have a trusty Kitchen aid mixer to do the real work for me. But its been 3 yrs and I just have not mustered up the courage……

  2. I have 2 Rose of Sharrons in my backyard and love them. The continueously bloom beautiful pink and white flowers.

    I am afraid of fish, would love to cook more, but just don’t know how to judge when it is really cooked through. Would also like to learn about how to use different herbs and spices with different meats and such. I am such a novice.

  3. One other thing that CC forgot to mention is that it took about 20 min just to plant one little shrub.

    -Cut the grass in a 12″ circle and slice it in half
    -Take the grass off the ground (careful! careful!)
    -Dig a 10″ deep hole (NO! It’s too deep!!)
    -Now CC has to ‘talk’ to the bucket of weeds shrubs to ‘see’ “Who wants to be planted here?? It has to be just the right one!”
    -Fill the hole back up (NO! Too much dirt!!)
    -Lay the grass back on and tamp it down (careful! CAREFUL! DON’T STEP ON IT!!!!) [which we weren’t stepping on it anyway]

    The thing I am most afraid to make in the kitchen is French Baguettes. Scares the beejeebees out of me. Don’t know why either.

  4. It would be easier to tell you what I’m NOT afraid of cooking. : ) Although, I will say, I’ve conquered a lot of my fears through PW’s pictures of how exactly to do some of those scary things (like make a pot roast). Here’s one for you though: pie crust. And actually pie in general. I love pies but am completely intimidated by them.

    And in the morning when you pick my number, ; ) if I don’t respond right away it’s because we’re going to be gone until tomorrow afternoon.

  5. I have cooked for almost 40 years. Raised 6 children. I can cook just about anything, but bread intimidates me too! The bread machine helps, but it’s not the same as old-fashioned bread…
    Enjoying your site.
    Be blessed today

  6. oooo, pretty Rose of Sharons. You were right to force Superman and the boy to plant them…just right. πŸ™‚

    Ok, That book is MINE!!

    Well, here’s mine.
    1. Pie Crust. It just can’t be done. 😦 I’m afraid to try again.
    2. Cooking on the grill, which isn’t really in the kitchen.

  7. Know what CC, I tried to call you on Monday, to look up an ingredient in that very book. I was at the health food store and you were not at home and I didn’t get what I needed. I also don’t have the book from the library to tell you what ingredient I needed.

    Thanks for no help. πŸ˜€

  8. They are just beautiful. If we weren’t moving, I would have to have hubby plant some of those.

    Biggest fear in the kitchen. Turning eggs into meringue. You know where you have to beat them until they are fluffy? Never could do it. And my other fear. Burning the kitchen down, because I have forgotten something in the oven.

  9. LOL…I just posted about me and bread…so I believe by divine intervention that this prize is meant for me….and I love the bushes btw…I should get me some!

  10. Your fence is pretty. πŸ™‚

    I’m afraid to make toffee. It looks like it would be a big, messy pain, and if it turned out not to be the very best toffee I’d ever had, I would probably throw a fit.

  11. Your fence line is lovely!

    I am intimidated of a few things in the kitchen. Seafood…especially fresh shrimp! Another fear is pie crust! Sure is a lot of work to make something that I don’t particularly like to eat.

    I’m also intimidated by fresh herbs, I’d love to learn to plant & use them.

  12. Beautiful fence.

    My fear in the kitchen is cooking anything in the oven over 375 degrees because my oven is usually dirty and smokes and sets the fire alarm off and I freak and hyperventilate and then never want to cook again.

    I don’t use the broiler for the same reason. My oven is now sparkling clean but I still don’t wanna try. Making garlic bread takes a long time because I won’t use the broiler. I can’t try the no-knead bread cuz you have to cook it on 400 or 450. DUH.

  13. I have the book so if my name is chosen you can give it to someone else. I do not make good pie crust but am not afraid of it. I just buy crust at the grocery. What is the name of the boy’s blog if I may ask? What I am afraid of in the kitchen is DEEP FRYING !!!! I have a deep fryer but it stinks up the kitchen. I am always afraid I will get horribly burned. Even though it is fairly safe I still hate it & cannot bear the smell. I would prefer to eat deep fried food away from my home if at all. I don’t like making something that bad for me at home.
    I also have no luck with Meringue. I wish I could make it like my mom ( who is in Heaven )

  14. I always wondered what those “bushes” are called–I see them in my neighborhood and think, “they would be lovely to cover that one side of my house that looks like we ignore it!” Rose of Sharron–I will never forget that now!

    I LOVE cooking and with 6 kids (and just found out another on the way–yes a new baby to make a total 7 kids–what am I thinking?) I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I would love to be brave enough to try to make divinity. Do you even know what that is? My grandma used to make the best divinity and she even tried to teach me once (there are a lot of rules) but I wasn’t interested then and now that she is gone, I wish I had paid more attention. It was the best candy ever!

  15. I have two fears…the one has been mentioned before, but I fear more than anything deep-frying. I think it has to do with a neighbor we had. Her little sister pulled the deep fryer off the counter and it burned her horribly. Also when you were in the hospital years ago for your knee, do you remember the girl in the bed next to yours. She was burnt by a deep fryer. So hence FEAR. I almost forgot I fear using a pressure cooker. I have heard horror stories of them blowing up!

    My fear to make something in the kitchen would be a soufflΓ©. Never have tried it but have always wanted to. Has my grandson or you tried it? Just wondered if you or anyone could give me some hints or insight.

    Also I love your Rose of Sharon fence. I would think about Jesus every time I would look at it since it is one of His names!

    Love you and you can sign & date the book before you give it to me:)

  16. My fear in the kitchen is making gravy. It is always a hit or miss adventure with me– we either can eat it or it is so thick or thin we have to throw it away. I can never get my gravy to be right. I can bake or fry anything but gravy is just beyond me.

    Love your roses- they are beautiful!
    (P.S.- I am absolutely hopeless with flowers as well- not sure which I do a worse job on- flowers or gravy– haha)

  17. I love The Boy’s discription of planting. Too Funny!

    I’m in dreaded fear of making anything that requires a water bath. It just makes me feel creeped out. It seems like things would wind up going wrong and everything would come out soggy or something.

  18. ME TOO! That book looks really great and what a tribute to persistence your “fence” is! I am intimidated by –fried chicken!–I cannot get it right! Perfect on the outside–very much no-so in the middle-I bake it-why put up with all that mess for a result you would send back in a cafe? I also balk at doing “things” to meat-like deveining-what do I pay the butcher for if not to get rid of the yuck for me??

  19. I am also the one who has the fear of bread making. After only trying three loaves, that have failed miserably, within the last couple years I finally purchased a very nice (but intimidating) bread machine at goodwil. I have made two loaves and only one has turned out. Am I destined to fail with this bread issue or what?!!!! 😦

    Also, have to say that I LOVE your blog and it makes me smile, laugh, cry, and I am glad that you choose to keep blogging!!

  20. I am absolutely terrified of cooking steak. I am scared to under cook it and have blood squirt out when I cut into it. But if I over cook it’s like eating a piece of leather.

    My husband doesn’t mind, we’re chicken type people. LOL

    P.S. The fence is beautiful. :o)

  21. I am scared of live baking ingredients like yogurt and yeast! I will not touch these things with my bare hands, I will wear gloves when handling these πŸ˜› I refuse to eat yogurt unless it is cooked and all the live things are dead! πŸ˜›

    I love your hedges too. I have some of the rose of sharon hedges, but mine aren’t very bushy 😦

  22. I’m glad to know I have 2 chances at winning the book πŸ™‚

    I am terrified of trying to make puff pastry. I just know I will mess it up.
    I am also afraid of deep frying because it seems like I burn myself so often.

  23. Wow… I’m not afraid of too much in the kitchen. I used to think I was afraid of biscuits, but last month I made some and we liked it so much we made them again. I’ve done pie crust – it didn’t look too good during the creation of it, but it came through fine. I’ve been baking bread for years. Baking and cooking aren’t problems for me. Grilling, I can wing it but haven’t been trying to master it because my husband does that.

    I know what I’m afraid of. I’m afraid to cook without a recipe to guide me. The first time I pretty much follow it word for word (unless I happen not to have an ingredient). Thereafter I feel free to derive and play a bit more… but I’m not too good at coming up with ideas out of thin air. I won’t be turning a bottle of BBQ sauce and a handful of noodles into the best soup one’s ever had. I worry too much about the hurl factor.

    The other thing is learning how to make soap. I do realize that you can’t eat it… but you do have to make it in your kitchen. The lye makes me a little nervous. I also knew when the idea popped into my head a couple years ago, I would need to take my sweet time in getting comfortable with the concept. If I don’t make soap this year, definitely 2009!

  24. well, I guess I’m disqualified from this contest as nothing scares me, not baking of which I used to do tons of nor cooking as I really like to cook. Does cleaning the kitchen count?

  25. There’s not too terribly much I am afraid of trying to prepare in the kitchen – I’ll try anything at least once (never sauerkraut balls again – they did NOT turn out well)! However, I would love to learn to can but am afraid of a pressure cooker because of all the scary stories I’ve heard about them. So I freeze instead, but miss homegrown canned green beans & tomatoes! Do you can or use a pressure cooker? If so, can I have a lesson sometime? πŸ™‚

  26. Lovely roses! πŸ˜€

    I already have that book (Applie, you could’ve called me!), so if I win you can send it to Michielle, since she is fearless in the kitchen. πŸ˜‰

    I’m stupid with steak. Specifically, broiling or grilling steak. Simmering steaks I can handle (and I know which kind to buy for which cooking method). I’ve wasted more money on good steaks that I kill. 😳 I’ve followed the best advice I can find in cookbooks and online. I still make shoe leather. 😦

  27. I look forward to seeing the boy demonstrate making pie crust once again, one of these days I’ll actually have to try it.

    “what you are afraid of in the kitchen? What are you afraid to cook or bake.”

    I used to be afraid of my kids touching the stove or oven when on, or the heat singing their hair. Now that they are older I don’t worry as much.

    I would say that I’m scared of making candy due to the fine line of temperature – fudge doesn’t count in my book.

    I don’t fry because it make such a mess, though we have done it outside especially the turkey at Thanksgiving.

  28. Well, to tell you the truth, I fear baking anything anymore…It is too hard to clean up after myself…lol…truly!! warm loving hugs…Mona

  29. Your roses are beautiful!

    I’m with you on the yeast. I was worried I would have water too hot. AND pie crust! I can’t seem to get the hang of it or how to flute it around the edges.

    Can’t wait to see what the boy comes up with. Use small words and lots of pictures!! πŸ™‚

  30. I planted what I thought was a Rose of Sharon, but it turned out to be a “rapidly re-producing white flowered weed” that I’m still trying to eradicate from my landscape. As far as fear in the kitchen, I can honestly say that I fear absolutly nothing in the kitchen. Unless, of course, I turn something on.

  31. Your rose hedges are beautiful!

    I am afraid of the pressure cooker and will NEVER use it. I mean it…never!

  32. I too am afraid of the pressure cooker. Mom used to use one all the time, but I was afraid of it even back then. The roses are beautiful. It should keep nosy neighbors from seeing in.

  33. I love your fence.

    My fear is potatoes. I do not cook them well at all. If I boil them for mashed potatoes, they get water logged. If I boil them for potato salad, I get potato soup. If I fry them for hash browns, I get sticking-to-the-pan mush.

    I’m a lost cause.

  34. There are many things I don’t want to try, but it is usually b/c I am lazy. I admit that I don’t want to make anything that requires a candy thermometer or canning. I will probably never make meringue, a real cheesecake, or bagels either.

    Thanks for more pictures of your “Sharons”.

  35. I’m also a little afraid of the pressure cooker. i’ve only used it about twice since we’ve gone coastal (NOT POSTAL!!!!)Mine is a big canner & i’m always aqfraid it will blow up. I always give a huge sigh of relief when the pressure has gone out & i can take the lid off. I’m also scared of making candy that needs a thermometer….

  36. Yeast breads are intimidating, but mine turn out very well. I don’t do well with alfredo sauce. I manage to get it to separate most of the time. That’s not to say we don’t eat it, it just doesn’t look great.

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