Highlight of the Week: Enjoy Every Pickle.

My cousin Carolyn just posted that she and John are keeping gratitude journals. I think that is awesome. I believe with all my heart that attitude is everything. We can complain about what we don’t have, or what life has handed us, but once you start focusing on what you do have and your blessings, it truly changes your life in ways you can’t imagine.

I’m thinking of posting a highlight of each week. This week, however, I have two. And how awesome is that in which I have two things that brought me so much joy? This week I was blessed, no doubt.

No. 1: Last Saturday (August 3), we had our “kids” up to the house, along with cousins and friends.

Steve and I never had biological kids, but we have several kids in our life who make it rich and whole. We love our many nieces and nephews more than life itself, as well as kids of cousins. But there are two other, non-related humans who have been in our lives for about 33 years whom we love and consider our own: Philip and Wendy.

It’s a long story about how they came into our lives, but Phil lived in the duplex next door and was a couple of days shy of his fifth birthday when we met him in July 1980; Wendy was in utero, born the following November. They turned out to be two kids who needed some stable adults. I now realize we needed them even more.

Because of the busyness of all of our lives and the fact that everyone lives far apart, we don’t see them as much as we’d all like to. But we love them dearly, as well as their spouses and children, and when we see them, it is comfortable, loving and real.

Phil and his wife, Becky, and their girls, Trinity and Keira were here on Saturday, along with Wendy, her husband Josh, and their son Wyatt. Along with my cousins Maureen, Riley and Farlin, and our good friend Steve Lipoma. A great meal, good wine and beer, sitting by the fire telling ghost stories, and kinship.

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No. 2: Last Tuesday (August 6), I spent the afternoon canning with my sister Lisa, with help from her husband, Ron, and her cat, Elvira.

Lisa moved to Alpine from Pine Valley late last year. What a difference in vegetable gardening that move made. Here in Descanso, our growing season is short, and our veggies have been stunted by the extremely nice (i.e., cool) weather we’re having. I like it, but the veggies don’t. Lisa’s garden in Alpine is growing like gangbusters.

She harvested just a few of the HUNDREDS of cucumbers she has. On Tuesday, we made our first attempt at being homestead wives, canning and preserving like our ancestors did. We ended up with 11 jars of pickles, which included red bell peppers, sliced garlic, jalapeno, fresh dill, pickling spices and fresh peppercorns. They smelled awesome and I can’t wait to taste them. We’re hoping to keep canning more in the near future.

I count my blessings everyday and feel very fortunate. I hope you do too! Life is short, so enjoy every moment. And enjoy every pickle.

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