Rattlesnake Pole Beans

Rattlesnake Pole Beans {The Reluctant Hippie}

Oh, you guys. Remember when I told you that growing bush beans was so easy and fun and perfect? Forget that.

Inspired by our success with Black Valentine beans, I decided to take a leap and try pole beans last summer. Continue reading


Splash bombs (reusable water balloons)

Splash Bombs (Reusable Water Balloons) {The Reluctant Hippie}

You know what sucks about water balloons? Everything except for the 4.2 seconds during which the balloon is launched and exploded. First, you have to fill each balloon and tie each balloon. Then, after the fun is over, you have to hunt down hundreds of pieces of brightly colored balloon shrapnel strewn about your yard. They waste time and materials. The scraps are dangerous for babies and wildlife.

I hate water balloons. But I also love playing with them, and so do my kids. I started looking for an alternative.  Continue reading

What I Should’ve Said: An Open Letter to the TruGreen Guy

Dear Sir,

It has been a few weeks since we last spoke. I’m not sure if you will remember me, but here’s a quick re-cap of our exchange to jog your memory:

  • There’s a “No Solicitors” sign next to my doorbell. That probably won’t help you – you seem to have missed it.
  • I quietly said, “Hi” with an inquisitive look on my face. You said (loudly and with a laugh), “Huh. It’s like you have a baby sleeping in there.” To which I responded, “I *do* have a baby sleeping in here. What can I do for you?” Still not ringing a bell? Okay, we’ll keep going.
  • You asked whether I had a lawn care company. I used to, but we fired them this year for a whole host of reasons. I didn’t want to delve into the subject with you, so I just said, “Yes, we’re covered.” And you said, “Really? Because I’m looking around in your yard, and there are a lot of areas that are really not looking too good” as you turned and shrugged towards several patches that are, indeed, not looking too good.
  • I said that I wasn’t interested in hiring a new company, and you OPENED MY SCREEN DOOR and handed me a brochure while quickly saying that if I changed my mind, just to give you a call — your company could sort out “all this,” as you gestured to my yard. When I handed the brochure back to you because I didn’t want to waste the paper, your eyes bugged out, you raised your voice, and you said, “Well, excu-u-use, ME.”
  • You stormed off my porch as I closed the door.

That was the end of our conversation. It took less than 5 minutes, but it stuck with me, mostly because I left so many things unsaid. I feel that I need some closure, so here goes. Continue reading

5 Wonderful Things People Did For Us While I Was Recovering From Surgery

As I mentioned earlier, I had emergency abdominal surgery in March. We are blessed in so many ways, but some of our greatest gifts are our friends and family. I cannot tell you the number of hours people spent making food, taking care of kids, helping with the house and yard, and providing support and encouragement. It’s wonderful and humbling.

I also now have a ton of ideas for nice things to do for people who are in a similar situation – serious illness, surgery, new baby in the house, etc. I wanted to share 5 of the most awesome gifts we received during this period. Continue reading

Hippie Hiatus

Ugh. It’s April. This month is always a black hole – spring break, the arrival of warmer weather, the renewal of the drudgery of yard work, and preparing for Little Hippie’s birthday at the end of the month all combine to bring bloggery to a grinding halt. Some people would plan ahead and stack up a few posts in anticipation of the slump, but that’s not really my style.

So, I apologize for not doing a substantive post AGAIN this week. As a poor substitute, I offer this partial listing of what we’ve been up to and where we’re heading. Continue reading

Vegetable Gardening for Dummies

Even with the long winter we’ve had this year, I am still a little shocked that it’s time to start planning this year’s garden. If you are looking for tips on growing pretty flowers, you will want to find another blog. If I can’t eat the end result, gardening just isn’t worth the hassle for me. However, if you are thinking about growing a few vegetables but aren’t sure where to start, “Vegetable Gardening for Dummies” is a great book.

Continue reading