change, family

Beth and Liz

My full name, Elizabeth, can morph into many nicknames.

I began as Beth. That was my family name, my toddler name. My first name.

My parents loved to tell the story of going to first grade curriculum night. We had moved and changed schools. It was a few weeks into the school year and my parents went to meet the teacher. She asked my parents who their child was. My parents said “Beth.” My teacher said she didn’t have a Beth in her class. They put two and two together and figured out I was now Elizabeth.

Looking back, I wonder why I didn’t correct her. Was I not confident in that time of great change? Or was I ready to be someone new? Who knows what went through my 6 year old mind. But from then on, through elementary school up to 7th grade, I was Elizabeth.

Elizabeth followed me as I moved to Catholic school. But somewhere along the line, I started going by Liz to my friends. Again, I can’t be sure what my 13-year-old self was thinking. I’m pretty sure I thought Liz was cooler than Elizabeth. Honestly, who knows? But I knew the transformation was official when they started putting “Liz” on my report cards. I remember being surprised, but I went with it. Liz followed me through high school, college, and up into my twenties. Liz was a drum major and kind of emo in high school. Liz wore tights and steel-toed patent leather boots on non-uniform days. In college, Liz started drinking and smoking. Liz was a moody philosophy major. My Dad said Liz walked around with a little black could over her head.

After college, Liz was later a kindergarten teacher by day, a waitress / bartender by night. Liz walked 60 miles over three days to raise money for cancer research. Liz lost 100 pounds. Liz supported her parents through her Dad’s cancer fight. Liz met the man who would become her husband and the toddlers who would become her kids.

At age 29, I walked down the aisle and along with adding a new last name, I decided I would now go by Beth again. I just didn’t feel like a Liz anymore. Silly to some, I am sure, but my parents had never stopped calling me Beth, so maybe that’s why it felt like settling in to who I really am / was / would be.

In the nearly 20 years since I became Beth again, I’ve still continued to evolve. Beth is the mother of 3 now-adultish kids. Beth earned her PhD. Beth has gained 140 pounds, had a kid and lost 150. Beth quit smoking and drinking. Beth completed a half marathon and a triathlon. Beth has written books and owns a farm.

After a life with so many stages, there are people who call me by all different names. I have Elizabeth as my facebook profile since that seems to capture everything.

My father-in-law still calls me Liz most of the time. At a recent family celebration, he was passing the bottle of red wine around the table. When he got to me, he said “Liz, would you like some wine?” and for some reason I just thought, Liz would have, but Beth doesn’t do that anymore. Later that week, the conversation came up at work about going home to have a drink after a long day. The same thought occurred to me. Liz would have cracked open a drink right away. Beth is going to write or go for a walk or do something to make her feel accomplished. I just told my colleagues that I don’t drink but I’ll think of a good way to unwind. They stared with no response, then moved on from that topic.

Some will say that Liz was more fun than Beth. Maybe they are right. I guess it depends on what you think fun really means. Liz was definitely a whole lot more interested in pleasing others. Making other people comfortable. Liz also sought ways to escape herself, her thoughts, her confusion. Over time, Beth has become settled in swimming against the tide and approving of herself. Beth carries along her Dad’s encouragement to be smart, to stand out, to celebrate herself, and even to rail against gender stereotypes about what girls can do and be good at.

Beth feels settled in her skin more often that not, and that is something to celebrate no matter what you call her.

3Splitz Farm, adventure

Zowie

Zinnias. I’ve shared my affection for them before.

I’ve loved them for years. I still have two huge patches of them at my house that expand every year.

Now I’m a flower farmer. Zinnias are beautiful and fairly easy to grow, so we have many of them this first season. I had done my research on kinds, choosing some Benary’s Giants, Oklahomas, and Queen Red Lime, Orange, and Blush. As I browsed the seed catalogs, several that I hadn’t heard of captured my attention. Seeds aren’t very expensive, so I grabbed a couple of those offbeat varieties just to see how they turned out.

A few months later, I met Zowie! Yellow Flame (seemed a silly silly name) and whew, she took my breath away! I used to roll my eyes when people said they were “obsessed” with a flower, but this one fit the bill.

The yellow flame is a perfect name. Orange and red in the middle part of each petal with a flame yellow tip that just screams “happy!” Then the wondrous crown of stars in the center. But the real surprise is that little whisper of hot pink just on the part of each petal right near the center. What a show this girl puts on. She looks amazing with pretty much anything on her arm! I’m sure you see her front and center in this bunch.

I’ve already started scoping out more unusual zinnias for 3Splitz Farm’s next season. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon anyone? Should be a knockout!

3Splitz Farm, celebrations

Sprouting

I have said a million times a picture is worth a thousand words. This I do believe. For purposes of this post I will limit my words, emphasize my photos and celebrate how all things sprout in our little world.

Lettuce didn’t surprise us but we saw it in abundance. We ate. We shared. We smiled.

The flowers bloomed. So pretty. So bright. Mother’s Day was full of blooms instead of gloom this year. A big step up from 2020.

Sunflowers, dahlias, zinnias and so much more are soaking up the sun and the rain day by day in the mountains. From seed or tuber to blooms. Fresh picks to make everyone smile. So much happiness around us.

We even got to feeling corny when our second round of corn showed signs of life. We did the happy dance when the berries spurred growth. Our first tree planted showed so much development in the past year. Such a whirlwind but a reflection point. The tree grew along with us. In nature. Beaming with pride.

Cucumbers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, herbs in abundance. So fresh. So healthy. All home grown by us. From farm chores to commutes to dirty jobs and planning galore. We struck it rich in more ways than one.

Progress is measured by many. Progress measurements can be one’s perception or another’s reality. For us, reality is we are growing. Sprouting. Blooming. Oh we have had failures, annoyances, messes and down right shit storms but in the end, the rain, the sun and the hard work has yielded so much.

Fresh flowers from the field to the end user. A prideful role we play in today’s crazy world. Did you know visitors are still limited at Assisted Living facilities? How would you like to know your loved one is still missing human interactions and love of all kinds?

We wanted to make a difference. Our flowers made it to some local elderly stuck in those four walls to put a smile on their faces and to let them know sometimes the world isn’t a bad place. Flowers have power. We share our power with others vs. worrying about who sneaks a peek in our flower field when one passes by the beauty of it.

Kindness is simple to duplicate. When we grow we ignite the passion for smiles, healing, happiness and so much more. A trio of new farmers. Learning, living, doing life on their terms.

Seeing our flowers shine on kitchen tables and in businesses show how bright our future is. Hang tight as we expand production into greenhouses, visit farmers markets with our blooms and just deliver smiles near and far without hesitation.  2022 planning has been underway for some time. Hopefully nature will be on our side.

We didn’t just plant. We erected. We used hammer and nails too. We created a space in our field to be one with nature. Fancy camping to some. glamping to others. Visitors can come enjoy a slice of our paradise to see what farm life is like. We know it’s not for everyone but it’s an experience. From couples to families to scouting groups. There is an outdoor experience for everyone.

Today’s post is to honor 3Splitz Farm. A sister organization of sorts. Supported by many. Don’t forget to do your part to support local. Think about your local farmer when you shop at the big box grocery store or a local farm stand. Buying local is great choice when one can make it.

dare to be different

Blu

Blu was her name.

She was born in 1965.

She has lived many life stories.

She has had many adventures.

She has a solid core.

She has traveled many miles.

She is ready for new stories.

She ready for new adventures.

She will travel many more miles with me.

Blu is new to me.

Blu is a 1965 Chevy Stepside C10! She is a little weathered but she has aged with grace. She is the oldest car I have ever owned. She is a beautiful shade of powder blue. She is ready to hit the road or the show.

Her last job had her as a photo prop for many families looking for a cute photo setting. I guess the photographer has moved on to a new backdrop. Her loss is my gain. Now Blu is on to bigger and brighter adventures with me.

My first ride with Blu: I had the windows down. Air flowing through the cab as the engine purred. The oversized steering wheel was a blast to use. It somehow just made the ride complete. No need for the radio as I was listening to all the new sounds of the vehicle. 

I rode by the waterfront. Then traveled the back roads. I hit the speed bumps. I idled at the traffic lights. With each traffic stop,  I had some conversations with those admiring her beauty and badassery. It made me giggle a bit but inside I was beaming with pride.

Oh the memories I will make with this vintage vehicle. Definitely checked an item off the bucket list with this purchase.

Beep and wave if you see Blu on the road.

Teddie Aspen

Captain Destructo

Well I’m sure you have read about my sweet pup named Teddie. She is a joy in my life. A cuddle buddy. A spoiled rotten girl. But what I don’t always mention is she is a destruction queen.

Enter the new toy posted above. The indestructible toy as advertised. I’m not sure why I buy these things other than to see if she can shred it to pieces.

Guess what? She can shred it. In record time. She finds a way to get every ounce of the white stuffing out and leave the trail in every room she visited. Yes, it was just hours after I vacuumed so that chore was a definite waste of time!  She destroyed the indestructible frisbee. The light up ball. The window blinds. The rope with a ball center. The shoe that was left out. You name it, she shreds it. She has bones. She has treats. She just likes to rip apart all the items I get her. Even her little brown bear. The lifeless bear that she totes around like a security blanket but then sits in the corner and shreds it.  I have even thrown away her shredded items and she hovers at the trash can like I’m the worst person in the world. I seriously don’t want her to get sick from ingesting material not meant for consumption.  Is there any dog toy you can suggest that is actually destruction proof? I would love a suggestion. Or maybe I need a dog whisperer.

I guess she wasn’t a fan of the adorable “spoiled” sweater I got her for the cold weather. She immediately started to eat that too. She has even chewed through her walking vest while on a walk. Good thing this girl is cute and gives good snuggles because she keeps me in the poor house with her destructive ways.