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Seed Stabbing… and Collecting

November 10th, 2010

I decided to try to collect some of my own seeds this year.

As I ran my thumb over the massive seed heads to loosen the seeds from the plant, the prickly ends stabbed my fingers over and over again.

With raggedy, shredded fingers, I filled several envelopes with different kinds of sunflower seeds.

And then limping, bleeding and alone, I staggered over to get some seeds from my Zinnias and my Mexican Sunflowers.

The seed heads on these flowers are just as stabby as the sunflowers are.

Plus!  They have the added bonus of not having easily identifiable seeds.

So I just put the entire seed head into an envelope.  I’ll figure out the whole seed part next Spring.

I also left plenty of seed heads behind for the birds.

Because I’ve decided that collecting seeds from my prickly headed flowers is for the birds anyway!

Everyday at work for the past few weeks I have been pestering Darla to bring me some bittersweet.

Hey Darla did you bring me any bittersweet?


Did you remember the bittersweet?

Where’s my bittersweet Darla?


I really need some bittersweet Darla.

I need it.

Did you get it?

The bittersweet?

Can you bring it tomorrow Darla?



Darla has a few patches of it growing on her farm.  She likes to wait until after it has opened to pick it, so I had to wait too.

I waited and waited and waited.

Finally I got sick of waiting and I asked her if I could go get the dang bittersweet myself.  Darla said I could.  I think she was sick of me asking about it.

Bittersweet is a vine and it likes to grow up fences and on sturdier plants.  I have been keeping an eye out for it since the beginning of October hoping to decrease my dependence on Darla, but I only found one patch growing on a drive far north of town and I wasn’t able to pick it at the time.










Darla told me where her patch was located, but she also told me about some growing in a nearby cemetery.  Feeling kind of weird about cutting bittersweet on Darla’s land while she wasn’t home, I opted to cut some at the cemetery.  I don’t know what the laws are governing cutting a few vines off of a patch growing on an old fence in a cemetery, but if there are any, I probably broke them.  I cut a whole bunch and then later I went back and cut some more.  I wanted enough to trim the mantle and the dining room chandelier. I wish I had cut even more.

I really, really like bittersweet.

I wonder if I would like it as well if it was called pigberry or runnyrunsweed or grubblenuts.

Hmmmmmmm. It does make one wonder…

The berries opened a few days after I hung it up.

I am going to try and grow some from seed this year and Darla might dig me some of her plants.  I don’t know if I am more likely to get the plants if I pester her everyday from now until next Spring or if I sort of lay low and rely on body language to communicate my desperate need.  Which method do you think is more effective?

Because there’s nothing I like more than home decor that is made from something natural and is completely free.

It just makes me so dad gum happy.  I feel like I have won the lottery.  Look at my free bittersweet!  It was made by nature and not a child in a sweat shop!  It didn’t cost me a dime and a factory worker in China didn’t have to work a twelve hour shift to manufacture it!  It will not end up in a land fill! It’s so beautiful! Soooo beautifuuuuuuul!

And the glittery skeleton that is hanging amidst all that gorgeous bittersweet?



There’s not one thing natural about him.

But he makes me happy too.

More Mums

October 21st, 2010

I can never decide what color of mum to buy.

Gold – Too obvious?

Purple – Too freakin’ K-State?

Red – Too dramatic?

Orange – Too clownish?

Guess which color I got.