Friday, September 23, 2011

Ted's seeds

this post is for jambaloney's step-dad Ted. i originally wrote this post a few days ago and had planned to put it up after the post about jambaloney's mom. but jambaloney wanted to get a fishing post up. so i held off on posting this.

and now, Ted is burying his father today. our thoughts are with him, as are our prayers. we are trying to send healing and comforting vibes to our step-dad today. we are thinking of you Ted. and thanking the Lord again for how glad we are that you are in our lives.

Ted did a very wonderful thing for us. and for all of the kids in Ted's and Liz's combined families. Ted came into some money on his birthday and decided to give all of the kids a present. for us, it was a Godsend.

last January, after only being here for a month, and on the eve of our 10 year anniversary, our sump-pump failed and our basement flooded. we thought that we were super smart by putting all of our mementos, trinkets, photo albums, letters, cards, journals, etc. into plastic bins and storing it all in our crappy little basement. and it flooded. during a horrible rain/sleet storm with 40mph winds. jambaloney had gone into town that day and had taken the basement key with him. looking back - i should have just kicked the basement door in. but i prayed and prayed that everything was fine. when jambaloney got home that day at about 4pm, he went down to the basement and opened it up and all of our plastic bins were floating in about 4 feet of water. tipped over and in some cases upside down (needless to say, jambaloney made sure we now have 2 working sump-pumps and a hand-crank pump!).

jambaloney started dragging the bins out and dumping the water out of them and then dragging them around to the porch where i unwrapped everything and assessed the damage. there wasn't much we could save. all of our cards and lovenotes were destroyed. a ton of our photos. a ton of mementos. it was heart breaking. i was trying to keep my cool and was only crying a little bit - but i totally lost it when we got to the bin of my saved seeds. i had been saving seeds from my garden for over 4 years. i had meticulously groomed and cared for certain heirloom/organic varieties of probably close to 300 different kinds of seeds. and had carefully dried them out and saved them. i read a hundred blogs and books of all kinds to learn how to do it properly with all of the seeds. i had beautiful herb seeds, onion seeds, cucumber, cantaloupe, carrot, beet, radish, tomatoe, kale, chard, etc. - you name it - i tried to grow it in our city backyard - and anything that did well, i saved some for seed.

anyway - our seed stash was destroyed. so was my heart. i lost it. and i can clearly remember a soaked jambaloney trying to comfort me. both of us on the porch in the freezing cold rain, neither of us wearing coats or boots for over 4 hours and soaked through to the bone. i couldn't think of what we would do...however would we replace all of those seeds? we were starting back at zero!

enter Ted to the rescue. because he is so generous, he decided that on HIS birthday, he would give gifts to all of his kids - imagine, eh? and that's what he did. and when we received Ted's gift we knew exactly what we would do - we would replace all of our seeds! thank you so much Ted - you have no idea how much we appreciate that gift!

since the spring, i have been carrying those seeds around in a big bag that i drew on called "Ted's seeds". and of course i have no pictures of it. it finally lost one of it's handles around the end of june. so from then on i have been toting the seeds around in this blue bin:

that bag labelled "Ted's seeds" may be gone - but those seeds are still around, seeds will be saved from seeds already planted, and they will always be called "Ted's seeds"!

just to show how generous he really is, take a look at the beautiful bird house with a welcome note that Ted built for us with his grandson before we even left for cape breton!

here is where it lives. and yes there are a family of birds living in it.

as well, check out my beautiful bench. Ted had a tree fall on his lake-front property and cut some pieces of it and thought some pieces would make great benches. and he gave us one. jambaloney came up with the idea to use up-turned tree roots as legs. i love my bench!!!

all in all, we would just like to thank Ted for his generosity. we have a seed store that will get us through years, and by saving the seeds from vegetables and fruits that we plant from those original seeds, ensures that we will continue to have seeds all throughout our future - and our children's future too, God willing.

out of a horrible tragedy came a hero to the rescue. thank you soo much Ted!

Ted, our thoughts and prayers are with you on this most difficult day. we love you Ted!


  1. What a beautiful thing for Ted to do! Truly an awesome human being.

  2. Sounds like a great guy and a great person to have known. Sorry for y'alls loss.

  3. Sorry...water damage is the worse kind...Ted must be a heck of a nice guy.

  4. Wondering what you are growing in the tires.. taters?
    Good job on replacing the seeds. I actually need to get some long term seeds that I can put away. I have been slacking in t hat department.

  5. A real and sweet story of saying "thank you". Well done. Richard

  6. Tango - you got Ted's number for sure - he truly IS an awesome human being. and a fantastic step-dad!

    MDR - i never met Ted's Dad but jambaloney, who only met him a few times, has fond childhood memories of him.

    Stephen - you can say that again - water damage is the worst kind. and our mementos and whatnot were all of the paper and photograph kind. we were able to save the clothes and ceramic stuff but lost sooo many photos. ugh! and yes - you are correct as usual sir, Ted is a heck of a nice guy!

    PP - like Tango - you sure got Ted's number. it was win-win all around for all of Ted's kids!

    Max - teehee - that is exactly what we are growing in the tires - potatoes! 18 tires of 3 different kinds this year. back in the city we grew potatoes in tires for 4 years - the are awesome container gardens! we also grew all kinds of herbs and root veggies, etc. and we still continue to grow kale and chard and spinach, etc. in tires along with our raised beds. good call buddy!

    Richard - thank you. you got to the heart of the matter.

    thank you all for stopping in. as i mentioned in the post, Ted buried his father today. our thoughts have been with him all day. we know that his fortitude and strength got him and Liz through this difficult day.

    thank you all for commenting.

  7. Tango: ted's gift came at the right time and he did it with humility and grace - that's a true gift!

    MDR:thanks for the sentiment, he was a great guy.

    Stephen: when i saw the water lapping out the door i was worried..when i stepped inside and i was crushed. ask kymber, i've always feared sucked. Ted is a great guy for certain!

    PP: win-win 4 sure - love "Yay Ted!" tnx

    Max - hahahaha - i saw that pic and wondered if anyone would notice the tires/taters! you win this week's "where's waldo" prize!

    Richard - thanks, really nice way to put it.

    Thanks for commenting everyone, we've been thinking about him all day, and there are many seeds left to plant :-)

  8. You know , just about everyone who made the move to the rural life style has a similar experience. We certainly went through some trials and travails our first couple of years in the mountains. It does really hurt when some disaster befalls you and you have to recover, but things work themselves out. Extended family is critical, especially when you are just getting established and later on if there is some emergency you have to cope with.

  9. There was a good country song that came out 5 or 6 years ago that came to mind when I read this post. " you find out who your friends are" was the name of it. After reading Mudbug's post yesterday, and what all he's endured with his family it's been on my mind on and off all day. It was good to read this post and see the flip side of family life.

    It's such a wonderful thing when your family can also be counted as your friends.

    I'm glad you have a "Ted" in your life.

  10. Arsenius - it's soo true isn't it? we spent years planning before we made this move and found it very helpful that so many people out there, who had done this before us, shared their stories and experiences - we would have had it alot harder if we had of landed here blind. but we had Ted and jambaloney's Mom share info with us and we had been reading alot of bugging-out/homesteading type blogs.

    thanks for always stopping by my friend!

    Matt - ya, i really feel for what Mudbug is and has been going through. and that is probably the nicest thing that you could say - that it was good to come here and read about our generous "Ted". thanks so much for that!

  11. Matt and kymber,

    I'll be sending you legal paperwork to replace my siblings with y'all. AH and Stephen can duke it out for father and uncle positions.

    My blog friends are my new family and it's a big improvement over my dna family.

  12. Mudbug, glad to call you, "Brother"

  13. Mudbug - i am glad to call you Brother as well! and Matt is such a cool dude - i'll love having him as a brother as well! and seeing as how i don't keep in touch with any of my brothers and sisters - it is very nice to add to my family!

    as for Arsenius and Stephen, that is going to be a cool duke-out session to watch!

    Mudbug - i honestly feel the same about my blog family. isn't it strange that we can find people thousands of miles away that feel like friends right away?

  14. Ditto what Mudbug said!

    It's nice to find a group that doesn't find it odd when you want to be off the grid, learn to make things on your own, feed yourself, etc. especially when everyone else says "why do that when there is a store right there?"

  15. Anne - thanks for that! we can`t believe some of the wonderful friends and family that we have met here on our blog and on our blogroll...some of these people are just the best!

    and finding like-minded people when your own family doesn`t support you - well that just provides support where there previously wasn`t any!

    thanks for stopping by!

  16. How terrible and sad - I can only imagine how your felt, but it is great that your story has a happy ending:)

  17. So I am reading your blog from the beginning, what a great story! Boy, I understand what it's like to go through treasures that you thought would be secure, but find them ruined. We had plenty of that when we finally got our stuff out of storage. I'm glad you were able to get "Ted's Seeds" though. He sounds like a great guy. And I LOVE that bench!!!
    The Anonymous Homesteader