Let me start off this post by saying that as much as I dream of one day living in a camper with my family on a piece of land large enough and secluded enough to do as I like, I am currently in a residential neighborhood. We have rented our home here for the past 8 years, and while some may consider that absolutely crazy for "throwing money away", we just don't see it that way. We have hopes and dreams that we are working on for our future of course, but that is for another post another day. We have neighbors on all sides of us, and to be honest, I couldn't ask for better ones. I won't name them for their privacy, but I do have a neighbor with children who my Charlie adores to play ball with, and I have a neighbor across the street who I often wonder if he knows just how much I admire how hard he works for his family. I love the fact that he yells at me across the street in that Chicago meets Lawrenceburg accent to ask me how my chickens are or if my "crazy garden" is doing ok. That brings me to the reason for my post today, which is my garden, and how giving to others helps me grow. In a neighborhood of neatly kept front yards, I have a garden. We suffer from the lack of a decent back yard to grow much of anything in, and for this reason, we turned our front yard into what some may consider a spectacle. We have several squash plants, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and two gigantic bean teepees that are currently wrapped with Kentucky Wonder green beans. YUM! Our neighbors are such great sports considering that we are completely lacking in the typical petunia and fern department. Hell, I don't even have a decent hydrangea to speak of, although I'm working on it. Instead, we fill our flower beds with herbs that can benefit our bodies and our recipes. We got a late start on our garden this year due to a late frost, so we are now finally getting some goodies. I have made several squash dishes and have perfected a squash casserole that the father of the roots even loves. Shhhh... He's not a squash casserole lover. I KNOW! A couple of years ago, I had the idea to offer what my garden produced in abundance to passersby for free. I suppose we could make money from taking some to the farmers market, but it just feels better to give. Every day we wake up, we have a chance to give. We can offer kind words or our time to others. I noticed something about myself years ago. I have always always been a giving person. I'm not stingy and I would rather see someone else happy than to have something I won't use myself. That being said, I noticed that my giving had judgement with it. Unspoken conditions if you will. Giving someone the correct change they were lacking in the checkout at Kroger while thinking "sure you have money for that cell phone though." Talk about sucking the damn life out of a good dead! Or what about the whole "pay it forward" movement, where I would buy someone a coffee in line but then get totally pissed off when it never came full circle. Man! I was seriously screwing myself out of a joy sparking moment. Then one day, it hit me. "Why the hell am I doing this. Why can't I just give?" I never figured it out and I didn't give myself time to because truthfully, there was just too much joy to be attained by giving unconditionally, that I didn't want to waste another fucking minute on wasting my want and need to give. I took a night to meditate on it and to try and reprogram my way of thinking. It doesn't happen overnight you guys, but when I feel that negativity creeping in. I burn my sage and push it right back out the door.