Of Plans & Parsley Thwarted

“Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.”

~ E. B. White

• • •

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Two parsley worms munching on my parsley.

Zen-Den and I took last week off to go on a staycation.

My plans for our staycation, which we scheduled last January, revolved around the idea that together we’d be able to do a long list of outside chores.  But the weather turned hot & muggy with rain so we weren’t able to do much outside.

Like I’d planned. Carefully.

At first the weather bummed me out, but after a rather stern Come-to-Jesus meeting with myself I managed to convince me that all was not lost.  That I’d adapt to this unfortunate turn in staycation weather with a revised plan and a hopeful heart.

Dammit.

• • •

So what did we do on our staycation?

Well, I’m glad you asked, my gentle readers.  We did boring things, mostly inside the house, that had needed to be done for a long time.  To wit:

  • we cleaned out more of the basement, taking 2 carloads of stuff to Goodwill;
  • we sorted through clothes closets and our garage, tossing out all sorts of junk;
  • we shredded documents from as far back as 1998;
  • we cleaned out both the refrigerator + freezer, going so far as to replace the water filter in the frig;
  • we installed the last 3 new outdoor lights, a project we began last fall, taking the old still useable lights to Habitat For Humanity;  and
  • we tried 2 new dessert recipes, Mexican Brownies & Apricot Clafouti.

We were productive and made yummy things to eat.

• • •

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One particularly hungry parsley worm followed the parsley stem to the end.

But much more was going on here than de-cluttering and dessert.

While we were working to make things less cluttered inside the house, two parsley worms set up residence in my herb pot, and decided to devour as much parsley as possible.

I’d be upset about this except that in light of all the current chaos and discord going on in the United States, their destruction seemed insignificant.

Charming, even.

Plus I know that if they eat enough now, they’ll be able to turn into Black Swallowtail Butterflies later in the summer.  And that kind of small hope, of transformation and growth, of plans succeeding, makes me think that tomorrow will be a better day.

For them.

For us.

For everyone.

• • •

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

61 thoughts on “Of Plans & Parsley Thwarted”

    1. Thanks, nancy. At first I was grumpy about things, but decided that was no way to spend a week off. And in the end I got to check things off a To Do List, which always makes me happy.

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    1. joanne, thanks. I hope that the butterflies, once they arrive, decide to flit around our deck and that I can get a photo of them. Wouldn’t that be cool?

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  1. Very cool post. When I saw how the groundhogs had devastated (like ate to the ground) my parsley plants I was upset. Then I thought it was good time to experiment with a pot of them close to the house. So far, I’ve got parsley! Every bad thing is an opportunity to problem solve.

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    1. Kate, I agree wholeheartedly: “Every bad thing is an opportunity to problem solve.” Parsley worms don’t invade our deck pots every year, but when they do I cross my fingers that I’ll get to see the butterflies later in the summer. Time will tell…

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    1. Deb, I know! The parsley worms are adorable in their own caterpillar-y way. They’re fun to watch. When annoyed they have little orange horns on the top of their heads that they display to let predators know that they mean business.

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  2. How industrious of you! Now for your next vacation, I need you to hop into the car and drive Southeast for a few hours until you arrive in my neck of the woods. Once there, you and Zen-Den will be treated with a multitude of ‘relaxing’ projects to bond over such as, but not limited to, fixing a garage door, repairing two gas stovetop burners, applying a new coat of exterior trim paint especially around the mailbox before the HOA sends threatening letters, and power washing the backyard fence. I’ll look forward to your next booking with us. 🙂

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    1. Allie P, you make me laugh. While I admit that your To Do List is a tempting offer, I feel that it would be in the best interest of all concerned for you, and your sweetie pie, to apply yourselves to the tasks that need to be done. We’ve put in our time doing the boring things, and would not want to deprive you of that meaningful opportunity to bond and grow as a couple. Uh huh…

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    1. lorrie, next year I’m going to do that, too. I’ve got a couple of spots picked out in the yard that will let butterflies grow, while I get to have some parsley in a pot up on the deck. That’ll work, right?

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    1. Thanks Zazzy. Last week was so weird in so many ways that when I saw the parsley worms I latched onto the idea of transformation. Seemed to be a good hope, ‘ya know?

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  3. You got oodles done outside and in💜
    This post made my heart lighter-which I always need lol.
    We bought a shredder from Costco 6 years ago with the intention of shredding old taxes, bank paperwork…it’s still I it’s box, safe from paper that will in all likelihood dull it’s shiny little blades.

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    1. bitsfromheaven, I admire your determination in protecting your shredder from the evils of life… like paper and such. You have shown me what slouches we are by using our machine, allowing it to get dull. Please forgive us for our carelessness regarding our shredder. 😉

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  4. Such a cute caterpillar! Sure hope we get to see the butterfly. We’ve been working on the outside of our house. Inside comes next. Decluttering is always good for the psyche. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I’m impressed by your industriousness AND your weather. It’s been dry as dust up here in NEO. My herbs and tomatoes are as of yet untouched by any pests (knock on wood), but I’m tired of watering them all the time. AND tired of running the AC, although I am very grateful for it.

    Decluttering/streamlining is such a gratifying activity. And if you can donate or even make a little money (like garage sale-ing), it is even moreso. Sounds like a rewarding staycation.

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    1. nance, any weather extreme can become tedious. I haven’t had to water the outside pots, but am sick of the heavy muggy feel to the air. I agree about the effects of decluttering. We have lots more to do, but slowly this year we’re becoming more streamlined. Slowly.

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      1. Oh, it’s been muggy here, too, but I was speaking of your rain! We are so in need of some here. It seems like any rainstorms forming off Lake Erie run into our wall of heat and dissipate or move further eastward. And storms off to the west lose their oomph once they get here. And apparently, they use up all their rain down there by you before they make it up to us. Sigh.

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        1. Oh nance, that kind of almost rainy weather gets on my very last nerve. I feel for you. What good is it living near a lake if you can’t count on summer rain?

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  6. Such a positive post much needed in this crazy world we live in. I love your attitude. And you got so much stuff done! And also helped other people with your donations. Love it!!

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    1. Thanks, Beth. It was touch & go at first about whether I was going to grumble my staycation days away OR suck it up & get things done. Being my mother’s daughter I went with do something, anything, to make life a little better. 🙂

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    1. joey, those caterpillars are so pretty that I can’t stay angry with them. But next year I’m planting parsley in the ground near our milkweed patch so that all butterflies can groove over there, instead of on the deck in my herb pot.

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    1. Margaret, thanks. It was such an awful week out there in the world, but at home I managed to gain a sense of perspective + humor about what was going on around me. Gotta love those cute caterpillars and their message of hope.

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  7. What an impressive worm! Your stacation sounds like something we need to do in our household, otherwise there’s never time for decluttering (but always for deserts). In fact, I’m off to eat my chocolate ice-cream. 🙂

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    1. Gulara, I know! Those parsley worms are enthusiastic eaters. While our staycation might not have been what I was hoping for, a tidier basement + new deserts make me happy. So there’s that.

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    1. Stephanie, we did get lots done inside the house, so I’m happy. But the yard work, involving trees and bushes and paths, still needs to be done. One of the dead trees in the backyard looks like a squirrel sneeze could blow it down… onto our house, of course. :-/

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    1. Nancy, it was fun in its own way. Not what I had envisioned, but we accomplished things and had a few laughs along the way. Plus those Mexican Brownies were delicious. *yum*

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  8. So parsley worms aren’t supposed to eat your parsley? Because that’s counter-intuitive.

    Also, they should broaden their palates. But they do make gorgeous butterflies, apparently.

    Still it sounds like your staycation was a success!

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    1. I.L. Wolf, if you want to have any parsley for yourself then parsley worms are not your friends! They’ll eat a whole pot of parsley in a few days. Hope I’m able to get a few photos of the butterflies once they arrive, considering the amount of parsley these caterpillars ate, the butterflies should be gorgeous.

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      1. Traditional cherry clafoutis isn’t hard either, unless you count the pitting of all the cherries. Oof! There’re some plum varieties floating around in recipe land too.

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