Small Wonders

I stepped onto our deck yesterday and I was greeted by the most wonderful aroma. We have Beta grapes growing up the deck verticles and across the rafters atop the deck. They try to run onto the roof and under the shingles so we have to cut them back every year. They also shade our deck from the fierce afternoon sun. Beta grapes are small and purple and are good for jelly. The grapes are blooming now, and the delicious smell was from the grape flowers.  They are very strange  flowers and it amazes me that something so small and odd looking has such a lovely smell. You can see them in the photo below.

Appearances can certainly deceive. When have you been deceived?  What has been small but mighty in your experience?


41 thoughts on “Small Wonders”

  1. i love the smells of the flowers on the spring blooming trees
    the lilacs bloomed here last week and the week before
    the fragerence wafting through the air is incredible
    i took the dogs gorcacwalkvtge other night and you can pick up in the dark who had flowering trees in bloom, the smells are wonderful


  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Every August I gather wild grapes and make jelly—it is the best. Small and powerful, indeed! I find grape tomatoes to have an intense flavor, as well. And they are So Good for You.

    But what is more powerful than a newborn? A newborn’s presence can take over a room and it never says a word.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like how just a little of some flavorings can make a big difference – I just put fresh ginger and garlic, etc., in a crock pot with some ribs, and now the recipe wants me to put in 1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes. I’m doing less than that, as I know from experience: something that appears mild enough can be deceiving – I can always add more heat later if I want it.


    1. Yes. Too much curry powder. Too much cayenne pepper. Too much Tabasco sauce. Too much salt. Too much raw garlic. It’s hard to suck any of those out of a dish when you go overboard on them.

      As a beginning cook I would sometimes over-do with a potent product. Then the only way to salvage the dish would be to supplement the wretched thing, making a triple batch of it so all the safe ingredients would balance out the one I’d dumped in too heavily.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It always amazes me how one rotting vegetable in the fridge that got pushed to the back can overpower the whole kitchen.

    A half glass of wine makes me quite tipsy.

    A small blister on heel can make your entire foot very painful.

    Or how a kind smile can totally lift your spirits.

    A good belly laugh keeps you in a good mood for the rest of the day.

    Sunshine & blue skies after a week of cloudy weather makes a huge difference.

    A profound quote can create a change of heart or peace of mind.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. vonnegut said his mother was missing a chemical in her brain that would fit on the head of a pin and because she was missing it she was paranoid schetzophrenic
    so it goes

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Dalai Lama is reported to have said “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” To that I’d add “Or try walking a mile with a grain of sand in your shoe.”

    The early summer fragrance that always amazes me comes from the Russian Olive tree. When their small cluster of tiny yellow flowers bloom, you can’t miss it, such a sweet and powerful aroma.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Renee, do you use the leaves for making dolmades? Helen and I make those every year using wild grape leaves scavenged in the neighborhood. One of those labor intensive dishes that’s more fun if you cook it with a friend or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Completely OT – This afternoon I responded to this Freecycle ad: “Iso of help with food fore and my 3 kids. I can’t use food shelf till
    Monday and in need of Milk Juice Cereal Bread Meat Toliet paper I don’t
    drive at this time thank you”

    In my response, I asked where she was located (since she doesn’t drive, obviously I’d have to). And I asked the ages of her children.

    This evening I got this response from Gina: “Hi I’m located in Midway St Paul
    They are 7yr , 4yr ,2yr ”

    Unfortunately, her gravatar is of a cartoon woman giving the middle finger salute, and I’m not inclined to respond, as that tells me she’s probably the source of most of her problems. However, I feel terrible for those kids. What would you do? I’m asking this in all seriousness. If you have any insights or advice to share, I’d appreciate it.


    1. Oh my. That is a tough one. What about the Salvation Army or help from County social services with food stamps?


      1. Renee, I’m convinced that anyone without the baggage that this woman has wouldn’t be in this situation. She obviously doesn’t plan ahead. On the other hand, I can understand how a single parent of three little children can become overwhelmed by the situation. With three kids in tow, and no transportation, solutions can be hard to find.

        It speaks volumes to me that her Gravatar is what it is. My fourteen years at the GAP school exposed me to people whose lives were so out of control and beyond my personal experiences that it boggles the mind. I also know from personal experience, that sometimes a positive response to a desperate situation can make a difference. I’m really torn as to how to respond.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I would not want to give any cash. Nor would I want to give the mother any personal information like my home address or phone number, but giving someone things like milk or cereal seems like a generous gesture that would benefit the kids in a direct way, and perhaps help to make a bad situation better. It’s not the kids’ fault that they have a parent who is not coping well.

          Liked by 3 people

    2. I agree, Linda, definitely no cash or any personal information. Now I’m waiting for her to get back to me with where to drop off her groceries.


  9. I was hoping to get some input, not just from professionals who deal with this kind of situation professionally, but also from some fellow baboons who might have some thoughts that might help me making a good decision. In the interim I have sent Gina an email asking what kind of cereal her kids like. Milk, cereal, some good bread, maybe some cold cuts, and a couple of rolls of toilet paper may be the extent of what I help with. At least I’ll know they’ll make it till Monday.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have been working today so I just saw this. Yes, this woman makes her ownprobl ms. Garrison Keillor has an old quote I live by: “Nothing you do to help a child is wasted.” Don’t worry about the rest.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Because this mom probably does not function very well, there is not much you can do to help with that. She probably would need therapeutic services to change those things. Just do what you can; when you give her the items mentioned above, the kids can consume them and mom can’t really sell those items for drugs, alcohol, or other mischief. Your approach of giving consumables won’t hurt anything.

        A warm-hearted Baboon you are.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. It feels so hopeless, knowing that I’m not really fixing anything. But I can’t stand the thought of three little kids with nothing to eat or anything to wipe their butts with. How do you even begin to fix this?

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Our church sponsors a back pack program during the school year and I think in summer, too, that provides children with backpacks full of food for weekends. It is heartbreaking.


  10. Sometimes seeing a small thing of beauty brings as much a thrill to me as seeing a large, beautiful landscape. Here’s something I saw last fall at the Prairie Overlook at William O’Brien State Park. The big views of the oak trees in their autumn colors were wonderful, but when I looked down on the ground, I saw this and it seemed to me to be just as beautiful as the bigger view.

    Liked by 2 people

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