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Almost Convinced

This is my husband. Isn’t he cute? {Don’t answer that, he’s my husband.}


He took me blackberry picking last weekend. He might shouldn’t have. Because… there were NO mosquitoes {or so I thought} and in a matter of minutes I was very close to selling my house and moving to the country. I leaned over to him at one point and said, “It is dangerous for me to be here right now. I’m really having a good time and the mosquitoes aren’t biting.” He smiled.

And pick we did.
And pick did the kids.
And pick did the other kids that joined us.

Meet Benjamin, Luke & David. Cute boys. Good boys. Very sweet boys.


They were some berry pickin’ and berry eatin’ boys too.


I think the kids ate as many as they picked. I kept threatening Paige with “you’re going to get diarrhea”. Kids aren’t scared of “dia-wee-ah”. At least not mine.


And I know David’s not scared of dia-wee-ah either. I think he ate 95% of the blackberries his daddy picked. He doesn’t look scared, does he?


We consolidated our little buckets of berries {or what was left of our berries after the 2-year olds worked them over} into a big bucket of berries.


For a while we stood around waiting for Justin. He must have come upon a good patch. We were all picked out but not Justin. He had that hat on and was good to pick for another hour or two.


Finally he picked his limit and we all headed back to the “Mule” {it’s not really a mule, it’s something else but I don’t know what to call it… it’s an all-terrain vehicle that holds more than one person, but it’s not a 4-wheeler… so let’s call it a “Mule”}.



And Justin took us on a driving tour of the property. Justin’s parents have beautiful property and he serves as “land manager” and a fine land manager he is. In fact, there was only one roadblock and we put our friend Ben {father of the boys} right on that.



Thanks, Ben.

Then we headed to the swamp.


Can you see what Justin is telling Ben? Something like, “We need to get out of here quick. There are thousands of mosquitoes that are about to swarm the Mule and make Darby go nuts and she’ll never want to move to the country with me ever!”

He was right. That’s all it took and I changed my mind. I got 3 bites in 32 seconds and I became totally erratic and said, “COME ON LETS GO I’M GETTING EATIN ALIVE PLEASE HURRY THEY’RE ATTACKING HURRY NOW DON’T WAIT ANOTHER SECOND.”

Then Justin apologized to Ben for my behavior and told him I didn’t really care for mosquitos, as if that wasn’t obvious.

The Mule safely delivered us to higher, dryer, and mosquito-free land.


Before packing up we checked on our garden & blueberries! Both of which were looking mighty fine. It won’t be long before we’re picking blueberries!


We grabbed a few things from the garden before we left.


Zukes, cukes, maters, squash, and banana peppers…. mmm!

And by the looks of the corn it won’t be long ’til we’re pickin’ that too!


I started almost all of our veggies from seeds this year and it is so rewarding to see large, healthy plants. When I planted the seeds I thought, “These are going to take forever to grow!” Not so. Look at the maters.


They’re clear up to my armpits.

Kids are up… be back soon with another from the garden recipe.

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  • Abby Maddox
    June 10, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    When we move back, will you take us blackberry picking??? If we're not in Africa? Do they have blackberries there :)? In all seriousness, bring the jam and I'll make the scones and I'll go ahead and read Same Kind of Different as Me so that we can chat about it. I wish you lived across the street…or maybe just across the mosquito-free pasture 🙂

  • Dubya Designs
    June 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Darby- Kristen Hill directed me to your blog for a recipe. The banana bars were delicious. Someone as creative as you must have a fabulous baby books for your kiddos. I'm trying to put together my 16 month-old's before I forget everything. Any thoughts, or is that the ONE thing that you don't do?

  • Christie
    June 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    My kids go through our blueberries the same way your kids are going through the blackberries. I keep waiting for them to turn blue, but they haven't yet!

  • Love Being a Nonny
    June 10, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    This post makes me want to move way out some where….and that's coming from a semi city girl.

  • pam
    June 10, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    ah, you might consider the pacific northwest. no bugs here. none. even summertime. you can dine outside with no one else after your food.

  • Courtney
    June 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    i'm the SAME way with mosquitos!!! i HATE them…and they LOVE me! ugh!!

  • Tonja
    June 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Darby, this reminded me of something. When I was a little girl, I would stay with my grandma in North Carolina a lot in the summers. When I would get an upset stomach, you know di-a-ree-a,
    she would get her a 'mess' of blackberries, or blueberries, or huckleberries and stew them down. Then she would make me drink the juice. It always worked to make me 'stop'. Years later, we realize that that's the pectin that's working. As in KaoPECTate. Lots of those 'old wives tales' are based on some good science!

    Loved this post…and it was a treat to see 3 of may fav little guys with your 2 sweeties!

  • Victoria
    June 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Darby, I hear you LOUD & CLEAR! I cannot walk outside after 5ish or I get eaten alive as well! I envy people with screened in porches…at least they can enjoy the cooler summer evenings. Instead I only venture out in the 90+ degree Atlanta sun during the day. It's either swelter in the heat or itch for days! I choose the heat.

    My daughter & I picked our first squash yesterday. It's such fun to have a little garden.

  • Carly Winborne
    June 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    i love your posts. this looks so much fun to me and i envy you and your garden. i've been telling my husband about everything you're growing and it's from seeds and it's cheap! he promises me we'll do it next year. want to hold your breath with me???!!!

    thanks for the never-ending inspiration.

  • J
    June 10, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    LOVE that pic of Morgan in the hat!!! Your photo skills rock!

  • erika
    June 10, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    when are you going to take me to the farm?
    i like to pick blackberries.
    i love you,

  • erika
    June 10, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    ps – your pictures are amazing.

  • Hillary @ The Other Mama
    June 10, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    You are cracking me up because I think you are starting to write like you're already living in the country! 🙂 Oh so appropriate and cute! I love it!
    I love that picture of Morgan with the hat. How ever do you decide which ones to frame? You have so many great ones!
    Cute story and hope those bites don't keep you up scratching. Ick!
    Also, my MIL swears by a combo of Listerine and water sprayed on you {I think a half and half mix in a spray bottle} keeps the skeeters away. Did you see that? My LA accent is coming back!

  • Amanda @ Serenity Now
    June 10, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I don't blame you one bit for wanting to get away from the "skeeters." They love me. It's a love/hate relationship since I hate them. 😉 Fun day though, huh?

  • Lindsey
    June 10, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Looks like so much fun! Wish we were still there so we could go with you! Next Friday is the big day!

  • Jessica
    June 10, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    darby.. the country minus mosquitos would be so much better. but now im dreaming about blackberry cobbler, oh no! such good pictures, i wonder if you frame many of these around the house—you should!

  • :o) mg
    June 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    you're right, it's called "mule"… don't know it called by any other name.

  • Tara and Felix
    June 11, 2009 at 4:55 am

    HA! I'm laughing so hard at the dia-wee-ah comments! Doesn't scare me either! Eat away!

  • Becky Brodbeck
    June 11, 2009 at 5:23 am

    I love you and I wish I could be your neighbor in the country… I totally understand your hatred for mosquitos…I get eaten up when no one else does. The garden looks great!

  • Erin
    June 11, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Looks like fun! Mosquitos love me as well. Not a single person will have a bite and I'll have 50:) By the way, Justin is hideous. I don't know how you look at him:) Feel better?? Love you!!

  • Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 6:42 am

    We have a family farm also. My girls LOVE to throw rocks in the creek (creek = mega mosquitos). I've found the best repellant is Skin-So-Soft from Avon. Give it a try!
    – Kelly

  • Melissa
    June 11, 2009 at 6:45 am

    The "skeeters" eat me up too, but I'm still here! You should soooo move to the country! We can find you some land around here, and then we can be neighbors and ride our Mules together! You can even have your garden right in your backyard!

  • megan
    June 11, 2009 at 6:53 am

    i love the story through pictures. what a great afternoon. and i feel the same way about mosquitos.

  • Caroline
    June 11, 2009 at 8:25 am

    cute post!
    reminds me of when i was little we used to eat strawberries straight out of the garden…. dirt and all! YUM! they almost tasted better that way.

  • andi
    June 11, 2009 at 8:41 am

    LOVE the pictures of those precious kiddos! They had a blast with the crew and we so appreciate the fun Saturday! I hate I missed the swamp! LOL
    The pictures are GREAT…you are really skilled with the camera. Feeling the need for a little lunch planning…Email me when you get a chance. 🙂

  • The Southern Lady
    June 11, 2009 at 9:56 am

    What fantastic pictures. That new camera of yours is doing a fine job of capturing these summer day.

  • The Harris Family
    June 11, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Darby, try this…


    You'll love it!

    And stop talking about blackberries! I love them so much and mine haven't ripened yet!!! :0)

  • Mandy
    June 11, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Precious pictures and yes, your husband is cute…he looks a lot like mine:)and mine is a guitar player too! Berries look yummy! Have a good day! Mandy

  • Rachel
    June 11, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Your opening statement cracked me up! Looks like you had a lovely time, except for those pesky mosquitos!! How about a give-away of blackberry preserves????

  • JacciM
    June 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Hi, Darby 🙂 I get eaten alive, too, even when no one else gets a single bite. Last weekend we were invited to a backyard birthday party… in the evening… in the woods. Good grief – I had huge swollen mounds all over my skin in no time flat. The birthday girl's father went inside and calmly came back with ***100% TEA TREE OIL*** and saved my life! With a Q-tip, he dabbed a little on each of the fresh bites (apparently you have to get them whenthey're fresh) and I kid you not, they *never* itched and were invisible by bedtime! Crazy!

    I have no idea if it's safe to use full-strength on children, but I was loving that stuff for Mama that night!

    Great pics 🙂

  • Courtney
    June 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    These photos are gorgeous. They make me want to trade my northern childless life for your sweet southern family fruit fest!

  • Lindsey
    June 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    just wanted you to know i get tortured by mosquitos too. don't know what it is, but i will have 5 bites in a matter of seconds. and i love blackberries. i'm jealous. i have found a few patches around our neighborhood but they are still mostly red. once again, love all the pictures!

  • Leslie
    June 14, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I think the threat of diarrhea can be used to motivate or deter any behavior in children. "If you don't do your homework you're going to get diarrhea!" "If you pull your sister's hair you're going to get diarrhea!"