Planting Sugar

“I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.”  Barbara Bush

Come on now, “spill the beans.”
We want to hear about the first time you planted some sugar on somebody.
You know, your first kiss. Kiss and tell!
How old were you? Who did you kiss? What was it like?
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Oh mine? You want to hear the story of my first kiss?

 Sorry, Charlie, that’s not a story I can tell. But it’s not because I don’t want to. The sad truth is that I don’t remember my first kiss. Can you believe it? Who doesn’t remember such a thing? I’ve searched my mental notes time and time again and always come up empty. I have no idea.

So when I hear James Taylor sing these words:

“First kiss ever I took, like a page from a romance book, the sky opened and the earth shook…..” 

I feel rather…um…left out. Really? Is that the way it really is? I remember my first best friend, my first piano recital, my first communion, my first crush, my first car, my first love, my first pet, my first heartbreak. But my first kiss? I get nothing.

Now, my wedding kiss was exactly like James describes. The sky opened; the earth shook; everything else disappeared; time stopped; fire. I’m pretty sure some of my older aunts were getting a bit uncomfortable. I can hear them whispering now, “Oh dear, oh my…..”

It was fire in more ways than one. I walked down the aisle with an Atomic Fire Ball in my mouth.

Yes, Friends, my cheek was fat on one side from having a large ball of red hot, long-lasting candy in my mouth. I’ve been an Atomic Fire Ball fan forever. (If you don’t know what a Fire Ball is, check this out: .) Fire Balls are so spicy that I usually have to take them out of my mouth and hold them in my fingers for a few seconds to cool off. Which leds to sticky, red fingers.

Well, having an Atomic Fire Ball in my mouth as I walked down the aisle proved to be poor planning indeed. My sweet Daddy didn’t notice at the time, or he surely would have made me spit it out. (I wish I could remember whom to thank for that….probably my friend and bridesmaid, Lisa.) But once I made it down the aisle, I was relieved. Surely I’d find an opportunity to do something with this candy in my mouth. I stood next to my soon-to-be-better-half, and I passed that fire ball from cheek to cheek, side to side, trying to come up with a plan. What on earth was I going to do with it now? If I could discreetly drop this red, sticky candy ball into my hand, then I could…what? As I stood there and pondered, the Atomic Fire Ball would heat up beyond anything I could take, I’d drop my jaw slightly, open my mouth, and suck in some cool air.
My back was to the guests—thank goodness. I was glad no one could see my dilemma. No one could see except, as it turns out, the videographer. It’s a very comedic wedding tape indeed.
I’m happy to report that right before the kiss, I successfully sucked that candy ball soft enough to bite into it, chew it up real fast, and swallow it. Whew. Maybe that’s what took my husband and me so long on the “you may kiss” part. Maybe that’s why the wedding smack-a-roo was so fire-y. No, it wasn’t the Fire Ball. And it wasn’t me, the one who can’t even remember her first kiss. It was him. Hottie. And he’s still a fire-y sugar-planter.
One of my friends told me that ours was the best kiss she’d ever witnessed. I’m not actually sure how anyone saw anything beyond my very large hair. Very. Large. You noticed it? Well, it was 1991, in the south, what can I say? I still had my ‘80’s hair going. In fact if it weren’t for my friend and hair stylist, I’d probably still have it. Because I like it that much. I liked it then; I like it now.
But shall we move on? On to planting a different kind of sugar. Here’s one I can “spill the beans” about. This weekend I planted my Sugar Snap Peas. Finally! I got them in the ground! I really needed to do this about 10 days earlier, but I just didn’t have the time. It’s a challenge here in Georgia for the Sugar Snaps to mature and be harvested prior to the hot weather coming in. The heat just dries them up completely. Mid-February is usually my goal.
I planted Botanical Interests seeds, which continues to be one of my favorite suppliers.

I like that they are a small, family run business. And I like their seed packets: they are pretty with a beautiful hand-drawn illustrations. I can also find them locally, without having to deal with shipping.

I asked for inoculant; the fellow went to the back room and came out with a small bag for me. I was in a hurry and headed home with my seeds and inoculant.
That night I glanced at the label. What kind of junk is this? Warnings like you wouldn’t believe. They’re especially concerned about our children, eyes, and lungs coming in contact with it. No thanks. Instead I just soaked the peas in water for 24 hours before I planted them.
Since then I’ve had the chance to look up inoculants and have learned that they contain bacteria, not chemicals. I had a knee-jerk reaction to the warnings. If I had ordered from a reliable organic company, I would have felt more secure about using it without much knowledge. (Here’s some you can count on: So, given the chance to “do over,” I’d use them. In fact, I need to look it up and see if it is too late to simply add some to the soil. Apparently the rhyzobia bacteria that inoculents contain fix the nitrogen in the soil for the peas and beans require. As a result, the plants are healthier and more productive.  Ah well.
My lower “real” garden is not ready at all. I don’t have a fence; my small tiller won’t start. So I planted a small bed of Sugar Snaps up by the house, in the patch I usually use for greens. I used only a rake and a hoe.

I always put a rock at the beginning of the row to remind me where the row is.

Otherwise, it never fails that I wind up stepping on my newly planted seeds.

It is only about 8 feet by 4 feet. And it’s in a terrible spot for a garden, being on a slope. I bought some stones to stop the run-off. And then, I added some firewood sticks to help. Pretty? I guess not. Practical? Yes. Inexpensive? You betcha. Easy to do? Yeppers. And just wait until you see what I’ll be able to grow there. It gets morning sun and afternoon sun until about 5 pm, so there’s plenty of light.
Because I don’t have much space there, I ignored the spacing directions. I’m thinking if I have an adequate support system for them, then they’ll do fine.
Which brings me to the support system. What do you usually use for your peas and beans? I’m trying to decide now. I don’t want to use a cage since it is right beside the house. I’d like to use something a but more attractive. I really like the look of those bamboo tee-pees, and am thinking about trying to build some before the peas grow much.
Which beings me to another kind of support system. Planting wishes. I’ve always believed, like Kramer, that birthday candle wishes come true. My daughter has had a tough year, so I decided to offer her a wish a day.

On the table I put a purple (her favorite color) taper candle, sitting in a special wooden candle stick that my Daddy made. Every morning, I light it before she comes down for breakfast. Then before she heads off to school, she makes a wish and blows out the candle.
Do non-birthday candle wishes come true? This morning, while she was brushing her teeth, I lit that candle again for me. I made my wish and blew it out.
And I’ll make a wish especially for you tomorrow if you tell me what to wish for.

(And just in case the candle doesn’t work, I’m growing some dandelions, so you’re covered….)
Now, don’t hurry off before you tell us about your first kiss! 
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

  1. Louise Fredieu says:

    Hi Rebekah:
    The fireball story is great! It goes really well with the hair!!! Do you keep your wedding pictures out so that when someone is having a bad day: turn the page and S-M-I-L-E!
    i am so glad that you are NOT perfect! You just made my day; i needed that!!!

  2. Debbie says:

    Hey Rebekah!
    First of all, I think we are bride twins. I got married in 1991 too with big hair. Like you, I don’t remember my first kiss either…Complete blank. However,I remember the sugar my dear hubby planted on me after our first date quite clearly. Sweet indeed!
    I planted my herb trays yesterday with Botanical Interest seeds too. Our local garden and feed store carries them and the worker man recommended a great light weight organic potting soil for me too! As for making wishes, I’m a firm believer in making them, believing in them, then doing what it takes to bring them into reality!
    That’s why my blog is called Dandelion House!
    Great post today… I’m off to plant some more dream seeds!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Dandelion Wishes to you too!

  3. Sally says:

    The summer of my 15th birthday I had a huge crush on a 17 year old boy…he had a wonderful tan—golden hair and blue eyes….just made my heart throb!! Of course I could not date yet—so we settled for his visits to our home. But this summer our wonderful small town of 1000 people—most of which were farmers—had a carnival visit the main street of our town. With a ferriswheel and everything. My heart throb asked me to go with him, my mother said yes!! My boyfriend delivered papers, so he had a litle money–and we went for a ride on that glorious ferris wheel!! When we stopped at the very top, we stole a kiss!! What fun..that was 47 years ago…

  4. Brigitte Farmgirl with a heart says:

    I had my first kiss at the age of 19! The "guy" was 3 years younger…He was a friend of my sister. I know it wasn’t a magic moment! But what I can really remember it’s the smell; A mix of my spraynet + is sweat! He was so nervous…that all is big face was kind of shinny…Well, I had to kiss someone! Thanks to put it back in memories! And by the way, you were a really good looking wedding girl! Hope I’ll look as good when the moment comes! See ya!

  5. Sandy says:

    No, I don’t remember my first kiss either. Inauspicious at best I guess! I am soooo jealous that you can plant now, we are under at least a foot of snow here and planting is very, very far away. Wish I could send a picture!

  6. Lisa says:

    First kiss…? What a lovely request- mine was at 14, I had a 19yr. old college boyfriend. My husband of 25 years and Mom were appalled. But what a special man- I hope he’s happy now. It was in the front seat of a ’69 Delta 88 and a hot Texas nite… and I was so skinny! What a gentleman.
    And for candles, please choose one for our little family business- the economy is failing us…
    This is a wonderful Catholic and Pagan tradition…
    Thanks so much- Lisa, Colorado

  7. Hottie says:

    Ah, that kiss that started the best 20 years, one month, 19 days and counting of my life.

  8. Kat Sprattling says:

    I love your blog! My first kiss was at age 15.He was a junior lifeguard at the local pool.Maurice was handsome and muscular and 2years older! Oo-la-la. Unfortunately, the smooch itself was more like a snake tongue invasion. I stopped hanging out at the pool on his days. I had not had a good kiss yet but I knew that was not it! Never saw Maurice again. Hope he trained the cobra!

  9. Betsy says:

    LOL! Your story brought tears to my eyes, like it often does. But this time because I’m laughing so hard! I love your blogs. They never fail to brighten my day. I’ll take a wish for my love life since you’re talking about kisses. Thanks in advance!

  10. CC says:

    I was 6 years old, in kindergarten and in ‘love’ with Dickie (don’t remember his last name) as were about 1/2 of the other girls in the class. One day we girls chased him around the school yard at recess and tied him up to the chain link fence with our jump ropes and we all took turns kissing him … it lasted all of about 3 minutes before our teacher came to rescue him!

  11. MaryFrantic says:

    First kiss? Absolutely! I was 15 attending a birthday party with a group of 17 & 18 year-olds (because my cousin took me with her). They said we would play, "Spin The Bottle". We formed a circle and sat on the floor. I saw that when the bottle pointed to YOU, the couple stepped just around an OPEN doorway and quickly returned? The cutest guy there spun the bottle toward me and reached out his hand. We walked around the doorway and he gave me one of the sweetest kisses I received all my life. BTW, we never dated but have kept in touch all these years. He and I are 71 years old now. I just got an email from him the other day. I think I’ll ask him if he remembers that kiss — Do I dare?…Naw, I don’t think so. If you put something in print on the internet it could be edited or copied and changed, so I’ll just keep my little private memory.

  12. Kristy says:

    My father’s family moved into the town my mother grew up in when they were both sixteen. The next week they met at the youth group at church. Mom said it was love at first sight, Dad said it wasn’t, but that he knew she was the girl he was going to marry. So…
    I looked at the boys in our church, the good ones were all taken, and only the duds remained. When I was thirteen a new family moved into town and I was sure the son was the one. In fact we dated for a couple of days, but I liked his sister better than him. His kiss was kinda blah.
    I met my husband after church when I was nineteen. He was a different denomination. It wasn’t the church, it was the day of the week.

  13. Sharon says:

    My first kiss? There are so many first kissses to choose from that I am suddenly thinking perhaps I was a bit more free wheeling then I ever realized: There was that first kiss on my cheek from a boy in second grade who asked me to marry him. There was that first kiss on my lips from another boy in the same second grade class who was my dancing partner for our St. Patty’s Day Concert who embellished the end of our number by planting a big kiss on my lips. Then there were the games of kissing chase when I transferred to public school in 4th grade. There were a few kisses from boys at summer camp dances out on the porch under the stars. In my heart though I have always counted my first real kiss to be the one on my eighth grade trip to Washington DC. There were about 100 students from my junior high class and 6 boys from the eighth grade class at St. Andre’s (a local catholic school) who went on the trip. I lost my voice on our second day there and couldn’t join in the crazy antics of my usual crowd. Somehow I found myself tagging along with the 6 boys from St. Andre’s (several of whom I knew from my days at St. Mary’s and 1 I knew from all my summers spent running track and field thru parks and rec). They were all thoguhtful, considerate, funny and very interesting. By the end of our week there one of them became my first boyfriend and when we had our first kiss I saw fireworks. I felt the fireworks all over again when we were old enough to go on real dates in our junior year of high school. Thank you for the wonderful walk down memory lane!

  14. all8garden says:

    Hm, first kiss. I remember it was summer and sunny, his name was Jason….um. Yeah, that’s all I got. I do remember the first time that my DH and I kissed.

    I miss Big Hair.

    As for wishes, there really isn’t anything that I need but thank you for the offer. Is there something that you need? How can we help?

  15. Mary Rauch says:

    You know, Rebekah looks more like a china doll than a "real" girl

  16. MaryFrantic says:

    Rebekah, was a decision ever made on the "roof color" we talked about a while back? Are there pictures AFTER it was painted?…just curious.

  17. Shery Jespersen says:

    GREAT read! Top to bottom.

    My first kiss…1966 I think. Happened at night, out in front of the community center in our little "Cowboy Hooterville" here in Wyoming. Friday night roller skating. I was 12, he was too. He was visiting relatives in town. His name, I kid you not, was Wyatt Earp. He said he was related to the famous law man and was named after him. I did NOT kiss him. He kissed ME. That was back when forward girls were nonexistant (as far as I knew). I didn’t know anyone my age who had ever kissed or been kissed before. He even kissed me on the lips! That was all that came of my first kiss, but it sure left an impression. We roller-skated together and then parted company. He was dreamy I thought and it didn’t hurt any that he had such a cool name.

  18. J.F. says:

    Oh, the first kiss! In the woods, while gathering bonfire kindling, and I had just met him. There were three or four kisses, really, and then we went back to the bonfire.
    Much more memorable was the first kiss my beloved and I shared: That, after two years of being ‘just friends’, then spending a whole day, evening and into the next morning talking, sharing quarts of coffee, and drifting from one coffee shop to another, in and out of bookstores,dinner, live music. We finally kissed standing next to his crummy old car, drove away, and never left each other or that kiss, even through more than twenty years, four children, a business, and more adventures than I can count. Even when cancer physically separated us did we part, and I like to think that is only temporary. We’ll have coffee and kisses again someday.

  19. Penny says:

    I miss big hair too! And shoulder pads!
    I still have "kinda" big hair – it’s ok I live in Texas 🙂

  20. Vicki Patton says:

    Oh boy…my first of many…I was candy striping at a local hospital. Had met a guy and we discovered you can stop the elevator and turn the lights out. We kissed…I remember he took his hand and taught me to move my lips a bit while kissing. That was in 1969. I was 14.

  21. meg says:

    !! *sigh* My first kiss was in San Diego and it was a British guy "in the states" for a Tae Kwon Do tournament. Random! He was cute, his name was Douglas – he went home and sent me one letter but, alas, that was it. And, since it was pre-facebook, we did not keep in touch.

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