Tag Archives: cupcakes

Fair trade

I love to trade things — services, items of clothing, food, etc. I think this dates back to my grade school days of marble trading. What better way to get a coveted cat’s eye or crystal without any monetary output?

Last Christmas, my friend, Norm, made a pizza peel for his wife and posted a photo on Facebook. I told him I’d trade him a Nelson Steiner cane for a pizza peel. A few months later, Norm let me know that my peel was on its way to Bluffton via a mutual friend who was coming to visit his mother. Though Norm insisted I owed him nothing, I was determined to give him a cane, but the trade was not completed until a few weeks ago when Norm was visiting Bluffton. We met up at Common Grounds and the cane passed hands. So…I’ve got a peel with which to remove my hot pizza stone from the oven and Norm has a cane for….someday…when he needs it.

Before we went on vacation in June, I hired some friends’ kids to mow our yard and weed our garden. A few days later, sitting on the beach, my phone bleeped at me, signaling a text. It was my friend, JP, mom to our mowers/weeders. Would I consider a trade rather than pay? One of her sons needed two shirts to wear at the Indian Village during the recent sesquicentennial, and she wondered if I’d make the shirts in exchange. Of course!

We came home to no weeds and a mowed yard; in exchange, there were two shirts — already cut out — ready to be sewn. Here’s how that trade turned out…at least from JP’s end. I’ll admit that was not one of the easier trading projects…there was some gnashing of teeth and hair pulling before the shirts were done. But hey, it was probably no more challenging than those kids dealing with the burdock that grows wild in my garden.

Joseph in his traded shirt

Usually, I feel like I get the best end of the deal, but I’m pretty sure the other person is just as satisfied. Yesterday I posted a photo of my “field of dreams” from my garden — a particularly pretty plot of daisies that are threatening to consume our garden. Daisies are my favorite flower, so it’s not a problem for me, but my husband keeps mumbling something about splitting them up and “Wouldn’t one of your friends like some of these?”

My end of the daisy/cupcake trade

Trade you some daisies for some cupcakes

Turns out another friend, Joanna, a local baker, was planning a party for her daughter and needed some daisies. She wondered if I would trade some daisies for some cupcakes. What a silly question…who would turn down cupcakes? When she and Katherine stopped by for the daisies and my husband spied the cupcakes, his eyes lit up. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the end of his grumbling about the daisies.

Truthfully, I still think I got the best end of the deal. I even got an extra trade out of the deal — a fuzzy stem from a purple grass and a hot pink coneflower for a beautiful smile from Katherine, a delightful three-year-old.



Sans farmer’s market, it’s going to be a long, cold winter of Saturdays

The farmer’s market has loaded up its goods and hung it up for the year. I hate it when that time of year arrives. Saturday mornings just won’t be the same again until spring when it reopens.

It isn’t just the fresh produce that I’ll miss. Or the blue eggs. Or the bread from the French couple. Or Cindy’s flowers. Or Joanna’s cupcakes. Sure, I’ll miss that part…picking out the tiniest leaves of Swiss chard or the best cherry tomatoes. The grocery store versions just won’t quite cut it.

But let me tell you the real secret of the farmer’s market. It’s the social aspect. Sure, we go for the edibles and not-so-edibles. But we also go to see our friends. To chat. To hang out. To hear Peter Previte make one of his comments on why this is the best place to be on a Saturday morning.

It might appear that Cindy Basinger and I are consulting on whether Gerberas will bloom inside during the winter months, but really we’re just talking about how what hurts today or — if we’re lucky — what doesn’t hurt today.

And you might think Joanna might be pointing out the fact that she made miniature super duper chocolate chocolate chocolate cupcakes (which she did and which were delicious), but really we’re talking about Katherine, the light of her life. The child that I want to babysit.


Yep, it’s going to be a long, cold winter of blank Saturday mornings. Maybe we should just all meet in the middle of the parking lot and have a quick, cold chat. Then head for the warm coffee shop.