Friday, July 8, 2011

Don't Throw Those Garden Seeds Away! and Miffy Miffy Tu Tu

A couple of weeks ago when I finished planting out a second (well, I didn't want to chance running out of salad greens) raised bed of radishes, scallions, lettuce and a couple other things (no comments from you hecklers in the Peanut Gallery), I had a little room left at one end. Just room for two 4' rows of something.

I went digging in my seed stash and came up with a package of turnip seeds. So on a whim I planted them at the vacant end of the bed.

Lo and behold, I have some turnips coming up that I can slice fresh into salads this summer and maybe have a couple/few left for soups this fall.

Now the amazing part. Guess how old these turnip seeds were that I planted. Twelve years old. The packet is from 1999! Just shows to go ya . . . no reason to toss out "old" seeds.

* * * * * *

On a completely different subject, today Chicken Mama wrote (or tried to write . . . see her post for explanation of difficulties) a blog post about her birthday which was this past Tuesday. In the post she asked me to refresh her memory as to why my mom called birthdays "miffy miffy tu tu."

Seems that's one of those silly family words or phrases that comes to be after a particular incident and seems to stick for generations to come. Here's the story behind it.

One of my mom's sisters, my aunt, had four kids. Two boys first, then a gap of time and then two little girls. Once upon a time the oldest of the girls had a birthday along with family celebration, cake, candles, presents, the whole shebang.

The day after the party little C, the youngest of the girls who was just learning how to talk and express herself verbally, came up to her mom and said she wanted a miffy miffy tu tu. Obviously, my aunt didn't understand what she had said and asked her to repeat what it was she wanted. C repeated her request over and over again but her mom had no idea what this little one was asking for.

C's request continued for about three days with my aunt going nearly crazy offering her anything and everything she could think of that she could possible be asking for. It was super-frustrating for both mother and child because C was increasingly becoming more and more upset often ending up in tears.

Then one day C came running to her mom beaming while holding a magazine open to a page showing a birthday cake with candles. She exclaimed, "Miffy miffy tu tu! I wanna miffy miffy tu tu!"

Somehow at her sister's birthday party, little C had "heard" the singing of "Happy Birthday to You" as "miffy miffy tu tu," and that was what she associated with the whole party celebration and wanted for herself. A miffy miffy tu tu!

End of a silly story and a silly phrase that refers to birthdays in our family.


Erin said...

What a cute story! We have lots of stories like that in our family, too! Like when my little brother once asked my dad "what's a hypothetical needle"? wait for it... dad says of course "it's whatever you want it to be" :)

I'm remaining SILENT on the top paragraph... no sorry I can't.... "just a 4' row of something"...(grin)! I am jealous however since I have never successfully sprouted even one turnip seed!

Jane said...

Awww how cute! I came from a family that never called anything what it really was. We had such strange nic names for things I could not even spell some of the terms we used to call everything from family to animals. And no body went by their real name. Everyone had names assigned. This post brings back memories. Great story.

ThyHandHathProvided said...

I don't mean to freak you out or anything but last night I had a dream about you. Jennifer Jo and I were visiting you at your house and you were giving us a little tour. You and your husband had rigged up all these cool little inventions. The one I clearly remember you showing us was an old TV (like an old computer monitor, only about 12 x 12") built into the wall, so it looked like it was a flat screen. It swung outward on a hinge to reveal the big old back of it, but otherwise the back was concealed. We just thought that was so nifty. The only other thing I clearly remember about the dream was that you were so nice- just as I always imagined you to be:-).

(So sorry this comment has nothing to do with your post.)

Dmarie said...

wow, those are some vintage seeds! love it that you tried instead of tossed them...major points for that!!

The Apple Pie Gal said...

How Sweet! Thanks for sharing the meaning!

You will have better production from you garden this year (since you aren't gardening) than those of us who are!!

Show off!

Dirt Lover said...

I love stories like that! When my mom was little, she called coconut, "cake fuzz." Grandma said she crawled all over the kitchen helping her figure out what cake fuzz was.

Sue said...

I love the pet names families have for things. This was a sweet story.
Glad your NON-Gardening garden is so productive. Maybe that's the key to a bountiful harvest. We'll ALL do the "Mama Pea-No, I'm NOT GARDENING this year" jig and world hunger will end.
Did I just mock you? No I did not.
But you are one crazy funny (and very classy)lady! And we're all very glad you stick to you guns!

judy said...

I love old memories especially when they all come floating back a little at a time,as to share with some of the younger family members.I think next year I will no-garden like you,it will still give me more than what I have most years.I wanted to put up a bigger garden like my older sister did up at the lake,I wish I could post the pictures of it --fenced in,gate lock and all. I mean,who's gonna pick the lock,"Peter Rabbit"

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Love your dad's reply to the "hypothetical needle!"

P.S. It was TWO 4' rows of something. ;o}

P.P.S. When you start to garden up nort', you will have turnips and all other root crops coming out of your ears!

Jane - How's about sharing some of those memories of wonky names? Huh? Huh?

ThyHand - (I am going to GIVE you a name of some sort. It's driving me nuts calling you "ThyHand!")

I just laughed and laughed (and got a bunch of warm fuzzies) over your comment. The TV you described IS our TV. Well, not recessed into a wall to look like a flat screen but the 12 x 12 size!

May I say I would be honored to have you and JJ in my home? Yes, I would. (Would I still have to call you ThyHand??)

Dmarie - Normally I would try sprouting seeds that old inside in a wet paper towel but I didn't have the time so just threw them in the ground. Wonder of all wonders!!

Mama Pea said...

APG - We sure don't seem to be plagued with the awful weather and bugs you gardeners in other parts of the country are!

Lori - Cake fuzz! What's more appropriate than that? Out of the mouths of babes . . .

Sue - You always make me smile. :o):o):o):o) (Well, that and turn a putrid green with envy when looking at the pictures of your garden.)

judy - I think sharing "old" memories with our kids is very important. Gives them a sense of "knowing" generations past.

Peggi said...

My uncle was visiting when my children were little and my daughter was a baby. My daughter was a big baby with lots of rolls. He made a comment about her thight, "Look at those thunder thighs". A few days later my 6 year old son was playging with his sister and cute as could be said "Look at those cute little lightning legs". I almost died laughing, so cute!

On a garden note, I plant extra plants in empty spaces also, makes the garden interesting.

Jane said...

Ok, you asked for it. My name was Poochie, my brother who's real name was Fred was called Sam my Uncles name was Philip and we called him Al. We we went to the Tu-tee farm (chickens) and the males were called Ooo-tu's (roosters). A groundhog was an Uckgung and if you wanted water, you wanted gung gung. My grandmother was called Mama Two. Our friends and neighbors had names like Big Foot, Bulgy (yes he had a big belly), and the guy who I went to the prom with ended up with the name Jimney Cricket. Oh I could go on and on. What must have people though when they heard us speak? Once a name was given to something, it was never called the real thing again. This was difficult if you ended up with a less than flattering name ;)

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Well. My best friend's brother called me General Motors in high school. Is that any better? If not, I will happily respond to any name you give me:-).

Mama Pea said...

Peggi - That is the cutest story! Somehow I think I'd rather be told I had "lightning legs" than "thunder thighs!!"

Poochie - I'm a little awe-struck! Your family really had something . . . uh, um, strange going there. Cute, but strange! :o}

ThyHand - Uhhh, do I dare ask why he dubbed you "General Motors?"

Leigh said...

Very cute story! Amazing about those seeds too. Come to think of it, I should do that too, though maybe as some guerrilla gardening. I've always wanted to do that.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - I just never throw seeds away thinking they're too old. Who knows when they might come in handy?!