Monday, June 27, 2016

Building Confidence as an Anxious Single Mama

Do you remember your first date? I remember my first date.

I was an awkward and lanky 13-year-old girl at a church BBQ when I first saw him. He was tall, with dark hair and a beautiful smile. I remember telling my girlfriend I "liked" him (what does that even mean to a 13 year old Jen?) and wouldn't you know it, her mother was good friends with his. Before I even realized what was happening I had plans to go bowling with this 16-year-old boy, his friend, and my girlfriend. A group thing, you know, because....well.....I was 13. And church, people.

He and his friend picked us up from my house. My mom supervised the hand-off. I think I said hello? I might not have said hello. I couldn't for the life of me look at him. I sat in the backseat of that car, silent and sweating, my heart pounding, while my girlfriend and his friend chatted it up. By the time we got to the bowling alley I was in full-blown panic mode, my mind racing between the drive-in scene in Grease and those horrible 1960's sex ed videos they'd started showing us in health class. What am I doing here? What should I say? What does he want to hear? How am I supposed to act? Do I need more lip gloss? Do boys even like lip gloss? Teen Magazine, oh how you've failed me!!

After an hour of me staring at the ground, lips sealed shut, he and his friend gave up and took me home. I practically jumped out of the moving vehicle when it turned down my street and I, of course, never heard from him again.

Dating, I realized right then and there, absolutely sucks.

Flash forward to present day and I can't say I'm any better than my 13 year old self. Here I am, fresh out of a ten year marriage with someone I thought I was going to die next to like in The Notebook (yep, welcome to Jen world), and I am scared shitless. The pain hangs on me like dead weight. It gets me stuck in insecurity, doubt, and shame. It's like quicksand. I am afraid to shake and fight it because all that moving might make me die faster, right? But if I just stand still, I will sink.

The answer, dear readers? The answer is to find the confidence to fight. And risk. And continue pulling upwards and out of that mess of a person who was left behind when her marriage went to shit. We don't need to feel helpless. We don't need to feel like we're not in control. We don't need to stand there and let the sadness and unfairness and disappointment overtake our happiness. Imagine how different my first date would've been had I flashed a smile, been proud of who I was, and stopped questioning myself. The best things that've ever happened in my life happened because I was brave enough to ask for them, pursue them, and grab them.

So let's build some confidence, shall we?

Positive People
The last thing a broken person needs is someone telling her she's broken. People who criticize, complain, can't be satisfied, and otherwise make you feel like garbage have no place in your journey right now. Consciously consider who you surround yourself with and choose to weed out those who cause you pain or anxiety. This is the time to rally your support people. Do yourself a favor and lean on your friends. The good ones will understand and be overjoyed to help.

Be Alone
I talked about some great, frugal ways to be alone a few weeks ago. One of the key components to gaining confidence is knowing you will be ok all by yourself. You will not go crazy. You will not be seen as someone to be pitied. You will be ok....happy, even. This was an especially hard lesson for me to learn (and one I am actually still learning) as I love being with those I love. I love to talk and be with others - I've always felt I was made to be a partner. If that's how you feel, too...kick rocks. Seriously, cram that crap with walnuts, it's time to be your own partner. Figure out how to get stuff down from the top shelf. Learn basic home repairs. Redo your bedding so there's one giant, fluffy pillow right in the middle of your more sides....just you. Wonderful you.

Music Magic
My best dear girlfriend just told me the other day that music is the only thing in the world that lights up the entire brain while listening to it. Can you believe that? It's the only thing that lights up our whole brain at once. Use it. You know all those songs dudes sing about hot girls and summer girls and the loves of their life? Pretend they are singing about you. Dance and sway and sing and feel sexy and desired and love on yourself like you are the only woman in the world that he could possibly be singing about. Then listen and sing along to some Kacey Musgraves and Sia because both those women are power in a bottle.

Mirror, Mirror, on Your Wall
I'm the opposite of a "high-maintenance" woman so hear me when I say you could never wear an ounce of makeup again and you would still be just as beautiful as any woman in Hollywood. That said, even I have to admit I feel different when I leave the house in sweatpants versus cute jeans. When I'm leaving the house and I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, there's a certain attitude I get when my reflection smiles all pretty back at me. I'm not saying you need to get all dolled up in the traditional sense with makeup and fancy clothes (although you can if you want to!), but try not to let your feelings of rejection cause you to give up on the things that make you feel beautiful. If you feel beautiful in long dresses and bracelets, wear them even though you're feeling gross. If you feel beautiful in flip flops with crazy hair, wear flip flops with crazy hair every chance you get. Don't let those things go just because someone made you feel worthless. If looking pretty makes you happy, look pretty, embrace it, don't stop, because you are more precious than gold.

Flirt, Flirt, Flirt
So you know the creeper guys who pull up in their cars and you get this weird feeling they're staring at you and trying to mack all up on your stuff? No? Try looking around next time. They are out there....remember me talking about them in my Worst Driving Offenses post? When you're recovering from a bad breakup you need to use these guys. I'm serious. Look their way and smile and blow them kisses. See a hott construction worker? Wave at him. Standing next to a good looking man at the grocery store? Smile at him and say hello. Take every opportunity to flirt your sweet little ass off because the reactions you'll get are priceless and definitely worth the risk of interacting with strangers.

Be Selfish
You likely just spent weeks, months, years putting another person's needs above your own. Now is the time to break free from that for a little while. I have kiddos and they need me, yes....but they need me happy and healthy. If I can find a way to care for them while caring for myself, I'm going to take it. Try doing what you want on the weekend instead of what your friends and family want. Pamper yourself with baths every day and don't feel guilty that you're soaking in a bathtub while your kids watch a movie because you know what....nobody cares. The kids will not remember it....but they will remember your mood, your reactions, and how you treat them. So treat yourself and try not to provide excuses for it. Allow yourself to be happy, explanation-free.

Fake it Till You Make it
There's something to be said about mantras, or the act of repeating something to yourself over and over again until it becomes concrete. New routines become habit, habits become your way of life...and the same can be said for self-perception. Hate a particular part of your body? Stand in front of the mirror and look at it every single day and name at least 3 positive things about your least-favorite feature. My breasts fed my babies. My breasts don't have cancer. My breasts are soft. Over and over and over again until you start to realize that the positives are the truths......and everything else is just noise and conditioned responses. Recondition your brain. I am a good mom. I am enough. I am worth it. Fake it, say it, portray it, until it becomes reality.

The Critical Challenge
This little trick actually came to me via my ex-husband! He suggested it to me after a particularly rough conversation about our future as friends and co-parents. The challenge is to not say anything critical about yourself for one entire week. No negative comments about yourself, no excessive apologizing, no talking down about your behavior or your actions. If you can, stop apologizing all together. This is a super tough one for me. I feel sorry all the time, either by way of empathy or remorse. The first time I did this challenge I failed miserably. I'm hopeful about my second attempt. Think before you speak and don't automatically assume you are to blame and deserve criticism. Chances are you're not and your mouth just needs to catch up to this new way of life.

Got Kids?
Use your children like the rails of a pool table. Before you say something, or react to something, mentally bounce the thought off your children - If my baby were thinking this right now, how would I feel? If my daughter were doubting herself, what would I say? If my son were to react this way, what would the outcome be? I try and use my kids as a baseline for my self-image all the time. I would never want my daughter calling herself fat, so I am careful to not say the same about myself. I would be furious if my babies bent over backwards for someone who didn't appreciate it, so I try and be sure I don't portray the same weakness. Children bring wonderful perspective to life. Use it! They think you are the most beautiful creature in the world, mama. Act like it.

Don't Keep Your Head
If you're anything like me, being single after ending a bad marriage creates this catacomb of caution. Don't let yourself get hurt again. Don't let someone break you again. Don't allow yourself to be that dependent again. Don't lose yourself in love. Keep your head on your shoulders. Take things slow and carefully. Don't make another mistake. Don't, don't, don't......don't what? Allow yourself to feel vulnerable? Allow yourself to take risks? Allow yourself to fall in love? Allow yourself to live? If it makes you happy, if it makes you smile, if it makes you feel good and it doesn't harm your body or those around you really need to keep your head about it? Or can you just let go and free fall for a little bit? Chase dreams? Live in the clouds? Think about and work toward the reality you want to have instead of the one you currently have? If the idea you covet doesn't interfere with your responsibilities, I see nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with allowing yourself to be terribly, deliciously, irrationally impulsive and indulgent. You are raising kids husband-free, woman. You've earned some time to dance around, play, and lose your head. Go nuts!

There's no easy way to get back to the person you were before. You'll likely never meet her again, to be honest. But do you really want to? Chances are you've grown and are forming new leaves and petals on those pretty flowers of yours. Don't look back and wish for what you once were. Look ahead and see, with renewed, joyful eyes, who you will someday be. Hold tight to her and think about her everyday. Practice, pretend, play, and promote yourself and your confidence each morning. Kiss yourself goodnight every night. And don't worry, mama. You are the most mesmerizing, breathtaking woman in the just need to start believing it.

I'd love to hear from you dear, readers. How do you keep your confidence up when recovering from hardship? Tell me about it in the comments down below and as always, thank you so very much for reading :)


Monday, June 20, 2016

AC-Free Ways to Keep Your Family and Animals Cool This Summer

I am a winter baby, dear readers. Pale and pasty by nature. I turn red in the sun, that's it. No loving mocha shade of brown here. Real red - red - peel - white. That's my summer skin cycle. I'm already feeling the sting of my third sunburn this year. And today is only the first day of summer.

Now I know what you're thinking. Buck up and deal Jen, it's sunny and beautiful outside. Stop whining!

And you may be on to something there. But first, allow me to remind you that I am a transparent, sweaty beast with a head full of hair that goes ZING in the heat. I, like my incredibly hairy dog, fully-feathered 10-week-old-chickens, and similarly sweaty-beast children, need ways to chill after being in hell the summer of satan outside.

Thankfully I have the internet....a beautiful tool that connects me to people who've been there, done that, long before I was doing anything at all. Here are my favorite, creative cool-down methods, brought to you by the beautiful bloggers and homesteaders around us.

Cooling the House
The Attic Fan - Stick a fan in the attic opening of your house with the "blow" side facing into the attic. Close all your windows and draw the shades in sunny rooms. Make sure the door to the basement is open and then turn the fan on - it will suck cool air from the basement into the attic, leaving a trail of cool in its wake. Instant breeze!

Plant Vines - Morning glory, ivy, and other fast-growing vines are easy to plant and spread rapidly. Grow them a few feet off the exterior wall on the sunny side of your house to cool it down by up to twenty degrees!

Cook Outside - Heating up your house with the oven is counterproductive when temperatures rise. Grill outside and if you're really craving meatloaf, consider building your own outdoor oven.

Implement Passive Cooling Strategies - Things like paint, roof overhangs, and ventilation are easy, affordable ways to cool your home without utilizing any crazy resources. The dude in the video I linked to obviously has the perfect example with his earthbag home, but some of these strategies can be applied to your standard suburban home, too....specifically the section where he talks about plants.

Cooling Your Body
Homemade Popsicles - My mouth is the quickest thing to fire off when I'm heated. Why not cool things down with a super-simple, budget-conscious popsicle? Cold foods are enjoyable, refreshing, and quite literally decrease your body temperature as you eat them.

Homemade Fudgsicles - And when popsicles don't work, try the sweet, soothing elixir that is cocoa all up in my mouf. These lovely little additions to my summertime snacking only have five ingredients.

Pools, Pools, Everywhere - You don't need to run to WalMart and spend $500 to create your own backyard swim zone. Check out these creative (and often hilarious) ways to build a pool without the crazy costs.

Get Up and Out - Early mornings are always cooler than blazing hot summer afternoons. If you have chores and outdoor activities you've gotta get done, do them bright and early before that sun gets too high.

Build a Portable Swamp Cooler - If you just can't beat the heat but aren't ready to fire up the air conditioner, try building one of these puppies. They're intended for smaller spaces but run off so little electricity/battery power, you could easily make one for each person in your family. Neato!

Clothes Matter! - Cotton, cotton, cotton. Wear breathable, loose fabrics. I personally love Pact, an organic cotton company that doesn't use any child labor or sweatshops and is Fair Trade Certified.

Drink - Now everyone knows alcohol dehydrates you.....but a single glass of homemade blackberry mead isn't gonna kill anyone.....might even help distract you from the heat. Ok maybe I just really wanted to link to homemade mead. You can always follow it up with a glass of water right? Eh? Ehh?

Cooling Your Animals
Freeze it for Chickens - Stick mint and strawberry tops into muffin tins, fill each muffin cup with water, and then freeze. Pop those suckers out and your little chickie babies will be happy (and cool!) as can be.

Freeze it for Pups - Mix a little bit of fruit, yogurt, broth, and scrap meat together and pour into popsicle molds. Stick dehydrated chicken feet into the top for the "stick" and freeze. Wah-lah! A delightful way to help your dog beat the heat this summer.

Freeze Water Bottles - Fill up water bottles (or any old container with a lid) with water and freeze them. When the temps climb take your frozen bottles into the coop to help your girls stay cool.

Baby Pools Are Cool - Drag out that cheapo $10 plastic pool and fill 'er up. Chances are someone, be it a feathered friend or a furry one, will be grateful for the effort and gladly jump in.

I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one who struggles with the heat. A long, long time ago, creativity around the household was vital, especially when it came to withstanding the elements. I am so grateful I can read about the many interesting and eco-friendly ways people beat the heat....hoping to employ a number of these tips and tricks this year to see which ones work best. Maybe I'll learn to love summer, after all! :)

Now I will stop whining, mkay? At least until next week ;)

What about you, dear readers? How do you beat the heat and keep your flocks and families cool? I'd love to hear about it in the comments down below and as always, thank you so much for reading!


Monday, June 13, 2016

Biscuit Pot Pie: A From-Scratch, Kid-Friendly Recipe

"Mama, I don't like this. I think I'll go to bed instead."

My four-year-old announces this to the dinner table at least three nights a week. I'll call her over to eat and she'll come running into the room, clambers up into her chair, her eyes always huge with anticipation...and then the minute a pepper, or tomato, or potato hits her little lips, she willingly puts herself to bed. 

"No, I don't think I like this, Mama. I'm going to bed."

In our house the choices are: 
1. Eat
2. Go lie down until dinner is over

So you see I can't really get upset when she obeys by quietly getting down from her chair and padding her little bare feet down the hall to her bedroom. I don't get mad when I hear her quietly playing in her bed, either. But dear gosh, does it ever break my heart and annoy me to no end when she wakes up in the morning crying because her stomach hurts. That's not the way it's supposed to be, right? I'm supposed to make sure these kids eat, aren't I? I cooked for her though, secret Judgmental Jen who loves to judge herself! I cooked for her! I swear it!

Now I've developed a number of tricks to try and get my kids to eat healthy over the years. So far the most foolproof method is pretty simple: cook food they like. My youngest loves breads and cheese, just like her mama. My oldest prefers stuff with lots of flavor and predictable texture (no mushy noodles or soggy cereal for her). 

This recipe, this beautiful, golden, shining recipe of dinnertime peace and hope, fulfills both wish lists....and it is easy, affordable, healthy, and honestly delicious. Ready to read all about it? Of course you are. But first....

Disclaimer One: I try and use organic, source-conscious ingredients in all of my cooking and those types of ingredients are listed here....but at one point in my life I found such specificity obnoxious as hell and I wouldn't blame you for printing this off and crossing all the "organics" out. Plain ol' flour is just as fine and delicious as organic unbleached flour, especially when compared to the dough in a can.

Disclaimer Two: There are two parts to this dish - the biscuits and the filling. I make them both at the same time like a boss and I am not even graceful so don't be afraid. You can do this.

Ready? Let's go.

1. Start by getting all your ingredients out and prepped.

Ingredients for the Biscuits:
  • 2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold grass-fed butter or lard leftover from cooking your forest-foraged pork on your cast iron skillet (ok now I'm just being a brat)
  • 1 cup buttermilk***
***Side note about buttermilk - I never remember to buy the stuff in the store or I do and then it goes bad because I forgot I bought it. Instead I make my own buttermilk by combining a couple tablespoons of vinegar with some of my favorite fresh whole milk. Let it sit and stir it every now and then and it'll thicken up all buttermilk-like. For this recipe you just add the 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your measuring cup then fill it up to the 1 cup line with your milk. Easy-peasy. 

Ingredients for the Filling:
  • 1 pound of your favorite ground meat - I typically use ground turkey or pork - thawed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter or anything greasy, really, to cook your meat
  • 1 10-oz bag of frozen organic veggies (yep, you read that right - frozen veggies are cheap, even the organic ones, and will save you prep time on this dish)
  • 1/4 of an onion - purple, white, yellow, doesn't matter at all - diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic all mashed up 
  • 1/3 cup of organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (learn how to make your own - it's so cheap!)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Seasoned salt and pepper to taste
The great thing about this filling is you can change the non-base ingredients (meat and veggies) to match what you have. If you score a ton of peas and carrots at the farmers market, for example, but didn't have enough cash for onions, you can leave the onions out completely and just add peas and carrots. If your garden is hoppin' with corn and tomatoes, add them to the filling. Vegetarians can leave the meat out completely. The filling will still taste fantastic. On lazy nights I use meat and the frozen veggies that's it. Still good. 

2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. If you're making buttermilk out of milk and vinegar get that started now, too. 

3. Heat your oil over medium heat in an oven safe pan - cast iron is honestly perfect for this but stainless steel works well, too. 

4. Add your meat, onions, and garlic to the pan. Some people say you need to sweat out your onions and garlic first (let them saute until brown) but I don't wanna and you don't have to, either.

5. While the meat is cooking stir the dry biscuit ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt) together in a medium-sized bowl.

6. Take your cold butter or lard and cut it into the dry ingredients. To "cut" means to mix it up without making it so hot it want it you don't want to use your hands. I invested in a pastry cutter but a fork with nice big tines works too....*giggity.*  The dough should get crumbly - big chunks of butter is fine and fantastic and perfect so don't stress. Give your meat a quick flip and stir. 

7. Add your buttermilk and stir with a folk just until the ingredients are incorporated. Take your hands and knead the dough a couple times so it comes together.

8. Now this is the part where you'd typically roll this dough ball out and cut little circles out of it and have it be real pretty. That is not what we're doing here, but you're welcome to if you prefer a cleaner biscuit. Me? I prefer a biscuit in my belly. My belly does not give a crap. Set the bowl aside.

9. Flip your meat around and make sure it's nice and cooked. Add the 1/3 cup flour to the pan. Nope, don't drain your meat, that is blasphemy. Your meat/flour mixture will get real thick and you'll be afraid you're going to burn it. You will not, promise. Let the meat absorb the flour. Takes a minute or so.

10. Add your chicken broth and milk. Stir it all up and turn the heat up to medium-high. 

11. Add the frozen veggies and your seasoned salt and pepper. Mix it all up.

12. Now this is the best part. Let the mixture get real hot and bubbly. Keep stirring, don't let it sit. You're waiting for that flour to kick in and make the liquid go from watery to thick and tasty. If it's taking too long, realize you are the master of your kitchen and you can crank the heat up as high as you want to speed things up. Just be careful to keep stirring and scraping along the bottom and sides of the pan so nothing burns. When you can pull your spatula across the mixture and see the bottom of the pan, it's ready.

13. Slide the pan over, off the heat. Now grab that biscuit dough lump (or pretty little circles) and start plopping them on top. You can be as messy or as clean as you'd like.

14. Take the entire pan and put it into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes - you want the biscuits to get a nice golden brown on top. You might get impatient and take the pan out when they're only a little brown on top and that's ok. It will smell real good so I don't blame you. 

15. Let it sit for a minute as it will be super bubbly and hot....or, be like Jen and burn yourself a little trying to shovel it out onto plates as fast as you possibly can so you can finally eat it. 

Wa-lah :) A healthy, easy, from-scratch dinner that Mamas and Kiddos and Doggies love. Enjoy!

What is your favorite homemade recipe? I'd love to hear about it in the comments down below and as always, thank you so much for reading :)

**Can't get enough homesteading? Check out the Homestead Blog Hop, hosted by some of the best and most beautiful bloggers in the self-sufficiency world. This post, and many of my others, are shared on the Homestead Blog Hop each week. From breadmaking to seed selection, home-grown recipes to herbal health, the Homestead Blog Hop has it all! Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Chipmunks in the Garden: Wildlife Warfare

Birds and sunshine and thunderstorms, oh my! Early summer has arrived, dear readers. My newly-expanded cinder block garden is finally starting to see some action and I am overjoyed to say most of my transplants are kinda sorta growing. 

Now typically this would be my favorite part of the gardening season - it's direct sow time! I love direct sow seeds. Just pop 'em in the ground and bam, you are golden. Well. Kinda. Last year I may have direct sown some sweet corn with popcorn and ruined my harvest by cross breeding the crud out of them BUT we don't need to talk about that! It's a new year :)

And that means, of course, new garden issues. My backyard chipmunk population has exploded. I don't know what these little guys were doing all winter but I swear I cannot step outside without seeing at least five of them at any given time. Their chirps wake me up in the morning. Their scratching in my garage scares the crap out of me when I let the puppy out at night. And during the day? During the day they wage war against my garden.

That's right. The chipmunks are tearing my garden, and consequently my heart, apart.

I had visions of planting enough sweet corn this year to last me the winter. I planned it all out, ordered the very best seeds, and made sure to design the beds so they wouldn't cross-pollinate like they did last year. I went outside a few weeks ago and gently planted well over 100 corn kernels into my raised beds. They sprouted and I rejoiced.

And then. *sniffle* And then.....this. 

One bed, the popcorn, was destroyed. The sweet corn was intact...but my precious multi-colored popcorn was gone. 

I scoured the internet. Squirrels! it said. Squirrels! Or birds! Just cover your seeds!

I went out and spend $150 on hardware cloth and chicken wire. I couldn't bear to start with the expensive stuff first, so I replanted the popcorn and installed a chicken-wire cover with a bamboo rod to keep it from sagging under the weight of a bird or squirrel. Because that's definitely what it was that was eating my corn, right? A bird or squirrel! Yes, yes, that's what the internet told me. A bird or squirrel. I deny being in denial.

There, I remember thinking. I checked the sweet corn beds....they were untouched so I left them alone. Again, my wishful thinking blinded me to the obvious. Maybe they don't like sweet corn, I thought. No Jen. No. You and I both know that is a load of rainbows you're telling yourself so you don't need to face the reality of your situation.

Sure enough, the next morning my sweet corn was gone. Both sweet corn beds, destroyed. I sniffled and checked the popcorn bed. Still good. Whew, those covers must work! I thought. So I replanted and installed covers over the sweet corn beds, too. That awtta fix 'em

By the afternoon the popcorn bed was dug up again. They'd managed to get under my screen, obviously with the use of devil magic. I wasn't ready to accept what was happening so I replanted and weighted down the screen, then left to get groceries. By the time I came home all three beds were dug up in their entirety. 

I'm not going to lie to you here, this is a safe place. I cried. I cried my sweet little eyes out. 

Then I went back online. I found a recipe for homemade chipmunk repellent made from hot peppers, garlic, and water/oil/soap. I mixed up two batches. I replanted all three beds and sprayed the crap out of them. I even sprayed the outside of the beds. When my sprayers got clogged I ripped the lids off and shook the bottles all around like I was shaking gasoline on a cheating lover's nicest dress shirts. I danced with that pepper spray. Then I put my covers back on.....not like I needed 'em, I was sure of it!...and went to bed.

The next morning everything was gone. Again. I felt my heartbeat in my temples, people. 

There comes a time when every gardener, especially one with a short growing season, must admit defeat. After planting over 300 seeds, spending hours concocting ways to secure my beds, and burning the crap outta my hands, eyes, and ego with hot pepper spray, this was absolutely one of those times. My local farmers will be supplying my sweet corn this season.

But I still want to use these beds, you see. And I have other things I need to plant, like my beans and squash. Chipmunks, however, like all seeds. All of them. If my screen weights don't work I am down to two final options....1) trap those buggers or 2) provide them with a food source away from my garden. I don't like either option, to be honest. I'm kinda hoping my chickie babies grow up fast so they can act as my infantry and just go to town on the entire thieving lot. 

And yes, of course there's a little part of me that truly believes they won't like beans..... :)

What would you do, dear readers? Ever had chipmunks in the garden? What did you do to control them? I'd love to hear about your garden pest experiences in the comments down below and as always, thank you so much for reading :)