Blackberries and Blended Families

Four connections between making blackberry jelly and making a blended familyI love connecting unrelated items. If we can visualize relationships between two completely different things, maybe we can one day stretch to see the commonalities in our own very unique selves. So let’s cut right to a particularly controversial chase. Blended families. Blackberries. One controversial, one fairly innocuous. Everyone can probably agree that blending a family can lead to some sticky situations. So can making blackberry jelly. After sixteen years of step-parenting, I can list a few ways that these two things connect.

  1. Thorns:

    You’d best wear long pants and sleeves when you hunt for wild blackberries, otherwise you’ll bleed profusely. Marrying someone with children can lead to some thorny confrontations as well. Prepare for it by protecting your heart and waiting. The fruit is sweet. You could always go picking in a controlled and thorn-free environment. To me, hard-won wild fruit tastes better. Plus I don’t have to pay for it.

  2. Juicing…and All That Sugar!

    To make jelly, you separate the juice from the pulp. It’s sticky. Blackberry guts go everywhere. It takes time and elbow grease for the purple drips on the counter to fade. The hot pulp burns your hands when you squeeze it. When you’re trying to squeeze unrelated people into a second family, it takes effort. Each family member has a story and a set of valid perceptions. It’s hard for young children to find the juice necessary to step up to a new situation and leave the pulp behind. Keep pouring the sweetness—on the children, your spouse, and moMaking blackberry jam? Blended families? Read on to find out how these two are related.st of all, yourself. The results of your blended family just might be delicious!

  3. Patience While it All Simmers

    It’s tempting to skimp on all the exact boiling instructions when you’re making jelly. The timing has to be exact, or you’ll ruin the recipe. You have to respect the process. It’s the same with family ties. Love and trust have to be earned. They aren’t instantaneous. Take your time, be yourself, and don’t force it.

  4. Finally, Jelly!

    Somehow, magically, after all that squeezing and stickiness, you have (hopefully) some delicious pints of jelly. Every batch is slightly different in texture and flavor, but no less delicious. So it is with second families. They aren’t like first families. These “step” or “bonus” blended families form themselves in their own way. Allow the special uniqueness of your own blended family to emerge. Just be, and see what happens. Amazing sweetness awaits!Homemade blackberry jelly cooked and canned

Speaking of connections and main ideas…

Students will better understand how to differentiate between main ideas and details when they can manipulate chunks of texts in this activity.

 

Link-Ups

I’m linking up homesteader-hop-bannerwith the Homesteader Blog Hop and Mama Kat’s World Famous Writing Workshop. Check out this Link Up to connect with some great ideas!

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34 thoughts on “Blackberries and Blended Families

  • August 4, 2016 at 2:11 pm
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    Love the connections you made here! “Just be, and see what happens” – such wise words. Too often we force things and it never works out. Patience and being unafraid to try again are easier said than done!

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    • August 4, 2016 at 2:43 pm
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      Thank for visiting and connecting. I agree…these things are hard, but so worth it!!

      Reply
  • August 4, 2016 at 10:01 pm
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    I like what you did with this prompt! For me it brought to mind the sticky situation of divorce and kids, of which my ex and I have worked things out so well we can all go on outings together and still call each other friends.

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    • August 4, 2016 at 10:34 pm
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      Thank you so, so much!!That’s wonderful! Your kids will benefit so much–ours did, too! We worked well together through their growing up years. Stay the course…it’s so worth it!!

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  • August 5, 2016 at 2:06 am
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    Wow, I became a step parent a year ago, and it’s been extremely rocky! This comparison is SO spot on! I just hope that as the years continue to go by, things will become sweeter, and have less of those thorns!

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    • August 5, 2016 at 11:52 am
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      Just hang on, Mama! Remember, this is a second family, not a first. It grows in its own time! Here’s a big ol’ blackberry hug from me!!

      Reply
  • Pingback: Friday Pick 195 – Blackberries and Blended Families | talktodiana

  • August 8, 2016 at 4:36 am
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    I always feel sorry for step parents because there really is no winning. It takes time and a whole lot of patience to really integrate into a second family. Love the connections you made!

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  • September 9, 2016 at 12:21 pm
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    Oh, thank you for this! In the middle of our own blending adventure, and this has been a week. I needed to hear this right now. I had been telling myself the same thing… give it time, respect the process… But hearing the Voice of Experience say the same thing was priceless.

    Reply
  • January 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm
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    I am a remarried woman with a new baby. I brought 3 kids from a previous marriage with me. The blended family is its own beast and its own sweet reward.

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    • January 10, 2017 at 8:51 pm
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      Yes it is. When you get to see those kids grown, successful, and okay on their own, you get the sweetest reward knowing you helped get them there. Thank you so much for visiting-blessings on your blended journey!

      Reply
  • April 27, 2017 at 12:10 pm
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    The problem is when one of those berries are rotten… If you are not careful, the mold can spread to the rest of the bunch in short order!

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    • May 6, 2017 at 9:54 pm
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      True. Pluck those berries quick as you can!

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  • April 27, 2017 at 1:13 pm
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    “Keep pouring the sweetness” – love this advice! Going to try and keep a positive attitude throughout my day today 🙂

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    • May 6, 2017 at 9:55 pm
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      Thank you! May your day be sweet!

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    • May 6, 2017 at 9:55 pm
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      Have a terrifically sweet day!

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    • May 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm
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      My mother-in-law taught me. Isn’t it great to have those moments?

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  • April 28, 2017 at 10:26 am
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    Blackberries are my fave! I love to pick them right from the bush and eat them! My grandmother has some in her garden so I’m always looking by if there are some to be picked in summer.
    Lea, xx
    asnippetoflife.com

    Reply
    • May 6, 2017 at 10:01 pm
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      The farm where we pick always loses money when we show up!

      Reply

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