Sunday, May 9, 2010

These May Days....

Happy Harvest day.  For the past few days I've been harvesting a few strawberries a day.  Today I broke out the shears and took a few chard cuttings.  The colors just hurt my eyes with beauty.

I did some extensive work on the garden and patio today.  Cleaning up, putting away and planting the last of the seedlings.  I donated a few plants to a local chapel for their plant sale.  I got a few back today that I'll bring into work tomorrow to see if anyone wants to plant them.  If not I'll have a few more eggplant and peppers to plant.

Mothers' Day is always a hard day for me.  This one I've been missing both my parents.  So I took a nap and then got to the garden.  I should always remember how much better I feel after that.  Somehow I forget.  Maybe I should start paying my garden for the therapeutic work it does for me.  Something about weeding and getting my hands dirty.

I've started using hanging baskets in the garden.  Since my space is limited on the ground I need to go up.  Peppers and eggplants are experimentally planted in them.  We'll see.

As far as eating here is our meal tonight.  Stir fry with chard from the garden and chocolate torte cake with strawberries from the market.  In honor of Mister's birthday yesterday.
In other news, the worm bin got a new layer today.  The worms have pretty much turned all the paper and scraps into compost in their first layer.  So tonight I tore and tore and tore and tore and tore and tore and tore newspapers up.  Then I misted them with a mister bottle (SO much easier than wetting it, which gets it too wet).  Then I added coffee grounds, filter, many tea bags, strawberry scraps and chard scraps.  Then I removed the lid from the first layer - said hello and then added the new layer.  I'll check it tomorrow evening to see if anyone has moved up.  Very exciting to have home made compost.
While at the farmers' market yesterday I purchased some locally dyed yarn (YAY!).  The was a person there hand spinning yarn with a drop spindle.  He made it look so easy and relaxing.  So it seems that I'm destined to start spinning my own yarn.  I've already started scouting classes nearby and we'll see.  Here is a video of a similar process.

If you hand spin yarn, drop me a line.  I'd love websites and book recommendations.

Monday, May 3, 2010


 Overdue for updates.  I've spent the past four weeks drudging through some pretty serious grieving.  Nothing much has gotten done as a result.  The garden is neglected.  The housework is neglected.  The only thing I've been wanting to do lately is to crochet and stay home.  I've felt the need to do some spring hibernation.

The funny thing about grief is that it sometimes sneaks up on you.  I've been missing my dad pretty much everyday.  Sometimes I want to tell him something - and then - I remember.  He's gone.  I've resumed my daily morning walks that I fell out of a few years ago.  This is something that dad and I did together.  Everyday, even cold ones, dad and I would do our mile walk in the morning together.  It was often a quiet time; just the two of us.  I'm glad that I've started doing my walks again.  It has allowed me to start losing weight again, but at the same time it is very painful. 

The funny thing about this experience of parent loss is that it has caused me to mourn for my mother in a totally new way.  So very often when I'm just wanting to hide out from social obligations it is because I'm mourning two very different people in many ways.  Grief can also be exhausting so very often I'm pretty tired by the time that bedtime rolls around.

In addition to working my underemployment job, I come home to search for jobs as well.  Things have been busy around here. Which brings me to my project which needs more energy....

The Garden Tragedies.

Rather than tell you what's growing, I'll write about what didn't go well.
  Lettuces top this list.  I didn't do well with lettuces.  I'll have to try for a fall crop.  They were leggy and I never did get a harvest.  Onions are not worth mentioning.  I think I have one plant which still has pathetic growth.  Beets are trying to hold their own.  I reseeded outdoors, but then we had heavy rains.  I counted only three plants.    I think I'm most disappointed about the beets.  I love beets and I couldn't wait to see the targeted insides of the Chioggia.

Carrots are trying to grow.  With hard rains plants are struggling.  I planted five Blue Jade corn plants.  Three remain after a severe storm on Friday. 

Because of heavy rains and my lack of energy I still need to plant:
Black Valentine Bean
Lyaluk Cucumber

The Well Garden:

Tomorrow is planting day.  I'll put the tomato, pepper, basil, and eggplant seedlings into pots and see where they go.  Of all the plants these guys are champions.  The peas burst into bloom a few days ago.  It all started with one and now there are five or more blossoms.  Potatoes are doing well - growing growing growing.  I need to finish planting my La Ratte (late, late, late).

I keep telling myself that I failed with this crop, blah blah blah.  Honestly, I'm trying to think of the garden as a grand experiment until Mister graduates and then we can have a house with some land.  Then I'll go for it.  I'd like to find a garden mentor then.  I'd like someone to help me plan out, plant and trouble shoot.  In exchange I can help them in their efforts.  We'll see.

For now, I'm just trying to keep my chin up.  It is frustrating job searching for the second year.  Teacher shortages aren't here and there are hundreds of applicants for each position.  I've opened up my search range outside of the teaching field.  I just need to hang on until Mister graduates.  Each time I wonder if I'm doing the right thing by pursuing teaching I get a little reminder.  In Arizona, we were sitting in the grass waiting for a performance in the park to start.  A kindergartner sidled up to me to watch me crochet.  Before long I was teaching her how to do a simple crochet stitch and answering her questions.  A few weeks ago while hanging out in the bookstore with Mister, a second grader walked up to me and watched me crochet over my shoulder.  I looked up at him and his face was just alive with wonder - "Wow! Your sewing is really pretty."  Then on Friday a first grader almost ran out in front of my car.  Luckily I saw her and slowed down.  Mister laughed when I talked to her about safety and making good choices.  It seems I'm a teacher.  Each time I doubt this, a little person comes into my life to connect with me.  My life is speaking - again and again.  So it is doubly frustrating when circumstance won't allow my life to find a place to speak.  Last week I finally surrendered my anxiety in this area.  I'm doing the best that I can to find a position.  It is so much easier to float with the river than to swim against the current.  All I can do is keep applying and hope that a call comes.

So that is all the news from Lake Woebegone - where all the teachers have classrooms.