Sunday, May 17, 2009

Expounding more upon the previous post

With the new responsibilities of this new position of mine (community garden coordinator) I have faced a whole slew of new insecurities. I would have said- and have said- that I posses a plethora of self-confidence and have conquered my fears of failure. So I was completely unprepared for the onslaught of anxiety that has overtaken me the last few months.  

What all these fears- will seeds germinate? Why aren't they germinating? Now they've germinated- why aren't they growing faster? Oh no, bugs. What do I do? and so on- what they all boil down to is, as I said in my last post, I am not the one in control. In other areas of my life I can at least pretend to control things. I can 'do my best'. I can learn. I can BS my way out of a paper bag. But this project produces tangible evidence of my abilities (or lack thereof) and is VERY much dependent on numerous factors that are simply out of my control.

So what can I do? I can fall back on the faithful excuse that so many other Christians have used throughout the ages... if it doesn't work out, it's all God's fault, anyway.  No, seriously, I just repeat this to myself every day: One man plants and another waters, but it is God who causes the growth. With this realization my fears fall away... as do my pride and my self-glorification. 

And, in case you were wondering, the American Botanist Society has taken me off their list of 'Most-Wanted Plant Murderers'.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The garden had some tragedies.  First were the cucumber beetles, which destroyed my hard-earned zucchini seedlings. I tried two different plant-based sprays to no avail, and am purchasing something stronger (yet still organic) for the next batch of squash seeds I hope to get in the ground on Thursday. 

Then the birds hit. Half of my tomato seedlings are gone without a trace, a stick and a pot the silent testimonies that Once, A Plant Was Here.  Most of the hot peppers seedling ended up as food for the 'birds of the air'. Grrr.  A scarecrow now stands in the garden; will he keep the birds away? I don't know yet.

Amidst these tragedies, I know that there are many more victories than losses. Romaine and mustard greens are thriving, turnips and cilantro, basil and mint... and I have more tomato plants, more pepper plants, and always more seeds. But why is it my thoughts are more discouraged than encouraged? Why does one negative outweigh all the positives? Or perhaps the rude reminder that this is all out of my control, that all my hard work and great methods are really insignificant- gardening, like so much of life, is a matter of patience and faith.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Only on a Monday

Stuart was innocently brushing his teeth. Malachi, who was making up interesting lyrics for the Sound of Music song "Do, a Deer, ray, a spot of golden sun, etc.", and I were putting away laundry.  India stood at the bathroom door, complaining that she needed to use the potty.

I should have been a wise mother and instructed her to go downstairs to the other potty. 

Instead, Stuart was a kind older brother, and stepped out of the bathroom, toothbrush and toothpaste in hand. Brush, brush, brush.  Malachi keeps singing, I keep folding laundry. Finally, Stuart mumbles through a mouth full of toothpaste: 'India, I need to spit. Are you done?'

'No, I'm going number 2.'

We collectively groan: 'Why didn't you go downstairs!?' Malachi keeps singing.  Stuart is getting desperate, and I send him downstairs to spit. At this point, Malachi starts singing, '2, a 2, a number 2' .  I should have been a good mother and told him in no uncertain terms that we do not sing about excrement in this house, but I was laughing too hard to say much of anything. India hears the commotion and yells from the pot: 'Stop joking!  This is serious!' which of course sends me into gales of more laughter. Malachi can't think of any more words for his song, so he just keeps repeating: '2, a 2, a number 2', and poor Stuart treks upstairs from spitting and rinsing.

Moral of the story: Oftentimes, doing the right thing (like sharing the bathroom with your little sister) leads to insanity and more work.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I really should be washing dishes...

.... but the housework won't go anywhere, and David took the kids shopping so I can get some rest (but really, I just got a bunch of paperwork done, which was very necessary, and comparatively restful... yea...)
We are running this weird fever, which seems to be hitting one family member at a time for about 2 hrs, leaving us exhausted, headachey, and then much better within a short period of time. WTF? Whatever. It's a good excuse to stay home tonight and get that desperately needed 'rest'. Despite the appeal of pioneer life- that rugged individualism, that self-sufficiency, that organic, healthy, macho life-style- I like not having to continually labor just to make it through to the next day. Yes, I complain about the industrial revolution, but I must admit that it's pretty freaking awesome to be able to read Japanese comics from across the world, translated, the same day they are released.
I have no idea where this post is going. My fever must be affecting my brain processes. Well, anyway, I have been able to get a few paintings done lately, and my Facebook buddies have been very supportive and encouraging so I actually feel motivated to do some more. But first, I have to clean off the table so I have space, and before I clear off the table I have to do the dishes... back to where I started...