State of the Garden, March and April 2017.

April 30, 2017 § Leave a comment

It’s been a cold, wet spring.  That’s what everyone tells me. I wouldn’t know. I’m still new. “It’s a wonder you’ve made it through this spring with such joy,” my priest said last week,”it’s really not like this. I promise.”  My neighbors have all been exasperated by the weather, coming by to see how we’re faring the “coldest, wettest, longest spring ever”.

The rain here is like the heat in Texas, it seems to bother the locals far more than the transplants. I’ve yet to meet someone from out of state who hasn’t said, “It’s really not that bad! Why does everyone say it’s so bad!?” or a local who hasn’t said, “Welcome to the Pacific NorthWET!”

If I weren’t a gardener, I honestly wouldn’t have noticed. The blessed otherness of the weather here has been so welcome to our family after a lifetime of oppressive central Texas heat.  My kids are thriving in the constant 50 degree days, running and climbing and swinging until they pass out at the end of the day, hair matted with moss and sticks, knees crusted with mud and slug effluence.

Dado built an epic swing that hasn’t killed anyone yet.

This is the whimsical before photo of the “fort tree”. I did not take an after photo because my children’s use of cardboard and blue tarp insulted my aesthetic sensitivities.

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Harriet and the chickens finally made peace. Put the kid behind a fence, it all works out.

If I weren’t a gardener, all I would know is that the sun comes up at 4:00am, cheered on by a ridiculous chorus of birds, and stays that way well past my bed time, illuminating approximately 80,000 plants that I can’t identify (yet) but am tasked with caring for before they swallow up my house Planet of the Apes style.  Since I am a gardener, I am painfully aware of the weather, and the impending doom of being swallowed by plants, and the fact that if this were the real Oregon Trail we would totally die of starvation. Unless we figured out how to eat the beavers.

Behold, a 36 hour photo essay of that time I thought I could outsmart a beaver:

The garden would’ve been late this year anyway, since I did something stupid with a pitchfork in early March and wrenched my ribs out of place.  Only up side to that was the discovery of an 8 year old fractured vertebrae, the missing link in the long saga of my back woes. Story for another day, but the arthritis and general instability of my thoracic spine turned out to be somewhat incompatible with my ambitions as a first year homesteader (and 5th year homeschooler, and 30th year writer).

There have been many other things, a steady flow of house guests, a long trip to help my sister-in-law with her first baby, the uphill march of homeschool, the horror of delayed potty training, and a cluster of infuriating health problems that have made my deep desire to be an excellent farmer and mediocre writer impossible. So I’ve just been an okay farmer and a shitty writer. And that seems to be working out for me.

Dado and Beatrice bend hoops for the garden. She’s very strong.

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Seedlings in my ultra hardcore grow room/laundry room. Because who wouldn’t want to fill a room designed to make things clean and fresh with lots of dirt and fish emulsion?

And finally, an adorable, free spirited kid with lots of beautiful and fascinating weeds. Otherwise known as everything that bites me in the ass with my parenting and gardening philosophies.

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Placeholder.

January 4, 2017 § 2 Comments

There is a lot to say, but that is a poor excuse for not saying it. When I started this blog, I did it with the intention to be generous with my story. I confess, generosity doesn’t come easily to me. I have always struggled with fear that there wouldn’t be enough for me — time, food, love, space, money, acceptance. But the truth is, I have never actually experienced an actual lack of any of those things.

I live, have always lived, in abundance. I wrestle with, have always wrestled with, the lie that there will not be enough.

This is a placeholder post, a wedge, an acknowledgement that there is enough time and space to tell the very large story of the last 9 months.

Since I last wrote here, I’ve used Instagram and Facebook the way they ought to be used. The story can be pieced together in pictures. You are welcome and encouraged to try. And I do intend to share the stories that go along with the illustrations…eventually. They’re written, as usual, in the stacks and stacks of notebooks someone will oneday find my body crushed beneath.

But I don’t want to lose ground by continuing to say that I can’t blog about life in real time just because I haven’t been.  “A person can’t jump from walking down the stairs with a half-broken back and questionable sanity at the downtown YMCA in Austin, TX to hauling a half ton of horse manure in the snow at her farm in in the Pacific Northwest without copious amounts of explanation!”

Or can she?

It’s more like will she?

I am scared of everything.

April 13, 2016 § 1 Comment

I’ve got to come to terms with the fact that I will be afraid every time. The fear is always there. It is not an omen, not a mark on the map telling me to go another way. It is just a faulty compass; the instruments, not the stars.

Things I fear:  Phone calls, grocery store check out lines, drop-off and pick-up, requiring assistance of any kind, hitting send, lunch, success, leaving the laundry in the washer too long, failure, burning down the house, observation, medicine, all the things my children will inevitably think and feel about their childhood, running out of gas, parties, invitations, knocking on my door, no one ever inviting me to anything or knocking on my door, vine borers, my husband’s untimely death, stuff stuck to the bottom of my feet, holidays, 4 o’clock, alcoholism, the word publish.

 

Action item.

March 31, 2016 § Leave a comment

All I have to do is open my computer and write these exact words, press a button, and I’ve done it.

I went upstairs

February 17, 2016 § Leave a comment

to my studio today. It was exactly as I left it last summer when my brain went dead and the sitter money dried up. I tried to keep my head down, shove the boxes in the corner, but I was pulled into the ghost town, the ghost herself. 

    
 

Bold.

July 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

I woke up wanting the bright light
on my most beautiful parts

but it fell just to the left
just to the left

just to the left
of my most beautiful parts.

Thirty five.

June 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

To become like a child
like my child
like I was as a child
before I was ruined
spoiled by trying

when I came unaware of the grease on
my dress and the words I did not
know
when I came gaping and rude
with inappropriate questions and
groping hands
when I had no reason to think I
would not be satisfied with
answers
when no part of me thought I should not
crawl right in and make myself at
home
prying
prodding
kneading.

All this time I expected to wake up
hard
strong
seasoned
wise
standing in the Presence like someone in the know.

I forgot what I was doing.
Never was that the path.
Never was that the promise.
Wrong way.

Where Am I?

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