Garden 2010!

Last year we didn’t do too much gardening. I was too nauseated and tired to keep up with it, and the potted herbs I had died a thirsty, hot death. I feel so guilty!

This year we are settled in as the time to plant came, so we decided to build a raised bed and try our luck again. Like The Husband always says, I’m the brain and he’s the braun of the operation, so I designed the raised bed (okay, okay, the Pioneer Woman did) and he built it and filled it with a compost/soil combo that is specifically designed for raised bed gardening. I partitioned the bed a la Square Foot Gardening, and as the season evolves I’ve been sowing seeds and transplanting starters. Here’s how it looks today:

Garden, late April

From the top down, we have peas, three sisters (corn, beans, and squash), jalapeƱos, green and red bell peppers (starters), four different kinds of tomatoes (starters), cilantro, parsley, spinach, and lettuce. Every square is either seeded or filled with a transplant now, and we just have to wait for it to grow. GROW GARDEN, GROW!!

I started some starters in the house a month ago. I believe I had lettuce, jalapeƱos, basil, and thyme starters. They sprouted but were getting kind of leggy, especially the lettuce. Unfortunately we then had to leave for North Dakota, and they all died. My black thumb strikes again. Those poor baby plants.

Peas were one of the first things I planted; I sowed them straight into the ground (along with the spinach and parsley). They are doing so well, but I should have put in some kind of trellis when I sowed the seeds. The small plants are having problems finding the sticks I crammed in the ground Russian-Roulette-style (I sure hope I didn’t impale any important roots). Hopefully they will find their way. I’ve also found a few aphids on them, but I’ve been hand-picking them off and so far there isn’t any substantial damage to the plants. It’s definitely something to look out for from now on.

The spinach and parsley have sprouted, but they’re growing ever so slowly. Actually, with the exception of the peas, everything that I’ve planted has grown. ever. so. slowly. Most of it hasn’t even sprouted yet. At this rate I’ll be harvesting in time for St. Valentine’s Day.

I am wondering if I am supposed to fertilize the garden. The dirt we used had compost in it, but I take after my grandmothers–I have the unrelenting urge to feed everything and everyone until they can’t take anymore. And I know that plants have limits like people, but the thing is I don’t know when I’ve gone too far with them. I don’t want to overdo it. And I don’t want to underdo it.

And this is the part where I usually throw my hands in the air and decide I’ve failed before I’ve even begun, because I can’t do it right! And plant carnage follows soon after. But this year I have a different outlook. It’s all an experiment, and I will try my best with the limited information I’ve got. After harvest time I’ll re-evaluate and see what I should be doing differently. That’s it. There is no valedictorian of gardening. I won’t be given a report card with grades on it at the end of the year. I just have to do my best and eventually I will do well, but it could take years. And that’s okay.

I’ve also put six strawberry starters in a strawberry pot.

Strawberries

I’m a little concerned I just paid $12 for maybe a pound of strawberries, if I’m lucky.

It’s okay. It’s an educational experience, an experiment. Even if I have to learn the hard way, I’ll still learn.

It was really hard to get those plants into the little holes. If I do that again, I’m going to buy smaller starters.

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Catch You On The Flip Side

The Husband and his sister (TL) were a little over an hour away from home when they received the phone call that their father had passed away. They were too late.

They put The Statler Brothers in the stereo in the car and jammed out to it in his memory.

As they turned off the interstate and onto the two-lane highway, they came upon a huge flock of pheasants. The Husband said he’s never seen so many at one time in his life. He guessed that his dad was now hunting with his hunting dogs, Snappy and Snow, who had passed on years ago.

Seems about right.

Gerald: Dad, Grandpa, Husband, Brother, and Uncle
May 3, 1954-April 24, 2010

Life and Death

Haven’t posted in a few months. Life lives.

Oompa-Loompa was born on January 22. He came into the world here at our home; it was a beautiful waterbirth. A healing birth.

Three Months Old!

He’s three months old now. He’s really figured out how to function earthside, and he is a mostly happy baby now.

We celebrate.

Munchkin turned three years old in March.

Birthday Girl!

She’s had a few rough patches over the last few months, but she is still my sweet, caring daughter on the inside. I’ve been able to see how she deals with stress, and unfortunately she deals with it kind of like me: retreating to seclusion and shutting everyone else out. Oh, and crying a lot. I wish I could have some do-overs lately.

Nobody told me that the mommy guilt would hit like a Peterbuilt semi after #2 is born. I think that’s been the hardest part of a handful of hard parts.

But every day is a new start. A clean slate. An opportunity to create more love in our lives.

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The Husband’s father (my father-in-law) is very near the end of his life. He will be departing within the next day or two. We went to see him earlier this month, and while I wish we would have gone sooner, I’m glad he got to see his grandkids one last (and, for Oompa, first) time. Hopefully The Husband will be able to make it in time to say goodbye himself.

We grieve.

It’s surreal. The Husband is only 26 years old, too young to have to say goodbye to his father. Papa Gerald is only ten days short of his 56th birthday, too young to go, really. What a shame. I grieve for my husband, for my children, for his wife he leaves behind. So sad.

Ok, I had to get that out there. I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

New Starts

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” -Mark Victor Hansen

“As you begin to take action toward the fulfillment of your goals and dreams, you must realize that not every action will be perfect. Not every action will produce the desired result. Not every action will work. Making mistakes, getting it almost right, and experimenting to see what happens are all part of the process of eventually getting it right.” -Jack Canfield

“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing” -Thomas Jefferson

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. ” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Regular posting to resume momentarily. Happy Spring.