Thursday, April 25, 2013

poke along, little snail

i am forever starting to write here and then abandoning it due to the unavoidable interruptions of a two year old, then i fail to return to finish. so, attempt #6, here we are!

with little c at daycare, or as he calls it, "school," i am able to sit here in silence and listen to the tap dripping in the kitchen, the filters of our two large fish tanks nearly mimicking the sound of a running stream, the noisy amount of traffic that uses our one way street as a thru-way, and for once i can hear my own thoughts. in fact, after driving a noisily chattering toddler to daycare this morning, i drove back home in silence, not even wishing for the radio, just because silence sounded so sweet. i often forget what my own thoughts sound like when they aren't competing for attention in my head with the million other things i must be thinking of in a day at home or a day at work. without the constant chorus of 'mommy! mommy! mom! mommy!?!' and my listing off my priorities that must get done before bedtime that night. silence, i think i have taken thee for granted.

so now, watching my 15lb coon-cat sprawled full length across the hope chest that doubles as a bench at our dining room table, his tail twitching as he gazes out the window, i take a deep breath and type.

let me say right here that i don't want to write too much about mom things this time around. not that i don't love mom things, but i am mom so much that in this quiet moment i want to write about kristina things. kristina things are not always mom related. who woulda thunk it?

i have this obsession that began last year of growing my own food. okay, zoom out a little further and you can see that it's not just an obsession with growing my own food so much as it's an obsession with being a self-sustaining household. i really want to homestead. i chuckle a bit at that term, as it reminds me of the countless hours i spent pouring over the adventures of laura ingalls-wilder in the little house series books. though we live in 2013, modern day homesteading is now an increasing reality. i feel such a tingling rush at the idea of owning a large plot of land and tending to it in order to produce food for my family. it feels adventurous and romantic. you may have just laughed out loud at the brazen use of 'romantic' in reference to homesteading, essentially small scale farming, but it really is a kind of dreamy experience. you forget about the outside world, even here in the city where we currently live. the noise of cars and people fall away as you poke your fingersl into the soft earth and place those tiny seeds into the hole there. knowing something so small with bring you something so big if you care enough for it. it's mildly hypnotic. last year beaz and i spent at least an hour in our small raised garden bed every day. digging worms, pulling weeds, plucking ripened vegetables and fruits. in that small plot of garden it was easy to lose myself and let the city fall away. to let everything get really quiet in the moment i was pulling up my first carrots, tenderly plucking green beans, putting squash by the armfuls into buckets. i even made peace with the very large garden spiders who made their intricate webs across the tops of my squash. the deal was if they ate the grasshoppers, i would keep my distance. i actually failed to hold up my end of this agreement once or twice by putting my face into the webs a few times when they moved locations without me knowing. there's nothing that really jump-starts the heart than coming eye-to-eye with a four inch bright yellow and black garden spider. eventually they moved further away as to avoiding my clumsiness.

carrying on. this year i have bigger ambitions. last year i only grew squash, pumpkin, beans, and carrots. but this year.. oh the anticipation is intense. i have successfully sprouted seedlings of six types of tomatoes, and six types of peppers. i also intend to grow broccoli raab, kale, spinach, arugula, mixed gourmet lettuce, buttercrunch lettuce, purple bush beans, pole beans which will grow up a teepee i have created for c to play in, three types of squash, two types of pumpkins, two types of melons, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, two types of radish, and a large variety of herbs. the majority of these plants with be in containers as we still hold hope of moving before this year's end, but the rest will go into my 8x8 raised bed. there are plans for large trellises in place to support the vines of my squash, melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers. i am simply elated to begin gardening again.

when i went into the spare room, where i am growing my seedlings by the window to keep them warm, and i brushed up against the tender leaves of my tomato seedlings i caught a hint of the scent i truly love in the summer- tomato plant. do you know it? that smell a tomato plant gives off when you brush against it? my seedlings already have this smell and it was as if someone ran a feather up my spine. i got that tingling excitement that one can only get from accomplishing something they are truly proud of, yes, tomato plants do that for me. especially when said plants are ones that i started from seed, not expecting them to successfully grow. there's so much i forget to love in every day life, and something like those little green plants just gives me a little taste of what i have been overlooking. i feel like i should be singing 'golden afternoon' from alice in wonderland now.

no matter who you are or what you do in your every day life, remember to take time to do something you love. even once in a while. something just for you, that makes you feel alive, proud, that makes you smile when you are through. i know how often i forget to enjoy things for myself and when i finally remember to do something just for me.. it centers my whole attitude and makes being around me much more enjoyable. (trust me.)

above are the rainbow heirloom tomatoes, and below are the small variety tomatoes, rainbow sweet bell peppers, and the mixed hot peppers. honestly, i have far more than i need and may need to give a few away..

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