My online journal.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a cheeseburger today

It's 1:00pm and for the second time in 2 days, both my kids are tucked into beds (not their own, of course: Ed's in Lucy's bunk and Lucy is in the basement guest quarters) for naps! We've been eschewing naps a lot this summer, due to activities or pure laziness on my part (because it's WAY too much trouble to close the shades and read my kids 2 books and make sure they have blankies... I mean, really).

I've got a rhubarb pie in the oven even though Pat Watson says not to pick rhubarb after the 4th of July -- I chose the thinnest, reddest stalks and I really think it's going to be OK. My cousin Bridget and her fam are supposed to be coming to town tonight, but I honestly can't say what time they're coming. Well, we'll have burgers and pie for them upon arrival!

For lunch today, I scrambled myself 2 eggs with some (home-grown!) spinach and butter and garlic and cheese. I think this is better than skipping lunch entirely, which is what I did yesterday. Some days I just have no patience for lunch and the thought of PBJ or another turkey sammy makes me want to yak. The eggs today were tasty (Lucy probably ate 1/8 of my portion; that girl loves eggs and leafy greens!) but now I'm having some tummy twangs. Probably used too much butter, I'm guessing... or after a couple weeks of food-on-the-road my body is simply rejecting an Actual Meal. Or possibly I should have had some bread or something on the side.

Garden update! Only because I went into lots of detail about the planting, and then left you all hanging. Yeah, you all... both of you, Dad and Heather. :) :)

The Japanese beetles have been devouring anything with leaves, which includes our new apple tree leaves. I simply cannot keep up with these green bastards -- for one, I am SEVERELY eeeked out by them. And this is kind of a side note -- in my garden this year I find bugs BUZZING IN MY HAIR from time to time. Is it the yellow hair? Do they think I'm a flower? Anyway it's HORRIBLE and I really can't be bothered to hat up every time I go out to grab some beans. OK and for two, the beetles are EVERYWHERE and they seem to have wised to my scrape-'em-into-soapy-bucket trick. I miss at least 3 out of 4 tries and the buggers get away. I HATE THEM. You would not believe the swearing I am capable of when I find the beetles on my plants. I'm like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino -- GET OFF MY RASPBERRIES. But with more anger.

OK OK the garden. The apple trees seem to be still alive, but they don't really look like they're growing much, and I haven't been pruning them because honestly the only thing I think I ought to prune is the tall man in the middle, but that's the trunk of the tree! and I'm afraid of killing them.

Tomatoes are starting to ripen, hooray! Lucy remains my cherry-tomato hound -- she eats 'em like grapes and loves them. But calls them "potatoes." My basil is being pushed out by the crazy tomatoes but I think I will get some tomato-basil overlap which would be faaaaaabulous. The zucchini plants are full and flowery but not a single zucchini!! What gives?!? The sunflower is about 4 feet tall, hanging in there. Our pumpkins are once again totally out of control (I thought Joel'd pruned them into submission but he might actually have known what he was doing, after all -- and for those of you on facebook, I didn't actually overdraw checking after all so it winds up being a wash still! Hooray!) and the watermeon are starting to flower up as well. Our radishes have come and gone and I keep forgetting to plant a second round of radish seeds. The peas (which I keep calling green beans because I really think they're more similar than not) are also growing like crazy and they're delicious. I forgot we planted carrots and I wonder what ever happened to them? I've not been great about weeding, so entire sections of the garden have giant long grasses growing in them. I can't do it all, people!

The strawberries I think are done -- even if they weren't, the Japanese beetles are all over those buggers. We've gotten maybe 8 raspberries all year and again the beetles have eaten much of the leaves. I think I talked about the rhubarb already... we're getting tons of bell peppers which I'm super-excited about... spinach is on the tail end but still edible... oh, and our enormous walking onion is always good for a laugh, and tasty too. And we have dill for miles.

Growing this garden really reminds me of how people say "it takes a village to raise a child" -- and it's totally true about gardens and villages and so many other things. I feel like American culture has emphasized The Self-Reliant Individual, to the detriment of our "villages" and communities. I have an overabundance of peas and rhubarb -- but how would I find someone to trade for some potatoes*? I can't grow EVERYTHING; nobody can. Yet we're all expected to Rely On Ourselves and to Be Strong and stay in our little silos.

We all expect to have everything we need THIS INSTANT instead of learning to give and take and work together. Delayed gratification is such an important thing for children to learn -- but how many of us grownups have learned it?

I swear, I'm meant to live in a commune.

I started writing a wayyyy longer thing about all this, even bringing in a discussion of the breakdown of the institution of marriage in America, as a function of Americans needing to be instantly happy and valuing individual happiness over the potential for Greater Good. But I'm totally not going there now! I gots some hummus and hamburgers to make...

*I use this as a theoretical, of course; I loathe potatoes!

1 comment:

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

I am so right there with you. Part of what made America great is the concept of "rugged individualism" but God did not create us to be completely self-contained and self-sufficient (um, hello, "It is not good for man to be alone!"). And you're spot-on with your comments on instant gratification. And probably marriage, too, even though I don't know what you said. :D

On the topic of finding people to trade with, you should check Yahoo groups to see if there's a "Freecycle Cafe" or bartering group in your area. We have one of each here, and it's so cool! The Freecycle Cafe is for everything BUT "wanted" and "offered" posts--you can borrow, ask advice, trade, etc. And the bartering group is sort of the same idea--in ours we have a master file with everyone's contact info and what skills they're willing to trade. I don't see why you couldn't list things like fresh herbs and veggies, too!