Monday, January 24, 2011

I knew I took a picture of this for a reason. Ha! The screen tried to load about 67 times before I had to literally pull the plug. It's a little indicative of how I feel these days.

Fer at My Little Garden in Japan is hosting a Carnival. Hop over there and see what other gardeners in the world are resolving for 2011.

I've been putting off a New Year's post for now...24 days, but figured I'd get my thoughts together to be a part of the fun.

But that last word is all the fun you'll get from this post - which is more of a journal reflection/vent and a diversion from the usual entertainment found on this blog (see Saturday's post for a movie review, a use for rum, and the cutest monkey thing you ever did see). You don't want to continue reading unless you got some time on your hands.

STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS (the union between my garden and I): Current state: tired. I'm not invigorated like I usually am at this time of the year. My seed catalog is marked by post-its but the order is not in. I have not opened the perennials catalog. I have not done my usual organizing such as writing in gardening reminders and tasks in green pencil on the big calender. My piano which is where I stage my seed starting is covered with the paraphernalia of ongoing projects. Some of the perennials in the front have still not been cut down. The hellebores are a mess. In the backyard I see frozen wilted chard, erect garden stakes next to no plants, pieces of edging lifted from a frozen ground swell, and various bowls, spoons, and cups my little one played with in the fall that we never brought inside. I also see that EVERYTHING needs to be pruned (including all the bamboo from the neighbor's yard that is creeping into mine). All this just makes me more tired. I just need more time. As much as I love the gardening season and working outside, I hope spring doesn't come for at least several more months - like 6 or so.

LIFE (as it relates to gardening): I'm tired. Have I mentioned that? Life is good. I have so many things to be thankful for. There are fun things to look forward to and fun trips to be planned. As usual, I'm working on something big (bigger than any project I've taken on) that I'm totally passionate about, but it's very time consuming. I'm not trying to complain here because I'm a capable and energetic person, and I love my life, goes...I have young children and am actively involved in their lives (which currently means I play a lot of Super Mario Brothers and do a lot of carpooling). I work full time. I am trying to lose 15 pounds (ever seriously tried to lose weight? It's a lot planning, cooking, logging, etc.). I have a book group which I started (so I can't really drop out - and plus, I really enjoy it, but finding time to read often becomes one more thing I "have to" do). There are the usual household things. Though I work full time, I'm off by 2:40pm, and hubby is off at 6, which means I'm often doing dinner, doctor's appts, haircuts, kids' activities and things like that - and no, I'm not opposed to take out. Plus, I try to maintain some semblance of a social life and have dinner with a friend every week or 2. I'm not happy that I am only able to post on my blog once or twice a week, and especially that I'm not able to visit my favorite blogs save for once a week or two. The secret time-consuming project I mentioned earlier is a major focus in my life right now and I'm not able to give that due attention. There's just the overarching feeling that there's way too much to do and not enough time (before anyone suggests it, my husband does help out). I have also been dreaming about a new blog that would be very exciting for me. I've never been one to have trouble focusing or prioritizing, but every one of these balls is one that I WANT to juggle - at least for the time being. I used to have trouble with volunteering for things all the time, but I've made a conscious effort not to do that very often anymore (and have reconciled any guilt that this produces). OK, I've derailed from the gardening topic, you may have noticed. All this that I mention just explains why there is little room to get uber excited about spring.

VEGETABLE GARDEN GOAL: When I do get my act together, my main vegetable garden goal this year is to keep up with my harvests. I tend to neglect my garden and work in spurts, often trashing tomatoes that have rotted or lettuce that has bolted. I have a huge sensitivity to mosquitoes but this year, I'm going to set aside some going out clothes (like big pants and a hoodie) that I can put on easily and zip outside to stay on top of the harvest. THEN, when I do bring vegetables in, I'm going to use them. The biggest benefit of my Garden to Table Challenge has been that I've worked my brain to figure out delicious ways to use my harvests. I really look forward to this.

PERENNIALS GOAL: I am not going to buy ANYTHING this year (hopefully). I'm going to carefully update my paper "map" of plants and bulbs and mark in the garden what has survived, what needs to go, where there are holes, and how everything looks season to season. Then, in the fall, I'll fill in but ONLY if I really need/want to.

NATURE GOAL: I would like to learn more about birds and butterflies. People who have visited this blog may know that I'm afraid of butterflies, but last summer, I made it a personal goal to work on this. I am probably not ready to fully enjoy the summer Butterfly Show, but I now realize that butterflies won't hurt me (ha ha ha!). I would like to get a butterfly and/or bird book and learn more about the diversity of these subjects. It would be fun to be able to name the different birds I see - and maybe even get to learn their songs.

There you have it - more than you ever wanted to know about where I'm at - in my head, my life, my blog, and my garden.


  1. The mosquitoes are also keeping me away from my garden. I too looking for a long sleeve light cotton shirt to cover my skin from the heat and those annoying mosquitoes. I agree its not easy with having young children and having other responsibility as well to have time to spend in the garden. But I think you managed it very well. Hope you have a nice break and have energy for the coming spring.

  2. Although it is not meant to be an entertaining post, you still make me laugh and entertained. Keeping up with my harvest is also a problem. It's not that I have that much. I am saving all my okra for seeds...because they are too old and fibrous to be harvested for cooking now.

    Thank you for visiting despite being so tired. Thank you for sharing about your garden bed edges. I imagine they are all beautiful with towering bamboos from the neighbour. :)

  3. Hi Wendy, thanks for visiting my blog. Sorry you are feeling so tired, but given how much you have going on in your life I'm not surprised! I do know what you mean about wanting a few extra months before the garden really gets going again, just to get a bit more organised and make progress on other things. With the new allotment I sometimes feel I am in a race against Spring...

  4. Dear Wendy, I wish you a wonderful year, in which you will get rest and downtime as well as ongoing achievement of goals and projects. Happy juggling from a fellow juggler, catmint.

  5. Well now... don't you feel better already after getting all that off your chest? Time turns out to be more valuable than money when you really get into life. I think you're in a "composition" stage right now. Sometimes, all the things I have to do get spinning around in my head, and after identifying what those things are, I go forward assaulting the list and taking care of business. Maybe that's how it works for you too. I actually like to brainstorm my "list" and put it down on paper. Then, with it all in front of you, it's easier to manage. Make sure that whatever your secret thing is, that you allot enough time for that.

    Wishing you a wonderful day,
    Veggie PAK

  6. Hi Wendy,

    I didn't know you were afraid of daughter, who is almost twenty now, hates moths AND butterflies.

    I haven't turned in my seed order yet, either. I think I might order in Feb.
    Sometimes, blogging is just not a priority and other things come first. I think you are doing some amazing things with your life!
    The best advice anyone ever gave me was to remember that every season of your life has a purpose. I think we are both in that car-pooling crazy season, which makes me exhausted beyond belief but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
    I wish you success in all your endeavors this year!

  7. Wendy, when I was reading your posts over the holiday season, I kept wondering how you managed to do everything. I thought I was busy, but you make me feel like a sloth!
    Maybe, like the plants in your garden, you need a little "winter dormancy." Maybe we all do.

  8. Wendy
    It must be a 'tired' time of year because I'm feeling it too.
    Since your Jan 12th post I've been amazed to see sooo much attention being paid to the "Chinese Mothers' article. But you introduced me to it.
    I wonder what you think about the controversy at this point?

  9. I'm sorry you're so tired Wendy. But why shouldn't you be? You sound like you have a lot on your fact, enough for a potluck! I hope things settle down a bit. Thanks for blogging despite all that is going on. I really enjoy your posts. Your GTTC has really motivated me to use things from the garden. I find for myself, when life gets a little crazy, gardening is almost therapeutic for me. If only pulling a few weeds outside or checking on plants and seeing how they're growing or salting a few slugs (oops, did I say that one out loud??) all helps clear my head and calm my nerves.

    As a side note, that one million open Internet Explorer screens happened to me at work while looking at a fellow garden bloggers site. I wasn't sure if it was a virus or trojan or what. It totally freaked me out. I had to reboot the computer. Needless to say, I haven't been back to the site since. I wonder if we were at the same site? I've never had that happen to me before.

  10. I think winter is getting everyone down. Hang in there.

  11. Wendy: I am with you on that "I need more time" :) Working full time and being a mom of two little kids, you just won't have much time left even you don't do gardening or blogging. Don't be too hard to yourself.

    That natural goal sounds like my goal too. I envy anybody who can name the birds and butterflies visting their garden. I need to work toward to attract more birds and butterflies to my garden first, identification will be an added bonus.

    Good luck with whatever the scecret project you are working on

  12. That is quite a list of goals and I'm with you on the pruning...something I always neglect to do. Hang in there, so much to do so little time but one way or another it will get day at a time.

  13. Wendy, we all learn as we go and I am sure they are plenty of things to focus on in building up your family and yourself. Have a good sabbatical from blogging :-D And I wish you success in your 'project'.

  14. Wendy, I could have written this! Gosh, as much as I hate that you're feeling this way, it sure is refreshing to find someone who could put into words exactly what I'm feeling, too. I'm so not ready for spring. How on earth did Christmas pass so quickly? My seed catalogs are the same as yours - marked here and there, but no orders placed... and my seeds need to be under lights by Valentine's Day. Ha! So not gonna happen. My hope is that those first warm days of spring will arrive and I will be suddenly struck with the desire to be outdoors, digging in the dirt, and will then frantically plant everything that needs planted... even if it means little planning and lots of scurrying. Until then, I'll be grateful for the -4 degree weather we're having here.
    Mosquitoes: we have them too, and boy are they wretched! I have a long-sleeved flannel shirt (my husband's) and a pair of ill-fitting jeans that are my "garden uniform". I spray them liberally with the bug spray, the super-awful DEET stuff, and I wear them every evening when I go out to the garden. I also tie a bandana around my head and spread the health-friendly essential-oil-based bug repellent on my neck and face. It works pretty well, only the occasional bite. (I also do this because it makes me feel protected from bugs, which I know you will appreciate. Very little of my skin is exposed, so if crickets jump on me or spiders crawl on me, at least it's not on bare skin!)
    Had to LOL at your butterfly phobia. I remember that past post. I still haven't sucked it up enough to take my girls to the butterfly pavilion here in the spring. They may be pretty, but they still creep and crawl. Ew.
    I'm sad to hear that you'll be taking a break from blogging, but I totally understand it. I've just come to accept that I'll only be blogging a couple of times a week - there's just too much life to be out living, instead of writing about what we've done! No shame in that. :-) I do look forward to coming back and seeing what you've done with that gorgeous layout you've pictured. It looks like something my kids would love to have in their yard.
    Many hugs to you and remember: what's not done today will still be there tomorrow. Or next year. Glad to hear you're playing plenty of Super Mario Brothers - that's the kind of thing you need to enjoy NOW. The rest will wait until you're ready. :-)

  15. Wendy, I will miss your posts, but I understand completely where you're coming from. Good luck with all of your goals, but don't get down on yourself if they change throughout the year for legitimate reasons...or even if you just don't reach them. :)

    Have you ever tried Cactus Juice? Mosquitos love me too, but this seems to work pretty well, and it smells orange-y, not chemical-y, which is nice. We use the lotion, and it acts as a physical barrier, so you have to be thorough in applying it-the smell alone won't keep them away, and if you miss a spot, you'll get drilled there. That said, we still buy it by the case.

    Can't wait for updates on your projects, (and enjoy your book club!)

    One final thing: I may have mentioned this here before, but I think it bears repeating. I've incorporated a little phrase into my life that has helped me a lot: "It's better than it was." This means, if you have an entire yard full of plants that need to be pruned, and you only get to the two that are closest to your front door today, "Hey, it's better than it was." This takes the pressure off when I have some big looming project that I don't feel like tackling.

  16. Judging by the number of things that you are currently doing, I think you are a superwoman. Blogging does take up a lot of time but I can't imagine not having you around in cyberspace. Anyway, good luck in your secret project!

  17. I know how you feel, and I'm not half as busy as you! Last spring I ordered very few seeds, no plants, and just felt overwhelming discouragement every time I looked at the garden. This spring - a complete turnaround. Seeds ordered, and I can't wait to get outside. And I'm sure it's partly due to my blogging break. So, if it's true that a change is a good as a rest, then I hope your enthusiasm for your new project spills over into the garden and your blog again.


My awesome gardening friends...thanks for leaving a comment! I don't typically repond here, but I love knowing who you are so I can visit your blog as well.

btw - if you're trying to show me nude Miley Cyrus photos, sell me nikes or viagra or antibiotics, or encourage my lovely garden readers to visit your site on solar panel construction, or seo-whatevers, sorry, but I'm not publishing your comment. If you want to moderate my blog - well, I can't keep you too busy, and the pay would be horrible. And lastly, no. I'm not interested in Club Penguin cheat codes. Thanks anyway.

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