Tag Archives: Gardening

Today in the Garden

Nick and I gardened today with the Porch Cat. Porch Cat has taken to joining me in the garden and for reasons I can’t explain he likes rolling in the dirt next to me. Perhaps it’s escaped his notice that his coat is half white.

Anyway, my son teased me for wearing garden gloves and garden shoes saying, “I love living closer to the earth…I just don’t want to touch it.” I may have pelted him with a rock, I just can’t remember:)

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Filed under Home & Garden

3 A.M. on Day 3

It’s 3:30 A.M., I’ve been awake for about a half hour and I’m crabby, really crabby. This is the third day in a row that I woke up after 3 or 4 hours of sleep and I can’t go back to sleep. I was so exhausted yesterday that I couldn’t hold a thought.

For the past month of been under the weather trying to get rid of an upper respiratory infection which left me tired. For the past week I’ve felt like myself again and I’ve even looked like myself.   Looking and feeling rundown for a month grew worrisome and it didn’t go unnoticed by my daughter who tried really hard not to smile as she muttered, “maybe you’ll stay that way.”

Nice. As if inching seriously past 45 isn’t awful enough I have an 18 year old daughter amusing herself with thoughts of my eminent decomposition. Where’s the love? For that matter where’s my Rolling Stones t-shirt and my graffiti jeans?

The upshot is that my energy level is back to normal but I just can’t seem to stay asleep more that 4 hours at a time. Stress? Not anymore than usual. I will admit that I’m incredibly behind on everything from being ill for so long. I noticed it was Chinese New Year and thought crap! Last time I celebrated Chinese New Year was when I flew to London to celebrate my cousins birthday which means I didn’t send her birthday card…or write to my aunt in Wisconsin, or my cousin in Arizona…my second cousin is waiting for me to call and my 108 year old grandmother will cry when I visit because I’ve been away sick so long.

What I have done is catch up on laundry, bookstore business including tons of shipping, paperwork, I’m organized to file my taxes and I caught up with both of my Mary friends who I haven’t talked to in too long.

What I have to do now is get seeds planted for this years garden, order the new crops and get them growing. Last year I planted 25 organic Roma’s which we harvested and roasted with olive oil and garlic…for hours. It made exquisite sauces that only lasted through fall, so I’ve canceled growing corn and instead we will plant 100 heirloom Amish Paste Tomatoes. We’ll also plant more organic German Butterball Potatoes this year, the ones we grew last year were wonderful and we harvested enough produce  to keep us through the winter. The asparagus crowns will be old enough to harvest this year.  I also plan to add an experimental plant from the Andes called Oca and Hopi Ceremonial Tobacco which is cold weather resistant.

I have a moral conflict with the tobacco, its sort of a novelty I’m excited to try and I’m eager to learn more.  I don’t know if I’ll give it to any of the smokers in my life. Obviously we’ll also plant the seeds harvested from last year which will include Amish Snap Peas, Christmas Lima’s, Blue Lake Green Beans, Scarlet Runner Beans, Arrow Peas, peppers….no green ones, Walla Walla & Sweet Vidalia Onions. Then of course the pots of fresh herbs, salad greens and the annual memorial Sunflower patch for Alexa’s dad…this year we’re planting a variety that is edible.

I’m also completing the application to attend St. Cloud State University. I’m not entirely sure I want to do that but I’m keeping my options open. In many respects I’m more lost at this point in my life than I’ve ever been. My life’s been defined by my children and my baby turned 18. I”m operating my online business while I decide where to go career wise…I have nothing defining my life and I haven’t the first clue as to what to do with it.

My children are grown, I’m not in a relationship, I’m working self employment from my home office….I just assumed at this juncture of my life I’d at least have a job restricting me and I don’t even have that.  Having the ability to choose is good but I’m bewildered.  I keep waiting for an obvious path or something to point me in the right direction but it’s all still murky.

Here is what I know:

I want to continue writing fiction &  I want to improve my skill as a writer so I am able to fall back on journalism and obtain work with bigger publications than I have in the past. A degree would also give me more range as a non profit director.

I have a finite amount of time most of which has been spent raising children and I don’t know the most direct path from point A to point B. I don’t want to spend time in a classroom covering political science when I’ve worked as a political organizer, community organizer and lobbyist. So, I’m not ready to commit to anything  and I’m not prepared to answer bigger questions about my life or pull together a plan.

For this reason I may continue with my online bookstore and launch a local newspaper until I have a clearer sense of direction. In the time it takes to get the paper established I can investigate my options and execute a well thought plan.

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Filed under Aging, Education, General, Life

Today I Want…

imagesToday I want winter to end and menopause to begin. I want to take a long walk in warm weather. I want to read a book on the back patio while sipping wine and roasting Red Crab on the grill. I want Amish Snap Peas from my garden, I want the house to fill with the garlicky smell of Roma tomatoes roasting. I want the windows open, I want my sheets to dry on an outdoor clothesline. I want to fill a basket with fresh organic asparagus then fold it into a bed of Parmesan Fettuccine. Today I want my bare feet to feel the earth.


Filed under Aging, Cooking, Food, Life, Royalton

Seeds of Change

I wasn’t really looking for a career change, but when a really great opportunity presents itself you have to jump on…tuck your feet and arms in and roll with it.

I took a job about 6 weeks ago which is why A Novel Spot has been so neglected. It wasn’t planned but I loved the job description then I loved the board of directors, the rest is history.

I worried that taking a job would inhibit my ability to continue writing The Eyes to See Grace. Fiction writing is so very different from any other writing that I just didn’t know if I would be able to do both. About a week ago I added yet another chapter to my book and proved to myself that I still could shift into fiction mode. I’m convinced at this juncture that my book is a universe and entity all its own and it exists independent of me, I just have to tap into it and write what I see.

On the flip side, I have less time to dedicate to writing but as my life begins settling into a new routine I am finding pockets of time to spend doing what I love the most.

In addition to adding a job I have also planted a garden. The main character of my book is a seed saver so this year I purchased rare heirloom seeds, tilled the back yard, purchased a greenhouse and created micro samples of Grace’s universe. Gardening is dirtier than expected, Grace doesn’t mind as much as I do. Nonetheless I have 30 crowns of organic asparagus, organic German butterball potatoes, Pennsylvania Dutch Amish Sugar Snap Peas, Monkey Ass Tomatoes, Vadalia Onions, Arrow Green Peas, White Cucumbers, Organic Roma Tomatoes, Brandywine Tomatoes, Rosemary, Thyme, Italian Basil, Lemon Basil, Lime Basil, Christmas Lima Beans, Cranberry Runner beans, Organic Yellow, Orange and white Peppers, Claytonia, Eva’s Burgundy Lettuce, Kale, Strawberry Spinach…and many others. My non-organic indulgence was to plant hundreds of Peaches and Cream Sweet Corn plants…a favorite of my family.

Suffice it to say I have been reading and studying in order to write Grace’s life, but I’ve also planted Grace’s garden, an activity my 26 year old son has helped with. He says gardening has a Zen sort of quality that he finds peaceful and relaxing. Some of the plants will be used for food, others will go to seed so we can add to the seed bank and plant again next year.

The frequency of my posts will certainly be effected, but gradually I am finding time. There are many things I like and that I am good at but fiction writing makes me feel larger than life. It’s like throwing open the window of your soul to a spring day and taking a deep breath.

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Filed under Fiction Writing, Life, Minnesota Fiction, Writing