I planted a bunch of seeds somewhere yesterday. I'm not sure where. I meant to mark them, but then I didn't. So I think there are watermelons and sunflowers and perhaps some zucchini that may or may not stage a coup in one area of the yard or another.
Or they won't grow.
Or we will accidentally weed them.
I have planted out lots of the garden and decided that I should label the things that were there-- especially the areas with seeds that have not yet sprouted. So I made a list of all the things we have so far...
lettuce (red leaf, yugoslavian butter-something, mesclun mix)
cabbage (green, purple and red-and-green)
tomatoes (early girl, mister stripy, roma, and something else... 8 plants in total)
mustard greens (black mustard and not-black-mustard)
onion (I think red onion)
quinuoa (rogue seeds throughout the yard. I want to see if it comes up anywhere...)
Still need to plant:
Last year I am pretty sure I planted nothing.
I really hope we get to eat some of this
Me: does your stomach hurt here? or here? or here?
3yo: No. It hurts inside my body.
did some gardeny stuff
I went to volunteer with the ECFE class (Early Childhood Family Education). And I didn't walk in with my head down, unwilling to make eye contact. I didn't realize that I had fallen into that for the past few times until the behavior changed.
I didn't worry that I was not quite engaged. I sought out people on purpose and talked to them. Sheesh, it makes it sound like I was just hiding in the corner before. Which I wasn't. But I felt like I had more normal interactions with adults.
Children are never the problem.
I answered and returned phone calls without heart palpitations. I did not immediatly assume that I had done something wrong whenever someone seemed unhappy or angry or distracted.
I did not accomplish any monumental tasks. And that was just fine.
Grateful Crap: I really, really like my spouse. In an embarrassingly mushy way that is sure to cause excrutiating discomfort to our future teenage children.
took meds (but I haven't reordered them and I haven't moved them out of my travel case in the bathroom; they really belong in the kitchen. Then I remember to take them.)
Spent time in sun
Talked to people like a normal human being
*NOTE* on the previous day I was NOT a normal human being because I needed to get all of my paperwork for teacher relicensure in to the district and there was of course the drama of some missing paperwork. All fine. Thanks to my awesome boss and some very helpful presenters who responded almost immediately to my request for confirmation of my attendance at a conference. I have not yet outgrown my procrastination. I do not wonder where my eldest gets this trait.
I realize that the "arewethereyet" cry is meant to be made from the back seat of the car on a long trip. It is meant to be delivered in a particularly whiny voice and should be repeated incessantly every five minutes.
But as a teacher I am feeling the pull of the end of the year. The desire for change. For new plans and new schedules and new students and new places.
It's not so much that I am longing for the mythical "summer off." In fact I teach the same number of hours in the summer that I do during the school year. I just teach different subjects at different times. A change of pace. A cleansing of the pallet.
I have two more days of teaching before my week of summer break. Then on to summer school. And long stretches of days where I will not just sit around doing nothing all summer.
It is my goal to have a gentle sort of flexible plan for doing enjoyable things with the children during the day (since I teach in the evenings). Different themes for different days?
Nature Activities (in woods, on river, on lake, in garden, on farm...)
Swimming (lessons every Monday followed by outdoor swimming)
Art Stuff (painting, drawing, knitting, beading, sewing, building, photography, trips to museums/sculpture gardens)
Science Stuff (rockets, programming, experiments, online courses for 11yo, trips to Science Museum)
Rest and Relaxation (hanging around the house in our pajamas reading, playing games and taking naps)
Social Connections (play, talk, write letters with friends in neighborhood, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents...)
As always what I want is a schedule-- but I won't keep it. What I need is a rhythm. So if the kids and I can come up with some ideas and spend some time planning on a week-by-week basis taking into account a variety of things each week...
3yo upon watching a particularly large poo being flushed down the toilet: "Wow. It's just like poop erosion!"
meds and all that
chiropractor for shoulder (which is finally getting better)
did rowing machine (15 minutes) and elliptical (30 minutes) on Tuesday
This post is an excused tardy post.
I was away. I was visiting with Quakers in Wisconsin for Northern Yearly Meeting (the annual business meeting of the FGC Quakers in and around the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, primarily)
Sometimes I feel more connected to the wider community. This time I spent more energy connecting to my own narrow community. I was just quiet and away and it was good. I feel littlle twinges of guilt for not being more social, but not really.
Spouse has pointed out that it is nice to be around people who don't think it is strange to want time to yourself in a quiet woods.
I walked around the lake twice with my spouse. Once clockwise and once anti-clockwise. I looked for birds (but mostly just heard them), went on a shorter walk with the daughter and took a number of pictures.
Here was the highlight for me: The Talent Show
Each year at NYM there is a talent show held and people of all ages participate in whatever way they see fit. I sing.
I had not decided what to sing this year, and the day of the talent show I was trying to pick song.
Me: Hey, did you know that a group of mules is called a barren?
Spouse: I don't think you should sing that one.
Spouse: (something supportive but reasonably asserting that I would not have it properly memorized in time)
Here is the song that I decided to commit to memory: A Crash of Rhinoceros by Carrie Newcomer (surprise, surprise)
It did not go as planned.
I practiced and practiced and could sing the song from memory in my head and to other people... I had drawn little pictures of all the animals in order in my notebook so I could see them in my head when I was singing. I forgot to take into account the deliterious effect that nerves has on short-term memory. Oops.
So I got up, announced my nervousness to the audience, and dedicated the song to spouse. I realized several things as I was there.
1. I could not picture the animals that I had drawn while I was looking at the audiences.
2. Once I made one mistake (in an easy part, at that) there was a whole avalanche of other errors. I couldn't think.
3. The animals that I had not drawn very well (My squirrel looked like roadkill. My penguin resembled a bottle of wine with a particularly missshapen cork) were the ones that tripped me up the most.
I got through the song in fits and starts until I really hit a roadblock. My mind was blank. I stage whispered to middle child: "Hey, there's a book in my bag underneath your chair..." and bless his soul he delivered it to the stage. We could have been a standup routine.
FINALLY got to the end of the song and took a bow.
Well, I thought to myself, I think I did a good job of modeling how not to fall apart when your performance doesn't go your way.
After the show a young performer's mom sought me out to say THANK YOU. Her daughter had been petrified to go on stage. She was terrified to make a mistake. As her turn grew nearer her anxiety increased. Then I did my schtick and her tension left her.
So I guess I was supposed to forget.
took my meds, but being in a strange setting I sometimes took them in the morning and sometimes at night if I forgot. I may have double-dosed one time. Not sure.
talked to friends
spent time relaxing with family and F/friends
Grateful Crap: Family who looks forward to NYM as much as I do. They are already asking (from 3yo to 11yo) how long until we go back to the camp.
planted two planters in front (shiso and sage and red-leaf lettuce)
planted raised-bed garden (mustard greens, cabbages, tomatoes and broccolini)
transplanted russian sage and mother-of-thyme
planted a bed of lettuce; okay, technically it is a basinette of lettuce. No, a Moses-basket of lettuce.
secretly sowed pumpkin seeds somewhere and promptly forgot where they were
staked out the tomato plants
covered everything with peat moss
thought about what other plants I am getting from sister-in-law and where they will be going...
drove around with the boughs in the back of the truck.
One can only assume that I will be rid of them this afternoon. Have to give up the truck today.
This morning I suffered from the delusion that I would be able to get EVERYTHING done. This included the following things:
The year before my eldest was born (after five years of infertility treatments) I made one dozen quilts.
They were different sizes and used different construction methods. Many of them were gifts for people. Others I kept for my "hope chest" becuase I was still allegedly hopeful.
After each quilt I completed I would say something assinine like, "I'm not a quilter but..." and then I would launch into my next quilting project.
I think I was reluctant to claim my identity as a quilter because I had very high standards for that appelation. Quilters were people who had very neat stitches and a degree in color theory and exhibited works at the State Fair and possibly took comissions for custom quilts. (Oh-- I actually took a comission for a custom quilt during this time too!)
So now I am not a gardener.
I am not a gardener as I turn over large sections of sod to enlarge the half-circle part-shade garden in the front.
I continue to not be a gardener as I create terraced spots to plant things on the hill.
I am adamantly not a gardener filling the truck with 1/2 cubic yard of Organic Growers Blend (poopy dirt) and distributing it with my little red wheelbarrow throughout the various growing spots in the yard.
Following is a chronology of my lack of gardening over the last 3 days...
I was going to get dirt, but it rained. I don't remember what I did instead. Ummm... took friend to Whole Foods and had tea. Then presumably did other things. Possibly just sat around reading. Really, I couldn't say. I hope I am not accused of a crime on May 19, 2014 because I certainly cannot provide any kind of alibi.
went to get 1/2 cubic yard of dirt for new raised-bed garden (and to ammend soil of old garden spaces)
distributed dirt (dang, that is a lot of dirt)
limbed the wild linden trees overgrowing the alley and shading the entire front yard. (There is still shade, I promise)
"trimmed" the yew bushes. Which involved completely taking one of them out by the roots. This is more typical of my trimming.
enlarged the front half-circle garden and encircled it with brick edgers reclaimed from other areas of the yard
loaded all the branches from my trimming projects, with help from my offspring
Grateful Crap: good weather for planting crap
took meds; except for Wednesday night. I forgot. Don't know why. I was very tired.
lots of hard work in the sun.
did 30 minutes on elliptical trainer on Tuesday
Superbettering? too allergic to keyboard to want to check in. But I know some of the things I was doing anyway count in the battle against Depression. Like the physical work. And being outside. And doing things for friends. And drinking enough water.
I was trying to show off how responsible and posty I was. And then I didn't actually manage to publish the post (the previous one where I touted my ability to post two days in a row) And then my fingers developed an allergy to keyboards for a week. Geez, a week?
So, here's my having a go at a recap (mostly for my benefit-- hate to be a crashing bore)
Academic Performances for kids' school. It was very very hot. I got a replay of what it was like last summer when I was perpetually overheating. I wish there was some way to tweak ones' internal thermostat. VERY hectic day. 8:30 - 10:00 second grade performance. Then off to take friend to the doctor. Then 1:30 to 3:30 fifth grade performances.
The kids did great.
The three-year old did not have a melt down. Or a nap.
I crashed as soon as I got home in the afternoon and slept until it was time to go see Carrie Newcomer. It was awesome. I am such a fan-girl. I was quite grinny.
Something must have happened this day. I took kids to piano. Then something else must have happened. OH YES! This was the time that I happened to notice while driving the kids home from piano that it was a city-wide clean-up day for Saint Paul and I happened to have my brother's truck.
So we loaded all the crap from the garage and a fair amount of crap from the basement into the truck and spouse and son spent hours and hours waiting in line to get rid of it for cheap.
Went to meeting. It was nice, although there seemed to be some difficulty for intense child #2. It was one of those times that I wished we were all a little less EMOTIONALLY EXUBERANT because it goes equally far in both directions. Up, down and sidewise.
Afternoon I gardened and gardened and gardened. I created giant piles of moldy leaves and branches and dead old perrenial bits. I fell into a sound slumber. When I awoke, the yard-waste fairy had visited my house and whisked away all the debris! It was awesome.
Evening I helped a friend with details for a trip home to England to see her family. It is nice to feel useful. Even if I also felt a little bossy and pushy. When those things are backed up with self-righteousness they feel just fine.
took meds every single day
exerted myself out of doors every day
Ummm... nope. That's all I got.
Grateful Crap: energy to do all this stuff. Even if i
I have continued feeling like a normal human being today. Had brunch with a friend. Am now able to spend time with people who are not my spouse without feeling slightly panicked. I did not realize that I was experiencing that until I felt its absence today.
This reminds me of what happened at chiropractor when they asked me how the tension between my shoulder blades was. Fine, I said. Then the massage therapist placed his hand between my shoulder blades and I realized that they were not fine at ALL. I guess this is the opposite. But they somehow seem related.
Coming out of the Sad is unlikely to be an instantaneous thing, but I will try to make sure I am progressing forward in general instead of backward.
I am going to see Carrie Newcomer in concert tomorrow. If you are local (in the Twin Cities) you should totally go.
When I came home from work yesterday I really wanted to go inside and read, but I made myself go outside and work in the garden instead. Then I talked to a few neighbors and accepted help from one of the neighbor kids in clearing the dead leaves from my messy front hill garden.
Normal, normal, normal.
I even checked my gmail (sort of) and discovered that my inbox had not, in fact, become sentient and grown five-inch fangs dripping with poison. I missed a few emails. But none of them were life-or-death situations. If you are having a life-or-death situation and cannot reach me, please contact my spouse so I am aware of your messages
This morning I noticed that the "cat hair" growing in the aquarium had become such an issue that it clogged the filter. Time to clear it out. This afternoon. I will rope in assistance from assistants.
Grateful Crap: normal stuff
brunch with friend
I promise to do some outside something
5 funny things:
Recreating Ridiculous Family Pictures
After terracing the hill I climbed up on the ladder (still in my comfortable mother's day dress) and scooped rotting leaves in great gloopy blobs out of the gutters. This is because I wanted to plant some marigold seeds and water from the clogged gutters kept dripping on my head.
This morning I felt normal again. Like a regular human being. Just driving along the road with regular human being thoughts in my head. I am going to try not to overdo EVERYTHING during my break between spring and summer teaching. It will be a temptation.
I attribute my feeling normal to the increased level of physical exertion. Elliptical trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Moving dirt. Glopping out the gutters. Soon I may even prepare my bike for its maiden voyage.
So unfortunately I think I have enough information to conclude that I cannot just sit around cough potato-ing and reading trashy novels and expect my meds to do all the work on my sluggish brain chemistry. I must move my body. Why are these simple things always the answer? And why do we never want to hear them?
Drink enough water. Eat good food. Get some exercise. Everyday. Day after day after day after day.
Superbettering for today: Palace Upgrade (in which I must imagine spiffy new digs for my inner self during a 5 min meditation)
Grateful Crap: laughing with spouse
how will I move? walking? at the very least.
(So I tried to do this challenge of finding 5 videos, stories, pictures or songs that reliably make me laugh out loud. Epic fail. I mildly smiled at some things.)
Volunteered with kids. Being around children is definitely a requirement for me. It always has been.
I worked for a VERY short period of time in the world of business where I realized it was possible to go for months at a time without seeing anyone under the age of twenty.
This gave a skewed impression that people hatched as fully-formed adults. And in general, I don't care much for adults. (No offense to the adults who are my friends. I like you just fine. It is only GROUPS of adults that can be somewhat itchy.)
Also visited chiropractor who did some pressure points on my sore shoulder. It improved things dramatically.
Beyond that I think I spent most of the day reading.
I don't know that I did anything remotely sensible this day. Only wait... I think this is the day that I actually found the shovel in the garage and worked on terracing the front hill so I could plant things. Yes. This is when I did that. I was somewhat over-energetic.
It was the same kind of manic (again, not clinically so) attention that I gave to the cleaning of the house about a month ago. I worked up a sweat. I stank to high heaven. I spent time outside in the sun. I may grow to enjoy gardening.
Mothers' Day. Low key. Went to Friends School Plant Sale and bought a bunch of veggies for my "Victory Garden" and then had pizza with my mom and my family. Once upon a time I did up fantastic brunches with home made everything. But not this time. There are pluses and minuses to both. In this case, low key was appropriate and pizza was delicious.
Did nothing but READ READ READ and READ. Also made scones and lemon curd and 2 different kinds of tea and hard boiled eggs and a lovely fruit platter for supper.
The boring stuff
Grateful Crap: Putting stuff in the ground that I will be able to eat (or the rabbits will, I suppose)
Daily Convexions: meds meds and more meds. also anti-inflammatories for the shoulder
Time in the Sun
Chugging glasses of water
Time with family
Quaker, teacher, parent,