Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How does my garden grow?

Well, a little too well, actually. This is the first year I've lived somewhere where we can have a real garden. I grew tomatoes in pots back in the early days of our marriage (eleven years ago), but in the ground planting and growing is a whole different animal. I really didn't allow enough room for how much everything would grow. Plus, we have puppies who like to dig, so my space for a garden was defined by the size of our fencing. My cucumbers are about to overtake the peppers. My tomato plants are bushing together (my fault for not reading the directions more thoroughly - I read "sow one foot apart" and didn't understand that sow and plant are different. I should have sown my seeds one foot apart and thinned my plants to THREE feet apart.

Oops. My husband also objects to the fact that I didn't plant everything in neat little rows. I keep telling I don't think in neat little rows. I like mess and disorder. He comments on how my plants should be in rows every time he weeds it (isn't he the best? Weeding is my most hated of most hated jobs).
See that pumpkin plant? It's like three times that size now and it's not even a week later. I really had no concept of how all of this stuff would grow. But now I do and it's all being catalogued (mentally) for next year's garden, which will hopefully be bigger if the dogs are past their digging/chewing (ha!).
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Down on the farm...

It's harvest season here on our farm. I don't have a single thing to do with it, but my husband drives the tractor and my brother-in-law drives the combine. It's their dad's farm.

My husband taking the kids for a ride in the cab of the tractor.
First our oldest daughter (she's six and very into the whole farming thing).
Then our son, the oldest of our four kids (he's eight and I think spent the whole trip cataloging the dimensions of the tractor so he could come home and recreate it in Lego).
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What do I do?

What do I do? Whatever I'm in the mood for. Sometimes I obsessively take pictures, sometimes I bake more goodies than is good for me, sometimes I digiscrap - and who knows what else? Something new and shiny is always catching my eye. I think my actual hobby is finding new hobbies.

Monday, June 22, 2009

And now I'm back...

from Pittsburgh (or parts nearby). We were attending a friend's wedding that happened to fall on our 11th anniversary (we married somewhat young). It was a nice getaway since we left ALL. FOUR. KIDS. with my mom and dad! It was the first time I'd been away from Miss V for an entire night.

Scenes from our stay:Tom and I liked the juxtaposition of the wind turbines and the advertisement for coal.

This was the view from the back of our hotel in a rare moment of sun. Actually, if I'd turned 45 degrees to the left, this would have been all dark gray clouds.

Monday, June 15, 2009

what a weekend...

Just reuniting all over the place. I caved and decided to go to my high school reunion's pre-reunion informal thing at a local bar. It was...surreal. That's really the only word to describe. At times I was completely happy about being there and seeing people and at other times I felt just like I used to in high school - on the fringes. Luckily, at this stage in my life, I don't fight where I fit in. I'm on the fringes of every group - even now. I just go with it. Because to get into a group would mean a change in my lifestyle. I hate making plans because I get so stressed out in advance of them. Hanging with a set crowd sort of implies that you're going to make plans.

Tom and I are going to a wedding this weekend and I've been stressed about it for at least two weeks. I have a lot to do to get ready for it (like getting the kids ready to leave me...I mean, getting the kids ready for their super-fun stay with grandmom. They won't miss me. Maybe Miss V. Maybe.).

Then we had a family reunion with my dad's side of the family. I've always felt like a fringe member of my mom's family too. I'm tall and dark. They're short and blond and blue/green-eyed. I just don't always feel like I fit in there. My dad's side of the family? I look just like them all. I'm...well, let's just say my mom's people have the metabolisms of hummingbirds and I'm again on my dad's side of things. But we don't see my dad's family very often, so while the conversations are easier (so how have the past five years been?) they're not always fulfilling. But again, I stress out at these events. I don't eat, I don't sit down. I end up feeling exhausted and have no idea why (it's all the standing and pacing and not eating).

I'm still trying to process all the things I've taking away from these reunions. I think the main thing for me is that I'm now capable of saying (to myself) so what if I don't fit in with crowd X? And maybe I need to work more on maintaining/reestablishing the relationships I let slide that I regret.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sticking with it...

I'm working out everyday and doing something creative everyday and trying to keep up with most household chores everyday and taking time to play with the kids everyday. I'm feeling really good about most of this stuff which is a big change from how I've been feeling for a while.

I can really tell the difference in just a week of working out regularly. I don't think the number on the scale is much different (and I'm not stressing about that) but I feel more energetic and I can tell my baby flab is tightening up. I've been downloading tv shows to watch on Tom's iPod (mine doesn't have video) and find 20 minutes on the treadmill goes pretty quickly that way.

My digiscrapping is coming along. I find myself admiring these lovely fussy pages but I never make pages like that. My style - in everything - is simple and graphic. I started just using quickpages and filling in my pictures and maybe a little journaling. I'm moving on to templates and the occasional homegrown page. I'm definitely feeling more confident in it and more compelled to keep doing it the better I get at it.

I'm starting small on the household stuff. Keeping up with laundry and the dishes for now. It makes a difference. My bedroom doesn't look like a bargain rack at the Salvation Army anymore. I fold clothes as soon as (or close to it) they come out of the dryer and put them away before bed that same day. I'm trying to keep the dishes done before I go to bed.

Progress. Little by little. It's something.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

trying not to fall in again...

You know how scrapbookers/photographers/knitters/whoever... have all these websites to share their finished products and get praise? I love to look at them and admire people's style and abilities. But sometimes I get caught up thinking I need to buy the right things and make my things a certain way so I can post them too - whether it's the right yarn or scrapbook paper - whatever.

I scrapbook/knit ... etc. for me and my family. No one else has to like it. So now is this my inherent anti-social nature not wanting to share and connect with people? Or is it logic and good sense? Or maybe just PMS. I don't know.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Taking care of me...

It's nothing something I do very often. I make lunch and dinner for the kids. I get Tom's suits cleaned or his clothes hung up and waiting for him. I putz around at the computer but nothing substantial that really makes me feel good.

In the past week I've done more things just for me than I have probably since I got pregnant with baby #4. I've taken care of my garden (tomatoes cucumbers and peppers - starting small this year to see how things go). I planted it on Memorial Day - it's been colder than usual here so I got a late start. I haven't had to water it much since it's been pretty rainy. On Monday I got in and pulled weeds (the most dreaded chore of the most dreaded chore list for me) and planted a few pumpkin seeds. I'm hoping to get at least four (one per kid). Yesterday I fertilized and watered since it had been a while since our last storm (and then it promptly rained all night long). I'm loving watching my plants grow though a little impatient with the process.

On Monday I digiscrapped more pages than I'd done in the previous year. I'm so happy about that. I really feel like this is something I can do and enjoy. I've been asking myself lately what the point of all the pictures I take is and maybe this will help. My goal is to have 20 pages per kid per calendar year (or maybe school year or birthday year - as in from one birthday to the next - haven't decided yet).

And I'm working out. Somewhat regularly. I woke up with a headache on Monday and didn't feel guilty about skpping that day. Elevated heartrate while head is already pounding is bad mojo. Yesterday I treadmilled for as long as I could stand it before I got so bored I just couldn't take it anymore (15 minutes). Today I did yoga and strength training on the Wii Fit. Wow - can I ever feel the strength training! Then I did the aerobic workouts - advanced step and 10 minute hula hoop (which I'll never do again. I think my abs are going to fall off). This is all very good for my ankle which apparently tightened up in my year or two of not working it other than light walking.