July 2008

Calvin insisted on harvesting today.


He said we’ll have the best garden dinner ever. Better than Thanksgiving.


1. Convertible double bike trailer/stroller, for when school starts. I will be taking one child to first grade in the mornings, taking another to preschool at noon, and picking both up in the afternoon, all with the third in tow as well. I want to be able to do it fairly quickly, and without the use of a motorized vehicle, and with a minimum of complaining, and with some sort of protection from the elements for the smaller folk.

2. Ipod. I think I’m finally ready to start listening to interesting things on a regular basis, especially while I’m on my morning walk/run. I checked out a beginning gaelic book and CD from the library, and remembered I still haven’t finished my Greek title. Also, people keep recommending podcasts that I don’t really have access to. (For reasons of ineptitude, time constraints, retardedness, etc.)

3. Doors. Our wonderful home has some door issues. For instance, in the dead of winter, I was trekking into the frozen void of the basement when I passed the side door. I felt a blast of sub-zero temperatures pelting me from the wide open crack where the door doesn’t quite meet the frame. There may have been snowflakes. That door also has a handy spring-loaded night lock, a tongue that faces the wrong direction, and it opens inward onto the miniature stair landing, making an exit from said door an two-handed event that is often accompanied by expletives unbecoming of a lady. Also, the front door decided to lock us in the house a few months ago. We finally managed to remove the aged mortise lock, to find that the metal had finally just snapped, in the locked position. Currently, we don’t even need to turn the handle to open the door, we just push. There may be a slight security risk in this feature. Also, the keyhole in the front door has similar tendencies toward not really protecting us from the elements. It is currently stuffed with an entire paper towel.

4. Attic insulation. Yeah, those bills.

5. A modicum of self control. Or maybe a passel. A fleet? A throng. At least a gaggle, anyway.

6. A new garden box. With compost, vermiculite, and peat.

7. An indoor seedling planting system. So as to populate the box.

8. (A chicken.)

9. Two new teeth. To replace the ones that have cracked fillings and are starting to be sensitive. In that, “Oh crap! Not another root canal” sort of way.

10. A maid.

11. A prioritized re-ordering of the above list.

* Need, here, is defined, not as a physical necessity, but more as a psychologically beneficial stepping stone on the path toward sanity.



OK, I really need to see a doctor. I’ve needed to pretty much since Kiki was born, almost two years ago. The single biggest obstacle to my not making an appointment is my mortal fear of calling the office on the phone. I have made one attempt, back in February, and was met with the dismaying news that the nurse practitioner I had been recommended was going on maternity leave until July, and was not accepting new patients.

But this has to stop. I have emotional/chemical things going on that are not pleasant, to say the least, and I need them fixed. Fixed, I say!

I specifically need to see someone who specializes in the symptoms, problems, and distresses of being female. I went to a group of midwives while we were in Utah, but it turns out that in Dayton, midwives are not so popular, and as such, not that great. I’ve been asking around, and no one can recommend a midwife, or even a female OB-GYN. My two new BFFs, both neighbors, have had wonderful experiences with their OB-GYNs, and gushed about how much they love them, but they’re both male.

There is something so incredibly icky to me in a man who never gets over that 12 year old desire to become a gynecologist. Please understand that I do not intend to offend anyone who has experience with male OB-GYNs, nor am I saying that all of them are there because of their adolescent curiosity in the opposite sex. I’m just uncomfortable with the whole idea. It just doesn’t seem normal to me.

So here’s the dilemma: Do I keep looking, and try to find a female doctor whom I can be more comfortable with, and possibly wait another 6 months to actually make the call, or do I take one of the recommendations, call a male doctor, and get myself fixed? (No, not fixed in that sense, just corrected.)

As I was harvesting green beans just now, Zeeb came barreling out of the back door and addressed me thus:

“Mind Control! Calvin’s being mean to Kiki!”

Remember that one rant I did a while ago about cosmetic surgery? Well here’s some more good reading that explains more of how I feel about human bodies and cultural expectations.

In spite of my laziness and the fact that I’m falling over the keyboard, ready to sleep for the next 12 days or so, I’m going to post a few pictures of my crazy garden. Be prepared to not be able to identify anything, because it’s a total jungle. I’ve started getting 2 zucchinis a day, the tomatoes are just starting to ripen, and the butternut squash vine has 16 baby squashes on it.

tomato jungle

Zucchini, petunias, tomatoes

july garden

I pretty much don’t need to go to the supermarket anymore, except for twice a week, when I ride my bike to get a gallon of milk.

I thought this meme, sent via Lisa, would be so much fun to do with my kids. Little did I know I would be met with fierce resistance. They were totally uncooperative, but I tried to leave out most of their arguings. I had to question them separately, or they would give identical answers. Four year old Zeeb’s answers are in green, six year old Calvin’s in red.

What is something mom always says to you? Be good, don’t fight. * Stop it! I love you.

What makes mom happy? Being quiet. Clean up our room. * Being good.

What makes mom sad? That you do mean things to us. Cause you’re sometimes sad. * Hurting Zeeb. (clarified: When Calvin hurts Zeeb.)

How does mom make you laugh? Jokes. (What kind of jokes?) Knock knock. * ditto

What was mom like as a child? Me! (in what way?) Loving! * Naughty.

How old is mom? Twenty-twelve. (Actually, I’m twenty-thirteen) * 33.

How tall is mom? 100 feet tall. * I do not know. 1 1/2 inches.

What is mom’s favorite thing to do? Walk. * I don’t know! What’s this even for! I wanna watch my movie. (Great big sigh) Cook. Plant.

What does mom do when you’re not around? Look for me. * Take care of Kiki. (What if none of the kids are there?) Why would none of the kids be there? I’ve never seen you, so, no, I don’t know. I really don’t know this time.

If mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Letting me not run away. * Can I be done now? Gardening?

What is mom really good at? Loving me. * Cooking and gardening.

What is mom not very good at? Not loving me. * Nothing. Besides, why would I want to say you’re not good at something. You’re good at yelling at me.

What is mom’s job? Mopping the floor. (I’m pretty sure I’ve done this once since he’s been born.) * Take care of the kids.

What is mom’s favorite food? Mushrooms. * You’ve never told me, so I don’t know.

What makes you proud of mom? That you let me play a video game. * I don’t know. I don’t… why would I… what? I don’t know what to be proud of. I’m proud of you for making me my puppy costume.

If mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? This is gonna be a easy one. Dora. (Why am I like Dora?) Cause you have brown eyes and she has brown eyes. * I’ve never seen a cartoon character like you. You are like Marge Simpson, cause she yells a lot, you yell a lot.

What do you and mom do together? Love each other. Mop the floor. (this is a big fat lie, see above) Watch movies. (more like it.) * Have quiet time together. Watch movies together.

How are you and mom the same? Brown eyes! * We’re not the same.

How are you and mom different? Different clothes. * No way either. Both medium. You read chapter books. I read drawn books with, like, characters and tons and tons of pictures.

How do you know mom loves you? Cause you tickle me! (No, there was no prompting on this one, we did not steal it from any other blogger friends.) * Cause I’m your son. (But is there anything I do for you that makes you think I love you?) Hug me an kiss me.

As far as tagging anyone else, I know everyone is different, but it is pretty funny to ask your kids these questions and see if they know anything about you. So I tag elizasmom, Barbara, Sue, and Sketchy.


Several times this week, I’ve found myself telling people that my garden is the one thing that has saved my sanity over that past few months. I think it’s true. I have had this one, large hobby with which to occupy a chunk of time. I have planned it, constructed the boxes, filled them with mountains of compost, mulch, and vermiculite, mixed, planted, spent hours at the nearby nurseries, removed pests by hand, thwarted others with forks, put up small fences, trained, pruned, weeded, and gotten dirty.

I have harvested several handfuls of green, purple, and yellow beans, about 6 zucchini, 4 cherry tomatoes, bunches of parsley and basil, a few strawberries, and one perfectly round and beautiful beet. The season is just beginning. Today, I realized I won’t have to go to the farmer’s market this week, since we have leftover chicken and sausage from last week, and I don’t need to be purchasing any vegetables for at least 3 months. My vegetables are better than the ones at the market, anyway. Neener neener.

I love my garden, and I’m proud of it. I don’t think it’s enough. I need more boxes, more vegetables. I’ve started trolling the rare seed websites for new things to plant, and I’m planning in my mind how I will grow my own seedlings for next year. I am especially obsessed with winter squashes. Here are some of the ones I want to grow (scroll over the photo for the name of each squash):

Are they not fantastic, and beautiful? How do I choose? Will the ones I don’t choose feel sad that they were rejected? Can I bribe my neighbors to plant some, and then have a neighborhood squash swap?

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