Thursday, August 7, 2014

Misty Water Colored Memories



I'm not sure why this popped into my head the other night but it hit me that July 03rd (as in a few weeks ago) marks 20 years since I last had an even remotely decent relationship with my mother.

I never had a great relationship with her- at least not beyond age five or six.  But it exploded and severed in the Miami airport on July 03.  I left her house on July 04 to go back to my dad's house (where I already lived 75% of the time) permanently.  My dad had forced me to keep my relationship with her until that point but things just broke down beyond repair and everything changed that night.

I do have a point here...I promise.

So as I was thinking about this, I paused to remember when I finally did see my mother again (because our relationship, like all bad relationships, would have a few, brief attempts to reconcile in the following years).  I can't for the life of me remember.  Was it around the holidays of that year?  I honest to goodness have no memory of when we would reconcile.  I seem to remember going six months without speaking to her and I would assume more months before seeing her.  But that's totally a guess.

So my point is this...

I can remember my house in DC when I was 2.5 years old.  I remember the day my dad drove up in the green Volvo station wagon with our beloved family dog to our new house in Florida from DC.  I remember more mundane things too from the same early ages.  Like the conversation I had, verbatim, at my fourth birthday party with my Aunt Susan.  Or what the neighbor gave me as a gift.  Or every silly detail about my bedroom that I had until age seven.  I can even tell you all about preschool and kindergarten.

But I cannot bring up a memory of seeing my mother between July of 1994 and April of 1996.  Not one.  I know I eventually saw her on occasion.  But I don't think I spent time at her house or with her husband.  Though that's more of a guess than anything because I have no memories at all!

And it's bugging the heck out of me.

Not because I need to know for any specific reason.  But my memories are so clear about so many things.  I don't like the idea of forgetting.  What if a miracle happens and I do eventually get to become a mother?  I want to be able to tell my kid my childhood stories, just as my parents and grandparents did for me.

I am not sure if this means I am old, that God only gives you the important memories (even if you don't yet know why it's important to remember a conversation at your fourth birthday party), or if it simply doesn't matter after two decades.  

Anyway, this is really just a long way for me to tell you that I'm suddenly nervous I'm losing my marbles.  Yet another thing for me to quietly obsess over.

Oh and the birthday party conversation.  Want to know what I discussed with Aunt Susan 32 years ago?  I told her that I was officially an adult that day (you know...on my fourth birthday).  I was super serious and absolutely meant it, too.  Looking back, I stand by that statement.  I think I was born an adult and have finally grown into my own personality.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Blogging, Instagram And Brandi Carlile

Well so far I am doing a crappy job of blogging again.  Give me the month of July to still be hit or miss and I should be back at it again in full force.  I've really missed keeping up with everyone.  Though I will say that my new lover, Instagram, is filling the void and likely a big reason I am blogging less.  (If you are waiting with baited breath- all three of you- for my gardening posts, I promise to get them blogged eventually as this is my journal to remember life over the years.  But you can also catch me on Instagram because I post about the garden almost daily.)

In the mean time, here's my new favorite tune that I just can't get out of my head.  The Eye by Brandi Carlile and The Twins.




I first heard Brandi Carlile play as the opening act at an Indigo Girls concert ages ago.  I remember so clearly because I didn't go in for most of the opening act.  Finally I wandered in for the last two songs, was blown away, and had the conversation in my head that I would never skip another opening act again.  I became a fan right then and there during the last two songs of her set.  Her voice never fails to amaze me.  Seriously...she could read me the ingredient list off the cereal box and I would be enthralled.

Brandi and the band are playing Red Rocks next year.  I might need to use that as my excuse to get out to see Katie and Riley!


Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm Expecting!

Friends. First I owe an explanation of why I abandoned le blog. And the answer is thrilling. 

Ready?  

Just Because.  That's my reason. Honestly. I've just been sidetracked. 

But I'm ready to jump back in. 

So here's my big exciting news...

I'm expecting. 

My first tomato of the season, that is. I about fell over when I found it yesterday. 




This is also serving as my test run at blogging from my iphone. So I'm keeping it brief. But I'm ready to read your blogs and chatter away on here again. I've missed everyone!  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Results Of Lasagna Gardening Over Winter


In the fall, after I harvested just about everything, I spent a chunk of time prepping my garden allotment for the following year.  I decided to try out the lasagna gardening method to see if it would benefit my soil and also keep out weeds.


My garden plot when I first took over spring 2013.  FULL of weeds!


When I first took hold of my garden in the spring of 2013, it was a solid field of weeds.  It seems the previous owner abandoned ship and the space had been over-run in weeds for nearly two years.  It took endless hours in the hot sun with the help of my father {that's what dads are for!} to de-weed the place.  We nearly broke our backs in the process.  And I was determined to make that a one time deal!


After days of back-breaking weeding spring 2013.


So after reading, reading and more reading on various methods, here's what I came up with.

First I laid down a very thick layer of newspaper.  I'm talking cardboard thick.  In fact, cardboard would have been perfectly acceptable.  As I am an avid couponer though, I simply saved my newspapers {I usually buy four per week} out of the recycle bin for a few weeks.  Cover every square inch.  Then I added a layer of green compost.  For about two weeks I saved scraps in my fridge for this purpose.  I used some of the pulled out plants, banana peels, egg shells, etc.  I also dusted everything with a nice layer of Azomite/ Rock Dust.  Then I added a really thick layer of brown compost.  In this case it was tree leaves that were all over the outside of the garden fence.  {This year though I now have a source for organic grass fed cow manure from a family friend that will be mixed in, too.} And finally, I topped it all off with a thick layer of straw {not hay...I can't say that enough...do not use hay}.


Lasagna Gardening fall 2013

This left my space looking like a clean canvas.  But I wondered how it would hold up over the winter months.  I knew many things in the various compost layers wouldn't actually break down until this spring and summer when the heat got to work.

I am so pleased that I took the time {which was fairly minimal in the grand scheme of things} in the fall to prep my garden space.  Most gardeners simply pulled out their plants and left for six months.  But that means that they are now coming back to spaces that are once again solid weeds.  The only places I have to deal with weeds are along the edges that touch neighbors who have weeds overflowing in their allotments!  On top of that, as everything continues to break down, it will feed the worms {a gardener's best friend} and build up the soil.


This is how my garden looked before I set foot in it this spring.   Weed free!


I plan this year to either plant right over the mulch {for example my beans and lettuce} by simply adding a layer of good soil on top or dig right through it {for example tomato plants that need to be buried very deep}.  I will remove nothing and just let it do its thing this year.  The straw mulch will continue to keep the weeds away and as it heats up, it will help to keep the soil moist so I will need to water less often.


Tomato Man vs. Preppy Pink Crocodile


For comparison, here is my neighbor's spot {last year I called him Tomato Man and will again refer to him as that this year} vs. mine on May 01, 2014 just after I planted my beans.  His is weed-tastic and will require a ton of work before a single seed or plant can go into that soil.  Mine is ready for planting on day one without doing a single thing first.

Do you have a favorite mulching method?  Is it different than mine?  I'm still in the experimenting phase so I am very open to new suggestions.  Have you ever tried the lasagna gardening method?  What did you think of it?


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