List of today’s notable things:

1. My big 25×40 foot garden rectangle is completely covered in cardboard and leaves/pine needles by now, and this garden is going to be home to annuals and vegetables mainly; this leaves the area around the shed to be prepped for my perennial culinary/medicinal herb garden. TODAY, while Mary napped praise god, Joel and I tore up the main toe-stubbing aggravation of that area, which was a random 3′ square of white decorative rocks enclosed by rotting 2x4s and overgrown by crabgrass. Hideous, unconscionable, gone. I could never have done this alone. Three tarp loads of gravel and accompanying dirt were insanely heavy. Lots of modifiers in this paragraph!

2. I had a good time with Mary today—yeah, sadly this qualifies as “notable.” We enjoyed each other all day, and never had a fight. We went to the zoo, where she strode around in her big boots and puffy coat like a kitten wearing big-cat-sized clothes; we read books, several of which she loves and talked about a great deal, with great interest and ideas and gesturing; we watched Curious George and had snacks, and both of these items were extremely satisfactory to her, so much so that I could squeeze her till she’s flat as a pancake.

3. I roasted a chicken, which is one of the most therapeutic things that I do, these days. I also sauteed garlic and kale in a skillet, and roasted two huge pans of turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, Yukon Golds, beets, and onions—all but the onions and white potatoes being from our Care of the Earth Community Farm winter share. That feels incredible, to feed my daughter, husband, and brother with food from East Tennessee soil. Beware of asking me why. As I would tell you, probably at great length.

4. I started following an instagram account that is right on the edge of being bad for me—a young beautiful woman with effortless 30-something style and two kids and a cool house and she’s also some kind of professional, forget what kind. I keep having this one photo of her float through my mind, and fortunately I’m right here for my actual eyes to look at and compare to that photo of The Amazing Woman! It’s also fortunate that I look like a cross between a dirty hipster and an I’ve-completely-given-up frumpy mom. Way emphasis on frumpy mom. Like, my long hair was unbelievably tangled for THE LAST! TIME!! the other day, so I basically hacked off 5-6 inches of it in a rage, yanking out knots and giving about zero shits about whether it was even or not. So, hair. And the fact that I have no career or gravitas about me at all right now. Every day I’m surprised my fly is not open, and I’m still SHOCKED that my barely-breastfeeding status means I no longer have to worry about randomly leaking from ol’ lefty—can I just say that that is HUGE. I think breastfeeding boob leakage is one main reason I’ve felt like a Dodge Caravan these past two years: you never know when that van is gonna break down, but you know it WILL break down.

5. My mom gave me a muffin tin for Christmas, and I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that I can now just make muffins if I want. I’ve been muffin tinless for forever—for the same reason I choose to scrape ice and frost off my car windows with a credit card instead of a window scraper, and cut my own hair in a rage with sewing scissors: I prefer to put things that are going to require money or energy off, and just make do. The man I married, on the other hand, thinks I’m ridiculous, and does things like A) buys the floss he likes so that he will floss his teeth, B) takes care of his health insurance on time (with time to spare), and C) goes to Banana Republic to buy pants when he realizes he needs new pants. He’s as bad as I am in some cases, yes. But not that many.

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