Category Archives: spring

ordinary friday (list)

sure signs of spring in the yard

sure signs of spring in the yard

morning snuggle
tiny boy in fleece footie pajamas
three way hug before Poppa leaves for work
morning diaper change (a wrestling match on the kitchen floor)
breakfast debate settled
pot of oatmeal and toast prepared and served to a toddler who deigns to eat them
trash out
coffee made
comfort boy after a fall
take the mail out
notice birds singing as I walk back down the driveway from the mailbox
freshly turned garden earth glistening dark in the morning dampness,
waiting for my tweaked back to mend
so i can get out there and rake out the weeds
mop the latest iteration of muddy dogprints off the kitchen floor
move laundry into the dryer
3 emails answered
pack bag for boy’s weekend with Grandma
turn the house upside down in search of his Other Rainboot, (again), fruitlessly
edit press release for client
continue the great family paperwork Filing project
remember to feed myself around 10:30,
cold oatmeal with maplesyrup and soymilk in a wooden bowl with a kid spoon
boil water for the chickpeas I soaked overnight
change the sheets
check the chickpeas
make the boy more toast
help him fix a car
flip through Gary Snyder’s Collected Works while picking up the bedroom
stare for a little while at notes I scrawled in the margins when I was 21
and then put it on the shelf
and drop to my knees to look for the Other Boot
under our bed
add oil to the car that burns oil
grocery shop for the boy’s weekend away
deal with several separate tantrums, in various locations
pass two different people crying on the sidewalk,
5 miles apart from each other
and practice tonglen
realize I’ve added too much oil to the car
research the implications of this
and schedule an appointment to have it drained and changed before work
file more paperwork
make lunch
(kale chickpea quesadillas with vegan cheese and appleslices)
visit with Ma
bundle the boy off to Grandma’s
“I be back,” he assures me from his carseat
and I am glad that I feel like laughing instead of crying
If our son is independent
if our son is compassionate
if our son knows something about fearlessness
then we have done well.
get the oil changed
recycle the mail, because it is all irrelevant
dress for work

and practice gratitude
for all of this

even when its hard

its beautiful

"Beep beep."

“Beep beep.”

tilled and ready

tilled and ready

loves kale.

loves kale.



Filed under basic goodness, blue collar, doldrums, facing east, Family, Garden, Gary Snyder, gathering, gratitude, Labor, motherhood, Ordinary, photographs, poetry, spring, stories, unrepentantly unedited, waitressing, watching it all go by

Garden Journal, 17 March

Signs of spring... pussywillow branches from Ma

We’re getting a taste of sunshine in Seattle today, and its brought home just how ready I am for Spring this year. Our first winter in our newly purchased house brought home all sorts of unpleasant realities about insulation and drafts and mold, and I’m ready to throw the windows wide open (the ones that aren’t painted shut, anyway) and let in some fresh air.

Even the houseplants have cabin fever.

the butterfly plant Michele gave me for my birthday 3 years ago, pressing itself against the window like a kid stuck inside at recess.

The first two rounds of indoor starts are doing alright. The seed-heating mat got me the near-instant gratification of TWO-DAY germination on this last round, which I still can’t quite believe. My first-ever tomatoes-from-seed are a couple inches tall and looking very sturdy.

those teeny seeds actually turned into tomato plants. with Wee hedgehog from Dad for scale.

Some of the other starts are looking like they got left out in a strong wind. Onions, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, seem to have grown too fast to hold themselves up. They’re hanging in there, but I need to figure out how to convince them to start working on root structure and less on growing tall. For the time being, since everyone is above ground and soil temps are clearly adequate, I’ve turned off the heat mat for this round of seeds, and am giving them all slightly less plant light time. Once they’re a little sturdier, I’ll start taking them outside to get some fresh air and colder temps during the day.

I set up some shelves to accommodate all the new trays of starts I’ve got to get going in the next week or two. This means we are once again able to use the kitchen table. kind of nice.

New setup: room for 9 flats!

And boy howdy, do I still have some planting to do:

The seed packets in the black clips have already been planted. Everything else is still waiting to get into the dirt.

A funny lesson from this round of planting. I usually just shovel some dirt into last year’s plastic pots, and start seeds in there, rather than spending money on peat pots or peat starter, (which isn’t particularly sustainable, I’ve learned). Turns out, there were some little slug larvae in the dirt, and they grew into respectable sized slugs very quickly. Slugs in paradise. So, every day I have to check for signs of chomping, and those tell-tale silvery slug trails. Offenders are removed to the out of doors.

Incidentally, the starts aren’t the only thing growing like weeds.

Boy in raincoat. Callum now crawls, freestands, and gets into things with unprecendented speed.

Up next for planting:
Next week I’m going to direct seed:
Rainbow Swiss Chard
Spargo Spinach
Jericho Romaine Lettuce
Merlot Lettuce
California Poppies
and shortly thereafter,
Sugarsnap peas
Sweet peas

In mid April, I’ll be starting these in 3 and 4″ pots:
Jack Be Little Pumpkins
Zephyr Squash
Waltham Butternut Squash
Y Star Squash
Burgess Buttercup Squash
Small Sugar Pumpkins
Galeux d’Eysines Squash
Honey Bear Squash
Baby Bear Pumpkin
Costata Romanesco Zucchini
Carnival Squash

and these in flats:
Toy Choi
Genovese Basil
Thai Basil
Emerite Pole Beans
Petaluma Gold Rush Beans
Armenian Cucumbers
Lemon Cucumbers
Franklin Brussel Sprouts
Black Eyed Susans
Moonsong Orange Marigolds
Benary’s Giant Deep Red Zinnia
Purple Coneflower

Cannellini Beans

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Filed under Family, Food, Garden, gratitude, spring