Is it just miserable out?

“Is it just miserable out?” the barista asked, smile slathered in warmth and charm.
I knew I was supposed to say yes, or at least I presumed “yes” was what one said in such small talk situations.
“Pretty much. It’s winter out,” I replied.
He poured my coffee. Another barista, looking more the part than the first, took my money. I doctored my drink and thought, “It can’t be miserable out. Out has no misery. It’s just winter being winter. How can anything be miserable being exactly what it is?” The words played and parried. I sipped and doctored again and stirred and sipped.
They’d forgotten my croissant.

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It’s not miserable out. Cold for Central Texas? Yes. Cold for winter in Central Texas? Not at all. It’s just winter being winter. And we need the winter. It helps regulate the mosquitos folks will gripe about in coming months (myself included, as I, apparently, am one of “those people” they find especially tasty.) I believe, although I couldn’t say where I got the notion, that more chill hours is one of the factors of a spectacular showing of wild flowers in Aprilish.

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I do hope the ice farther north in the state didn’t zap any early blossoms for farmers of stone fruit or other delicately disposed food or finance sources.

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But no, Barista, sir, it is not just miserable out. I found the thin veneer of ice on my car this morning quite quaint and slightly magical.

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Hush little baby, don’t you cry.

Mama’s going to show you the bright blue sky, and if that bright blue sky don’t shine, Mama’s going to show you bees in a line, but if those little bees don’t buzz…

I have spent more of my life these past near ten months singing than I believe I have the previous ten years. Sure, I would sing along to old favorites on Pandora in the car, or while cleaning the kitchen, but I realized early on that there wasn’t much that could soothe our little person quite like a song. So boy did I sing a lot those first six months. I made up songs about changing diapers, or walking up stairs. I turned our entire morning routine this morning into a song about making coffee and tea and putting things in the pantry. My rhyming skills wax and wane depending upon the hour (3am is not a good time for rhymes) but I’ve managed to find songs that she loves that I don’t tire of by changing the words as it suits me. The little ant sometimes stops to take a pee, for example. And even at this young age, I didn’t want to associate buying things or gifts as soothing acts, so “Hush little baby” became about seeing things, doing things, and learning things.

But the bees aren’t buzzing.
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The food is laid upon the table.

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The first course served.

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But the guests have yet to arrive.

Perhaps they’re waiting for dessert.

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Almost again.

I almost forgot to water the seedlings. Again. There are spikes in the neediness of work. A flux in the hours I spend around people, in front of a screen, or rarely anymore – scribbling notes to myself on paper in a hand few can decipher. This past week has been one such spike. Three weeks prior, I downloaded an app to my phone that tracks usage. It was part of a social experiment called Bored and Brilliant. I’m not sure how much I contributed to their experiment, but I do know that simply downloading the app has made me more aware of time spent diddling on my phone instead of doing things I, you know, actually want to be doing.

Let’s just say that there’s a little monk that provides encouragement and feedback, and last week he had tears running down his face while he begged me to put my phone down. But such is work sometimes. (Othertimes he smiles, hugs himself, and let’s me know he appreciates my taking it easy.)

So among all the monk feedback and work madness, I nearly forgot to water the seedlings. Again. But they were still moist, and were ready for the light to inch up slightly higher, and had more friends in the neighboring plugs. The aspects of gardening I find most successful in the days since becoming a mother are those that succeed under a “set it and forget it” plan of action. I’ve begun building a compost pile (as opposed to feeding the spinning barrel composter DH gave me as a gift years back) and building it smack dab where I want a perennial bed. Why not? If I can get it to cook where I want to serve it (so to speak) I won’t have to find the time to shovel and haul and spread it.

I did manage to pull and burn more grass weekend before last, which was satisfying. Anytime the world feels off-kilter, I know that I either need sweat running over a pounding heart or dirt cramming under the nails of fingers building calloused skin. Or a nap. Occasionally all it takes is a nap to set the world right again.

So I continue to marvel in the child who grows like a loved upon weed and allow the new beds I wish to build, the grass I wish to pull, and the plants I wish to invite into my space…to wait.

She really is growing like the most beautiful creature I could imagine. And all of my gratitude for that erases any itch I can’t scratch in the time I do muster together to work on calluses or dirty up my nails.

So instead of any pictures from recent days let’s take a peek at Februaries past…

2012 –
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2013
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2014
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Attempted Murder

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These little sprouts have been stretching steadily toward the light a few inches above their heads. As I tend to do this time of year, I get forgetful, neglectful, overrun with life. This year was no different, and I wandered into the spare room to find the poor sprouts gasping for water.

They’ve since been watered and babbled at by an interested baby, so surely they’ll recover as though nothing ever happened. One can hope.

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