A respite attempt ruined at the start but made in the end.

We climbed in the hammock

awash in flies

the hammock

not she, nor I.

She squimpered. I grusked.

She’d spent the whole day frumping,

I figured she must

have found the next thing

that pissed off her fancy.

I softened then when

I saw what she’d spied

a puddle of gnats

who’d yet to have flied

or perhaps had alit

to our colorful place

to create such a fit

from supposed sugar and lace.

A hundred, or ninety.

I thought I’d wait 100 days. Back on February 10th, I thought that. It was a rainy day. A day the rain reminds you of a marina. Damp and grey in ways inland rains aren’t always.

I don’t eat potatoes often. I love them. In butter and salt. Roasted in oil and salt. Sliced and baked with cheese and butter. Mashed with heavy cream. Soup with cheddar and bacon. Gnocchi. I’m not sure there’s a way you can cook potatoes that I don’t salivate at.

There are a lot of things I love to eat that I don’t often. My body doesn’t love everything that I do, and I try my best to listen and respect its wishes.

But it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow. And mothering is a *thing*. So I’m indulging and will deal with the fallout in the days or weeks that follow.

And so, in the spirit of rebellion, of the personal and pensive sort, I dug potatoes. At ninety days. Any other heft they may have in ten days more I wouldn’t need, as more to eat would simply be prolonged temptation.

…I think this is fair to call prolonged temptation as it is.

I didn’t finish harvesting. The bucket was full.

I hope, today, tomorrow, and every day, your bucket is full. Full of fulfillment and hope. Full of rebellion and peace. Full of serenity and glee and so much in between. Fill up your bucket, however you need, but fill up your bucket indeed.

They came anyway.

She painted it metallic pinks and purples. Covered it in foam sticker butterflies and hearts. We hung it on the fence and waited.

The rains came and the heat, too, and the paint started to peel. A sticker and then two and twenty washed away.

A few butterflies remain and today, she squealed a whispered jump for joy in my ear.

“They found it! Look, mama!”

Howdy, new neighbor. Make yourself at home.

Orange you glad I didn’t sow a banana?

Knock knock jokes are “in” right now in my house. As is potty humor (let’s be honest, humor in my house is never 100% clean.)

Sowing has kicked it up a gear this spring with my freed self and some inconsistently eager sidekicks. This post’s feature, though, was entirely not-my-doing.

An orange tree, from seed.

This is its second pot. It grew heartily after its first transplant and has stalled at this height for what seems like ages.

We can both guess why.

“I’ve given it all I’ve got, Captain!”

So in lieu of ripping out more grass to put in more food (we’re moving in a couple of months, we plan/hope/think), and in need of a soil-centered way to ease my mind nearby the house during nap time, I found a taller pot. But first, removing this start from its home was not something it had prepared for. And why should it? It wasn’t planning/hoping/thinking it would move soon. It was likely planning/hoping/thinking it would never move. That this was its home-home and would thus stay put forever.

I’m pretty sure each root tip was cemented to the pot itself. I’d never had to work so hard to remove a plant from a pot. Minding the roots and the fat long earth worms, I finally extracted it from its outgrown home. Of course I didn’t actually have any potting soil. I put a few sticks in the bottom with some cotton bur compost, chicken manure, soil from an empty pot, soil from the pot I had just emptied, and still needed a bit more…so borrowed some from an empty section of the front bed.

The compost teasing the sidewalk with its tea.

And chose to leave it in plain sight for its “actual” caretaker to spot it after school today.

Little deaths and happy days.

Not those kind of little deaths.

These kind.

From thinking in my foggy ill-again head that leaving the plastic cover on, outside on the sunny porch, would save moisture. It did. It cooked them in a hot sauna.

Oops.

A setback of a few weeks I’ll foggily attempt to start anew tomorrow.

And these.

I’ve been trying sprouted grains and seeds to see how much I can get grains back into my life. The first few rounds were deliciously successful. These pumpkin seeds, and their other flora counterparts, were destined for not-granola granola bars. They ended in the compost this morning after my Does Not Smell Bad Smells Nose nudged my mouth to ask, “hey honey, does this smell like rot to you?”

Retrying those will have to wait for another trip to the store that has the bulk section.

But in happy news, this came today (or at least, I received it today as we are both lackadaisical about checking the mailbox.)

Also in happy news, it was gorgeous outside. And I had two eager little soccer kickers to play with me.

Behind.

I think I’ve felt behind on this every year since the first year.

Tomatoes and peppers of varieties that the nursery will have no backups for. These sprout and thrive or we don’t have them.

An early eager helper turned bored companion quickly yesterday. It’s tricky to enjoy this winter ritual when being harped upon to play something more fun. This is play for me, but work for her.

And then a nap ended and out emerged a bewildered boy. An eager helper beside me once more, who found Papa’s favored pepper seeds that I had overlooked. Peace, for a moment or twelve.

And then his way awoke. Seeds pressed down nearly an inch into the soil, coaxed back to the top, boiled an eruption to the surface within him and I was once again with irritated companions of proximity.

There’s a wiring in her that won’t likely loosen on enjoying plant chores. She has it as deeply set for enjoying the care of animals.

There’s an opposing wiring in him, as there oddly often is, to decline playing dinosaurs with her to help me plant, provided My Way doesn’t over exert itself.

And so I will learn to give more give in my plans, build in cushions of time and space where needs be, so my worry about the impossibility of backups doesn’t tarnish, or simply crumble, the enjoyment of the season.

(And yes, I did check the seed tray first thing this morning to see if any miraculously fast sprouting had occurred overnight. It never has and yet I always check.)

Munch crunch.

I’m glad my peas are delicious. Normally, I like to sauté the shoots in some butter or oil, add salt and garlic, and eat them warm.

A gardening fellow, perhaps with floppy ears or a skin-like tail, is continuously insisting they are best eaten fresh, crisp, and raw.

I’m looking at two weeks of utter free days with usual evenings before the holidays are here. Then daycare will be over and I’ll be starting a brand new use of my energies: stay at home parent.

All and any tips, guides, or suggestions very much welcome, especially if they’re for a parent who needs a balance of space and quiet, avoids shopping, and can’t eat most of the things that baking most days would create. (I’m missing baking, homemade bread, pie, and holiday cookies a lot these days, can you tell?)