Archive for April, 2008

Oh, how I love the leafy green vegetables!  They bring so much joy, not to mention dietary fiber and vitamins.

Having spent every spare moment in the potting shed the last few weeks, I have arrived at a number of seedlings from the Guess-How-Many-Seedlings contest!

Okay, I confess, I actually knew the number a couple of weeks ago, and haven’t posted the follow up…I’m bad that way! 

So, drum roll please…………

The number of Packman Broccolli seedlings that were potted out of that one seedling pot is….


Yowza.  That’s more broccolli than I’ll be able to plant.  It’s four rows of only one variety, and we planted three varieties of seedlings!  In fact, Grandpa said, “stop potting…we don’t need that many plants,” and I had to explain to him about the contest and gave him quite a chuckle.  (He can’t believe that anyone would read stories about him and his gardening ways.) Good thing that Emilie has cooked up a practical plan for unloading some of my seedlings.

So, the winner of the pepper-jelly-giveaway is Heather, who quessed within 70.  Heather, send me your mailing address and I’ll get a jar of pepper jelly in the mail to you!

Deirdre was the runner-up, only being 93 seedlings off.  Since you came in second, your consolation prize is a day at the farm with me, and a basket of fresh produce.  But see me sometime in July to pick up your prize.

As you can see from my previous post, it may be awhile before we have anything other than covercrops in the garden.    Sigh.



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I cry foul!

What the……….?

How is it possible…..%$#@%$$#%%^!!!!!

We’ve had four gorgeous days in a row, temperatures above 70, the garden drying out nicely, and then THIS is the forecast for tomorrow:

You gotta be kidding me

It just ain’t right!  It has rained almost every weekend for the past month, while the weekdays have been lovely. 

I can’t use the tractor in the fields when the ground is wet. 

Wah! I want to drive the tractor!

There is tilling to be done.  And beans to be planted!  And cabbage!  And broccolli!

Since we’re in a drought still, I wouldn’t dare ask you all to pray that it doesn’t rain…but could you pray, just a little, that it holds off until Sunday?  Or Sunday night? 

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5,000 Hits!

Wow! I can’t believe I’ve had 5,000 hits on my blog.  I know, that’s just chump change for some of your bloggers out there, but it’s a milestone for me!

Thanks for reading along!

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40 by 40

Okay, I’m officially going on the record as stating that my goal is to lose 40 lbs by my 40th birthday.  At my current weight of we-won’t-say-what-my-current-weight-is, that is a very reasonable goal to achieve in a year.

As Emilie stated in her blog from the beach, I’m now getting “the lecture” from doctors and concerned family members on a regular basis.  Although never from Tony, because he knows where his bread is buttered….but I digress.

My family has everyone’s favorite Syndrome X characteristics – high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholersterol, stroke – and I really would be a fool to continue to live like I’m bulletproof. 

I know it’s possible to lose weight.  I’ve done it before.  My own mother at the age of 61 is a svelt little thing, having lost over 40 pounds in the last three years following what her doctor prescribed as a “modified Mediterranean diet”.  It’s simple really. 

No fried foods, no white rice, white potatoes, white bread.  Eat whole grains whenever possible.  Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  No dairy.  No refined sugar.  Olive oil.  Red meat only once per week. 

See, it really sounds very simple when spelled out like that.  I should be able to do this. 

No, I can do this. 

I can do all kinds of things.  I can train a dog.  I can plant a garden.  I can teach technology workshops.  I can design multimedia labs.  I can drive a tractor.  I can weave a blanket.  I can knit socks.  I can write and publish articles.  I can bake cakes from scratch.  I can put up jellies and preserves.  I can program my electronics. 

I can lose 40 pounds in the next year.

I can.

I can.

I will.

Just, please don’t count yesterday against me.  I ate Chinese food with steamed rice and fried eggrolls for dinner, and had just one last piece of the German chocolate cake from my birthday….sigh

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39 + Philosophy

Yesterday, as my husband and mother so kindly observed, I became as old as Jack Benny…



I have to say that, although I’m not crazy about the idea of turning 39, it certainly does beat the alternative of NOT turning 39.  The only problem with 39 is that it’s so close to 40.  And 40 feels as if it should be a real transition, a rite of passage, an indication that I’ve changed position in life.

I feel as though I’ve missed out on a lot of rites of passage, and that, in many ways, other cultures with their finite rites of passage, may be on to something.  A moment in time where you can say, before today you were a child, but now you are an adult.  

Somehow, I’ve managed to let a lot of the acceptable “American” rites of passage slip by me.

I got my driver’s license at 17, not at 16.

Being female, I never registered for the draft, like my brother did at 18.

The year I turned 18 was not an election year, and therefore I didn’t vote that first year I was eligible.

Um…yeah…I was drinking before I was 21, so my 21st birthday only marked my ability to buy my own drinks in a bar, which I never did, anyway.

All of these are societally approved and marked transitions, and I managed to goof them all up.  But the one that really sticks to me, the one transition and rite of passage I’ve never, and will never, accomplish, is that passage to motherhood.  And in some ways, that leaves me feeling somewhat frozen in time.  It also feels a bit like being developmentally-stunted.

As I said to Emilie on the way home from the beach, upon looking at her two-and-a-half year old in the back seat of her car, I sometimes feel a bit like Forrest Gump.  I have a strong urge to look at my friends who have moved on into motherhood and say, “Jennie….you had a bay-bee!” with that same astonishment and wonder that Forrest expressed as he stared in wide-eyed amazement at his longtime love. 

How did this happen? How did you get here? 

Why aren’t I there?  Where do I go now on my developmental path of life? 

It’s a lot like being on a long highway.  [Oh yeah, that’s a  worn cliche, but bear with me...]  I keep driving, and I see the mile-markers passing.  36-37-38-39…..I’m still going north, so I know I’m heading in the right direction, but I’ve taken a detour from main highway and I’m on a bypass route of life. 

To go through the city of Motherhood, take Route Woman’s Life 1

But I’ve taken the exit ramp to the left, and go around the city of Motherhood, on Route Woman’s Life 1-A

I know I’ll catch up to Emilie and my other friends farther down the highway.  Our lanes will meet up, and we’ll drive along together to Red Hat Boulevard, and Sensational Sixty Parkway.  For now, though, I’m cruising along on WL 1-A, and mile marker 40 is coming up fast. 

It’s just a little confusing, sometimes, when the mile markers don’t match up with the  exits on the roadmap, and you miss your transition. 

And missing the rites of passage doesn’t seem make me ageless.  I’m still 39. 

And almost 40.

I wish I knew where this road was taking me.  I wish I knew what I should be doing. 

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First, If you haven’t read the post below, and then read Emilie’s response, stop right there!  You’re already dreadfully lost, and must back up!  Go on, we’ll wait for you to get back….

Back so soon?  You’re a fast reader!  Okay, let’s continue…

1.  Hmm, breakfast tomorrow…Yeah, I’ll probably blow it on bacon and biscuits.  As I confessed to you last night, I’d rather have a great biscuit than a piece of chocolate cake. And let’s be honest, no one goes to brunch for a healthy meal.  I know I can make healthy choices, like eating fresh fruit and whole grain bread, but doggone it, that just can’t compete with red eye gravy, sausage, biscuits, and pancakes!  But you have done a great job of keeping me  on the diet this weekend!  Now, how do I keep this going when I get back into the schedule of work/school/farm?  As for the fantasy pig-out, it’s got to be deluxe macaroni and cheese.  I love the mac and cheese that’s made from all the cheeses in the cheese drawer, then baked to a lovely brown.  Add some fried chicken to that, and I’m a happy girl. 

2.  I was surprised I got in the water too!  It was freezing at first, but I got used to it the more I was there.  I think the cool breeze moved me into the water, too.  There came a point when I realized that the parts of me that were in the water were warmer than the parts that were out of the water.  Also, I just love that feeling of bobbing up and down in the surf.  You know, the part of the surf beyond where the waves break, where you just bob, up and down.  There’s energy in the water.

3.  How about New England in the Fall?  Is that too mundane?  I’ve always wanted to see the Maine coast, and the colors of the leaves in the fall.  We can work up to the month-long Mediterranean cruise.   As for the learning girl’s trip, I think that the Campbell Folk School, or maybe even that tallship sailing class, would be a great trip for us!

4.  Cheated? No.  Never cheated.  Sometimes, though, I feel a bit like a fish out of water.  I mean, I really don’t know what to do with them.  It helps me though that this weekend I’ve seen that there are times when even you don’t know what Eleanor wants.  I don’t feel like such a complete idiot, then.  I really cherish the fact that you let me glimpse into your life with your children, and that you even give me the chance to fumble around at trying my hibernating mothering skills on them.  I’m also eternally grateful that you don’t let on if you are watching me out of the corner of your eye to be sure I don’t accidentally kill them out of non-mon stoopidity.  I can’t tell you what it meant to me yesterday when you left me playing in the waves with your two-year-old.  I don’t know, does that sound strange?  I  just felt so honored that you trusted that I wouldn’t let her drown.  There’s a part of the infertile mind that says, “Maybe God didn’t give me children because He knew I’d be a terrible mother and would probably let them drown.”  Thanks for reminding me that God just doesn’t work that way.  And really, I’d rather spend a weekend just chilling out with you and the girls than picking up Naval Aviators.  Just…don’t tell the Naval Aviators that. 

5.  Hm, they are both challenges in such a different way.  The PhD is an intellectual endurance marathon.  It’s also a political challenge of navigating the whims of the graduate faculty to whom I have indentured myself.  The tractor is a challenge, in that it’s BIG and if I’m not careful IT CAN KILL ME.  I don’t talk about that very much, but when it comes right down to it, I’m not a very brave person, and driving that tractor for my grandfather takes a lot of courage at times.  First, because it can tip over if I’m not careful, and it doesn’t have a rollbar.  Second, because I so don’t want to do it wrong and disappoint Grandpa!  I have to admit, though, that I find it much more enjoyable tackling the challenges of the tractor than I am of those of the PhD.  The real challenge now will be finishing the PhD and not getting completely sidetracked by the gardening. 

And the bonus answer! About one cup of cold coffee, one WeightWatchers fudgecicle, one cup of soymilk, two packs of Splenda, and ice to top it off.  Blend in a blender until smooth and voila! a frappaccino we don’t have to feel guilty about!

BTW, I love the working title for the screenplay.  I’m just not sure we’re sinister enough to write this screenplay!

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The gals have hit the road and headed for warmer climes!  Who knows what danger and adventure we’ll run into on our way!

This trip could involve Naval aviators from the nearby Pensacola Naval Air Station…

Maybe we’ll spend all night drinking shots at the Floribama…

But somehow, I doubt it, since we have Eleanor (2) and Saralyn (6 mos) in tow!  Nothing quite like children to keep you out of the bars and out of trouble.

So, instead of Girls Gone Wild part 23: The Married Women,  Emilie and I are are deep into writing our own screenplay, called ….. well, okay, it doesn’t have a catching title yet.  Maybe Emilie will give it one on her blog!

That’s right, we’re tandem blogging today!  I’m going to ask Emilie a series of vacation-appropriate questions, which I’ll ask on my blog, and then she’ll respond and ask me questions of her own on hers! 

Are you ready?

1.  IF you were caught up on your sleep, and IF you had a whole day sans children, how would you spend them?

2.  Toenails, or eyebrows?  You know what I’m talking about…

3.  Who is that guy in the cowboy hat on your blog header?  He looks like he knows something the rest of your family doesn’t…and I bet he had/has some great stories!

4.  What do I need to understand better about your life now that you have children?  In other words, how can I be a better friend to you?

5.  What is your dream girls weekend getaway?  Where would we go? What would we do?  What would we actually admit to doing?

I ask Emilie a lot of silly questions, so she’s used to this.  Just this weekend I asked her such boneheaded questions as: “If diapers are designed not to leak, why do they leak?”,   “Why can you see the baby’s pulse in the top of her head?”  and my favorite question of all, “what am I supposed to do with this child?” 

And to give credit where it’s due, after spending almost 72 hours with Emilie and her daughters, the most prominent question I have is,

“Sweetheart, how do you manage to get anything done?”

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