Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wondering When I Can Plant

It's right before the last frost of the season, and I have no idea when I can get planting.  I should have the next few weekends for hours of gardening.  However, I have some things to do for the car and errands and without help on the weekends with the boys.  In the last two years, we had help with one boy because he was tube fed during the day.  The Vintner was agreeable to keep an eye on the other boys.  Now, the boys are orally fed during the day and tube fed during the evening.  The Vintner does not help with this, except occasionally turning the pump off after I got to bed, and flushing the line with water.  I have all of two or three hours between the feedings, and during that time I have to prepare the boys meals.  One of the boys is on a special diet.  We cannot afford to purchase his foods as convenience foods, and must make them from scratch.  I don't mind in the least, and enjoy this, as evidenced by the Cottage Vineyard Kitchen.  However, it takes even more time from other tasks, like work in the vineyard - not that either vine needs much these days, or in the garden.  Really, I have only an hour at a time.  Cleanup and meal preparation and feeding on the hospital regimen can take over four hours of the day.  Then there is my other child, who also needs care. Somewhere during this time, I have homeschooling and housework and driving back and forth to therapy and writing.  What is missing? Care for myself.  Gardening used to be part of my psychological care.

I enjoyed taking a break to watch the blossoms on the neighbors' trees.  I don't know when I can get enough time to myself any time soon, although I know I need it.  No one can continue at a busy pace like this for long.  I do feel frustration at asking for help and only getting excuses: from my mother, my friends, the agency for the employees and the Vintner.  I will appreciate the break all the more when it comes.

Friday, March 8, 2013

On Eating Mashed Potatoes

My eldest son has decided that he does eat mashed potatoes, after all.  I'm so relieved, because I was prepared for it to take four weeks, not two.  At last I can settle into our new pattern at home.  The intense feeding regimen that we began at the feeding therapy program prevents me from attending to other things here at the cottage.  I spend about half of my day preparing and feeding them.  Then, we have homeschooling and other child care.  One day, it won't be quite so all consuming, but that assumes we won't see a progression of the boys medical conditions.  If we do, it may be even busier.  I am prepared to have even less time to attend the vines.  Fortunately we chose a vineyard over a dairy farm.

A Spring Rain on Pear Blossoms

As I sit near the window here at the cottage, I can look across the street and see rain gently falling on our neighbors' blossoming pear trees.  It's beautiful.  We don't have the brutal weather of other places in early March.  I can see a few green leaves budding out, but mostly the trees are covered with delicate white flowers.  Every day they change a bit more.  I wonder how many people don't even notice a bit.  I am certain many people do appreciate them.  We live in that kind of place.  Unlike other neighborhoods I know,  we are surrounded by walkers, cyclists, skateboarders and the like.  So many people are always around us. How much better to have trees and gardens and neighbors than to have landscaping and associates - wouldn't you agree?

A few weeks from now, all the trees will be filled with green leaves.  The blossoms will be gone. The grasses will be lush and needing weekly management.  I'll have weeds to pull out by their roots.  The garden will take up so much of my Saturday mornings.  The grape vines will bud again.  For now, we can enjoy the rain before the rain of work begins.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thriving Spinach and Beets

Here at the vineyard, spring is just around the corner.  I could, and should, plant cold weather seeds this weekend.  I won't.  I'm too busy with the children and errands.  I'll have another window the following weekend.  Fortunately, I don't have to worry too much about that.  My spinach and my beets survived the winter and look gorgeous.  I even have garlic chives hanging onto their space in the garden.

Fortunately, I have a toddler playing in the garden, digging to his heart's content.  It saves me work for him to  "play" and accomplish the hardest work.  I love having little ones who are happy to work as play.  Not that he doesn't have more than enough toys.  He's a delightful boy who loves to help.  He watches whatever we are doing and dives right in alongside us, especially me.

Both my beets and my spinach are heirloom varieties.  I discovered early in the winter a new garden supply business that features organic and heirloom items.  I have amazing support for my way of looking at the world, and it's all around me.  I appreciate so much how much I have - physical, emotional, geographical, social and spiritual.  Few people get to live in a magical space like I do.  Someone else my not be so fond of my little lot.  They would be missing all the beauty that I'm experienced enough in the ways of the world to treasure.