Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Lighten Up, They're Boys
This picture is for Jimbo, proof that the float he'd bought had lasted until Hazel got to use it. He must've wondered over its potential life span, having watched large older boys play so roughly in the pool with it.
If you drove up to my house, wound up the long rutted driveway through the woods, coming into the clearing, one might question if the house were haunted, so much time has passed since the riding mower functioned, or the cock-eyed home owner tended to the front gardens. It looks bereft and abandoned.
The Big Back Garden looks phenomenal, and given a choice 'bout how to best spend my limited spurts of garden time, I'd have to choose the fruit and vegetable gardens. Duh, I'm hungry.
Timing myself, I had close to 8 glorious hours to invest yesterday, the boys got off their lazy tails, and hauled me some wood chips with which to mulch, and I just zoomed along happily, piggishly stuffing my face with raspberries and Navajo blackberries. Sarah'd picked wild blackberries and made a spectacular cobbler using whole wheat pastry flour. I'm not even a big fan of cobblers, I've been known to accuse it of bastardizing the fruit, as I truly prefer fruit to be fresh, organic and sun warmed, totally unadorned by anything, yet that cobbler was delectable.
I'd made myself another mongo salad, and steamed more Swiss Chard for later, happy as a clam to be producing food, coaxing it out of the rich soil. CNN had a story about 12 fruits and vegetables, commercially grown, containing an average of 40-60 types of pesticide residue. I know I've eaten store-bought strawberries before, and been appalled at the lack of flavor, combined sadly with the bitter taste of chemicals. Yuck-o. Wake up America, we're slowly poisoning ourselves.
Kids nowadays think strawberry flavor is what a Starburst candy provides. How do people not barf all day long, if they eat that crap?
I'm ruthlessly pulling out morning glory and honeysuckle vines, wisteria that embeds itself everywhere, black-eyed Susan flowers, and four o'clocks that reseed everywhere, this year I want food, not flowers. Sorry 'bout that, I mentally say, as I yank.
Will I ever get around front to work? Who knows? Lighten up, Cindy,
I'm not gonna stress about it, I'll only deal with today.
An email from the school, hitting my Crackberry, informing me with glee that Jonathan had passed his CRCT make-up math portion, passing successfully, this after his second year as a fifth grader. His day had gotten even better when Miss Kim dismissed him from DJJ probation, a surprisingly unusual feeling for me, as my kids seem to continue a downward spiral all too often once adolescence strikes. To watch Jonathan pull out has been impressive.
He'd been helping in the garden, pulling up poison ivy that doesn't bother him. I warned him that predictably he'd act out over all this good news, children like mine are often very uncomfortable internally with successes. It goes against their grain, and they've been known to make others pay when things are good. He looked at me as if I were in need of counseling, blew me off, and continued eating blackberries, only to eventually go down in a black-hearted heap in the evening.
I snidely pointed out my own forewarning, and not wanting me to be correct, he oppositionally straightened up and flew right.
JoJo'd been emotionally cowed over his younger brother Jonathan being so visibly successful. A very quiet afternoon from JoJo in response. JoJo is very rarely quiet.
I told Sarah, later at the pool, that I was gonna let go of my own self-induced frustration regarding figuring out how much to grow overall. The kids don't care. Only I care. This is my own internal battlefield, my own pressure point. They don't care if I can 52 quarts of jalapenos, or not. Only I care, so I need to shake off my own stress about it. Lighten up my own self.
However since we're out of last year's peppers, I've had to listen to complaints at every meal about how store-bought jalapenos suck. Well no kidding y'all, there's no earthiness involved, it's as if commercial varieties have the taste completely bred out.
So we celebrated my retirement check hitting the bank and bought 12 large $4.99 one topping pizzas from Dominos, their Tuesday special. There were zero leftovers, as the majority of my family now consists of teenage boys.
A friend had posted this sign on Facebook and I've been thinking about it, glad I can now finally return to Wednesday night services, Scotty and Jonathan now both moving up to Youth Group, my life is rapidly and happily evolving. I need to keep focused on this one thought.