Boondock Ramblings

The garden is indeed a disaster

You might remember my prediction that our first attempt at a garden may be a disaster.  

That prediction has proven to be fairly accurate as shown by the weeds attempting to choke out the few plants that did survive the initial stages of planting a month and a half ago.

First, I missed the memo about planting everything in neat little rows. There definitely isn’t anything neat about our garden and not really any rows at this point.

I didn’t read packages right and failed to space the seeds far enough apart, as well. Then there was the week long rain that started the day after I planted. I’m convinced it washed away a good portion of my carrot seeds.  

I am a total garden newbie so when I started yanking out weeds and didn’t see carrot tops sprouting where I thought they should have been I ended up ripping out a few carrot seedlings. I thought they grew a lot faster than they actually do. Whoops. 

One side of the garden never even got planted and the weeds know it and have taken residence there, creating what is going to be a town violation at some point if I don’t get in there and yank out more of those pesky, pointless plants. It seems as soon as I weed one part I return the next day to find 1,000 more. Who knew weeds could grow so fast.

This week we harvested two little summer squash and you would have thought I’d won the lottery. Little Miss and I ran in the house and proudly displayed the little veggie to the boys, who were appropriately impressed but not as over the moon as we were.

There is currently something growing where I thought I planted cucumber. I thought it was zucchini but now it’s rounding out like watermelon and I truly do not remember buying watermelon seeds at any point, let alone planting them.  A quick message to my dad and he said it’s a pumpkin growing, which is very upsetting to me because we now have four official pumpkin plants and two more trying to grow by my house. I had no idea simply dropping pumpkin seeds could lead to plants sprouting up all over the place. 

I guess I’d better start searching the internet for pumpkin recipes now. And now to freeze pumpkins, carve pumpkins and convince others to take pumpkins away from us.

So at this point, I’m fairly certain we’ll have at least some summer squash, no cucumber, maybe some butternut squash (need to Google and find out when that usually starts to make an appearance) and I’ve learned that I can plant spinach and kale later in the season so I’ll be trying that too.

How about you? Do you garden? Does your garden thrive or barely survive?

The flowers are sad

 

I love how my 2-year olds’ brain works.

Sunday at my parents, we were walking to the house from the pool and she saw the flowers along the wall and said “oh those flowers are sad.”

They were purple flowers drooping down, closing up as the sun set.

 

I said “oh do they look sad? They’re really just closing up for the night.”

She looked at some green flowers that aren’t blooming fully yet and said “those flowers are angry.”

And she was right. They did look angry with their spiked petals and centers, dark green towering above the rock wall. With the shadows cast from the trees the petals almost looked like teeth ready to bite down on us.

It wasn’t something I’d ever really thought about – flowers looking happy or sad or angry.

When you look through the eyes of a child you see so much more than you did before.

And children see, feel and understand much more than we realize.

Blueberry Picking and practicing storytelling through the lens

I read Elizabeth Willson’s post about storytelling through your lens after we visited the local blueberry farm, but was a bit proud of myself for actually following most of her tips already. Since reading the post, though, I’m looking forward to trying this again and capturing each of the different images she suggested.

I’ll be honest, we chose to visit the blueberry farm for something other than photos – we were hungry for blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins. Still, it did provide a nice opportunity to capture my family interacting and their personalities. 

Like Elizabeth suggested, I did try some wider angles to capture more of the bigger picture and surroundings. I also focused in on details like little hands carrying buckets full of blueberries, and little fingers picking berries. And of course I also focused on my son sneaking blueberries when he was supposed to be picking, though I couldn’t say much, because I was doing the same thing.

I also made sure to capture my children interacting and luckily I didn’t have to take Liz’s suggestion to photograph the bad moments as well, since the visit went fairly well until Little Miss decided she needed a nap. Even then we were able to get her to the car and home for a nap before a major meltdown happened.

As for “getting in the frame” I didn’t use my own camera, but did finally ask my husband to grab one of the kids and I together with his cellphone so they would see that “I was there too.”

And like many I wasn’t thrilled with a photo of myself, but when my children are older and look at the photos, they won’t see what I see. They’ll simply see their mama. Or at least I hope.

For our next trip I’ll try more of Liz’s suggestions of trying different perspective and switching up with lenses, even though right now I’m only carrying around two.

 

Mom guilt is the best

I totally pulled the grandma-wouldn’t-want-you-to-do that card this week.

Totally.

Little Miss is in a mean phase.

At least I hope it’s a phase.

When she wants to sit somewhere her brother is sitting she shoves him until he moves. When she wants what her brother has she takes it.  When she wants to play with his Legos she tries to shove him out of the way so she can stand at his Lego table.

She doesn’t do this with other children. Only her brother. 

He’s eight years older than her. She doesn’t care. The age gap doesn’t intimidate her.

She is a bully.

I’ve been reading articles and wracking my brain how to teach her not to be mean. So far it’s been time outs and long talks asking her how she’d feel if her brother was mean to her instead.

But the other night I changed my strategy, one my own mother has been grooming me for since I was born.

I used mother guilt.

I knew it would all be worth it one day.

My son was hugging me at bedtime, laying across me, and his sister didn’t want him to hug me so she stuck her toes in his armpits and pushed hard with her foot, trying to dislodge him.

That’s when brilliance struck. I felt very proud of myself when I said:  “Oh my, this would make Grandma so sad. She thinks you are just the sweetest little girl and if she saw you being mean to your brother she would be so disappointed and so sad.”

She continued to push but was watching me and I could tell she was thinking.

 “She would. She says you’re so sweet and your brother loves you…she’d just be upset.”

 “Grandma? She’d be upset?” She asked. Her legs weren’t pushing as hard now. “With me?”

 “Sad, yes,” I said. “Not mad, but very disappointed and sad.”

She took her toes out of his armpits and lowered her legs.

“Oh my! Grandma would be upset at me! She’d be sad!”

She turned to her brother.

“Grandma is upset at me! She sad!”

The mother guilt was getting a little out of hand so I reassured her Grandma would be happy now because she had stopped being mean to her brother.

“Oh. Okay.”  She said, hesitantly relieved. 

I’m quite pleased my tactic worked.

For now.

I may not be as happy when the therapy bills start coming in though.

However, none of my therapy bills were related to my mom’s superior mom guilt so I think it will be okay.