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Midsummer

Happy Litha! The feverfew is blooming under the new moon.

It’s been cold and rainy here.  Cold is relative.  Two months ago I thought 50 degree evenings were crazy warm.  It’s always seemed odd to me, a native Minnesotan, that Midsummer comes when it does.  Pretty much this marks the beginning of our genuinely hot season.

Karina’s birthday is at the beginning of June and we couldn’t plan her preferred pool party unless we delayed it or held it indoors.  Cool isn’t unusual.

Because of everyone’s crazy schedule we’re still delaying her birthday.  We managed to all get together this weekend.  Karina and I have a deal.  I take her out to a high-end dinner for her birthday and she does the same for me.

Happy birthday Karina! Huge deserts and the leftover bags.

This year she chose Pittsburgh Blue, a chain steakhouse.  It was surprisingly good.  The steaks were done to perfection and the seafood we had was also very tasty.

Gilda’s Club Friends and Family Day photo

Orion and I also stopped by Gilda’s Club for Friends and Family Day.  We’ve been doing this as an annual event, being sure to get our photos taken.  Looking at those pictures I note I have a jacket or sweater on in most of them.

We did silly one’s too

Orion brought his drum and we enjoyed a drumming workshop along with visiting. Hoof on the Roof, a folk band, joined us as we finished up drumming.  It was a treat to jam with them.

In spite of the cold things are starting to bloom in the garden.  I got behind so I still have a few things to plant.  I’ve been worried that I’ll lose everything when we start tearing things up to get the remodel going, but I’m afraid we are stalled again.  I really don’t want to wait for another year!  I miss having a fully functional kitchen.

tomatoes are starting to form in spite of the cool evenings

There are things I’ve been putting off (like a new microwave) in anticipation of getting this all taken care of.  It’s frustrating.

Fourth of July is coming up fast and furiously.  I’ll probably be off-line, so don’t worry if you don’t see a Monday blog next week.  I will try to remember to take some photos.

Hints of jalapeño as well

 

 

Maybe parades and fireworks will fill my page.  Maybe flowers and wildlife will inspire me.  Maybe I’ll remember to take pictures of the family.  Fingers are crossed for a fun filled, good weather, holiday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Midsummer Posts:

Midsummer

Storm

Midsummer – apparently I’m not very creative with titles at this time of year!

Charleston – I haven’t posted about Philandro Castile.  It’s too close to home, too horrible, and I’m not the one.  But I will say Black Lives Matter, because they should and it’s pretty clear that they don’t.  I will say it’s important to remember.

Resolve

20160522_190956Resolve:  verb  with obj. ] settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter): the firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days.

The solution to the problem in the kitchen is clearly to do a remodel.

no obj. ] decide firmly on a course of action: [ with infinitive ] :  she resolved to call Dana as soon as she got home.

That means calling contractors and getting bids to take to the bank to get a loan.

chiefly Chemistry separate or cause to be separated into components.

Components:  Contractor, Banker, Clear the deed, Subordinate city loan, housing for Orion and I while the work goes on.

So far, so good.

Got some tomatoes caged

Got some tomatoes caged

• no obj. ] (of something seen at a distance) turn into a different form when seen more clearly: the orange glow resolved itself into four lanterns.

Contractors don’t want to waste their time writing up a bid on work that I 1. May not be able to afford or 2. May hire someone else for

The season is upon us and contractors already have work (with a GO) lined up.

There is probably more to do than I can afford and I have to prioritize.

This isn’t going to happen quickly.

The contractors who could do the work faster have larger teams/businesses and also larger prices.

The peony (and other perennials) need some attention!

The peony (and other perennials) need some attention!

Resolve: noun firm determination to do something: she received information that strengthened her resolve | she intended to stick to her initial resolve.

The only way this is going to happen is if I just keep plugging away at it.

Actually my whole life seems a little like this right now.  I put the gardening on hold, not knowing what will be torn up.  I can’t take it so I spent the weekend planting.  I’ve mostly got things in containers, so they could be moved.  But if this isn’t going to start until August I want tomatoes and basil!

The lawn has been mowed. That required having the tractor overhauled.  The blades needed sharpening and there was a nut that disappeared.

The hose has a huge hole in it.  It actually has for sometime.  I bought a new hose long enough ago I can’t remember.  I dug it out of the garage and hooked it up.  It actually reaches everything!  (Bonus, it doesn’t leak.)

Bills still need to be paid, and credit cards paid off – going back to the issues with the bank.  I need to find time to write, time to garden, time to tend to Orion, time out for myself.

It all comes down to resolve.

I still have a ways to go

I still have a ways to go

When the sun is shining and the breeze is keeping the bugs away I have to remember not to play hookey from my life.   I also have to remember to take a minute and appreciate the day.

I resolve to do both!

 

Definitions from the New Oxford American Dictionary

Hi’s and Low’s

Hyacinth ripe and waiting for another sunny day

Hyacinth ripe and waiting for another sunny day

It’s spring in Minnesota.  We’ve had unseasonable warmth and a very early spring this year.  But the weather is still unstable.  Yesterday there were highs approaching 70.  Today we can expect it to stay in the 30’s.   The weatherman is talking about snow.

Snow isn’t unusual in April.  It just seems unexpected after a warm week like last week.  I’ve started taking some planting risks with cold friendly seeds.  I’ve put in some peas.  I’ve set in some radish.  I’ve even sprinkled a little spinach about.

Onion's wintered over are coming up like gangbusters!

Onion’s wintered over are coming up like gangbusters!

I found some onion sets that wintered in my garage.  I’m tucking them in as I dig up preparing beds.   It would ordinarily be too early.  But when I look at my volunteers I have to think I’m being reasonable.

It’s cold today, and promises to be all week.  I’m hoping to get out in the yard again but my priorities are still in the house preparing for contractors.  I’m not sure how much I can or should plant, not just because of the weather.  I don’t know how much damage this construction project will do to my yard.

I swear the bleeding heart wasn't showing yesterday.

I swear the bleeding heart wasn’t showing yesterday.

Things are popping up all over.   As I sit bundled up waiting for the snow to fall I’ll take that as a hopeful sign.  It may be slow going, but the seasons do turn.  Likewise with this remodeling project, right now I’m waiting for contractors to write up proposals with actual numbers.  I can’t hurry it along, but I trust it’s still moving forward.

The strawberry bed still needs some serious work

The strawberry bed still needs some serious work

Help

I need help.

That’s a really hard thing to say.  It’s hard to admit it when I’m overwhelmed.  It’s hard to need help and find there is none available.  It’s hard to accept help without being able to give something back in return.

I’m doing “catch-up” on years of neglect in my house and in my yard.  There is no way I can do it all.  I’m puttering away at little jobs and hoping eventually I’ll get to the rest.  But there’s always something new adding to that “to do” list.

This weekend I chose to ignore a “should”.  I “should” have attended a public ritual.  I’m on the board for the group that sponsored it.  I “should” have gone to the planning meeting, offered to contribute, at least brought something for the pot-luck.  I “should” have, and I pointedly did not.

Instead I stayed home and asked for help.  This was when help was available so this needed to be when I was available to receive it.  I don’t even feel bad for making this choice.  It was necessary.

I didn’t take pictures.  I didn’t document progress.  I didn’t let anyone know until it was done.

My nephew and his family drove an hour and a half (each way) to spend a few hours doing hard labor in my yard.   The gutters got cleaned out.  The beds got raked.  The liners got installed.  The manure got spread around.  The toddlers mostly stayed out of trouble.  Everyone got fed.  I said thank you so much, and they drove away.

So no, I don’t feel bad for neglecting the should.  I feel incredibly grateful for the help and support.  I feel fortunate to be able to “track” toddlers.  I feel lighter knowing that some of those “too big” jobs have been taken care of.  I feel loved.

It’s my sister who is the Mom here.  It’s the mother of 2 toddlers (and a third who spent the day with his Dad) who manages to get the entire family packed up, in the car and still wield a rake; she is the Mom here.  But I got a great mother’s day gift all the same.

My kids did not neglect me in any way.  But Zac and Darcy went out of their way to help out because I said I needed it.  I can’t say thank you enough.

Manifesting

I'm not manifesting a garden as much as reclaiming.  I do have a few volunteers.

I’m not manifesting a garden as much as reclaiming. I do have a few volunteers.

Manifesting has been a buzz word for quite a while now.  The book “The Secret” made a big deal about it.  There are all kinds of business protocols about dreaming big for your future.  People make vision boards to keep their eyes on the prize.  If you can make it work it’s the greatest.  If you can’t, it’s easy to feel like a failure – especially as a measure of spiritual connection.

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Even when it's too early to plant, it's not too early for the weeds to get a foothold!

Even when it’s too early to plant, it’s not too early for the weeds to get a foothold!

I find it hard to get out of my own way when I can’t see where I’m standing.  I recognize when I’m 100% behind a desire, state it, work toward it, and it happens.  I also understand when I’m resisting my desires, even if I’m not always sure how or why.  Occasionally there are good reasons to put things off.  I’m not always aware of those either.

The books and workshops make it sound easy, but it’s not.  There’s a piece of manifesting that has to do with recognizing the flow of your life.  It’s like giving a toddler a choice between an apple and a chocolate and them having a tantrum because what they want is a banana.  The banana isn’t going to appear, but if they wanted an apple or a chocolate life is happy to give them one.

There are a few things I want right now.  One of them is a garden.  I’m digging beds out from under two years of overgrowth.  I’m not working very fast, or even in very long stints.  I’ll get as far as I get and I’ll be happy with that.  In the meantime I’m enjoying the process as much as I hope to enjoy the outcome.

There's so much overgrowth that it's hard to even find the bed.

There’s so much overgrowth that it’s hard to even find the bed.

Another thing I want right now is a schedule that allows me time to work and time to play.  I want time off being Orion’s Mom/Caretaker/Case Manager.  I’m pushing the edges of that the way parents do with grade school aged kids.  I ran off to the grocery store to pick up some milk before waking Orion up.  I’ve taught him how to get into the house so I don’t have to race home to be here before the bus.  I’ll let a sitter leave once he’s in bed, knowing he’ll just sleep and not notice when I get home.   It’s coming, but I’m not quite ready to let go either.  I get in my own way and I know it.

The third thing I want is an income, a career, a life.  It’s part of the reason I want that time off.  It’s also something I want to feel good about myself, my recovery, and just to be out in the world.  Being a writer is part of that.  Taking classes through the National Speakers Association is part of that.  But that’s building a business, and isn’t really impacting my cash flow in a positive way.

Sometimes it's just a matter of perspective.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective.

I hit that line and told my daughter that I’m ready to look for a job.  The same day I got a call from a friend.  She knew someone who needed copy-editing done, right now.  It’s a short-term gig, and work (of all sorts) may come in bits and pieces.  But THAT’s manifesting!

Rainy Days

Doctors offices are boring!  (but it was nice to grab lunch in the skyway cafe)

Doctors offices are boring! (but it was nice to grab lunch in the skyway cafe)

Both Orion and I had doctor appointments last week.  I was going to take photos and write all about our busy week.  But doctors offices are boring.  The appointments were too.  How many times in one week can you hear “make another appointment and we’ll deal with it next time.”  without feeling a little like you’re wasting your days?

Those big fat raindrops (that became snow) were beautiful!

Those big fat raindrops (that became snow) were beautiful!

The weather was all over the place last week.  We desperately need the moisture.  We didn’t have enough snow cover and the lakes and rivers are exceptionally low for this time of year.  I swear one day we had rain at 40 degrees, snow at 32, and then sunshine in the 50’s!  (And in that order!)

They made pretty patterns in the trees

They made pretty patterns in the trees

It’s too early to get to planting anything up here.  Our “last frost” date is May 15th, so we’ve got a wait.  It feels like we should be out digging though, and the ground is warm (warmish).  The nursery’s pansies (which are very hearty) are out, but not much else.

I did get out and start cleaning up around my peonies.  There’s plenty of yard work to do before planting can happen.  I’m just not in shape for it.  I try to get out a little bit every day (when it’s not raining, or snowing).  It doesn’t take much to make me worn out, but I’ve hopes of building up my stamina.  It’s nice to be able to get out at all.

And brightened up the buds!

And brightened up the buds!

It’s nice to be able to get down on the ground and get up again.  It’s nice to not be afraid to be outside without my phone in easy reach.  (Just in case I can’t get up!)  It’s nice to be digging in the dirt and feeling the sunshine warming my joints.  It’s nice to be able to come back in and soak in the tub. Last year I couldn’t do much outside and soaking in the tub isn’t allowed for 6 weeks post surgery.

I’m enjoying the rainy days. I catch myself singing. I’ll keep trying to take advantage of the sun when it shines.    Seems like a good plan.

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