How does it feel when you’re out on your own?*

September 4, 2009

We interrupt this extended hiatus to bring you…

… Connor’s first day of school. As you can see, he was totally ready:

I, however, was less prepared for the separation. I chose to deal with it by staying awake worrying for the entire night before, leading me to make this face at ass o’clock this morning:

He loved it, of course. Can’t wait ’til Tuesday.

*The GooGoo Dolls


Hello time bomb, I’m ready to go off.*

May 27, 2009


I know, I know. I haven’t been updating. And I’m going to continue in that vein, because I am trying hard to focus on stuff outside of my head. There was big drama a week and a half ago, and while not all of it was directly caused by me, you could say fairly that the underlying cause of it was the depression that’s been swallowing me slowly since some time in October.

I’m trying to repair the damage — to my marriage, my relationship with my kid, my home, and myself. I need to get out of my headspace for a while and focus on reality. I have spent months obsessing and analyzing and thinking and seething and resenting and despairing, and I don’t know how to fix it except to push it away and get on with life as if it’s not there.

I’ll be back around when it’s safe for me to do this thinking thing, this words thing. In the meantime, I’m almost always on Twitter if you feel a burning need to keep up.

Time to let reality sink in.

*Matthew Good Band


Hobbies. Kind of.

May 15, 2009

I'm trying out Plinky this week, because I just noticed that it's been two full weeks eleven days (I can’t count, hurp derp) since I updated. I'm sort of butting heads with writer's block right now, so I figured I'd let someone else come up with topics and I'd just ramble on and add some pictures. Uh, enjoy!

I don't really ever de-stress, as it were. I do a few things seasonally to shut my brain down for a while, but I've never been any good at relaxing.

During spring and summer, of course, I garden. I garden pretty much unceasingly, dawn to dusk, even though there's not all that much to actually do in my few pots or the garden box. Sometimes, "gardening" looks a lot like "sitting on a chair outside, sipping a soda and gazing at the plants." I grow mainly tomatoes, because the smell and feel of them triggers a sort of sense memory of happiness — my great-grandmother grew tons of tomatoes, and I spent entire summers in her back yard, with nothing to do but be a kid. (I also grow them because they taste good, of course.) I guess I really shut my brain down by sniffing and fondling a few plants each summer, but I call it gardening in order to come across as slightly sane.

In fall and winter it's harder. I cook often in the cooler months, and I enjoy it enough to edit a food blog and talk kitchen tools and herbs for hours, but it's not really a de-stressor. It's a distraction, maybe, and sometimes it's a comfort — but really it's a way to pass the time and nourish my family until the sun gets stronger and the leaves turn green. It's a way to feel competent, too; I'm so often overwhelmed by raising a kid and keeping a house and paying the bills that it's nice to have one normal thing I can manage. But it's not particularly relaxing.

The closest I come to relaxing in the house is when I read. I read pretty much all the time (all the time that I'm not actively raising the kid or washing the dishes, anyway), and I figured out years ago that it's a defense mechanism. I read things online, I read library books, I read newspapers, I read magazine clippings. I read cereal boxes and shampoo bottles and the packaging from Connor's toys. I read like breathing, and between that and my garden I do all right. Even if I don't ever actually relax.


Big Box of Garden!

May 4, 2009


So, that happened. I thought the big box was a lost cause, but my mom totally saved it at the last minute (meaning yesterday) by providing good soil and cow poop to fill it up. I planted this afternoon, and I’ll be adding more tomatoes next week — as well as planting cucumbers in a huge plastic tub, as I did last year. This is going to be awesome; if you want to keep up, this year’s garden album is here, and I seem to write/photograph garden stuff a lot on Twitter.

Damn, I’m excited. Last year’s paltry little container garden went from this to this with a side of this; this year’s garden has 32 cubic feet of high-quality amended soil in which to spread. My goal is to grow a 5-ft tomato plant and/or harvest over 200 tomatoes by summer’s end. Oh, and to spend every single summer morning with dirt under my fingernails. Mmmm.

As an aside, how cool is it that last year’s planting and this year’s planting occurred exactly a year and a day apart? And also, how lame is it that my grass is patchy, my old pots are scattered about, and Connor’s “baby” playset is still lurking dustily about? Sigh. Next step: cleaning up my damn yard.


Coming to rest. [Updated.]

May 2, 2009


Having my great-grandmother’s desk, with the same lamp that’s always sat atop it, and her small Diarmuid Harrington sketch of the Golden Gate Bridge hanging above — it feels like a tiny corner of home, right in my living room.

ETA: I took a picture. Lo, I am functional!

My great-aunt and some family friends brought me my great-grandmother’s desk and file cabinet today. Once I got everything set up, it made a very nice and homey “office” in the corner of our living room. Almost everything in this photo (desk, file cabinet, framed print on the wall, monitor, lamp, some tchotchkes) was my great-grandmother’s, and I may never leave this space again. It even smells like Gram’s house.

There’s also a set of extremely old decorative plates that will be filling the empty spaces behind my chair, but those have to wait for Michael’s arrival. Man wields hammer; woman flutters lashes! This is how things work, for I am very lazy.

Also, please to ignore the stain under my desk (pre-schooler perils) and the unsightly jumble of cords behind my chair. (Now that I think of it, the blue carpet isn’t any better — but that at least is not my fault.) I spent two hours today swapping desks, another hour organizing, and two hours filing. It’s time for something fruity, cold, and a little bit alcoholic. I am clearly far too busy to Photoshop.


A dreamer’s eyes are always open wide.*

April 28, 2009


I forgot to mention this in all the (not-)smoking talk, but one of our cats killed my seedlings. It was a great tragedy, and I’m fairly sure he did it on purpose. The sequence of events went something like this:

12:30 PM: I put the seedlings outside in a nice sunny patch for some good ol’ UV rays.
12:31 PM: The cat saunters over, eyes the seedlings, and smirks at me.
12:32 PM: The cat backs up to my seedlings, sprays them vigorously with urine, then kicks them off their perch, sending soil and broken leaves and snapped roots flying.
1 week later: I am still crying.

So, that happened. I’ve decided that come hell, high water, or angry cats, I will be buying starter plants tomorrow. And planting them. Some of them, anyway — my square-foot garden is also a bust, because I was not able to procure the free compost I needed to fill the box and complete my soil mix. (DUDES! Unable to procure FREE compost! I epitomize pathetic!)

I’ll be container gardening again this year, and I am woefully underprepared; the containers have all been scrubbed and sterilized, but I only bought two medium bags of soil, which is just enough to fill up one big container. Maybe one big container and one herb pot, if I plant shallowly and carefully.

I’m a little frustrated and spluttery about all this still. I had a garden for barely four months last year, but I have missed my plants all winter. As spring heats up and the sun comes out to play I’ve begun to physically long for those damn plants, as if they are errant lovers or prodigal children. If all I manage this year is a tomato plant and some basil, I will be heartily disappointed (not to mention heartily encouraged to spend the rest of my life in bed, as gardening has been The Thing I Promised Myself to get out of these damn doldrums). I could begin planting later, once I’ve procured more soil and whatnot, but I am dubious about the results — our summers are too hot for fruits to ripen, and all I’d end up with would be a bunch of green tomatoes and some sadly spindled herbs.

In sum, ugh. Still not smoking hardly at all — I seem to have turned out to be a social smoker with my physical dependency broken; I smoke a cigarette or two when there’s a large gathering, but am otherwise content to abstain. I missed was too lazy to take my Chantix two days in a row, and remained stalwart. I am expecting my medal ANY DAY NOW.

* Nine Days.


Your mama warned you there’d be days like these.*

April 22, 2009


Hello! It has been 69 hours since my last cigarette! Excuse my one-track mind, but I am going nuts!

Day one was easy. Day two was okay. Today has been hellish. I might even smoke a cigarette tonight while we barbecue, because look, I am only human. A cigarette every three days — or after dinner every night, even — is not that bad.

Right?

I’m kind of afraid that if I smoke one, I will go right back to smoking a pack or more a day, even though that is in no way logical. I think I have Chantix, AA, and Puritanism all mixed up in my head. Ugh! I caught myself sniffing at Michael furtively this evening, gathering the residue of his cigarette into my poor deprived brain like some sort of lunatic. (Yes, I have mandated that nobody smoke around me, which means Michael is sneaking cigarettes at the mailbox and I am ignoring it so I can sneak whiffs of stale smoke from his clothes. Quitting may turn out to be a filthier habit than smoking ever was.)

Anyway, that fear is the only thing that’s kept me from smoking today. Well, that fear and BubbleShooter, which I have played for something like 10 hours since 8:00 this morning. Also, I think I ate everything in the house, and can only be relieved that most of it was vegetables.

Help! Alternatively, reassure my week and feeble brain that it’s all right if I have a cigarette tonight, but only one. And say that last part really, really sternly.

* The Rembrandts


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