Family, Farming, Love, Yarden

Love at first bite.

I dated a lazy hippie for 7 years. He was delightfully entertaining, but perpetually broke. He was pretty & funny… and when you’re a divorcee in your twenties, that’s enough.

Not so much in your thirties.

He was still cute, but aged rapidly in a smoky haze, and his stoned view on life was boring. I was sick of paying his way and sick of being ignored while he talked politics with random stoned strangers.

I extricated myself from our friendship… and the breakup was as miserable as the worst days of our relationship. I’ve been able to miss his sense of humor lately- but I’d probably still roll my eyes at him one last time.

I came to terms with being single again, at the same time as my mother was going through a messy divorce. I decided to take her out for Halloween, we dressed up… and someone drugged our one drink. The last thing I remember was a 22 year old boy leading my giggly mom out to dance, and me kissing the Dread Pirate Roberts.

I woke up with my mom, a hangover and a business card with a number.

Aaron was a great boyfriend, and showed me some of my very favorite things. I will never smell a fresh bay leaf and not think of him. It was old fashioned romantic, and he was quick to introduce me to his amazing family.

He took me on a business trip and introduced me to his mom and dad. He showed me the natural beauty of his beloved Santa Cruz and surfed while I wiggled my toes in the sand. I fell in love with every new and exciting element of him and his mom was amazing enough to overlook every last one of his personal flaws. His family was the one I’d always dreamed of having.

His Daddy took us to dinner at Alexander’s Steak House, where I ate an heirloom tomato salad that would change my life.

Simple tomatoes, balsamic, sea salt and black pepper. So phenomenal I asked for a paper napkin and saved a few seeds.

And the rest is history…

2015

He married a friend of mine, I cut back to 150 tomato plants and adopted a kitten. ♥

rainbow

In other words… I lived happily ever after.

Blogging, Family, Friends, Halloween, Happiness, Hope, Love, Victory!, Yarden

Grandma

I had someone ask me if my baby was my grand-baby the other day. Seriously. My Little Red looked up in horror at the person and half shouted that her sister was NOT HER BABY.

I laughed. I was stunned at the thought, but… I’d had a baby 18 years earlier and my mother was the same age I was when my son was born. Good Lord in the morning… what an amazing difference to feel like the “old” mom.

So I went to a mommy & me group. I’m staying home with Muffin right now and I figured it would do us both well to get out and about.

I walked in wearing my favorite yoga pants and nursing shirt, My uniform du jour, so to speak. Wandering through a sea of bejeweled postpartum asses, I feel like the sharpest tool in the shed. What’s up with the bejeweled ass pants? I don’t get it.  Perhaps when I was 16?  It was awkward… but I was willing to suffer a little for some adult conversation. Ish.

I start to notice things.

They’re all younger than me.

I hate to say that was my first thought, but it was. So there it is. They all drive nicer cars than me. Ok so that’s petty but I had to laugh about it too since I’m so damn thankful I don’t have a car payment to be late on right now.

They’re all worried about being hot for their husbands/boyfriends.

I’m the only single mom.

I keep hearing them refer to me as “You two” as in, my husband and I… not my little baby and I. I’m happy I’m over 30 and dealing with this sort of shit. I can remember feeling really uncomfortable at the absence of a wedding ring on my finger when I was pregnant with my son, at 18. I do not feel that way anymore. I’m happy with the silky nakedness of my ring finger.

I explained quickly, smiled widely and reassured the few naysayers.

Blonde idiot: Oh my word I could NEVER do it without my Huuuuuuuusband. He is my rock. He is my man. I am so tired and if he didn’t do all those night time feedings I would just break down and DIE

I’m judging her before she opens her mouth to tell me these things so there’s no point in pretending I’m not. She’s a grade A, fresh off the subdivision, Walmart girl. She doesn’t breastfeed <sneer> she doesn’t get up with her baby <sneer> and she’s one of “those” women.

Those women: The women who can’t think clearly without a man telling them which way to go. Uck.

J- We do really well. That’s wonderful of your husband to help so much.

It’s amazingly uncomfortable, to be honest. They pretty much just chat amongst themselves… about things like baby shoes and strollers. Some of them are gluten free. That’s fun.

It is too much to ask for an adult mom friend? I can’t tolerate the youngsters. I admit it. I hate myself for it because I can remember clearly how the “judgey” older moms were so frustrating to me. I was a good mom, and they weren’t nice to me because of my age.

I am now that “judgey” older mom, and I can’t do it. I don’t want to hear them chat. I care about the world, at large… beyond the superficial “We went with the Bugaboo. What did you two decide on?” I hate to stereotype them. Truly, I do… but the shoe fits and it’s too damn tacky.

I’m not going back to “group”. In fact I wonder if I can make a group for old moms. I wanna talk about politics and healthcare. I want to have friends who give a shit about GMO’s.

I’m a new old mom, and I love every single bit of it.

Even being called Grandma. I just don’t want to hang out with my old self anymore.

That baby of mine is nothing but pure love & joy. Her and I have gotten our routine down. She gets up at unspeakably early hours. I sing to her day and night. Life is an awesome bunch of grins and details.  I never thought this would be my life. I had this beautiful baby because I loved her daddy so much I lost sight of the fact that sometimes things don’t work out. I never thought I’d be raising a baby alone, however… I treasure every second.

I could care less if her socks match or she’s in the same pajamas for the second day in a row. I show her everything until she smiles. I sing the ingredients I’m using to can marinara if she gets fussy while I’m rushing to get it done in between nursing and patty cake. I make a point to write the love notes in my teenagers lunch box. I remember all over again what it’s like to have a newborn that takes so much energy and inspires that much ooey-gooey adoration for just laying there like a potato.

With no child support & no second set of hands, the eyeliner and primping have to go. I have clean clothes on and her pants are dry- everything is just as it should be.  I’m thankful that she’s unscathed by it all. She’s just happy and loved and protected from everything that isn’t perfectly wonderful and happy. I could care less about makeup.

I’m going to make my own group.

For the moms who want to make friends but don’t want to change into something less comfortable.

For the moms without dads.

For the mom who is thankful for the blessing of motherhood.

For the mom, like me… that treasures every exhausted moment that makes life worth living.

I wanna hang out with those moms. Or Grandmas.

Children, Farming, Love, Yarden

Stupidity Payment

ouchie

As the clock ticks down to Baby Q’s arrival, I have a million things left to get planted. I watered for hours yesterday to loosen the soil and today is the big day of mass planting.

However… I made the fatal error of roto-tilling barefoot last week… and destroyed my left baby toe. Everything was going along perfectly… the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I was approaching my last pass of the heirloom tomato garden, when I hit a buried plastic pipe, the tiller yanked forward and I stepped right on the pipe I’d just sharpened with the rotating steel blades.

Ya know when something hurts so badly so immediately that you know you’ve really done some damage? Yeah… that’s what it was like.

I flipped the choke on the tiller and stood in shocked silence for a moment, immediately gripped by a stress-contraction. Even little Quinn knew to remind me to go inside, immediately. It takes a lot to make me cry, and I hobbled/waddled over to the outside water faucet to rinse off the dirt and survey the damage. Icy cold water hit like a second stab from the pipe and the water ran red for too long. I knew I was in trouble and I knew I needed to go inside and have my Little Red take a look.

Therein lies the real problem of hurting the bottom of your foot when you’re 9 months pregnant. You can’t even see it to know how bad it is.

I tracked blood across the patio and in through the kitchen, and started to panic a little when I saw how much there still was. I’m days away from delivery and my first concern, as always; is with my children.

Little Red followed me worriedly to the bathroom and had me lift my foot. Her eyes widened and she told me we needed to go to the emergency room. She’s not a kid that worries unnecessarily, so when she says it’s time to go, it’s solid advice. Being the impatient person I am, I wrapped a trash bag around my poor foot and hobbled out to the car. She insisted on calling people, I insisted she get in and buckle up.

Now the funny thing about being so roundly pregnant, is that people MOVE when you walk in to the emergency room. It was the shortest trip I’ve ever had through the ER and the most pleasant as well. They not only move, they take care to make sure you’re resting comfortably and don’t need anything else they never offer you when you are not with child.

I’m not a fan of needles. I don’t like shots at all. I am anti-vaccination…. but I know I’m due a tetanus shot. My darling daughter is raising an eyebrow at me as I negotiate my way out of one until after the baby. I’ve been with my attorney all afternoon and some of his argumentative nature has clearly worn off. My daughter is shaking her head at me while the tiny daughter in my belly kicks happily.

My doc walks in and smiles at me, joining in the head shaking.

D- Flip flops?

J- No… worse. Barefoot.

D- In the dirt?

J- Oh you haven’t lived if you’ve never walked barefoot through the freshly tilled soil… but yeah… perhaps wait until you’re done tilling.

We went through the options and I could see the loophole he was offering.

D- Well you’re really looking at a serious amount of stitches to put all these layers back together. It’s also going to hurt pretty bad for me to numb it.

I see him eye my belly warily and know a window worth climbing through when I see one.

J- It seems to just lie together nicely when you don’t mess with it, couldn’t it just heal on it’s own with a little love and care?

My daughter is wide eyed and her mouth is hanging open.

D- I think it just might. I could glue most of it to hold it while it heals, and you could keep it bandaged, clean and dry and it may heal even better that way.

J- Ohhh…. clean and dry may pose a problem. Could I wrap a bag around it to finish gardening?

D- Actually yes, that’s a great idea! Just make sure to take a lot of breaks and keep it from getting sweaty. It also appears to be broken… so that may slow you down.

I assure him I’ll do my best, the lovely nurse comes in to clean and bandage it, and we are on our way back home in under two hours. I walked in to the house, mopped up the blood, wrapped a bag around my freshly bandaged foot and headed back out to the garden… while my disgruntled teenager followed me, chastising all the way.

The garden got mulched, the beets got watered and I managed to ruin my new bandage in under an hour while my little nurse clucked her disapproval.

Old habits die hard… but at least I’m forced to keep my shoes on these days. The garden is close to being completely planted and despite my ever-growing baby belly- I’ve learned how to reapply the dressing in the last week…

Today: the potatoes get planted, tomorrow the flowers and hopefully in the next two weeks: a tiny baby girl will join us to make our family complete ♥

Farming, Victory!, Yarden

The Anti-Farmer

Who needs internet dating, all you really need is a giant garden bordered on one side by the road.

Boobs, sundress, tattoos… and they drop like flies neatly along my fence line.

I spent 10 hours in the garden yesterday, with the sunburn to show for it; and it was insanity. The women smile and wave, generally saying something nice about my garden or muttering about my mental stability under their breath.

The men stop.

The older retired set compliment me on being a good woman, and we chat for a while about how women don’t grow their own food anymore and how sad that is. He leaves with more compliments, referring to me as Sugar, Honey, or Sweetheart as he walks away. He always tells me he’ll be back when the tomatoes are ripe… and he always is. I have at least a dozen older neighbors that wave dollar bills over the fence every September.

The married men… and these are the worst. The big bad wolves of the neighborhood. I could tell you every single husband that cheats on his wife within a mile of my house. They leer at me. they make comments about my appearance. They start running daily during garden season. They come late afternoon to catch me rinsing off. I know these things because they tell me. Eww. There’s really nothing worse than being hit on by a guy, only to sit next to his wife at PTA meetings. Some men are just snakes…

The boyfriends… and these are the best. They talk about their girlfriend’s garden and ask me for garden advice or just tell me they think the garden is beautiful. They usually make the effort to stand my fence up a little straighter too. They’re the good guys, the helpers. Aw. There’s about one a week, so don’t get too excited.

The single men. The most challenging. Don’t get me wrong- I’ll be damn happy if my very own Prince Charming walks up to the fence to hand me a shiny 3 carat princess diamond. Yeah, sign me up- but it just isn’t that easy. These men range from absolutely repulsive to hot 23 year old half naked college student home for the summer. It’s either light hearted flirtation with a side of compliments- or outright whistling, followed by a request for my number.

With a nice exception yesterday.

I was roasting in the mid-morning sunshine. Spreading newspaper and straw mulch in between the rows to keep the weeds at bay. I’m determined to pull off this garden and work full time, and enjoy the summer with my daughter. I’m trying to cover as many bases as I can to make this as easy as possible. I heard someone at the fence and looked up.

Bald.

I laugh at myself because it’s the first thing I notice and acknowledge it silently in my head. I start walking over, smiling and melting at the same time.

Cute.

He’s cute, cute. I think I’ve seen him somewhere before. I’m not sure. Damn cute though- granted his shiny head is only helping him with me. What a weakness… good Lord.

C- Hey, this is quite a garden you have here. Is it a city project?

J- Nope, just mine.

C- Well it’s beautiful and I love the round paths, it’s very feminine.

J- I suppose that happens when there’s not a man demanding straight rows? I like it curvy.

C- It looks that way. Here’s my card, I just moved to town and I’d love to help sometime if you want. I’d like to know what makes an anti-farmer start farming.

J- An anti-farmer?

C- Clearly you’re a girlie girl, but with tattoos and 8 times an average vegetable garden?

J- Pretty much.

C- Call me if you want, I want to know more.

He smiled and jogged off and I laughed…

Perhaps I should make a poster and announce it to the masses. I’m not dating… which is precisely when they all come flying at you. I’m too happy not dating, though I’m definitely wound tightly. My life is a douche bag free zone. It’s complication free, stress free and happy. My biggest concern is a slug eating my cucumber plants. I have a new job I’m really excited about.

I have time with my daughter and my garden is going in quicker than ever before this year. I’m moving my own mountains, instead of wasting time getting my feelings hurt. I crave bad habits like everybody- but I’m finally at a point that the cost is too high for me to consider. I know that I can’t have what I really want in my life if I’m wasting time doing what I know doesn’t work.

Tempting… oh so tempting… but no.

I have tomatoes to plant. A fence to rebuild (ugh…) a yard sale to put together, a new job, etc… I don’t have time for a potential douche bag- so as sweet as they all are- and as easy as it is in the garden.

I’m throwing the number away. Sigh.

I know myself too well…. and he’s gonna look better and better while I’m doing that fence.

Blogging, Family, Friends, Happiness, Hope, Love, Truth, Victory!, Yarden

Indomitable

Happiness is free, and thank God too… because unemployment is rather stressful financially.

I’ve had plenty of reason to feel bad. Losing a job I needed to survive, watching people I thought were friends vanish as quickly as the dollars in my wallet and being 86’d for life from a place I’ve worked hard to support.

I’ve been a bitch, but I challenge anyone to tell me they’d react differently if they were walking around in my shoes.

I grew up with The Desiderata on the bathroom wall. At 6 years old I remember reading it every time I brushed my teeth. In high school it really made sense and now? I have my own copy hanging on my own bathroom wall. It’s the foundation of my hippie upbringing, and I find myself swimming in it lately.

I can be wicked hateful, and I arm myself with the details most offensive and use them to my benefit like bullets in my very own verbal arsenal. If I want to kick you where it hurts, you’re going to feel it. I’m one supercilious nightmare when inspired to be.

Which isn’t who I want to be, but who I need to be sometimes.

I take a lot of shit. I swallow a lot of pride. I also return the feeling, tenfold-when you push me too far.

I could ramble on and on with an acid tongue and a thesaurus of hurtful adjectives… but it’s just not who I am or who I want to be.

So they hate me. Oh well. I’m not terribly offended considering the facts on the ground.

So my dear friend is jealous enough to post offensive bullshit on my Facebook wall. Oh well. Jealousy doesn’t inspire me to love anyone, and I’m single. I’m fully entitled to inspire jealousy with absolutely no ramifications and beyond that? I know a man who opens his mouth only to bless me with his kindness and affection. Real words from a real man make jealous insults sting a lot less.

I wish I could say I’m surprised- but I’m not- just like I warned him…

J- You do not want to date me. We’re friends. You’re only going to hate me at some point. Trust me.

Guess who was right…

BUT….

Being hateful only drags me down to their level, something I’ve worked too hard to avoid in the last year.

So I flushed the hateful crap and took my little mangy hounds on a walk. I picked a bouquet of daffodils for the dinner table and hung the sheets on the clothesline. They’re crispy smooth and smell like sunshine and spring time.

I baked some honey wheat bread… and snuggled with my little mangy trio while cracking out on the first season of The Tudors…filling out the millionth job application. I weeded a row in the garden and planted more potatoes. I have about 15 pounds of seed potatoes left to plant… Good lord.

Hi, my name is Jenni and I’m a vegetable hoarder. I come from a beautiful line of hoarding gardeners- and hey… I absolutely loathe store-bought marinara. I may be a size 5 by the end of summer because the garden is out of control weedy…

Bonus! Free daily workout and veggies too? See how it starts? Too much of a good thing is still TOO MUCH.

I’m a little haunted by the silence and boredom in my daily life these days. I had the best interview I’ve ever had in my life yesterday, dinner and a drink with a dear friend last night and another favorite chick sighting this morning.

I know I’m being redundant… but for all the shitty men in my life? I am surrounded by phenomenal women.

My dear friend Miss Wisdom saved me yesterday with truth. Not bullshit flowery nonsense, but real “Get a grip and take your own advice” sort of words. Love her. Love them all…

It takes a real friend to see you making bad choices or flailing. We touched on the sorest of subjects…

W- Why would you go there, when you know he’s there and you know it stings and you know he’s bad for you.

J- I have a crush.

W- You HAD a crush… why would you like anyone who would treat you so poorly?

That applies to so many people in my life right now, it took my breath away. Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment? Either way- it’s a thing of the past, and I’m cutting the bullshit out of my life at record speed.

Life is too short, and it’s too beautiful outside. My garden is all the challenge I need at this point, and my favorite flowers sprouted this morning.

Baby Bells of Ireland, smiling up at me and reminding me that everything is as it should be.

Life goes on- and happier when you cut the nonsense out of your life. More than that, it’s even better when you learn to love yourself first and let the assholes fall where they may in the hurricane of figuring out how to demand respect from people.

Or how to tell them to go fuck themselves.

Either way? I haven’t been so happy in months and I made a few hundred bucks today getting shit out of my garage.

Purging at a profit… now that’s the kind of chaos I can get behind.

Yeah I’m pissed off, offended and insulted- but I’m also single, smart & funny as hell. I’m doing what I need to do and remembering who I really am, now that I’m away from the cancerous source of suffering.

Welcome to the chaos of my fancy schmancy new life. It’s scary uncertain and full of potential disaster, but when I sink to the point I use my words to hurt someone instead of to free myself- I become an asshole like the rest of them.

No hate. No haterade… and most importantly?

No haters.

That right there is quite the victory, if I do say so myself.