To Done

I strongly believe that a person’s worth is not determined by his or her productivity, accomplishments, etc. I am definitely OK with sitting still, rereading a book I love, watching the trees sway in the breeze. That said, accomplishing things is nice.

One of my ongoing frustrations with being a stay-at-home mom is feeling that I don’t get much¬†done. And even when I do, it’s either literally or figuratively consumable. At the end of the day/week/month/year, I feel have little to show for my efforts.

I do have my healthy, happy family. I know I help them. And that’s of incredible worth. For my combination of personality and culture, it’s hard that their continued existence is often the only evidence I have that I’ve lifted a finger.

I want that to be enough, and I’m working on it.

In the interim, on overwhelmed days, I’ve taken to making “To Done” lists.

I list what I’ve done so far that day, and then when I do more, I add those things to the list. The list knows I tidied, even if it’s messy again instantly. The list knows I fed children, even though they’re hungry again (and again). It’s nice. ūüôā

Summer Week in Review

Hot out. Lower 90s and humid.

Some evening thunderstorms. ‚̧

Enjoying our beach tent and kiddie pool, both in the back yard. Today, I literally tossed the tent off the deck folded up, it popped open mid-air, and was thus pretty much set up for me so the girls and I could hang out by the pool.

Baby C just had a well visit, which confirmed what we thought: she’s doing great.

Week 2 of our CSA included spinach, kale, scallions, Swiss chard, and lettuce. I processed it all the evening we got it, even though we had a late dinner and I didn’t get out of the kitchen till 11ish. It felt good.

I cooked my most successful Glorious One Pot meal yesterday. It was mostly free-styled. Just need to do a better job adding seasoning.

F and I¬†worked together to wrap a present for her best friend’s birthday party tomorrow. F wrote the card and insisted on putting it inside the box before we wrapped it. ūüôā

CSA Report

Well, we had our very first CSA pick-up yesterday!

J and I had physicals that afternoon, and there wasn’t much of the work day left after, so all four of us went to the farm.

We signed in and bagged our vegetables in a reusable bag. A bunch of this, a half-pound of that. We traded our collards for kale. We grabbed a pint container, trooped out to the field, and picked the strawberries that were part of our share. F was very interested in picking dandelions.

We came home needing to make dinner for 5 adults and 2 preschoolers. Though we had a fair number of veggies, we didn’t have enough of one (or it turns out, two) things that would feed so many. So I made flash-cooked kale with garlic scapes and some simply sauteed spinach. And a ton of rice and chicken thighs.

J kindly wrangled the dear, if slightly possessive, under-4 sweeties while I cooked in peace.

Then we threw together scratch brownies (slightly underdone, as usual) and served them after dinner with the field-fresh strawberries. Heaven!

Looking forward to bok choi and tatsoi this evening!

Spaghetti Sauce

…with basil fresh from the deck

…enough for us to eat for dinner

…enough to freeze some for a future meal

…with a couple summer squashes that have been kicking around the fridge for a week

I planned this (and our other meals this week) on Saturday morning, as usual. That routine is about to change because:

Our first CSA pick-up is this afternoon! Greens, greens, and greens. And strawberries. Looking forward to a harvest-centered meal plan strategy!

Basil!

My supermarket basil seems to be recovering and flourishing! I got an Italian basil and a Thai basil (because I’m obsessed with homemade pho).

Almost as soon as I brought it home a month or so ago, it flopped over and looked dreadful. I planted it in a container immediately, and it was so pathetic that I took a bunch of cuttings in hopes that at some point I’d have something to show for having purchased two basil plants.

basil cuttings

Then a bunch of leaves on the original spindly plants started turning kind of white. Powdery mildew, maybe? I plucked the icky leaves off, figuring that I’d end up just plucking all of the leaves off.

But the disease seems to have gone away, or is at least gone for now. And the plants are growing!

basil growing

Thinking about taking more cuttings and growing basil all over the place, because free plants and because yum.

Strawberries

We drove out to a farm and picked strawberries!

It was a gorgeous day and there were plenty of ripe berries for the picking. Even though it was hot and sunny, the breeze and fluffy clouds helped keep us very comfortable. Plus I had packed an unreasonable amount of water.

Highly recommended outing for a 3.5 year old!

Seattle and the Swamp

Baby C and I were in Seattle, WA from Thursday through Monday night. I’d never been there before. Wow, gorgeous and lovely. I took hardly any pictures because I was just enjoying the experience so much.

We were there because one of my college friends got married. It was a lovely wedding to a great guy – yay!

Coming home from mild, sea-breezy Seattle to my muggy swamp of a home state (woo¬†Maryland) was still wonderful, though. It’s home, and my people are here.

Time in the Garden

I got some time in the garden today! A friend took F from afternoon through evening, J came home a little early, bagged up some heavy brush, and then took Baby C. And then hauled our last homemade lasagna out of the freezer and baked it up because I tossed my big plans for making dinner tonight unceremoniously out the window!

I planted our blueberries, which involved digging, amending the soil, planting, watering, mulching, and watering again. Then I “planted” our two new trellises and sowed¬†runner beans at their bases. Then I realized that I had just cleverly used shredded oak leaf mulch right next to our neighbor’s yard, and in this neighborhood we spend most of November, December, and March (and April?) raking up oak leaves. So I plopped down an old bit of 18″ wire fencing that we found behind the shed to (hopefully) keep any stray leaves off their lawn.

And then I planted our $1.68 bag of 15 bright red gladiolis right in front of the house, and pulled some weeds, and uprooted some annoying ornamental grass.

And then I put things away! I didn’t get dinner till 8:30, but the garden is going. Phew.

Parsley!

Back in the middle of March, my seeds arrived in the mail and we had a couple of super nice, warm spring days. So I went ahead and planted parsley, chives, and comfrey in pots on the deck.

I chose these because they all said to plant before the last frost, or “just” before the last frost, however one figures out exactly when that is. Well, we had quite a few frosts after that, and I assumed nothing would grow.

We have a few feeble chives sprouts. They’re a couple inches tall, wispy, and aren’t seeming to get taller. We have a couple of little baby seedlings in the comfrey pot. They’re so young, with just the two initial leaves out, that I don’t know how to tell if they’re comfrey or volunteers.

But the parsley!

parsley seedlings

We have probably about a dozen little seedlings going. I transplanted a few into recycled starter pots.

parsley transplants

And it’s an overreaction, and a reflection that I’m such a newbie at gardening stuff, but it makes me feel very rich that I got all these baby parsley plants for “free” by just spending a few dollars on a seed packet.

Tulips!

red and yellow tulips

This is not my yard!

We took a trip to a public garden a county or two over from ours. We met a couple of friends there with their kids, and F and the others got lots of exercise! Also, it was beautiful. Also, picnic lunches are extra delicious after a lot of walking.

We have a few surprise tulips in our yard too. I’m honestly surprised at all the bulbs in our neighborhood, given the¬†incredible squirrel population.