Obviously, this blog has been silent for a little while…I’ve been enjoying being a mama to my wild-thing son, made a BIG move with wild-thing and hubs (and the pets!) back to Maine for an awesome job working for the Farmers’ Almanac, and to be closer to family…and in the last handful of months have FINALLY felt like I’m finding my groove – in parenthood, but also in life!
And I wanted to make a big announcement here, for all my Green(ish) Life followers – please follow me with my newest creative venture: My podcast – Who’s Your Mama – just released it’s third episode on iTunes (with many more episodes waiting in the wings, to be released on a biweekly schedule, on Mondays)!
Who’s Your Mama is an interview format show where I “gather pearls of wisdom from ladies who are conquering the challenge of maintaining a creative identity while raising a family.” Besides being a labor of love, the podcast is 100% inspired by how I have been struggling since my son was born with maintaining my creative/autonomous identity and through connecting with others, have realized that I’m NOT the only mama feeling this, that I’m actually NOT a selfish asshole. So, I’m hoping that these pearls of wisdom will be a light in the dark for other mamas feeling the same way – you ARE still an awesome individual – rock on, mamas!
I also wanted to announce here as a “call for entries” of sorts – if you know (or, if you ARE) a mama who is making time for what makes her soul sing, I would be honored to have you on the show: yourmamapodcast [at] gmail [dot] com
At the suggestion of Miss Angela, I’ve started reading Gretchen Rubin‘s The Happiness Project. This wonderful suggestion was the result of me sharing a recent incident where someone I’ve known a very long time essentially unloaded about 15 years worth of built-up issues onto me in grand mud-slinging style (aka Ad hominem). To say it was upsetting would be an understatement. To say it was extremely hurtful and completely unexpected would sum it up better. And per usual, being placed in this situation, I was so astonished that I became unable to properly defend myself or counterattack – mostly because I’m horrible with confrontation. If I feel legitimately offended by someone’s treatment of me, my preferred style is to roll things around in my head a while (aka, over-analyze) before I address it. If I feel that the relationship is worth salvaging, I then send a well-thought-out email to plainly express my thoughts on the situation in hopes of starting a non-confrontational conversation about what happened. Unfortunately, the blunt style of this email doesn’t go over well with types who can’t handle being put in their place. The last thing they want to acknowledge is that 1. They may have been wrong in the way they acted and 2. They may have to actually face the reality of another person’s feelings.
That last part, acknowledgingthe reality of another person’s feelings, was a small snippet in the parenting section of Rubin’s book. That, along with her mentioning the old adage that “everyone’s life is much more complicated than you know” really hit home for me. And not in a way that justified MY position in the current situation, but instead forced me to examine it from the other side.
After a stressful weekend away, I felt I needed a little “forest bathing” down the seasonal road near the Five Birch Perch. It didn’t take long before I realized I had a tail….with a tail! Grim-cat decided to join me on my journey, turning what would normally have been a quiet meditative walk into a playful photo session! See how many photos you can spot the “wild panther” in:
While I’ve been taking random photos throughout the summer (and I’ll get them up eventually), I haven’t been very good at sharing much of the newly created flower beds and newly expanded garden. I can’t express how thankful I am to the various friends who’ve given me perennials from their gardens/stores – my little flower beds look like they’ve been there forever, not like they were just built this year! And Butchy has put in SO MUCH WORK in expanding Fort Knox (including having to build raised beds in parts that were too rocky) and adding in all sorts of new veggies. We now have root veggies, rainbow swiss chard, flashy trout-back lettuce and have even started an asparagus patch! We still seem to be having issues with coaxing forth any green peppers, and unfortunately by the time we realized our brussel sprouts were not flourishing there were no plants left to buy….But the beauty of the North Country is that you always have a friend, a community garden, a co-op or a farm stand that you can buy veggies from cheap and fresh!
We also started a few different berry patches and a variety of fruit trees – I’ll post photos of those soon. And as usual, there was no shortage of butterflies, bees and birds nesting in our birdhouses….or building nests wherever they felt! Even Smash-cat, perpetual homebody, decided that she was now a wild-thing and wants to be outside all the time, stalking the wild potato beetle.
2011 saw torrential rains that stalled the creation of the original part of the garden, and this year we were sidetracked by a neighbors broken tiller…but at least we seem to be right on the same production schedule we were last year. Maybe next year we can get an earlier start, but I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, all by ourselves! We’re in talks with a neighbor on buying a quarter-share of a cow and on the horizon for next year at the Five Birch Perch? CHICKENS!
I’ve entered TILT in an online contest to win a $5,000 grant to help create a nature trail in our Otter Creek Preserve in Alexandria Bay, NY. The contest is sponsored by GOOD magazine and the voting period runs until August 3rd. So please vote here and then forward to anyone you think might be interested supporting land conservation and family nature outings!