Thursday, April 1, 2010


Okay, so, yesterday, I actually attained most of my set goals!!!

First thing: Market.
I have been wanting to go to the farmers' market on Wednesday because I had heard that it is all organic on Wacky Wednesday. So, I made it my goal to get down there and see what they had. Visions of spring veggies of all colors danced in my head. I don't know what's in season in VA and I was excited to find out.

But when I got down there, there was only one lonely dude out there with a few greens, onions and well, actually that's all I recognized because I didn't get too close. I figured I was too early in the season to get much. So, I sat in Brutus and lurked (I didn't take the Camry because of what all the rain has done to the road). I noticed people walking into the building right next to the market area. Huh. Maybe there was MORE inSIDE the building?

I grabbed my cloth shopping bag and headed for the door. As I passed, I noticed the lone farmer was cutting up seed taters and I wondered how much he'd charge me. I wasn't sure if they were organic or not, but they seemed pretty local.

I went inside and was knocked in the face by the smell of freshly baked bread. And there it was in front of me. My Dream Bakery. The one *I* wanted to start in Rustburg (the dream is not dead, yet, y'all... gimme a good five or so years and we'll see what I can come up with).

Anyway, I realized that the inside of the building was like a big flea market. There were booths of local artisans of all kinds in there. Okay, it wasn't seasonal veggies, but I was tickled pink to have found a local artisan Mecca. I wasn't going to buy anything. I don't need any clay pots or wooden bowls (dude those bowls were AWESOME, but SOOO expensive... I understand why... just sayin'... $$$) or handmade jewelry (that's NOT how I roll). But then, at the end of the aisle, I met a vigneron!!! LOCAL!!! I mean, like, in my BACK YARD local. *happy jig* Okay, she's local and I assume (but will ask) organic, but is her wine any good? I don't know because she wasn't yet set up for a tasting, but I talked to her and she seemed like she really knew her stuff. She talked about how a lot of her wines had to be on the sweet side to cater to the local clientele (cuz most country American folk are used to the sweeter, fruitier wines than the French palate); that she did have drier wines but never bothered to haul them out from the vineyard because the Community Market wasn't the place for them; that she and her French/Canadian husband had developed a "training" wine out of a basic red with a shot of blackberry... GENIUS! So, anywhoo, she said that tastings at her vineyard are free (though the ones at the Market, she had to charge for), so I'm planning on taking my fat fanny out there (maybe while my spring break visitors are here) and finding out what she has. I was SO excited to find that!

I did go into a little natural food store nook and found the mother load of stuff I've been searching for: beeswax lip balm, tea tree oil, organic chili powder (the best way to deal with leftover beans), organic kid's toothpaste, aloe shampoo (they also had grapefruit/geranium shampoo on sale so I snagged a bottle). They even had this awesome locally made goat's milk bar soap that smelled HEAVENLY (so, I grabbed a couple) and tubs of goat's milk body butter on sale (normally $15, but now $5... how'm'I s'posed to say no to that?). I was in Heaven. Seriously.

A few booths down, I found AFFORDABLE local honey!!!

After that, I quit. I wanted to move on to Goal Number Two and wanted to make sure I had time. I had other Goals for the day and a sort of schedule, so I needed to get moving.

On the way back out to the Brute, I stopped by and spoke with the farmer cutting the seed. I just wanted to ask how much he'd charge me for the taters. He was a trim, older, attractive, black gentleman with greased wavy hair and creamy skin. I'm sure I've met him in a past life, he seemed so familiar. There was something even sorta sensual in the way the man was cuttin' the taters, yo. And he felt it, too. When I walked up, a young (my age?) woman (his daughter?) greeted me. He turned, did a double take and leaned back like he recognized me. He let out a "Heeeeeeeey! How you doin'?" Like he had been WAITING to hear news from me. Funny how that happens some times. Meeting people we feel like we already know. Anyhoo, I asked him how much he'd charge me for some seed taters.

"If you'll grab one o' them bags right there, I'll fill ya one up."

His helper grabbed a bag and he filled it half way up with cut potatoes.

Then, the farmer started explaining what to do with them. He kept saying how I SHOULD do it but would amend with, "but you don't HAVE to do it that way... it'll work whatever way you do it." Like, he said, "You need to get you a mallet," when he found out that I didn't have a tiller. "But, you don't HAVE to do it with a mallet." Or, "You'll need to put 'em about 3 or 4 inches down in the ground. Not more. But you know, it'll still work if you put 'em deeper." He was crackin' me up. He said to dig a trench, put the taters in there, fertilize to the side of them, cover 'em back up and water 'em. "Now, you'll want to wait until Good Friday," he says. "But you don't have to. If you wanna put 'em into the ground TODAY, it'll work. But I'm gonna put mine in on Good Friday. After Good Friday, you can put nearly anything in the ground."

I loved it. I wanted to stay there all day and listen. But Goal Number Two was itching at me.

"How much can I pay you for these?" I said, pointing to the sack.

"Nothing at all. I won't take a penny for 'em. You just come on back and tell me how they did." He laughed and it was like a guitar strumming. "And even if you don't come back and tell me how they did, I'm gonna know. I'm gonna know they did just fine because you're gonna do it right. Even if you don't do it like I told you, you're hands and mind are gonna know how. You're gonna do it right now matter how you do it." *sigh* Why can't I meet more people like this? I hope I do. Listening to him was like therapy.

As I walked to the Jeep, he reminded me to get a mallet. And an almanac, too. "Now, you don't HAVE to get those, but you can. You should."

I love it.

Goal Number Two: YMCA
The previous night, I had been playing on the internet and looked up the results of the one mini-triathlon I did back when I was three months pregnant with Lolo. It was in Galveston and it was about this time of year. I found the results and was pleasantly surprised by them. If I could do numbers like those, while PREGNANT and in a MONSOON and not very well trained, then I should be able to work back to those numbers again. Now. Okay, not NOW, but soon.

That and my general jiggliness told me that well, it's just time to get back to the Y. I looked it up and the monthly price to join the Y here, even for a family, is even cheaper than it was in Houston or Charlotte. I saw NO EXCUSE. So, after I left my farmer friend, I went in search of the Y. LO and BEHOLD, it was right around the corner from the Market and I had a half an hour. That should be plenty of time to do a quick tour and sign up.

The tour was awesome. A very tall and commanding Marty showed me around the old (but still very strong) three-story facility. I was pleasantly surprised to see a downtown building be the home of such an important place! I got to chat with the lady who does the Masters swim class (which, by the way, is INCLUDED in the membership price). That, and a peek at the spin room was all I needed. I went downstairs to fill out my application. But all of that made me late for Goal Number Three.

Goal Number Three: Have lunch with Mrs. F.
Remember Mr. F? My neighbor who fixed my road well enough for us to get up it in Feb when we first got here? Well, his wife and I went out for lunch at the ma and pa Italian resto here in town a coupla weeks ago. I worried that because she was from this area and of a certain, ahem, age, that she was going to be old-fashioned, etc. Now, lemme just say that there's nothing WRONG with that. But, I'm a different person around the old-fashioned than I am around the "progressive." During our first lunch, she mentioned that something "sucked." I loved her instantly. I love when people surprise me.

When I met up with her yesterday for Chinese food (another ma and pa place in town that I did NOT know has a BUFFET... NOT good for my diet, yo)--LATE, of course--she surprised me again! She was HILARIOUS. I laughed so hard and stories she told me I thought I'd pee my pants. I can't wait to hang out with her again. She's so rockin' cool. AND, as soon as everybody has their peas in the ground (my new idiomatic expression for, "when the smoke clears"), I'm gonna take Ryan over there to her place to see all of their cool animals.

Goal Number Four: Second coat of paint.
I got home from lunch and had a good hour or so before I had to pick up Ryan. So, I put the second coat of paint on Ryan's desk. I decided that I'd put a third coat on the desk top and the drawer front, before letting Ryan actually use it. But that would have to wait because it was time to go get Ryan.

Goal Number Five: Putting up the trellis.
When Ryan and I got home, I came in, checked my email, etc. and then went outside and started working. The first thing we did was tear up the little kennel-sized garden in the front yard. I wanted to recycle all the stuff out there--the posts, the wire fencing.

In the midst of doing that, I noticed a fat gray lizard on a rock. I pet him a little and he let me. Ryan LOVED it. But then the lizard, without warning, just took off! Ryan followed him and wanted to pet him. But I needed to get back to work. So, Ryan just hovered for a good half hour while the lizard just lay there, trying to pretend he was part of a pile of leaves. Finally, I figured the only way to placate them both was to catch the lizard, let Ryan pet him and then let the lizard go. And that's what I did. I put the lizard on a log and told Ryan to leave him alone. I know it was hard for him, but... *shrug*

Then, I cultivated the top row of the garden and then dug, using the spade, DEEP holes for the posts to go down into.

Tearing up the OLD garden and putting the posts into the ground took two hours! I had taken the old wire fencing and rolled it up, ready to erect it into the garden, but dude, the sun was down on the other side of the hill already.

While we were out in the garden, Ryan said, "Hey, Mom? Can we have peas and carrots and corn for dinner?" I stopped digging and looked at him. "Only that?"

He said, "Yep. Only that."

I was aobut to say no because it didn't seem like a good dinner, but then I thought about it and realized that there wasn't ANYTHING wrong with eating just veggies for dinner one night. We've had ONLY PASTA before. So, when we went in, I steamed up a mess of veggies, slapped a little butter and garlic salt in there and put 'em in on his plate. I sprinkled a little parm and voila! Ryan ate seconds. *shrug*

As he was finishing up his dinner, Ryan said, "Mom, there's a little spider on my hand!"

I said, "Good. Don't hurt him."

"But he's tickling me. I want him off."

"Then fling him off."

"I can't. He won't get off."

I went to look at it, exasperated, and realized that the "spider" was a TICK. I flushed it and warned Ryan that if he ever found any of those, he was to tell me about it right away. Then, I gave Ryan the naked once-over (including picking through his hair) to make sure there were not others. But this only makes me stressed. Not because I'm SO worried about ticks NOW, but because I'm worried about ticks LATER. I HAVE to get the yard raked and cleaned before the girls get here. LOTS of pressure. LOTS of things to do. Garden. Fencing. Raking. Getting the dang house cleaned! Helping Ryan with his homework and school progress!!! All this while battling the belly button and being at the whims of the weather.

So, this morning, after dropping Ryan off, I came straight home, put the last coat on the desk. I went into the house, took the towel rack off the wall, put the wicker furniture into the bathroom (which I'm going to have to anchor some how). I sat and ordered all the extra seeds I needed to get (herbs and junk). But come 10:15, I was back out in the Garden. I put the wire fencing onto the posts!!! WOO HOOOOO!

But after that, I was tuckered. So, I went in and saved the rest for today.

Soooo, today, after dropping Ryan off at school, I put that last coat of paint on the desk. Then, I took down the towel racks that were behind the toilet and brought the newly painted wicker bathroom furniture and put it in the bathroom. I then ordered a mess of seeds I hadn't found locally.

Then, I went out and put up the trellis. Pain. in. my. ass. Took an hour to do it. But at least it's up and ready.

Today was CRAZY hot and the bumbles, bees and wasps were out in droves. So, I stayed in the house, blogged a little, *snicker* and caught up on some TV. Then, after I got Ryan, we went back out to the garden and I worked on another row (incorporating the soil). And now I'm completely knackered again. So, I'm going to attach these pictures and then go to bed. So, there. G'night!

Tore down the dog-kennel, garden enclosure:

Row before pea trellis:

Cultivated it a little:

Then... I dug:


And RAMMED the post in with my body weight (thank goodness for the boots!):


Posts in the ground:


Rolled up leftover fencing from the "dog kennel":




Ryan's new "office" featuring his newly-painted desk:

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