The Masochistic Gardener

So what do you do when you move to the desert?  Why, put in a garden, of course!

Put in a garden? you say.  Didn't you do that last year?  Why, yes.  Yes, I did.

It was what I shall call a 'successful experiment.'  That is to say, I put in a ton of work to grow about 20 bushels of basil (win!), a mega mint and a pumpkin vine that tried to take over the world.  After babying the garden through a summer of record breaking heat, I threw up my hands and walked away when the rabbits ate my one and only pumpkin just weeks before Halloween.

This was a tragic miscalculation.

I learned a lot in my first summer of vegetable gardening.  Square Foot Gardening?  Awesome!  Shoddy site prep for said garden? Not so awesome.  Forgetting to turn off the automatic sprinkler timer?  Not awesome. At. All.  By the end of our freakishly warm winter, the weeds had taken over my garden.  Again.

I needed a whip and a chair to get inside the fence when it was time to get started for the spring.  The basil had petrified into a woody bush.  The mint was so massive that it had invaded fully half of my garden.  Rabbits had moved in under it, built condos and bred like, well, rabbits.  And the weeds?  Oh, my.  Desert dwelling weeds are hearty buggers.  Grass and stickers had grown up not just around my raised beds, but through them.  There was a tragic miscommunication regarding weed removal and my M-i-L accidentally ruined all of the soil that remained from last year.


Basically, I was back to square one.  So I decided to do it right this time.

(To be continued!)


Life Lessons Suck

Tomorrow is awards day at Z's school.  Awards include Perfect Attendance, Honor Roll, Perfect Homework, the Principal's Conduct Award and the like.  We are a talented and gifted magnet school, so all of the first grade parents are invited to will attend and photograph and/or video the recognition their preshus snowflake's many accomplishments.

Z won't be getting an award.

I'm okay with this.  Mostly.  I don't want to give her the expectation that she will be awarded just for showing up.  I want her to know that effort is required to get the gold star.  But, seriously?  Do we really have to learn this lesson in first grade?

It has been a rough year for Z.  Me, too, really.  She caught every virus early and often.  No perfect attendance.  Homework has gone from being a no-brainer to a daily battle.  No perfect homework. She is showing all the signs of being dyslexic, and the hoops that must be jumped through to get tested for the dyslexia program are EPIC.  No honor roll.  She inherited her mother's gift of the gab.  No conduct award.

T suggested that we institute First Grade Skip Day.  I don't really think that is the answer either, but, geez!  My heart aches for my sweet baby.  Not that I'm entirely sure she will be bothered by her lack of brightly-colored-copy-paper-certificate validation.  It has never occurred to Z that she is anything less than AWESOME.

But what if it does bother her?  I guess it is just a lesson that everyone needs to learn.  Why do life lessons have to suck so much?