Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Potatoes Are In

Do you see that picture? I edited it in iPhotos! Haha! Call Ripley's!
Yeah, I know. It's a boring picture but I waited too late to take it and I was trying to get the sunset but blah, blah, blah.

I wanted to get the sunset because I wanted to remember what Owen did yesterday which was to point to the fireplace in his house and say, "Ire," meaning, of course, fire, and then he led me to a book his mother had been reading with a picture on the back of a lurid sunset and he pointed to that and said, "Ire," and I told him that yes, it looked like a fire but was really the sunset and oh my- isn't it interesting how he made the connection and I sure would love to show him a real sunset on the water at Dog Island where the sun does set the sky on fire and the water, too and the cicadas come out and begin their chorus of deafening praise and I-Am-Hereness.
Maybe soon. I hope so.

Anyway, it took me something like FOUR HOURS to plant the potatoes which are in that garden with the sprinkler on them that you see above. Why did it take so long? Because:
(a) I am old.
(b) I am stiff and sore.
(c) Everything takes longer than you think, and
(d) I did a really good job.

Although Mr. Moon will point out that my lines aren't straight and I shall try not to stab him with a pitchfork.

I weeded my ground that wasn't weeded. I dug my trenches. I got some of the last of the composted chicken shit which Mr. Moon and I collected three and a half years ago and wrote about here when I was a novice, newly born blogger and put a layer of that in the trenches. I placed my potatoes eye-side up in the trenches. I covered them with hay and then dirt and THEN stomped them down and mulched around them with leaves that Mr. Moon has collected from neighborhoods in Tallahassee where very nice people raked them up and left them on the side of the road in plastic bags.

This is a lot of work. Those potatoes better fucking do well because I DID MY BEST! We better get hundreds of pounds of red potatoes out of that planting and I MEAN IT!

So now the sun has set, the chickens are all in their nests where I replaced their old poopy hay with fresh today and I've had a shower. Mr. Moon is in Tallahassee at a basketball game and I guess I'll eat some leftover spaghetti or something. I'm so damn tired I can barely move. But isn't that the way I like it? Don't I only feel worth my salt if I go to bed completely exhausted?
Well, sort of.
There are other things that make me feel like I've earned my keep but wearing myself out seems to work best.
I wonder why that is.
I wonder why it is that I almost feel as if I need to give a check-list to my husband every night of all the things I accomplished.

Did all the laundry (bonus points for hanging it on the line!), scrubbed the toilets, washed the rugs, watered the plants, weeded the onions, swept and mopped, made bread and soup, washed the dishes three times, took care of the boy, changed two poopy diapers, taught him to play chess, did one thousand stomach-crunches and vacuumed the garage.

Or something like that.

And I wasn't raised Jewish OR Catholic! Just good old Protestant Puritan.


I am who I am and like Popeye, that's all that I am and yet, it is not. I am this woman who types these words, whose face and neck are becoming ever more wrinkled, whose joints and muscles hurt, whose eyebrows are turning white, who stands on stage in leopard-print tights and cries and laughs and tries to deliver her lines, who shows her grandson the violets in the grass, who can't wait to show him how to kick the bamboo, who carries him easily with one arm on her hip, who gathers the eggs, who plants the potatoes, who feeds the dogs and the chickens, and who still, at the age of fifty-six has dreams to dream.

I am constantly amazed. And sometimes even amused.

Ah-lah. I am tired.

It's been a good day and tomorrow should be too. Owen is coming in the afternoon and Jessie is coming out as well. My peas are sprouting, the figs are leafing, the azaleas are showing, there are cabbages in the garden to cut and cook.

And by own twisted logic, I have earned my keep, my salt.

Enough. And plenty more.

Sweet dreams...Ms. Moon


  1. You earn your salt in THIS space everyday, sweet pea. I mean that.

  2. You did good. So good. I wish you didnt' feel this way, though. But then, maybe if I worked harder I'd feel better?

    Oh yes, I was thinking, you could maybe use a big hot bubbly bath?

  3. Angela C- That touched my heart. Truly.

    Jo- I am afraid I'd fall asleep and drown in the tub. I think I could really use a massage.

  4. I loved your a-d.
    And your Mr Moon comment.
    I know just what you mean about gardening tasks taking forever and being so exhausting and yet you feel so fulfilled after. You planted the potatoes!
    You are a goddess and you will be rewarded when you dig your lovely strong hands into that ground, with Owen I hope, and pull out heaps and heaps of glorious potatoes.

  5. I do the same thing--feel the need to earn my keep and make sure others know how much work I accomplished. It's hard to remember that we are enough, just as we are.

    Also, the fire-sunset connection = awesome.

  6. I laughed aloud when I read the comment about Mr. Moon. I had that flash in my mind of you charging across the yard in your overalls and red hair with a pitchfork.

    A asked what I was laughing at and after I told her she sat back, smiled and said that would be something I would do. I will admit I would consider it if in the right mood. :)

  7. I think I need to accomplish more! I am in awe. I'm going to hang out here more and see if some of your stamina will rub off on me. And I kind of want to shrink myself and be a child and have you for a grandma... or an aunty, you sound like way too much fun with so much to offer in life lessons!

  8. The potatoes are in! Great job, Mary!! It sounds like you did them up right. I just poked a few pieces of potato -- red, purple and yukon gold -- into the ground before I left CA and gave them my best wishes. We'll see if I get Any.

    The O-boy is a smarty pants, because the sun is fire after all, non? So great that he took the time to show it to you! x0 N2

  9. Protestant puritan is plenty mindfuck, even compared to Catholicism.

  10. come on over my darling potato planting friend and we can slide into the hot tub on the edge of the boulders and let the sun rise above the ancient pines dressed in laughter....

  11. You are something else. I still have to get the potatoes in here. But this week it will happen.

  12. Yep, I read that entry 3.5 years ago...i remember.

  13. Four hours?! Man, that's a job.

    I love you. Kiss Owen and Jessie for me.


  14. I wish y'all were coming into town for lunch today.

  15. Good for you! A good day, a job well done, and hopefully a bumber crop of red potatoes to come.
    I'm not sure it's a religion thing, the guilt motivation, need to report in and earn our keep, the constant checklist of things to do in our heads. I got my mind blown twenty years ago when I took the ennegram personality quiz, and it identified me as a type one, judgemental perfectionist, always trying to please the hypercritical parent, in this case my mom. I think my need to please, to nurture, to be nice, and my short fuse when criticized were all born in my childhood, when I felt forever inadequate. I'd give anything to dump that baggage now, but alas, I still judge myself the harshest, and I bet you do too.
    Your photos made me so happy. I didn't know you could eat the violets, I am in love with your yard and your beautiful redbuds and magnolias. I love that Owen says ire for fire and is so smart. You are lucky and you are so much more than you give yourself credit for. My word verification is tryister, you try plenty hard. xo

  16. Bethany- I hope we get at least enough to enjoy and not so many that they rot. Well, I suppose I could give a bunch away.

    Lora- I know- just as we are- like the hymn. Shouldn't that be enough?
    I thought the fire-sunset connection was pretty awesome. He was obviously thinking about it to show me.

    Mel's Way- I warned him beforehand NOT to say a word about those lines being straight or not. And he laughed. And he didn't say anything.

    Momsicle- Okay. I'll be your aunt grandma.

    N2- Your potatoes will probably do better than mine.
    And yeah, I was impressed with the boy's thought process.

    Mwa- It must have been in my family.

    rebecca- Oh. Heaven. I so wish. Just what I need.

    Syd- I hope it doesn't take you as much time as it took me.

    SJ- Damn. You get an award.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- I will kiss them for you!

    DTG- Maybe next week. After the play and I resume life as I know it. I miss you. I love you.

    Mel- As Yoko Ono said in one of her songs, "It's the faint, faint sound of the childhood bell, ringing in my soul."
    Wise woman.
    Yep. Childhood lessons learned are hard (if not impossible) to unlearn. I wish we could dump the baggage. We get so weary toting it.

  17. Dearest Ms Moon, I'm deeply impressed with your potatoes. I grew some once and they were a big success but I've never managed anything since.

    You're wonderful xx


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