Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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I’m still here. Are you?

I’m still here. Are you?
September 10, 2008 Mary Jo

Muskmelons, fattening up and longing for just a bit more heat in the forecast.   Edit: Most definitely NOT muskmelons.  Perhaps a renegade strain of cucumber?

Hello. Anyone out there yet? It seems I’ve fallen into a big, black, not-going-to-blog-for-ages hole and am just now peeking my head out to see if anyone is still there. Anyone? Sorry for my absence if checking in here has provided some sort of bright light in your day. To say things have been crazy here is so cliche; crazy is our lifestyle, despite our best efforts on the contrary. For reasons I can not yet mention, I’ve been in way-less-than-top-blogging form. Also, there was the hosting of a grand picnic here at the homestead, an event which had prompted over a month of preparation – cleaning, organizing, decorating, cleaning, organizing, decorating. In true form, I was spotted making curtains at T-6 hours pre-party. They were the first in what was to be two different sets. In a frenzy of great creative inspiration and optimism that ALWAYS precedes a big decorating deadline, I was also seen pulling Andrew aside to get his blessing on the other curtains I was planning to make. Bless him, for his attentiveness as I blathered on, pulling out swatches of fabric, discussing embroidery techniques, musing on the best choice of thread. Bless him for not calling me out on the craziness that is characteristic of me in pre-party situations like this. Bless him for agreeing to the proposal, in a similar spirit of optimism that allowed for the possibility of this project actually getting completed as planned. Because is there really a better time, ever, to make curtains? Doesn’t everyone wait for the looming promise of lots of guests arriving to hang up some pictures and whip out some sewn curtains? What? Why not? Because it would make you CRAZY!? These curtains, incidentally, did not get completed…or started…until after the party. They are currently in progress, though, so stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion to that story.

So, I’m clearly crazy, but we do have a few more things on the walls, a few more curtained windows to stifle the mounting legion of peeping toms lurking about (whitetail deer, a groundhog, and maybe some cranes), and for this fleeting moment, our house is pretty clean. Unless you open the closets, but really – don’t you have any manners? Stay out of there.

In other news, the garden continues to overcome the immense disadvantages we laid upon it, providing a wonderful, if not surprise, harvest. There are the muskmelons, shown above.

There are also some vigorous calendula plants that are providing a beautiful string of dried blossoms which I will fashion into some kind of therapeutic herbal concoction. Calendula is especially great for healing the skin. We have a lot of skin.

And if the mercury can overcome the forces of gravity and seasonality for a few weeks, maybe these tomatoes can have a chance to grow up and be something. If our temps of late are any indication though, there’s not much hope of that.


But perhaps the greatest of all of the garden’s gifts that I’ve reaped this year is the mantra that I’m going to try my damnedest to hold on to:

Start small.

When the winter darkness is pierced by the shining beacon of light that is the beekeeping catalog, I must remember to START SMALL.

And when the chicken catalog arrives, eliciting a state of giddiness reminiscent of paging through the Wish Book toy catalog as a child, I hope to remember to KEEP IT SMALL.

And those seductive seed catalogs with their fleshy pictures and their sensual descriptions….surely I won’t forget the folly of this season! Just to be sure, I’m going to rig an alarm to the copy function of my printer, programming it to self-destruct in the event that I try to photocopy additional pages of the seed order form.

That ought to do it, I think.

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