Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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January reflects our best selves.

January reflects our best selves.
January 5, 2010 Mary Jo

What magic has January!  What promise, what pure, unadulterated optimism!

I have been utterly carried away by this magic.  Starting over, with a crisp new calendar, starting over with fresh new files.   The luxuriously slower pace allows a chance to reflect, to organize, envision change, and cozy up, all the while reincarnating ourselves for the better.  I imagine it might be as close as humanly possible to the shedding of a chrysalis and emerging with glorious wings. Or rather, entering the cocoon to draw up the plans and begin constructing those wings, shrouded in warmth and darkness and safety.  And coffee.  Yes, that seems a better analogy.

I’ve been starting over with a few new touches to the kitchen – a corner cabinet, painted and adorned anew, an extraordinarily beautiful oak table and chairs, and an antique high chair for The Boy, to unite our (whole) family around the table.  All of this (and more) courtesy of our euphoria-inducing, gloriously-robust Craigslist. (If I were ever to forsake my family and my lifestyle, taking up The Cloth to travel to faraway lands to spread the Good News, it would be Craigslist I would be speaking of.  I am wholeheartedly, unabashedly a Craigslist missionary.  Consider yourselves warned.)

What a year I (we) envision for Five Green Acres. Like the blessed partial amnesia that causes a mother to forget the especially-difficult throes of labor, all of my disgust and frustration and lost opportunities in the garden have been forgotten, replaced now with a glowing promise of what can be.  I’ve dug into the garden books with relish, joined the Seed Savers Exchage, and cleaned out the library’s collection of Childrens’ garden books.  Isadora shall have a small plot of her very own to dream, to plant, to tend, and to harvest.  This year, I shall grow flowers.  Forsaken in years past for more practical (read: edible) crops, I’m gardening this year for body and soul.  And it shall be beautiful.

The first step is to dust off the tool belt.  I’m building myself a potting bench in the basement, no doubt from odds and ends gleaned from Craigslist or perhaps the Habitat ReStore.  Or maybe even Freecycle! A potting bench and seedling grow area will start us off on the right foot this year, at least in the garden.

And chickens!  We plan to again raise broiler chickens, this time with a wee bit more know-how on our side.  I also recently declared, perhaps in a state of delirium, that we should raise turkeys.  We’ll see how that suggestion fares the jurying process.  Thankfully, these types of crazy remarks are often tempered by a more level-headed, feet-planted-firmly-on-the-ground partner.  I’m notorious for having eyes bigger than my plate and Andrew keeps me tethered to the earth, lest I blow away.

Bees!  This looks to be Andrew’s department.  Last year at this time, his nose was buried deep within the Bee how-to books received as Christmas presents.  It seemed feasible to get started on them last spring, at least from the vantage point of our rocking chairs by the winter fire.  Then there was that little matter of a baby, and all mention of bees was promptly (and justly) forgotten.  But this year?  We’ll let the Bee Boss be the judge of that.

What else may be in store for us in 2010?  There is that small orchard we should learn how to prune, more music to make (Andrew’s received both a harmonica and lessons for Christmas), camping, playing, fair-visiting, maybe a trip abroad to visit dear friends…. my mind is a whirl.

It promises to be a terrific year, perhaps our best yet.

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