Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oh Baby!

So, remember how excited I was about my garden this spring? Remember how much time and effort and love and investment went into that raised bed and those potted plants? Well, life happened, as they say.

About a month after my last post, when I was close to updating about all of the fruits of my labor about to begin ripening, something happened. My sister-in-love and her husband were spending the day with us on a mild, rainy spring day. She was teaching me how to make farmer's cheese and I was teaching her how to make yeast bread, when I noticed some heartburn.

I don't get heartburn...unless...I'm pregnant.

Oh baby! I was in denial for a few days, as I was still nursing my firstborn and we had been actively trying to avoid another child for at least another year or two, but finally succumbed to the nagging feeling that my body was off.

The test gave me double lines in about 0.5 seconds and I just sat in shock with my head against the bathroom door for half an hour.

I knew what was coming: the incapacitating nausea, the profuse vomiting, the battles to keep anything down, including water, exhaustion that makes me sleep for 16+ hours a day during the first 20 weeks, the dreaded spit-cup attached to my hip that helps immensely in preventing too much vomiting. How was I going to do this with a toddler? I had about a week to figure it out before I hit the wall.

After going to the doctor for a confirmation ultrasound, I numbly expressed my concerns to my mother, to which she replied, "Move in with me until the worst is over."


After four months of misery, we made it out the other side and back into our own house. Needless to say, my poor garden was a disaster. A few huge cucumbers not worth eating, shriveled bell peppers, and dried-up-everything-else was the sad scene left in the wake of an unusually wet spring, unusually dry summer, and my complete neglect. The only thing that seemed untouched by heat and lack of water was the cayenne pepper (not surprising in Texas), some herbs, and the flowers I had planted for pollinators.

Since being back in our house, the irresistible call of cultivation has turned me to the "Dirt Side." Slowly, with my obstetric complications improving, I've been able to go from just walking in the grass to actually planting a few seeds, mulching, fertilizing, and enjoying the little piece of earth I call my own.

For the fall/winter, I've planted radishes and lettuces in a grow box, romaine in another grow box (though it bolted during a heat wave in October, which I'll replace with beets soon), arugala, one single scarlet runner bean, a handful of Swiss chard seeds, some sugar snap peas, and some MaryJane hard neck garlic (I REALLY want to taste those scapes everyone goes on about). I also have one pumpkin plant that survived the onslaught of some creature that was eating WHOLE plants overnight. I'm not sure if squirrels eat pumpkin plants, but they were my only suspicion, as I never found any bugs on them.

In short, I'm much less ambitious with this garden season, but I can't seem to stay away entirely. More than yields and practical use, gardening certainly gives me a sense of accomplishment, connection with nature, and encompassing sense of well-being.

These feelings, my friends, are the reasons our French sisters grow something in their homes. Even the smallest of apartments most often have at least a window box of herbs or flowers to answer that carnal search for cultivation.

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