Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I broke down. I put the space heater in my basement next to my seed starting table.

Within hours my oregano came up.

Tonight, the cherry tomatoes emerged! And, the house did not burn down. I need to listen to my intuition more.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Each spring I rake the rocks that were pushed from the driveway into the grass with the snow out of the grass. If the rocks are left, they will drown out the grass and dull our mower blades. I used to think it was just my husband's family that performed this spring ritual. As I've met more and more rural families, I've learned that I am not alone.

Raking rocks at my house is no small feat. We live down a long, long gravel driveway that curves around the back of our house. I use to take every rock personally as I raked in the cool spring air. This year, I'm trying to do it with a more positive outlook. It is a really, really good abdominal workout. I've given up running for the month and am raking instead.

So far I've spent about 25 hours raking. Today as I put in my time, I started thinking about all the rocks in my life: obsessing over things that I can't control, making comparisons, blaming, and thinking that I need to be in control. I know that I will never get all the rocks out of the grass or out of my life. But this spring, I will try harder to get a few more of them.

Our tulips survived the few inches of snow this weekend.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Loving care.

I started tomato, pepper, eggplant, rosemary and oregano seeds last week. Today I planted broccoli, cabbage and little pumpkins. My growth lights are hung and ready for the first seed leaf to emerge. But I'm worried.

I'm not sure it's warm enough in my basement. And, I don't really know what to do about it. I don't really want a space heater running when I'm not home. Those things scare me to death. I know the growth lights won't emit enough heat. I really don't want to spend $40 on a germination mat. I am full of uncertainty on what to do to get these plants germinated and off to a good start.

This sounds like parenting. With each new stage, however confident I am on the outside, I wonder if I'm doing the right thing. Am I being too strict and taking away some of their independence? Am I right to nurture my son's competitive spirit? How do I reign my daughter in without breaking her extraordinary and strong spirit? Are they involved in too many things? Should I set high expectations? What if they fail? Will they be destroyed? How do I give them everything they need to be happy and well adjusted in our world?

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I am not perfect. I never will be. But I like to try.

Neither will my gardens and that's why I love them. Each spring as the tulips begin to emerge, I start making plans. And, my gardens get bigger. Plants get moved around. Summer bulbs are purchased. Seed catalogs are scoured. This is all with the goal of finding the perfect balance in color, weight and texture. The perfect look to accent our farmhouse and yard.

This is so much like my life. My goal is balance: family, work, friends, God, housework, volunteer stuff. I need to remember, just like my garden, I am a work in progress. And, just like my garden, there will always be something to add, move around, rip out and split. I need to take time to enjoy the blessings in my life and accept what is happening in this season, because things will be different in the next.

As I experience the next two weeks of lent and prepare for the resurrection of Jesus, I hope I can remember that He was the only one to ever achieve perfection. And he accepts me anyway.