Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Confessions of a Slothful Gardener

In recent comments I have had someone tell me I am their hero and people applaud all that we do here on the farm. I have people send me emails after reading our blog or reading our web page and tell us that we are living their dream, etc. I really do think that living on a farm and heating with wood, etc. is somewhat romanticized in our minds. I know it was in mine anyway. When I blog, I tend to share the funny, the good, the blessings and the positive side of our lives. Who wants to hear about all our aches and pains and trials and troubles. We do have them though and they are very real. Mrs. Wonderful Neighbor and I were talking one day and the comment was made jokingly that she notices I cut out a lot of the not so pretty side of my farm in my pictures. I agreed with her. That is a true statement. I could show you what I look at out my front window. It is not pretty. It is our shop barn with a shed roof all the way around 3 sides. It has lots of junk underneath that shed roof.

I realize that on a farm, you are never done. That may be true of anywhere. Our cows are held in by a single wire. That works well most of the time. However, they KNOW when it is off and then we have to call the Cow Patrol (The Wonderful Neighbor family) to come and help get them back in. Our charger for the wire was zapped in a recent electrical storm. We have a new one on order that should be here tomorrow. We ran to TSC (Tractor Supply Co.) and got a cheap one in the mean time. The cows know it is not strong. They have been sneaking out. So fences wear out, chargers are fried by lightning, troughs spring a leak, etc. However, there is more to this than just those types of things. Some of it is self inflicted.

God only gave us one child and we are so grateful for him. He is now 23 and still lives here. He does help occasionally, but he has his own business and it takes lots of time. I can see that having lots of children when living on a farm is a true blessing. I have been blue for 3 weeks. I am not sure why, it has just been there in the background. I think part of my problem is some empty nest issue. Yes, Joshua is still here, but not through the daytime. Summer is a busy time for everyone, so I don't get as many visits from friends with their children. I don't get as many helpers because they are busy at home. I am lonely. I am not complaining, but just stating facts. Now, that I have recognized part of the problem, I need to thank God for this stage of my life and ask Him for the grace to walk through it.

Now on to the garden issue. Last year we were not milking a cow through the summer. This year, my husband is milking each evening. He and I used to go out in the garden together in the evenings and weed and pick produce and sometimes just check on things. This year, he does not have much time for that. I start to go out in the mornings before it gets too hot. I do a little bit and then wish for someone to talk to or something and end up coming back in and putting some music on or something and doing things in the house. It is no fun working in the garden by yourself. However, that is where I am at in life and I need to move forward with it anyway. The following pictures are of what my garden looks like today. It is pathetic. Some of the weeds are taller than I am. It shows my slothfulness at its very worst. The first picture is looking down the tomato pepper rows. It is the least weedy part of the whole garden. In some of the other pictures you can see the corn up above the weeds in the back and in another picture is one lone sunflower that has not bloomed yet. There are beans that need picked somewhere in this mess. I am ashamed, but I am being honest. We will probably keep up with the tomatoes and peppers and check on the corn, but everything else is pretty much dead. I need to do a smaller garden next year and do it as unto the Lord.

One little bright spot I did find out there was this Queen Anne's Lace. It reminded me of little snowflakes.


Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, Marci and I BOTH commented that she crops her pictures of her farm to show the positive, and it was in a joking manner, I did not say "Hey why don't you show the rest".. Just for the record. Marci and Mike do tons of stuff that isn't ever recorded here or anywhere, so I personally think she needs to congratulate herself and not be so hard on herself about the garden. How many years has my own garden gone to pot? I just don't have the nerve to publish it to everyone. I love ya Marci, and you are doing fine. "Mrs Wonderful Neighbor" (pahleeze)

Peggy said...

Marci, I have the same views but at least your garden and weeds are green. Everything here is brown from the heat. I think you are pretty special no matter what!

Pearl said...

I wish I lived closer to you. I am home all day and would love to help you.
I know the blue feeling, that Lord has really been working on me to be content.
Have a blessed day,

Teresa said...

Marci, Marci, Marci. I LOVE your garden! It reminds me of the one I had back at our old house. Things were so busy, or hot, or some other excuse that every now and then I would spend a whole day (after rain had softened the ground) and pull up weeds until one whole row looked good again. By the time I finished a couple of rows the first row would start looking raggedy again. But, peppers and tomatoes and beans rarely seemed to care and as long as I got some canning done for the winter and a few suppers of fresh veggies, I was glad to have a weedy garden!

At the new house, we haven't had a garden this year and I miss it terribly. Imagine if for some reason you couldn't have your weed patch full of veggies! I give you a hug for being honest and so hard-working despite what your garden looks like. Like me, you can always try again next year...(smile!)

Lallee said...

Marci, I think all of us do that cropping thing with our pictures ;-) You have a very large garden to keep up with. I'll stop complaining about our lot.

Life transitions always have their hiccups. I know God has something special planned to fill your new void. I remember the feeling.

I just finished a little boy's hat today! It is blue with a sailboat. I'll post a picture tomorrow and put in etsy. The size would be too small, but I can make larger if you are interested. I'll eventually be having other styles, too, as I am able to crank them out ;-) Thank you for the inquiry!


LadySnow said...

Love it when people are honest! I love the flowers too...they definitely look like snowflakes.

LBP said...

Marci! Your garden looks like mine except at least yours is green! Mine is totally brown! I am so there with you my friend, you are not alone!

I do what I can and leave the rest for the garden fairies, (that never visit my garden)!



Anonymous said...

your place looks beautiful, weeds and all.
i think it must take a lot of hard work just to do what you do, and I definitely admire you.
dont be discouraged!

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

I thought all gardens were supposed to look like that!

I know what you mean about the cows getting out...this time of the year they get a little frisky and want to "expand their limits"!

Kelli said...

I think the later it gets in the summer and the hotter it gets, the worse our gardens look. I was out this morning with the hose, sweat running down my face and thinking that I needed a break soon. I'm looking foward to the fall for sure!
I appreciate your honestly and I will pray that your "blue" season is over soon. (((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

I understand, darling. My garden is looking it's absolute worst ever right now, but I do have things to harvest. :-D Keep up the good work.

Lynn Bartlett said...

Hi Marci,
The boys do such a good job with the rest of our garden, but the herb garden part is mine -- and it is terribly neglected. I need a day to get out there and pull weeds so I know what to harvest! If the weather is tomorrow as predicted, it will only reach about 65 degrees during the day, so I need to get busy and do what I can before the really cold weather hits. That's not an especially wonderful thought.

Kim said...

Marci, I have been blue the last little bit myself. I wish I could have a farm and all but the work that you all do is probably in reality too much for me. You probably do more before 8:00 am than I do all day. Take this as a hug of encouragement. {{Marci}} Know that I am praying that the Lord lift you up. TN said...

Marci, I love you....weeds and all. (at least they are GREEN weeds) I put in a small garden this I can take care of by myself....since Bill is not able. I have had more tomatoes out of eight plants than I had last year out of twenty....because, I could take care of them more. They were closer to the house and the water hose would reach them and I have kept them watered. Of course, the weeds grew right along with them!!!

Cherish the Home said...

Hi Marci,

I wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment! And lol, no the house in my header is not mine--I wish! (o; It's a picture I found on Flickr of a cottage in England.

You have a very nice blog, I had a nice time looking around. I'm sorry you are feeling a bit blue, as another commentor said, transitions in life can be tough on us but look to the Lord, He will get you through!

When I'm feeling blue I sing the song 'Count Your Blessings' and it seems to help. Then I start naming a few of mine. And then what really helps me is to look for a way to be a blessing to someone else.

Blessings and Hugs,

ChickenMama said...

When did you take pictures of MY garden?! ;-)

Our garden has looked like that EVERY year. My, we can't grow a carrot to save our lives but we sure can grow a nice stand of Johnson grass!

I too have struggled with discontent lately. I've felt like I have too many irons in the fire and nothing is getting done well. I look around my messy home/farm (notice our pictures are VERY carefully cropped!) and see all that I have not accomplished. I get caught up in the drudgery of the dishes and laundry and such and forget to be thankful for the family I have to take care of, the blessing of farm living, and so on. Shame on me! I guess we all struggle with it from time to time. But His mercy is new every day so we go on and do better tomorrow.

Thanks for your candor and making me feel better about my own failings.