Our stories.

I really don’t have anything to say today, not that that has ever stopped me from rambling…  I’m good at filling up space. I’m good at small talk too. Who says that? Everyone usually says they hate small talk. I just think of it as using small talk to get to big talk. I never use small talk as a shield or fakery. I love being a journalist and I just start asking questions and before I know it there’s a story! Everyone has a story. Even me. Duh. Of course I have a story.

I have a few big stories.

My first big story is that trip I went on with my family and my aunt’s family when I was sixteen and we drove across the country in a rented a 32-food RV called The Executive, which we soon renamed “The Execute,” and we broke down in every state. I’ve probably talked about that before. That was a big deal. It was traumatic. I think I might write a whole memoir about that trip someday.

Then there’s the fornication story and how I left my conservative religious background to be excommunicated twice over until I wised up and decided it just wasn’t for me anymore. I’m still living out that story. It’s a hard one.

Then there’s my divorce story and fleeing to the sticks in a rented U-haul truck, just me and Bug. That was a crazy Thelma and Louise story. And then the traumatic two years after that, living in poverty in a broken down mobile home that I loved so much. Oh, remember that huge backyard and the tomatoes? That was so awesome and yet so scary most of the time because I was so afraid of my neighbors. It taught me so much about poverty. But I escaped and I am so much stronger for it. Sometimes Bug and I talk about those years and I treasure our memories that only we two have.

Then of course there is my love story with Payam. That will always go down in my book as the summer sleeper hit that is still unfolding to this day.

Ho hum. I don’t really want to expand on those stories today. Someday.

Don’t you wish we could go on a long long walk and I could listen to your stories? Can you sum up one of your stories in three sentences in the comments? I know that’s a challenge. I’m curious though!

Merry Mary, How Does Your Garden Grow

merry-mary-how-does-your-garden-grow-1

I’ll tell you how my garden grows: it thrives! Really, I have no other news going on to talk about. Maybe a little. I got a late start blogging today because I was setting up payroll for my baby corporation. Did you know I incorporated? Yes, I am now Secret Agent Josephine Inc. It sounds very official and feels very grown-up though I am floundering like a typical newbie who can’t do accounting to save her life. It’s funny that I’m still saying I feel like a grown-up and I’m only two years away from 50. Isn’t 50 when people start becoming grandparents? What can I say, I’ve always been a young foolish soul, a little late to everything.

So the garden! Today in pandemic news we have some developments:

watermelon-overfloweth

My watermelon seedlings have taken over the back patio chair. I didn’t want to put them on the ground thinking the dogs would eat them but you can see that’s not really a problem. I feel like I should name this guy. He’s made himself quite at home. I don’t even like watermelon but I am quite excited to grow one in a box and have my own square watermelon. I’m also thinking it will be fun to give them away and make watermelon drinks.

tomato-plastic-strawberry-boxes-for-the-win

On the squirrel/mouse/rat vs Brenda front I can say that my ingenious plastic strawberry containers are superior to the nylon mesh bags I bought off amazon. Good to know, right? Recycling for the win! The rat has managed to gnaw at the tomato through the mesh bag and bruise it pretty badly. It kind of reminds me of how Bug used to eat fruit through these things. No way, I say. I am not feeding the local rat population tomato pops. It’s not a problem though. I have four big fat tomatoes ripening safely in my plastic strawberry containers. I can spare one measly one.

baby-pumpkin

Further down in the garden we have a pumpkin sighting! I am soooo excited to grow pumpkins. The poor plant might be a little lacking in the fertilizing game though because I only have one pumpkin plant so far. I’ve got some seeds in pots to grow more but they haven’t come up yet. I do think I have one baby pumpkin though (or is it a squash? I did mix up my seeds so it could be something else) so maybe it cross-pollenated with the watermelon plant. Who knows, who cares! I think a watermelon pumpkin Frankenstein would be perfect for Halloween! I shall keep you posted.

Do you like my blue shutter plant table? It’s called Make-It-Work. I just use what I have. My handyman is currently out on broken-neck-leave so I am pottering together whatever I have. I bought that shutter ages ago to do a blog post for toriavey.com. I was going to make it into a book rack (kind of like those magazine racks at barber shops where you open the magazine and flop them over a rod) but it never panned out so shelf it is! It actually works really well because it drains well with all those slots. And I kind of like the color. I know it’s a bit shanty-town but I’m not afraid of my roots.

coleman-planter

And speaking of shanty-town, I am very excited to make that melted Coleman ice chest into a plater! Kinda of cool, right? I’m thinking the new pumpkin seedlings will go there when they finally pop their heads up.  Thankfully, not very many people come into my garden now that we have a pandemic going on so nobody really judges me on my landscaping skills. I mean, besides you guys of course but you come here for the whacky-ness anyway.

decaying-pergola-and-powder-mold-battles

In other news ,Whiskey’s super strong dog urine is slowly degrading our pergola. It’s taken about two years but this thing is slowly crumbling from the bottom up. Good job, Whiskey. When I first moved in, the pergola had a sun-weathered canvas tent over it. I took that down and used the skeleton to hang lights. We don’t use it to eat out there, as it smells pretty bad of dog pee, but it is kind of a cool little focal point for the rest of the yard. I dream of entertaining back here but the dogs, man. They ruin it for everyone. Its not always that bad and a good hosing can get things cleaned up but it’s not always that good either.

Moving along to my other problem area: the powder mildew fight. It’s a daily battle. The baking soda spray does work but I have to spray it every day and I’ve knocked down my “bombastic” squash plant by two thirds just hacking off all the moldy leaves. I’m surprised it’s still producing squash. But I won’t throw it out until it really kicks the dust so I keep spraying every morning. It’s good therapy. I love gardening so it’s a nice little zen routine. Squirt, squirt, squirt..

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I also have a little grape vine. Bug and I bought his at a discount grocery market. Why not, I figured. It was only seven bucks and it has really pretty leaves. I’m not in a hurry to grow grapes since we are all watching our sugar in this house but I do love the plant. And I love the GROW rock that we made from that alphamom kindness rock craft.

kady-grass-and-watermelon-flowers

I’m also on my second round of growing cat grass for Kady. It’s a little spindly because she ate the last batch down to nubs and I don’t have any more seeds. But this is poking along and in a bit I’ll take it back in the house to let her eat down to nubs again.

Also here are some watermelon flowers. Aren’t they pretty? I had no idea they were yellow. I thought they’d be pink or red like the watermelon fruit but nope. Yellow, it is.

meanwhile-the-atrium-thrives

The Atrium is thriving as well. When we went camping I asked my friend Maria to watch over it and she watered diligently everyday so all the plants are very happy and the maidenhair fern is STILL ALIVE! It’s huge actually. I kind of want to grow a whole wall of them. Wouldn’t that be something?

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Bug bought some lettuce the last time we visited a nursery and I think she should be able to harvest quite a salad one of these days. Everything is doing pretty well here. Except Joon’s Bob Ross chia pet. I think I might have to re-do that for her because Bob’s fro is looking pretty gross.

That’s all folks! Pretty exciting, no?

See you tomorrow for chapters from my fridge! Just kidding.