Staying Sane: Give it a second chance


If you’ve been reading this regularly you know that I have thrown myself into a new hobby:  gardening.  This is understandable for many reasons.  I’ve been craving a home of my own, a place where I can establish myself and my family in a community, tearing out the old decay from a massive yard and the planning to rebuild and cultivate and grow.   This is also something completely within my control.  If I see a weed, I pick it from the root and it is gone.  If I want to design or plan or hatchet dead branches, I do it and I only have myself to answer to.    So, this new hobby is not too surprising to me – I am enjoying myself despite by pathetic summer crop.

Yes, I tried strawberries, blackberries, blueberries.   All eaten by varmin in the area.  Once I got smart enough to solve the problem with bamboo stakes and deer netting, the season had passed.    My neighbors came over with corn-stalk seedlings.   And these actually grew.  And grew BIG.  Each with several ears of corn.

I would water this corn religiously.   The kids also took part in this duty.   We picked the corn together.   It looked a little suspect, but I was still hopeful.

At dinner, we all bit into our bounty.   And…. it sucked.  Royally.  Even my 2 1/2 year old son who eats dirt, hated this corn.  I didn’t blame the kids.  It was pasty.  It tasted like nothing.   It looked like “Three-Mile-Island corn”.  I cursed at the price of corn in the supermarket (dirt cheap) and the fact that I spent so much time and hope on such a poor crop of anything.

But after dinner, instead of tossing into my compost pile, I decided to cut the corn from the cob and give it a second chance on my own.

Afterwards – I had 3 amazing meals:

  • a corn, black bean and cheese burrito for lunch (delicious)
  • a rice, black bean, and corn combo (used above) over a kale salad
  • brussel sprouts, corn, and kale sautéed with white wine

ALL OF THESE DISHES WERE AMAZING!   Could I have been imagining it?  Yes.  Could my hope been masking the pastiness of the corn?  Yes.  Is it the fact that I buried the corn in other more flavorful foods?   Possibly.   BUT:   Take note.  I ate the corn, and I honestly enjoyed it.

So is there a point to this story?

Give things a second chance.  Take a break and walk away for another day when you have a fresher perspective.  Be persistent but lenient when needed.  Be hopeful.   Or maybe, just drink a lot of white wine.

I hope you all have a terrific week –

– Mama K

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Staying Sane: Waiting is a bitch – be patient


I love my neighborhood.   It has a bunch of hard-working families with young kids like mine.  We tend to look out for each other.  We do care-packages for each other – for example, the family across the street received Twin Crazy’s hand-me down clothes.   And I receive hand-me-downs from a family down the street.   I’ve offloaded a flat-screen TV wall mount to a new family across the street – it didn’t work on my wall and I could not return it.   My next door neighbor gives us food from her garden and even gave us the corn seedlings that grew into the corn (that sucked).   This is just how it is here.

Last weekend, I received a care-package of bulbs for flowers that needed to be planted this month.  I was told how deep they were to go, and I picked out the flowers that I liked.  I’m really not a flower kind of person, but I thought they would actually look pretty good along the front hill of my property.  Plus, that would be a great spot for the neighbor who gave them to me to enjoy them herself.

So, I spent at LEAST 2 hours busy on Saturday morning figuring out where to plant them, pulling the mulch back, planting, sweating, planting, sweating, planting, sweating, roasting in the sun, planting, watering.    I must say that I felt pretty accomplished afterwards.

Later that day, the kids came over and the neighbors got together and all the kids playing in the street, riding bikes, kicking balls, etc.   I got to talking to the husband of the woman who gave me the bulbs.  I thanked him and told him I spent all day planting them, very proud of myself.

I asked him “so how long will it take for them to grow?”.  I was looking forward to seeing sprouts of green from my labor.   I was looking forward to having a front hill that looked GORGEOUS.   His reply shocked me.  Stunned me.  I think I almost shed a tear.  “Spring“.    Are you F*^(*&^ing kidding me??!??!??!?!?!?  SPRING?????!   HOW AM I GOING TO EVER BE ABLE TO WAIT THAT LONG FOR SPRING?   WHO PLANTS THINGS SO FAR IN ADVANCE ANYWAY?   DON’T YOU FORGET THAT THE STUFF IS THERE????????!

I really was not anticipating this answer.  I thought maybe 3 – 6 weeks.   Certainly not 6 months.   OMG.    UGGGGH!

I couldn’t help but see the parallels in being a working mother:

  • set expectations accordingly with your kids/coworkers.  This might stop a tantrum/conflict before it happens
  • don’t expect so much
  • don’t assume that your own expectations are the same as the other person’s (I need to see quick results, and cannot understand how anyone can enjoy bulbs that sprout six months later…)
  • have patience.   breathe in, breathe out.   Repeat.  breathe in, breathe out
  • Laugh it off; see the humor; laugh at yourself
  • still be thankful for what you receive
  • growing and nurturing take time; the seeds that you plant now (lessons with your children) may take time to manifest in their personalities.  Keep nurturing, teaching, believing even if it takes time to see the impact on the kids

Have any of you had experiences similar to this?  What other learnings can be observed from this or other situations you have encountered?

Thanks for listening; have a great week everyone

– Mama K

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