Barbie Dream House

I had one of those apples to oranges moments a couple of weeks ago and again last week. The one where I compared where I was to where I believed someone else was and then despaired over it. Compared my insides to someone else’s outsides. And it wasn’t just a moment, it lasted a couple of days. I sat with it willing it to wash over me.

There are many women writers and bloggers online I greatly admire. I feel honestly lucky to be able to read their writing and be moved by them. And in a wobbly moment, I found myself thinking, “I really can’t write like that. Not that well.” Which is partially true. I write the way I do and they the way they do and our writings are sometimes as good in different ways. But each of us is always the best person for the “being us” job.

Fiona and the digger from Barbi Dream houses on

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Until you get a rejection letter and those other people get published on Huffington Post the next day. Then, as you’re trying to be gracious and share and support them, they go and get published again. And they gush at how they can’t believe it. That’s when the girl with the new Barbie Dream House needs to go suck it.

Seems my definition of myself in my head is the girl who’ll never get the Barbie Dream House. I don’t drive the right pink sports car. I don’t hang out with the hip Kens. And even Skipper thinks I’m weird and shoves me towards those Bratz dolls. But this gal with the new Barbie Dream House who I’m trying so hard not to envy? She’s also the gal who would out herself in a snappy momentito for feeling begrudging of another’s success.

drawing on the porch from Barbie Dream House on

So I took my time and I let that possible resentment go into the cosmos. And I resigned myself to resubmit something else to Huff Post and something else again. Because her hard work and my hard work are commendable and the apples and the oranges might be fruit but there are many many different factors in having them flourish and be added to fruit salads all over the globe. Styles and editors and forces that be just need to have the antes upped.

And no one is begrudging me my Barbie Dream House but me.

The Price of Progress

This piece was a result of my helplessness and frustration as the road was repaved and was written before Spring came and further victimized me with random killing of many more plants. My Fiona was not a year and my poor brain couldn’t take much more.

I obligingly dug the plants up and moved them to other random beds thinking how much this sucked and how angry I was. The State Highway was going to land at my doorstep any day now and update our driveway. Which meant my flower bed was about to be nuked. Progress had a price and it was this flower bed.

front garden

With such little time available to do whatever I want these days, I hate the thought of wasting my time. As I painted the woodwork in the baby’s bedroom, all I could think was how I’d need yet another coat and what the hell was I doing wasting my time on this.

Being unprepared to make the best use of the opportunity given me is inexcusable. It’s a perfectionistic thing. Don’t do it if you can’t do it right. What’s worse is when I punk out and go ahead and do something when I know it’s wrong and then end up staring at the less than desirable outcome for a long time afterwards. This ramshackle flower bed was going to upset me in the Spring.

Caution driveway in progress on

driveway asphalter on

Asphalting my driveway on

cementing the driveway on

I embody a combination of perfectionism and slap-happiness that often frustrates me. The husband wanted to make the garden demolition better for me by saying we could start anew next year. Nice try.

Now I’m watching myself as I hurry up and do stuff just like we tell our son not to do. I hate the waste of time that it takes to redo what I have done. Why do I do this?

I am officially under observation. If I attempt any project, I have to challenge myself to do better than half as well as I could.  I am worth doing it to the best of my ability with forethought and purpose. Because I, and everything I set my mind to, and make effort to do, is worth it. The garden is worth it, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

Overwhelmed : The Food Edition

In a earlier post, I spoke about that which overwhelms me with the news of the world. I had to chop that original post in half because when I added the too much information of the world of food, it was a monstrous post. The world and it’s food habits and food supplies and food modification is slowly seeping into my concern zone. There’s enlightenment, fanaticism, and pragmatism all thrown into the mix. Here are some highlights.  

Before her post on Uncertified palm oil’s destruction of orangutans’ habitats, Destination Here and Now blogger Marg Hogan wrote a post entitled The Greengrocer’s Granddaughter about our food-life and consumption.  And she summed up the place many of us want to be when she said, Buy Less, Live More. We need a reconnection to the circle of life, to be in awe and reverence of the world and those that grow and produce our nourishment gifted to us as opposed to being frightened of and disconnected from all of it. To cook and eat our meals together and have relationships with the people who work to feed us, that is the way life used to be. Back when it wasn’t about how cheaply in bulk you could buy stuff. Or trucking the perfect fruit thousands of miles to our stores. Sounds fabulous and then…

eggs for pasta dough from overwhelmed on

My friend and fellow blogger Jane who pens the blog That Curious Love of Green, just posted an article entitled, This is War (a food post). You’ve got farmers who are growing food harmful to the population. I have stayed right in ignorance about the genetically modified food stuff because I know it will make my head explode. Apparently no wheat is good for us now that they’ve hybridized it. And why do local food stores ship stuff sprayed with who knows what chemicals when there are farmers in the county who have perfectly good product? Because we’re vain people.  I love that Jane proclaims that she’d rather abstain on behalf of her family than buy farmed salmon. Because the bottom line is, we have a choice. We have a choice every day.

Insalata Caprese from Overwhelmed on

Which then takes me back to the wonderful book that Barbara Kinsolver wrote called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and the simple fact that we are spoiled children who want what we want when we want it. We want produce that’s pretty and out of season. We can not abstain from out of season fruit. Strawberries in December, heck yeah! We live in America. The land of “I want it now”. She points out, how can we ask our teenage children to abstain from sex if we can’t abstain from out of season strawberries. She says a lot more super cool stuff and I highly recommend this book.

Salad makings from Overwhelmed on

Lastly, here in America, we’re raising little snackers. Fear feeding isn’t a good thing. Our children are out of touch with the earth and it’s rhythms. They have no idea what their bodies need and live in fear of unknown foods. I raised this kid and in my two-part post Trouble At The Table, I read and reviewed French Kids Eat Everything, a magnificently helpful book by author Karen Le Billon which changed my understanding of food culture. From cultivating an appreciation for appetite to France’s impressive government that encourages buying local, I learned a lot from this book on how to better parent in the kitchen.

We are currently eating under the ‘No White Flour, No White Sugar’ rules during the week. Weekends bring a slight splurge and wine. It feels really good to be a little more careful with my body and we’ve lost two pounds each, one for each week. The trick is to keep tweaking our choices and not overdoing our perfectionistic dietary expectations. The drastic either/ors we throw in that make no sense like either live vegan or do fast food,  either live Paleo or eat pizza all the time.

Yes, it takes an effort to make choices, do food prep, and buy locally. So what. It’s fun, feels good, and you get to be proud of yourself and you support farmers and are a positive influence on your family’s diet. There’s absolutely nothing I can do about the world’s dwindling food supplies. I can choose to feel overwhelmed or I can donate some food to the food drive this fall. And model choice for my children to see me make.

And as I was readying to be done with this subject (which btw, I will never be done with), I saw a neat blog post written by Green With Renvy Blog’s Alison Abbott on 12 Food Festivals Celebrating America’s Bounty. From Vermont to Hawaii, there are foodies feeding and eating at festivals you just didn’t know about. She says, “Attending Food Festivals that support small farmers, makers and fisher folk helps to keep their businesses sustainable. ”  Her love of travel and food are wrapped up in this neat piece and it gives me hope not only for our food culture, but for some really yummy destinations to eat my way to and around. Some day. Hope springs eternal.


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