getting my house in order

getting my house in order
it's a jungle out there

Thursday, July 24, 2014

another day in paradise


its an extraordinarily beautiful day here in the hudson valley. 80 and dry and sunny. it feels more like may or september rather than a new york summer in the middle of july. 
i dont know if thats good or bad but i will say it again. 
its a beautiful day

im scattered though. id love to take advantage of the weather and just work out in my yard. 
i look at it and see Wild Beauty
the boys say mom it just looks like its not taken care of
mia says mom no one would believe that you spend like... ALL of your time there

The Wolf Man reluctantly agrees that the garden appears to be uncared for
And then he tells me he loves me

i remember reading Michael Pollan's Second Nature, where he describes how he unsuccessfully waged war against a woodchuck inhabiting his connecticut farmland. he did not win. I dont plant vegetables because i have a woodchuck and that would just be aggravating. and im a little like the crazy chick in The Secret Life of Bees who coaxes the ants out of the house with a trail of sugar water rather than kill them. it takes me at least 3 years to determines what's a weed and whats not. god forbid i should pull a weed that might grow into a pretty plant. Last week i bought 7 very close to dead perennials at home depot for next to nothing and i get to coax them back to life. 

i love that

i have a friend from whom ive learned so much about gardening. but she will pull up and throw out any plant that shows a lack of fortitude perfection or beauty. last year she gave me the potted gardenia from her porch. The poor thing appeared to be past her prime though she had blossomed beautifully for weeks and weeks. This friend has absolutely no patience, nor the interest, to nurture any plant that is not eye candy. So she gave it to me. It was pretty sad when I got it last fall, and even more morose as the winter continued. 

I left it in the Big Round Window because the idea of chucking it just hurt. 

tho believe me i would chuck the dogs in a heartbeat if it werent for the kids. 
as a matter of fact i might chuck the kids too

anywhoo

spring hit and i noticed some new growth. 

this is the lovely geranium today




my friend said "i knew you could bring her back to life"

the only thing ill deliberately kill is a mosquito. i hate those fuckers. 
and the japanese beetles that skeletonize my grapes and roses. 

i'll also swat anything that makes too much noise and disturbs my sleep. including humans

but today, in my scattered-ness, i found myself walking back and forth in the garden, in and out of the house, trying to be productive and not at all succeeding. 
and for the umpteenth time this garden season this is what i see




its the gutter that runs along the roof of the sunroom thats below my bedroom window

and because the only thing i spend time taking care of is my garden which, by report, looks like it's not being taken care of at all, i decide today is the day to address the weeds growing the entire length of the gutter

yes. its time to climb out onto that roof and yank those weeds.

this task, at this moment, is more appealing than vacuuming dog hair or folding clothes or thinking about the orthodontist or what im gonna make for dinner. 

a dinner that the kids inevitably wont eat


earlier this spring i thought about making this rooftop into my own private patio. im sure i thought about it last year too. there is a beautiful view of the mountain and the only access is through my bedroom window. 

somehow in this big house i feel like i have no space of my own. 

First World Problems my boys would say

regardless, ive imagined a beautiful embroidered sun umbrella and a super comfy lounge chair and outdoor rug and potted palms and elephant ears. i see myself sitting out there and reading or writing or lounging or sleeping. i was never the girl who snuck out of the house at night but the idea of this rooftop escape feels a little... escape-ish

whatever

so i climb out my window which is about a foot too far to the left to comfortably step onto the roof. my legs get wobbly and i cant help but think it would be so easy to fall and break my neck or my hip or something. 

i make it out there in one piece and its just lovely.
im up high and can see clouds and sky and oak and black walnut trees and mount beacon. 


im not sure why my face is in a bubble 
but that's because after a year
i still cant work my phone

im out there and i almost cant see neighbors which is kinda how i like it

i think about how lovely it would be to sit out there during the day and pretend im in marakesh. or when it gets cooler at night to be out there snuggled in a cozy sweater watching the stars

so...back to todays reality, which is pulling the weeds that are growing in the gutter. 
its the first step to claiming my private rooftop paradise

i crawl up to the edge and this is what i see




seriously?!?! volunteer tomatoes?!?! 
the whole gutter is growing mini tomatoes
wtf???
ok. granted theyre a little stunted and mildewy but still...
im not even sure that ive ever planted tomatoes on this property. 
because of the damn woodchuck




so of course the miniature volunteer tomatoes are still growing in the gutter because...really...how could i pull them?

They can share my rooftop paradise this month and next month they will be pickles. because thats how i roll

Thursday, July 3, 2014

the universe conspires


on a saturday at the end of november 
one thing led to another and in just a few hours time suddenly i was free

free of feeling bound to someone who was Not Available. 
free of thinking/hoping maybe someday
I was cut loose and I was

free

and being cut loose didn't even hurt. I had heaped the hurt on myself for 3 years by 

Not 

Letting

Go 

I couldn't do the severing myself and neither could he. 
I'm very sure She was the one who cut the tie.

thank god for that

so I was free.

Long before i was free i resigned myself to the idea that no man could compare to this Unavailable Man. no one else would make me feel so gorgeous. no one else would seemingly put everything on the line to be with me. no one else would dream of me the way he had. 
and i could never desire anyone the way i desired him.

I thought sure it's possible but exactly where am i going to meet a man to rival the unavailable one? i dont go out. i dont like parties. i dont have friends. im old. i wont date anyone i meet through my job cuz that would just be weird. and im done with match

So I accepted the idea that I would likely never feel that kind of passion again. 
And that made me very very sad.

***

i was working in the yard on a sunday at the end of november and mia came out 
mommy can i go to autumns house frankie called me she's at autumns house and they want me to come over

who's autumn?

she's a girl at school shes friends with frankie frankie is there and they want me to come over

is it ok with autumns mom?

she lives with her dad her dad's there its ok with him

and because i will jump at any and all opportunities to unload my kids i said sure

mia got the address and i mapped it. just a few minutes away across the creek.

i pulled up to the house and mia jumped out of the car. It occurred to me that i might look like a Bad Mom if i just dropped my 11 year old daughter at some kid's house with some kid's dad and didn't introduce myself.

i was kinda raised by wolves

he came around the side of the house to say hello. the sun was behind me shining into his eyes. 
jasper eyes sparkling and changing color like the mala beads that hang around my neck. 
he smiled his shy sparkly smile with his wolverine snaggle teeth. 
i got a glimpse of big hands and tattooed arms.

he sparkled at me.

yikes

hi im michelle mias mom

hi im paul

SHAKE HIS HAND

he wiped his hand on his jeans and said im kinda dirty. 

he sparkled at me some more

ruh roh

im kinda dirty too

TAKE HIS HAND

TAKE HIS HAND

i didnt take his hand

but i knew if i had it would have been magic. 

and when i finally took his hand it was

it is

magic



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

summer storm


It's so green out. Not the green of high summer but the green of thunderstorms. I don't know if this happens elsewhere (I assume it must) but here in NY there is a certain kind of GREEN that comes with summer heat and thunder. I remember it from my childhood. Late day summer thunderstorms.

The air is green. It looks like The Emerald City

Today around lunchtime it was so astoundingly hot and humid it was easy to sweat just standing still. The Weather Channel said there were big storms coming our way. I had left my car windows cracked because it's such a drag to leave the air conditioned office at 5 and climb into a 3 door oven. When the thunder rumbled in the distance the ladies said michelle you better go roll your windows up it's gonna rain.

so I did

and it rained

I'm pretty sure that in my 50 years I have NEVER heard thunder so loud. It was loud enough to hear through my stethoscope over heartbeats and breathing and sirius radio and overhead paging and other babies crying and freaking out because the thunder was so darn loud.

It was crazy. And at 3 it was darker than 9. And the rain came down and flooded the streets. That storm stopped right over us and didn't move for hours. By the time I left the office the rain had slowed but lightening still zigzagged through the sky.


Now it's dark. It was still green before the sun set. The thunder rumbles in the distance and I don't know if it's raining or the water is just shaking out of the trees. It's cooler though. And quiet here in my house.

Tomorrow it's gonna storm some more

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.