Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

Gardening down south

I'm an avid organic gardener. But, my gardening history has been limited to the Boston area. I've been trying to learn how to garden down south. The soil is so different. The climate is so much warmer. The bugs are very different. And the critters are just too much.

In my urban garden in Boston, I didn't have a lot of sun. Six hours a day was typical. We had a lot of shady spots since I had 100+ year old trees on my property. We couldn't plant tomatoes until Memorial Day. Here it's blazing hot and sunny with small, newly-planted trees. We do have a lovely grove of trees behind the house that may have been there for a while, but they are really a buffer between me and the power lines.

The soil in Boston was acidic, but friable. Over the years, with my organic gardening methods, I made the soil in my beds beautiful. Here is hard red clay. It's impossible to dig this soil without breaking your tools or you back.

We lived in the city. Now we live in the country. There were critters--racoons, skunks, and squirrels. Here we have rabbits and deer. I haven't seen any racoons or smelled any skunks. The rabbits and deer are more adorable. They will eat anything pretty or delicious.

The best part is discovering that there is so much to learn in gardening. Move a couple hundred miles, and you are in a whole new world. I remember a quote from Thomas Jefferson who said "Though an old man I am but a young gardener." Thanks, Tom, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Today is Passover. We are not having a seder because it's complex and a lot of work. We're not religious, but we want to teach our kids some traditions.

My beliefs are slim at best. I worry that my kids will not feel grounded. I fear that they will become Hare Krishnas.

My sister and mother sent the kids a big box of Easter loot. Zoe wants the Easter bunny to visit her house. It's tough on a lot of levels. I don't want my kids to be Christians, but I have a lot of weird attatchments to rituals and making family traditions.

I argue with Bob, my husband, about this around the big holidays. He doesn't do much to make the kids understand and celebrate Jewish holidays. He doesn't go to temple, he doesn't have any Jewish friends, and he doesn't spend time with his Jewish relatives. Yet he wants to raise the kids Jewish.

Of course, the mom is usually the one who does this sort of thing. Even for secular holidays, I'm the one making the Halloween costumes or making Valentines cookies. Bob teaches Zoe how to install more memory into her computer.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Swinging on the hammock

Despite the HEAVY pollen, we've enjoyed the spring. The rope hammock in the back yard is a big hit. The kids love to hang out on it. And, even I use it once in a while.