Posted by: Michelle | March 21, 2009


Life has been a constant, nonstop whirlwind of busy-ness and activity despite getting almost nothing done each day. We have been sick a lot, certainly in no small part due to our frantic rushing around and stressed out behavior. When I *thought* we were done moving, back in December, I had stuff pretty well under control but it turns out we didn’t actually finish moving by christmas so stuff has been trickling in since then. Despite an almost constant culling and flow of items to various charities, the mess has gotten so far ahead of me I wonder at times if I can ever dig my way out. Tonight while cooking some “grass-fed beef” burgers I got so disgusted with the mess I just started chucking out anything on the floor or on the counters, including a chocolate cake and a beach pail among other things. Then I started vacuuming and the meal got away from me. It was terrible, I don’t think anyone finished their burger but me.

When I was 25 or so I was living by myself in a 2 floor condo with various pets (including free range rats), taking 16 credits at college and attending frequent play practice for a production I was in and I still had lots of time to knit and read and dawdle hours away on the internet. I don’t know what it is that makes us so terminally busy but Adam comes home quite late every night, both kids trash the house every day and our business is booming and it is all I can do to manage the accounts for that. I have put in an ad for a babysitter and as usual there are LOADS of responses yet it is very difficult to actually pin anyone down. I have tried this many times in the past and despite always getting lots of responses I have never successfully hired anyone. There is a lot of phone tag, email tag, people dropping off the face of the earth and even no-shows. I hope this time to be able to get someone for 8 hours a week even though it will be an expense we have to really juggle to fit in to the budget. I took so much for granted when I was a kid, my paternal grandparents lived next door and they cared for me pretty much every day – feeding me, driving me to school, picking me up from school when I was sick, taking me to work when I got jobs, taking me with them shopping just for fun, etc. My mother never had to take me to a doctor appointment with her and I don’t think she ever had to take me grocery shopping either, my grandparents were always there. I slept over there a lot too. My parents had a lot of help in that respect so I was spoiled too, thinking that was the norm. In our house, it is me 24/7. When Adam comes home from work he might watch them so I can go to a quick grocery trip now and then and sometimes I can get him to clean up the dinner dishes but I have never had a babysitter and I don’t think we have gone out together more than one time (when Z was 18 months old and my parents came over) since we had kids. If I have a doctor appointment, most of the time I have to bring the kids along. I have a standing appointment each week and my dad comes for that but Zella is getting frustrated with him because he won’t let them play outside and he sleeps sitting in a chair the whole hour and 1/2 I am gone. It is just this kind of thing that *really* makes me miss my mom. I know she would help me as much as she could, and be happy to have time with the kids. It is still very difficult for me to see moms with their moms, sometimes I have to actually look away. Sometimes it is all I can do when I see a grandmother walking along with a toddler, not to cry. All my kids have is me. And let me tell you, I am not enough!

Adam has been and will continue to be very busy with our home business so it will be a challenge to get the garden going this spring. I have been waiting my whole life to have a yard of my own so this is a huge deal for me and I have a lot of work to do on it by myself. I have a stack of seed catalogs and at this rate I will need to actually schedule in a time to look over them, there is just not time in the day to do anything that isn’t maintaining the status quo. My plan is this weekend to get the ties for the raised beds, and the 32 (roughly) cubic feet of soil and compost to fill them. Also in my garden plans this year:

    3 apple trees, variety undecided
    berry bushes, likely in Zella’s fenced off garden
    a lilac hedge for privacy but also for OMG lilacs
    6 day-old chicks on order – Ameraucanas*
    4 day-old guinea fowl on order – pearl*
    a perennial planting around our new street number sign
    trailing roses for Zella’s arbor and the planned arbor in the breezeway
    a half-barrel planter on the other side of the driveway from the street number sign to mark the other side of our very difficult to find driveway
    remove dead trees and haul away

A lot to do in the next 6 weeks or so. I still don’t know what to do about the *chicken coop, I might wall off a portion of the garage/barn like these folks did, or I might try to build (or worst case, purchase) a free standing unit. Either way the property fence will need to be fortified – the yard is totally fenced in now but there are plenty of weak spots and gaps so I need to go over the whole yard with a tool belt and a roll of poultry mesh. Maybe I can use the dead trees as the sides of the raised beds for the berry bushes (they need special soil). My long term yard plans include a brick patio, various garden rooms, a little plastic/rock pond for Indian Runner ducks, a play structure, more fruit trees, a new porch off the master bedroom (ours is unusable, it sways) with arbor, and some sort of solution to the need for a four season harvest, such as a greenhouse or greenhouse addition. We also need to do something about the driveway but I don’t know what. Paving sounds so sterile and unattractive but the dirt thing simply isn’t working out.

Despite my frustration with the lack of help and our terminal busy-ness I *am* happy. My kids are wonderful little people and I enjoy being with them, I absolutely love owning a house and all it entails. I also love living in this area so much – I regret nothing. Gah, I had to go back to the old neighborhood to make a deposit in the bank and I could barely stand the traffic and everything, I couldn’t wait to get home again. I can’t say there is a single thing I miss about our old neighborhood. We do need to think about changing some things in our lives however, such as possibly moving Adam to a new employment closer to home. Hopefully the economy will stabilize and he can look for something less than an hour away. I have gotten everything else I have wanted, I can probably have this too if I am patient.



  1. Good luck with the hiring of a babysitter, and I hope you find a good balance of your time soon! I know you don’t miss anything about your old ‘hood, but I certainly miss seeing you often! Hi to Zella and Milly and Adam!

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