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Daja’s Mid-month Progress Report

February 15, 2012

Well, February is half-way through.  It’s been a busy month to be sure.  I had a birthday, we dedicated our youngest son, three of my boys are training to “star” in a Kung-Fu training video produced by their Sifu, three of my kids started taking piano lessons, my daughter hosted a book club (George MacDonald’s The Light Princess) with one of our homeschool co-ops and we had a Valentine’s Day party with our other co-op.  It’s been BUSY!  To top it all off, we had a cold we all passed around for a week.

And yet…..

I’ve managed to keep pace with my goals.  I really think two things have helped:

1. I actually set goals.  Elementary, I know.  But usually my “goal setting” is really synonymous with “wishful-thinking.”  But rather than “I’ve gotta get to that someday” I now have tangible goals, thought-through and written out.  It’s a brilliant milestone for me.

2. I have accountability.  Being that I undertook this adventure with Kristina, I feel compelled to work on my goals with purpose and drive–if not a tad bit of obligation.  Quite frankly, I just don’t want to let her down!  I should have thought of this years ago.

Every week I’ve been doubling two meals to stick in the freezer.  This has actually been a fun little challenge.  It’s taken some earnest meal planning to think of which meals I could easily double without going over my grocery budget.  Also to plan which days I will do that bit of extra cooking–a day that I can squeeze out just an extra 10 minutes or so in my cooking routine.  So far in my freezer I have a container of buuz (Mongolian dumplings), two pans worth of mac-n-cheese (seriously, the best mac-n-cheese ever, if you ask me), crockpot tamale pie (raw and ready to just pop in the crockpot), red beans, chicken broth, and a 9×13 cube of tuna casserole with cheese rolls (what we call Tuna Fish Pie).

It’s rather exciting to see the supply of food grow and knowing that I’m getting ahead of the game rather than always feeling like I’m behind.  If you have a passel of children, as I have, you know that feeling.  That feeling of always being two steps behind where you’d like to be or where you think you should be.  I’m beginning to feel like I’m catching up.  Which is fantastic!

This last Saturday I finally got us out into the garden.  The kids helped me pull the weeks and turn over the soil.  Good exercise!  We are blessed to live in Southern California where it is possible to start readying the Spring Garden in February!  It makes for a nice morning with the family to be out in the garden.  And then to come in for tea and a snack when the work is done.

I still need to spend a few more Saturdays out there, adding some soil amendments, sifting my compost and such.  But I’ve gotten a good start on it.

That barrel you see in the background is my compost tumbler, thanks to my husband's ingenuity.

I also got some seedlings started indoors.  I used old wine corks to mark the plants.  I get a great deal of personal satisfaction from just looking at them.

Is there anything more hopeful than gardening?  It’s as if a few times a year God has ordained seasons of increased hopefulness.  I can feel it stirring somewhere deep inside.  I always have a renewed sense of “anything is possible” when I ready new plants.  I start looking forward to the future with anticipation of something good on its way.  The seed I carefully tuck under a bit of dark soil is a sort of physical manifestation of a seed of hope and goodwill that is tucked into my soul.  Without much effort I can imagine what is to come and how it will be a blessing to us and how we can make it a blessing to others.

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.  –May Sarton

4 Comments leave one →
  1. ladydorothy permalink
    February 15, 2012 2:07 pm

    Nice to have a team of workers!

  2. February 16, 2012 2:54 pm

    Im hoping to start a garden when we move to Omaha. WHat r the easiest to grow? And what do u recommend to plant on top of my placenta?

  3. February 16, 2012 6:18 pm

    We (and by we, I mean my mother) have always planted a tree over each placenta. It’ll last longer than just a garden plant. A sort of living memorial of your labor!

    Beans are super easy to grow (my fava beans were crazy last year!), as are onions, potatoes and root things. Lettuces, arugula and greens are really easy as well. I’ve had good success with those in pots on my back porch.

    Have fun gardening!!!

  4. Leona permalink
    February 16, 2012 8:29 pm


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