Monday, August 31, 2015

Manic Monday IX

This week has been little bit crazy for me. I’m the kind of person that tends to have many fingers in many pies all at once, and yet at the same time, I’m not the best multi-tasker. If a project gets into my head, I give it all my focus, and can’t stop for anything. Split-focus is just not something I handle well. This week, having a split-focus was non-optional. From computer problems, to late-night in-house visits from crickets, to clutter that was starting to drown me, I simply felt like didn’t have enough fingers for my pies. I’ve heard that as a rule, women are better multitaskers…I can't even begin to put into words how untrue this is when it comes to me, at least. But somehow out of all the chaos, two very exciting things rose to the surface.

My Garden: Even with all the insanity (or perhaps because of it) I found myself out in the garden every day, babying my ‘crops.’ My tomato has borne and died, but it has given me enough fruit to make one very large batch of salsa, for which my hot pepper plants also will be sacrificing their produce. Hopefully next Monday I will have pictures of lovely jars of salsa. Some part of me is very tempted to try to grow one more tomato plant before the season is over. Heaven knows, the weather is warm enough.

My cucumber plant is massive right now. I trained it vertically, and now it is six feet tall (it would be taller, but I’ve trained it back outward instead of upward) and about twelve feet across. Granted, I’ve only gotten three pickles…er…cucumbers from it, but it’s covered in flowers, and I’m hoping for a heavy crop. I’m planning on making as many batches of pickles as it will produce for. The local farmer’s market may be supplying an extra batch or two.

Our banana trees are taller and greener than ever, in spite of the now near-legendary California drought. The picture below is the start of a banana bunch. The flower-to-fruit process is something that has intrigued neighbors. As the flower ‘blooms’ the ‘petals’ fall off and behind the flower, all along the stalk, little bananas pop out. There may be a water shortage, but we are drowning in bananas right now. After taking an entire bunch to share with people at church, we still have a freezer full, waiting to be made into banana bread when the weather cools a bit. The strange part? These bananas taste exactly like artificial banana flavoring in candy or popsicles. They are sweeter than any bananas I’ve ever tasted, and the candy flavoring carries over even into the banana bread! It’s quite funny to watch people taste them for the first time. The experience of eating a banana flavoring-flavored banana is a little unreal. I’ve never been the biggest fan of bananas, but these are certainly unique.

The only thing I’m concerned about are my pumpkin plants. I’m afraid I started rather late – too late to have mature fruit by Halloween, but we’ll see. My Jack o’ Lantern plant, thought the vines are beautiful, still has no fruit, but plenty of male and female flowers. Hopefully before too long I’ll have one or two pumpkins on it. The smaller variety, Wee-B-Little is also perplexing me. The plant is very large, but it is growing more as bush rather than vines! Unless I’m very much mistaken, it already has one or two babies, so it must not be too unhappy. Overall, for this being my first time growing pumpkins, I’m pretty happy. And if I have to buy pumpkins for Jack O’ Lanterns, it just means there will be more pumpkins closer to Thanksgiving.

Schedules: This isn’t so much something that happened, as it is the realization of a need that arose. My homeschooling mother raised us kids with a very good, albeit flexible schedule all throughout our school years. Every day we knew what time we were getting up, starting school, how long we had for each subject, how long ‘naptime’ was (although it was really reading time), when and how long we were to play outside. The discipline of a schedule is strangely liberating. The last few years I’ve gotten away from that, and I think I’ve suffered for it.

I tend to be a very organized person. I cannot function in chaos. With so many things I enjoy doing, and so many things I need to do, chaos tends to appear whether I’m expecting it or not. So my next big project is to create and stick to a functional schedule. Something to help control chaos, and perhaps make it easier to handle when it comes. You’d think having been raised with one, and preferring an organized way of living and working, a schedule would just be a given for me. But where I’ve struggled is the discipline of making time, instead of waiting for the time to present itself to you. Everything from running laundry, to writing, to exercising requires us to actually want to make the time. Scheduling, prioritizing and the art of making time is something I feel is really important that I learn now, while it’s easy (or easier).

I’m expecting it to be a bit overwhelming at first, considering that I want to come up with daily, weekly, monthly, and semi-annual schedules. Not that I’m trying to plan, every moment and every day of my life, but that I think it will be helpful to keep track of what I need to do and when. I don’t think I’m any danger of becoming an over-planner. And the most intimidating part is figuring out where to start, so I’m starting small. Wish me luck! Are there any resources you’ve found helpful for keeping more on top of things?

1 comment:

  1. You are drowning in bananas?

    I am drowning in greed at the thought of having a successful, beautiful, tasty-banana producing tree! How awesome is that!?

    And congrats on getting a batch of salsa out of your garden. I always consider that the mark of success. Our tomatoes are going gang busters this year (thanks to all of the heat). And my rhubarb plant revived into something great which I was very happy with. Now we turn towards winterizing....