The title of this post is a knockoff of a chapter title of a wonderful book I read last year. 2011 was, if nothing else, a great year for books.
I appear to be blocked! My last whine about 2011 pertains to the kitchen sink plumbing. Ask any architect and she’ll tell you that in her house 5% goes un-built, unfinished; in my case, it’s the sorry state of the kitchen (and its illegal drainage system). So yes, left to right, draining dishes, nasty sink, draining sprouts and overflowing compost bucket…a normal day here. 2012 means the sink is now draining.
Ah, a new year, a blank slate; a new year, new plans. The last year stunk on so many levels that I cringe on remembering. Too much death, too much illness, too cold in the gardens for much bounty. We even bookended the year with another week-long trip in the hospital with our daughter (she’s okay now; I thanked her, though, for getting ill before the new year’s high health deductible kicked in).
Flowering rosemary in the snow-covered greenhouse makes me happy
I am not one for resolutions and never have been. Too much road-to-wellville; too much revisionism: I suppose I am either entirely too pleased with myself as a package to change anything, or else I am too aware of the futility of such an effort…I leave you to judge which is closer to the truth. However. There appears to be one lingua franca, one currency, habitually common to women of my age, social status and education, and that is bitching about things, especially one’s life. I understand the reason behind it: sharing one’s gripes forms a (bizarre) kind of community. How tiresome this is. It’s wearying on so many levels I cannot begin to list them all. Even if I am reluctant to make personal resolutions, I will resolve to not join in the whinge daisy chain. How bad do we really have it? Not bad at all, not bad at all.
Can’t we flip it and share what we’re happy about?
Fuzzy goats likewise make me happy
I am happy, frankly, that we’ll be putting in a new greenhouse this year. I am on the fence about upping the CSA membership from six members to eight; we’ll see how it goes (membership typically starts in May, with all the new garden goodies), but I am so pleased to be sharing my food with people I care deeply about. I am so glad to have my job and to have chosen a profession that I love and that is so very rarely boring.
And, of course, I am so happy to share our garden virtually with so many of you. Happy 2012, all.
The book you mentioned was reviewed on NPR on Morning Edition by Robert Crulwitch, also reviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air . It must be popular, there are 54 holds on the 12 copies in the public library!
And thank you again for your writing that informs and motivates my work in the kitchen – may the new year with all of its gifts and surprises continue to nourish your life.
I am so glad I found your blog! Happy 20012.
Well, yes, sharing our blessings seems like a terrific approach. And we all have so very many, really. Your CSA expansion will, at least, be interesting.
I always look forward to your posts and the optimism and information shared within. 2011 was a year of growth and lessons, but I also found it to be an amazingly optimistic year. So many people I talk to have described themselves as unreasonably optimistic and upbeat about the future even as so much has been happening. I’m glad you too are optimistic about 2012 and I am so very glad you are sharing it with me.
Glad to hear your daughter is well and your sink is draining. Here’s to fresh starts, good health, flowing drains and all the best for 2012!
I’m 84th on the list for The Swerve at my library, but I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the recommendation!
Happy 2012 to you as well, may it be a good year for you and your family.
Deal El – your willingness to share your experience and knowledge in so many informative details and your wonderfully elegant writing make your blog a particularly delightful spot – yet one always thought provoking. Thank you.
Best wishes for a wholesome and healthy new year. And to a fully draining sink.
I’m so sorry to hear your little girl has been sick again but I’m glad to hear she’s doing well now. she strikes me as such a smart, thoughtful girl. Well, i’ve been living with an unfinished kitchen for 3 years but I’ve finally got enough together to finish it!! that’s my resolution i guess; to finally finish that room!! lol!
I enjoy your blog quite a lot.
It is sad that sometimes it is easier to share bad things rather than the good in life. We will always have a little of both but keeping my outlook bright helps with my own level of contentment. Fuzzy goats make me happy to! lol
I have a question for you: What kind of beans (pole, bush, shell, I don’t care so long as they’re edible)… what kind of beans have the most beautiful flowers?
I want a double duty garden this year.
Please have a better year with your fuzzy goats, plants, daughter, bees, and this blog that I never tire of reading. You’re always my garden inspiration.
Everything is in a state of being partially finished around here. The fences, the garden, every room of the house. Some day we’ll get there. In the meantime we’ll just enjoy the process.
Yep, I get the “if you can’t say anything good’ thing, hence much lack of posting on my part 🙂
Happy new year and good health to you and yours from here on out!
Around here it seems bitching is the lingua franca of most of my farmer friends. I personally gave up the moaning and groaning over a year ago with fantastic results in my life. Acknowledging our gratefulness for all the wonderful things in our lives is easiest step we can take to becoming happy people. I am grateful I found your wonderful blog this evening. Thank you.
Jonathan, I hope you put your name on the list. I read probably more nonfiction than fiction and most of it either historical or political, but this book was very eye-opening. And thank you! I hope you continue to find good information on this site (that is, I hope I can avoid being boring!).
Well Namaste, namastemama! xo
Ah, Stef, still on the fence about an expansion on the CSA. I kind of think I am on the brink of considering it a 2nd job, and hey, I work enough as it is on my first one. But it’s true; we should all count our blessings…including the blessing of time.
Aw, thanks, John Michael. If I were to be completely honest with myself I guess I still remain a glass-half-empty kind of person, but goodness, I certainly don’t want to make that YOUR problem via the blog. But you’re right, I am very upbeat about 2012, and am so glad to hear you are too.
Wow, Bev, 84th? I guess that makes me glad that I splurged and actually bought it. I wish you a happy and interesting new year.
Thanks, Mike, back at you and Mickey!
Sylvie, can you imagine YOUR kitchen sink barely draining for months? It nearly killed me, I work that sink SO hard. I suppose actually that was a big part of the problem, but I am not mending my ways. And thank you. I always love reading your blog, especially because you’re so creative in *your* kitchen. My daughter keeps asking me when I am going to make my own quince paste: that stuff was just fantastic.
Annie, I was going to mention that the carpenters I know (either rough or finish) have about 10-15% undone in their own houses, because they know they can ALWAYS get to it if they’re slow. HAH. Like that ever happens! I will probably put the quarter round down on my downstairs floors when I sell the house, and not before.
Tawney, it’s so true, looking at the upside may help everyone else around you but it helps you best first. And sometimes we don’t put ourselves first, a pity. Anyway, here’s to a bright outlook!
Hi whiskit! Ah, I love beans. Pole-wise, runner beans have probably the most striking blossoms, but they tend to fade in the hot months (and perk back up in the fall). The blossoms of cowpeas (black-eyed peas) are paired and quite pretty, and pole-wise, their relations Asian long beans are gorgeous. Then there are the black-and-white blossoms of fava beans, planted first with the peas…but they’re a low plant. For things that climb, why not simply plant sweet peas with your beans? When you pick your beans then it will smell great. And thanks! Glad to hear I can help…
Oh Diana indeed I certainly wasn’t taking the long view: only the nasty kitchen remains the most undone of all the undones around here. And yes, it’s good to mention the journey is more the goal than the result, eh?
Thanks, Sara. Hoping for a fruitful year in your gardens, too,.
Matt! Welcome aboard, then. Hope you do step into blogging: it’s always enlightening to learn from actual, you know, farmers, as opposed to ardent amateurs like myself. And thank you; I am glad to hear from you.
Late to catch your flurry of posts in the new year. I enjoyed 2011 keeping up with your activities here @ the weeds and look forward to whatever 2012 brings to you.
Your easy greenhouse management motivated me to get a decent trial hoop house up last fall & Mrs cohutt has given the thumbs up for a masonry oven largely due to you posts about the “Loven”. Thanks for sharing with us all.
El I’m so sorry she was sick, and for so long! I’ve had my nose to the grindstone and totally not kept up with anything. Thinking of you!! xo,Annette
Found your blog when looking for info on backyard greenhouses. My wife I and family live in Pennsylvania, have a small lot in a small village in a small rural county not too far south of the NY FingerLakes area. We’re talking chickens next spring (goats not so much), and doing a significantly bit more in the garden in our yard and at my in-laws much larger property. I liked the info you posted about the maple sap collection bag system.
I too found “The Swerve” to be an enjoyable endeavor to read (twice!).