Monday, August 24, 2009

Random catching up

I think I've moved beyond the revelations from the last couple of weeks. I think it might not have mattered what I had done a-way back then, since none of what happened was about me in even the smallest way. I need my head to work well, in the here and now, so I don't have time to spend on things which ultimately aren't my responsibility, no matter how I feel about those things or the people involved. It just can't matter anymore, certainly not enough to take me away from the stuff I really am accountable for. Maybe someday I'll have an opportunity to interact with those folks again and it can be a healing thing. But for now, this needs to fly off in the wind.

This morning I discovered a... (whispering) tiny watermelon in our garden. We've never had much success with melons of any kind, but there are two itty bitty ones out there -- about 4 and 5mm. We have a bazillion green tomatoes. We've gigantic still green Romas, jewel-like yellow pears and baby red ones. On one side, there's a small plant with a single fat green tomato that just keeps getting bigger. It's not a beefsteak, it's an heirloom that should be yellow and red striped when it decides to turn. There are two inch-long yellow crooknecks on gigantic plants with several dozen blossoms. No idea why there aren't more actual squash. No pumpkins yet, and they're running out of time to produce anything useful. There are cukes climbing up cages -- smaller burpless and then, the so-far dark green lemon cucumbers. They're giggle inducing, like Dr. Seuss fruits. For unabashed pretties, we have begonias producing blossoms like they've got only minutes left to do so. There are fat Marshmallow fuchsias in baskets, million bells in as many colors, and big blue "mornin' gories" by the front door as well as tiny deep royal purple ones, further out, almost under the giant maple. The two beds of impatiens are funny -- fluffy as can be, one red, one pink, both in deep shade, looking almost plastic in their perfect symmetry and buddedness.

It's sweet, this place. We've had good lettuces and "bropplies" this year. Soon it will be time to dig up the potatoes. Wanna come over?

The upside of yesterday's adrenaline rush was discovering that Q is not allergic to bee stings. Poor little ducky. He jumped when it flew by, but was still excited because he's always intrigued by new things to discover. But then it landed and just stung him, faster than I could wave it off. The sting was barely inside the crease by his mouth, not quite under his nose. A quick paste of baking soda, a half dose of Benadryl, a shot of ibuprofen drops, then some homeopathic anti-inflammatory cream and he was beginning to look himself again. For about an hour he had looked like he'd lost a fight with a wee angry middleweight. But by this morning he was fine, and I'm almost over wanting to eradicate every api-thing I can find.

The last several days, really the whole last two weeks, were so neat. Hosting kids who don't get access otherwise to such nifty creative teachers was awesome. Having kids who were excited to be there was awesome. The volunteers were awesome (and funny besides being wonderfully helpful). The end shows were super, the church service tear-jerking, the kids accomplished. (I've added some music -- pieces they performed.) As was the case last year, I've never seen such a bunch of smiley tired people -- even if most of us did come down with "heads full of concrete" sometime during the week, to quote the pastor. I think we're all blinking, adjusting to not barreling through traffic to fine arts classes today. I know my crew is.

One of the most piercing moments came the first week, just after one of the camp counselors had come in and expressed, in some awe, how cool this all was for the kids they'd brought. We were whirling, absolutely flying to keep eighteen palettes full of paint, water containers fresh and full, canvases supplied, messes mopped up. All hands were on deck. I had the counselor's comment fresh in my mind, the theme of "You've Got a Friend in Me" was burned on the back of my eyeballs, and our pastor just then passed swiftly by with a tray of freshly filled water containers, trading them out for the muddied ones. I thought to myself, with a feeling of dawning recognition -- "Ah. Communion. Of course." It was sort of a distilled moment, where the clouds open, sunbeams float straight down, and if you're lucky, the angel choirs' tones come wafting in. We had those dulcet tones -- our angel choirs wanted more paint, pronto.

What a privilege to have been a part of shy kids coming out of their shells to perform, awkward ones revelling in form and line, and the creatively inclined breaking new ground with themselves -- all while forming new friendships. Twas lovely.


Swerving wildly... I need tips on how to let someone down gently.

It's rather an awkward situation. (When isn't it?) I've spent a grand total of maybe ten minutes speaking with this person, spread out over perhaps three years. In that time, he's never inquired about anything of substance about me, never acknowledged my children. Well, that's not true, but never mind, that's even more awkward. And yet, he's managed to compliment me, pointedly, specifically, and awkwardly, and has sort of started following me, a bit. I know absolutely nothing about him, can't even pronounce his name, I'm always in motion, and practically run away from him, but he persists. Geez-o-Pete. How does a person not get the hint?

Do I say, "I'm sorry to have never stopped and looked directly at you when you speak to me, but I'm kind of busy and I will always be so." Or, "Please stop commenting on my hair or I'll have to shave it off, just to make you stop. I'm begging you. Don't make me shave my head." (If the hair is attracting someone who lacks even facile social skills, shaving it off seems a perfectly reasonable solution at this point.) Or maybe I should buy a big, gaudy ring, and pop it on my finger when he approaches, or just wear it whenever I have to be where he's likely to be?

I've considered doing that before, just because I get tired of the odd little things that happen at Target or the grocery store, the park, the library. Let's just say that there aren't many men who are in any way wholesomely attracted to a single mom happily trailing five kids behind her, who also then happen to be a person I'd want to hang out with, on any level. Most of them make the oddest assumptions, along the lines of one of my formerly FAQ: "Do they all have the same father?" Some of these, um, "men" are wearing holey t-shirts which just yell out, "HEY! WANNA BE MY BABY MAMA? YES, YOU DO!! C'MERE!" Only without proper punctuation.

Perhaps what I really need is a knight protector. Do you suppose Lancelot is available? Nah, too much baggage, what with his smarmy arrangement with Guinevere. And poor Arthur -- not a good BFF situation there. Maybe some other version of knight, then. A tall and smart someone with a wicked sense of humor who wouldn't mind looking fiercely at this person to frighten him away, hopefully while cracking jokes with me. Maybe a kah-NIG-et is what I'm after then. Just as long as he doesn't smell of elderberries. It might be hard for this other person to take the whole thing seriously if I'm in the background, shaking with laughter.

I digress.

Any applicants for the position of K. in S.A.? All male applicants will be considered, including anyone of a different orientation -- I've long heard that every woman should have a good friend who's happy. The position posted pays nothing, but I'll make ya brownies. Short repeat appearances may be necessary, at least until Mr. IlovebigfamiliesandIthinkyourhairisbeautiful (First name: Iloveyourdress-ogleogleogle-wherewereyou) gets the message. After he gets the message? Well, I'd still pop up some popcorn and watch movies with you, your call.

Okay, so since I'm unlikely to get (m)any applicants for such a volunteer position in this job market, I'm asking you, dear readers -- please for to have advise with kind deconstruction on scary man opinion and for always nearness?

Seriously. I'm out of practice shooing guys away without breaking them. Please don't make me break him. I hate that. It hurts my heart and it makes me cringe. For years.

Wah. (Head in hands)

I'm off to order the last bits of consumables for the kids. Please. I need help with that person. I need this not to wreck an otherwise very much appreciated part of my life.

Thank you.

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