Garden Planning

Hobonichi Techo page

It’s quite possible that I’m trying to make my vegetable garden a smidge too crowded this year, even with the expansion from rounded to rectangle.

Im going to see if cucumbers will climb some twine supports up our decorative (read: nonfunctional) lamppost, and the zucchini will be growing up some sort of teepee or lean-to with twine supports. I bought spiral stakes for my tomatoes and eggplants this year, so that should keep crazy vining craziness in check. I may have too many varieties of basil… but I invariably lose a plant or two at some point, so I consider it insurance. (Plus, I’m planning to plant a few extras in containers, just in case.)

My son and I planted some carrots today: Bolero and Nelson. One is an early variety, and the other takes longer to mature. I’m planning to plant in shifts, so we have a longer harvest.

Some plants, like the paprika peppers, will go in the front garden (aka the cottage garden). Others will go in containers to be placed in various sunny spots where I won’t forget to water them regularly.

Here we go…

Veggie Garden Prepped and Ready

Veggie Garden before and after

This is the before and after of my modest vegetable garden plot. What was once a bare spot where a hydrangea and some annuals grew long ago has expanded over the past few years — and will likely continue to expand over time.

I had intended to get a couple bags of compost from the garden center of some box store to mix in with my soil, but it’s too late for that now. I should have already planted my carrots; instead, Connor and I will be sowing them tomorrow.

It’s been a chilly and wet May here in NW Ohio, and I’m not sure when Planting Weekend will be, but I’m glad to have the garden ready to go whenever I’m confident that we’ve seen the last frost.

Tonight’s proud parent moment: my son (age 5) asked to watch @altonbrown Good Eats for his evening TV show. “Bowl O’ Bayou” was a winner!

This is what #MayThe4th means to me.
(From my personal library)

Three books on the Kent State shootings

Saw a Michigan license plate today that read IAM4OSU. Wonder how often their car has gotten keyed?

Love Languages

I had occasion recently to be thinking about the different ways people express affection for each other — their “love language,” if you’re referring specifically to significant others, but I think it applies to some degree to all friendly and loving relationships.

I’d heard of this concept of a “love language” theory some years back, but hadn’t really looked into it until now, when I found myself wondering: what is MY love language? How do I express affection for someone? How do I show them how much they matter?

Once I looked up the Wikipedia article (rather than actually reading the book by Gary Chapman), I pegged my style immediately — and some of my friends’, too.

1. Gift Giving
2. Quality Time
3. Words of Affirmation
4. Acts of Service/Devotion
5. Physical Touch

My one friend is primarily a giver of gifts (to friends, at least; I don’t need to know about her romantic M.O.) and secondarily one who does acts of service. My other friend skews toward words of affirmation. I’m definitely quality time and physical touch (there’s lots of hugging in our house), and I feel like my husband is, too, which works out well.

When I think about it, it makes sense to me why I feel the need to host gatherings at our house: Come spend time with me, so I can show you that you matter to me. I don’t host parties because I think I make awesome party food and have superfun games — I don’t. I provide an excuse for us all to get together at the same time, because we’re all grown adults with jobs and lives and schedules that may or may not be conducive to hanging out with friends one-on-one (especially if they live in another city).

My gift-giving friend pointed out last week that I don’t need to be exactly like her, especially when it comes to ways of showing affection or friendship. At that point, though, I hadn’t realized that quality time counted as a way to show someone you care. I thought maybe I was just taking my friends and husband for granted by not doing special things or giving gifts or whatnot. I thought of quality time as a basic part of having friendship or affection for someone, not so much as a way of showing that affection.

It explains the disconnect I had with friends when I was younger, too. Specifically, with the one friend from church who used to give me rides everywhere right after she got her driver’s license. I appreciated it, but I also thought that we were just hanging out together because we were friends. Imagine my surprise when I found out through the grapevine that she felt like I’d been taking advantage of her, since I didn’t explicitly thank her for the rides very often. That experience made me more aware of my interactions with my friends… but also more self-conscious of those interactions.

On the physical touch side of things: Aaron and I were in a parent-teacher conference a couple weeks back, where we were discussing our son’s current behavior and emotional maturity as opposed to, say, six months ago. One of the questions revolved around whether we were affectionate at home, and I was unsure how to respond. Isn’t everyone affectionate at home? Doesn’t everyone hug hello and goodbye, snuggle just because, give goodnight kisses, and dole out I love yous like water?

Actually, no. Everyone doesn’t. So, yes, we do have an affectionate home life.

(Turns out that Connor’s individuality and independence grows out of his feeling of safety and stability at home — but that’s a story for another day.)

I’m not sure if this newfound theory of love languages is going to make me second-guess my relationships with others or make them stronger. Only time will tell, I suppose.