Cultivating a Garden

The summer after lovely wife and I moved into our house, I decided that it would be fun to plant a vegetable garden.  We already had a pretty nice spot where the previous owners had their garden.  We borrowed a tiller from the neighbor.  We went to the store and bought an ambitious assortment of vegetables for our first go: tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and probably others that I am forgetting.  Since our dog was still very young, active, and curious, we got little pickets to put around the perimeter.  He could still take a running jump and get in, but it would have to be something that he wanted to do.

What a debacle that first garden was.  The garlic and the bell peppers never grew.  Our one cayenne plant gave us a total of two peppers.  The rabbits were somehow still able to get at the tomatoes and the cantaloupe.  We were too impatient for the onions.  The most frustrating thing, however, was the enormous number of weeds that infiltrated the plot.  I could spend most of a Saturday afternoon picking weeds, and it would seem like I would wake up Sunday morning and they had all replenished themselves.  It felt as if I would have to retire and make weeding my full-time profession if I wanted to make this garden a go.

Looking back, it wasn’t all bad news.  The cucumbers grew like crazy, although we did have to remember to pick them before that got too big and bitter.  Since the rabbits decimated most of the cantaloupe crop, I did rescue one that was about fist sized at the time.  It was honestly the sweetest, most delicious cantaloupe I have ever had.  After that summer, we gave up on the garden.  We did have one summer where it mysteriously became a little field of daisies, but that was OK by me.  Since then the grass has taken over, and a small indentation in our yard is the only evidence that something was once there.

My counselor said something interesting to me a few weeks ago: “Having depression is like trying to make Jell-O without a mold.”  An interesting concept.  Without support, without guidance, the Jell-O would just go everywhere as it cooled in your fridge.  Earlier I had made a goal that this summer I was going to have another garden.  This time it would be a little different, however.  I was going to try a potted garden.  It would also be on a much smaller scale, probably tomatoes, onions, and peppers. 

As I thought about it, the pots and the vegetables were good stand-ins for the Jell-O metaphor.  Keeping them off the ground would be a good way to keep them from the rabbits.  I still expect that some weeds will somehow make their way in, however there won’t be nearly as many and they will be easier to control.  I need to build some kind of defenses, some kind of pot, to keep the negative influences in my life on the outside, and to be able to better manage the ones that are able to sneak into the party.

Depression.  Tomatoes.  Onions.  Peppers.  When I get it all figured out, you are all invited to try some of my salsa.

FRIDAY FUN: WDOTW (Weird Dream of the Week)

A little back story on this one: we had a toilet in our house that needed to be replaced.  It leaked from the tank to the bowl, which is a little frustrating to think of how much water we wasted.  On top of that, somehow the bowl also leaked, even after I went through the trouble of replacing the wax ring.  Skip forward to this week, when I installed our new throne.  I got it all in, turned the valve back on and…  nothing happened.  I thought maybe the valve broke in the off position sometime in the process, but I saved it for the next day.

Enter my dream.  I am working on the john.  In my dream, there are several lines going into the tank, and I am getting confused and frustrated.  Who shows up in crazy dream world to help out?  Why, Charlie Sheen, of course.   Mr. Sheen starts tinkering with everything and sends me down to the basement to check out the situation (because in dreamland putting in a loo takes multiple floors, apparently).  I get to the basement and see an incredible mess of disconnected water lines and wires (bet you didn’t know about electric toilets).  I start furiously trying to hook everything back up, when that joker Mr. Sheen turns the valve back on which of course sprays me from every conceivable angle.  Another time when I woke up thinking OK, now what the hell did that mean?

As I side note, when I took another look at it, the reason it wasn’t filling wasn’t the valve, but that the float was stuck in the up position.  An easy, Sheen-less fix.

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