Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Made in the Shade

For all of my bloggy readers that have green bloggy thumbs, please turn around and come back next post. Seriously, it'll be painful to read, so, just heed my warning.

I, am not, of the gardening persuasion. I can admire your garden, comment on your flowers, and gaze up at your trees for all eternity, but do not ask me what they are, how they got there and how to treat them. It's like I'm that guy at the bar with all of these women around, not having the slightest clue how to act or talk to them. It's like I don't have a pick up line, and get all flustered just thinking about a conversation with them.

I don't want to be a cliche, but I truly DO NOT UNDERSTAND how to keep plants alive. Sadly, I think I have even unintentionally killed dandelions, which by the way, until recently, did not know they were weeds and that people hated them.

One quick example I have for you is this beautiful tree I got as a housewarming gift. In a beautiful pot. I was determined to take care of this girl b/c to me it symbolized our new home, our future...yes, I understand I should never had committed to this and should never have put this kind of pressure on myself, but I digress. I googled this plant, named this plant, read up on how to take care of this plant....almost joined a plant "yahoo group" just to talk about "plants". I was ready, I was set, I went. I was so excited. The plant slowly began to wither, brown, basically fall apart. It was in hospice and there was no turning back. As I left her dead, brown body in the pot for waaaaaaaaay longer than I should have, I decided to dispose of the body. As I pulled her out of the pot....I saw this black thing on the bottom. I didn't know what it was until I turned the knobby thing and realized that it was the plug. I had killed her. Drowned her. Why didn't anyone say to open that thing. Was I just supposed to know? Was it that obvious???

My most recent homicide or horticide was just atrocious. I had a coupon (don't all good stories start like this??) and it was for a free 15 gallon shade tree with a purchase of $25. I was so stoked. Athena had begun to show an interest in gardening because of her school (which is a montessori magnet focusing on environmental science), so we went together to choose our purchase and our tree. It was so much fun and I was getting really excited at that nursery. I was thinking to myself....."self: you can do this...look at all of these people, people actually enjoy this. You can do it, I know you can".

I picked a magnolia (because it is he only one I recognized the name of...they are all over texas) b/c I figured they had to be easy. So, I discuss with the cashier about the care of this plant and how to take it out of the planter and how deep to dig the hole, how far away from my fence to do this, and about how often to water it, etc.

I can do this.

I take home this mammoth plant in the trunk of my car. The leaves flapped wildly while I drove on the highway....I kept telling it to believe she was in a hurricane and that it will all be over in about 13 miles. I get home, I have no shovel. I (well Michael) carried this tree to the backyard. I would now have to hire someone to dig a hole for me and to "fix" her up. No biggie, I am big into paying for services that I can't do myself. Ain't no shame in that game. We all excel at certain things. Cooking, gardening, car washing, babysitting, and cleaning aren't one of mine. Whoops, I've said too much.

The tree is beautiful. It looks like it is really going to be part of the family. We water it everyday. We have found caterpillars, roly polies, and beetles in it. It has been so much fun to watch the girls love on their new sister. Surprisingly, she starts to have leaves turn yellow....bewildered, I continue to water it and pull the dead leaves off. She is just adjusting to her new home, I say. I'm not worried. I do however, make a bee line to the phone, and call the landscaper guy.

me- Can you come out to check on my tree?

him- sure. what kind?

me- oh (feeling chuffed that I knew the name) it's a magnolia tree

him- oh those are great shade trees

me- yes, I bought it for that reason.

him- ok, well, I can come over and take a look at it and plant it for you. I am going to fit you in tomorrow, so it'll have to be quick. Make sure you've decided on a shady place for me to plant it at.

me- no, there is not a shady place in my backyard. It is super sunny. That is why I got the magnolia.

him- well, ma'am, the magnolia is a shade tree.

me- I know.

him- It needs to be in the shade.


longer pause.

him- hello? ma'am?

me (holding back tears)- Can you come and pick my tree up for a donation?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

She wants to lead.... the Glamorous Life......

There are spurts of instances when I catch a glimpse of my old self. These are the times when I am dressed in a sexy get up, or have on some fancy shoes (you know the ones that clack... a term coined by 4 year old's best friend), or am having a political, cultural, or adult conversations with others, or when people say "I didn't know you were a mom". I love that. Only because it means I must look clean and composed, is all :)

These events seldom happen, but I find them to be interwoven in my daily life much more frequently now than when I first had my 4 year old (when spit up, crap, nursing bras, drool, food, etc was the fashion I was donning. I couldn't help it. As cool and glamorous as I was in my pre-baby world, I just didn't make the transition all that well.

So, as I had just started to get gussied up again, we decide to have another baby. We figure we should do this so that we don't get too accustomed to the make up, dresses, traveling, parties, and date nights we had started up again. Back in the state of perpetual casual/lounge wear I go. We have our beloved 2nd and I seem to know more, and realize that I don't have to run for the Mayor of Frumpsville for another term. I sit it out and really try my darndest to get my sassy back, quicker.

Then, on a night like yesternight, I realize that the "ebb and flow" of our re-entry into one of the "pages" of our old life, is less subtle than that and can be much more like the shock of the cooler they toss on the coach's head after a winning game. Let me tell you about it.

Cue in uber cool restaurant with a sleek, minimalist and stylish decor, fantastic menu, libations, etc. This bar/restaurant is frequented by Houston's hippest and has a very cool scene. It was given the title of "best bar" by playboy magazine....need i go on? Y'all got it, right? We enjoy it to the utmost. Convos, drinks and food were excellent.

Fast forward to the very end of the night. Standing at the valet station (with a gazillion hot looking houstonites), I am feeling so happy and sexy and fun and soooo not a "mom". One of my cool and hip momma friends remembers that she has to give me something so that I can use it with Saylor (my 2 year old), so she goes into her trunk and pulls out a big ol' wooden potty chair (this one to be exact)

and hands it to me. In front of everyone.

Can you feel the ice cold water on your head? Yeah, me too. I couldn't help but literally laugh out loud as I grabbed it from her, thanked her and waited for my car to be pulled up to the valet area.

I would not change that experience for the world though. Seriously.

As sheila e. said.......

without love....it ain't much...it ain't much

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tell 'er

At the bank the other day, I know can you believe I decided to actually go to one? Hadn't been to one in years...but I needed to go to the teller b/c I had lost my check/atm card and needed money.

Anyhow, Athena is asking ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY questions (those who have met her know that I am understating that number) about the transaction, who she is, what she is doing, what am I doing, what's the suburban next to us doing, etc. We begin to drive off (as Athena yells from her window..."Thank you, tube lady"!! and this conversation ensues...

ABA- is she staying there?

me-yes, she works there.

ABA-works there?

me-yeah, like daddy works.

ABA-daddy works in downtown, not here.

me-true, but, well, everyone works and has some sort of job.

ABA- is that her job? I'm the trash helper in class this week.

me- well, she works at the bank. She helps people like me get to their money. She sends it in the tube.

ABA- oh. i want to work.

me- you do? where do you want to work?

ABA- ummmm. Subway.

me- Subway?

ABA- yes.

me- why do you want to work at subway?

ABA- so I can help people make choices.

me- choices? like what?

ABA- white or wheat? and what kind of cheese they want.

Shall I go and deposit the college fund back at the bank, I ask myself.