Something's Got to Give…

…and this week, it was my blog.

Summer has been a six-ball juggling act (that seems like a lot for someone who can’t juggle at all) with trying to manage teaching a couple of online classes, running a small CSA, vending and also helping to manage the farmers market, and being a full-time mom with a whacked-out custody schedule that gives me my son the longest during the time of year that I’m the busiest (which also happens to be the time of year his dad doesn’t work).

And, of course, in order to deliver to that CSA and vend at the market, there’s the gardens.  The gardens that have gotten record-breaking rainfalls with barely a break between soakings to hoe the rampant weeds.

Oh, look. Here comes another storm.

I haven’t even cast a glance at the hilltop garden (berries and rhubarb) in a few weeks–being so busy with trying not-very-successfully to keep the main gardens (all six of them) under control.

But I have started canning–on Friday, a friend called–she was laid up after a surgery on her hand and her pie cherry tree was ready to pick.  She asked me to come out and help, and well, how could I say no to that?  I will be bringing her a pint jar of the finished product as a thank you as soon as I get the chance.

I’ve also managed to make some pretty good meals–that same night, I marinated some cubed lamb shoulder and mushrooms and made kabobs (some of which had to be cooked in the broiler when the grill’s coals gave out–oh, well) and served them with a side of very simple coleslaw made with my own cabbage.

While M wasn’t a fan of the slaw (“too tangy” for his tender palate), he did eat one of the garlicky kabobs (one without mushrooms, of course, which are “creepy” and “gross”).  In my book, his eating one dish in a meal besides the cheese and bread courses is a major win.

That, and I got to use my cute cabbage bowl, which mostly lives on a very high shelf except during coleslaw season.

Marinating lamb cubes and fresh-cut slaw

Today, after rising at 5:40am and checking in on student e-mails and class concerns, I headed out to the gardens to do the CSA harvest in record time–beating off the newly-hatched hoards of mosquitoes as I gathered, washed, bunched, and bagged cabbage, kale, sugar snap peas, parsley, and shallots.

Then it was back to the town-home, where H was (bless him, bless him!) fixing my kitchen sink plumbing that’s been leaking for over a month.  M had swimming lessons at 10, so I got him ready and off to that, and I stayed to watch his progress.

It has been slow–he doesn’t believe in water’s ability to float him, nor the instructor’s ability to keep him from going under–but each day he promises to try his hardest, and he’s making small steps toward my ultimate goal of keeping him safe in and around water.

Back home for a change of clothes, then off to his summer program for the afternoon.  I brought my sweaty, muddy farm clothes back out to the gardens for a two-hour round of weeding and hoeing before coming back in again to deliver the CSA shares.

Downtown’s all ripped up, and Main Street was blocked off most of the day, so I dragged my bike out of the basement (finally!) to pump up the tires and make the downtown deliveries once I got the rest of the route run.

But, by the time I was heading back from the first leg of veggie drop-offs, they’d re-opened the now denuded-of-surfacing street, so I just headed straight down the teeth-chattering lane to finish my rounds.

At least now my bike’s out of the basement, which I’m hoping will be some sort of inspiration for M to learn his second life-changing skill set of the summer–how to ride his own bike.  Maybe more inspiration for me–though I can’t say I’ve had loads of time to do it–I’m not really excited about the hardball I’m going to have to play to get him on two wheels.

But, despite all the sweaty, bug-bitten, and exhausted  mania I’ve had for the past week, trying like mad to get everything and everyone hoed, mowed, washed, picked up, and fed, I managed to pull a “super mom” out of my hat yesterday, and drove M all the way down to Omaha to the Henry Doorly Zoo and aquarium, where we had a fun afternoon together.

On the carousel

The round trip is usually about five hours of driving–yesterday was six because we ran smack dab into the College World Series.  I’ve now got yet another reason to loathe the so-called “American Passtime”–traffic was insane, backed-up, and re-routed all over the place.

Rosenblatt Stadium, where they’re holding the Series, is right next door to the Zoo, and although I noticed something on the Zoo website about how they love their neighbors at Rosenblatt (with baseball stitching superimposed on the Desert Dome), there was no indication of the nightmare that was the traffic scene.

But I suppose if I’d known, we wouldn’t have gone.  I’m glad we did.  I know one epic day doesn’t undo everything crummy or disappointing about this summer (though generally I’m more disappointed in myself than M is in me), but it felt great to make good on that promise and have a mommy-son day.

And I’ve found that some things are taking care of themselves–the home gardens are looking pretty decent if you don’t get too close to see the maple seedlings sprouting everywhere and the plantain and black medic invasions.  It’s starting to have the feel of a real cottage garden.

And some people are taking care of me–we had a great little dinner party Sunday night at the home of one of H’s daughters in celebration of Father’s Day–and although I brought a bottle of wine, the delicious food prepared by another of H’s daughters was excellent both in flavor and in that I didn’t have to cook it myself.

I even got a little downtime on the couch.

So, the summer is sailing by, and so far I’ve been able to keep up on most everything that really counts (except perhaps sleep–but who needs so much of that with all this daylight!).

While I wish I had more time to post here and keep my self-imposed promise to update the blog at least a couple of times a week, I’m glad I get this chance to keep my promises to M and make his summer with mom the absolute best I can.

I think we’ll go the the pool tonight–maybe for a little swimming practice, but mostly I think we could both just use to relax in the cool, inviting waters.

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