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I is for Internet

At the best of times, the internet is my connection to family, friends and the rest of the world. I coAt the best of times, the internet is my connection to family, friends and the rest of the world. I communicate with my loved ones and can see and talk to them. I discovered a whole network of food and gardening bloggers out there, the answers to all my gardening questions are there, a recipe for any odd combination of foods I might have on hand, how to preserve how to forage, how to grow how to make…it’s all there.

Except when it’s not. I happen to live on a street that does not have phone or cable connections, so my internet is delivered via mobile phone network and it is slooooooow. So slow that I can’t really download much, like updates to my software. As a result, I have old an operating system, browsers, etc. Right now I can’t really use half of the websites I have grown to depend on, like FB and my mail server. Or Skype. I feel so cut off. Which is tough when you live thousands of miles from many of your family and friends. And I don’t even have a telephone to call them with.

Hopefully I will be able to fix this problem soon, though I fear it will take some time. Luckily I can still post on my blog. And write letters. I wonder if there is a telegraph office around…
mmunicate with my loved ones and can see and talk to them. I discovered a whole network of food and gardening bloggers out there, the answers to all my gardening questions are there, a recipe for any odd combination of foods I might have on hand, how to preserve how to forage, how to grow how to make…it’s all there.

Except when it’s not. I happen to live on a street that does not have phone or cable connections, so my internet is delivered via mobile phone network and it is slooooooow. So slow that I can’t really download much, like updates to my software. As a result, I have old an operating system, browsers, etc. Right now I can’t really use half of the websites I have grown to depend on, like FB and my mail server. Or Skype. I feel so cut off. Which is tough when you live thousands of miles from many of your family and friends. And I don’t even have a telephone to call them with.

Hopefully I will be able to fix this problem soon, though I fear it will take some time. Luckily I can still post on my blog. And write letters. I wonder if there is a telegraph office around…

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The daffodils we planted last fall are up and blooming, little splotches of yellow in our green-brown garden. They are little cups of yellowy happiness! I can’t get enough of them!

My kids are delighted with them and marveling at how many we planted and how beautiful they are and how exciting it is to see them. They remember the long hours of planting them, how unremarkable that work was, tedious and slow. But now that they see the rewards of their labor, they are proud and satisfied. I hope they remember. I hope that they are learning that not all gratification is instant, that sometimes you have to wait. And the rewards are all the more exciting and satisfying because of that wait. I have come to realize that I am growing so much more than vegetables and flowers in my garden.

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Ok, so these are not daffodils. We planted tulips, too, but tulip doesn’t begin with D.

 

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B is for Blog

Have you heard of the A to Z blogging challenge? I heard of it today, too late to become an official A to Z blogger, but early enough to become a B to Z blogger.

Just what I need to kickstart another season of blogging about my garden and our attempts to live a greener lifestyle.

I am glad I am starting on B because it gives me another opportunity to practice not being perfect (a perfect blogger would start at A) and a great opportunity to reflect on my blog a little. First, some data:

29 months in existence

68 posts

66 comments

2,355 views

38 followers (not counting my Facebook friends)

122 tags in 8 categories

Not the most impressive stats,  but I am satisfied.

Why did I start this in the first place? I was inspired by reading blogs by other people like me, people who were gardening and home-making and thinking about how to live more lightly on this earth. I thought it would be fun to get in on the discussion. That happened a bit at first, but it was soon very apparent that I just wasn’t putting in the time to make this a widely read and “important” voice in this discussion. And that is fine by me. I soon found that this was a nice way of sharing what we are doing with people I know near and far, and perhaps a way of getting some feedback on what we do and how it’s going.

After a year, though, the frequency of my posting became less because I found myself back where I started, doing many of the same activities I had done the year before with nothing new to say about it! And I certainly didn’t want to bore people by repeating what I had already said. I figured the original version was probably boring enough. It also made me realize that the years have their rhythms and I like that. The holidays are big markers for that, of course, but so is the seasonal availability of the foods we forage for. But do you really want to see my dandelion salad recipe again?

Another reason I started blogging was to document what I am doing so that in the future I could look back over the progress we are making. Turns out I don’t go back and read those old posts very much, but perhaps that is a topic for “R is for Remember” on day 18.

In the 29 months since I began this blog I find that not only do I write less but I read other blogs less often, too. It turns out there is a limit to how interesting most people can be over the long term. I am sure that applies to me, too, so I hope you’ve enjoyed the break of a couple of months!

I have been asking myself whether I want to continue blogging. This challenge will be the way to find out. I need to define or rediscover my reasons for doing this. I’m no expert sharing advice and amazing ideas (see Erica for that) and I’m no shrewd commentator on the world (see lots of things for that). So what am I doing here? I hope that by the time I hit Z, and perhaps even sooner, I’ll have figured it out.

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All the clutter and dust and mess and untidiness and, yes, even a little dirt and grime…

It’s the end of the school year, we’re busy with events and parties and farewells. I’ve been spending all free  moments in the garden weeding, mulching, planting, digging. The house is a mess and I can’t take it anymore.

By the back door

Behind the hall door (those aren’t real oranges – it’s not quite that bad)

Every flat surface looks somewhat like this

So, I came up with the European Soccer Championships Half-time Cleaning Blitz. All four of us clean like mad for 15 minutes during half-time of the day’s game. That’s like getting an hour’s worth of cleaning done in 15 minutes! Day 2 and the house looks better already! Eight more days of pool play…that’s 8 more hours of cleaning. I’ll let you know how it goes…

 

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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

Henry David Thoreau

I’m Karen and I live in the Czech Republic. I have a house and a garden that I share with my husband and our two girls, my mother in law and a cat. I like to make things and grow food.

What I’d really like to do is be an urban homesteader, fulfilling both my Little House on the Prairie and environmental/social change activist fantasies.

What I actually do is work full time, raise kids, dream about gardening and raising chickens (maybe even a small goat?!), read about other people who are actually doing those things, and do the best I can.

I have huge ambitions, an ever-expanding garden, an on-going “discussion” with my husband about getting chickens, and now, this blog.

I’m not like those bloggers I read who grow tons of food, gather eggs, make their own cheese, only give home-made gifts…But I figure they had to start somewhere, too.

I’m starting here, in a country I’ve come to love but still don’t really understand, trying to live ever more lightly on the planet and enjoying my pumpkins.

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