Slightly Off Topic

The wedding was wonderful! However the month of May waits for no gardener, so I have been scrambling since the occasion to get all the gardens planted.

Today, with all but two gardens done, I pause to post a few photos from the wedding weekend. Being a bit distracted during the actual events, my photos are all about the preparations and slightly off the topic- I seem to have misplaced my camera whenever anything actually bride and groom related happened! We will have to await the bride and groom sorting through the lovely photos staff goddess, Lauren, took before there is anything else to share!

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Yes, I really did mean it when I said “slightly off the topic.” Maybe I should have said “VERY off the topic.” This is Jim right after the wedding rehearsal. Two packages of honeybees that were supposed to arrive several days before the wedding were delivered right as we began the rehearsal. They really needed to go right in their new homes ASAP so Jim donned the bee suit and got to work as the rest of the group left for Lizzy and Miguel’s for the rehearsal dinner.

As we welcomed in the delightful Ramirez clan from Texas, it felt unexpected but also fitting that we were introducing new bee families to the farm at this auspicious moment.

Lolly and Cath with lanterns

If you wanted to know how the lanterns turned out, you are in luck as I managed to take pictures of this part of the occasion. Here Lauren and Catherine untangle strands while Emily and Ben fill an apple tree at Lizzy and Miguel’s house with loops.

Ben and Em hang lanterns

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In this shot, on the morning of the wedding, I am getting ready to make the bouquets. I have Martha Stewart’s instructions in front of me for how to wrap Flowers with floral tape and assemble a bridal bouquet. I have plenty of hot tea and Catherine is at her station in front of the sink offering moral support. This seems to be the point at which my camera went AWOL. More photos later from other sources, I hope!

Almost Ready

Reina has been shampooed- with Bella attending in a supervisory role.

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Window boxes have been primped.

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Greenhouse plants have been moved out of greenhouse to summer quarters as part of tidying effort.

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Vegetable plants have been told they need to chill in the cold frames for another week ’til a post wedding moment.

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Gardens have been weeded and yes, I know I posted this photo on Facebook but give a MOB a break. One victory photo was all I had time for!

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Slave laborers have been fed high quality take out food.

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And yes……Lanterns have been assembled.

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My Folder Friend

So much of life involves the eating of one’s pompous noble aspirations. When young and green in judgment, I planned to answer all my mail with a fountain pen filled with either peacock blue or emerald green ink. No keyboard would ever cross the threshold of my fantasy world home.

Do I even need to elaborate the ways this ridiculous worthy idea was shredded? I now aspire to answer your lovely mail to me sometime in the next decade and a response typed on a computer is definitely perhaps the only legible form of communication I am capable of generating as the decades have not been kind to my penmanship.

This brings me to another of my absurd lofty goals. Young Molly also decided to eschew list making: Lists were tools of patriarchy with its obsessive goal orientation and values of perfectionism…… therefore NO LISTS!

For longer than seems possible sane sensible appropriate, I moved through life without any lists. I went from garden task to garden task, going where the spirit moved me, a pinball approach that drove the people who gardened with me crazy.

Inside the house, things had more of a flow. No one needed a list to see what had to be done. Dirty dishes have a way of making their presence felt, don’t they? Laundry also cries out in its own special way…… as do hungry children. Yes, everyone was fed, clothed, tucked in bed and cared for in every way in an orderly if listless way.

But manure happens circumstances change, and I must report, I am now a woman possessed of many lists. If the truth be told, I presently have a folder of lists, a hefty two inch thick folder of lists. My folder is such a scary bold accessory that when I want to be alone, all I have to do is pull out my folder and people scatter, doors slam and silence reigns.

Yes, there is nothing like being a MOB to bring on a life of lists AND make people tremble when one fondles one’s folder.

The wedding is in 11 days, 1 hour and 17 minutes, but who’s counting?

It is simple as modern weddings go- a very small gathering in the gardens with Miguel’s family from Texas, Jim’s family from Connecticut and us chickens in attendance. However, as the list situation suggests, even a simple wedding is fraught with confusions complexities.

Early spring, my wedding lists were a joy. I could embrace a life of lists because they were all about weeding, manuring, composting, planting and mulching. Each day I had the satisfaction of doing jobs I loved then crossing them off a list . Arbor Garden weeded and fertilized. Check! Roses pruned and manured. Check!

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As we all know, such bliss cannot always last. As the wedding got closer, territory beyond the gardens was encountered. The nightmare challenge adventure of finding a MOB dress became a special new activity for me. The department of utter confusion that is wedding etiquette opened for business. Suddenly there were all these inside jobs that didn’t involve dirt. My lists mushroomed.

Even the jobs outside took a turn towards insanity new paradigms when Emily and I freaked ourselves out by “imagining” Miguel’s family touring the gardens. One of the bridal books I read suggested this as a way to prepare for wedding guests. God have mercy on the person who wrote that book. It is never a good idea to imagine what anyone is going to think on looking at a ceiling badly in need of paint or a small vineyard where Dandelions are the main crop.

Emily and I learned the hard way that it is best to look on one’s home with eyes that have long gone blind to screen doors held together by duct tape and piles of sod where the plow guy took a slice out of the lawn. Eventually we abandoned ourselves to the mantra of GHF friend and Texan native Elaine who said, “To a Texan, even weeds are a glorious shade of green.”

I would ask fellow Texan, Miguel, about this notion except he and Elizabeth are strangely AWOL. The Bride and Groom avoid me like the plague. I believe they have come to dread the very sound of me slapping my folder down on the kitchen table. They have grown more and more grateful for caller id and rarely pick up my calls.

This past weekend they hid from me with such cunning that I invited them for Sunday dinner as a way to lure them out of their lair. I could see the glazed look of fear in their eyes after dinner when I cleared a space on the table for my folder friend, but a MOB has got to do what a MOB has got to do. And I had questions, answers, dilemmas and problems.

Yes, me and my folder! FOB, Jim, is enjoying us so much he is heading off on a three day camping trip in the White Mountains with forty sixth graders AND looking forward to it.

There is no doubt about it! My folder and I are alienating everyone making friends with conundrums like today’s bulletin that the 130 paper lanterns I ordered are the wrong size for the light strands I bought.

At lunchtime, the bride took the bullet train home for lunch before I could ask for her opinion on the lantern issue.

Sophie and Caitlin were naive enough not to hide from me during their lunch hour, and so I co-oped them into helping me jury-rig the lanterns to the light strands. In an hour, we had ten lanterns on one strand. Only 120 lanterns to go!

This minor set-back left me opening my folder to add lantern assembly to a list. Before lunch, I had imagined lantern assembly would be a snap. A throw away task that would not need to be put on a list. But no. Now I know it will be a job of many hours, and before the job can be done, there is the dilemma of deciding which list to put this task on. Should it be on the list for the men to do on the Thursday before the wedding? Or the men’s Friday list? Or should it be on the women’s Thursday list or their Friday one?

Yes, I confess. My lists are completely sexist. The men are in charge of all heavy lifting and all activities with trucks or power tools. The women are in charge of food preparation and flower arrangement. Maybe lanterns as well.

And me? I am in charge of making more lists.

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Oh to be a Turkey

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The gobble gobble alerted us that there were turkeys in the garden this morning: one big guy ruffling his feathers and a lot of ladies acting coy.

I know it is a jungle out there, and this turkey’s future as father of a clan is only as good as his last ruffle, but the task at hand looked simpler to me than our week here in the office. It made me a bit wistful for a technology free life because we had a doozy of a technology filled week.

A RECAP OF MONDAY (because that is quite enough of a taste):

First thing Monday morning, we discover our Email server is down, and there is no email to be read. Since Monday morning unfolds based on picking up all our email orders, we retool our plans and organize different jobs.

We’ll focus on phone messages and orders first! Sarah goes to pick up the phone messages and finds a recording that our phone messaging system has been cancelled by our phone company so a new and improved system can be implemented.

We can neither pick up our messages nor have anyone leave a message until we set up our settings on the new system. Only problem? The pin number they said they sent us in the mail has not arrived.

I call the phone company. Forty five minutes of menu options chosen and me forwarded from one department to another and finally I get Matt in repairs. He tells me to try typing in four 1’s into the phone as a fake pin. This sounds like a dubious solution and necessitates me hanging up on Matt to find out if it will work. I ask him how I get back to him if this doesn’t work. He says it’s not possible. We bid each other a fond farewell, and I try the four 1’s.

Miraculously, I am able to access the system and make a new message for you all, but the new improved system does not give us the option to back up and re-listen to a small part of any of your messages. If we miss a phrase, we now have to listen to the whole message again. This strikes us as new but not improved.

By now, it is clear that actually getting accurate information for orders is not going to be enough….. because all three printers are refusing to print. One is telling us the paper size is not correct, and it won’t print out any invoices. After about two hours of fiddling, we discover that the ream of paper does, in fact, have wrong sized pieces in it and the solution is to get a new ream of paper. Meanwhile printer #2 is telling us a piece of paper is lodged in the system and needs to be removed. Despite our best efforts, this piece is not found ’til about 9 pm when Will finds it in about a nano second. Printer #3 balks for unknown reasons. We need to turn off our systems over and over again to get printer #3 to connect to the network and print.

Not to worry! We’ll focus on Facebook for the moment….only Facebook has taken us to its new Timeline format, and we now need to change our background photos and information for an immediate reboot. The Green Hope Farm logos is distorted in the new format and we have to fool around with our Jpeg of the logos to get it to fit. This is beyond me, so I leave Emily to solve this challenge, and I go out to the gardens to take a photo for the background photo of something blooming out of season (as everything does these days).

Yup, just as in your world, the weather here is as confused as our technology. Flowers that usually bloom a month from now are in full flower. Lizzy is getting married in the gardens in about a month. As I wander the gardens, I try not to think about the fact I have no idea what will be in blossom in a month. No idea. Was it wise to pick a wedding color scheme based on May Flowers when all the May Flowers are blooming now in April? I wipe these questions from my mind and push on with the task of getting the needed Facebook photo. I get in position for a shot of Flower Quince and the “Change the Batteries” message fills the screen.

Back in the office, I see the pile of mail. Mail! It’s so 19th century! I will focus on the mail and leave the malfunctioning printers, Facebook problems, dead camera, phone message challenges and email void to the flexible fun loving twenty somethings on staff.

I will open the mail and imagine I am living in a time when going to the mail with our packages isn’t like a background security check to join the CIA (what our dear postmistress must now do with our packages is another story for another day). More thoughts pushed aside, I settle in to ENJOY the mail.

A box from Amazon is on top of the mail pile. Happy days!

If you have gotten a package from us, you know we decorate our boxes with Flower pictures. This means we go through a lot of Flower photos, so I am always seeking out remaindered Flower books from Amazon to cut up, the kind of book that cost 23 cents plus shipping. Recently, I stumbled on a new remaindered book appropriately called Flowers. The first of several copies ordered lay before me! I open the box with bated breath!

Oh dear! There is no technological gizmo to blame for this snafu! Its 100% me!!! I didn’t notice the SIZE of this book- just the number of pages- 700 pages of Flower photos for 54 cents and shipping seemed like a windfall.

I think it is time to head out to the gardens and track down those turkeys. I clearly would make a better turkey than a 21st century woman!

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Clarity

Unlike so much of life, as I weed my way through the garden beds, it is easy to tell where I am in the process.

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Iris free of weeds………………………………………………………Iris somewhere in the crab grass

As a community of Flowers, Angels, Nature Spirits, Dogs, Cats and even some People, Green Hope Farm can be a funny place……and I love telling you all about it!