My Unruly Garden: Do not use much water

We were visiting my parents a few weeks ago when Isobel got into Ama’s crayon and paper stash. My mom has a whole drawer in the kitchen for art supplies. Grandma had one in her kitchen growing up, so my mom made one for us in her kitchen. It languished in the years between us leaving the house and Isobel being born, but it is heavily used again now. Anthony helped her spell only two words, “drought” and “water,” and she did the rest on her own. You’ll notice a drawing of a sun and a flower with only a few drops of water next to it at the top. We didn’t do anything to prompt this drawing (except for nag incessantly about the water shortage every time she turned on the tap), she just wanted to help get the word out. Our friend Jake is a “water scientist” and she asked me to send photos of these to him, too. In case he wanted to make water posters with her for his work some time.

After I snapped a few photos, she insisted on taking the rest with an empty flower pot on her head. I don’t know why. But she vehemently insisted.

Do not use much water, California. She demands it.

Scrapbook: Thanksgiving Table

Last year I really wanted to share my Thanksgiving table centerpiece but I felt too enormous and exhausted to do so. I somehow took photos, and a month or so (or more) later I managed to process  them, but I was so busy growing a baby my mental capacity had shrunk so considerably I could barely string three words together and managing to get those words chained down to a piece of paper or the computer seemed too much. I felt as large and as inert as the twenty pound turkey my Dad and I roast each year. I managed to attend my own Thanksgiving, but I don’t remember cooking it.

With Isobel’s help we had a special centerpiece that year created out of all the things we had grown in our garden that summer plus a few things Isobel loved to collect on our nature walks.

We collected roses from the garden and leaves and berries from the trees in our front yard.

The tomatoes are from our own plants (it was the last of the big tomatoes for sure — that green one wasn’t going to ripen anyway) a rosemary sprig from the bush by our front door, and a strawberry from the decently prolific front flowerbed. (This year I noticed our strawberry plant was mysteriously mangled, but yesterday I noticed it recovering, so hopefully we’ll have strawberries again next year.)

The pine cones, magnolia seed pod, and acorns are from our nature walks. There’s also a peach pit because Isobel can’t throw any of the stones away after she finishes the fruit. If it were up to her our backyard would be a mismatched orchard by now.

There’s also pumpkins–we had lots last year–dried petals from our sunflower garden, and some corn. We grew corn in our garden but it wasn’t happy and it never fruited. This is symbolic corn Isobel saved from a trip to the pumpkin patch.

I also included some greenery from my poppies.

This year I am more or less back to my usual size, and Elias is the one who approximates the size and shape of our turkey. Isobel wants to be in charge of the centerpiece, and she’s managed to charm my mom into giving up her cornucopia decoration. I’ll request that it not be filled with Pokemon but at the end of the day I’ll just want to sit down with my family and have a squabble-free meal surrounded by the things we are thankful for.

I hope you have a bountiful holiday.


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