I bought some tomato plants. I did. Only three, but it still took some pride swallowing. The idea that I could have planted and tended all those tomato seedlings and not have a harvest was making me itchy. So I put the plants in next to the pitiful seedlings in hopes to shame them into growing.
I also planted all of the remaining tomato seedlings I was holding on to in hopes they'd have a change of heart and decide to grow for me. I've fooled around with them long enough. After watching beans grow practically as I'm looking at them, I just can't be bothered with these needy vegetables. Water me, transplant me, harden me. Enough already. (Look at this little bean seedling below. All I had to do was plant it and it has grown this much in a day. Ahem. Tomatoes.)
Meanwhile, my girls have been trying to strangle each other so I've had to tie their grabby little wrists to sticks. It is bizarre to go check on them and see that they have a hold of each other. If they start asking for food, they're getting composted.
Really I can't believe I have all of this stuff growing. The heat and rain of this past weekend seemed to create a perfect environment for seed growing, lucky for me. Unlucky for me, the weeds seem to be doing just as well, the bastards. I try to get them while they're young but I've had a few unruly weed teenagers trying to shove some of my sunflower children around. Don't worry, they've been dealt with.
I've noticed as long as I go out every day and do a little something; things seem to stay in check. For that reason, I'm a little worried about my vacation in June. I'm afraid when I come back the weeds will have formed a resistance and taken my little charges hostage. I am attempting to be an organic gardener, but if they play hardball, I might have to resort to chemical warfare.
Okay, I won't really, but it is always good to keep them guessing. Sometimes while I'm out there I like to casually mention things like Miracle Gro and Weed-B-Gon. The key is not to let them get too comfortable.
Tonight was the Souper Bowl, a local (Reading, PA) charity event meant to mimic a soup kitchen (sort of) that also gives out pottery bowls; hence the name. This year we were in a hockey rink, sans ice, at a local fitness center. The rink was outlined in tables carrying soup, bread, drinks and desserts. Each table or half table represented an area restaurant or vendor and was manned by its own staff.
Before you got to the food room, however, you passed through an antechamber filled with shelves displaying pottery bowls for you to choose from. The bowls came from local pottery students and professionals and you picked one to keep in a glorious free for all. You didn’t actually eat the soup in the pottery bowl though, which seems confusing unless you consider the logistics. The bowls serve both as functional symbolism and an attractive lure. Once I made my choice, a volunteer wrapped my bowl and gave it to me in a bag decorated by one of the children served by the charity.
The charity itself, Opportunity House, supports homeless and underprivileged families. So the soup kitchen thing is pertinent, although it is more alluded to than actualized. The part that most makes it feel like a soup kitchen is getting there early and standing in line. You don’t do this because they run out of soup, however, but because you want first dibs on the best handmade bowls. When you are drinking Starbucks coffee and eating a gourmet cookie on top of a belly full of restaurant quality soup and bread, the hardships of poverty are hardly on the forefront of your mind. But I guess that kind of ironic dichotomy is typical of fund raising events.
The good food and handmade bowl aren’t why I love it so much, though. For me the event is so thrilling because I get to see my name all over the place. It was on the table with my donated bowls, it was on the silent auction table with my big bowl and it was in the program. I admit it, I am a ridiculous sucker for my name in print. My 6 year old daughter understands completely.
On top of the name thing, I also used to get all excited to linger around the bowls to see who chose mine, but I’ve gotten past that. (Ok, so this is the first year I didn’t do it.) I still kept an eye on the silent auction bowl to see how much it went for and who ended up with it. There is just something warm and fuzzy about seeing the people who like my stuff… and how much they are willing to pay for it.
As far as the food, my favorite soup was a roasted red pepper crab soup from Go Fish! in West Reading. For the record, the owner of that establishment has no idea who I am and I am in no way being compensated for endorsing her store. That said, she sells some good seafood and my husband and I really like shopping there, so I felt a completely unfounded personal pride that her soup was the best.
While I’m on an endorsing without compensation roll, another bonus this year was finding my favorite cookie vendor, Maggie’s Cookies, handing out her signature chocolate chip cookies. She sort of knows who I am, but only because I went gaga over her cookies when I started buying them from her at our local farmers’ market last year. I am not prepared to admit to how many cookies I took this evening, but suffice is to say I was a glutton and surely broke both dessert availability and charity event etiquette. I couldn’t help it. They’re that good.
Even though I've been going for years, I still can't get over the fact that there is a pottery focused charity event in such close proximity to me. How serendipitous.
I dropped my older two children off with my MIL and FIL this morning to sort of camp at a state park. I say sort of because my in laws have a camper. I don’t really think you get true camping credit if there is no tent involved. And I really wish they would call the thing a camper rather than a travel trailer, or just trailer, as my daughter is constantly writing about staying in “Mom mom’s trailer” in her journal at school. Now I have nothing whatsoever against trailers. Frankly, I find their compactness soothing. But, well…
Anyway, so I’m at home alone with my little guy and without his older siblings to play with, I’m it. I tried to do some gardening with him but he kept running his train over my marigolds and ripping off potato leaves. I don’t care how cute he is when he says, “choo choo” that just could not keep happening. So we headed back inside. Well, the heat was more than either of us could tolerate without getting whiny so we ventured out in the world. There was ice cream involved. And we ended up at the bookstore, dumping ground for the uninspired time spender.
Don’t get me wrong, I like me some bookstore browsing. I mean, honestly, judging from the popularity of the big chains, who doesn’t? Normally, only having one child with me, strapped in a stroller no less, would have been mommy heaven. But for some reason, instead of soaking up the carefully created atmosphere, I was overwhelmed by how many freaking books were there. If someone, I can’t think of anyone right now, but say a person was thinking about writing a book, what a humbling experience to walk into a place like that.
I went to the bargain section where books had big red circles on them and were being sold for $2. And I thought of how excited those authors must have been to get published. How they did a little jig and called their mother. How they went to the bookstore and saw it on the shelf and couldn’t believe it had actually happened. Their very own name was right there in print.
Do those authors ever go back and see themselves on clearance? Does the ephemeral nature of notoriety feel like a gut kick, or is it just par for the course after a long ride? The next time I meet an author, I’ll have to remember to ask.
I like to throw things.