Saturday, April 23, 2011


Fluffy little cottontails, hippity-hopping along my yard. Adorable? Of course. But also irritating little varmints that have decimated the few plants I've gotten into the ground. I supposed I should have known better. My little Pixie (our chihuahua terrier mix, fiercer than a pack of rabid Rottweilers) scares them out from under our bushes on a regular basis, and when she can't find the actual rabbit, she finds his little presents all over the yard. She thinks they're doggie M&Ms. 

But I digress. 

The point is, I know they're there. We've lived in our little corner of suburbia for almost a year now, and I'm familiar with the natives. But when I planted lettuce, onions, cauliflower, garlic and sweet peas, I didn't even consider fencing them in. I don't need no stinking fence! I want to gaze out my kitchen window at my growing cornucopia unobstructed. I was more concerned with the slugs, nasty little buggers. I put out little containers of beer and caught many more than I cared to count. The rabbits though, they knew what was up. They snuck out at night and devoured my lettuce first. Then they started on the cauliflower. By the time I realized the seriousness of the situation, all that was left was the onions and one cauliflower (the garlic & sweet peas are ok too, but they're not out of the ground yet). One sad cauliflower. I don't know why they left that one. Maybe all those cruciferous leaves gave them indigestion.

A few nights ago my mom came over and we worked the soil to get it ready for seeds, and put up the beginnings of a fence. Just chicken wire and stakes, but it should be enough. We need some more chicken wire and we'll be in business. For now the cauliflower is hiding under an urn (one of two in the world custom painted by Butcho for my wedding). I'll turn it over in the morning, and as soon as that fence is complete it'll be safe from rabbity harm.

So, to sum up my recommendations for rabbit issues:
*get a fence
*plant things that rabbits don't eat

There are products out there that you can spray to deter them, but I don't relish the idea of spraying chemicals on things I want to eat later, so I'd suggest avoiding that for a veggie garden. If the rabbits are eating your flowers, it probably wouldn't cause any harm, just keep your kids and pets out of that area, and always use gloves when working there. (which you should be doing anyway. get yourself some mud gloves and be done with it.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter flowers

Tonight I took flowers to Liam's grave. My mom was so generous and put together three planters for me: one for Liam, one for my Aunt Rose, just next to him, and one for my first random act of kindness. The Miss Foundation sells little cards that say "This random act of kindness done in memory of our beautiful child____". I filled in Liam's name, and walked around and around the cemetery to find the right grave. I don't know what I was looking for, but I prayed that the flowers would be found by the family. I pray that it will touch their heart and that even for just one moment they'll feel God's love.

The sunset was beautiful as I stood by his grave. It's so bizarre and incomprehensible. Why is my child there in the earth and not in my arms? He should be almost 3 months old. This should be his first Easter. I should be searching high and low for the perfect blue seersucker outfit for church on Sunday. Instead I brought him miniature daffodils, pansys and forget-me-nots. My heart aches for the day that I will be with him in heaven.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." Revalation 21:4

On the way home I listened to Mumford & Sons "Sigh No More". Almost every song on that album reminds me of Liam or our journey through grief in one way or another, but the one that touches me the most is After the Storm.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Introductions all around

I remember very clearly listening to my mom read The Little Red Hen. Who will help me plant the wheat? Who will help me bake the bread? And the farmyard animals who didn't help didn't get any bread, which the little red hen worked so hard to make. I, like the little red hen, tend to think I can do things all by myself. Unlike my feathered namesake, I sometimes get in over my head because of it. But it's all an adventure.

This blog is mostly about the adventure of finally starting a garden from scratch. A little less than a year ago we moved into this house and there was no garden, and really no time to start one with all the unpacking and preparing for our first child's arrival, scheduled for January 2011. But in life as in gardening, sometimes the things we plant don't produce the fruit we expect. In September 2010 an infection took our sweet Liam, and he was stillborn. This spring instead of growing a little blue-eyed boy, I'm growing a garden of vegetables. I'm hoping God will teach me through my garden, and I will find a physical outlet for the emotions that are sometimes so overwhelming.

Sometimes this blog will be funny (I hope!) and sometimes it will be serious. Sometimes it'll be about my garden, and sometimes it'll be about the grief and the pain and the faith I must cling to, that God knows the end of my story and He knows the deep desires of my heart.