Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Is Wrong With Me?

I am in the middle of a week of vacation. I am doing what I like best, and spending it at home. I knew that the first half would be busy. I help science teachers achieve National Board Certification and many of them had an April 15th deadline. I couldn't get too irritated with them for their procrastination, since I also had to file my taxes this week. I also like to set aside time for friends and family. I saw family on Easter; I have a couple of lunches with friends planned. I need to start a new book and I need to read up on Global warming, since I want to teach a unit on it.

For vacation, there were two jobs that I actually HAD to do. One was taxes (done) and the other was getting my garden to look presentable. I have a fairly small plot of land, so the task should be doable. Should be.

Yesterday, in the middle of doing taxes, I glanced over at a new copy of Sunset Magazine and I decided to see if there were any new recipes I should try (there were). While thumbing through, I couldn't help but notice articles on backyard farmers. One article was about a San Francisco resident who had a tiny backyard (so do I) that was covered in concrete (so is mine). Usually, these articles involve bringing in a designer who transforms the yard into a tiny Tuscan getaway. That's what I love about Sunset. Everything is just out of my grasp, so I can dream it but do nothing about it. This one was different, though. The San Francisco guy just put a bunch of pots and planters right on the concrete and on the fences and started to grow his own vegetables. Well, of course, I need to do that! That, I told myself, will give me the incentive to pull out those weeds! And even though I know this is crazy, I'm going to do it.

And speaking of crazy, there are my taxes. I ended up with a tax bill that was beyond my imagination. The money I sent to the IRS and to the state yesterday is what some people in this country live on in a year. If you know me, you know that I am a good saver (my children would say cheap, but they'd be wrong), so I'm lucky that I'm able to pay it (and lucky to have a job in the first place). But here's the strange thing: logic would tell you that this unexpected surprise would cause me to think that I have to save a little harder to build the money back up. But instead, it's like the floodgates opened, so let's let it all go. I spent part of yesterday evening looking at prices for Honda Fits and for energy saving windows. (I can even justify both..putting people to work, helping the economy, saving fossil fuels, etc.)

I'll be back at work on Monday, so how much damage can I really do in the next five days?


Patrick J. Vaz said...

You don't need to pull the weeds up. You just put the pots right on top of them and they die from lack of sun. I know, because that's how I grow my legendary tomatoes.

What you need to do is start saving all those vegetable scraps you send down the disposal and compost them! And if you can't stand to do it because of certain common garden pests, you should give them to me.

You can do a lot of damage with a credit card in five or ten minutes, let alone four days; and by "you" I mean "I."

Shushu said...

When I had the low-paying job of my dreams at Little, Brown, The Boston Globe was to me what Sunset Magazine is to you. Make your tiny hallway seem like a true foyer by positioning your Ming vase on the French writing desk, right under the the hallway spotlight you just put in. (I believe that the French writing desk will also kill any weeds sitting beneath it.)

Credit cards are funny. Where we wouldn't go out and wreck the whole car because the door got dinged. . .

vicmarcam said...

PJ: Your suggestion about the pots on top of the weeds cracked me up because it was written with the breeziness of any number of home decorating columns.
I did take your advice and I have started composting my vegetable matter. And even though it's a bit of trouble, it feels good to complete the cycle in my own home.
Shushu: I love your description of the Boston Globe decorating tips. It reminds me of PJ's descriptions of the same from years ago.

On credit cards: They have always frightened me. In fact, I have only purposely carried a balance once, when I had to buy a computer for work purposes. I guess I should be thankful for this fear. it was cold, hard cash that was singing its siren song to me, but the impulse has passed and I ended up doing two figures worth of damage planting a little vegetable garden (and not pulling many weeds).