We Almost Cut Down the Mulberry Tree

14 March 2017

When we bought this house two years ago, the bushes and trees had all but consumed it. No one had touched them for years and they'd freely developed their green kingdoms for feral cats and precocious rats. One bush had been about the size of a dump truck and sprawled across half the front lawn.
My dad came to town and bought my husband a chainsaw. We began clearing. We would cut down one sapling and quickly expose another leggy monstrosity. Years without sufficient light and competing for resources had left the bushes and trees ugly and misshapen.

We didn't want to cut down everything, but for every tree we cut down it was like we were taking the skirts off the rest of the trees and exposing a forest of gimpy legs. Many had grown at strange angles that made sense when they'd been avoiding a gluttonous bush, but now they jutted out with no purpose, Vs and Ps, like letters fallen out of their words, memories of the old lawn, incomprehensible pieces of a forgotten story.

So we kept cutting, and in one weekend the front yard became a forest of spikes and we met all of our neighbors. The men would slap Jacob on the back. We were liberating the street.

We left three small trees at the northwest corner of the house, and they stood there through the winter awaiting the second reaping. But come March we saw the mulberries. Like some offering of gratitude. Laden with the berries in their natural ombre of green to pink to black, the branches bowed to the ground .

The squirrels and the birds mostly had their way with the ripe berries before we could, but we heeded the tree's gesture.

And we didn't cut it down.
We went out last weekend to pick berries. They fall from the tree and hide like jewels in the St. Augustine, so we hunt for them.

We only met one neighbor. She told us to watch for cedar waxwings. They love mulberries, she said.

We love them too.

Because you want to meet our only pet

11 March 2017

Caddy the Caterpillar

We got fennel from our farm share last week and one of the bulbs was rotting - I was really peeved until a little caterpillar climbed out of the bag. I've been wanting to raise some caterpillars with the kids for ages. So we adopted it and gave her all the fennel she could stuff herself with.

This morning she tucked herself in like this:
And six hours later she looks like this:

My expectations are hopelessly high for this science project. I'm sure I'm more excited than the kids.

Doers Make Mistakes

Jacob said this to me the other day. We were having an argument about something really trivial - like the disappearing lids of our kitchen storage containers. Yes. That was precisely it. Maturity be ours.

While we were arguing Jacob said: "Doers make mistakes."

I'm much more of a planner than a doer. I'm super critical - of myself more than anyone - and it's something I've really tried to work on recently.  Whenever I find myself being too hard on myself, I whip this one out: Doers make mistakes.

I'm baking bread every week.

I haven't ruined a loaf yet, and my starter still seems happy and bubbly - which is good - because of the whole fear of failure thing. I've been waiting on this book from the library for weeks. I decided all this baking has earned me some proofing baskets, so I bought some this morning. Aren't they lovely? - I wish I could just take a nap in one.

I started reading The Awakening of Miss Prim - which has been on my list for ages...and it's not really grabbing me yet. I'll keep you posted.

I'm still putting myself to sleep with Gilead. It's still delightful.

Bullet Journaling
I started bullet journaling a few months ago. I was super late to this trend on purpose. It seemed a little self-indulgent. It's very much my style: doodling, paper products, felt tip pens, planning planning planning.

But I finally just indulged, and I love it. I love being able to tailor the planner into whatever I need. I love having a centralized spot for any and all scribblings. My favorite pages:

Sentence a Day Journal

I've been meaning to do this for awhile, and I never managed until I started bullet journaling. I tend to write a few sentences, choppy little things cataloging the days' noteworthy events.
I've been doing it for two months - which is probably the longest that I've maintained a daily journal since I was in sixth grade.

Lowering the bar. That's how you get it done.

Habit Tracker

I also keep a habit tracker page in the bullet journal. It's mostly just humbling to track how I'm doing with new habits, but it's also been really helpful to identify "linchpin habits" - the things that I do that have a trickle down effect.

Like waking up early. If I wake up early I get in my ab exercises, I spend time praying and writing, and I make time for a run before Jacob leaves. Sometimes those things still happen when I don't wake up early, but they almost always happen if I do.

Or the reverse of that.

Drinking. If I have any alcohol I will also end up eating late at night, watching TV, not getting enough sleep, not washing my face, etc.

So that's me. Just like the little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. Except my hair is hopelessly flat.

Question For You
When you start some new project do you buy nice tools from the get go?

I'm definitely the type that feels like I need to earn the good tools. To prove that I deserve them. But good tools are bound to help at the beginning. So it's a bit of a Catch 22. 

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