Saturday, August 22, 2009

Overwhelmed in the garden and rethinking for next year

Whew. I haven't posted about gardening in a long time, and for good reason...I just plain got swamped. This was pretty much the year that everything involving gardens crashed for me! My seedlings all failed for various reasons. I found that I have physically deteriorated significantly since just last year and can't keep up with a garden the size of the one I planted. My niece and her fiance promised to help all summer, but they haven't been able to. I started classes again recently for a change in life direction. On top of all that, I was subscribed to every gardening group known to Yahoo, and my mailbox was overstuffed every day! It just plain got to me, and as I am likely to do when faced with too much, I wasn't able to do much of anything. (Except the classes. I got A's.)

So here's the story. Once this year's garden is done, I am radically rethinking it. For one, far fewer tomatoes and more peppers. The reason for this is that peppers need far less care than tomatoes and have fewer pests, also taking up less space, and are easier to weed. Another thing I am thinking is going to container gardening, even homemade upside-down planting. I'm also wanting to experiment with growing tobacco, so that eliminates the problems of cucumber, melon, and squash vines.

I'm also rethinking a lot of my organic ideas. I hate to admit it, but I don't have the physical capability anymore to garden totally organically. Essentially, the weeds and the perennials are taking over, and I can't keep them back. Not when just a few minutes' of bending over and standing up makes me so light-headed I'm nauseous, and not when standing up for any length of time makes my knees scream in pain. So when I take down the garden this year, I am going to apply some weed killer to prevent them from coming up in the spring, and when spring comes, I am going to apply some pre-emergent herbicide.

Seed starting is a pain as well because of lack of space, the energy it uses, the fact that I have to do it upstairs, and so on. So the only thing I am planning on starting is the tobacco, and I'll be buying starts through sites like I'm going to cut back my tomato varieties from approximately 9,000 to one or two--probably Rutgers, which is the one tomato this year that excelled even in the weeds.

Next year: more and better mulching. I just can't keep down the weeds without heavy fabric and mulch.

And...I severely cut back on my Yahoo groups! I cut many of them to digests and special notices only or even no mail, and a few I dropped entirely. The important thing is to not FEEL overwhelmed. I almost totally lost my love of gardening because there was so much to do, and I don't want that. So next year...much less. Much less. And more happiness.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

There is no "next time"

A thought came to mind that I hadn't seen elsewhere. I don't post many blog entries because anything I have to say has generally been said by a lot of people elsewhere, and I don't feel my words are so deathless that they need to contribute to the junk drawer that is the blogosphere. When I see an aspect of something no one else seems to, though, it's time for a comment.

Now, a lot of people are saying we have to get healthcare done now, because if we don't, it won't get done at all. I agree with that, but I think it's much more than that. We have to succeed--Obama has to succeed--or else it's the end of the road for Democrats entirely.

Look at it this way. Obama was elected with the closest thing Dems have had to a mandate since LBJ was elected in 1964. We have the largest Congressional majority since that time, too. Obama came in with the kind of popularity that we haven't seen since Reagan and a clear mandate for change. Yet we're getting derailed by the combined might of the D.C. lobbies--Big Health is out to get us, and it's been revealed (via leaked internal memo) that Big Oil is planning the same strategy for climate change legislation.

If we can't accomplish major legislation with the assembly we have now, when will we? Is there any possibility that if the big corporations win now, they will be weaker in the future? If the most popular Democrat since Kennedy, since FDR really, can't accomplish the major change we need along with a veto-proof Senate, who is going to come along and do it? We get taunted by the right for having elected "The Messiah" and "The One." Yeah, we put a lot of pressure on Obama to deliver more than any other President has. But if he doesn't do it, if we can't do it, who in the world is going to?

Who will be able to stand up to Big Money if we cannot?

Paraphrasing the Chief of Staff in "The American President," the American people thirst for leadership, and they'll crawl through the desert to get it. And if they don't find it there, they'll drink the sand. Wake up, Democrats: if we can't show that we have the spine and cojones to lead, Americans will turn to people who do. And the only other option is the GOP.

We can't crow that the GOP is dead. We can't relax just because they keep putting up fools and buffoons. If we don't lead and succeed, the American people will choose a buffoon who can. They already did in 2000 and 2004. As it is, we stand to lose seats in 2010 because of our indecision, and we'll be able to accomplish far less--especially since, thinking they see the writing on the wall, Dems will tack even farther to the right, thinking that's what Americans want. That's not what they will be voting for: they'll be voting for anyone who can govern strongly. And if they see the GOP as strong in 2010, and we can't accomplish anything between there and 2012, we're going to see a Republican president...and that one may well be a loon like Sarah Palin.

There is no "maybe next time." This is it for us. We have the strongest leader in a generation, and if we can't get it done now, no one is going to trust us in the future. Be firm with your congressperson and your President. Tell them that the public option is not optional. As our President said, "We are the people we have waited for." If we let our agenda be destroyed by a well-ogranized group of lobbyists now, we might as well throw in the towel. This is it. If we don't win now, they own us.

Write, call, and pester your leaders until they listen. A free America is your responsibility.