Adventures in Imperfection

Butt Cheeks and Elbows

 

photo_2

Thursday is May Day! I can’t remember an April when I’ve been more than willing to send it on its way while letting the door hit it on the ass.

Gentle ear warning: that may not be the last time you’ll hear/see ass in this post.

Typically, I’m a huge fan of early Spring. Emerging tulips, sprigs of honeysuckle and early buzzing of the bees and hummingbirds all make me smile and reach for the sun. But, since most of March and April has been slept away on an airplane, I haven’t been able to do the things I typically do to recover from winter’s hangover.

Dig in the dirt, pull weeds, plant seeds and tickle new life to the surface.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

April is my month of tasks that cure a winter weary soul and bring me back, literally, to earth. However, when those manual moments only happen at fleeting, uncontrolled, inconsistent times my brain gets all wiggly and misfires like the poorly timed Chevy big block that used to keep hubby permanently ticked off.

It wasn’t until two weeks ago that I was able to dig in the dirt, plant a few seeds and soak in the scent of sweet soil under my nails. I could feel sanity slowing creeping back into the recesses of my mind and even saw my muse show up to help me write a couple of times.

This is the time of year that my family gets blatantly rejected on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and where hubby chides, “It’s all asses and elbows now, right?” It’s the same phrase I used with him when he raced cars. I could only see the greasy butt of his jeans and elbows hanging out under the hood of his latest project.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This is as close to an “ass and elbow” picture as you’re gonna get.

The house doesn’t get cleaned and the laundry pile is rejected in lieu of the outdoors. Most sentences start with, “I still need to (insert verb) till, compost, weed, plant, plan, grid, graph, buy…” and then the drool drops to the floor as I wander off to my shed babbling incoherent poetry about chicken poop. People are forgotten, pets don’t get fed and life is on hold until the garden is in.

My dad tells me that’s exactly the way my Grandma was. Methodical, systematic and stoic. Some days it feels like she is looking over my shoulder as I grid and graph companion plants and plans.

“Move this here. Don’t plant onions next to the beans. Put nasturtium among the cucumbers to make them sweeter. Be sure to sprinkle marigolds throughout. Rotate.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Never a patient gardener, I’m eager to see the fruits of my labor and always worry that nothing is going to come up even though I should have faith by now that it will. Each evening is spent in a ritual walk around the yard hoping to see evidence that my black thumb was severed before the seeds touched it.

It’s also the best time to dig up the dandelions that pop up over night.

photo_1
I HATE these bastards!

And here we are on April 29. Even though I’m stuck working in Alexandria, VA (a travel story for another time) I’ve been getting nightly reports from my kind and supportive hubby. Radishes and lettuce are up. Tomatoes are hanging tough (even though I know I planted them in the ground too soon). Parsnips, turnips and carrots are all trying to make a show, but they shiver knowing that the “last official frost date” of April 15 is a farce as it could still snow in May.

I’ll be home before the May Day celebrations start and plan to spend my first evening home with one butt cheek up in the air and an elbow bent permanently at 60 degrees digging, tickling, teasing and having faith that life will surface again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

~~~~

Special thanks to Ned Hickson who unknowingly provided me the prompt for this post. If you want a better view of May Day celebrations and real pictures of asses and elbows, take a peek over at the article he wrote for Long Awkward Pause “Like Justin Timberlake and sexy, I’m bringin’ May Day back.”  It will certainly tickle your funny bone and get your day off to a great start.

~~~~

  • Guest post tomorrow at Running On Sober: Standing Together with Tall Trees (Braveheart Chronicles Vol. 3). I’m featuring some beautiful, talented people.
  • Four-part “travel” series starts next Monday (if I can stay out of cabs long enough to actually write!)

62 thoughts on “Butt Cheeks and Elbows

  1. The smell of the earth will do that to you every time Michelle. How lovely it is. And hubby will be watching you wiggle it from inside the house….don’t you worry about that πŸ™‚ Aah, the fruit of the vine, how sweet it is πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. You made me laugh right out loud, Mark! Whereas I’m sure hubby doesn’t mind the wiggling…pretty sure it won’t be from inside the house as SOMEONE needs to supervise me πŸ™‚
      As always, thank you for stopping by and for the lovely reply this morning on your own post.
      Peace and Spring to you!

      Like

  2. I’m probably the only person on earth whining that spring is here because we never got a winter this year in southern Arizona. I feel like I didn’t get to hibernate, not to mention wear my new boots. It’s going to be 90 degrees here later this week and I’m just not ready to paint my summer toes on. Enough whining. I’ll just watch Frozen again and turn the A/C on. Your post is beautiful. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. LOVE Arizona, Karen. I can totally empathize with your plight as I also appreciate each of the four seasons. The biggest travesty is not getting to wear your new boots…you should have popped over to KS for a January visit!
      I have yet to see Frozen–those movies were mine and my daughter’s rituals when she was younger. That said, she and I have watched Lion King over and over again even as she approaches 20.
      NOW…let’s go get those summer toes painted (mine are in dire need of attention!)
      xo

      Like

    1. We do have great soil and the sunflowers are planted.
      That said, I have a photographer’s appreciation for red clay and horizon magic it makes when it’s blown into the air.
      Thanks for stopping by! Always a pleasure to hear from you πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. Okay serious question, every blog I read , people are talking about flying to all these places, so I just wanna know am I the only poor person who blogs or what? Lol. Good post I love gardening also.

    Like

    1. Believe me, Diana…I don’t fly to these places cuz I’m rich πŸ™‚
      Actually, I have a very unusual job that takes me to more cities and tines than I ever could have imagined. I might even write about them in the coming months.
      I know you’re an awesome gardener…gonna fill me in on some secrets any time soon?!?

      Like

      1. Sadly i have not mastered the primitive fire making skills yet, stupid fire, lol. I will though and I will definitely share any and all tips once I do. Cloning tomato plants, very interesting, I have nevet heard of that.

        Like

  4. We’re a good couple of weeks behind up here. Mother’s Day is often the big gardening day, if not that, then Victoria Day weekend (AKA the following weekend). Enjoy your obsession.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Ross! I will! Mother’s Day is typically my big gardening day, too…I was just way too impatient πŸ™‚
      I need to make it up to Canada at some point. Some months I’m only working 30 minutes from the border.
      Victoria Weekend sounds like I holiday I would like, too.
      Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

      Like

    1. Why, thank you Christy. I, um, get them from running.
      Regarding my “beautiful writing”…it was the clever use of “ass” right?
      It was fun to write–nice to not be in such a serious space and still be able to convey a mini message.
      The little three way conversation last night got me started πŸ˜‰
      Xo

      Like

      1. Oh yes, you know me and my fondness for clever asses.
        Ummmm.
        Writing just for the fun of it is as needed as digging in the dirt. Helps us sharpen the saw for when it’s time to get serious.
        Four-way if you count Snoop. Ha!

        Like

  5. I envy your garden. I tried to garden where I live, but slugs feasted on a lot of what I planted. I put my plants in a raised bed (4×8′), put copper tape around the outside, put slug bait on the ground outside the bed, and still the slugs feasted. Carrots never got big enough, and when I left them to sweeten during the winter, they just rotted (too wet here in WA). I gave up on my veggie garden and now mostly put flowers in pots here and there. Easier to pick the slugs out of the pots- even when they’re up on stands. Although, over the years, I have discovered a few plants that neither the slugs nor deer eat, and they actually grow well: lavender and blueberries to name a few. Glad you’ll be home on May Day to check on your garden!

    Like

    1. Oooohhhh…..slugs! Ugh, right?
      I bet your flowers are beautiful and now it’s my turn to be envious. Blueberries???!! Who can successfully grow blueberries? Apparently, our soil isn’t acidic enough…they die if you even mention there’s a chance they will end up in my yard.
      So thankful you stopped by…I’m eager to check out what you’ve been up to
      πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. I am green enough to be perfectly planted in your “garden”…or what looks like a back 40 to me!
    WOW! (to the gardening, tho the ass….)
    Love this post and pics and can’t wait to see more.

    Like

    1. You are too cute, Michele. I can’t help but think what a great addition you’d be to the garden…you could bring your yoga/zen energy and provide some calm to the chaos.
      Admittedly, I do love my “back 40.” I’m a farm girl and guess I’d still rather have wide open spaces over 3 story mansions πŸ™‚
      As always…thanks for stopping!
      (No pressure, but you know I’m popping over to your site frequently to check out your latest prompts!)

      Like

      1. no pressure???
        HAH!
        I’m trying to write one right now and will hopefully put it up. meanwhile If can always list a few if your
        you’re interested?

        Like

  7. The only thing I can keep alive is my Netflix addiction – my husband is the talented green thumb around here. It must run in the family, as I regularly get fresh carrots, cucumbers and green peppers from his sister’s garden. Happy Spring!

    And, I am so excited for Braveheart Chronicles and your travel series! I don’t seem to get email notifications when you post. Hmph. I’m fixing that now…

    Like

    1. Hello Nadia! I’ve been loving on you (in my mind!) all week! Loved your Six Song stories and dug your own post to your readers (MamaMix?). I am abosolute fan of your writing style.
      Unfortunately, my internet access has been sketchy and seem to only be able to send vibes when I’d rather send comments. I can appreciate your Netflix addiction especially as I find myself stuck in a hotel room tonight wishing I could get caught up on the Game of Thrones series.
      Thanks for your great reply…my gardening habits all started with a steady supply of carrots and tomatoes from friendly neighbors πŸ™‚
      Thank you dear friend–you are always so kind to stop and comment.

      Like

      1. I also find it hard to comment as much as I want to… Less to do with my Internet connection and more with my scrambled egg brain. And I can’t even blame it on pregnancy or hormones.

        You are too kind. I wish you many hours of Netflix and all elbows and butt cheeks in the garden once you’re back home. xx

        Like

  8. As I read this after finishing today’s deadline, my son calls me from home to say it’s 80 degrees. And he has a bat, baseball and mitts waiting when I get home. I’m not much of a gardener, but batting the ball around with the smell of the ocean in the air is part of my springtime regeneration process. This was a wonderful post, Michelle β€” the words and photos truly captured the optimism of spring that’s steadily gaining momentum.

    And I agree; dandelions are real bastards.

    I’m also flattered my “May Day” post could inspire you to show your ass and elbows… πŸ˜‰

    Enjoy the fruits of your labor in the weeks ahead, and Happy May Day!

    Like

    1. Hi Ned!
      Thank you for stopping by and reading on a busy Tuesday…I know I have one from you waiting in my inbox.
      How awesome to have your son call you with a favorable weather report and a bat waiting at home. In fact, there’s no dirt or flower or veggie that could beat that invitation. Add the ocean air..well…I’d be hooked and happy, too.
      And, YES…your post totally inspired mine. The title was already there, but the content and timing was sealed after reading yours. Gotta love the WP community.
      Thanks again for stopping and hope you enjoyed the afternoon with your son.
      xo
      Michelle

      Like

  9. It’s still been too icky here to do any real outside stuff. Supposedly it’ll be in the upper 50s and low 60s towards the end of the week, it better be, I need to be outside!

    Now, why would you be jealous about my ass working a pair of yoga pants? Your ass seems as though it would look just as good in them πŸ˜‰

    Like

    1. Hey Jennie!
      Just found out that it’s icky back home, too. I pretended to call home to check in on the boys, but hubby quickly knew that I was just checking on the possibility of it freezing tonight. I always listen for the frogs, look at the clouds and assess the wind. If all of the former are missing, then it’s gonna freeze the leaves off my babies!!
      Let’s just set the record straight regarding my ass. It’s bony and not yoga pants worthy. I have to distract with my dazzling smile and charming disposition. You bring the butt and and I’ll bring the elbows. xo

      Like

  10. really enjoyed so many parts of this post! like those garden stakes that hold the yarn are so artsy! ha!
    and I liked the different shots – that let us feel your plot – and see you in action – and just enjoyed the flow especially this:

    “and tickle new life to the surface.”
    now that’s just good……

    have a great day πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Oh Yvette…you always know how to make my day. You’ve probably figured out by now that the littlest things and processes make me happy and calm. The photos are inspired by talented folks like you and you have no idea how touched I am that you noticed my use of “tickle.” Amazing what gets written when you just let it happen, right?!
      As for the tomatoes…what’s mine is yours xo

      Like

  11. Ahhhh, the rich smell of the earth!! I haven’t had a garden now for a few years and I so miss just ‘connecting’ with the ground. Your photos are great and I really enjoyed reading your post, Michelle – second best thing to a garden for myself. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Hello dear friend! You’ve been on my mind πŸ™‚
      Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by. You always make me smile. Xo

      Pssst; your courage poem goes “live” in about an hour. Can’t wait to have Christy’s audience read it!!

      Like

  12. Great post MamaMickTerry. It even smells like spring. I am always cheered by the sights and smells of planting, but am not good at it myself. Thanks for the cheery images and prose.

    Like

    1. Hey Paul!
      Great to hear from you πŸ™‚
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read. The only gardening thing I’m good at is having the patience to start over after the first dozen times I mess up πŸ™‚

      Like

    1. Thank you so much, my friend!
      I’m not sure if the basket really fit, but I take it with me everywhere and it just needed a spot. I’m glad it resonated with you πŸ™‚
      Forgive my late reply…I truly appreciate you stopping by with your kind words. πŸ™‚

      Like

  13. It’s official. I have a girl crush on you.

    I compost and garden as well. In fact, 10 minutes ago I added to my compost and thought, I don’t anyone else who composts. Now I do! I don’t garden a bunch of veggies tho. I have a vewy teenie garden. It’s mostly perennials, irises, and some small trees.

    Like

    1. OMG! How crazy is this?!?
      If you say you also smell your compost after stirring it around, then it’s time for us to pick out the china patterns and register at Macy’s.
      I would love to see pictures of your pretty space. This is only my second year for veggies…I’m a flower lover first πŸ™‚ Mmmmmm….irises..,

      Like

      1. I like leaves on a china pattern? How ’bout you, love? πŸ˜‰

        The smell is how I know the mix is balanced. The feel is how I know it has enough moisture. When it looks like brownie batter, I know it’s time to give it to my garden.

        *smokes cig* was that as good for you as it was for me?

        Like

      2. OMG Beth! I’m dying!
        I just read your reply out loud to my hubby. Then I had to explain (again) who these dear “friends in my phone” are.
        Mmmmm..,.brownie batter πŸ™‚
        Xo

        Ps: I will so be back over to your site as soon as I’m back in front of my lap top. I’m eager to see what you’ve been up to! And I need to see pics of your pretty flowers πŸ™‚

        Like

    1. Thank you so much and I’m so sorry that you don’t have Spring. What seasons DO you have? Having all four here, I’m always eager to hear about those who don’t.
      I do hope you had a great weekend, though.
      Thanks again for stopping!
      Michelle

      Like

  14. I LOVE gardening, but I’m a terrible micromanager of my plants. I end up with hundreds of plants so I can leave others alone. I always have to have things growing so I can see the various stages.

    I really like the photography in this post, you make gardening look so fun and beautiful. My gardening pictures make me look all country bumpkin. Haha!

    Like

    1. Oh….but I love country bumpkin!!
      I totally understand the hundreds of plants notion….I see the pretty rows (annuals especially) and just can’t help myself.
      Thank you so much for stopping and reading…I’ll be sure to check out your site, too!
      Michelle

      Like

  15. Key mama-mick – had to come back and leave you a comment – and our internet filter blocked this post (had to use the password to open it – lol – because of the title – funny – and I know you talked about the title and all that) anyhow, just wanted to say that I appreciate your joy – and it has a way of coming into my life at different times – and out in the garden this week I chuckled when a few things made me thing of you. Just wanted you to know that – πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Oooh yikes! I may need to start rethinking my titles πŸ™‚ Actually, that thought crossed my mind even before getting your note…don’t want to get too clever and drift away from my mama roots πŸ™‚
      You are SO kind to come back to say that you appreciate my joy. It’s what I love most about you, too! xo

      Like

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s