Tuesday, June 14, 2011

True Grit

Last weekend Steve and I watched the movie True Grit. The original John Wayne version is better, but that's just my opinion. Those western movies make me pine for the past.  I've always had a bit of a fascination with pioneer people. Like this lady here. Can anyone compare with Ma Ingalls?  She was the Martha Stewart of the plains, only better.  Ma never went to jail :). I remember being sorely disappointed when my mom revealed to me that people in those days did not have pretty skin, perfect hair and white teeth - if they had teeth.  Bummer.
The pioneers were so courageous, industrious, persevering and often downright fearless.  When I have bouts of self pity as I agonize over the fountains of laundry cascading out of the hamper or another dreaded trip to town with the clan to run errands, I just think of all those pioneer women, who in cumbersome corsets, with calloused hands braved the exhausting endeavors of homesteading.

Both of my parents were raised on farms.  It's impossible to rest on your laurels when you're raised on a farm...or if you are raised by people who were raised on a farm.  I tried some of that laurel-resting in my youth, and was very unsuccessful. Canning, sewing, painting, mowing - you name it, we did it. If there was work to be done there were kids there to help.

We_Can_Do_It!.jpgNow, my mom could kill, dress and fry a chicken at the age of 9.  If I could have done that at the age of 9, I would have expected a trophy, demanded an allowance and voluntarily submitted my picture to the local newspaper.  She just knew how to contribute, how to be helpful, and so did my dad.

The value of hard work and dedication demonstrated to me by my parents and grandparents has served as a great motivator when I have been faced with tasks which require not only a creative mind, but a lot of endurance and the application of a little "elbow grease," as my dad used to say.

Now, don't get me wrong, I l-o-v-e to have help, and if I could have my way, there are just some chores that I dream of conquering in a Jetson-type world. Having a space-age gadget to stylize my mane and wardrobe, tackle the laundry, and suds up the dishes at the same time would be out of this world (wink)!

After living in our former newly-constructed/landscaped home in Johnson County suburbia, it's been so good for the boys to be a part of the process of making a home a home, from the ground up. For the past nine months, I have been channeling Caroline Ingalls - you know, moving to the country, not having a lawn, dirt caked in the windows, critters in the house (besides the kids). Minus the washboards, cow milking and a fiddle playing, curly-haired hubby, were practically twins. Oh, and I don't have any girls.  Ok, were not really the same. But, kinda.
In the summer, my abode is a tad neglected, because I prefer to be outside working in the garden, planting flowers, snapping nature photos and hiding from...I mean playing sports with the kiddos. One of the big DIY projects we are tackling as a family is landscaping around the house.  
How do you do this, you ask, with a newborn baby??  Very, very slowly and patiently.  With a plan, the right tools, and an army of boys bribed with the promise of unlimited popsicles, anything is possible.
Before taking on such a project, be sure that you have:

More Muscles,
A tractor-driving Christmas puppy??,
An ancient rusty roto-tiller named Bessie who requires at least 10 minutes of brow sweat and naughty words to get started. (Handy for teaching the boys a lesson in perseverance while you run into the house and grab a hops and barley based refreshment for you and the hub.
And finally, don't forget...
Free and abundant entertainment for those who might otherwise be underfoot or trying to "trim" the newly-purchased plants. May I suggest,
worms??  We love worms!
And, we love a dad who will listen to endless stories about worms!
Laurel-resters are not allowed. Even if they are resting on the deck that they built with their bare hands. Beat it, Mr. Laurel-Rester.  
I am sure that in no time at all, my freshly planted knock-out roses, sprays of lavender and
mounds of day-lillies will soon blossom and bloom with the best of them....
flagstone walk.jpg
Ok, maybe not, but one can dream can't she?? Here are just a few more flash-cards from my imagination...
I dream of greenhouses like this one!
And, this one too!
This serene spot just screams, "Hey you, get your little laurels over here and park it!"
Copy of beautiful cottage garden.JPG.jpg
VW Bus - garden accents.JPG.jpg
Gardener's never lack creativity!  Flower power!


Didn't you ever see the Jetsons?? 
Do you think Rosie can pull weeds??

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