Tag Archive | relationships

Planting seeds to grow a community

As I have previously stated, I started a list of goals for 2014 back in December.  Some are personal goals.  Some are financial goals.  Some are household goals.  And, some are ‘pay it forward’ goals.

One of these pay it forward goals is that I would like to start a community fruit and vegetable garden.  While it is not a new idea, it is something that I believe would benefit many people here in my local area.  People like single parents, un/under employed, dual income families with just too many ends to make meet each month– basically, anyone and everyone.  Even though I am unemployed, I do not qualify for benefits such as SNAP or WIC because a piece of paper states an amount that I should be receiving to support my children.  Sometimes I get this income.  Sometimes I do not.  It’s not at all regular, but, because that piece of paper says I get it, it leaves me unable to qualify for assistance.  I know that I could benefit from a community garden to help offset the cost of groceries for the children and I.

This garden would not be charity, though.  Quite the contrary, actually.  This garden would allow those to proud to apply for assistance an opportunity to ‘work’ for their shares of fruits and veggies.  This garden would allow those that get assistance an opportunity to stretch their benefits a bit further.  This garden would give parents a teaching opportunity for their children on what it means to work for a living.  This garden would allow children to see how awesome our environment is and how to use it to provide sustenance.   This garden would bring a community together and allow for networking and new friendships and relationships.  This garden would be a community effort– one that is as functional as it is beautiful.

I envision plots of tomatoes and vines of squash.  I picture blueberry bushes and strawberry patches.  I dream of peppers and lettuces and broccoli and cucumbers and carrots and more.  I imagine children laughing and smiling as they sneak green beans and snap peas to nibble.   I see beautiful flowering plants and overflowing baskets of healthy, ripe, delicious vegetation.  And, I visualize the family recipes being utilized to create meals that fill the bellies and hearts of all whom partake of the community garden.

When the seasons start to change, and the growing season slows, the community garden is just warming up!  While I cannot, I know there are many that can and do can fruits and veggies from harvests.  The garden will have its harvest, and the remaining bounty can be made into salsa and jams and canned tomatoes, peppers, and more.  This effort will enable the community to enjoy the labors of the summer months well into the long, cold winter.  One of my favorite Christmas gifts this past December was a jar of homemade salsa from a dear friend.  When I cracked the seal on the jar and poured out the fresh tomatoes, peppers and cilantro into a bowl, I remembered my friend and our talks and our stories.  It was comforting– and delicious!!

The problem is, though, that I do not know the first thing about taking on a project like this.  This is all that I know:  I would have to find a location and get zoning.  I would have to get word out so that we could build our list of ‘community helpers’ to get gardens prepped and sectioned off.  We would need tools and gloves and knee pads for us *ahem* older helpers.  We would need to have seedlings started– or maybe we could get donations from some of the local stores.  We would need to create schedules of weeding, watering, and general maintenance of the space.  When the plants begin to produce, we would need help harvesting and sorting and packaging.  We would need to divide the harvest amongst the community garden helpers and families.  Anything left over could be donated to a shelter or soup kitchen, I’m sure, or, used in early canning batches.

One thing that I would like to see happen–besides the community coming together to grow relationships and food–is a community dinner created from our harvest.   I can think of nothing better than coming together to share in the reward of our hard work.

Has anyone ever started anything like this?  Any advice or input?  Would you participate in a community garden?

Forgive my lapse in posting.. here’s a mess of random thoughts!

I also remember the moment my life changed, the moment I finally said, ”I’ve had it! I know I’m much more than I’m demonstrating mentally, emotionally, and physically in my life’.’ I made a decision in that moment which was to alter my life forever. I decided to change virtually every aspect of my life. I decided I would never again settle for less than I can be.”

~Anthony Robbins~

HI!  It’s been a while!  Sorry ’bout that.  Remember that  Shit Fan I have previously mentioned?  Well, yes, it struck again!  Surprise, Surprise!  No, it’s not really a surprise at all.  Uggh.  So, basically, I’m going to use this post as a ‘catch-up” post, if that’s alright with you all?

The Ex:

So, a little over 2 weeks ago, the ex-boyfriend and I were texting, and he mentioned that he misses me…. still loves me… is a confused, emotional mess… doesn’t know what he wants.  Is he sacrificing his happiness if he decides to go back to his old life?  What if his happiness is with me?  He wants to talk to me– on the phone– if I’m alright with that.  Just a few days is all he needs.   As I’m sure you can all imagine, I fell for it.  Again.  Hook, line, and sinker. Because, well, that’s just how I roll.  I got that glimmer of hope– that maybe– just maybe he was seeing what I’ve seen all along.  I told him that I love him, and miss him, too, and that sure– I’d be alright with talking on the phone.  We texted a bit about what went wrong– cleared the air a bit on some issues.  But he still isn’t sure what he wants.

And, I get that.  I absolutely get that.  I can honestly say that I know how that feels.  I have been in many situations where I simply just don’t know what I want–Unsweetened iced tea?  Water?  The salad?  Greasy patty melt?  Seriously.  Decisions are tough.  But, see, for me?  The decision about who I wanted to be with was not.  I knew I wanted to be with him.  Warts and all. Was it hard work?  Yes.  Were there things that we’d have to work on (likely) continuously?  Sure.  Were there things that I didn’t particularly care for?  Of course.  But, there was still no question for me.  I wanted to be with him.  We moved WAY too quickly– so we had some issues very early on, but I believed we could get through anything.  That’s how much I loved him.

So, after thinking about, and re-reading, our text conversation close to a thousand times, it dawned on me.  Why on Earth am I holding on so desperately to someone who knows he loves and misses me, but doesn’t know if he wants to be with me?   WHY do I allow myself to even pretend that there is hope for us??  If he did come back to me, I’d always be worried that his past life would come back just as she did this time and decide she wants him again.. just like she did this time.  And he’d leave me.  Again.  Or– would he be coming back because she decided she DOESN’T want him anymore, and, therefore, I’m the fallback plan?  I will say, though, that I do not, in any way, believe that is how we started out– I believe he really thought he was ready for a new relationship. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is this…….I don’t want to ever doubt that my man loves, respects, desires, needs, and truly knows that he is with me because he WANTS to be– not because he feels he has no other option.  I think I deserve that man who wants to be with me because of his genuine interest in me–and what we could become– not because of obligation or convenience.  As Gwen Stefani so eloquently put it.. “I ain’t no holla back girl.”   I have told him that I am not certain we can continue to text, because, well, it’s feels too hard for me to switch between our love relationship back to a friendship.  Not because I don’t love him.. not because I don’t still think about him and our plans.  Not because I don’t WANT him in my life.  But because I cannot heal and move on if I’m constantly holding onto the idea of my life with him. The life he doesn’t know if he wants or can handle. 

Blah.

My mother:

Very long story short—-My brother and I were informed that our mother was going to pass away last Monday.  Quickly.  We needed to get to her bedside.  Schedules re-arranged. Plans cancelled or changed.  Travel arrangements made.  Child care situated. And then we drove from NJ (brother) and NY(me) to Vermont (mom).  Not really certain how to explain what happened up there, so I will simply say this:  Mom is alive, and, for all intents and purposes– well.  I guess my issue with this is NOT that she is alive, but, rather, that I prepared for her to not be.  I feel as if I’m on an emotional roller coaster that just refuses to stop!  AAACK!  She was given the anointing of the sick, and “woke up” within a few hours, so of course, her recovery is divine intervention.  I’m glad she has her faith to hold onto and keep with her.  I am home now, and hoping she sticks around for a while longer.

My 5k Training:

Oh boy.  I will start this section by saying– I am SUPER proud of myself for continuing to get out there almost every day to walk/jog.  Usually by now, I’d have quit.  I’m not seeing the weight loss results I’d hoped, and that is typically my reason for quitting my diet/exercise routines.  This time, though, I’m focusing more on my overall physical and emotional health.  And it’s working.  I had to take about 4 days off during my trip to Vermont last week, and despite my reluctance, I went back to the track Monday morning.  I’m determined to stick to this.  I have been having a lot of difficulties with shin splints, and it’s been keeping me from actually going hardcore running, but I’m working on correcting them.  Stretching, shoes, inserts, ice, ibuprophen.  I know that I am likely going to be unable to run/jog the full 5k on June 3rd, but at this point, 39 days is simply not enough time to undo all of the damage I’ve done to myself over the past 19 years.  I  am not looking to compete.  I only wish to complete.  If I complete this race– whether I walk the whole damn thing or not– I will have actually stuck to a goal I’ve set for myself without sabotaging it.  That’s all I want.  There is another race July 8th (Run for Rover) that I am looking forward to, perhaps, competing, but for now?  I will be thrilled to simply complete the Junetienth.   

For now, I think that about wraps up my update.  I’m hungry– and so I will go get lunch.  A healthy one!  🙂

As always, thanks for reading, and I appreciate the feedback!  🙂

 

FWB, anyone?

 

“Friends with benefits? More than friends? Don’t sample the goodies unless you’re willing to risk addiction and withdrawal.” 

~Ann Landers~

This weekend, a few friends and I got together for movies and junk food.  We’re all pretty much broke as a joke, so yeah, we improvise!  We watched ‘Clerks’ and ‘Friends with Benefits’ while gorging on pepperoni monkey bread, chips, dip and rice crispy treats.  There was an ice cream cake as well, but we never got to it.  Sad, really.  But, I am certain it will not go to waste.  Anyway, we watched ‘Friends with Benefits’, and it got me thinking– can one REALLY have an arrangement with someone that is purely physical?  NEITHER party develops feelings at some point?  Is it possible?  I know people who are married and have an FWB on the side.  I know people who are single –with no desire to ever change that status– that have an FWB.  I know people who are exclusive with one person but without the relationship–simply a FWB.  I also know people who have tried to have an FWB, but couldn’t continue due to developing some serious feelings for the other person.  It’s a tricky thing, this FWB arrangement.

I will admit it, after my separation, I attempted to have one of these said arrangements.  I didn’t know it was going to be that, but just kind of morphed into it, I guess.   We were just two lonely people who enjoyed each others company, and could have a blast out on the town together and with friends, or just hanging out on the couch watching movies all night.  For a while, it was fine.  Nothing weird– no complications– no expectations.  But, after a few months, I began to realize that I was WAY more involved with ‘us’ than he.  I don’t know why I thought that if I was developing feelings, then, surely, he must be as well….. right?!?  No…… No, he was not.  Well, wait– he was– just not for me.  It hurt a bit, but being the type of relationship it was, I was able to put things into perspective quickly and easily.  I suppose that I believed it was one of those silent, but mutual agreements, that while we were ‘together’, we would be monogamous.  I have since learned that these types of relationships simply do not work that way unless the stipulation is brought to the table right from the beginning.   Today?  We are still awesome friends.  We hang out with our friends like nothing ever happened.  It was weird for a little while, but we’re just not willing to let anything come between our friendship.  And, I’m glad about that.

I do realize that there is, often times, more pressure from the girl to turn the arrangement into a relationship.  And, yes.  I am guilty of trying to make a relationship out of nothing.  But, I’m curious to know if there are guys who entered into one of these said arrangements and found himself falling for the girl.  If so, does he tell her?  Do they convert from arrangement to relationship like you see in the movies?  Or, is it easy for him to keep emotions out of the physical act of sex?  From my own experience, I know that it’s damn near impossible for me to be physically involved with someone and not have an emotional connection with him.  Chalk it up to being a stupid girl, I guess.  I have never been able to separate the two.  I know that I would be better off if I could separate the two, but I suppose I keep hoping that I will find the man who is equally attracted to me physically and emotionally. 

Is that really so much to ask?  Uggh.

I remember after my separation my father told me I would eventually want to be with a man again.  I told him he was crazy.  I didn’t need a man.  I have my Chilton’s book, my appliance owner manuals, and my tools to fix stuff on my own.  He said, “yes, and it’s great that you can fix things on your own.  But a Chilton’s book won’t keep you warm at night.”   He was right, of course.  Eventually, I did want to begin dating.  I did wish to find the right guy for me.  I did want to find my “happily ever after”.  Almost 3 years later…….  I’m still looking.  I thought I had found him twice.  The first time– this man is simply awesome.  We can talk about anything.  We can laugh, pick on each other, hang out.. he even lets me just sit on the phone and cry.  Did I want something more with him than I had?  Absolutely.  But I wouldn’t give up what we have now for the world unless circumstances changed considerably and allowed for more.  The second time?  Yeah.. he’s the reason I started blogging.  I was so very sure about him and our future.  I wanted nothing more than to be with him.  I wanted a lifetime with him and our combined 6 kids.  I was truly shattered when he left……. via text message.  It’s been over a month now, and while I’m healing and beginning to see the many red flags that were waving all around me, it still hurts.  Badly.  And it has completely turned me off of dating.  Ever.  It scares me how completely disinterested I am in attempting to date again.   My friends keep telling me this, too, will change, but I don’t know.  I honestly do not know if I can go through this heartache, or, disillusionment of beliefs, again.  I keep saying it is going to take one hell of an amazingly awesome man to convince me I need to go out with him. 

So, of course, the conversation of obtaining a FWB comes up with one of my BFF’s.  I say how it sounds like a good idea– that’s all I need really.  Someone to use and lose.  Blah. Blah.  Blah.  The fact is… I already know that I cannot separate emotions and sex.  So, therefore, I wouldn’t be able to have just a FWB arrangement– I’d end up falling for the guy and get my heart broken all over again when he doesn’t fall for me!  Uggh.  I just don’t know.

What do you guys think?  Is it REALLY possible to have a strictly physical relationship for BOTH parties?  No emotional involvement AT ALL?  If so… share your tips!  haha!  🙂