the frustrating bits lately

I apologize for not posting. I worked a lot this weekend, surveying farmers’ market patrons & touring an absolutely stunning farm in Paoli. I’ll post about that day later this week. I am currently sitting in my kitchen while Joe is finally near boarding a plane in NYC. After a weekend of work, he was slapped in the face by two cancelled flights, a night in the airport hotel & a switch from JFK to LaGuardia rather early this morning. Yes, I am complaining about this for him. We’re creeping toward the end of summer, & I have become completely frustrated with the mélange of jobs we’ve taken on for the summer. I’m actually dreaming of the day when we both have standard business hours. (I didn’t think we’d I’d want to feel that settled for a while. I was wrong.)

This week has been a bit of a mess, more so than most of my rather messy weeks–from minor things (an extra two inches being taken off during my haircut) to genuinely life-changing (a class was cancelled that resulted in my shift from sustainability/policy analysis to strictly policy analysis with a more bureaucracy bent).

Like most things, the setbacks this week are beginning to look like blessings. The switch in concentrations has introduced me to a professor who I think will make the perfect adviser, and the haircut… Well, it’s a haircut. It’s saving me time & shampoo, & the stuff always grows back.

I haven’t quite figured out what the bright side of our garden situation is, but I felt that I should share it for you. I feel I’ve painted a picture of our first garden experience as being all sunshine & roses. Really, it’s been sunshine & drought, and now squash borers (who eat their way through the inside of the plant & leave sad, dehydrated lumps of wilted leaves behind, like this). And maybe even some blight on our tomatoes. And a gorgeous new pepper plant that I just put in has died, presumably from the shock of the heat & dryness after its happy little container home.

I’d been preparing myself of zero success in the garden this year. Then when the successes kept rolling in, I forgot that there would be failures. It’s a reminder of how much we don’t know. We didn’t give any plant enough space. We didn’t prune our tomatoes when they started to grow. We didn’t think about how much our peppermint bush would send out runners. We didn’t realize how much water a Topsy Turvy needs to keep a tomato plant going.

We didn’t realize how many tomatoes you get from three plants.

This is great knowledge to gain, & I’m excited to be years down the road with a beautiful garden, looking back at all the people who have helped be get through this summer’s garden, looking at the things we tried & the ways we learned. The produce will just keep tasting better.

And after watching Forks Over Knives last night, I want both of us to be eating far more produce. A friend had me over for ice cream & a movie–we opted for this, then felt a bit guilty about our dairy consumption… I’m asking all of you to watch this movie. More than that, I’m asking you to keep an open mind about what they’re saying. Could all of you immediately go vegan? Well, yeah you could. But will you? Probably not, so I’m just asking you to keep an open mind & look at ways you can limit the intake of harmful foods in your diet.

The messages of what protein is, what our diet needs to be & what food groups are is (1) in constant (sometimes subtle, sometimes massive) flux, like all sciences & (2) crafted by industries with vested interests. I promise. One of my first case studies as a public relations student was a man who so artfully crafted the message for the meat industry that bacon & sausage are a key part of a hearty breakfast that it became our truth.

The doctors in Forks Over Knives are not just sustaining lives, their saving them by reversing the effects of poor diets–they’re fighting through prevention and through disease treatment. Because illness is just that–dis-ease in the body. And whole foods, which restore your body’s defenses, can help put your body back at ease. Not sure about it? Just watch. While you’re watching look at the doctors. Then think about the people you know who are in their 70s & 80s. Do they cycle? Could they move a fallen tree? Are they still fully able to go through their day without fear of falling, without assistance, without medications? Do they have full heads of hair?

As my friend’s husband said last night, “I mean, look at these guys. They’re doing something right!”

Now, enough chatter. I’m off to prune some tomato plants before a morning meeting.

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About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
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