Friday, May 2, 2014

7 quick takes


Last night I went to a political dinner.  Everything that is NOT up my alley: leave kids with babysitter, get dressed up, wear makeup, meet strangers, talk politics with people I might not already agree with.

However, I ended up having a pretty good time.  For every man who wanted to talk strategy and speechwriting, there usually was a very nice wife who could talk about other things.  (Shak Hill's wife was very nice, and so were Mark Berg's and Mike Webert's wives and several not famous but very pleasant other ladies.)  So it wasn't all one topic for three hours.  I sometimes think I get along better with men because they are so direct, but in all honesty, if it's a room full of total strangers, I prefer talking to women.  They are always looking for common ground with you and not looking to argue.  I appreciate that.


The reason I went to this, the reason it was a Big Huge Deal, was because John was officially announcing his candidacy.  Which means I can now tell you: he is running for our local town council.


Everyone's main question to me was some variation on, "How did he convince you to agree to it?"  I guess many of these political men are held back from running because their wives won't agree to it.  You really can't run for office without your spouse's support -- it's too demanding and a candidate's spouse can't really stay out of the limelight, much as they might prefer to.

My answer was always some variation of, "Well, I wasn't keen on it, but then I thought, I'd like a nice town to live in and somebody's gotta do the work!"

I have been discouraging John from getting too involved in politics for a long time.  I have my doubts as to its effectiveness in actually changing anything, because both getting elected and passing anything once you get there involves so much compromise that your own values are pretty much unrecognizable in the final product.  And corruption is so rampant that an honest man never seems to go far.

But John believes change is possible, and if he's wrong there's no hope for this country.  I'd rather believe his optimism than my pessimism.  If there's a chance he's right, I have to let him try.

Anyway, on the local level one person can make a lot more of a difference.  There are small things, non-partisan things like money mismanagement and taxes and electric bills, that really just need a smart, principled person who knows how to negotiate with the other members of the council and the other levels of government.  That's something I know John can do.

Already the campaign takes him away from home on evenings and weekends much more than I'd like.  But that sacrificing is my way of giving back.  I do little enough for anyone else in the world, the least I can do is free up John to do something for our town.

And that's the long answer.


The kids were NOT good for the babysitter.  Apparently Michael could fall asleep, but not stay asleep to get put in his bed.  And that ruckus kept Marko up.  It sounded awful and the poor woman earned her money for sure.

BUT, after that Michael slept pretty well!  He woke up at about one a.m. because he'd rolled out of bed, but he fell asleep in my arms on the way back to our room.  So I rocked him a bit and laid him down on his bed in our room.  He woke up another time and just fell back to sleep with some shushing and patting and putting his blanket back on.  And then at five or so he crawled into bed and I just went ahead and nursed him.  Birds were singing, I figured it wasn't "night" anymore but "morning lie-in."

So, a night with no nursing! WIN!


Marko, though, woke up a little after five and didn't go back to sleep.  And that's after going to sleep at nine.  I foresee today will be a bit cranky.  However, it is gorgeous today, the rain of earlier in the week is quite gone, so I think we will go to the park.


My tomato plants all turned a little yellow after being transplanted, so I gave them some nitrogen.  (Let's not talk about where I get the nitrogen.  It's organic though.)  Then they turned purple!  Purple on the undersides of the leaves and on all the new growth.  A little googling told me that tomatoes can't uptake phosphorus very well when it's too cold ..... i.e. yes, my overeagerness to plant them is hurting them after all, despite the lack of frost.  Oh well.  I'll cover them up at night with milk cartons and see if that helps.  Anyone know any convenient sources of phosphorus that I might have around the house?


Um ..... let's just leave you with a poem about May.  I memorized this in boarding school for Mother's Day.  I was given 24 hours to learn the whole thing, and I actually did, but as I recollect my delivery was atrocious.  However, you can rap it.  Try it.

May is Mary's month, and I
Muse on that, and wonder why.
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season.

Read the rest here.

More quick takes are here.


Belfry Bat said...

there used to be lots of phosphorus in laundry detergent, but that did all sorts of bad things. Most soil phosphorus gets there from weathering of rock; if you have some fresh rocks, you can try letting them get rained on...

If there's decent phosphorus in the soil already, many plants can associate well with various fungi. So if you can find some way to encourage those fungi... !

Oh, you could try burning your chicken bones after you make soup with them and mix the ashes into your garden. Calcium phosphate is a big component of bone. Mind you, I don't know how burning bones actually works, or what it smells like. There MUST be other ways...

All living cells are about 1% phosphorus, and it's one of the least volatile components, which is probably a big part of why composting works.

Enbrethiliel said...


Let's not talk about where I get the nitrogen. It's organic though.

BWAHAHAHAHA! Oh, this is the best! X-D

Best of luck to John, of course. I'm sure he'll make a fine councilman! And your long answer is a wonderful statement of support and faith in him. =)

I also love the family photos on his Web site! The photographer captured an air of toughness in Marko's bearing that I don't usually see.

Sheila said...

If it's in compost, there's probably plenty in the soil, and it's only the cold that's stopping them from taking it up. I put hot caps on and they do look a little better today.

I believe burning bones is one of the worst smells there is, after burning hair.

Sheila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheila said...

E, he always looks like that when they are strangers around. Like, "don't get any ideas, bucko." We kept trying to get both kids to smile, but Marko just bared his teeth in this garish grimace and Michael hid his face in John's shoulder. It was quite a time trying to get good shots of all of us!

R. T. Sender said...

Are your milk jugs the more opaque plastic? If they're the cloudy semi-see through, just leave them on all day long until the tomatoes get too big for them. I didn't save enough for all my hot-cap needs, so half my cabbages have been bare since transplanting. However, that means I do have an impromptu experiment in whether it's better to leave them on for the cabbage/broccoli. Verdict is definitely better to leave them on - the ones with jug hot-caps have grown much bigger than the cabbages without.

I really ought to put my tomatoes out too, but I started them, as always, much too late and they're ridiculously small.

Wish we lived in your town so we could vote for John. We still don't know a blessed thing about most of the candidates here, so annoying. I wish they were as on the ball as John and at least had a website (his looks really good, and the family photos turned out great!)

Salixbabylonica said...

Hmmph. Somebody really needs to sign out of his account once in a while. (Obviously, that's me nattering on about the garden.)

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