taking care...

If I had to pick one thing about my life and about the way I spend my time that completely surprises me, I would say it's how I enjoy taking care of living things. It surprises me because I always thought I preferred to deal with information and inanimate objects (like books) rather than living things that need me. I don't think of myself as a caretaker. But here I am with two children that I take care of 24 hours a day, and I'm pleasantly surprised to find that this year of constant togetherness (without preschool) is more heavenly than I could have imagined. I have two cats who are ancient if you're counting in cat years, and although I sometimes resent having to care for them everyday (you wouldn't believe how much they eat, and how much they pee, and how much the like to be pet, and how much they want to come inside and go outside again), I do love them. Erma is 16 years old and she's been with me for so many life changes. I got her when she was 6 weeks old and she was the last kitty in the litter to be picked. Actually, it wasn't me who picked her, or me who was in the market for a cat (I already had one, Agnes, who remains my favorite cat so far... shhh). It was my live-in boyfriend at the time who called me at work and said, "We have a new cat. I couldn't resist."

Flash forward 16 years, and it's me who has Erma. And a lot of houseplants.

Our neighbors are moving and they gave me their houseplants this week. I am so honored by it - I consider it a matter of trust and respect to be given houseplants to care for. With the addition of these new ones, I now have 30 houseplants. They require constant care, especially now that we have the pellet stove. The stove dries some of them out, enough so that some now need water every day. Others are on a weekly schedule. I have to pay constant attention to know who needs what. The orchid, which I've dutifully neglected for several months, is now starting to sprout two new shoots for blossoms, and I imagine I will now have to pay more attention to it. Or will I?

Not only do I take care of children, pets and houseplants, I usually have a refrigerator full of produce that needs some sort of care. Or planning, at least.

I like to cook. I love my children. I love my cats. I enjoy my plants. Usually, if life is going along smoothly, it's all wonderful. I give to them, they give back, and everyone is happy. Sometimes my mood changes though and I get more selfish, or perhaps I get busy with unexpected things, and I don't feel like cooking, or talking to the plants, or opening yet another can of cat food. That's when I get resentful. Thank goodness it doesn't happen very often. And since living things will eventually go "bad" if you don't pay attention to them, my time away doesn't last very long because all of these things let me know that they need my care. And I'm happy to oblige.

Jeff is home tonight, after a few days away for business. We all missed him, and we're happy to have him back. Oh, and I just looked over and saw that my christmas cactus hasn't been watered yet and is looking a little glum... looks like I have something to do now, right?


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!