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Posts under ‘Exasperation’


Being a working parent is like a big game of whack-a-mole. Issues pop up at work, at home, out in the rest of my life, sometimes more than one at a time, and I try to knock them off the list, frantically beating them back one at a time. There’s no way to get ahead [...]


When I arrived home with my pots and dirt and all that jazz, I checked my phone to see if The Pickle was sleeping. The Unicorn and I keep close track of him with an app we love, and before those of you who raised children in the pre-app era scoff at us and tell [...]

Shopping lists are overrated (until they’re not)

When I arrived at the garden center, I had two jobs: Buy pots, and buy dirt. This should seem pretty simple. Three plants, so three pots. Right? And enough dirt for said pots. Indeed. But here’s the thing: I didn’t make a list, and I was trying to get home to my husband and baby, [...]

Lucky seven (snails)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed our sage developing holes. Lots and lots of holes. “Something’s eating your sage,” The Unicorn said as we left for work on a recent morning. “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I said. “Perhaps it’s snails.” I shook my head. I hadn’t seen a snail outside in weeks. Maybe months! It’s [...]

Roasted fingerling potato salad

The Unicorn has lots of lovable qualities, but among them is this: He is a fantastic giver of gifts. He is not a fan of the gift list—he’d much rather pay attention to the recipient, think hard about something they would love to have but would never buy for themselves, and then give them that. [...]

Running out of tomato time

While I might have ripening tomatoes in the works, what I don’t have is a whole lot of time. You might think I’m talking about the change in seasons, but the problem has nothing to do with the rotation of the Earth around the Sun. No, no. This is closer to the kind of problem [...]

The plucky herb

When I got home from work Monday night, Fatemeh said, “There’s an herb growing out there on the patio.” “A what?” I asked. “An herb,” she said. “I don’t know what kind it is, but Stella tried to eat it.” Sure enough, when I went out to water the containers, there it was, grown big [...]

Watering results in only partial success

The experiment in which I actually water the plants has now been in effect for approximately two weeks, give or take a watering or two. While I was gone to New York for a family reunion, Fatemeh picked up the slack in my stead, and had the pleasure of learning just how much water two [...]

Water: It’s a good thing

My very first California tomato blossom did not, indeed, yield a tomato. Instead, it fell victim to whatever was causing the yellowing of the plant. It browned. It shriveled. It most certainly did not transition to a fruit. This, which in my world constitutes an emergency, spurred my research into what might be killing all [...]

Tomato plants should not be yellow

“Do you realize the tomato plants are turning yellow?” Fatemeh asked one day. I probably turned a little yellow myself. I had, indeed, noticed, but in my usual manner, had been trying to ignore it. I had also developed a convoluted set of theories that explained the problem. For example: We are downwind of a [...]