Ponder. Mutter. Ramble. Ponder some more.

Meme time again. Will actually took a nap this afternoon so I took advantage of the quiet to do some writing. However, my personal muse must have been out to lunch, for I was uninspired. Until I stumbled across this fun prompt.

1. Do you have a green thumb? How so/not?
Not. No way. No how. Not in this lifetime. I’ve single-handedly killed more plants than have been featured in a week’s worth of programming on HGTV. During Garden Week. Unfortunately, I really like plants and gardening. Just don’t have the aptitude for it. Cacti, African violets, more geraniums than you can count -- all met untimely ends under my care. And that’s just the tip of the bonsai.

Then there are the herbs. Oh my. What I’ve done to herbs. Criminal. I should be in Horticulture Prison.

Basil. Lots and lots of basil. Withered away.

Oregano. Gone-o. In the blink of an eye.

Cilantro. Never stood a chance.

Rosemary. Ahhh -- hearty, often insidious rosemary. I think it killed itself just so it wouldn’t have to spend any more time with me.

I keep trying to get those herbs to grow for me, though -- it’s a natural extension of my culinary obsession.

Can one have a success rate in negative numbers?

I think I might have found the solution to my herb issues: the AeroGarden. (Shut. Up.)

Finally, I can have fresh herbs for cooking. In my kitchen. Anytime. Never mind that there’s a machine that does all the work for me, including an Idiot Prompt when the water in the hydrophonic tank gets low or when I need to add the nutrient tablets.

Look Ma -- I’m growing herbs! See!

This is the South of the Border package, with globe basil and parsley and lots of cilantro. It’s going to be salsa time here this weekend. With store-bought tomatoes. But don’t think I haven’t pondered trying my black-thumbed hand in that arena... and summer is just around the corner.

That scream you just heard? Handfuls of terrified heirloom tomato seeds crying out in terror.

2. What is your best skill/ability? Why?
Oh man. I hate these questions. Totally make me uncomfortable.

Here goes.

I have a knack for being able to think on my feet -- and not just think, but convey those thoughts in a quick and coherent manner. This ability has served me well over the years, both personally (“Why are you getting home thirty minutes after your curfew?”) and professionally (“Why wasn’t my proposal for that project accepted? Do you not like me?”)

I first figured out that I had the touch in this area when I was a senior in high school and playing the lead in the spring musical production of Hello, Dolly! The sly (and very bored) tech crew decided to mess with me on our last performance night by putting a whole bunch of plastic insects and reptiles in the serving dishes for a dinner scene (Dolly and Horace eating at Harmonia Gardens -- she serves him.) I took the lid off the silver mashed potato dish and was treated to the startling sight of a fake roach and a couple of spiders nestled in with the ‘taters.

it didn’t phase me a bit -- which surprised even me. I just improvised a little while I made sure that the intruders never made it out of the bowl and kept right on going. With a well-placed smirk directed at the curious crew gathered in the wings, watching me with rapt attention. Silly boys. I later found out that it was that moment in which my future boyfriend (one of the tech dudes) realized that he might need to get to know me better (and boy, did he...) Go figure.

I’ve found myself in many an unexpected situation or facing a loaded question or forced to speak publicly on something at the last moment. And for the most part, I’ve come out of those situations pretty unscathed, flying by the seat of my pants. Many times I couldn’t tell you exactly what I said -- only that I said it. And for that, I am most grateful.

3. If someone asked a friend of yours, "Hey, what is one thing your friend is exceptional at?", what would they say about you? Why?
Hmmm. Interesting question.

I think that my hypothetical friend -- frankly, this would be any friend who knows me well -- would say that I’m exceptional at being strong in the face of adversity. Actually, I’ve had them say this to me in the throes of margaritia-fueled gab sessions when true feelings come seeping out like sap on a maple tree.

I’ve had to be strong. Especially since October, 2001.

For I’ve certainly come face-to-face with some tough situations. Having to make hard decisions about Will’s care. Needing to react quickly -- without really thinking about the circumstances -- when he’s in crisis. Planning for an uncertain future.

It’s the only way I know how to parent. This crazy, un-asked-for situation is my normal.

And strong is all relative.

I get very uncomfortable when people praise my parenting skills, telling me that I’m a supermom and that they don’t know how I do what I do. I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious, but it has happened before.

Listen. I’m just a mom. Plain and simple. Doing what I’d like to think any other mother would do in my situation. It is what it is. My version of motherhood.

Maybe I am strong. It’s not me alone, though. I’ve got faith and a Heavenly Father on my side. Thank goodness.

Mother Teresa once said “I know God never gives you more than you can handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”

Amen, sister. Amen.

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