This land is my land

As Kim lamented, it's hard to pick just one thing I want to learn because pretty much everything interests me! I got my hair colored and cut yesterday. When my hairdresser James started adding some liquid to the bowl already containing the color for my head, I asked "what's that for?" He looked at me indignantly (he does indignant well) and said, "Don't you trust me? Don't tell me how to do my job!" followed by a big grin. I told him I wanted to learn. "I might need to be your assistant one day and need to know how to mix color!" James rolled his eyes, "Oh, Lord, that's just what I need is one more person to work with!" and grinned again while he applied this mystery goo to my hair.

I've been going to a new chiropractor that we affectionately call my witch doctor. The details of those visits are a whole other story (and a really good one) but needless to say he does something new and wacky each week to help me feel better and every week I keep interjecting "what does that thing do?" or "how is that gonna help?". He soon learned I wasn't questioning his judgement but just genuinely wanted to understand. So he smiles and patiently explains how all these parts of my body work. Maybe I"ll be an applied kinesiologist one day. If nothing else I understand more about what voodoo he does.

There are tons of things I've forgotten and wouldn't mind re-learning. I know just enough music theory to be dangerous, but I'd really like to branch out from 1-4-5-1 chord progressions one day. I am a decent cook, but I'd love to have a wider repertoire of recipes up my sleeve. I watched Julie and Julia the other evening (thanks for the recommendation, Harry!) and it made me want to really grasp the science of baking powder versus soda instead of just blindly following a recipe.

I took horseback riding lessons long ago and thought it would be a fun hobby. I've learned that horses are more of an obsession than a casual hobby and it's hard to squeeze that into my week in the city with everything else. But maybe I'll live on a farm one day and need to ride horses out to check on the fences. Not likely, but you never know! My father assumes that everyone knows the basic of internal combustion engines. I'm not sure where he thinks I should have learned this, since it's not really something they teach an AP class on in high school and he did all that work himself in our house. You can only learn so much while "holding the light" for him. So I know enough to not flood the lawnmower but can't really troubleshoot it on my own. Cars have become too complicated for me to really care about maintaining, but I could get some joy out of being smarter with our yard equipment.

Pretty much anything I come in contact with I want to know more about. Curiosity helps us evolve. And most of my previous examples are things that I know enough to get by but would like to learn more. One thing lately has really grabbed my attention and I am completely ignorant of it.

I want a garden. I want to learn how things grow. I want to till the ground myself, I want to figure out how to get water back to that part of the yard. I want to know how many tomato plants we really need versus the 50 my brother tenant farmed in my yard last year. I want to know when squash is in season and if it's worth the trouble to grow corn.

I know absolutely nothing about horticulture, though, other than water and sunlight are good. I had a spider plant once but even that didn't last but so long. Despite that, I'm excited about having a basil plant versus paying $5 for a bunch at the grocery store. I want fresh mint for mojitos. I want tomato sandwiches this summer. I'm also excited about being involved in the creation of our own food. I'm not going to mill my own flour and I'm not going to hunt and slaughter my own meat, but I can handle the fruits and veggies.

I'm looking forward to the learning process. It will be hard not to have my father "help" a little too much, but I want to screw up on my own. I want to look out back and be proud of the things I grow. I made a person, I should be able to nurture and grow a damn cantaloupe.

I've got a piece of land. I've got a book on vegetable gardening. I've got a shovel. That's enough to start. Wish me luck!