Thursday, May 3, 2012

First World White Knuckles

Yes, I am privileged.  I live in a house that is warm in the winter.  Water flows freely and clean enough to drink when I turn on my faucet.  I go to a great doctor when I am sick.  I worship freely.  My kids are taught by intelligent, motivated people.  Food is there for my taking.  No one in my family is battling a fatal disease.  But damn, those dandelions are pissing me off.

I do try to keep my world green.  Try in that I am a lessatarian (see my fav blogger at )  I try to avoid shampoo sometimes, and use baking soda, water, vinegar, and essential oils.  I try to not eat animals, especially ones that have been treated badly and with antibiotics and some crappy feed.  I don't run the AC very often.  I don't buy plastic crap from China if at all possible.  I use cloth napkins more often than paper.  I buy organic produce.  I use my guinea pigs' old bedding for garden compost.  I compost like a queen when it is warm enough to actually compost.  I do fail at being green, often.  I drive too often.  I have not switched all my light bulbs to the mercury-containing ones that use so much less energy ( OCD induced freak-out).  I throw my garbage in plastic bags.  I sometimes take plastic bags from the store to reuse for walking the dog or lining my bathroom garbage.  I occasional use a disposable wipe for really icky things.  Or more than occasionally.

But lately, the green-housekeeping dilemma I am having is the dandelions.  I look outside my sliding door with white knuckles on the handle.  When oh when will they pass?????  I can't stand it.  I garden quite feverishly during the summer.  I would like to spend every waking hour gardening.  I don't, since my kids still demand kinda clean clothes, clothes that kinda fit, food to eat everyday, activities to some extent, yada yada, yada.  So, I care about what my house looks like.  I don't garden just for the look.  I don't know why, exactly, I am obsessed. I am drawn to the earth when it sprouts up beauty in my yard.  But, the look of the gardens and my home, it matters to me.  So why or why must the dandelions be so obtrusive?  I can't live with them, and I can't live without them, because in my book, to live without them is to poison my yard and the water I will eventually need to drink.  I love to see the dandelions in other yards.  It makes me feel a sense of relief that I am not the only one opposed to chemicals.  Or maybe those people are too busy with other matters than to spray a little bit of cancer on their lawn every spring and fall.  Husband agrees about the dandelions.  He really appreciates the gardening, and sometimes he feels like he is failing as a man to let our lawn look worse than some abandoned field in the projects.  Luckily, when I have had it with the dandelions and am ready to buy a little cancer, he says, "No, it'll pass."  And then it goes the other way.  I stand firm on a green but yellow-dandelion yard when he is ready to go cancerous.  Also, when I see all the lovely birds that come to our house, and butterflies and big ol' happy bees, I feel a sense of relief: they have a safe place to go.  Yet, those dandelions might drive me to drink.  They make me feel so crazy.  Let it pass, right?  

When I really can't stand it but won't use cancer, I go out there and spend valuable time pulling the dandy flowers.  Oh and those puff balls.  And the ugly stems.  Please, stems, stop.  The worst must be the bald puff ball, you know, after the seeds have blown away.  A million, ugly, skinny bald guys in my yard, saying, "This lady has really let her house go.  Some homemaker!"  It makes me a better mama, yes.  I am sure of this, because I really know that my kids need to grow up in a greener world.

Let it go, Franny.  Remember the kids!!!!  Remember clean water and happy, pollinating bees.