Thoroughly Modern Mommy

Yesterday I wore a long, brown skirt (you know, the crinkly kind that travels well), a pony tail, and no makeup. I cleaned the whole house, put laundry away, homeschooled Finn, and made dinner, all in that skirt looking a bit shiny-cheeked. I felt like a pioneer mother, out on the prairie somewhere. Any minute the AC was going to go out, and I would have handled it like a pro. I was ready to go out and kill my own chicken for dinner (hardly, cough cough). It was a bit amusing to think that way. Anyone who really knows me also knows that I am absolutely not meant to be a pioneer. I would bring my hairdryer camping if I knew there would be a plug (actually Wes's car DOES have a three-pronged plug, so looks like I'm all set). It's not that I'm high-maintenance. I can definitely adapt. I just like to feel clean and coiffed. And I enjoy garbage disposals, dishwashers, hot (and I mean HOT) showers, and fluffy towels straight from the dryer. But sometimes I get this wild hair (no, not the grays that are starting to make an appearance), and I want to do something...pioneer-ish. (Come on, didn't you ever play school, department store, grocery store, library, and PIONEER when you were little?) And that usually means I want to bake or grow something. I have very inconsistent luck with both. At best. And I also forget to water things (often, cough cough). We don't have a real backyard right now. So I bought this Topsy-Turvy tomato plant contraption when I moved in. And both seasons, this is what has come of it: (I made it extra large so you can see every teeny tomato.)

That's just 3 short of the entire yield this year! Pretty pathetic, albeit cute. (Guess what—I don't even really like tomatoes all that much. I just keep thinking I HAVE to grow them! I have to prove it to the tomatoes of the world that I can make them bend to my will.) So rather than trying to force tomatoes to grow where they just don't want to grow, I am going to stick to flowers (but then again there is that watering problem...). What this tells me every season is that we each have our own talents. I am a modern girl, born in modern times, with modern talents. I should probably pay closer attention to that...And maybe buy some succulents.

Sometimes I am asked how I "do it all." And I am here to assure you that I DO NOT do it all. I catch toast on fire in my oven, I leave loads of wet laundry in the washer overnight only to have to rewash again the next day (Wes loves this one), I don't dust my floorboards, or make my bed most days, and I don't have a green thumb. I am a big fan of recognizing what we are good at, and just going for it. Of course I love finding inspiration in the talents of others, and seeing if it's a good fit for me. And I can always cultivate the "less talented" parts of myself at any time. But I know it's also good for me to persist with what I am good at right now, and not dwell on the fact that I don't sew charming clothes for my children, or cook an entire meal from scratch every evening, or sing well, or play an instrument with any precision. Or grow a successful tomato plant. Ever. Therefore, I think I'll stick to this: (up in the shop soon)

What are your talents? I'd love to know! Post a link in the comments, and include a link to any one of your blog posts showcasing your talent(s). I'll link to them in a special post.

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Sarah Bradford-Burton said...

Great post! Got me thinking of what I am good at, and what I should be "doing" with my life...

I'll send you a link when I write about it!


christina said...

Still trying to find mine...

Either way, I LOVE this new print. The 8 is my favorite. Probably because I'm not particularly bothered by spiders, but I'm tickled to death that my husband IS. Ha!


Christy said...

What a fabulous post Lyndsay. Made me think and want to act all at the same time. If I can think of something to write about, I'll be sure to let you know. Super cute numbers poster, Ms. Not-Pioneer Woman.

April Kennedy said...

You are soooo good at that modern stuff too!

Me...well I rarely let any bed go unmade any day of the week. So I can make a mean bed (well actually three beds a day) and they look very pretty and hotel worthy each night when we climb in!

Thanks for this post.

Jamie Lamb said...

So funny! I love to imagine how I would do as a pioneer mom! Who doesn't love Laura Ingalls, right?

And I think "pioneer talents" are great to develop. I used to have about zero...but as my kids have grown older, I've gotten better. I used to think I was doomed in the "cooking from scratch every night" talent, but I've even conquered that one. Soon I'll even conquer the "cook from my own garden produce" thing...maybe next year!

There's a difference between talents and skills, though. Talent is handy, but skill is essential for anything we do well...and skill usually just takes practise.

Anyways...my talents (and degree)are in art (illustration). If I can get my act together after my kids start school again, I'll send you a link. We'll see how that goes. :)

marlowe said...

Thanks Lindsay! I love the way you put it -- "finding inspiration in other's talents". I totally feel like a jack of all trades all of the time. I get together with my sisters and one is doing something new that I just want to try. I'm a collector of tidbits of talent.

Traci said...

Those are the most beautiful, perfectly round tomatoes I ever saw. I think your harvest was small because your plant was focused on perfection :)

Senja said...

Lyndsay, I think you are great. Juggling a family with two toddlers, a husband who is super busy, your own work and just life. :)

I recently bought this book called Urban Pantry and so far it looks really great. You should check it out! :) http://www.amazon.com/Urban-Pantry-Recipes-Sustainable-Seasonal/dp/1594853460/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282818668&sr=8-1-spell

And my talent? Well, I love to make jewelry and I do hope I have a talent for it. :) http://creairtive.etsy.com

And although I don't have kids yet, the story with the wet laundry totally reminds me of myself.

Much love from Sweden,

Crystal Farish said...

Very, very cute!!!!! I'm lovin these new posters! I have a talent for tying cherry stems in a knot with my tongue . . .amongst other things.

Marilyn said...

I tried to comment on this post the other day from my iphone but I haven't figured out how to do the word verification on my iPhone yet. {is it even possible?}

I loved this post, and wanted to thank you for it.

My talent is music. My passion is music. I love to play it, find it, listen to it, watch it. Whether it's playing the piano or organ, creating a new playlist, attending a concert or finding an awesome new artist, it all fills my cup.

Gretchen said...

My talent??? Well the main one is to get through everyday with me and my family still intackt :) Somedays it's a challege...being the mom to a special needs child is such a calling of God! You can catch a glimps of our daily life here:


BUT my other talent that I love to make time for is creating things with fabric... anything, any way.. here are some examples:



And as I was scanning through my blog I noticed that boy do I like to take pictures :) I might not be GOOD at it, but I like doing it :)

Thanks for this great post Lyndsay!