Producing produce

This was tonight’s haul:

Things are booming at the garden in both plots. HH (my Momma’s) looks really great, especially with the pea explosion:


Our plot isn’t quite as verdant, and the sweet potato patch basically just looks like weeds. Regardless of how it looks, it’s giving us lots of stuff to eat.


I feel like I am doing a fair amount of cultivation right now in several area of my life. Obvious to anyone who has perused this blog, I spend a good chunk of time cultivating my garden plot. No matter how many times I go out there, the weeds will come back. I feel like I can safely amend an old adage: the only certain things in life are death, taxes, and weeds.

I am also tying to grow professionally. The scope of my job at the museum has changed dramatically in the years I have worked there; the past few months more than anytime previously. I am in a place where I know my opinion and ideas are heard and respected, and I like it. I am young and doing many things for the first time, but I also have come to understand that those two things are not necessarily a hindrance.

Another thing I am trying to cultivate is patience. It’s not much of a secret that patience is something that I struggle to have. I like to think that I have gotten better, but my constant need to go and do doesn’t always mesh with the ability to slow down before reacting. I really want to model patience for my son because I know that it will be good for both of us. I also don’t want him screaming obscenities (real or three-year-old versions) when something doesn’t go as planned or as quickly as he wants. I struggle with it daily, but I hope that I am at least making a bit of headway.

And, as always, I am cultivating relationships. Old ones and new ones. Reviving friendships that have gone dormant, trying to overcome my inmate shyness to make new connections. Of upmost importance is maintaining and growing my relationship with Greg. Nothing sounds less romantic than “maintaining our relationship,” but I think one of the most loving things that we can do is make sure that we keep part of our focus on each other in addition to the very spectacular changes the past half year has brought. Just like I want to model patience for our son, I also want to model love. In all of its committed, messy, fun, silly and hard working glory.

Maybe my pro wrestling handle would be: THE CULTIVATOR. I kinda like it.

Buggers in the corn

Sometimes everything runs smoothly. There is sleep at night, the organized day in my head is matched by reality, the baby is smiley, and dinner takes exactly as much time to cook as I thought it would.

Then there are days when the baby cries and is inconsolable, I don’t get anything done for my classes, cooking takes forever, it starts to rain when there are clothes on the line, and there are caterpillars in the corn.


There is balance in the universe, but, man, those caterpillars are gross. I take some comfort in the knowledge that they are destined for some chickens’ stomachs.

Memphis Pink Palace Museum Murals – Memphis TN

In museum-related, crowd sourced history news, I submitted the Pink Palace’s PWAP murals done by Burton Callicott to UC Berkeley’s Living New Deal site. While you’re there, poke around and see the long reach and legacy of FDR’s federal programs:

Memphis Pink Palace Museum Murals – Memphis TN.

You can also read more about the murals in my new post for the museum’s blog:

The Callicott Murals.

Summer flowers

I’ve been neglecting my backyard in favor of working out at the garden and canning. The plan is that once the heat breaks in September (or October), we will finish pulling the f—–g privet so that we can put in our chicken coop next spring. It will also give us the space to plant a few blueberry bushes. The back half of our yard has so much potential…for later.

For now, I have my Mothers’ Day hibiscus my momma gave me and some blooming surprise lilies previous owners left behind. I also have two morning glories working their way up a banister. It looks like one of them should start blooming within days.



Take 5: Caroline Carrico

My pal Burton interviewed me for his blog. You can check it out–and see my awesomely awkward GIF–here. While you’re there, take a look around!


Meet a millennial mom who’s into urban gardening, museums, and ethnographing Memphis’ past and present.

Canning Caroline With baby in tow, Caroline can can!

Stage name: Caroline Mitchell Carrico

Starring roles: Pink Palace Museum Project Coordinator; Adjunct Professor; and Mother to Noah

Daily script: Caroline researches, plans, and helps launch exhibits at the Pink Palace. “I have a lot of very different interests and I get to explore all of them at work….be it aquifers, dinosaurs, basket weaving, chocolate, and even beer.”

Behind the Scenes? “I’ve been working on the redesign of the permanent Pink Palace exhibit. People can now walk up the grand staircase.” Visitors can learn about the mansion’s former owner, Clarence Saunders, as well as various accounts dating back to 1926.

Favorite part? “I love the people that I work with. You have anthropologists, historians, scientists, and educators all working together. There’s nowhere like it in the city…it embodies the spirit…

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We have a bit of a basil explosion going on right now. We have three basil bushes at the garden and three plants in the raised bed at the house. Last week we managed to fill up the salad spinner twice when we pinched back the giants. I did what I always do with tons of basil. Made pesto. Three cups of pesto. Some got frozen, some gotten given to my parents, and some went into dinner.

Basil Pesto

Overton Park Conservancy

As I mentioned, Greg and I are putting our money where our hearts are so last week we joined the Overton Park Conservancy. When we got married in 2011, we lived in an apartment right at Poplar and Cooper, which made Overton our front yard. The view out of our front window was the tee box for hole 9 on the golf course, which we found out on the day that my dad was playing and called me to say that he was looking at my living room window. One of the only things I really miss about our first home is how close we were to the park. We would go for strolls in the Old Forest on the paved trails and on hikes through its heart. We started our Christmas card tradition in the smack middle of the forest. We also went to the zoo a lot, saw Armed and Dangerous at the Brooks, and attended concerts at the Levitt Shell. I’m a big Paul Thorn fan, and the first time I saw him live was at a Shell concert. For free. Because Memphis.

The back of our first Christmas card said "Merry Christmas from the Old Forest!"
The back of our first Christmas card said “Merry Christmas from the Old Forest!”

At the end of 2011, the Overton Park Conservancy formally entered the scene as the nonprofit management group of the park. The City of Memphis maintains ownership, but the Conservancy protects, preserves and enhances the park. In June 2012, they opened Overton Bark. We had gotten Zeb, our lovable, neurotic mutt from the pound, in January and had been taking him to the city dog park at Tobey Park. There’s not much shade there, which made it very difficult to be motivated to go. Overton Bark on the other hand is a well-designed use of a previously under utilized space. The entrance is architecturally interesting, and there is enough space for my big, goofy dog to get his play on while I sit under some old growth trees on benches made from the few trees they had to fell during construction.

Now that we’ve moved a whole ten minutes away and acquired a baby, we don’t make it to the park as much as we did when we only had to walk across one street. But we go to the zoo and have taken the baby and Zeb on walks in the Old Forest and to romp around the dog park. We also took the kiddo to his first concert ever at the Levitt Shell. He got to see Amy Lavere for free. Because Memphis.

Baby and Greg, watching Amy Lavere play.
Baby and Greg, watching Amy Lavere play.

In a few short months, we will take Noah to play on the wonderful new playground and to borrow books from the Little Free Library that is dedicated to children’s books. We will go to the zoo a lot and make it a point to go and see Brooks’ Marisol exhibit before it leaves in September. I’ll start sharing my love of the outdoors with my kid by taking him on hikes in the middle of his city. We joined the Conservancy because it benefits every member of our family–two and four legged alike–in very real ways, and we want to see them succeed in their longterm goals. If you haven’t seen the work that they have been doing, check out their website and explore the projects that have been completed and what is in the planning stages. It’ll make you happy.

Atlanta without a kiddo

This weekend I spent a rocking twenty-four hours in Atlanta. My dear friend Caitlin is getting married in September, and Cal and I are two of her bridesmaids. So the two of us left after Cal finished her day of rotations and Greg got off of work on Friday afternoon. We drove to Jasper, AL and crashed at a Quality Inn before waking up, driving to the ATL and commencing the wild(ish) rumpus.

This seems like a good point to insert an aside about what Stephanie, the maid of honor, refers to as “mommy guilt” levels. Leaving the kid for the weekend was tough. I wasn’t worried about him being well taken care of–how could I? He spent the weekend with his awesome dad. I wasn’t actually worried about anything specifically. It just felt odd to be without him for two days. I caught myself staring at a picture of him on my phone for a second longer than normal on more than one occasion.

Here’s the laundry list of what we did:

– Lunch and rule making at Erin and Mim’s house (rules for Caitlin, not for the rest of us)

– Manicures and coffee (my Nalgene was an unfortunate casualty to that part of the day)

– Lingerie party (’nuff said)

– Dinner at the Sun Dial, a rotating restaurant on the top floor of the Westin (super, duper swanky)

– Drinks at a speakeasy (enter through a pizza parlor, open a bookcase, end up in a secret bar–moonshine and a round of never have I ever ensued, as did checking some things off of Caitlin’s bachelorette list)

– Karaoke at a live band heavy metal bar (just as insane as it sounds; Caitlin brought down the house with her rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody)

– Dancing at a club (where we met two guys named “Winston” and got a drink invented called the Caitlin)

We fell asleep around 3:30 and were out the door on our way to get more coffee and hit the road at 9:15. One of the best things about the short vacation was getting to spend so much time with Cal. It was a great, if quick, trip. Thankfully, Caitlin is coming in town for her bridal shower this weekend, which means we will get more time to celebrate with her.