How a Dehydrator Makes Me Look Like I Have My Life Together

My grandmother was a Garden Master. We even called her such. She always grew tons of great things in her garden. One year we harvested 80 lb of tomatoes and spent nearly a week canning them all. Those were some of my most memorable days (I won’t say fond though, because canning that many tomatoes is probably the most boring thing an 8 year-old could do). Upon purchasing my first house in October of 2016 I was determined to at least grow myself fresh herbs. I romanticized the benefits of having a garden like most 20 somethings with their first house probably do. My grandmother enjoyed it after all. Why not? I could do what I wanted and I wanted independence from the norms. Because homesteading for reasons and some crap like that.

I tried to grow my herbs indoors at first, because Pinterest is really good at showing you the prettiest gardening tips in the world and you think to yourself “Man that’s a really good idea, I could totally do that.” I’ll be really honest with you. You can’t. Not with plants. Don’t even try. Jewelry DIY and indoor décor crafts…sure. Food and recipes? Maybe. The limit is plants. Plants exist to make you hate yourself for trying to control them and in return we wage war on them, eat them, and force them to stay alive and provide us oxygen like little green slaves (it’s science look it up). No joke. Ignorantly, I planted my plants in cute little pots and teacups and kept them in my kitchen windowsill. Like a good hipster. Oddly enough, gardens indoor or outdoor require work to maintain and if you’re a 20 something like myself you probably know that life demands a lot of your time and efforts. Some plants died and some lived. The ones that lived didn’t go over well with my 17 year-old cat who discovered she was not, in fact, too old to jump on the kitchen counters. She ate them. All 50 bucks worth of them gone much to my dismay. At least someone got to enjoy them — just not me. Needless to say, my cat is lucky I love her. Outdoor gardening it was.

My garden was pretty pitiful and though I had the excuse of being super busy with a lot on my plate, I still managed to feel terribly about myself. The garden itself was basically weeds. Golden Rod and Dandelions to be precise. Tons of Raspberry plants too that I could try to fight and keep confined to one area. But really, why bother? It’s a losing battle. Still, I managed to get some herbs going in a small little square of prepared dirt. I’d be foolish to miss out on some of my favorite herbs so I felt like it was worth it. I dug out the sod of 9 square feet and proceeded to do what I could. A little Rosemary, some Cilantro, a couple Lavender plants, some Chives, Basil, and Sage. What better feeling than being able to take a scissors out to your own garden and clip a few things yourself? I was determined to not mess them up. Not after all the time and money invested in them by going to the greenhouse. Not after the cat incident. I was super proud of myself by the end of that day. Then a week went by and more weeds grew. My Basil was my first casualty. I was probably more upset about it than I want to admit. Thankfully most of the other plants were hardy and not easily killed. Good. I tucked that into my brain as a mental note for next year. If I couldn’t be a Garden Master, then I would at least fake it until I made it for Instagram and Facebook. Like any normal Millennial would.

I realized early on in my gardening adventures (which are still going somewhat badly), it would probably be better for me to get a dehydrator if I wanted to preserve my herbs. Drying in the oven required too much effort of me and I’m not a stay-at-home wife where I just have 10 hours to watch my oven and make sure my house doesn’t start on fire. So I bought a Nesco Dehydrator ironically named “The Garden Master” last month. I’m not sure why I chose this particular model, but I can guess it was probably because I hoped the name would manifest some kind of internal power and I could earn some Level Up points to get to Garden Master and then as I used it I could earn some Achievement Points and thus the titles of Garden Wizard or Garden Enchantress or something (because that’s how life works). While none of that has happened (yet) this dehydrator has been the answer to many of my food wasting woes. Including my fear of losing my herbs that I spent probably too much money on.

As Fall began to set in I was able to go out digging through all that stupid Golden Rod and remnants of Dandelion in my garden and dehydrate my Rosemary and Sage to top off my herb jars. I didn’t stop there, though. I even found out you can turn Raspberry leaves and Dandelion tops into tea. Just in the last week I’ve managed to dehydrate a huge bag of apples that were going a little soft to make some apple chips, which are surprisingly delicious when you leave them alone and dehydrate them as is (who really has time to fancy up their food when they work full time and need to have a life at some point). I even got a little carried away and dehydrated a whole bag of my husband’s snack oranges (he was not amused). The fact of the matter is, while I have not mastered being a Gardener, I have come to master dehydrating, and with this Nesco Garden Master it took pressing 3 buttons to do it. It required little to no effort of me, which is exactly how I like things. I don’t even have to keep an eye on it. I just set it and let it do it’s thing so I can do mine. It’s the Garden Master so I don’t have to be. It makes me look like I have my shit together. Which means, in short, I freaking love it.

 

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I saw that she had tried to call me, about 15 min after we were supposed to speak. I had planned and reschedule on her already for our phone call, but once again, my brain failed me. Not that I had forgotten this time, but I had laid down for a nap with every intention of calling her on time, then proceeded to sleep through the alarm, then proceeded to wake up thinking I had woken up in time, then proceeded to fall back to sleep. I had felt terribly about it upon realizing that I had missed her call. So much so that I texted her back and tried to make up the lost time. 

Before I was married, I hardly forgot or missed a date. Now, it’s like I can’t set a date to save my life. I forget about it or I double book it or I just can’t seem to get myself together enough to make it on time. The worst part of it all, is that if I fuck up my own social life, I fuck up my husband’s. He knows so few people, and I’m the only one who contacts anyone to hang out because of it. His social life is entirely dependent on me. The introvert of the two of us. Ironic. 

I feel like I’m unintentionally pushing people away. I want to see them. I want to spend time with them. I care and love them very much. I just am so sucky at keeping plans since I got married. What’s worse is that I promised I wouldn’t do this to people. I promised that my marriage wouldn’t make me fall off the face of the earth, because it had hurt my feelings so much to have my friends do it to me. Yet, I’m so tired being at the beck and call of my workplace and then having to come home and be at the beck and call of my husband. There really is no such thing as introverting and down time anymore. I can’t have days where all I do is nap without interruption. I can’t have the silence, or the daydreaming I used to, or at least, not the same quality of it. It’s like my brain can never refresh fully because the presence of another human being is there, forever. It’s weird. I don’t like it. 

Part of me hopes this is temporary. Another part of me knows it isn’t. My husband is having a difficult time making friends of his own in the area. So he relies on me to make them for him. So here I am juggling the social life of an extrovert. Tired. Exhausted even. Neglecting my friends who are single for the couples I had so long also been neglected by until I was no longer single. I feel like I’ve only been married for a few months and the only respite I got out of it was a buissness meeting to IL(which was super fun and I really ought to write a blog post about it, but I’m not sure I’ll get to it), which doesn’t sound relaxing at all, but was a nice step outside of my husband’s life for an overnight, and a refreshing step back into my own world. A very clear step of only having to worry about myself again. The way it used to be. 

All that sounds super selfish. I’ll admit it probably is. Which makes me feel like a shitty person. I don’t feel like I should play mother like this. I don’t feel like I should be responsible for my husband’s play dates. I’m hardly good at being responsible for my own. To be honest I really haven’t had my own play date in a long time. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I need to have my own separate friends again, the ones who aren’t another couple. Individuals I can keep in touch with and have all my own. Knowing myself though, I’d probably forget those dinner dates and such as well. Maybe I’m just destined to be a shitty friend forever. 

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