Saturday, May 7, 2011


Sometimes you have to take advantage of a sunny weekend day and leave behind all the work that should be done in favor of taking your kid to see some bad-ass birds of prey at a wildlife festival.

Happy Saturday, duckies. Do something irresponsible today. It's good for the soul.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Exciting news, poppets: It's looking like we'll have a second straight day of sunshine. I know! Shocking!

It was still pretty wet and muddy yesterday, but things are drying out quickly. I think the puddles are even gone from the garden. If we're lucky, it will be dry enough to plant some more things tomorrow. I hope so, anyway, because we're behind in pretty much everything. It would also be nice if the asparagus and lettuce would actually grow. Not that I blame them for sulking; it's been very sulky weather in general so far this spring.

Right now I must get outside and hang a second load of laundry on the line. And pick up the millions of sticks and branches on the front lawns so that A. can mow tomorrow.

Here's hoping your day is also merry and bright!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Big City

Okay, so the Small City is definitely NOT the big city, but to Cubby, it might as well be.

Yesterday before Cubby's appointment at the pediatrician, we went to the grocery store (avocados! Corona! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!). I got through it faster than I anticipated, which meant that we were in the Small City at 8:30 a.m. with 45 minutes to kill until Cubby's appointment. Nothing is open at 8:30 in the morning in the Small City except places like Dunkin' Donuts. Not that I have any objection to Dunkin' Donuts, but what I needed was a place where Cubby could run around. After half an hour in the car and another 45 minutes in the grocery cart, he was SO OVER the sitting.

What I needed, actually, was a park. But I didn't think there was a park in the business district we were in. The only reason I thought that, however, is that I had never had need of one before. But once my vision had changed to Mom Vision (totally a Thing, yes), I immediately spotted a paved area with benches next to the river that runs through the Small City. It was on one of the busiest corners in the city, and was not really a park. It was about half the size of my garden, and was really nothing more than a flat stretch of concrete with a few benches and some flowers.

It wasn't exactly the nature experience that most people are looking for when they go to a park, but one thing Cubby is not lacking is nature experience. In fact, it occurred to me as we were standing there watching the traffic whiz by and waving at the police cars and fire trucks (we were right across from the police and fire department), that Cubby's horizon-broadening experiences are probably the exact opposite of 90 percent of children today. Most kids go out to farms on field trips to visit animals in a petting zoo. Cubby essentially lives in a petting zoo, and so his big exciting field trip was to stand on a sidewalk and watch traffic.

And make no mistake, it was exciting. He was perfectly happy for the half an hour we were there. Not so happy when we went to the doctor and he got the inevitable needle in the thigh, but that, my son, is life.

P.S. He's 32 inches tall and almost 25 pounds, in case you were curious. And they gave him a book entitled, "Have You Seen My Potty?" Actual conversation in this book between a cow, a sheep, and a goat regarding the potty, "It's a thing for pooing in." "Hey, I need to poo!" "Me too!" SHOOT ME NOW.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

No Sun Yet

I would like to discuss with that excessively cheery Annie her declaration that the sun will come out tomorrow. I see no sun. Although, it's not actively raining either, so I suppose that's an improvement.

And a good thing it's not pouring down rain anymore, as Cubby and I have to actually get in the car and go somewhere this morning. I KNOW. SHOCKING. We're going to the pediatrician. Always a fun outing for both of us. Though at least I don't get jabbed with a needle every time we go, so I guess Cubby's really the one who should be complaining.

Going to the pediatrician does mean that we get to find out how much Cubby actually weighs. It's always nice to have an concrete answer to the "MY GOD, how much does this child weigh?!" question that every person who picks him up inevitably gasps out. Right before handing him back to me, because who would want to carry that much weight around if he or she doesn't have to?

We will also find out how tall he now, although the inches don't matter so much as the fact that he's tall enough to juuuuuust reach a knife handle on the edge of the kitchen counter. Neat.

It's very convenient that we have to go into the Small City today, actually, as it will give me an opportunity to stop at the grocery store and stock up on the necessary supplies for tomorrow. You DID remember that tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, right? So you'd best get out there and get your guacamole makings and Corona, because a Cinco de Mayo without those things is a sad day indeed. As I well remember.

Wish me luck, duckies!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

One of Those Days

It's raining. Again. Cubby is teething. Again. And already this morning Mia knocked my full cup of coffee off the table and onto the rug.

There are just some days that prove to be not worth getting up for. I think this is one of them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Different Kind of Crazy

A couple of weeks ago when A. and I went to a party at a friend's house, I mentioned to the group at large the INSANE numbers of tomato seedlings that were in my study at that time. Because isn't that what everyone talks about at parties?

I'm an excellent conversationalist, obviously.


Happily for me, the teacher in charge of the Future Farmers of America group at the local high school was also in attendance. Upon hearing that what I really wanted to do was trade some of my tomato plants for other plants I needed (cabbage, broccoli, paste tomatoes, peppers, basil, and on and on and on), he told me to call him when I was ready to get rid of my tomatoes and he'd see what he could do.

Our high school has a big greenhouse in which the FFA kids start seeds for a kind of CSA they do with community members for seedlings. So when I e-mailed Andy my frantic, "I HAVE OVER 100 TOMATO PLANTS AND NO PLACE TO PUT THEM-HEEEEELLLLP!" message (except not in quite those words or, um, all caps), he called me back and told me to come right down to the high school greenhouse with my plants. Like, that afternoon. Okay then.

I then spent a somewhat stressful half hour outside with Cubby, figuring out what I was keeping for myself, what I was keeping for friends and family who might want some plants, and what I was giving Andy. And then making sure everything was properly labeled so that other people might actually know what they were growing. All the while trying to keep an eye on Cubby so he wouldn't eat a rock or run into the electric fence or behead all the tulips.

It's all about the multi-tasking.


I managed to get everything sorted out and the necessary flats of plants loaded into my car (my awesome Subaru that is, that will carry ANYTHING WHEEE!!!) and as soon as Cubby went down for a nap, I left A. in charge at home and took off for the high school to unload my plants. Which I did. But I also got loaded up with MORE plants. Specifically, dozens of green cabbage and broccoli seedlings, plus about half a dozen oregano plants, a whole seed tray of parsley, and the promise of more things to come in a few weeks.

Andy's sense of scale when it comes to gardens is obviously way off. Upon hearing that we grow green cabbage, for instance, he tried to give me about three dozen plants. I had to talk him down. I mean, there's only so much sauerkraut I can make. But I still ended up with almost as many plants as I had arrived with, albeit a bit more variety. I stopped at my friend Alyssa's house on the way home to give her some of the tomato plants I had saved for her, and managed to unload some of the entirely-too-numerous new seedlings I had just picked up. Then I called a cousin when I got home, who said he would be happy to take a bunch of broccoli plants.

But still, when I went out yesterday to get some of these plants in the ground, I ended up planting 14 cabbage plants and 8 broccoli plants. And that doesn't even include the red cabbages that I still have to get.

That's a WHOLE LOT of cole crops. Yikes. So this year might be the year of the Cole Crazy. But that's not in place of the Tomato Crazy, you understand. Only in addition to it.

I think this is just the year of Crazy in general. I may need an intervention.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Good MORNING, Neighbors!

Know what's NOT a good way to endear yourself to your neighbors? Having a guy come at 6:30 on a Sunday morning in a huge diesel truck with a man-lift to run a chainsaw.

I'm sure nobody wanted to sleep in this morning anyway, right? Ahem.

It had to be done, though. I noticed yesterday that the cedar tree right behind the house looked . . . tilted. It seemed to be pulling right up at the roots. And appeared to be leaning on the power line right there. Fabulous.

Luckily, the guy with the tree service who took down some trees for us a few years ago is a member of the MiL's church, and he agreed to come out first thing before he went to his scheduled job. Good thing he did, because as he was cutting around the branches to free the power line--and let me just say how nervous it made me to watch this guy lean WAAAY out over in his man-lift 20 feet off the ground and wield a chainsaw around a power line--the line was sproinging around and eventually jumped back about two feet when the pressure from the tree was off of it.


The tree was rotten most of the way through, which explained its tipsiness. You'd be dying and tipsy too if you were over a hundred years old, which the MiL assured us this tree was. So it was its time, I guess. That was one of the trees integral to the support of the clotheslines, however, so now we have to figure out where to put up a new clothesline. I think it will be moved to a spot closer to the gardens and not so much in the way of people going in the back door. It would be nice to not have to duck under underwear to get in the house. Clean underwear to be sure, but still.


The electrified tree has been taken care of, and tomorrow we'll have some serious garden talk. TEASER: Many of the tomato plants have gone to new homes, but they've been replaced by many, many other plants.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of that exciting story!