Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Rain that Brought Spring

Despite the warm weather and sun we've had, nothing has really been growing. There has been an important missing element: rain.

It's been really, really dry. I appreciate this when it comes to walking around outside without sinking into muck. And I'm certainly not complaining about the smaller amount of laundry when I'm not changing Cubby out of soaking, muddy clothing every time we come in from playing outside.

The plants, however, have not been so pleased. I've watered the hotbed a few times, so the lettuce sprouted, but it hasn't been growing. I planted some peas awhile ago, which have still not sprouted. The grass has just been sitting around all brown and dead-looking, which not only looks depressing, but means that the sheep have been eating nothing but hay and getting kind of pissed.

After a few days of the forecast calling for rain and seeing nothing but clouds with nary a drop of precipitation, it started to rain yesterday. And it's been raining on and off since then. Cubby has been through three pairs of pants and socks today; the rain barrel is full; and everything has received a thorough soaking.

Even though we haven't seen the sun yet, the effect of the rain was immediate. When I look outside now, I see green where there was only nasty, tired-looking brown just a couple of days ago. The crocuses gave up and the daffodils opened up overnight. I found the first bunch of ramps in the hollow today. The magnolia buds are just starting to split and show peeks of the white blossoms that will bust out any day now.

Spring has really come to Blackrock. And all thanks to the rain.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

At the Playground

Before we get to our playground adventure, I invite you to view this video of "Playground," by Another Bad Creation.


I had a vague memory of the song, looked it up on YouTube, and found five kids not much older than Cubby rapping and dancing around in bedazzled overalls.

Man, the nineties were weird.


Our playground visit was nothing like that. It wasn't even supposed to be a playground visit. My original idea was to go get ice cream at the recently-opened seasonal ice cream stand, because it was 65 degrees and sunny and, well, I like ice cream. I proposed the idea to A., who was only too willing to abandon his office work in favor of family bonding.

Then he came downstairs and asked if we could go fishing instead at a nearby lakeside state park.


Since two out of four members of the family are All About Fishing and the only other member except me could not care less, I bowed to the inevitable and we went fishing.

Except that park has an enormous playground I had forgotten about. Cubby went straight to it, abandoning his father to a solo--and unsuccessful--fishing attempt.

He flew airplanes . . .

And we totally ignored the "All Pets Must Be On Leashes" sign.

Ran around aimlessly and hysterically . . .

Still no leash on that dog. Or the child.

And enjoyed a picnic . . .

Crackers work better than a leash for controlling Mia. She's not wandering off when there are crumbs to be found.

Meanwhile, Charlie had his first swing experience . . .

He dug it.

Shortly after the playgrounding was done, Cubby discovered the water. It was about 60 degrees outside, so not terribly cold. The water, however, was about 35 degrees. Nothing daunted, Cubby insisted on stripping down and playing on the shore . . .

It was all I could do to keep the underwear on Nature Boy there.

He ended up encrusted with fragments of mussel shells, red with cold from the knees down, and happy as could be.

I'd say it was a success. Except the fishing. That sucked.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Oh So Lame

Remember when you were a kid and there were all these awesome things you were planning on doing when you were grown up? Like stay up late. Or eat whatever you wanted.

I was the third child, which meant I had an earlier bedtime than my two older siblings. I thought this was grossly unfair and spent many a bedtime fuming at the injustice and thinking things along the lines of, "Just wait until I'm grown up! I'm going to stay up REALLY LATE."

Yeah. Here I am, grown up, and all I want to do is go to bed at 8 p.m.

When A. was a kid, he remembers always wanting to get mozzarella sticks as an appetizer at restaurants. He was never allowed to, and he vowed that when he was grown up, he would order mozzarella sticks.

One week, when he had a trial and was eating very hurried lunches at a restaurant near the courthouse in the Small City every day, he ate mozzarella sticks every day. For a week. Those sticks of fried cheese, in addition to a Pepsi, were his lunch. He was a grown up! He had arrived!

He also got pretty sick of mozzarella sticks. I don't think he's had them since.

Today was a classic example of Grown-up Suckage: A. did the taxes. I painted the bathroom ceiling while the kids were napping. It was nothing at all like the exciting dreams of adulthood we cherished as children.

Then again, I am now free to eat an entire chocolate bunny in one sitting, a privilege not yet afforded to my three-year-old, so there is that.

What do you remember thinking would be the most awesome thing about being an adult?