Archive for March, 2009


Welcome to the jungle*

March 20, 2009

* formerly known as our garden…

My poor garden is long-suffering.  It goes through periods of total neglect, being used as a paint/workshop, or is the victim of my less than expert attention.  Last week when attempting to dig up a science project I realized the dire situation that had bloomed back there.

Weeds!  Giant killer weeds!!  And they were taking no prisoners!  It’s shocking how they can grow on top of  brick!

There were at least a thousand chores I didn’t want to do so I decided to head outside and slay some weeds.  A little bit of effort yielded a BIG sense of accomplishment – and a big sense of dread at the enormity of the task at hand.

It ultimately took 3 hours to weed my tiny little garden – and I filled the curbside composting bin TWICE.  As you can see, there’s not actually a lot of dirt back there… it’s mostly brick.

Oh… and while I was pulling weeds like a mad woman, what was The Child doing?  Uh, she “helped”.  Who doesn’t need a gigantic hole in the garden?  I really can’t tell you just how helpful it is to hear “LOOK NOW!” with every shovelful extracted!  The annoyance pride shone across my face as I reminded myself that there were many other ways she could have “helped” that would have been far less helpful 😛

 So today – in honor of the first day of spring – we prettied up the clean, weed-free dirt with some actual pretty and EDIBLE things! 

Red-leaf and Meyers lettuce, two kinds of tomatoes (at least one is fog-tolerant – we’ve had them 3 other summers), sugar snap peas, and catnip for the Hairy Beast.  The tall, green-thumbed super salesman at Sloat Garden Center assured us that all of these things would survive the total lack of unclouded sun, cool weather and questionable soil that graces our neighborhood.  Riiiiiiight.  We’ll see about that.

We put some major COLOR!!! along the far wall to brighten up the view from the livingroom.  I’ll be happy if the Forsythia survives… because it’s so bright and grows quite large, and also because it’s my namesake 😛



I am officially one of those parents

March 20, 2009

Last week The Child’s school had their “Family Projects Fair” (aka school science fair).  I had weeks to prepare, but kept putting it off due to a number of flim-flam excuses. 

We searched on-line and found a fairly easy cool project where you took soil samples and extracted the little creatures that lived therein.  It was a good excuse for a trip to the hardware store where The Child was not kicking and screaming for once 😀 The directions were pretty straight forward and we had high hopes on producing something that made us look like one of those smart, involved families – yet was not just another baking soda volcano. 

The result?  Epic fail.  Apparently either our dirt is mite and nematode-free – or our scientific methods were seriously lacking.  (I’m putting my money on the latter.)  So as we’re waiting in line at Walgreen’s, contemplating our impending failure, I bemoan why we didn’t just do something “simple” like an illustration of the tidal zones….

EUREKA!  That was it!  All we had to do was get some construction paper, some pens, and – WOW! – lookie there!  Blo-pens are even on sale!  Ring it up!  This will be easy.





In an unprecedented cooperative effort, we got A LOT done in the 2.5 hours before Haley went to bed (yes, the night before it was due).  I tucked her in to bed thinking that I would just do the finishing touches and it would be done in another hour or two. 

I’m sure you can guess what happened next…  When I woke her up at 7a the following morning I had just started picking up some of the 10,000,000 little scraps of paper littering the entire living room.  Yes, I stayed up all night working on that bastard.  You would not believe how long it takes to cut out anemones, urchins, free-hand crabs and sea lettuce.  (Having a printer sure would have been a time-saver.  Ugh.)  I even channelled my inner UmberDove and painted (becuase cutting and glueing and measuring and drawing weren’t stressful enough… I needed to add paint to my perfectionist-A.R. insanity)!

I was pretty pleased with the result and sent Haley off to school with it.  Thankfully my life of leisure allowed me to crawl in to bed until it was time to go to the evening festivities.  Much to my surprise (and shock and dismay and – dare I say – delight) our project was the subject of much praise!  Haley’s 3rd grade teacher even asked if they could keep it to use during the upcoming Water Week at school!

So, now I’m officially one of those parents that stays up all night doing science projects.  *sigh*


Snow Job

March 9, 2009

This last weekend we went on the annual Christ Church Lutheran ski trip.  It’s one of many reasons our church rules.  You’d be hard pressed to find a better bunch of folks – and you’d be hard pressed to find better snow conditions than we had this weekend!

We rented an amazing house in Tahoe City (thanks for finding it, Lois Anne!) where the kids played, we ate like kings, and the grown-ups killed many bottles of fine wine 😀

We went to Squaw Valley on Saturday.  Haley took a lesson in the morning while I had some time on my own with Elizabeth and Annie (my current favorite teenager).  At various times we spent time on the hill with everyone in our party – quite a feat!

It was soooo much fun, but now I am equally sore 😛

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