Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring cleaning and gardening, oh joy!

So, I'm back and crazy busy (read: stressed) at work, but I figured, hey. I need a break, right? So here I am, blogging :)

I loved my time off. I really, really needed a breath of fresh air away from work, and I'm so glad that I took those vacation days to be at home, and to be with Henry. I miss my precious button so much today! I loved being with him for 4 straight days :(

Anyway, in terms of my spring cleaning quest, I awoke Thursday morning with a mission: I made a to-do list. *drum roll*...

(1) Straighten basement. *snorts* The basement, as everyone who has one knows, is the repository for all junky items of mysterious origin and things we generally have no idea what to do with. I was actually able to make a dent. I threw some things away and tucked some things that we want to keep into a storage closet down there and it looks much neater. *beams*

(2) Clean out guest room closet. Yeah, didn't get done.

(3) Clean out kitchen junk drawers. Check! We're down to a single junk drawer now. *angels sing*

(4) Go through both my and Hank's closets and drawers to collect items we don't need anymore to donate. Check! This was my big coup for the weekend.

(5) Clean out bathroom vanity things. Check!

(6) Touch up paint where needed. Check!

I was very pleased with how that all went. And all the while, Hank behaved like a dream, playing quietly nearby and being the sweetest boy ever. Because I just wrote that, I'm certain that I'm going to go home from work today and he'll throw an uninterrupted temper tantrum from 5 pm until he goes to bed, but hey. I'm willing to live on the wild side.

Yesterday, the weather was nice enough for us to head out to the yard to start on spring cleanup out there. Inevitably, after the winter, there is assorted crud that needs to be cleaned up from the grass and other shrubbery. I'm all excited, because this year, I'd like to plant a real vegetable garden.

Last year, we planted tomatoes, and had some success with a few minor hiccups. We bought 3 beefsteak tomato plants, and Mike planted them unsupervised, which was a bit of a mistake :) He planted them real.close.together, and they tangled up each other, as well as the bell pepper plants that he also planted by.their.side. We got an overabundance of tomatoes, but the peppers sadly had the life choked right out of them before they ever had a chance. The tomatoes, though wild in their growth, turned out beautiful, we just had way too many of them. I could have opened up a tomato stand on our front lawn and made a tidy extra income.

This year, I'd like less tomatoes overall, but still some of the beefsteak and grape varieties, as well as also peppers (I'll take care of you this year, my peppers; how I love you in my recipes...) of all colors, lettuce, maybe broccoli, perhaps beans. A 'salad garden', really. I'm going to pick up a reference book from the public library this week to help me get started with some seeds, coming to a backyard near me in the coming weeks.

So, yesterday, we headed out armed with rakes to begin our project. Hank and Mike got back from a trip to the hardware store with a rake just Hank's size that was so cute I could hardly stand it. We all raked, and then while Mike cut the grass, Hank and I weeded. He was getting bored, so I got him a little garden shovel to dig for worms while I worked.

Quickly, our adventure turned into an installment of Zee's Garden on Nick Jr.:

"Look Mommy, a WORM!"

"Oh, very nice, Honey. Make sure you leave him in there. He's good for our dirt."

"Oh, he's wiggling. Oh, he's slimy. Want to touch him, Mommy?"

"No, thank you, Sweetie. I see him though, you did a good job of finding him. Why don't you put him back in the dirt; that's his home. We don't want to wave the worm around too much."

"Ok, Mommy. Where is he going, Mommy?"

"Worms like to be real far down in the dirt, Honey. He's just digging deeper."

"Oh yeah, wow. He's going really fast. I help him, Mommy. I'll put some dirt on top of him."

"I'm sure he'll appreciate that, Honey."

We got the back and side areas all weeded, which pleased me greatly. I'd like to plant the garden in the back, since we have a bunch of unused space back there. Unfortunately, that area seems to be near the nest of the resident bunny family, because I always see cottontail rabbits back there. Now, granted, those guys are so cute it makes me want to head out to the backyard and just kiss their little faces. Problem is, well, they'd hate that. Plus, they're an absolute menace to personal gardens. We managed to fend them off the tomatoes last year with some carefully positioned marigolds nearby, but the back of the yard may pose a problem that even marigolds can't solve. The bunnies just run rampant back there. They're so precious, with their little tails just starting to fluff. Yet, they'd eat my vegetables in a heartbeat. And then, I wouldn't feel nearly so motherly towards them. *eyes narrow*

Speaking of mothering, later that day, Hank once again asked me if we would soon have "a baby in our home." Couldn't you just die? Of course, I told him that we're hoping so, should God send one our way. He adds:

"Mommy, could the baby sleep in my room? That way, I could keep an eye on her."

I could have just burst right into tears at how sweet he was being. *hormones rage* If only we could find a way for Hank to lactate, then my job would be so much easier.

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