Tuesday, May 27, 2008

slogging along

Sometimes I feel like getting stuff done around here is like trying to push through an invisible wall of glue. This weekend (a four day weekend for our family) my mother came up, and we had a great honking huge list of things to do. Out of roughly, say, 25 list items, we accomplished around 7. Of course, as per usual, I was the only one paying much attention to the list, so several things got done that were not on the list, most of which were worthy. For example, we picked pounds and pounds of strawberries and processed quite a few of them, cut and hung to dry rather a lot of raspberry leaves, and bought and planted some very unexpected elderberry bushes. On the other hand, Mamma decided that it would be a good use of time to weed-whack, scrape, and sweep the front sidewalk, which would have gone undone indefinitely had it been left to us. All in all, though I complain, I really feel a hundred percent better than I did last week, because what we DID get done was the most important stuff...the house is once again clean enough to be functional, and all the plants that were dying in containers by the parking lot are now planted. The yard still looks a fright, the garden is still well behind and getting weedy again, and my personal project list (sewing, cooking, crafty type stuff) is, as always, utterly untouched, but things could be (have been) much worse.

Of course, the aforementioned dying plants may yet die, but at least now we've done what we can for them. We planted several golden raspberry canes, a sassafras sapling, an elder bush, and a mulberry seedling, all dug from the yard of a coworker of Jacob's. If they fail, well, at least we didn't pay for them. The raspberries should be fine, at the least. We also divided a couple of clumps of echinacea and planted a couple more seedlings, so as to fill out the sweep of echinacea that backs my front flower bed. The marigolds and calendula finally got planted in front of the vegetable garden. When we finally get around to tackling the compost heap (I'm confident that somewhere down inside there's some actual compost, despite us) I'll top dress the new trees to apologize to them for their cavalier handling and planting. It takes Jacob so long to gouge planting holes out of our rock-and-clay yard that none of the trees got more than a sprinkling of fertilizer-heavy potting soil before he had to come inside for the night.

We decided not to go to the big local Memorial Day auction, so as to have more working time, and were amply rewarded for our forbearance. Jacob's family spent the weekend sorting and distributing his grandmother's possessions (she died a year ago), and on Monday afternoon they stopped by with a load of things for us. Jacob got great piles of tools in various condition, further cluttering his uphill battle of a shop. For the house we got, among other cool things, three wool blankets and a bunch of other linens. Now, I personally think a body can never have too many blankets, because you never know, and fabric is one of the fundamental useful things, so I'm pleased as punch. Along with buckets, jars, bottles, wood, metal stock, hardware, and tools, we "hoard" whatever blankets we come across, and these are definitely nice additions. (For obvious reasons, I'm glad that this house came with ample storage space!)

Well, that's the weekend...things move slowly, but we just gotta keep slogging along.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Motherhood is...

Trying to check your email and eat breakfast with a baby chewing on your knee and a cat standing in your lap. Damn cat never sits. Loves laps, doesn't get the sitting thing. And I have no idea why my knees are so tasty. Well, as a general thing, that is. Right now they're tasty due to the pizza crust residue she saved there last night.

In the interest of gender equity, I should point out that, at the moment, fatherhood is the fine art of standing outside the bathroom holding the howling baby who only wants all mama, all the time and acts as if papa has nettles for fingers.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

I may be crazy

I think I want to start carrying a couple of heavy-duty trash bags around in the back of the car in case of compostables. For example, today we went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and the field they had people parking in had been mowed, but the hay wasn't gathered, and it was pretty thick on the ground. I'm kinda nuts for compost, and it hurt my teeth to see all that good organic material going to waste. Or another example--I was just looking through old pictures on the computer, and came across our shots of the tractor-powered sawmill, giant pile of sawdust in the background. At the time, I wished after that sawdust pile, and seeing it again, I still do. I like finely textured mulch to go around my garden plants, and I'd be quite happy to experiment with sawdust. My understanding is that, so long as you put down a little nitrogenous material underneath it, sawdust is fine stuff.

Anyway, I think I will. Most people think that compostables are trash, so they're free for the taking most anywhere you go. Might as well be prepared.

Friday, May 2, 2008

La Vida Crunchy

Jacob is out mowing the yard with our reel mower while wearing Evelyn in the Ergo. I'm in making cherry pie with the cherries we picked and froze last summer and drinking cold herb tea. Yeah, so the pie crust is bought...Rome wasn't built in a day.