Apr 30, 2012

This Time Of Year

It is that time again....

Wrestle with the lawn time
Order loads of pine mulch time.
Order loads of topsoil time
Stand and stare at the garden willing the seeds to come up time.
Fight the weeds time.
Feel the thrill when things reappear after winter time.
Sheepishly try to cover up your dirty fingernails in public time.
Say bad words about rabbits time
Lug the enormous heavy hoses around the yard time

I love yard work/ garden time with all my might. I find myself coming home from something and getting out of the car and not heading into the house but heading into the yard where I will sheepishly realize after about twenty minutes that yes, I am weeding the yard in my dress.

Let me update you on what is happening. You know you want to hear all about it :)

 On the garden front my potatoes, peas, lettuce, onions and radishes are all up and growing. It makes me supremely happy to open the new gate to my garden and close the new gate to my garden and not find one single nibbled on veggie behind that fence. Take that bunnies!

 I have decided that this year I will carefully do everything the seed package says to do. So I measured everything when I planted and I thinned everything as it came up. I HATE thinning. It just seems wrong to pick a teeny tiny lettuce when it has not yet met his potential. But I think I finally understand that it has to be done. My lettuce has not done so well the last few years and I am determined to figure that out which is why I decided to follow the instructions perfectly....just so I can say I have :)

Every year I find myself worrying about my potatoes wondering if they will come up. They seem to take forever. This year I confess that I dug down to see if they were still there and if they were doing anything. I profusely apologized to the poor potato when I found he was doing the growing thing just fine just slower than I had expected. I have about 50 potato plants. And my experiment this year is fingerling potatoes which I am very excited about.

The next update is on the berries. I worry deeply about the raspberries. I should probably join a raspberry support group. I am not sure if I get the whole pruning thing and I worry every year that I have ruined them by cutting them back at the wrong time or too much. Thankfully so far, they seem to not need a perfect life to be happy. I should learn from my raspberries.

The blueberries have yet to produce many berries for me in the four years I have owned them. I have 5 blueberry bushes. I read a lot about blueberry bushes this winter and what they need to be happy and I provided all I could for them and I am very hopeful because this year they all look tall and happy.

I had the most amazing strawberry patch last year. I had plenty of berries to freeze but everything had gone crazy and I could not abide the fact that I did not have nice neat rows of strawberries. It was so hard to get into the middle of my patch of berries to weed and pick the berries..... So I dug up every single strawberry plant last year with plans to replant them in rows. But I had a most difficult Fall and the strawberry plants never got replanted. I should probably go to jail for that. This year I added topsoil and compost and replanted 25 strawberry plants in nice neat rows and I am determined that it will stay nice and neat.

The lawn is my nemesis. Every year I learn something new about it....okay, and something new about myself. This year I am facing the evil Dr. Crabgrass. I think I have successfully killed it because now I have huge brown dirt spots in my lawn. I have planted grass seed and I am faithfully watering it but it has not come up yet so I am fretting a bit. I have even resorted to crawling around on my hands and knees and pulling weeds out of the lawn. If things do not improve this year I may have to humble myself and sign up for a lawn service. I do not think I can take this ugly lawn thing much longer.

In the beds in the front of my house the builders of the house threw some shrubs to make the house look surfacely perfect so it would sell. They definitely did not overthink the shrubs they chose :) They are shrubs that will grow very big and take over the front of the house and I decided to dig them up last year in the Fall. I spent all winter staring at these beds dreaming of what I would put there. Of course my dreams involve the most difficult of all shrubs...hydrangeas. I love them too much to not try. So I have two hydrangeas....two purple sand cherry tree/shrubs....several salvia..and some shasta daisies.

It is funny how every year I learn a little more. Every year there is a new battle. Every year there are parallels galore between the garden/yard and my life. Yes, I will tell you if you are the evil crabgrass in my life :)

Apr 8, 2012

Guess Who Is Coming?

I am so excited!! I am having company this week. I do not get company much. I am not really sure why. I try not to over think that question. I thought that living close to Boston, New York City, Norman Rockwell's birthplace, countless Revolutionary War sites, Walden Pond, mountains, beaches and famous sports teams would help with the company thing. But not so much. What makes you want to visit someone? What makes you feel like you would do whatever it takes to visit someone? What makes it so that regardless of the sleeping arrangements, the condition of the towels in the bathroom, or the cold cereal for breakfast you still want to see someone? I am not really sure but all I know is......

My sister Rebecca is coming!! And how do I treat her now that she is coming? I most likely embarrass her with a blog about her. Yeah, and I wonder why no one comes to see me :)

 I was almost three years old when number one of my five siblings arrived. It truly rocked my world. I was the superstar...number 1....the oldest....the only one... numero uno.... and then rudely there were two of us... someone else trying to get on the stage of life with me. I was deeply bothered. And I don't think I was ever nice to this sister of mine.

 I tried to burn her with a curling iron when we were teenagers.

 When we were little our parents would have all of us sing together in church and the way she would add vibrato to her voice would drive me freaking crazy. I was sure she did it to annoy me.

 When I declared my favorite animal was a horse so did Rebecca so I had to change my favorite animal to a bear all because of her :) Yes, this was as traumatic as it sounds :)

 She loved animals and raised pigs for 4-H and made tons of money selling her piglets.

 I stayed in the house and played the piano, read books and sang along at the top of my lungs to Barbara Streisand albums.

 I once tried to kick my shoe at her and she ducked and it went out the window and broke the window.

 She always had utmost control and I was always trying to make her show some anger.....she never did.

 She ran track and won. I ran track and gave up.

She always borrowed my clothes without asking.
 Is the picture of sibling love emerging? :)

Aren't you relieved that my jealousy and frustration at how perfect she is has finally given way to simply loving and admiring the pants off her ? :) If I could get just a quarter of  Rebecca's determination I could conquer the world.

Last summer Rebecca was living in Bangkok with her family... she came back to the states for the summer and while she was back in the states she ran the Seattle Marathon... after she ran it she learned that she had qualified for the Boston Marathon. YAY! Then in the Fall of last year after Rebecca was back in Bangkok living her little old life there she found out she had annoying, evil breast cancer. Her family ended up coming back to the states so she could deal with the cancer thing.

Through all of the yuckiness that comes with dealing with cancer my sister Rebecca has continued to be determined to run the Boston Marathon. I have watched with amazingness as she has been training all through her chemotherapy and now through her radiation treatments. Every time I get ready to go run my measly 3 or 4 miles or face my seemingly devastating trials and I lift my head from the pavement to moan to myself "I can not do this" I immediately think of my darling determined sister. I feel so blessed to have her great example in my life. I have always felt like she could have done the older sister/good example thing so much better than I have :) I wonder what I conned her out of when we were in heaven so I could be the oldest here on earth? :) I really can not put all the right words together to effectively express how incredible she is.

 I know that only she knows how she has struggled through this and that knowledge makes it so none of us ever feels comfortable accepting compliments on how we are handling hard times in our lives. But I think Aunt Rebecca should accept all the compliments she gets on the way she has dealt with her breast cancer and running the Boston Marathon. If you are that curious about her awesomeness you can look over on the side of my blog and click on the blog entitled Seven Farmers and then you can read for yourself how great my sister is.

Awesome Rebecca with Mom and Dad.
But enough of the mushy stuff ..... trust me, Ord's do not do the mushy, touchy feely, lovey thing......ever! Well, lets say...rarely  :)

 The Boston Marathon is April the 16th... yes, in eight days, and Aunt Rebecca, Uncle David, and a couple of their kids will be dropping by on their way to Boston. I am so excited to see them. I am so eternally proud of my sister. And I promise I will not try to kick my shoe at her while she is visiting...as long as she does not borrow any of my clothes :)