Thursday, May 22, 2014

Just Dandy

Yesterday morning I cancelled school, which I can do, being the teacher (and the principal, and the counselor and all.)  You see, our Garden Fail has been weighing heavily on my mind.  (I know guilt isn't unique to moms, but I think we're pretty good at it.)  Anyway, with a couple of nice days on the forecast, and rain and a Naomi visit coming this weekend, well... it was time. (Duh duh duuuuuh.... I do my own theme music, like Kronk in The Emperor's New Groove, so - you know - humor me.)

Tate, Gunnar and I headed off to the local newspaper to get some end-rolls, and off to THE local garden spot to get starts.  It didn't look like much, when we loaded it all into the van, but looks can be deceiving, or so I've been told.  We hauled it all over to the neighbors and proceeded to attempt to get down to work.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear:


Planting a few annuals and perennials in the flower beds around the house is completely different.  And the weeds, oh the weeds!  (Feel the drama for me, will ya?)  The thing is, winter seems to last forever, and spring is pretty cold and rainy.  Which means, plants are pretty dormant for a long, long time.  And I got complacent.  Then, about the time we were down at Children's hospital for our little adventure, we had a stretch of warm weather.  The days are getting ridiculously long, the temp is climbing, and it's still wet.  Which means:  WEED EXPLOSION.

I know, I know, you could all see that coming a mile away, but again...


Tate rototilled for a couple of hours, while Gunnar and I weeded by hand.  See, our sweet neighbor has some perennials in the garden - lilies, roses, raspberries (my favorite!) and we can't just napalm the whole thing and start over, y'know?  (Though Gunnar keeps asking.)  I should've counted how many buckets of weeds we hauled off and dumped.  The bedstraw (sticky weed, velcro weed, whatev) is CRAZY, plus chickweed, dodder, some awful viney morning-glory-like things, and what I really hate - buttercups.  They spread like crazy and are nearly impossible to pull out.  Ack.  And we couldn't finish.

Had to dash off, shower and pick up Wyatt to go to an appointment (more on that later - fun!) so we had to leave it half-done, but Gunnar and I put in another three hours today and got everything planted.  Do you want to know what we have?

I mean, nobody's making you read this, right?

Tomatoes - cherry and bigger ones
Romaine lettuce
Garlic  (planted earlier)
Copra onions  (planted earlier)
(Stargazer ilies - already there)
Butternut squash
Head lettuce and celery
Bush peas (because the #$%^ snails got my climbing peas)
More onions - red and white
Red peppers
(Saving a row for later carrots)
Blue lake beans
(Raspberries and roses - already there)

And yes, I'm pretty sure we've bitten off more than we can chew.  Insanity.

We also rolled out the newspaper between all the rows, in the (vain?) hope of it contributing to weed control, watered everything, and spread slug/snail bait.  Because I loathe gastropods.  (I hope you're channeling Jim Carey, in The Grinch, when you hear "loooooathe".)

Meanwhile, Tate and Gunnar spent two or three hours yesterday working for my parents (removing and stacking concrete roof tile).  Also yesterday, Kerry and all three boys spent a couple of hours doing yard work (mowing, raking, weed whacking) at the CAP building.

Today, while Gunnar and I were in the garden, Tate and Wyatt were mowing for another neighbor and are now off at work at the speedway.  Thursday night motocross - sometimes I can hear it from the house.

I think we will all be officially exhausted tonight.  Except for Kerry, who mostly works sitting down. Therefore, we will BBQ tonight, because that's his job.

Days like this, I wish again that I had a despachante.  That's something I heard of in a John Grisham book.  Apparently, in Brazil "the system" is so corrupt and inefficient (don't be offended, Brazil, we're close on your heels) that it takes forever and a day to do the most ordinary things, like renew your driver's license, vote, or get a building permit (which is pretty much the seventh layer of Dante's hell here, too.)  So a despachante will do these things for you.  He will stand in line, and he knows who to slip a little bribe to, to get to the front of the line, or to make things happen.  Wouldn't it be nice to have someone do all the boring, time-consuming, mundane tasks that clutter up our lives?  Well, okay, I have trouble with the bribe part, but the efficiency part?  I'm all over that.

Meanwhile, I have a Mother Load of things to sort out and accomplish - Tate needs some questions answered about working at the CAP "boot camp" this summer, and the Cadet Officer (i.e. not an adult) who assured Tate he checks his email daily has NOT responded for over a week.  I need to figure out how to get the (meager amount of) money out of Wyatt's minuscule college fund for next year.  (More later.  Oh yeah, I already said that.  But I mean it.)  Gunnar needs help writing an essay to apply for scholarship money towards boot camp (it is not cheap to go to "camp" on a military base, sleep in old barracks, and wake up at 5am for PT each day.)  And by "help" I mean I will give him some direction, but I won't be writing it for him.  Wyatt needs an appointment at the eye doctor.  Someone needs a wart frozen.  Two boys need annual well-checks.  I need to coordinate Tate's summer therapy (for his CI).

And I'm sure there is more.  Do you see why I want a secretary?!

I'm not complaining.  That stuff is my job.  It's just kind of piled up right now.

But the fun news that I kept alluding to?  Wyatt is registered for classes at the community college for next fall!

I have a college student in the house!

We met with an advisor, talked about what direction he might want to head, and got him scheduled for three classes:
* English 101 (get it OVER WITH AND OUT OF THE WAY because he does not love English class)
* Precalc - he's not officially registered, because he has to take the placement test.  I think he'll do fine on the test, and even if he doesn't the advisor said they could waiver him in based on straight A's in all his math classes.
And, for Social Science credit,
* Criminal Justice
That's the one he's really intrigued by, and may end up changing the course he's plotting.  We'll see.

I'm just thrilled they were able to arrange his schedule efficiently with all morning classes so he can look for a job for the afternoons.

The End.


Crystal in Lynden said...

I love following you and your family. You always make me laugh. The "looooaaathe" got me this time.
And I'm always excited to hear about homeschoolers traversing the upper grades and making their way into college. I learn sooooo much.
Thank you!

Joyful Reader said...

Wow! That is quite and undertaking! and I agree with Crystal, you make me LOL! and my family looks at me kinda funny!
Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Weekend!

{steeped in joy} said...

Fun to read about your latest adventures! Gardening is quite the undertaking. I'm more interested in watching and marveling at your work (and surely the fruit of your labor to come). Have fun with Naomi!
<3 <3 <3

ps. I just barely have my new blog off the ground.

Rebecca D said...

Wow... What is it about late Spring that makes us all crazy busy? Way to go on getting a garden in... We talked about it all winter but in the end settled for a CSA at a local farm. Although I don't think Paul has fully given up since a library book on raised bed gardens is currently sitting on my coffee table! :)

melanie said...

Way to go, y'all. I really think you will have a bumper crop of whatever likes your weather -- b/c YOU all will do YOUR part to help that happen! :-)

Just the other day, Thomas was already saying, Next year I'll weed the garden better...
UMmmm! Today you can weed it better! :D

Sara McD said...

Despachante, huh? My husband calls them expediters and used to hire folks like that whenever he could. Not for personal use, but for the restaurant he used to manage.

We put down weed block a week or so ago on about a 16th of the garden, lifted it today and it really, really worked. I don't know about newspaper rolls, but if it works out for you, please let me know. The chickens are also working hard to do their bit.

You have a lot going on right now, I don't know how you keep it all straight.