My online journal.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sooo THAT'S why they call it "sod-busting"

I'm a sod-buster!! I feel like that is how my last three days (oops, I started writing this post on Monday night, I think, and only just now have found time to finish it) have been spent -- turning Joel's idea of a paltry 10' x 8' "garden" into the horticultural wonderland that's going to be my yard, if everything lives and if I remember to water and if I ever figure out "pruning" and if I know when-the-heck to harvest.

I have to get Carol to draw me a map of my yard so I can show you. I expanded last year's plot into hmmm, well I'm not super-good at estimating... maybe 15' x 12'? Which encompasses our existing rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, the "walking onion" which I still don't fully understand, 2 kinds of peas, carrots, radishes, and ending with 2 kinds of watermelon, and pumpkins.

The space we had the African Killer Sunflowers last year (which is the little strip of dirt between the parking pad and the fire pit) are getting a new crop of ECFE sunflowers -- five seedlings made it out of the milk-carton containers and into the ground. And I read you can do squash near sunflowers (and also I misplaced my zucchini seeds for a few days, so they didn't make it into the Master Plot), so I put in seeds for three zuke bushes in that strip as well.

Tomatoes and basil went in the tomatoes' usual home, up against the garage. And I dug out a 2' strip on either side of our front steps, in an attempt to prettify the front yard (which is TOTALLY pointless since we never use the front of our house, but it remains the front of our house and it is pretty sad-looking) by planting some begonias and rudbeckia there.

Joel also (last weekend) managed to plant my new (used) clothesline poles, found on Craigslist of course, and lovingly retrieved by Joel via 2 trips to Cottage Grove (about 15 minutes south of here). The gal who had them at her house is about 12 months pregnant so I'm going to cut her some slack for not being able to describe the poles over the phone to me AT ALL. I asked her the approximate 1. size... 2. color... 3. material... and 4. weight of the poles, and she said she didn't really know... which is totally ridiculous, since I took one glance at the poles (really T-bars) and could see that the appropriate answers would have been "1. enormous, you'll need a truck; 2. white with rusty spots; 3. metal with the concrete still attached to the bottom from the previous planting; and 4. approximately six tons each. Instead I sent Joel down to CG the first time with the notion that he might be dealing with some PVC pipe that could easily stash in the minivan. Ooops.

JG also poured the 6 cement footings for our deck!! I am trying not to get too excited about the deck, but it's going to be really nice to have it.

Anyway, Sunday night we all sat down for dinner and Joel and I tucked into the meal like 2 farmhands. Being bone-tired and crazy-hungry felt unusual and interesting. And good.

Monday I did heaps more planting (which I'm SURE is all for naught after this crazy last 2 days of 90-degree-weather and godawful winds -- I haven't been able to keep ANYTHING watered for more than three minutes, and I bet all the seeds have eigher washed away or been devoured by the squirrel infestation in our yard. Seriously, I have NEVER seen so many squirrels. Eddie was chasing them around yesterday like a crazed spaniel. He names them all "Jumpy" and calls them "squee-yos" or "chick-munks" if he forgets.

Some will win, some will lose... some're born to sing the blues

Honestly, I want to blog about AI and Glee (MY NEW FAVORITE SHOW, cannot WAIT for fall!!) but the heat & wind combo today has sapped all my creative energy. No really, I feel completely beaten. I do want to note (re: Glee) that I about freaked when I heard they named their show choir "New Directions." (That was the name of my HS show choir, in case anybody besides my parents are reading this.) And I also want to note that I've read in several places that critics are worried that Glee will be disappointing to their "target market" of 11-17 year olds. I'm sure the 11-17 niche is more desirable than I am, but I AM THE TARGET MARKET FOR THIS SHOW. Whether or not that means it will be a successful series, I do not care to speculate.

Oh! Another marketing note. When I take dance classes, I do so at Phil Alesso's Dance Spectrum studio on Grand Ave (or maybe technically Chatsworth St?) in St. Paul. I take lessons for a few weeks, then life intervenes but I always go back. Anyway, they are just darlings there, and the studio is non-competitive, and if you are looking for a place to take dance lessons (ballet-tap-jazz for kids thru grownups) I cannot speak too highly of them. I think they could really use some new, enthusiastic students, so consider going, OK? Summer classes restart June 15, I think. I may also have Lucy start lessons there in the fall.

I also was reading some letter-to-the-editor in the PiPress today, criticizing Minn. Governor Tim Pawlenty's anti-tax statement that "Everybody is struggling." I will paraphrase, but the letter reminded readers that NOT everybody is struggling. Many, many people still have jobs. And to some degree, the still-employed have a responsibility to keep this economy plugging along. So I'm not saying we should all go into sloppy, unbounded debt, but for me it was something to think about.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Daddy's little girl

Joel and Lucy and their matching knee-scrapes, with the additional bonus of their matching FACES. Totally not staged (the faces, I mean).

Joel is going to freak out that he's not wearing a shirt. Oooops.

Close-up on the owwies. Joel's is from softball -- Lucy's is from running out the door too fast after ECFE while wearing a dress, and taking a giant digger on the sidewalk. Lots of blood, lots of hollering.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

AI Top Three

Sorry, you'll have to link to my friend Heather's blog for a recap. My recap is in her comments. Too sleepy last night!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Give yo' mama a big hug (and offer to rub her achy hammies)

Well after another marathon week (Grandpa visit, dance lesson, ECFE, dance lesson, dance lesson, drawing class, hailstorm, dance lesson, dance lesson, ECFE, ECFE, softball (a victory!), volleyball, dance lesson, doctor appointment, dance lesson, plant sale), I can put another class in the history books -- my preschool dance classes are finito for the school year.

This coming week will be much like the last, with added craziness on Thursday because Lucy has to register for preschool. In the immortal words of Charlie Brown: "AAAUUUGGGHHH!!"

Things begin to thin out quickly, though, as Memorial Day approaches: my various dance-teaching gigs are all totally done by May 27, and then I leave for Seattle (by way of Chicago) on May 29 or 30.

And since we won't be back until June 13 or 14, we miss the end of the school year and, to my dismay, a couple important ECFE parties. When we come back it'll be summer and I don't have a single thing to do until Lucy starts school on Sept. 10. WOW.

Back to the present, tho: About the instant the weather changed on Friday evening (from relatively summery, to rainy and cool), all the muscles in the back of my body (calves, hamstrings, back) cramped up, but other than that I woke up rarin' to go Saturday morning. As soon as Joel took off with the kids, I made an orderly, prioritized list and actually tackled most of the more important things on it: laundry, cleaning the kitchen sink and the bathroom (I used bleach; I know, I KNOW it's bad but I scarcely could stand to sit on my own toilet or turn on the faucet with my bare hands, it was so germy-gross), mowing the lawn, planning the week's meals*, harvesting my already-gone-to-seed rhubarb and then baking 2 pies and a cobbler out of the less-woody bits.

I was sighing to Joel about how happy I was with my accomplishments, when he gave me A Look and remarked that he was glad I'd gotten something done, because he mostly felt like he was just wrangling the kids all day, which he totally was, escorting them to theatre class and Menards and home and through lunch and into their post-lunch movie and into the bath. Joel is mostly a rock star.

We got the movie Ray from Netflix -- we'd never seen it. It was excellent!

Happy Mothers' Day to all the mamas, and everyone who's ever had a mama, out there.

*For the record, this week we're planning to eat:

1. Chicken-with-almonds-and-apples (actually this was tonight), baked in foil

2. Swedish meatballs (I'm really hoping I have all the ingredients for this) with noodles and canned cranberry sauce

3. Creole pork chops with potatoes and possibly a green salad, which might just mean romaine with ranch dipdip

4. Broccoli-rice-chicken bake

5. Leftover ham/bean soup

6. Pork chops with sauerkraut

7. Salmon ... somehow.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

At some point all my stories just build up and build up and then I forget everything and have to start over.

Which is part of the reason I blog -- to keep the stories written down somewhere before they vanish forever. Unfortunately I think I just had a memory-erase sometime today, so you just get a couple highlights.

Lucy (starting to get worked up and angry about something I won't let her do, or possibly something I'm asking her to do):
"I don't want to be part of this family anymore! I don't want to be your daughter anymore! You're ugly! You're GARBAGE!"

Ed (who has been silent through the whole rampage, but has apparently reached his limit): "She's not garbage." (teeny pause)
"She's NOT ugly." (teeny pause)

Ed and I are driving in the car. I am turning from 61 onto Shepard Road, and in lieu of the typical "Merge" sign you might see at this type of intersection, there is a "Yield" sign there. Meaning, if there are cars coming, you stop and wait and YIELD until there's an open spot. Which is the opposite of MERGE, which means "speed up to highway velocity and find a hole."

So there are tons of cars coming, so I stop. The big truck behind me does not like this, and starts to honk, so I address him out loud: "It says Yield; whaddaya want me to frickin' do?"

To which Eddie replies: "What's frickin doo?"

So now "frickin-doo" is the latest funny thing to say around the house. Rats.

Ed is definitely in the super-fun-to-talk-to stage that Lucy's been in for the last couple years. Lu, on the other hand, has been challenging at best recently. She's been crabby, rude, bossy, moody, and a bully, at sometimes-overlapping turns. More and more I see how similar she and I are -- a battle that's just beginning, I know. But she's also very loving and sweet and so curious about so many things.

OK OK dishes and laundry are calling...