Saturday, April 21, 2007

more pictures!!

kai made the baby peas a playground.
it's very nice.

but it might be just a little big for them right now...

Friday, April 20, 2007

more baby pictures!!

they're getting so big!

(this one's flandro jr.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

he gets to fly a kite...

you can't see it, somehow he has a stealth kite that my cell-phone camera can't pick up, but there, outside my work, is a little child flying a kite. i'm so jealous! (he's the one sitting on the grass. he's kind of an expert; he doesn't even have to run around and look dumb, and the kite is still flies!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

whose idea was this?

um, why is my birthday the coldest day of the week?
why do we have to put up with snow on my newly planted and already very nerve-wracking garden?
my goodness.

in other news, john vanderslice was, for the second year in a row, rather fun.
and viv and i are something quite in love with st. vincent.

happy birthday to me and can we have just a little bit of sunshine and warmth, please?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

failure is always the best way to learn

can i talk to you about something that's really bothering me? i don't know who else to talk to.
i hate theoretical knowledge. it's so hard when you're finally called upon to put it into action. and what about when you can't tell if you need to act?
see, i'm really excited about my garden. i'm passionate by nature so any project i undertake, especially one of this magnitude and financial investment, will engender my full capacity for enthusiasm, but gardens are particularly close to my heart.
this garden is also particularly important because it's not just mine or mine and my family's.
i may not be the only one investing in this here project, but i have been placed, admittedly by my own assertions and wishes, as the resident expert. (overlooking the all too problematic detail that i am not the resident of the property which houses my garden.)

now, i do know something about what i'm doing. i have been gardening in some way or another for my whole life.
i have been gardening independently and in a role of some authority for a surprising number of years (i'm not one to be upset by upcoming birthdays marking the passing of time, but my goodness, i am rather older than i expected.)
i have taken a course in horticulture; i have worked in a plant nursery and on a landscaping crew for two summers.
i have never had any major gardening failures. (set backs, less than successes, sure, but no failures.)

i need to talk to someone cause my peas aren't coming up yet and i think i killed them somehow. and we bought some plants and i planted them yesterday.
i was/am way excited. i added the compost, double digged and thoroughly worked the ground a number of times. turning the dry soil with a shovel, all seemed really well. fingering through it, i was less sure; i don't really know, but the texture wasn't...ideal.
no matter.
we knew it was clay soil so we bought some peat moss. the neighbors suggested it and i know it as a remedy for clay soil too. it was the right thing to do, right?
i had already worked the soil and the only times i've ever used peat moss is a couple of times when my mom has just put in a spoonful as we plant. so that's what i did. and i planted my first strawberry. it looked good. i was way happy. then i poured some water on and i knew why they call it clay soil. my garden at home is anything but clay. it's great dirt. we work hard on it every year and we've lived here for coming up on 12 years. i suppose i'm just spoiled, but i've never seen anything like what happens to this dirt when wet. it scared me. i added some more peat moss as a top dressing and continued planting, adding more peat moss to each hole, getting more and more nervous about the state of my soil.
i am particularly nervous about the little corsican mint i stuck into the crannies at the edges of the brick path. that soil i hadn't worked and that's where the dirt to mud to cement problem seems the worst.
now. there is still quite a bit of planting to be done and i can add bunches of peat moss to the whole bed if i really feel that it is necessary, but here's the other thing: (actually there are two)
1- peat moss is quite acidic. i've never been a soil tester, but maybe we should? i was reading a little about broccoli cause i've never grown it and it says if it fails to produce heads it means it needs potash. so i ask my father if potash is by any miracle an acid. "no!" shouted both my parents in unison. "it's quite alkali...base." (putting it into terms my simplistic understanding of chemistry can understand.) so i now i have to worry that in order to solve my drainage and aeration problems i have just caused a production problem for my little baby broccoli.
2- peat moss does the trick for loosening up clay soil. anyone will tell you that. but let me tell you, i've sat in on my share of sales meetings and i know that one of the main things i'm supposed to tell people to make them buy the whatever way too expensive gardener and bloom whatever mix is that over time peat moss actually gets compacted and makes the problem worse!

so now what do i do?
what if nothing grows? so much money wasted.
but if we try to solve the problem it's so expensive.
and everyone is all hyped up cause all i do is talk about the garden and what if i fail?!!
oh so sad and humbling. (not to mention the fact that actually no one but me is hyped up by any stretch of the imagination.)
not that i'm prideful, but i just really want this to be good. and i'm really scared that it won't work.

and i just transplanted some of my chives tonight and i'm a little nervous that they might just keel over from transplant shock. and what if the other half i left at home gets shocked too and dies? i was pretty harsh with the shovel, just hacking it in half in a second and chucking it into a bucket. not that my mom uses the chives all the time, but there's never an ok time to kill a plant unthinkingly.

and kind of the worst thing is, i know that even if everything does die and i turn out to be a horrible gardener without my mother's magic soil, i know no one will be mad and no one will blame me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


did you ever want to be overrun by bandits;
to hand over all of your things and start over new?
while we were out hunting for food
our house was being robbed
I caught an apple and she caught a fox
so I caught a rabbit but she caught an ox

so upon our return, we found everything gone
which for us was no loss
and we started over
with a rabbit and an ox

so they came down from the north
carrying all they owned
with a basket full of food and clothes
they were stopped by a weekend raid
traveling the woods one day
they tried to put up a fight, but lost.
so we asked for them to stay
with us on their way
to have a drink and rest
and regain their strength

did you ever want to run around with bandits;
to see many places and hide in ditches?
it's not always easy, it's not always easy
when the winter comes and the greenery goes
we will make some shelter
when the winter comes and the greenery goes
we will make some shelter


it was in my head.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

baby pictures!!!

they're a little shy.

yo yo yo it's april

two funny stories:
1- my sister called me yesterday. (i have 3 sisters. oldest, maria, lives in colorado springs. next, liz, lives in boston. younger, jen, lives in the sl of the c. this was liz calling.)
i was driving home from work and was pleasantly surprised.
"so mom tells me that maria is flying out for your graduation?" she begins with a slightly, ever so slightly, accusatory tone.
"yes..." i respond, wondering if she is offended that we're not flying her out. (hey. $44 is a good deal. if it was $44 from boston to slc, we'd fly her out too.)
"you're graduating?!!"

2-i don't like the union. unfortunately, i often eat breakfast there. this morning i was lucky and got what i came for: a chocolate chocolate donut sans sprinkles.
i sat down and the cute little lady who often smiles, clears my trash for me and always brings a second chair to my table for one, paused today after adding the chair. she set down her newspaper and at first i thought she was offering me some reading material.
then she pointed to the first letter and said "m. a. k. i. n. g. how you say?" and so i told her. we progressed through the entire headline ("making the 'mos' of your money" i've never hated puns so badly in all my life.) confusing "mos" with "mouth" and "of" with "up".
i'm certain i didn't make things clear to her, but i was kind of honored that she would ask me.