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Gardening Together With Children

I really should not read.

It fills my head with all sorts of un-executable ideas and grandiose plans, and frankly, drives my husband nuts.

I just LOVE this book: Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots . It’s chock full of great ideas for gardening with your children. I love the watercolor illustrations, quotes and poetry. Some of the ideas make me want to go till up the front yard right now to create A Garden of Giants or A Flowery Maze.

I want to turn our old whiskey barrel into a water garden.  I want to make a sweet little garden in my holey old purple rubber boots filled with parsley, chamomile, Easter Egg radishes and Thumbelina carrots.

I can tell you how that will go in real life. I would put dirt in my old boots. Small children would see this and fill their every day boots, and probably Dada’s with dirt. I may or may not get the seeds planted. I would set the boots on the front step to grow. I’d probably forget to water them. Something may sprout. One day some child would see the boots, filled with dirt and half alive seedlings and they would decide to put them on, and have soil filled boots up to their thighs. And then another child would decide a hose was necessary, because, really, the hose is always necessary, and fill the boots with water, in addition to the first child’s legs, and the soil, and the seedlings. Then when they tired of that, they would somehow extricate said legs from the mud boots and come into the house. Probably across the cream carpet. And the beautiful little miniature garden in process would get thrown into the yard and get run over with the mower.

Possibly. I could be wrong.

I can tell you how gardening went today.

I Square Foot Garden. Kevin thinks it’s kind of silly because we have ALL THIS SPACE, and I want to truncate my garden to fit in the sunny spot right under the windmill, next to the clothesline. I do it like this because it’s close to where I am all the time. It’s near the spigot so I can water conveniently. When I had the traditional farm wife garden, out in the middle of the side yard, I never went over there, to weed or water. Let’s just say nothing really grew. Except weeds.

I’ve been really happy with my little Square Foot Garden. I don’t grow enough to can or store for the winter, but I’m not really in a stage where I can do that anyway. If I tried to put that kind of pressure on myself, I’d be miserable, and so would my chiddlers.

Anyway. It’s the 26th of May, Memorial Day. It rained last night so Kevin took a little time off to help me with the garden. My parents took the older three to a Memorial Day service, so we thought the timing was perfect. The parent-child ratio was 1-1. It doesn’t get a lot better than that over here.

 I needed to mix more of the “Mel’s Mix”–compost, vermiculite and peat moss–this is supposed to help keep the garden weed free. We had stopped and bought some seedlings yesterday, and I had saved some seeds from last year (we’ll see if they grow…). Kevin helped me find the tools I needed. One of the frustrating things about my life is I can NEVER find anything when I need tools. Kevin just doesn’t have a “spot” for stuff. And even though I DO, the chiddlers don’t, so when they can’t find their tools, they abscond with mine. I’m locking my new ones up.

We took off the lattice to mark the squares, raked off the leaves and accumulated debris, raked up the soil that was still there, mixed the “Mel’s Mix” in the wheelbarrow, and applied it to the boxes. Then he filled my new box with field soil. He had read of a way to garden where you just plant your seeds in holes in landscaping fabric, so we’re trying that. (Again with the reading 😉 ) I brought out my seeds, which had been stored in plastic Easter eggs (I read somewhere that it is an easy idea to store them this way), and planted some of them.

Sounds simple. Relaxing. Working side by side peacefully with my handsome husband.

I left out this part:

 “Denton, stop! Don’t dump the nails!”
“Where dis goes?”
 “Watch out Elivette! Stay back! I’m shoveling here!”
“What cuh-wer is dis pwant?”
 “Nooo!”
 “Here, go shovel in this box!”
“Why we do dis?”
 “Don’t stand on the cilantro!”
 “Why da ‘slantrwo hewre?”
 “Uh-oh!”
 “Elivette has the hammwer.”
 “Here, Denton, you can pull out this nail.”
“Why we need dis?”
“Leave the fabric alone!”

watering the seeds

“I dist move dis.”
“Don’t put your sister in the tomato cage! You’ll poke her eyes out!”
“What dis for?”
“What you wooking fowr? Dis?”
 “IN the box. Keep the dirt IN the box.”
“When it my turwn?”
 “Here, you can help me dig this hole. “
“I put da wadish seeds hewre?”
“Watch out for that rake!”
“Ugh! I want to pwant dem awll!”
“We can’t dump out all the seeds, Elivette.”
“When dey gwo?”
“Let’s not open all the Easter eggs”
“Dis many carrwot seeds?”
 “Ugh. I just swallowed a gnat.”

 Giving children the joy and wonder of reconnecting with nature? Introducing children to the pleasures of gardening? Cultivating wonder?

smelling the basil

Hopefully.

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Colossal fails

The homemade granola I made was amazing. As was the yogurt. Scrumptious!

The créme freiche on the other hand: colossal fail. And this was the second time I tried to make it.
I’m trying to teach the girls about reflexes. I found mine in my knee easy peasy. They were intrigued by how my leg kicks out without my making it happen. I pretty much beat their knees black and blue for fifteen minutes (ok, slight exaggeration) and STILL did not once make any of their feet kick.
Maybe they just don’t have any reflexes.
Cadrian and I have been having a battle of the wills regarding picking up the Tinker Toys, for the last hour. We were going to go to Target…
I participated in a “Craft It Forward” on Facebook, but I totally lost my list of who I need to send my stuff to–if that was you, would you please remind me, so I don’t have to have that be one more fail today? Thanks ever so!
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dumb ‘puter

I went to download my pictures.

The printer (into which I insert my memory card) wouldn’t turn on.
I couldn’t make heads or tails of the mess o’ cords behind and in the computer armoire. Perhaps all the dust was obscuring my vision.
I started to pull out cords to try and trace them to the printer to see if I could identify the loose connection.
I pulled more cords.
I pulled out all the cords. The tower. The printer. My poor, underused but very awesome Silhouette. The two power strips. The two extension cords. I noted that an electrical overload is a very real possibility.
I unplugged everything.
I got out my lambswool duster. I dusted. I got out the vacuum cleaner and went through the process of changing to the dusting attachment. I vacuumed. I got out a wet rag. I dusted and wiped. I got out a small jar of water and several Q-tips. I dusted more.
I got out some tape and a Sharpie. I wound up cords. I taped the coils to themselves. I labeled both ends of each cord. I ignored my children in my quest.
I got everything put together again (which really deserves at least a paragraph of its own, but I’ll spare you that superarduousness.)
(Yep, totally a word.)
(It is too! I looked it up).
Voila! The printer turned on. It all worked.
Several hours after I had begun, I again got Photoshop up and running. I began the process, once again, of downloading my pictures.
I got an error message.
ALL MY PICTURES HAVE NOW BEEN DELETED OFF MY CARD.
And are not on the computer either.
But at least my cords, which no living soul can see, are neatly labeled and coiled, and the inside of my computer cabinet, which no one often sees either, is dust free.
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Apr-10-2009-013

Oops.

So I took some silly pictures of Cadrian for this post and for my Facebook, and of course to embarrass him at his wedding.

Tonight I was going through my pictures and tagging them, editing, deleting, organizing…

Just look what I never noticed until just now. Oh yeah. Look closely.

If it helps, you can click on the picture and make it bigger…

That, my friends, is the story of my life. OR so it seems some days.

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