Friday, May 13, 2011

gardening and happiness at the gas station

Blogger was apparently down yesterday, so I'm posting today.  Somehow I lost the beginning even though I was smart enough to copy the post to a document when it claimed that it wasn't saving properly.  Somehow the font got changed. I hope you like the new one.

Suddenly it is now summer.  Its hot. In fact, my husband installed a
window air conditioner in my son's room tonight.  His room gets very hot and is not connected to the rest of the house's heating/cooling system.

The garden is mostly tons of dandelions and grass. I'm a little worried about it- not that I won't get it done, but that I will run into trouble with the lawn ordinance.  I've mostly got the lawn itself under control, but the garden does have some long grass.   I also have some excellent looking chard, and lettuce that needs thinning.  Plus the snow peas are beginning to reach the net I have for them to climb on.  And yet... the garden looks like a mass of dandilion fluff.  That's the area for all the warm season crops.  I took my little seedlings out of the cold frame, but they are too small for transplanting.  At least they germinated this year.

This morning I dug up a small area to plant these corn seeds that I had apparently ordered.  It says on the package "heavy feeder". Sorry, but I don't have much compost to contribute for non-edible plants.  Yes, for some reason I ordered ornamental corn.  I figured we wouldn't get enough for a good meal, so why not practice on something pretty.  And, given that I'm probably not fertilizing it enough, we won't get much anyway.  

We also planted scallions.  For some reason I didn't order any last year, and the year before they didn't grow much.  I hope the lime helps. Yesterday we planted sunflower seeds, fennel, and chinese mustard greens- those are for my husband or maybe just to help with the insects.  I have no intention of personally eating them.  The part of the garden we planted in is nearest the road, but is also the least fertile part... and I THINK I added lime to that part.... Anyway, they are not crops that will break my heart if nothing happens.  Although I am definitely hoping for sunflowers.  Still, if I were really serious I would have done something about the compost issue.  Don't think I've completely neglected it- I have grown clover, beans, and weeds in this area in the past to increase organic matter.

Did you notice how I said "we"?  I'm not speaking of me and my husband, but of me and my little star.  I'm not saying he was some great help, but he wasn't a hindrance- he kind of watched or picked dandelions or ate parsley and lettuce.  This means I actually got something done while he was not in play care- and it was educational for him.  I was going to do even more this afternoon- and we did plant some zucchini. That was the seed packet he picked out.  My seed packets come from Fedco, so they don't have pictures on them.  The choice is pretty random though maybe he could tell the flat shape of the seedds. My little star enjoys the challenge of opening them.  

We had to stop gardening after that because... well... I couldn't find any sunscreen.  I figured if I did find some it would be so old it wouldn't be much use anyway. For the past few years, probably since my little star was born three years ago, I mostly avoided the middle of the day with naps and lunch, and kept to the shade since its usually too hot in the sun anyway.  So we went and bought sunscreen and a few other things.

Yesterday when I picked up my little star from play care he was just sitting in the playground looking tired.  They said he had a good day, took a long nap, and played a lot in the sand.  And they put on sunscreen twice. Well he didn't seem too happy.  He had sand allover his face and arms and kept rubbing his eyes.  And he was melting down.  Of course having sunscreen all over you, and sand sticking to it, and then on top of that sunscreen irritating your eyes... Well, he was a lot better after a bath.  So I bought sunscreen that claims it doesn't irritate the eyes.  I doubt it, but I'm willing to try.  I don't know if I can ask playcare to use special sunscreen for my kid.  His cheeks remain all red, and I don't know if it was sunburn or irritation from sand or from sunscreen.  Of course our little zucchini planting probably didn't help.

And the nicest thing today, aside from actually working in the garden, was my experience at our village gas station.  I had my bike tuned up recently, and it really does work better... except for one thing.  My son's bike seat rubs on the fender that now rubs on the tire.  This isn't a big deal when he's not on the bike- its his weight generally that pushes it.  Yesterday I took this rather long (longer than I should have) bike ride to the end of the bikepath- its about 9 miles each way, but pretty flat.  Exhausting.  I'm so out of shape.  And then of course I mowed the lawn.  After lunch and a shower I hardly had any time for anything like cooking dinner, science play space, book....  So about my bike... I took my son into the village on it today since I'm pretty sure I can make it back- the hill is gradual and not much.  I got him there, and when I went to park the bike it seemed like the back wheel wasn't turning.  I figured that was because I was in the mud.  

When I went to take the boy home I realized, the wheel was not turning no matter what.  The bike seat was preventing it.  Luckily I was right next to our friendly local gas station/mechanic. I am not saying this sarcastically.  When they realized why I was there, a guy began doing adjustments for me... as if there were no other cars they were working on.  He added some new washers, had exactly the right tools, and knew what to do.  They wouldn't accept payment and sent me and my little star on our way.  We are so lucky to have this business here.   

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