Friday, May 2, 2008

Reaping the Rewards

My garden is starting to produce some very nice produce. Not much, but enough to make me happy to see the rewards of my hard work.

I love the garden. Ever since my dad put the 2 in for the boys, I have enjoyed all that came out of them. It may not be much, but it is enough to make the boys smile. It is nice to have the boys get something out of their garden when I am making dinner. Fajitas always need peppers and onions. And I make sure that I have some in the garden.

As you know, this year for my birthday I wanted 2 garden boxes of my own. I was tickled to see that my dad made them, put them in the yard and filled them with nice topsoil. In my 41 years, that was the best gift I have ever gotten from him. And that is a gift that I can use over and over again. Hopefully... if I don't decide on making a full garden next spring for us.

I have actually thought that I would love to have a full garden. With everything imaginable in it. Why? Because the fresh veggies are so much better tasting than what comes from the store. I know that my stuff won't be contaminated with only God knows what. This also would be a very good experience for the boys to learn how to take care of a real garden. Now, I hate yard work, but working in the garden, well, I love it. Don't know why, but I do. And I also think that if I am going to can my stuff, it would be better and cheaper coming out of my yard.

This year in just my 2 boxes I have planted onions, tomatoes, 3 kinds of lettuce, spinach, carrots, cucumbers and a few other things. I bought tomato plants, over fertilized and ended up killing 4. My dad replaced my plants for me. He went over to the local county high school and bought a bunch of stuff over there. I didn't know this, but the high school as a greenhouse. It is ran by students that are a little slower than your normal students. Most of them have a slight to moderate mental ability. So, my dad goes there to help the kids out. They plant the seeds, nurture the plants, grow them and then sell them for .25 each. It is a good thing for them to do, it brings in money to the FFA. I didn't know anything about the place, I will be heading there tomorrow. But for the kids to try and do this, it really is a good thing.

I know that PJ and I planted spinach at the same time. The one bed is growing a little slower than the rest, I think I have retarded plants. But the seeds that PJ planted in his bed and the seeds that I planted in my other bed seemed to have taken off . Also, the lettuce that he planted is just growing so fast that I will have to pick it soon.

Last night I went out to cut some more rosemary for some people here. I cut some back sometime last month, and it grew in thicker and fuller than it was before. This is good for people who like rosemary. Me, I tolerate the plant. I am not crazy about the smell, the taste is ok, but it is a pretty plant to look at, and very easy to take care of.

So, while I was out there I thought I would cut the spinach. Chuck kept saying there wasn't enough for dinner. Ok, let me look and see. I grab one of my huge bowls and start snipping away at the little bit that PJ and I planted (Eric planted his late, it will be ready soon). And before I knew it, the bowl was full.

I am so excited that this stuff is coming in like this. I know that gardening is hard work. But to reap the rewards, that is just wonderful. We didn't have this for dinner last night, but I do believe that this and grilled pork tenderloin will be a nice meal tonight.

Family Fun Day it was not!

Since Chuck has been off from work, he planned on getting some things done outside. The weather has cooperated nicely with his plans. He wanted to get the shed up on Saturday, and that did get done. And Sunday he wanted to work in the front flower bed to get somethings up and out and trimmed. That was fine. As long as I don't have to do anything, I personally don't care.

Let me get my point across very early in this blog, I HATE YARDWORK! I can say it again if need be. But I really despise the fact that I can't have someone out there working my yard for me while I sit in my nice new chair and I put my feet up and rest. But that is not what Chuck had planned for our Family Sunday. Nope, not even close.

Ok, I can understand wanting to get the yard looking nice. Everyone else on the block, the other 3 houses, actually have nice yards. Now, our one neighbor, he doesn't work. So he can spend all day outside and piddle around. The one 2 houses down, they were blessed with a nice yard when they moved in, and the other to the right of us, she too was blessed with a very nice yard. All of those houses are brick, ours is the dumpy one on the block. The people before us did not take care of a thing. Nope, not at all, so we are stuck picking up the crap they left behind.

I really don't like working outside when it comes to working with Chuck. Do you see a trend here???? Working with Chuck stresses me out. And so I dreaded yesterday so very much. I just didn't know what he had in store for me.

We took off to Lowe's right after they opened and found some mulch. Now I had been thinking about the stuff that I would be happy with, something that won't require much trimming, and something that would look very nice. I spotted some really cute Blue Spruce type thingy, but that didn't impress Chuck. Ok, well find something else.

We looked and looked, and finally, I decided on 3 azaleas in 3 different colors.

And then Chuck, for some reason, wanted roses.

Great, a lot of work with those things, but they were pretty. And then we both decided on a cute little spruce tree.

Along with rose food, we came out of there under $65. But that doesn't mean the time that he had to get more mulch for the trees.

Ok,so we cleared the yard and trimmed trees.

That was a chore in itself! Granted the boys helped some, just not enough!

And then we laid the mulch all around the trees. I love the way the dogwood looks. The red makes the white flowers pop so much

I just love that tree. It came with the house, and I will not be taking it down anytime soon.

So, then we started to dig up roots and dig up the clay and dig all that we had to dig. I really hate yardwork. But we got done what we set out to get done.

While Chuck and Eric took off to Ace and Lowe's, I decided to dig more holes and to put the plants where I wanted them. Not where Chuck wanted them, they go where I want them. Only because I will be the one watering it all.

And then I thought that instead of ripping up around the lamp post

I would put some topsoil in there and plant my pole beans. Considering that both of my little gardens are quite full, I don't have the room to put anything else.Well, 80 lbs of topsoil doesn't go far, so I had to get some more today. I had Eric out there doing that, while PJ took off back inside when our backs were turned. And he knows that we won't go in with dirty shoes, the stinker took it easy.

We got everything planted, and was very concerned about the purple rose. It didn't want to come out of the container too easily, so cutting around the pot was going to have to happen. I got everything else out rather swiftly, and put them in the holes, I just had to wait on the top soil and more mulch. I really wanted to get it over with for the day. It was a very comfortable day, so I should have enjoyed the weather and the day all together.

I dug up a ton of daffodil bulbs and noticed that Eric ran over all of my irises. I just wanted to cry. They come back every year, and they are so pretty. But as Chuck was cutting the pine tree back some and I spotted the lone iris, white, all along the base of the pine tree.

The yard is looking better. There is still more money to spend, decisions to be made and planting to be done. Yes, I am very pleased with the outcome. So pleased that I crashed on my chair at 8:50.

Oh well, I ended up with poisen ivy and washed that down with bleach water. I will survive. There is more to do, and I will get to it when I have a chance.

My kingdom has a shed

I was dreading this day all month long. I knew that Saturday was a day that Chuck wanted to put up a shed. Ok, well, we don't work well together in things like that, so I really didn't want to do it. "Get your dad to help out, or better yet, get MY dad to help you out. I want to still love you when the day is over." Basically, I did not want to help put together a rubber shed. And I was adamant about it too!

Little did I know that all along, he was planning on getting his dad help him put the thing together. That was a good thing, really it was!

On Wednesday, Chuck took off to Home Depot to go pick out the shed. He spotted one that he thought was perfect. On Thursday he went over there to pay for it, but hit a snag. The young lady at the register thought they were getting more of the Rubbermaid 8 x 6 sheds in, and she also thought that they could sell the display. So, he gets there and was told by the manager that they can't sell the display model because someone will have to take it apart and put together another one. They weren't going to Chattanooga to pick one up for him, because they were getting more in on the 23rd. Chuck explained to him that the 23rd would be too late and he didn't really understand why they couldn't sell the display or pick one up. Especially since we were planning on spending quite a bit of money, but since they weren't willing to work with us, we would go to Lowe's. And so he did. They didn't have the one that he was looking for, but he did find one that was 6x6. That will work getting the stuff out of the, out from under the house, off the carport, away from the front of the house, and the toys from the back yard.

Saturday morning came with more than just a shed. My dad picked up the boys to take them to breakfast and then fishing. Ok, this is a good thing. Of course another day of getting out of bed by 6:30 to get them up and ready to go by 7:30. Ah, the life of a mother --- never dull, trust me on this!

I took off shopping after they left and was constantly bothered by text messages from Chuck. Asking about this and that, how long will I be, what am I buying, I need this, you need this. What usually takes about 40 minutes turned into well over 2 hours to get done. Not what I really needed, but I got all that I had to get and I was not heading out for anything else. That was a good thing.

I got home from the store to an empty house. It felt weird to say the least. But I needed that to get the things I had planned on getting done, done that day. Unloaded all the groceries. You never realize how much you buy until you have to unload everything yourself. But the new bags from the store hold a lot more than the plastic and when you only have 4 or 5 to carry in, you don't realize all that is in there.

Chuck got home when I got done, go figure! And told me that he was meeting his dad at Lowe's and to start getting the area cleaned up around the carport and the area where the shed was going. I did, picked up all the baseballs, footballs, and soccer balls in the yard, put them in a clean container so the boys know where they are. Moved the grill, chair and cooler out of the way so that way they can back the truck up and unload the shed. And they did just that.

I helped unload off the truck, why not, I was right there. It would be rude for me not to offer any help. And then I let them get on their way.

You can get a good look how big the yard is back there.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was on my way to cleaning closets. The bathroom, that I have tried to clean before and the boys (all of them) just keep putting things where they want them. And the hall closet, the one that housed the weedeater, hedge trimmers and all car stuff. I had enough, and it was going to get cleaned out so I can put my canning jars and supplies in there. Along with some other things. I was tired of putting things in the cabinets, on top of the fridge, in my closet and under my bed. So I went at it. Threw away things that needed to be gone, consolidated things that needed to be put together, moved stuff from one shelf to another and pretty much cleaned everything that needed to be taken care of.

I got outside occasionally to take some pics. Yes, I know it is a shed, but this was a time for Chuck and his dad to work together with minimal interruptions. I could have helped, but this time I thought that they would be fine working together on a project. And with the boys gone, this was the perfect chance.

It went up fairly quickly. It should, they have everything marked on which way the arrows go to lock it and with very detailed instructions, it was a project that was quick and to the point.

They worked together so nicely. I only heard Chuck say once to his dad that he needed to pay attention. And then when my dad got back with the boys, he told them to stop gossiping like 2 hens. So, it worked out nicely that they had a beautiful day and got it done.

Eric got home in time to help too. I guess that is a good thing. He does enjoy helping with things like that. Only if you can get him to listen, that is. But he waited in there to help out, and he had the chance.

My dad? Well, I waited for him to give instruction, but he figured that they got that far without his help that they can finish up just fine. It was nice though, to see my father-in-law and my dad chit chat for a little while. They don't see each other much but it is nice for them to get together, talk and have lunch. And the 3 of them went to lunch as soon as it got done.

Chuck bought some shelfing when he picked up the shed.He got home from lunch and we put that together. A small shelf big enough to hold the things like the car wash stuff, the gardening stuff and the things that really needed to be out of the house. It was wonderful to have a closet to be able to put things in, and to have some kind of organization in the house.

Now the 6x6 may be a little snug. It actually filled up faster than I thought it would. But it now houses the lawn mower, hedge trimmer, weedeater, gardening stuff, tool box and a bunch of other things. It is nice to have extra space and I don't have to go far to get the gardening stuff either.