Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Hole In My Life

The hole to which I refer is in the middle of house, thereabouts, and is where the stairs to our finished attic used to be. It's OK, they didn't collapse. In fact, we hired people to come and remove them prior (just) to a collapse. Still, there's a bunch of stuff up there that I need. The stairs came out slightly sooner than I'd expected. This is what I get for expecting the unexpected. I should have gone a more logical route there. Really, 'expect the unexpected' is terrible advice. We should absolutely expect the expected, but, should the unexpected arise, be ready to adapt.

I have pictures of the progress on the stairs, which I am sure you are dying to see. I have pictures of our weekend in Williamsburg, and pictures of some other stuff. I can't put them here, though, because the computer to which I upload them is...what do you call "upstairs" when there are no stairs? Above me.

So, while you wait for these pictures, here's a shot of Lydia I took with my phone while writing this post. Look at those eyes. Can't you see she loves you? Don't you want to pet her? WHAT? You're petting [insert the name of any other pet here]?!? Oh no you didn't! Lydia will bite you! This is Lydia time, hoss, you better recognise! You think you're going to ignore Lydia and go back to your little laptop? Lydia will poop on your clean laundry. Lydia don't play. Well, unless you're playing with Lydia. Did you want to go play? Lydia will bring you a toy. Sit tight. Lydia will bring you one of the kids' toys, which she has improved by removing the eyeballs and chewing off the feet...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Career Day

Here is a bit of conversation between Kate and her Uncle Steve we all enjoyed last night:

Kate: So how was your day?
Steve: It was busy.
Kate: Did you design anything?
Steve: Well, you know, no, I didn't today.
Kate: [mildly judgemental] I thought you were supposed to be some kind of architect.
Steve: [Sighs...sips beer]

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Garden Tour

This year the Decatur Garden Tour switched things up and had their event in spring instead of autumn. I know, you're thinking garden tours are for the snooty, but you're only sort of right. While one of the gardens is owned by a designer of that sort that might end sentences with "dahling" and does, in fact, dress as eccentrically as he can manage and did think it was gauche when Steve and Jeremiah brought their own beer with them when they volunteered at his garden taking tickets a few years ago, that dude's in a very lonely minority. I love the garden tour because I am politely voyeuristic (I won't look in your medicine cabinet, but I want to see your crown moldings). I love to see what plants grow well in spots similar to my own yard so I can steal other people's creative ideas. (I learned in college that good artists borrow, but great artists steal. Oddly enough, that was in my physics class.)

Jeremiah and I always volunteer to take tickets for the tour because in so doing, we score our own free tickets, but also because the homeowners are almost always really fun. The last time I volunteered, I ended up with a time slot that coincided with a tremendous storm. My eye doctor and his family came through, but that was really about it. The owners of that house were also preparing to have a little gathering with their neighbors (why waste a catalogue-beautified yard?) right after the tour that day. Since things came mostly to a halt with the storm, they started their party early. I was given a great deal of wine and food, and I met all the neighbors on that street and every one of them was delightful and interesting. No kidding, they really were. I was a little buzzed when I got home. How often can you say that after a garden tour?

This year we volunteered at the home of a couple who are also extremely kind and fun to chat with. They have an awesome Teardrop camper, big enough for two to snuggle in, with a little kitchenette in the back. Everyone who came to see the garden lingered to admire the Teardrop. Matt, one of the owners, made us lattes and had baked muffins for the volunteers. We learned all about the process they went through to build their little garden, which is filled with love and general peacefulness. This is the feeling you get in most of the gardens - the care with which each gardener has created a space that allows them to relax and feel good about life on earth. Only one garden this year kind of blew, but they can't all be winners, right? The thing that wasn't right in that garden was that it had clearly been thrown in when the house was built (last year) and it was devoid of spirit. The homeowners had not lovingly tended to it. No plant in that garden had been gifted to them by a friend who had fun stuff to split. It was just there, having previously just been at Home Depot. How very sad* but at least for this tour, it's also very unusual.

*It turns out those homeowners were talked into being on the tour against their will. Reportedly they said "it's not even really ours, it's our landscaper's" and...it's a flood plain, they're just trying to put something there to keep the water busy. Why someone would think it was a good idea to put that space on tour, I do not know.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Oh, And a Few Things Kate Said

We usually walk to places like Sweet Melissa's but this morning I was hella-hungry and I wanted to get back to the yard to start moving rocks and sacrificing venomous spiders, so we drove there. On the way, Kate took out the little panda notepad and pen I'd gotten her at the zoo on Friday and began to take our orders.
Kate: Sarah, will you be having pancakes?
Sarah: Yes! And sausage
Kate: OK, how do you spell 'pancakes'
Me: It's a compound word...
Kate: Oh right, right right. Mommy, for you?
Me: I will have some eggs, and I'd like some coffee to drink
Kate: OK. Daddy?
Jeremiah: I'd like juevos rancheros.
Kate: Er...how do you spell...you'll be having French toast.

Kate comes from a long line of proudly ineffective wait staff.

While at the restaurant, the subject of math came up. I began to explain that we need math for pretty much everything we do. "Without math," I was saying "this building wouldn't stand up around us, these chairs wouldn't hold us and this table wouldn't be right, either." Kate nodded at me, looking serious and then began to look around her. "And without math, " I continued "we wouldn't have a working car to get us here..." to which Kate replied, "we'd have to walk, like poor people."

Later, this very same day, we were having dinner. Kate had a fit of sweetness and gave me a biiiiiig hug and a kiss. She said "this has been the best Mother's Day! Even with you." Not sure what she meant by that, but I definitely feel loved.

Movin' Rocks like a Muthuh

Mother's Day around here is primarily about breakfast, which is awesome. I was greeted, still in bed, by my very excited children, who handed me gifts! And Jeremiah got me a copy of Tina Fey's Bossypants along with some of the best chocolate I've ever tasted, and we all headed to Sweet Melissa's for grub. Then, I got the gift I requested - I was left alone to work in the yard. I built a walkway! I also tilled the living daylights out of the space that will be my next shade garden. Someday. For now, I have a new walkway that leads to nowhere, but is cool-looking. The kids love it. Kate ran up and down it roughly 100 times, to break it in.

To build said walkway, after all of yesterday's tilling, I moved gigantic rocks from one side of my yard to another. I met a black widow spider who was very nearly 70's B-flick horror movie sized. That was the 3rd one I've encountered in the past few weeks; they've increased in size exponentially with each meeting, so I'm getting nervous now. Then, shortly after I, very apologetically, murdered the black widow (I'd have let her live, but I have retarded dogs and curious children and a rock pile seems hard for either to resist), I met a brown recluse. I kid you not. We stared at each other for quite awhile and there was the little fiddle on its thorax. I used to confuse the word thorax with Lorax. Very different. Anyway, I tried to take her out, too, but she made a break for it and now I'm wondering if spiders have the capacity for vengefulness.

Finally, I showered and everyone was relieved. I headed out with the girls to a fairy birthday party for their friend Alexia at the Community Garden, while Jeremiah mulched my walkway for me. Cedar. Take that, weird little yellow and brown moth infestation! The party was very cute. The kids had their faces painted for the second day in a row. Yeah, it's like that here.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Day Off

6:30AM - Up and at `em! Head out on the new bike route to Grant Park that is very hard, but very satisfying.
7:30 - Forage.
8:20 - Walk to downtown Decatur for the weekly family adjustment and the market, where we learn there's a "Green Festival" on the square in the afternoon.
10:55 - Arrive home, dump market goodies on the kitchen table (eat one of the strawberries), turn around and head over to the ground breaking of the East Lake Community Learning Garden. Say hello to the goats, and all the people, too. Also, hit the East Lake Farmer's (ELF) Market. Chat with the new vendor who is selling Alpaca Llama wool and yarn. Sniff soaps. Buy more fresh veggies.
12:00 - Head out into the yard with the dogs (and the kids, but they keep disappearing) and begin to till what will be a walkway and a new shade garden.
12:37 - Figure out how to take most of the tiller apart in order to remove firmly wedged in rock.
1:00 - Back to tilling
3:45 - The husband and children, who left me to do "some very boring shopping" return and I finally stop tilling (and removing rocks from the tiller) so we can hit that Green Festival.
4:00 - Visit with neighbors who are also getting their Green on, surreptitiously purchase a couple birthday gifts for the girls, stand around in the hottest part of the plaza while the girls get their faces painted, meet the neighbors of neighbors. Reflect upon the awesomeness of our little community.
5:30 - Head home, hungry. Vacuum master bathroom because - gross. Wash bedsheets for the same reason.
7:00 - Finally showered, eat dinner. Clean kitchen, give girls Reiki. Begin to fade. Make bed.
8:48 - Finish little blog post about my relaxing day off. Contemplate an early bedtime...