So the end of the world came and went — a bit more quietly than some predicted — and I’m finding myself enjoying a different kind of rapture: a sunny memorial day weekend, a garden fully planted and organized, kids passing the days with only the briefest of tantrums as we leave a neighbor’s barbecue or get them ready for bed, i.e. the bare minimum to be expected at their age.
Summer weather finally arrived here, and we have gotten the giant dirt patches of our lawn (thanks to grubs) green again with some grass planting and a sudden surge of crabgrass. Crabgrass, clover… as long as it’s green. In preparation for planting weekend I made my annual run to Blackburn Farm where they are quite generous with the horse manure. I spread the word at work that I had a connect to the good stuff — premium, aged and composted horse manure, from polo horses no less — and I actually took some orders from the coworkers who were in the know (the others just looked at me a little differently during lunch). I soon regretted showing off in this way, as the bugs around the manure piles were prodigious as I was trying to shovel full nine bags of the stuff. I think this is later in the year than I usually go because I don’t remember the flies and gnats being that bad. Or it’s just a bad year for them… anyway, it was rather disgusting, just the bugs, not the manure, which is well composted and smells more like mother earth than anything that came out of a horse’s behind. To wit, I had five large bags of the stuff in my car trunk on Friday and it hardly smelled at all, much to the pleasant surprise of my coworkers on the receiving end of the delivery. So I think I’m really on the fast track now at my new job… I mean first I started an office chair basketball league that was wildly popular. And now I’ve dealt horse manure out of my trunk in the company parking lot. Can you say “Senior Associate?”
Yesterday and today we filled up our garden beds with this year’s crop selection: tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, squash, zuccini and pumpkins. We already had some carrots and radishes planted from seed and an asparagus patch from last year that produced some spears this year. I filled in the gaps with some basil, dill and cilantro, and also had some kale seeds from a garden event at work, although when I opened the little packet of seeds there were a total of two tiny black specks of seeds inside, which was a little baffling considering it came with a bag of its own special planting dirt and six steps of instructions printed out. Really? Two seeds. Thank you, community gardening coalition of Cambridge or whatever the organization was that helped our company start a garden in our courtyard. I had mentioned early on in the planning of that project that I could procure high quality horse manure, but the twenty-something volunteer project manager, obviously in over her head, made the fatal flaw in my book of not jumping at this opportunity… and thus all six raised beds of the courtyard garden will now suffer. Plus I don’t think I could have ingested any more flying vermin and filled another six bags of the black gold if she had asked for it. Next year I’m thinking we should turn the annual trip into a festival of sorts… I could get a few dozen fellow gardeners interested, I think, and they’d bring their friends and families, we’d have a band or two playing, and the farm would be hopping. I have to run this idea by the farm owners of course.
Isaac got promoted to pre-school at the Y, despite being something less than potty-trained… can we call it potty-aware? He’s aware of toilets and what they are there for. He just doesn’t like to do anything we ask him to do. Which might be a bigger problem, but we’re too busy trying to get our 5-year-old out of her terrible twos to worry about him. But big changes are afoot with Sydney’s kindergarten orientation this week. Then Karen is going to be taking a year off or so starting in July, which will be a lot less stressful all around. We’ll see how long we can afford that, but we’re looking forward to her being home for Syd’s first year of school, being able to walk her a couple blocks to school and pick her up in the afternoon. Isaac will go to preschool just a few mornings a week to keep him in a structured/social setting. And Karen will make thousands from home from this telemarketing scheme we saw advertised on late night television. It’s an airtight plan.
Anyway, need to start planning our summer roadtrip to Chicago, which was fun enough last year that we’re signing up for it again. We’re thinking of taking a northern route through Canada this time, as long as we don’t all need passports or something crazy. If they have to keep our kids in custody at the border, that’s more than fine with us. We’ll get them on the way back. No, I think we’d miss them halfway through the week. Syd’s classmates are starting to go to Disney World, so now Syd is asking about that. How does any kid even know who Mickey Mouse or Goofy is anymore? Or is it all about the more recent Disney movies now? I’ve never been myself, and I’m picturing it like a fake world with longer lines than anywhere in the real one. And a blazing sun beating down on you. But then what kind of Clark Griswold would I be if I didn’t take the kids to Wally World? So we’ll look into this perhaps for next year… after that promotion to Senior Associate in Charge of Horse Manure.
Until next time, I’m yours filling up the kiddie pool,