Saturday, April 08, 2006
Weekend Update 20060407-09
Well, as usual, it was a rather busy weekend. With the warmer weather come more opportunity for trouble. Yesss, tasty trouble ... good with milk ... stays crunchy. In effect, the arrival of Mundane Monday saved my hide. But lets flash back to Friday night when the kids went to their first karate lesson. Jake was all for it and thought that the snazzy new clothing was the best. Alexis, however, was not all too interested. You see, this is a 'new thing' and it was NOT her idea. Ergo; tears, immobilization and finger chewing commenced. Fortunately, there was another slightly older girl there who latched on to Alexis (Daughter of Master = black-belt at 12) and helped her through the first 30 petrifying minutes of the lesson. Jake, in his usual hubris, needed some sterner instructions about how to listen and follow the rules. I had brought the camera along and manage to get three pictures before the darned batteries lost their charge. Black hole somewhere in a parallel dimension must have drained them since they were fully charged when I left. Fortunately, the Mrs arrived in the last 15 minutes and snapped about 3000 stills and took on mini-movie ... which are all still safely ensconced on the camera. Sooo, sorry folks. No pictures of the 1st lesson today. Maybe tomorrow if we have time to upload. For now, how about a couple of wonderful 'parting gifts':
Saturday, it rained. Nearly all day by my account. The dreary, grey and quite chilly ambiance helped me get into the correct mood for my 0800 dentist appointment. I had not been to visit for nearly 2 years and I could probably have gone for another 2 with no harm done. You see, I eat veggies all day long instead of Ho-Hos or twinkies. Brush once or twice a day ... floss. The works. Should a nuclear war eradicate the human race, my teeth will live on and be a god to the ants and cockroaches. The Great White Chompers of the Ancients. Benevolent and merciful. Whatever. They were spared no pain from Attila the Hygienist though. She did her best and when no plaque or pits could be found, she took her wrath out on my gums under the guise of a periodontal exam. No change there from last time either. After I spat out a liter of blood and saliva, I bade my torturers fare well (is it safe yet?) and began my journey back to the Manor accompanied by the ever present oral pain. A simple swish of the tongue was accompanied by a wince of regret. Should have waited that extra two years. I was granted a boon for my suffering though. As I passed on of the 100 new Lowes Hardware Super Centers of Galactic Conquest, I decided on a lark to stop in to see if they had anything of interest. There they were, a whole line of tomato plants. Softly, they sang their siren song to have me dash my wallet upon the rocky outcrops of cash-registers. Roma and Big-Boy tomatoes enticed me to their ranks while the EarlyGirl and FireCracker 100's waved their sultry leaves as the rain pattered down upon me. And then, beyond the promise of lush red fruit, I saw them. The lettuce. The Broccoli. The cabbage. It was all there and they KNEW I had plastic. Greedily like a starving leper at who had woken at the head of a banquet, I scooped up as much as the suspiciously placed flat-cart could hold and then rumbled over to the gates where the waiting check-out backup singers would be stationed ... dismay! The gates were locked and not a single 'happy to serve you' register pilot to be found! Aghast at my rotten luck, I head for the front doors in desperation. Soaked from the steady hard rain, I lumber in leaving a trail of muddy water only to see a great army of tomato plants awaiting my arrival in the dry innards of the store. They were flanked by row upon row of summer bulbs, pansies and other outrageously garish displays. I was helpless in the face of their power. My addiction to greenery took over and soon enough I was hauling my booty back to the Manor ... in the rain. Sigh. No planting shall be done till the clouds wring the last drop of water from their heavily laden bellies.
Some time later in the day, the rain did eventually let up and I made a bee-line for the garden. Nearly lost my life in the mad rush. You see, a freshly tilled plot of Pennsyltucky Clay mixed with untold gallons water and 200+ lb of Lumbering Mad-Man is a cartoonish display of physics as I quickly learned. It's amazing how far one can sink before realizing that something is just not quite right. No, this will not do. I'll have to put down some ground cover to keep the muck in place. And I have 20 or so bags of said cover that will do the trick quite nicely. Of course, when you take a 30 gallon bag of saw-dust and mix it with a few dozen gallons of water you find that what you could once lift with one hand is now something that will take a team of 30 mules to accomplish. (note: 1 gallon of water weighs roughly 8.33 pounds. Round up to 9 to accommodate the sawdust and multiply by 30)
Pass the hours with family, go to bed, wake to a bright Sunday morning. The manor is chilly and I find that it dipped below freezing during the night. The essence of ice has formed over some of the standing water but the seedlings seem to be no worse for the wear. It warmed up quickly so there was no chance of a late frost. Good thing since the spring veggies are already coming up. I saw the little tiny sprouts of lettuce and radishes pushing their way through the soil. Of course, this was while I was spreading the 10 tons of sawdust among the rows. Pictures of that too are forth-coming. Early on, Personable Pete the Family Friend stopped by to pick up a tiller he needed to borrow to create a garden for his Mrs, Personable Patty. Since he brought his truck, we went off to the Mill where the pallets were stacked up and ready for me to pick through. Two trips and a dozen skids later, the task was complete. Now, I just need the time and compulsion to get them laid out and start stacking wood on them. Of course, I'll have to split the wood first. Details, details. I spend the rest of the day plating bulbs, spreading sawdust and filling the hanging baskets with the fruits of the previous day's adventures. The Tyrants came out a couple of times to 'help' me and found that soil tends to include BUGS! Alexis was mortified when finding a worm, but upon introduction to a significantly smaller worm (baby worm), she immediately fawned over it and protected it from her bothers attempt to rend it apart with a garden trowel. No, Jacob, you do not need to obliterate every insect you come across. Worms are good. Yes, really.
I did not accomplish quite as much as I would have liked, but that is my own short-falling and I might be able to wrap up some of the postponed efforts by Friday. You see, we will be making our way to the FOB this weekend for a little Easter Enjoyment Friday morning. Thousands of plastic eggs hidden about he house with little bits of sugar hidden within. Gleeful shouts and squeals soon to be followed by demands to have candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner .... forever. We just need to make sure that the kids find all these hidden treats before the Hounds of Hell do.
A few parting notes. I had a strange dream about termites last night. It was impressive enough that I am considering calling Terminex. You know, just in case. Sure, it might cost a few coins, but like life and health insurance it tends to be the lack of said expenditures that hurts the most. I'm certain that I had this portentous visage pop into my skull due to my excavations of a few little bloated white bodies when I was planting this weekend.
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