In 1962, a famous garden book of the above title was published, chronicling the author's work in getting his garden ready to be open for a garden tour.
In a fit of insanity, we agreed to open our garden for Our City's Garden Day, on May 3.
Here is a very small part of my current to do list, in no particular order:
Clean fish pond and replace broken pump
Build new bird pen since birds are moving to other side of house
Take down old bird pen
Move donated shed for new bird house into position (involves finding person with forklift)
Move old birdhouse into woods for firewood storage (also needs forklift)
Build new garden bed where three big trees were removed
Install new kitchen path
Finish massive clearing project along edge of woods
Transplant plants from outside vegetable garden and seed for lawn
Transplant 8 large boxwoods and 3 hollies
Eliminate large bed along front walk and transplant all plants
Install new front walk
Spread organic crabgrass preventer on new lawn
Take down fence by fishpond and install new garden bed and lawn
Hang curtains in house (did I mention the house will be open too?)
Hire mover to move 12 ft long dining room table from Nana's to our house
Select and buy some new rugs
Install new lighting (OK actually just "lighting" not actually "new" lighting) in dining and living rooms
Frame and hang bird prints on empty walls
Finish building stone walls, add topsoil, seed as necessary
Plant vegetable garden
Mulch and weed existing beds
Bring up water plants from basement for pond and terrace containers
Our fabulous occasional handyman is here this week and next and is hard at work.
My fabulous mother "Nana" and my two local brothers Lineman and Rocketman are coming to help me all day Sunday. D of L is overseeing all inside-the-house matters. There is nothing like family.
It won't all get done by May 3, but enough of it will.
I will try to post more often. Still recovering my mojo from my Dad's death, and - as you can see from the list above, which doesn't include the items already done, I've been a tad busy. Not counting, of course, 4 children and a full-time law practice.
Last night, at 11:50, D of L and I were making waffle batter. We had just gotten home from a fun dinner with friends, and were making the batter to let it rise overnight. At midnight, dusted with flour, we kissed at the kitchen counter and kept stirring. Married life at its sweetest.
This morning we made waffles for Nana, Tenor, Many Shoes, G.P., and five of Tenor's college friends. I got to pretend to be a short order cook and yell "Waffle Up!" every five minutes. The waffles were yeasty and crispy and soft in the middle - pretty much a perfect way to start the new year, especially when followed by a long walk in the woods on a mild winter day.
D of L and Many Shoes auditioned a few days ago for a benefit performance of The V.... Monologues being put on by our local theatre company to raise money for a non-profit which works to combat domestic violence.
Guess what? Even though about a gazillion women auditioned for only about 12 roles - they both got parts!! I am so proud of them, especially because, if you've seen the show, you know it takes a woman with big ovaries to be in it.
And as a side benefit, Many Shoes in now planning to write her college entrance essay about being in the show with her mom. How cool is that?
We've spent the last week in Steamboat Springs, where I was asked to speak at a conference. D of L, G.P. and Nana all came too. Other than the usual airline delays, we had a great trip. G.P. and I skied all but one day:
We hiked out to Fish Creek Falls, a 300 foot tall almost-frozen waterfall:
Went snowhoeing at Rabbit Ears pass - a stone's throw from the Continental Divide:
Had fun eating and shopping (mostly for candy!) in downtown Steamboat Springs:
G.P. got to help drive a sleigh:
And we went riding on an 8000 acre ranch:
(A very wise person once said "the best view in the world is from between the ears of a horse.")
The Yampa Valley is magnificent:
G.P. had his first ride in an airplane, and in a ski gondola:
It didn't take him long to feel right at home in an airport:
We had two fabulous powder skiing days, saw magnificent country, and had fun being together:
And this afternoon I actually sorted through my 375 emails!! Tomorrow it's back to the real world.....
We finished our feast, which we ate at about 2 p.m. We were aiming for around 1, as our tradition is to then spend the evening with D of L's sisters, exchanging Christmas gifts. Given that we had 26 people, and a change of plans at 8 a.m. this morning, involving needing to suddenly have oven space to cook two turkeys, we did pretty well.
It got a little fraught, and D of L and I had some rare moments of tension. I hate it when that happens. It makes me feel the same way I have the few times I've been foolish enough to go on a roller coaster: like I'm about ten yards behind my stomach for the rest of the day. Ugh.
But we got back in sync, and by the time of the meal all was good. Three tables of family and friends:
And I got to spend time with many of those I love, including "the" great Aunt, my paternal grandfather's youngest sister, who will be 89 in two weeks. She still lives in her own house, drives herself, and I have to call her at least two weeks ahead to get a dinner date.
D of L's parents have been gone for a long time. Her father since since she was 20, and he was only 42:
And her mother since ten years ago, at the age of 57:
For me, this is the first Thanksgiving without my dad, who died on August 19 of this year. Perhaps I am odd, but I've spent the last ten years or so - especially the last three years, since D of L was diagnosed with cancer - being excruciatingly aware of how lucky I am that all of my family was alive and well. Even when D of L was undergoing surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, I was terrified (talk about an inadequate word), but still aware that "we were all here." Now, from my perspective, we aren't. I know D of L has felt this way for years. Despite the losses of all four of my grandparents, especially my maternal grandmother, whom I adored, the loss of my dad has made me feel as if one set of the "bookends" of my life - my parents on one side and my spouse and children on the other - is incomplete.
Here's to you, Dad.
I miss you, and I don't know if I will ever feel that "we are all here" again.
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets It was weird to be reading this and "Deathly Hallows" at the same time, and to see the same characters and the plot devices Rowling planted all those years ago....
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone The movies pale in comparison, and the book holds up well to a re-reading, I'm finding.
J.R.R. Tolkein: The Hobbit He's ready. And he's enthralled.
Kathryn N. Lasky: The Capture (Guardians of Ga'Hoole) Book 1 The story of Soren the barn owl. So far, it is a concentration camp story for children - perhaps it improves. Well, G.P. loved it, although it creeped me out. They do get away, and I'm sure in the next nine or thirty books the rest of the story will be told.........
Brian Jacques: Mossflower The prequel to "Redwall" - how the brave woodlanders defeat the evil fox Tsarmina and come to build Redwall Abbey.
Brian Jacques: Redwall The adventures of the brave mice of Redwall Abbey
Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson: Peter and the Shadow Thieves More adventures of Peter Pan
Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson: Peter and the Starcatchers Ever wonder how he actually became Peter Pan?