About two weeks ago I planted dozens of tiny seedlings in my freshly dug garden. Jack and Molly and I started four different kinds of tomatoes, snap peas, beans, squash, zucchini, and lettuce in little peat pots inside the house and I ohsocarefully transplanted all of them into the garden.
After one week I noticed that every single cherry tomato plant was missing. Peat pot and all.
Last night when I got home from Sacramento I went to check on what was left of the garden and noticed that nearly all the other seedlings had disappeared as well. Whatever's stealing them - raccoons? squirrels? the handful of mangy cats constantly trespassing in my yard? - is not a fan of snap peas or beans. Those are pretty much the only plants left - that have a chance of surviving, anyway. I'm annoyed. (UNDERSTATEMENT.) I angrily put up the bamboo stakes and string trellis for the pea and bean vines this morning, though I half expect to walk out there tomorrow and see that those are gone as well. I'll have to go buy actual plants now and, I don't know, create some sort of varmint repelling force field. GAH.
And then, because I spent the last several days in Elizabeth's ready-for-television (literally) backyard, I stood around staring at MY yard and mentally noting every single stupid thing I want to change or get rid of and this is what finally propelled me upstairs to pester a few contractors. I emailed a few a while back, but just because email is MY preferred method of communication doesn't mean contractors necessarily CHECK their email addresses. Even if they've posted them on their geocities style website. But I have two coming to visit now. The one who came last year and gave me an estimate and a new guy I found on Yelp. And I am not entirely sure how they'll respond when I say, "AND I want to put in a SLIDE." The correct response is, of course, "AWESOMESAUCE."
Phillip is only mildy interested in this slide thing. I think he thinks it's going to cost another kajillion dollars and look ridiculous, but I think it will only cost around a frillion dollars and who CARES if it looks ridiculous. It would be SO COOL. And something our kids would enjoy for a long time, I think. Take the stairs or slide down? ALWAYS SLIDE. We also always talk about "resale value" for things we want to do, even though I am not moving out of this house, ever. I mean, maybe if we somehow pile up a kajillion dollars and I could buy a house with a view of the Sound, then okay, MAYBE I would move. But until then? Nope! (Although, let's face it, you can add another $5K of value to a house with a slide off the deck, amiright? OBVS.)
I have the tiniest bit of hope for my yard this year. One thing I've really been working on, honestly, is not getting all bent out of shape about how much work there is to do and how it needs to get done NOW. Like, my yard is just horrifying. It really is. All the work I put into it last year was for naught - everything is all grown over again, even worse. The first summer we lived here I was pregnant, and last summer I couldn't do anything because a certain baby was not mobile (and oh yeah, my husband was always gone.) But THIS summer... okay, so my baby is only quasi-mobile, but I have PLANS. Things WILL get done. But not all of it, and that will be okay. The stairs are a priority. Once those are in I can figure out what exactly needs to happen in the backyard, what I can save, what I need to rip out. I'm considering hiring a nice lawn service to do the massive weeding required in the front and mulching it all over. I'll plant some flowers. I might grow some snap peas. But I don't have to dig out the evil lavender bush or figure out what to do with the [many] overgrown flower beds or deal with the three (three!) dead trees. We will be here a long time. No rush.
I have visions of sitting on my deck with a frosty drink and a good book, watching the big kids clamber up the stairs and hurl themselves down the slide, keeping an eye on the baby "painting" on the deck with water, totally ignoring the fact that I have to make dinner. Doesn't that sound like a good summer? That sounds so NICE.
Summer. Ha. At this moment everyone in my family is sick, I feel like I'm about to lose my voice, I'm wearing pink fuzzy socks, jeans, and a sweater coat. Can't really start talking about summer in my town until, oh, the end of August.