My seven-year-old can't even get his own birthday post without me yammering on about the bakery
Less than Outstanding

Dirtball: A Pictorial

FIRST. The birthday boy.

Jack's Birthday 2014 009

Being shy at school.

Jack's Birthday 2014 018

Sir Jack

Jack's Birthday 2014 020

My mom MADE those felt "knight tunic" thingies. Plus, like, eight more. Anyone want to come over and play Medieval Times? Also, those party hats? I paid Top Dollar for those suckers and NO ONE WORE THEM. (Except Phillip. Phillip wore one all through the entire party. Only Phillip. Who is 35.5 years old.)


All right moving on. The last two days it's been 1) absolutely fabulous weather and 2) empty of bakery tasks. So! I've been working on the outsides of my house. Specifically: The Deck.

The TRUE outsides of my house, ie: the YARDS, fill me with panicked woe. They aren't huge, but they are bigger than anything I know how to handle, and both front and back yards are brimming over with giant overgrown plants that worry me. They COULD be beautiful, but I would have to learn how to MAKE them beautiful and I just haven't yet. Last year I dug out a giant space in the backyard to start a garden, but about two days after I planted all my seedlings, some horrible rotten animal came along and ATE THEM. At least, all the seedlings were TOTALLY GONE. It didn't matter anyway, because we decided to spend the kids' college money on rebuilding the deck and my "garden space" was turned into "the place where the deck guys cut all their boards". 

My plans for the yard, at this point, involve a lot of digging and a lot of spreading of wood chips. My friend's husband has turned HIS backyard into a veritable ORCHARD and I have solicited him for ideas. (They all involve wood chips. Sigh.) 


Okay, so first I told Phillip to let the kids pick out plants for me for Mother's Day. So I started with a couple little vegetable plants and then these beauties:

Photo (16)

Please don't make me turn these right side up. I'm sorry. This shows you how much I care about my website these days. UNROTATED PICTURES OMGGGGGG

Can I keep a hydrangea in a pot?

But I spent most of my time setting up three containers with beans and snap peas against the deck wall (MY DECK HAS WALLS, I KNOW) and filling the rest of the container with flowers. I FEEL SO PINTERESTY.

Photo 5

No seriously, this is annoying. Why are they rotated correctly on my computer? And then not rotated correctly when I upload them. ANYWAY. There is a sideways planter. 

Here is a sideways upside down tomato plant.

Photo 4

That looks super weird. It does in real life too. That planter is $5 at Home Depot and I thought: Why not? We'll see if this little trick is worth it. 

Also, see that little black smudge on the white trim? That would be a caterpillar. I'm going to have to buy some sort of Bug Hellfire Spray for my deck. I am SO tired of all the ants and spiders and creepy crawlies everywhere I look. This is what I get for buying a house in the middle of nine thousand trees. 

Speaking of trees:

Photo 3

This one can BITE ME. I hate it hate it hate it. We have three large trees in our backyard. One is a pretty cypress. The other is a small evergreen. THIS one is a MASSIVE GODZILLA of a tree and it's one goal in life is to drop its @#)*%@(#%*@#(%&@ needles all over my deck. $2K to cut it down. (Another $2K to chop its evil twin in my front yard.) Maybe I should draft a Kickstarter? 

If you are wondering about the slide, the slide is fine. Maybe a little perturbed by the children who insist on climbing IT instead of the stairs to get to the deck, but hey, that is a slide's cross to bear. Building stairs off the deck continues to be a smashing idea, if also a painfully expensive one. When I get super mad at my gross tile countertops I blame the deck. Dang it, Deck! If it weren't for you I could have counters that don't have 25 years worth of grit and grime in its many grouty crevices! 

All right, I have to quit complaining. I'm quite excited about my deck! I have a friend coming over Thursday morning and I'm already planning the deck snacks and mimosas. 

NEWS REPORT: I am meeting with the Food Processor License Lady, the person who gets to decide whether or not I am legal, TOMORROW MORNING. I'm a little nervous because the coffee shop owner (whose space the inspector will be inspecting!) will not be there, and because she's not so hot with email, I'm not even sure if her employees will have a heads up! I really do think it will all be okay, and if there are any problems I'm expecting them to be small ones that can be figured out that day or this week. The licensing lady gave me absolutely no reason to think we wouldn't be approved that day, but still. It hasn't been my experience that anything in this process is easy and I would still appreciate some good thoughts sent my way. THANK YOOOOOOOU



I must throw a knight party immediately. Seriously, I am sitting here making plans.


Your sideways pictures made me laugh and I almost choked on a SweeTart.

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