March's Malaise and Aprils Agony seem to be pouring over into May's Misery. On the drive home from work, I try out ways to describe my day, in case anyone should ask (they never do...I wonder why): like a crap sandwich with an extra slice of crap, or like a crap layer cake with extra crap filling; or like a tall stack of crap pancakes with double-crap syrup. Not sure why the food + crap analogies, but it keeps me entertained.
But not all is crap. We had a gorgeously sunny weekend sandwiched between two weeks of rain last weekend, and we made the most of it. After T-Ball practice Saturday, we headed to Bradbury Mountain State Park, for the Feathers Over Freeport activities.
Bradbury Mountain is the kind of mountain that is fun to make fun of, hardly being a mountain at all, but since it only takes about ten minutes to climb, it's also the kind of mountain that's perfect for people with short legs.
We watched a presentation by the HawkWatchers up top, and later, back at the base, attended another presentation by an animal rescue group who had some live raptors to share.
I had the experience of being simultaneously proud of and embarrassed by my kids--the little know-it-alls' hands shot up every time the presenters asked a question. It was actually pretty cute. M just finished a report on Raptors in Maine (most of which we worked on on the train to and from Philadelphia--if only it was due a week later, he could have taken notes!), so he was in the know, but E and Z knew (or thought they knew) a surprising amount too. They also suggested naming this little owl, who is nameless at present, Pebble and Lucy, respectively.
On Sunday, after a freezing cold baseball practice (yes I'm turning into one of those annoying people who sign their kids up for sports and then complain about the excessive time commitment) I got some work done around the house. I finally finished my April overhaul of the bathrooms (as part of my month-by-month home organization plan). In addition to a thorough cleaning and reorganization of the drawers and cabinets, I made curtains for both rooms and took care of some nagging tasks that I had been ignoring for too long--I had a water test done (it had been nine years; you're supposed to repeat every three to five years), I bought the part C needed to fix the sink that has been dripping for three years (I know it's dirty pool to complain about your spouse on your blog where they can't defend themselves, but seriously, it was a $3.98 part available at any hardware store. He passes a hardware store every day on the way to and from work, and probably goes into one at least once every two weeks. Talk about losing the kingdom for want of a nail. He did replace the part the very day I brought it home, so I'll give him credit for that), I repotted my poor hoya plant, George III, that has been cooped up in too small a pot with its roots tangled up with two other plants for way too long, and I framed the picture my sisters got me in Santa Barbara, oh about two or three years ago (they may not appreciate it hanging in the bathroom, but it's our tropical room, and the picture, of koi in a pond looks good in there).
This is the curtain I made for the upstairs bathroom--I used to have three vintage hankies draped over the curtain rod, but they got damaged by the sun (and would blow off whenever it was a windy day with the window open). I thought this fabric had a vintage hanky-feel to it, but I'm not sure if I'm thrilled with the result. I used more of the blue sheet that I used to back my bedroom curtains for the backing, and I think white might have been better. Also, you can't tell in the picture, but the room is lavender, and the yellow might be just a bit garish for it. I'm sure they'll grow on me over time, though.
These are the downstairs bathroom curtains (and the newly repotted hoya). The old curtains (from the same material, which I love) were literally shredding apart from sun damage. I backed these with more of the blue sheet, so hopefully they'll last longer.
Here's my newly-framed fish print (over the pot).
And here, hanging on the side of the cabinet, is a fabric tube (made from a different old sheet) for storing rags. They had been just shoved haphazardly under the sink--clean and dirty commingling. Now I can pull a clean one from the bottom, and dust or clean or polish something, and then throw it in the wash (or the trash, in the case of greasy ones used to wax the table--that sounds wasteful, I know, but there will never be a shortage of holey socks or shot-elastic underwear in this house).
The next room to attack--the boys' room.
Meanwhile, while I was organizing bathrooms, the boys spent the entire day outside, doing things like bricklaying:
And C worked on the gardens. He does most of our gardening, because I've always thought, I was busy with babies and toddlers, but now that they're not that high maintenance anymore, I find I don't really want to garden. Earlier this spring, I told C (when he suggested a romantic morning of going through the seed catalog), "I've decided...that you're a really good gardener." I know this hurts my eco-housewife cred (in case that wasn't already dashed by my not being a housewife), but I just don't really wanna garden. However, I did order asparagus plants, and as I'm the only one in the house who eats asparagus, it was down to me to plant it (note to seed catalog companies: do not send plants that require major amounts of TLC in the mail on a Tuesday!!). C did generously give up one of his garden beds (which he was planning to abandon at some point anyway, because it's far from the house and is pretty much a bunny-feeding station anyway) and helped me dig out the grass and wheelbarrow a load of manure. Then I planted my octopus-like asparagus babies.
I suppose I'll be in charge of weeding and watering it too (thanks week of rain!).
This is the other part of the garden I'm in charge of, the herbs:
See why I shouldn't be in charge of gardening? I am la-a-a-zy (but don't those chives look good? Also, see that compost bin in the background? I built that about eight years ago. Nice, huh?)
C's garden beds are looking much better:
Which just proves it should keep being his job (one of our friends inexplicably planted some tulips in the middle of the garden last fall).
My bulbs are looking good, though.
They say, Happy Spring!