So, today I was supposed to do lots of things. Actually, I was supposed to do a lot of them yesterday, and that is not precisely a recipe for victory, is it? I'm going to start with the defeats. The DH and I were supposed to go on a rigorous 8-mile hike in the Shenandoah Valley with a group of friends today. The catch is, the fellow who leads the hikes is a madman, and so the day was to start off with breakfast at a local greasy spoon at 7AM - after the 90-minute drive from the DC metro area. (I.e., wakeup time: 4:30AM.) We weren't out that late the night before, but the triple-decker birthday party was 90 minutes away in the other direction, and we came there from another engagement, so...no hike. I've never been to the Shenandoah, and I really wanted to go. The DH and I have promised ourselves that we'll go again soon - if not with this gang, then at least on our own.
Then there's a certain amount of defeat inherent in the fact that I did a lot of things that are rather like chores, or just are chores, on a Sunday. I do try to take Sundays off (and I used to be so much more conscientious about it!). But I never seem to be able to get much of anything done on Saturday, and we always have things we have to go to, and then there are still things that need to be done...
Beyond that, there's also the things that I won't have done even by tonight. I was going to buy a roast on sale (for dinner party next Saturday) and didn't; I was going to do my spring cleaning (boxes off the floors; extra boxes into the shed; things we don't need in the trash!) and I didn't. And it has to be done by Thursday. So I will have to summon up energy after work this week.
ALSO I didn't run today. I did get some exercise gardening but...I know, I'm not strictly overweight; but I've gained weight when I was supposed to be losing it; I can wear only maybe 25% of my clothes, and more than half of those are snug. I always feel unattractive, because not only can I rarely wear the things I want to, but the ones I can put on, I have to combine in some particular way to conceal the fact that they don't fit well, or are no longer flattering...it's demoralizing. I need to just get myself about a really strenuous exercise regimen and stick to it. Ever since I got out of school and started working behind a desk, I have been in plain lousy shape and it really gets under my skin.
On the bright side, I did get some things done. I'll polish off some of the remaining chores (dishes, laundry) by bedtime, but I undertook - and to some degree conquered - an impressive project today. Are you ready? You're not, but I'll tell you anyway. I decided that I need a vegetable and herb garden. We have so darn much yard we're not using, and all produce in this area is both expensive and lousy, and I finally have some time to cook when I get my act together, so I want fresh basil and rosemary, my own summer squash, eggplant, and peppers, and sweet corn. I decided against carrots, onions, and garlic because they're root vegetables and there will be no conquering the numerous rabbits on that score.
Anyway. I borrowed the neighbor's spade and turned over - all by myself - a patch of ground about 4'x5'x8" deep. In case you haven't done this before, it's some strenuous labor. It took me maybe half an hour. Here is my patch of dirt (cultivator gives an idea of the size):
I then sat down for a breather and to read the seed packets (I read only one at the store). By this point it had occurred to me that my herculean dirt patch was on the small side. I initially resolved to pretend this was not the case, but when I read how far apart the seeds were to be planted, I did start to worry. Then it turned out some were to be started in pots 6-8 weeks before the last frost. I briefly considered a tantrum, but resolved on the following plan.
- Since it didn't need to be started in pots, I planted the corn. Supposedly, it goes 6-10" apart in rows 2-3' apart, but what does Burpee know? I put about 5-6 seeds in a cluster, in 1'x1' rows. As long as it grows some corn, I'm happy. These are supposed to yield ears "early and often," so we should be good to go.
- I planted the squash too, since that didn't need potting either. I planted those a little further apart - since there were fewer seeds, and as I'm already aware, squash breed like rabbits. If I get a 10% yield, I'll have too much. On another interpretation, I'll soon be more popular among my friends who cook well...this is not a bad thing.
- Because I am a genius, I also planted catnip seeds, on the left (as you look at the picture) and front of the square. We don't have a cat, but there is a neighborhood outdoor cat. It keeps the bunnies from my neighbor's flowers because it likes the goldfish in his pond. I figured I needed an attractive nuisance of my own to secure its services. Voila - catnip.
My plans for the remaining seeds:
- The green peppers need to be potted, so I am going to the thrift store tomorrow, where I will find tiny terra cotta pots for a pittance, and start one plant in each. Sure, the last frost already happened, but it's March and Virginia is warm. If I lived in Minnesota, the last frost might still be weeks away. It's not too late to start them! Also, this gives me time to go to another store to look for a packet of artisan (white, red, purple - all sorts of great colors!) pepper seeds to add to my plantings. The store I was at had run out of this precious item, understandably.
- The eggplant likewise need to be potted before transplant - so, even more tiny pots. Also, oddly, there was no "normal eggplant" seed packet - just an artisan mix. I actually don't want artisan eggplant - I only ever make it cut into smallish pieces and broiled, so it doesn't matter what color it is. Unlike the peppers...ah, well.
- Also, this means I don't have to dig another patch, because if I start them in pots, I'll just make small holes the size of the pots and put them in. Less work for me. And I saved 1/2 of the catnip seeds to put around what will then be the rest of the garden perimeter - further evidence of my genius.
- The basil and rosemary could probably have been started outside (well, one of them wanted starting in pots), but there wasn't room in the patch I dug. And, frankly, I should have started them in pots in the kitchen six months ago - they can live indoors, and would be very handy to have fresh year-round. (I'm fine with dried thyme and oregano, but I'd like my basil and rosemary fresh.) So, the thrift store will have to yield some large terra cotta pots as well. They can live on the back patio during the summer (on a table up away from the bunnies), but they can come into the kitchen in the winter.
Also, I made accomplishments on other garden-related fronts. I found several clumps of not-yet-blooming daffodil shoots in the yard, where they will ultimately fall under the spell of the mower. I decided to transplant them into the under-the-tree mulched area, in front of a statue of Our Lady of Grace that the DH found at a garden store last fall. It turns out my "few clumps" were over 50 individual daffodil bulbs (and that was just the ones I didn't accidentally kill with the shovel) - and one clump of crocuses (which haven't bloomed yet either - the ones in the garden already did, and I hope that these still will) was about 80 tiny bulbs. I separated all of these and planted them, and I would show you a picture, but they're still in transplant shock and they all look like a lot of overgrown, wilted grass. I swear in the next 1-2 weeks the survivors will be glorious, and the internets will be awash in pictures.
Also, I spread mulch today. And those bags are heavy. So, I was pretty good. As my deserved reward, guess what I'll be doing?
I know, that was too easy. Since I got all that dirt and mulch under my nails, I'll be giving myself a French pedicure before I go to bed.
Good evening, infertile internet...I hope you've had a good weekend.
Also, I should warn you, my post about lostness and purposelessness and infertility has been germinating in my mind for some time...and it's going to materialize here soon.