Friday, May 29, 2009

19 days' difference

I have super short hair now! God bless Erin at Bouffant Daddy in Maplewood!

In this picture, I was squinting due to itchy contacts and bright overcast sky and blinding white garage and Matt taking his time getting the perfect shot. Although, since it's the end of school, I do usually look like this lately!

My gorgeous roses that bloomed like mad for a week and are now just a memory.
Green peas! I never have enough to eat as a side dish, so I just eat them in the garden. They are sandwiched between a butternut squash and green beans. The frame in the background is from our old futon. Very Asian, no?

Red hot poker (tritoma) that I got from my mom 2 years ago. I somehow planted all the yellow variety in front of the house. Hopefully some of what is in the backyard is the red kind.
Black-eyed susans or yellow coneflowers that so DID NOT bloom last year or the year before, if I remember correctly. They come up to my elbows.

The garden yesterday, after 6 days of rain. Think I have enough dill? The potato/tire experiment seems to have failed. It hasn't sprouted through the last layer of dirt and leaves I put in the stack. I will have to do some investigative surgery this weekend to see what's what. If all else fails, I can always dig up some potatoes that are growing INSIDE the compost bin.

I need to find some clever way to grow the cantaloupe and watermelons up a trellis. First, I need said trellis. Anyone have an old wooden ladder?

One-half more day of school. Four long hours and then I am free! Teachers have to report for a half day on Tuesday, so I set aside a stack of crap to laminate that morning.

It has been a really tough year, with the death of my former student, family issues, the 2.5 month convalescence of my team's leader, all the infertility crap and the just rotten group of students we have. Sure, some of them have turned around, but the truly obnoxious ones have gotten worse as the year went on. I can only tell myself that they will be their mothers' problems for life, whereas they are my problem for 9 months.

I had a mother come up to school this morning because I wrote a referral on her daughter, who, freshly back from suspension, chased a boy down the hallway, grabbed the stapler off my desk and started shooting staples at him. The mother actually asked for the stapler to see how far the staples would shoot, which wasn't far at all. She was annoyed that I hadn't "investigated" why her spawn was chasing The Boy and that I made a big deal out of the stapler thing. She stomped out...this was all in front of MY CLASS.
I decided not to tell her that current rumor lists her house as The Party House ;)

So when you want to sit back and gripe about how unfair it is that teachers only work 9 months and get to loaf all summer, just remember the bullshit that I have to deal with on an almost daily basis. Just remember the stapler story.
And if I hear one more person say "you suck for having all summer off", I will punch them.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

No More Words

Nothing like a Berlin (band, not the city) reference, eh?

Matt, Maggie, meat and the new smoker.

These irises close up each night. I didn't think they did that.

My gorgeous rose bush from the neighbor's yard. It is 35 years old, but survived the move across the alley a few years ago. Notice I managed to get a fly in the picture too. There are at least 25 blooms open right now. *sigh*

Friday, May 08, 2009

Help Chester Lose a Leg!

Sometimes life craps all over you. It's been crapping on me since last summer, and I am tired of it. In an effort to bring more positivity into my crappy life, I tried giving up snarkiness as my New Year's Resolution. It lasted a good 2 months, but then something happened at school and I just couldn't restrain myself.
I am not a bad person: I recycle, I pick up trash that blows down my street, and I'm even growing tons of food this summer to donate to food pantries. Hence, my watermelon patch....

I am a 7th grade teacher, for chrissakes....that should earn me my wings, right? I talked Angry Boy out of punching the lockers today! I broke up a girl fight! I made a grandmother cry when she read her granddaughter's heartbreaking poetry----all this in a week!
I thought the universe had smiled upon me last night, when I saw a gorgeous indigo bunting at my feeders! Look how amazing he is!

Well, the bunting must have been a fluke, because I just received more crappy news today that for once, has nothing to do with the reproductive organs of me or my husband. I'm not sharing it here, but trust me it is sucky and frustrating and scary.

To try to counteract this recent shittiness of the universe, I am having a sort of benefit for my friend Elizabeth. She is part of Tenth Life Cat Rescue and has an adorable kitty, Chester, who needs a leg amputated. I offered the use of my hedge clippers, but would be unable to stomach stitching him back up.
Soooo...tomorrow at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, I hope to make lots of money, because I'm donating 20% of them to help with the amputation costs. We only need $200 more!

You should stop by the market! I have baby jade plants, boxed and ready for Mother's Day. I have 2 mini-quilts, maybe 3 if I stop crying and get to the fabric. Also, I have some rad lunch bags with fused plastic bag linings, regular fabric market bags, and whatever else I can scrounge up. Oh, I'll bring my Star of Bethelehem baby quilts too!
Come on out, get a Kuva coffee, an apple tart from Companion Bakery, and help lil' Chester!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

It's officially spring.

You know it's spring in South St. Louis when Ted Drewes on South Grand is open for business. True, they sell Christmas trees and pine garland, but the real fun starts when you've got a belly full of hot fudge sundae with pecans.
Normally, I go for a blueberry milkshake or the chocolate Copernicus, but I wanted to start slowly. Plus, there was half of a Cuban sandwich from City Diner already taking up real estate in my stomach.
Garden progress: 2 watermelon seeds have sprouted. What I think is a forgotten moonflower seed has sprouted, thankfully, by my leaf bin at the edge of the garage. Moonflower's first leaves are never symmetrical or neat. They always look like they've been through a blender and then munched on by squirrels. The seed coat of the moonflower is ridiculously hard, so you have to nip off the end and then soak the seeds in water for a day or so.

Yesterday, I found 2 volunteer green bean sprouts. I have a nagging feeling that I just haven't' planted enough. Everyone keeps asking me, "oh, if you have any extra produce, can I have some?" and so forth. Perhaps I should become a gardener for hire. It'd be like hiring someone to raise your horses. You don't want to get your hands dirty, so you have "help". I could be referred to as "the girl" or "the help". Perhaps I can even get scraps from the kitchen!

Good things today: nuzzling with Scooter the friendly pit bull, getting scooter tires from Bobby for my tater pile, and of course, eating the finest foods South Grand can offer.
Oh, and peas.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Garden doings

This is where I've been spending most of my free time. Observe, if you will, the tree line of dill. That's lettuce and spinach and red and yellow onions behind it. A pot of peppermint is on the right. There's a volunteer tomato in a protective soda bottle cloche and a pot of chocolate peppermint.
And in the scooter tires? Why, a potato plant, of course! I don't even care if I harvest any potatoes; I just think it's a cool idea.
Each time the plant grows above the leaves and dirt, I stack on another tire (thanks, Bobby!) and add more leaves/dirt. It must be 2 1/2 feet tall by now. Luckily, I have a tire source.

Here are my delicious irises which decided to bloom this year. I cannot explain how wonderful they smell and look. I thought lilies were my favorite flowers, but now irises have usurped them. Would Iris be a weird name for a girl? NOT THAT IT'S A POSSIBILITY, but I think it would be nice.
On the other side of the porch is the 35-year-old rosebush from my old neighbor Brenda. When she moved, she invited me to dig them up. I only took one, as I don't like fussy plants. I dug a hole, threw in some coffee grounds and said "Mazel tov" to the plant. It must have 25 buds on it this year!

Other garden news: part of my ground cover for the paths is an old quilt from Poppymom. It was so shredded and beyond any sort of repair. It sat in my basement for a year, and last weekend, I realized it would be a fitting tribute to use it as a ground cover/weed blocker in my garden. I've been all emotional about quilts since seeing the Gee's Bend quilt exhibit at the Missouri History Museum. It's free on Tuesdays to city and county dwellers!

I digress....this year, Rabbitt Gardens is growing: ancho, jalapeno, habanero, red chili, and banana peppers--in the front yard! It took me 4 years, but I finally convinced my husband that it wouldn't look hoosier-ish.

In the back, we will have: corn, butternut squash, acorn squash (hopefully), peas, green beans, lettuce, spinach, carrots, 2 types of tomatoes, red onions, yellow onions, watermelon, cantaloupe, basil and....I think that's it. There's only so much room and only so many trellises my husband will put up with.
I also have a ton of flower seeds planted that may or may not be growing. They're still in their 2-leaf stage and so blend in with what I know to be weeds.

Again, today, someone asked me to help them start a garden. I have to tell you, it is a fantasy of mine to become a garden consultant. I can help folks get their yard dug up, start composting, and share enough seeds with them to get them started growing. Wouldn't that be fun? What would I charge? I'm so into people growing their own damn food and being self-sufficient.

It's also a fantasy to sell plants and seeds-oh wait! I WILL be doing that at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market this Saturday, May 9th! I have baby jade plants that are packaged in Chinese takeout containers, ready to go.
I also will have a few sets of magenta hollyhock plants (see below), and maybe some mini quilts if I can tear my hands away from the computer.