Sunday, May 2, 2010

May Day madness

May has arrived, but one would hardly tell, or imagine that in a month, it could possibly go from what now feels pretty wintery, straight to summer. But it's possible. We still have four feet of snow up on the ridge, and the first day of May was positively frigid. I went out on a quick and unsuccessful halibut hunting trip on the bay and spent a half-hour afterward trying to warm up in the shower despite many layers of clothing.

But lest this sound negative, the Restino Residence is plunging full force into spring. Today, we were out on the deck by 8 a.m. riding trikes and sipping tea (I gave up coffee last week, so tea it is!) After the deck time, it was out to the site of the greenhouse-to-be to dig out the last two feet of snow that hadn't yet gave way to the buckets of coffee grounds I spread around in an effort to encourage melting. Liam had a great time sledding down the slope in the front yard, but Thea was having a rough day (belly trouble? Molars?), so she took a lot of cajoling. But I got the area dug out, then headed inside with the less-than-thrilled 2-year-old to make bread.

It's funny the things that are great fun and so easy to do with the kids. For example, "washing dishes" is such a big thrill for Thea. And she also spent a good 20 minutes mixing all kinds of trouble up with a container of flour and some water and oil. Simple, simple is so good.

Liam spent a lot of time today playing the fiddle. He really seems to enjoy playing it, and went back to it two times. So I think it's time to get him into lessons.

For Liam, social is the true gold standard of good, though. And luckily, this afternoon, he got to play with Trevor and Tegun, my friend Craig's grandkids, who were delightful, well mannered, and very happy to run around outside as long as they possibly could, play dress-up, and the all-time favorite game, maul-the-grandfather.

It was a good day.

After everyone headed out and to bed for the evening, I headed outside at about 8:45 p.m. to finish what I started, the erection of my new greenhouse, which I have been planning and scheming over for months now. I had glued all the pipe together during Thea's nap, and sunk some of the rebar in. All that remained was to finish the rebar, somehow move the entire structure over 12 feet and put the pipe on the pegs. Not as easy as it sounds. It was rather like trying to move a 25-foot floppy pile of spaghetti. But little by little, I managed it. I broke one fitting in the process, but that wound up being a good thing because it divided the entire thing into two pieces - much easier to work with. And miracle of miracles, by 10 p.m., it was mostly up - one middle rib still needs to be fitted into place, but the glue had to dry on it before I could put it up there. And it's not like that's it or anything. There is still a lot of work to do - two cross-pieces tether each side together like a tent, and I need to build a door, and window on each end. And then there is the small matter of the 25-foot trench I have to dig on each side to sink the plastic into. Oh yeah, that. But a couple more days of sun, and that should be much easier.

It's pretty exciting, all in all, to see one of my many projects start to come together. Gives me hope. Kinda like moving all my starts out into the existing greenhouse today - I covered them with sheets tonight to be safe, but I think they will make it through the night.

And then I came in the house to the sound of happy, peeping chickens. And all was good.

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