Tuesday, May 3, 2011

With every season..

Yesterday felt different. There have been days when the warmth overcame the cold and the sun shone brightly, but yesterday, it was spring more in tempo than in temperature. I remember these days from last year, when I was starting from scratch, literally, with chickens and hoop houses and the such. This year feels remarkably different - I know for the most part what is coming. But at the same time, it feels the same. The number of things that need doing in the day is still crazy. The number of unknowns, experiments, and punts still play on my mind. And best of all, the level of excitement from the kids as we move into this new phase of our year is intense once again.

Yesterday the baby chicks arrived. I wasn't expecting them for a couple more days, and got the call from Wagon Wheel out of the blue. OK, punt. I can do this. At least this year, I have everything I need and know where to put them, more or less. If I can just find it all. It took more than an hour of running around looking for things, but I located all the essential chicky paraphanelia while Liam tried to keep Thea from strangling the poor things. Big brothers are saints. Honestly.

I also planted a bunch of tomatoes yesterday in the hoop house. They had to go in somewhere - I don't know yet if that was a smart or stupid idea. I put them in the ground and dug them in deep enough that their roots were still in some pretty cool soil. I wonder if the temperature of their base roots matters, or if it's just the air temperature that matters. Anyway, I filled up tons of plastic water bottles with water from the bath and placed them between the rows, then covered the whole shebang with plastic. We'll see if they make it. The plastic tunnel within a tunnel needs work - it's still too floppy, but at least it will help keep in the warmth tonight - perhaps tomorrow I can go in and make something more stable happen. It's still getting down to 35-40 at night, and right now it's actually snowing, but it was 85 degrees in there yesterday when the sun came out, and it's time to get those puppies out of the house.

I've been a little haphazard with my planning for what goes where in the greenhouse and the hoop houses. I'm building a second hoop house this weekend, probably, and what am I putting in that versus the other one? My original plan was to have one hot house and one not so hot house. But since the tomatoes are going in the one that's up, that makes it the hot house. Unfortunately, the broccoli is also in that one. Hmmmm. What gives? So I guess the second house will have zucchini / squash, more broccoli and cauliflower, carrots, beans, and the house that's up now will have lettuce, tomatoes, cuces, basil, and whatever all else... Not a bad plan. And in the greenhouse, peas need to go in. And flowers - I want to plant flowers in both hoop houses this year.


On the kid front, Théa had a first last week - her first at-home official playdate with her daycare friend Daisy. Daisy is a sweet little blond curly-haired girl with a spirit and will that is somewhat terrifying, much like my own daughter. Together, they are a force. I'm not sure how Nikki, the daycare provider where they both attend, survives, but ... Actually, they were quite fun to watch. Girls. They changed clothes, had a huge tea party, dressed dolls, colored, played with playdough and bread dough and puzzles... whew, I'm worn out just thinking about it all. And Théa struggled a bit trying to handle the sharing factor, but overall, they parted teary-eyed.

Liam continues to focus on gathering information about things of all varieties. His latest obsession is the creation of the Grand Canyon. He will happily recite to anyone who will listen the story of this natural wonder's creation. I don't know what he will become when he grows up, but my goodness he is a passionate child. Piano continues to be a big deal in his life - he got a chance to show Matt last night how he plays and it was awesome. We talked about how he's reading two lines of notes simultaneously, one for each hand, and I think Matt finally got to see the level that Liam is learning already. It's pretty amazing. I wish he could practice at both houses, but I just need to make sure he does when he's here.

I've been running a bit, not enough, but I guess enough that I'm sustaining the ability to run 4-6 miles without too much pain. Still, I could do more and it would help balance out the stress of life that seems to be all-consuming sometimes. It was a bit of a downward spiral for a week there, but yesterday I felt like I got the upper hand on it all - it's just too busy a time to be stressing out. Who has time? There are seeds to sow!

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