Sunday, April 24, 2011

Garden: Take 3

You likely remember me talking about my longings for a garden. Well, as pretty much everything else, nothing ever goes quite as planned, which makes things more interesting. But I am bound and determined to have some sort of organic harvest by the end of the summer!

I decided to go with a raised garden, because that would require the least amount of physical labor on my part, and would be an easy starter garden. So I ordered a kit from Amazon, and visited my local organic gardening store.

The kit came, and I started assembling it. It's smaller than it looks in the pictures - it's 3.5 feet by 7 feet:

 I know. There will be dogs in all the pics. Just prepare yourself. So I laid down that black film so that grass wouldn't grow up into the garden.


Next, I got it all sturdy and ready to go for the dirt:

Lookin' good, eh? I was pretty impressed with myself. I was working hard, feeling like I was all...outdoorsy. Oh, except that I forgot to put on sunscreen, so I totally got burned while working outside. Brilliant.

The next task was filling the garden with 100 million pound bags of soil. I don't know how much they weighed in actuality, but I know they were probably like 50 pounds. Seriously.  I almost gave myself a hernia. Here they are:

Notice what is taking place in the picture below. This haunting scene is a re-occurring nightmare that has taken a few weeks to fully resolve. And lots of plant purchases due to the canine appetite for vegetable plants. More to come.

Five bags and lots of sweat later, this is what we have:

Looks pretty stinkin' awesome, huh? So, next comes the fun part! The planting! I purchased a cherokee purple tomato, a roma tomato, some basil, some purple kale, two types of jalapenos, and a red bell pepper. Oh, and some onions, but those became a casualty of war that were not resurrected.

We put up pink trellis things (don't remember what they're called) for the tomatoes, and then I got a green fence to go around the garden, because we realized the only critters we were going to have to worry about sabotaging our garden would be poodles. After they mistook the garden for their own personal sandbox, we high tailed it to the local Home Depot and got the fence. Here is the garden, all planted:  

After we planted everything, I put an organic fish fertilizer on there that's supposed to be pretty stinkin' legit. Ha. No pun intended, but that stuff does stink. Like fish. But it must taste good, because it made my dogs try to eat all the vegetables. So that was impressive.  It amazed me how they managed to get through the fence to the vegetables. Seriously. Through the fence, and they ATE the plants. Back to the store we went. Nature finds a way, I suppose.

By the time it was all said and done, Mark was pretty much BFF with the garden store staff and ended up buying some chicken wire. Fingers are crossed that the problem is solved. I will definitely keep you posted. So far, so good. I can even tell one of the tomatoes that I planted first has grown a lot. WOO!!!!

Any gardening tips from you pros out there? I'm trying to turn my thumb somewhat green!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Prom Report

Well, folks, Karlie's first prom came and went. And it was as success... there were some hurdles.... but we all pulled through without harm.

Karlie started getting ready during the day on Saturday, and found out that her date had injured his head while playing rugby that morning. (Now, I don't know what you are thinking, but I was thinking that perhaps playing rugby on the morning of prom day isn't the best idea.) Anyway, so he tells her that he has a "mark" on his forehead, and that it looks pretty bad. Well, of course Karlie is gracious, but she's kind of wondering what this is going to look like. I suggested that she have him send a pic, you know, so there aren't any surprises. But, no, she said she would wait to see it in real life. The plan was for him to pick her up at 4:30.

A few of her friends were over helping her get ready, and at about 4:00 she put her dress on. I don't know if you remember me saying how she had borrowed a prom dress? Well, she had tried it on once before for maybe a minute, and decided to wear it. So here we are, 30 minutes before go time, and she realizes that the dress is slightly too big. And by slightly too big, I mean, the strapless dress won't stay up. Not exactly the kind of show she's wantin' to put on. So, while I am internally freaking out and wondering what dress I have that she might want to wear that would fit because her current one clearly won't work, I am externally the ever calm parental figure that says it's no big deal and I'll just sew the strap back on that once was attached to the dress.

Inside, I'm yelling at myself, "You're going to sew the strap back on? You've never sewn a strap in your entire life! And now you have minutes to make a prom dress fit! Bad idea." So, as soon as I left the bathroom, so did my ever so calm persona, and I started running around like a crazy person looking for my sewing kit, which was exactly where I thought it was, but in my frantic searching, I overlooked it. Mark and I had a stressful few minutes rummaging through everything, and then finally, I found it. Victory. So, I sat down at the table, needle, thread, and thimble in my trembling hands, and sewed that strap right back on there. As if I was a professional seamstress. I'm telling ya, that strap wasn't going anywhere. So, I ran back upstairs with the dress, handed it to Karlie as if it was no big deal and I had done it in my sleep, and she gave me the biggest hug and smile that just melted my heart.

So, did the strap work? Well, sort of. It held the front up. We had to do some additional safety pinning, but with the help of our sweet friend and neighbor, Jane, the dress fit Karlie perfectly and we knew it wasn't going anywhere.

Back to McRugby. So, it's about 4:30 and Karlie hears from her date that he's going to be late because he's icing his forehead. Not a good sign. And that apparently he now has stitches (but they're invisible). Poor guy! So finally, he arrives, and Karlie makes her big grand entrance down the stairs, looking beautiful. And nothing could have prepared us for the mark on his forehead. I mean. Wow. Poor guy. Karlie's eyes got big for a second, then she reeled it in and proceeded with the before prom festivities.

Karlie gave the boutonniere her best effort, but in the end, I had to fix it so it wouldn't fall off. (-:

We wanted to take pictures with Karlie, too, before she left:

Impressed with the strap? Yeah, I figured you were. 

So are you ready to see the injury? I will say that the photo does not do it justice and the poor guy had a headache and a head that was STILL bleeding. Karlie said that more people talked about his forehead than her dress. Which is of course, a huge tragedy on prom night. (-:

Here it is:

And here's the photo-shopped version:

Much better, eh? (-: 

And so they left, had a great time, got home late, and we have successfully gotten through the first round of proms. 

Bring back some memories? Did you have any "prom drama"?


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