I am from small-town America with big town ideas. I am from anything with chocolate and nothing with vanilla. I am from picking wild strawberries as a kid in our backyard in the country. I am from knitting for everyone but myself. I am from trying new crafts and hiding their imperfections. I am from the working class where putting in extra hours is the norm. I am from scented pine cones and warm fires. I am from learning to survive in dysfunction. I am from camping and creating. I am from orchards and bodies of water. I am from old books with worn pages. I am from words on pages to electronic words.
We've been busy here trying to get our landscaping under control. In the past few years of fixing up this little Cape, we haven't even begun to address the yard until this year (unless you count putting mulch around trees).
Part of the problem is that neither Jason nor I really know what we're doing. A couple of years ago we went out and bought a whole bunch of shrubs and plants in an effort to give our home a little more curb appeal.
Imagine our horror when we woke up and found nearly all of the plants had been eaten by the deer that roam our neighborhood.
We did learn that deer don't like peonies.
So this year, now that we have our pool fenced in, we figured we could plant some things that aren't deer resistant with the hope that the deer won't jump our small fence.
We enlisted the help of our friend Kelby, who once worked for his father's landscaping company. Maybe you remember Kelby . . . he's the guy who knows how to do EVERYTHING and has helped teach Jason every step of the way in our remodeling our home.
We owe him our next child.
Kelby helped us pick out plants and then showed us where we should plant them. That, to me, is the hardest part of landscaping. I know what plants I like but then when we plant them, they don't look right. They look like a bunch of random plants stuck in the ground in no particular order. I've discovered there is a real art to where and how to arrange plants.
And we're still not good at it, so anyone with any advice . . . let us have it!
Anyway, Jason's been busy trying to get all of the plants in the ground around the pool and then filling the area with stone. I can't wait to show you all the work when it's finished.
In this quest for landscaping around our pool, we came up short on plants, even though we spent a small fortune . . . as in $1000 on plants . . .
So I did what any logical woman would do . . . I started asking friends for plants and I posted an ad on Freecycle. (Do you have a freecycle.org where you live? It's an AMAZING service!)
I've discovered that gardeners are some of the most generous people I've ever come across. I've been amazed by all of the plants people are willing to divide up and donate to our yard.
And although I'm getting a hodgepodge of plants and I have no idea how to arrange any of them, I like knowing that they came from someone else's hands, someone who cared enough to share them with us. They are an extension of strangers and friends whose soil nourished them from seedlings.
And now we will plant them in our yard for the next journey of their lives and (hopefully) watch them thrive so that we can one day divide them and give life to other barren yards.
I'm still figuring out what must be planted within the fenced area of the pool, and what will be safe outside of the fence where the deer roam freely.
Other than landscaping, Jason is still busy clipping coupons. For those of you who thought the baby would slow him down, you were incredibly wrong. I received a text today from Jason that said, "I figured out the Rite Aid deal and we can get all that stuff for -$3.51!"
Nope, Baby Noah hasn't slowed the Coupon Cowboy down not one little bit. Can you say name brand diapers for next to nothing?
I have been busy trying to get back into shape and I'm happy to say that my battle with the treadmill has been paying off. I fit into my skinny jeans again! Enough said.
Imani has been busy planning a benefit concert for a dear friend's brother who was diagnosed with cancer. Although Imani's never met our friend's brother (they live on the West Coast), his battle with cancer has touched Imani's young heart so she has been busily preparing flyers, a program and working out other details for her violin concert this Saturday. I'll post more about that later.
And Noah? He's busy doing what babies do: soaking up all that is around him and winning everyone over with his precious smile.