Movin’ Right Along

I’m busy with work and other things this week, but I do have a couple of little projects I’m working on…

Blackboard Wall

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I wavered back and forth on the wall that faces my desk. I need a visual notes area for a timeline, character lineages and more for a couple of stories I’m getting back to work on.

I had a whiteboard that I could have had cut to size, but I’ve had problems with the dry-erase markers actually, you know, erasing after the board has sat for too long. Temporary notes are okay, but long-term? It becomes permanent.

So…chalkboard paint. I’ve painted one layer, and it quite obviously needs a second. And if painting a wall with BLACK chalkboard paint seems extreme…well, you don’t know me very well!

Porch Flowers

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I have four ultra-light pots that have seen better days. I think they are composed of foamboard. In any case, I decided a coat of paint, the exterior trim paint on the house, would be a good color to paint them.

They need drainage holes, so I’ll probably get Dave to drill them for me tomorrow when he is home from work. Then I’ll dig up a few of the wild violet plants out of the yard for instant color and add flower seeds to the potting mix for color later in the season.

I think they will look quite nice on the front wraparound porch.

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Buildin’ Fences

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Hooray! We are finally starting on the fence! I’m so excited! I’m hoping we will have a significant amount of it done by the end of this weekend. Who knows, though, since it IS Mother’s Day weekend. And next weekend is my birthday weekend.

What? A birthday weekend? Whoever heard of such a thing?

Shut up, you! It’s my birthday next Friday and I have a cleaning scheduled for that day. That means I’m just going to have to take my birthday straight out of the weekend!

In any case, we still have a number of holes we have to hand-dig, a few badly dug holes we will need to fix, and hundreds of pounds of cement to move. Pity us! (Or come and help us, I sure wouldn’t mind and I would undoubtedly feed you)

Buildin’ Community

“What are you guys doing out here?” – is the common refrain we hear, followed (or preceded) by, “Are those chickens/bees?

We have a lot of people stopping and asking those questions, and I have to admit that I enjoy it. It’s fun to point out the pond or fence in progress, to discuss the chickens and/or bees, and detail what plants are going where.

Recently, the older sister of Emily’s new friend Ysanne (prounounced YA-SAWN) stopped by and we showed her the in-ground beds and explained that we primarily grow plants we can eat. “Will you be growing apples?” She asked, a look of excitement on her face.

“Yes, but they won’t be productive for up to eight or nine years from now.” I explained. Her face fell in disappointment. “That’s why I’m planting them now!”

What I have found interesting about all of these different interactions – from twenty-six-year-old Erica, to our Latino neighbor on the other side of the alley, to the kids down the street – to a one they all show interest, and true genuine excitement over our activities.

This is such a marked difference from the suburbs, where ripping out grass for a fruit orchard and in-ground beds is considered odd at best and downright unacceptable at worst. I’m so used to neighbors with pursed lips and tight shoulders shaking their heads at our enthusiasm I don’t know what to do with myself! No wet blankets! No “you’re going to drive down property values.”

The neighbor kids help us without a thought to payment – the payment is in the act of participating. The adults nod with approval and a wistful smile – memories of childhood visits to family farms not far from their thoughts.

And it is really, really nice.

I kind of feel appreciated and approved of, all at once. I don’t absolutely need that, but it sure is nice to get it once in a while!

As always though, my hope is that will not just be us and a quiet handful of others, but an entire street full of gardens. A place where we swap seeds, trade planting tips, and inspire and learn from each other. I think that we are off to a good start – I look forward to the years to come. What will they bring?!

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