Playing In The Dirt

I had to plant this garden by hand after the tiller would not start. It reminded me of our first garden years ago! lol

I had to plant this garden using hand tools after the tiller would not start. It reminded me of our first garden years ago! lol

Over the past couple of days I’ve been playing in the dirt. O.K., your thinking, that crazy lady who bought that crazy house has finally gone mad. lol On the contrary, I’m very happy! I just finished putting all of my seeds in the ground. This was my first year planting seeds that we saved from last years vegetables. There were a few other firsts for me this year too. Like…I planted a “circle” garden on account of the indentation left in the yard by the old pool. And…when I ran out of room in the pool area, I planted pumpkins on the hillside and zucchini around the garage. I planted vegetables anywhere I could find space. It isn’t easy moving from a few acres in the country to a few lots in the city, but we made it work!

By the way…I provided a link to the website I used for learning how to save my seeds from one year to the next. It is a great site that is easy to read and includes information on any vegetable I ever tried to look up. Just book mark it and keep it in mind a few months from now. You’ll know that you are getting good seeds when you save them from your best looking produce yourself. I know I’ll be referring back here again this year.

Side EntranceI also worked on the houses curb appeal using a block of the stone that is so plentiful. Adding some lilies from the old place to both sides of the new step made the entrance look so much better. Of course a little mulch and some marigolds would really do the trick, but we can address those after we get really settled in. Maybe next year.

When playing in the dirt sometimes there are unpleasantries: dirt under your nails (I wore gloves), spiders and ants (I ignored these), poison ivy and oak (not so lucky). I have to admit I really didn’t know much about poison ivy or oak. Growing up you always hear “leaves of three, leave it be”, but I never knew I should be counting the leaves on the plants and vines around the house! When multiple people started pointing and claiming to see poison ivy and oak, I decided to do some research. I found pictures online and read descriptions that matched perfectly with a vine that was growing all over the house and yard. I learned too that if you tug on a shoot growing in the grass, then you’ll find a vine underground that can be traced to more shoots that have popped up elsewhere. You have to pull up the whole vine in order to keep it from coming back.  I was continuously amazed at how far it could spread unbeknownst underground and then pop up somewhere else to creep up a wall. Unfortunately many times one small shoot by a tree would unexpectedly branch off in three different directions. It took me a few days to rid the place of it, and we all suffered a little bit.

One remedy I would like to pass on that worked the best for us was simply keeping cool. After another mother suggested using ice packs at night to help the kids with the itching, I read online that heat causes you to want to scratch to relieve the itchiness. Instead of applying medicated creams we practiced keeping cool and using ice packs. The poison ivy and oak was better in one week and completely gone in two. I know some have suffered a lot longer with it. I think staying out of the sun really helped my kids cope with it. Not to mention they loved getting to use the ice packs.

Last, but not least… Well, maybe it was the least important thing I did this week. I’ll leave that to the reader to decide. With the help of my husband, I hung my hammock under the maple trees. Maple trees are great for hammocks because they offer so much shade. (I just hope the sap doesn’t leak all over my hammock every fall and spring. We’ll see.) Now I have a beautiful, cool, resting place to relax after a hard days work!

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