Today was a perfect day. Bill's parents are visiting from Vancouver, British Columbia, and we had the most fun here at home. We planted a vegetable garden in the corner of our backyard!
First Bill and his dad, Jim, built a little wall of paving stones and filled the area with 35 bags of gardening soil. This was the most fascinating part for Allyson. She was delighted and amazed with all the creepy, crawly creatures that Bill's shovel turned up. There was a writhing mass of ants, wriggling worms, a slimy slug (that Bill picked up with his bare hands!), a partly severed centipede that ran in circles in the wheel barrow, and a good-sized frog.
Allyson was not afraid of any of these. In fact, she picked up several rolly-polly beetles and a worm. She held them out to me and Bill's mom, Sandi, but we preferred to examine them from afar.
Bill managed to catch the frog, and while he was showing it to Allyson, it let out a gush of fluid. "It peed on me!" he said with a grimace.
"You'd better hope it's pee and not some toxic fluid," Sandi said.
You're not going to believe what Allyson said next. (I find it hard to believe myself.) "It's the frog flu!" she shouted. Obviously, we've been doing way to much joking about the swine flu around here.
Once the soil was prepared, the whole family headed to Home Depot to buy seeds and seedlings. By this time, Ethan was home from school, and I was surprised at his enthusiasm. I never knew he'd be so interested in planting vegetables. (Hopefully he'll be just as interested in EATING them in about 75 days.)
We bought two kinds of tomatoes, banana peppers, yellow bell peppers, yellow squash, green beans, two kinds of lettuce, and carrots. Ethan picked out the banana peppers since they are his favorite, and Allyson carefully selected pot after pot of tiny seedlings.
After an ice cream break at the Sonic drive-in, we came back home and planted our veggies. Everyone except me got filthy; I busied myself taking pictures and fetching supplies, ice water, etc.
Under Nana's watchful eye, Ethan gently nestled the seedlings in their new beds. Then he made about six furrows for the seeds. Ethan meticulously spaced the tiny seeds, but Allyson dropped them in bunches.
Sandi and Jim struggled to plant the tomatoes in the funny Topsy Turvy upside-down planter. The TV infomercial claims that planting is effortless, but we thought it was pretty darn confusing. Bill hung the planter from the pergola, where I hope the dangling tomatoes will be out of the dog's reach. (I still have flashbacks about the violent death of TWO tomato plants last spring.)
Tomorrow I'll concoct a noxious brew of onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, and dish soap to keep away the pests. I can't believe I'm this enthused over an insecticide recipe!
Now we wait. It seems impossible to believe that soon we'll be eating vegetables from our own backyard. Ethan and I are so excited! Maybe this will teach us both some patience.