Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hopeful Folly

I planted a Highbush Blueberry today.

I know. It's not even April yet. I couldn't help it.

My semi-delusional train of thought:
"Ooh! Blueberries! Yum!"
"Well, we can still get some crazy weather..."
"Yes, but look, it already has buds. I bet the ones that are planted in the ground all over New England already have buds. It must be okay for them to be out in this weather."
"Um. But they're already established."
"Okay. But technically this one is established. I mean, it didn't grow in this pot all winter did it? It probably grew in the ground somewhere, and they dug it up and potted it for sale. So it's used to this weather..."

You can see the problem. An excuse for every common sense thought. I planted it in the backyard, up against the white fence, where the soil was already workable down three feet. That seems like a good sign to me. Of course, probably because I WANT it to seem like a good sign.

I also planted two pansies in my front porch urns. Montana promptly ate the flowers off of the yellow one while my back was turned for about 30 seconds. I almost killed him. He's now under house arrest--no outside unless strictly supervised. I'm a bit at my wit's end with his plant-eating. I've never seen a dog like this before. Why couldn't he be like Blue, and just eat my million dollar bra and panty sets from Victoria's Secret? Oh, right. Because I don't shop there anymore. Seriously, though, I'd rather he ate...well, I'm just not going to put that into the cosmos. With my luck he'd keep eating plants AND eat whatever I was just going to mention.

It got up to 50 degrees today, and was brilliantly sunny. AND!!! AND!!! Our favorite ice cream shop is open again!!!

This was definitely a "pink stone day," to steal one of LeeAnn's sayings.

Next week: enlarge the vegetable garden again.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Early Mornings

Most people who know me know that I'm not much of a morning person. I love to sleep in and be lazy any chance I get. Isn't it funny that getting a puppy has completely changed that...? Every morning the dogs are up a few minutes (or hours, as in the case of today) before our alarms go off, and when they're up, I'm up. I used to have this uncanny ability to fall back to sleep even after wandering the house for awhile, but that seems to have fled. Sadly.

The funny thing is, as irritated as I would have been even a few months ago by this behavior, I don't seem to mind it too much. I mean, last Wednesday when I stayed home sick and the dogs woke me up at 4:30 a.m. I minded...but most of the time I don't. On Saturday, Tundra woke me up at 6:30--waaay too early for a Saturday. But as I stood in the kitchen while the dogs ate, I watched a beautiful sunrise from our kitchen window. And then I got to do that again on Sunday. Soooo...I guess morning isn't all that bad.

Though if the dogs wanted to sleep until seven, that would be okay too.

I'm excited about the fact that I'm trying to start a new book club at school. I've extended the invitation to all of the English teachers at the middle and high school, and added the Spanish and French teachers at the middle school, as well. It's become clearer to me that hooking kids for literacy is difficult across ALL languages, and the "foreign language" teachers might have an interest in those kinds of book discussions. (I don't know why it took so many years of teaching to realize that, but hopefully it's a case of better late than never...) We're starting with Reading Don't Fix No Chevy's by Wilhelm and Smith, since boys and literacy is a hot topic at our school right now. I have two definite takers so far, and hopefully a few more will join too. It would be so great to have a professional community to be part of!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Puppy pee and garden planning

The downside to having a puppy: having to move the stove to get at the place where his pee has run.
The upside to having a puppy: everything else. :)
Montana and Tundra just get more and more fun to hang out with. I may eventually never leave home again! (Okay, that might be hyperbole.)

The weather is not pretty today. The temperature is bearable--40 degrees, but it's raining and has been since last night. The good news is I'm seeing the upward trend in temperature, which I didn't expect to see for another few weeks. I know that an early spring is not necessarily a good thing, but I must say it makes me happy (if that is indeed what's happening). Of course, tomorrow night is supposed to be back down to 16 degrees...hopefully it won't do too much damage to the plants that are starting to wake up.

I've started planning this year's garden (well, on paper--I already did the buying!). It's a good way to keep occupied while I wait.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Signs of Spring

I was poking around listlessly in the backyard yesterday when I saw a distinct flash of deep, bright, spring green poking its little head out of the ground. It seems that one of my hyacinths from last year may have survived the squirrel raid! A few feet away, chives were pushing their thin blades up through the icy surface, and over in the shade garden, the hellebores were sending up the shoots that will be their flowers. The unearthly pale green mixed with the faintest blush of rose makes the shoots look fragile, though their thickness looks sturdy. I'm hoping the hellebores will bloom in March, like all of the books say they should. (Obviously, the above picture is not what my plants look like right now...but they will!!)

Other signs appeared once I looked a little more closely. The forsythia buds have started to swell and the tarragon and bleeding hearts are sending up shoots. My neighbor's tulips are starting to make their appearance above-ground, as well. I figured it might be time, so I went ahead and took down the pine garland that was on our fence out front... :)

I think my husband was a little mortified that it was still there, but I needed the green! I'm of the opinion that in the frozen north, we should leave Christmas decorations up until Spring is providing its color. Needless to say, I am not in the majority.
Tundra and Montana have started an interesting habit. Unfortunately, Larry and I are amused by it. I'm guessing guests won't be, but we won't have discouraged it enough to stop it. (Well, maybe when Montana is no longer a puppy, it won't be as much fun and they'll stop it on their own.) As soon as Larry and I sit down to dinner in the dining room, the dogs take it as play time. They chase each other around the table, and then lie under it at our feet and wrestle. We have a glass-topped table, so we can watch them as we eat. Dinner theater!