Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Back-Home List

Last night we got back from a long weekend visit with my family, so rest assured, there will be an avalanche of adorable baby photos soon.  In the meantime, I do believe it's time for a list of

Reasons It Was Great To Return Home Yesterday

  • The house was clean(ish).  When we leave for an extended period of time, it's always my goal to leave our house in a state in which I would be happy to come home to.  And yesterday, it was.  The living room was picked up.  The kitchen was clean.  The bathrooms had been wiped down.  It felt amazing.  While this is always the standard to which I ascribe, almost inevitably when returning from a trip, we come home and it looks like I spent the two days before we left doing seven loads of laundry a day and packing clothes for four people and on-the-road lunch and snacks and drinks for five people and mowing so that it's not immediately noticeable that our house is deserted and cleaning out the van and packing presents and borrowed items for whomever we're visiting and supervising the kids' packing of toys and books for the drive and charging the portable DVD players and negotiating which DVD's may be brought on the trip ("But why can't I bring Happy Feet?"  "Because I hate it- Atticus, what is this workout video featuring a scantily clad Jillian Michaels doing in your DVD pile?"  "I want to watch it on the trip."  "No.  No way."  *shifty eyes from our 5-year-old who is evidently on an accelerated course for the hormone-drenched* "But... what if I want to do a workout in the van?"  "NO.").  Somehow, Thursday-of-last-week Kristy managed to do all that and execute a quick cleaning run-through of our house.  Thursday-of-last-week Kristy is my favorite.  I do wish she'd come back.

  • My garden.  Apparently, Iowa is gunning for rain forest status, as it has rained nearly every day since I stained the front porch.  This means that although I mowed last Thursday, when we returned home last night, it appeared as if we were trying to turn our property into a habitat conducive to snakes and ground-nesting birds.  On the upside, my garden has really taken off.  I planted most of it from seed last week, and last night I had to muffle my squeals as I hopped around the garden (it was muddy), looking at the gourds and onions and zucchini and broccoli seedlings that all pushed their way through the soil while I was gone.  The tomato plants are flowering, and the pepper plants look pretty dang close.  I also found some new flowers around our yard:

Pink Champagne Clematis

I lost the little card that came with this, so I have no idea what it is.  It's about a foot tall, and really lovely in person.

I also found some pale purple asters that are blooming, but any photos of I took of it washed out the flower and made it look white.  I tend to buy plants when they're small and have little to no blooms on them because a) it's loads cheaper, and b) it would appear that I believe smaller, younger plants are more likely survive transplanting than big, showy ones.  I'm not quite sure where I heard this; it's entirely possible I made it up myself but have adopted it as established wisdom.  Whichever, it seems to work for me.  As a result, I'm thrilled when these plants flower for the first time, as I've never seen their flowers before, I'm just going off of the photo on their tags.  

  • It's just good to be home.  I'm never ever leaving again.  Until Derek and I leave on our 10-year anniversary trip later this summer  (SO EXCITED.  YOU DO NOT EVEN KNOW.).


  1. I have never once managed to clean my house before leaving for a trip. Never. Once.

    Is that white flower a fancy columbine? The leaves look like columbine.

    An your tomatoes are flowering?! I haven't even planted mine yet :-(

  2. Cleaning the house just before going away is a virtue I have never been able to accomplish. The closest I've gotten is to do all the dishes before leaving. I mean, packing for oneself and three small kids is like supplying an army regiment for 6 weeks of battle. Bravo to you!

    I'm with Cassi Renee - I also thought the leaves of your white-flowering plant look like columbine leaves. I spent some time comparing your photo to my photos of my columbines.

    I have no idea about the young & small plants vs the big, showy ones. I just feel lucky when any flowering plant at all grows in my yard.


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