Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Outside Stuff

We live in that big swath of the country that's been getting rain, rain, and more rain.

This isn't unusual for us around here, as our spring is generally marked by more rain than sun, and thankfully we've experienced minimal flooding this year.  All these rainy days bring back memories of splashing in puddles and slipping around on the trampoline in a downpour and mopping water off the bare wood subflooring in the house my parents were building because it wouldn't stop raining and there was no roof yet and my dad was afraid the wood would warp, all while Mom sat in the car and watched because she was too sick and weak from a brutal round of chemo to help.  Ah, childhood.

I empty it and the sky fills it back up.  Every day.  

I got a few plants in before the rains came down and the floods came up, but not many, as it's also been a chilly spring and I didn't think the soil temp was warm enough for the flowers I'm growing from seed.

Sunflowers and zinnias and sunflowers and delphinium and more sunflowers.

Thankfully it warmed up a bit for my mom and Mark's recent visit, and the rain even abated for brief amounts of time.  Not while we were visiting the local public garden, of course, but that's what butterfly houses are for.

Atticus spent the first ten minutes in the butterfly wing clinging to me and quietly panicking anytime a butterfly brushed by him.  Five minutes later, he was mad because none would land on him.  I don't know how to explain this other than that it's just so Atticus.  Caedmon was less interested in the butterflies and more interested in making friends with the volunteer that worked in there, getting her to show him the supply closet and telling her all about his super powers.  That is just so Caedmon.

Today we're enjoying a respite from all the rain, so Caedmon and I did important outdoor things, among them beribboning Hermione and planting flowers.

I added it up and our children's teachers spent approximately one million hours with them over the past school year.  This means they deserve a beach house in which to spend their summers forgetting the atrocities perpetrated against them over the course of the past year, but what we can afford are flowers.

Step One:  Go to your small local hardware store.  Wander around their greenhouse, and by 'wander,' I mean turn in a tight circle because that is how tiny it is.  Step Two:  Ignore the nice employee's suggestion to get each teacher a $4.50 potted flower, because what am I, made of money?  Step Three:  Buy the $1 3-pack annuals for each teacher.  Step Four:  Go to Target and hit the dollar bins for buckets.  Resist the urge to buy all the cute things.  You must be strong on this step.  Step Five:  Get home and remember you don't have potting soil.  Dig around in the compost heap until you find the least egg shell-y parts, and fill the buckets with those.  Step Six:  Plunk the flowers in there on top of the egg shells and compost and call it a day.

 Fortunately I know that if anyone can understand living on a budget, it's public school teachers, and at $2 a pop, these fit nicely into ours.  Thanks, teachers, for all the wisdom and compassion and patience and kindness!  Here's a plant that will die in 3-4 months!  Love from the Crislers! 


  1. Is there anything more magical than having a butterfly deign to land on you? (And when was the last time I got to use the word "deign"?!)

    As a teacher (although not the kind that gets end-of-year gifts, unless you count the emails begging to bump a 59.6% up to a 70%) I think the best gifts are those that have an ending date. Candy, gift certificates, cut flowers, annuals in pots . . . . that last thing you need is another mug to try to squeeze into your cupboard and then later give to Goodwill. So good call on those flowers!

  2. As the daughter of a public school teacher, I can affirm that you and Cassi are right about the gifts. Personally I think those buckets are charming. So are the butterflies.

    I hope you get some good planting weather.


Studies show that that people who leave comments are kind, intelligent, generous, creative, and have really nice hair.