Ben and I took this week off to build a fence and put in the vegetable garden. It has poured down rain every day. The soil was perfect for tilling a week and a half ago; now it is a soggy mess.
Monday was the only day the forecast didn’t guarantee rain, so we took Nora to the zoo. We saw:
- a male black bear named “Tough” get the bejeezus scared out of him by an intimating, glossy black female (all she did was approach him quickly);
- a really big frog;
- a cougar who took a particular interest in Nora and kept looking from her to me, as if asking me for permission to let her in to play (or be eaten);
- a baby elephant messing with a huge log in the swimming hole (I kept thinking of my mother-in-law who has a weakness for baby elephants — she would have been a puddle);
- two otters who thought very highly of themselves, displaying back-flip skills against the aquarium glass;
- some primates, who make one question the whole concept of a zoo, so human and forlorn do they appear;
- and a pride of lions casually lounging on some rocks. They looked like they could jump the ravine and pick off a few middle schoolers any time they felt like it.
Farmer wanna-be that I am, my favorite exhibit was the family farm, with miniature cows, goats, chickens and a raised bed garden. I now want raised beds. This would be advantage in a number of ways, the biggest one being there would be no annual argument about if we should till and when we should till. You build the bed, put great soil in it and leave it the hell alone. The soil doesn’t get trampled by dogs and toddlers and it warms faster in the spring, so early planting can begin without concern about the tiller wrecking early crops come May. And they look cool.
It’s ten years since we moved to Portland, the webs between our toes have fully formed — so we forged ahead on constructing the fence around our garden, it is nearly complete. Putting in the garden beds will have to wait for a few weeks of dry weather. I’m trying to roll with it, but sometimes I get a bit uptight about gardening. I strive for Martha Stewart like tidyness in the garden which is not realistic without a staff of dozens and oodles of cash. And she doesn’t have a toddler to contend with. Nora’s garden enthusiasm is strong, but she’s a soil tromper and will tear open a seed packet and fling seeds every which way. My only hope of keeping her as my garden companion is to chill out.
In the meantime, I can catch-up on laundry, because if Martha Stewart saw my basement right now, she’d be appalled. Do I care what she thinks? Not really. But Nora’s almost out of clean underwear.