Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm here, I'm fine, etc!

Favorite book I'm currently reading: Gaia's Garden: A guide to home-scale permaculture, by Toby Hemenway. Also lots of books for ideas on sustainable living and outdoor cooking (thank you again, annual visit to the Chuckwagon Festival at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum last weekend!).

Favorite kid moment: Listening to Son2 (age 6) dictate the titles and favorite parts of FIVE books he READ AT THE BOOKSTORE to Son1, and Son1 rephrase Son2's favorite parts to a shorter form, checking if that's okay with Son2. Let's see, that's the new reader reading five books on his own; new reader remembering with precision the titles and details; experienced reader but uninterested writer easily rephrasing to fit a purpose; two brothers who mostly fight lately working cooperatively toward a goal; older brother willingly helping younger brother by doing the writing. A wonderful several-minute-long moment this morning.

Newest wildflowers in bloom: Those fluorescent orange wildflowers I noticed in seldom-mowed places last year. I think the succession was white, white and yellow, white and fluorescent orange, fluorescent orange and periwinkle blue, periwinkle blue.

Also, I need to remember that the big mowers mowed the highway edges and then the roadsides along our access street in the last week. That would be RIGHT AFTER I noticed yellow Mexican hat blooming, and Indian paintbrush, and what looked like black-eyed Susan. Sigh. Each year I vow to dig up a plant or two and move them to my front garden bed.

Speaking of our place, dear husband pointed out a sole black-eyed-Susan-like flower under our trees in the front yard! This would never have happened but for the fact that we have not yet mowed our grass this spring. With the drought we thought the grass was dead, but it finally greened up last month. Now that we've had some rain this week and last, shagginess has gotten bad and mowing must be done. In the extremely shaggy back yard we have a multitude of tall blooming weeds/wildflowers, as well as blooming new plants of my verbena on a stick, Verbena bonariensis, scattered across 20 feet of yard. That stuff is a prolific reseeder! Too bad I haven't ripped out all of the landscape fabric in its garden bed yet; I'd be able to keep new plants that show up there.

These permaculture books I've been reading have introduced me to the idea that the weeds are doing the first work of getting the grassy places (a/k/a lawns and yards) fertile and moved toward a more diverse plant environment. Interesting! Also, I really like the comment I read in one of them (did I mention this already?) that the two years of mole tunneling on our land has aerated and created a lage-scale French drain! Something good from moles?!? Nice to hear, lol.

Gotta go. Those are some random thoughts from the house of one who is hanging all laundry to air dry -- except undies and socks -- and loving the results as well as the energy savings. Such a homemaking, conserving nerd I am...

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