Too many thoughts, too little time.

Posts tagged ‘home’

Dealing with the Problem

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I got a gift card to a Christian bookstore for Christmas. I have a Bible I really like. I have a cover I really like. I don’t need a cross necklace or a shirt that seems to be about the video game Halo at first glance, and then upon reading you find out is actually a Bible verse. I don’t listen to much Christian music. I found some artwork I kind of liked, but, Brad is going through a “if you are Christian, you shouldn’t have to advertise it!” thing right now, and wrinkled his nose, and especially since I didn’t love the paintings, I left them there. But, I found these mugs. They were cute. And, they were the size I like for my morning coffee. And, they were heavy. Not the kind that burn your hands when you microwave them. So, this is what I bought.

Now, speaking of loving my husband, I thought I’d update after my last post. Brad really was driving me nuts when I wrote that. But, how to deal? So, I had a nice long talk with myself. I think I avoid being put in the crazy bin over these one-sided conversation because they are reasonable. Was he really doing anything wrong? No, he was not. Was he a jerk? No. Was I really mad at him or was he a safe place to direct some anger? Crap…maybe he doesn’t deserve this. But then, I’d try to find other things to be mad at him about. So, he’d deserve it.

And, I decided to stop it. If I loved him, which I do. And, if I wanted to have a happy marriage, which I do, then I couldn’t go around looking for trouble. I decided while I was still very frustrated with him, and being very vocal about how frustrated I was, that I was being kind of a jerk, and I had told him plenty that was wrong, but little that was right. He went back to work, and I started writing him e-mails. One a day. Sometimes I started in the morning and added to it throughout the day, sometimes it was rushed in the few minutes before we talked on the phone at night. But, he got an e-mail everyday telling him sometimes specific I loved or appreciated about him.

He’s home now for the holidays, so, the e-mails stopped. But, I am not as annoyed or as short-tempered this time. And, instead of looking for problems, I’ve actually been taking note of little things to tell him I love, to keep up the e-mails once in awhile. It seems to have helped, and I’m enjoying doing it. And, the temptations from November seem to be gone. I’m pretty excited about it.

Point of View

point of viewI keep reading about how Facebook and social media are partially to blame for people having depression. How people only show the good stuff, and are basically “bragging” or “self-promoting”. Here are 2 links, but there are many more you can search for.

Facebook Envy

Facebook and Self Esteem

I can see how these arguments make sense. If your life is kind of sucky right now, you don’t want to see your friends vacations and you will get envious. However, I question whether Facebook is causing envy and depression because of all these people showing off. Or, if the people who are having negative effects from Facebook are more likely to be depressed and envious anyway.

I hate that positive people are seen as bragging. I’ve been working on my attitudes, and trying to become more positive. No, my life isn’t perfect, and often it is quite boring. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good things, even if they are little. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything beautiful in the mundane. About a month ago we were involved in a car accident. Aussie had some burns and torn up skin on his arm. I had an asthma attack (powder from the air bags) and a broken foot. We had been coming home after going with Aussie for work in PA. We didn’t have to go, he could have flown. But, we did, can’t change it now. It isn’t going to stop us from driving anywhere again. I got asked “was it worth it?” Yes, it was. We saw amazing east coast scenery and forests that looked like paint had been spilled on them. We got to stay in a really nice hotel. We got to spend a couple extra days with Aussie. And,nobody was really seriously injured. Yes, I mentioned the wreck on Facebook. But, there were 5 other positive, good posts. I didn’t post a picture of the car, I posted this.

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That picture up top? The pond and the weeping willow? I see that every morning on my walk. It is maybe 2 blocks from my house. It’s pretty. I had a lot of people tell me how pretty it was, asking where it was. It is pretty. I was posting the pretty. I suppose, to be real I should have turned around and taken a picture of the houses with the metal fences. I should have zoomed out so you could see the goose poop all over the sidewalk. I should have shown you, that weeping willow is draped over the sidewalk, really, quite in the way. If you ride your bike, you will either go in the pond, hit the fence, or get slapped in the face with branches. I should have shown you, on the other side of the hill ,across the pond, is the interstate. And, under the interstate is a railroad track. You can stand and see the pretty view, and hear honking and train whistles, and one time I even heard a semi truck accident.

When we posted pics from our honeymoon, I posted one from Belize. Because we found Belize kind of scary.

I have my truck up for sale, and got a “new” car. Wow, totally something to be jealous of. I posted a picture of it. Then, Aussie got one too. Like, 2 weeks later. All I said was we got new cars. I didn’t say why, I didn’t say because we’d kind of been living right on the edge of our means, and trading to 2 G6s meant we saved about $300/month on gas, $50/month on a car payment, AND will have the one paid off in the spring, rather then 4 years from now, like with Aussie’s truck. So, we’ll save even more on a car payment. We both hated to see the Jeep go, but, this is life, we ended up with a couple nice cars that we like, so, make do and make the best of it.

Is this being inauthentic? Or is it just looking at the good? We did have a good time in PA. That spot is pretty. We do like our cars, and they were new to us.

I think everybody should start posting “bragging” photos. If people started looking for the good, they’d find it. Don’t envy your friend going to the fancy restaurant for dinner, post a picture of the perfect french toast you made for dinner. Don’t get pissy because I posted a picture of our vacation to the mountains, when you LIVE in the mountains, or within an hours drive of the ocean.  Yes, I’ve been on about 10 trips so far this year. A vast majority of them to a. either see my husband at work or b.visit family. So, don’t be envious or depressed. Post pictures of your family, who you only had to walk across the street to say hi. Post photos of your husband and kids eating dinner together on a Tuesday night. I’ll tell you, those ones make me slightly envious. Don’t put down your neighborhood, find a pretty spot and enjoy it.

Nobody’s life is perfect all the time. I promise. So, stop being envious over what you are seeing, because you don’t know the whole story. And, please try to go find some good, and some pretty in your own life. I promise it’s there. I think it is kind of hard to feel depressed and envious when you are finding good things in your life. And, if you find yourself honestly becoming depressed because of Facebook, your account can be deactivated for a time. I have had to before. Your stuff will all be there when you go back. Just get some space.

And, speaking of finding the good. Go watch the video I’ll link at the end of the post. It’s safe for work.  We see all the time on the news terrible stories. We see security footage of people being robbed, of children being abducted, of car wrecks. But, there is good security footage as well.

Positive Security Footage.

It’s No Big Deal…Or Is It?

Brad and I have a sort of rule in our relationship. The phrase “It’s no big deal” isn’t allowed. I’m sure when I first told him I hated that phrase, he thought it was, well, no big deal. But, it was/is a big deal to me.

“It’s no big deal” is dismissive. It shuts down coversation. It puts the upset person on the defensive All things that I’ve never heard as being conductive to a good relationship. It is not really a good answer for anything.

If Brad comes to me and says “I am really upset that you did XYZ.” and my immediate response is “I don’t see what the big deal is”, than what is the harm in me giving in and taking care of the problem the way he would like. If I go to him and say “I’m tired of you always picking where we eat for dinner. I feel like you don’t care what I want.” he has two choices, 1. Listen to me, think about why he never lets me pick what’s for dinner, try to understand that it makes me feel bad, and be more careful next time to make sure he at least gets my opinion. Or, 2. He can say “it’s just dinner, it’s no big deal.” which doesn’t fix the problem, makes me feel worse, makes me upset and start trying to defend myself, reenforces the idea that my feelings and opinions don’t matter. If it is really, truely, not any big deal, than why can’t he let me pick sometimes? This is not an issue we have had, and it is obviously oversimplified, but it makes my point.

Could this backfire? Could this be bad? I suppose, in a relationship where one person is controlling or manipulative, it could be. Someone who was controlling could claim EVERYTTHING is a big deal, or they could demand their spouse have no friends at all, because it was a big deal to them. I  can see this not working for them, but, I certainly hope, the person being controlled would be able to explain why it is a big deal to have friends. Obvviously, not everything will work for everyone, but, it’s been a good rule of thumb for us. This is an issue that has been on my mind, partially because after I explained a situation to Brad, he told me what a good rule he thought it was.

I recently saw a former friend post 4 facebook stauses in a row…all talking about her friend, and he is just a friend and his wife is a psycho jealous old woman and their friendship is “no big deal” and she can just get over it.

Really? If it is no big deal, if there isn’t anything there, if ALL they do is discuss the old days in high school, and his wife is seriously upset about it, then, why can’t this woman drop it? Obviously it is a big deal to the wife. If it is no big deal for former friend, than what is the big deal with leaving the guy alone? Former friend continued on, trying to get all her friends to comment, and boy, did they. Things like “whatever, that’s so stupid”, “men and women can be friends!”, “jealous bitch”, “what, doesn’t she trust her own husband?”, and “maybe if she wasn’t so controlling she wouldn’t be worried he was out looking”.

Funny thing about marriage, nobody knows completely what is going on except the people in it. So, maybe the wife doesn’t trust her husband, and maybe she has a good reason. Maybe she knows her husband can’t be just friends. Maybe she is “controlling” because he’s shown with any freedom, that he will do something wrong.

I just wanted so badly to reply “If it’s no big deal, than get out of their relationship and their problems.” I didn’t, but, I feel more and more like I am the odd one out. I would not be comfortable knowing I was causing issues in the marriage of someone I considered “a very good friend”.

I realize banning the phrase “it’s no big deal” might be a bit much. But, if you find yourself tempted to say it, please think about it. Is it really no big deal? Then why can’t you do something else? Are you saying it to be dismissive of the other person? Because you know you don’t really have a good reason to continue, or because you know they’ve made a valid point? Are you putting them on the defensive because you know you don’t really have a defense? If it does matter to you, then please, explain, talk, reason, negotiate, compromise, but please don’t use “it’s no big deal” as a polite “shut up”.

Feeling Let Down

I struggle to write what is on my mind, because I feel like it makes me sound so…stuck up? Full of myself? I’m not sure, I’m just fairly sure I don’t come across as I would like to, as I mean to.

You know the Bible verse, the one about leaving your parents and cleaving to your spouse?  We are still in the newlywed category, and to be honest, I didn’t expect either family to make it quite so easy. Neither one of us has a huge amount of friends, but, we both have huge families. And, I think we are both feeling sad and dissapointed lately.

 

Yeah, exactly how I’m feeling.

I won’t tell Aussie’s story, because it isn’t mine to tell. But, I will tell some of mine. I started algebra this semester. I’ve taken this class 4 or 5 times. I fail every time. I’ve taken the remedial math, I’ve done all the homework, and then some. I’ve been to tutoring, I’ve asked for help, I’ve spoken to the teachers. I just don’t get it. So, I try again.

And, this class is now bringing up HUGE feelings of disappointment and resentment towards my family. My parents especially.

I was homeschooled. I never got much of a reason why. Actually, let me rephrase, I had a continuously changing reason why, that ebbed and flowed with the passing trends that made public schools “bad”. When I could counter their arguments, I was told that was never the reason, they never said that, and the real reason was XYZ. What are some of these reasons?

  • I was too smart for public school.
  • I was bored.
  • I might be around bad influences.
  • Prayer has been taken out of schools.
  • God has been taken out of schools.
  • They teach evolution!
  • I was unhappy there, apparently.
  • My sister hated going to school, so obviously it was bad.
  • School shootings!!!
  • God told them to take me out of school.
  • Public schools were/are sinful and God commands us not to sin just because it is popular.

I am sure there are a lot more, but, you get the idea. Homeschooling to my mom meant she slept in until 11, talked to her friend on the phone for a couple hours a day, handed me a stack of books and told me I was responsible for independent study. I have a 17 yr old brother who is practically illiterate, and a sister I think may have dyslexia. But, nobody must know, you can’t get help, because then people MIGHT think you aren’t doing things right and put the kids in school!

I ran away when I was 12ish. I told them my dad was abusive, and my parents were not home schooling us. They were handing over books, and only noticing when pages were completely blank. Nothing ever got checked. I told them about my siblings. I told the police, I told CPS, I told the judge, I told family. I was terrified, and a child. My parents would call me, screaming “You’re a fucking liar!” Nobody ever asked to see the books, nobody ever checked in on anything. My grandma had to put me in therapy to get me past the “family therapy” my parents put me in. Which consisted of all 3 adults calling me a liar, and trying to get to the root cause of why I was a liar. Except I wasn’t.

3 months later the judge sent me home. Did I mention, the judge was friends with my parents? Yeah, stupid preteen me didn’t know enough to point out how wrong this was. We started going to his church a few months later.

So, I went home. Nothing changed on the school front, but, my dad got less abusive, especially to everyone else, so, I counted at least that part as well worth all the trouble. And, I decided I was getting out of there. I did my homework, I struggled through math. When I asked for help, my parents told me they didn’t understand. When I asked for them to get me help, we couldn’t afford it. When their friends offered to help, my parents complained about how far it was to drive, and how if I was struggling so bad, maybe I could just skip the ONE youth group activity I was allowed a month so I could study more. So, when 14 yr old me was offered this choice, obviously, I choice to skip tutoring. Which, obviously meant, I understood the work, I just wasn’t willing to do it. My junior year of high school, I took the answer book. My mom never noticed. It wasn’t to cheat, it was to check my work, then to rework it until I understood it. I spent hours working on this. Nobody ever knew.

I graduated a yr early, and got a full ride scholarship to the big state school. It was the worst thing I ever did. Because, my parents have spent the last 10 yrs saying that obviously they do an amazing job at homeschooling, and obviously it is superior to all other schooling, because, well, look at Punkie.

Oddly, they never mention Punkie flunked out her first semester. Got ALL Fs.

They never mention Punkie has failed algebra 5 times now. And, has no idea what is going on, no idea how to understand. The ass backwards ways I taught myself in high school are screwing me over now.

You know, I’ve spent the last 15 yrs trying to take responsibility for my failures, trying to own my own shit, trying to not blame others. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of taking responsibility for problems that I didn’t cause.

I cringe whenever I see one of my siblings facebook posts. My one sister is trying to start a photography business, and has a page for it. Nothing is spelled right. My other sister works at Salvation Army because the pay is amazing. My little brother had to take the ASVAB test 4 times before he BARELY got a high enough score to get into ANY military branch. My other brother, the 17 yr old, reads the helicopter books I bought for my 8 yr old when he thinks nobody is looking. But, never any other book.

I have another younger brother, he’s a teenager, and yesterday I told my mom, over the weekend I did about 250 math problems. I was assigned 60, but I am really trying to pass. My mom said “I guess we know who can help with math now!” then she tells me about my brother, how he’s so good at math. He never follows the instructions, but gets the right answer. Just like me. I told  her, that is really, really causing problems for me now. I explained why. She laughed and said “Well, I just have to get him through high school, college can teach him what he really needs to know.”

I could have about cried.

I’ve offered to teach the kids. If you look at my kids school work…I spend HOURS every week, preparing for the next week. I spend hours teaching them, going over things over and over again. I actually grade all the work. I have a lesson plan. I have a base curriculum and add to it, to make my own, making some things more difficult. Adding pages where I know they struggle. I’ve offered…my mom doesn’t want to spend the gas money. Her and dad can go out to eat a few times a week, but, can’t spend $4 a day to bring the kids over for help.

I’m so angry that I am paying for their choices now. I’m so angry that nobody listened to me when I tried to get help. I’m so angry that it is too late for my siblings. I’m angry that my family is almost PROUD of being ignorant. Of the fact they don’t need no college. I’m angry my brothers don’t even realize how much they don’t know. I’m angry they have been unknowingly sentenced to a lifetime of factory work or retail, without their consent. I’m angry that I struggle so much with some of these subjects, but, I certainly can’t complain, because then I hear about how if I was really concerned I would have studied and not signed the boys up for sports, so I would have more time. And, I’m angry all the times I do well, I am held up as the poster child for all the great things about homeschooling. My parents had nothing to do with any of the things I am good at. I taught myself! I had to!

You know what? I’m not that freaking special or smart or successful. Actually, I take it back, I am smart. I decided to do better, and I did. But, I somehow saw there was more to life than what my parents taught us. I’m the only one who did. I’m not special, I’m not successful. I look like it. I look like a spoiled brat most the time. I’ve got a great relationship, and two kids that are somehow amazing, in spite of all they have been through. And, I can’t even talk about my life, because I sound so stuck up. I just got back from a trip to Montana, right after the trip to Florida, and I leave for a cruise in about 6 weeks. I’ve got a Tiffany box sitting on my coffee table, and a pile of clothes with the tags still on them. I went out for coffee almost every day this summer. And, I’m not saying this to brag, I’m not. I’m using to to show, how “look at Punkie!” has become a source of pride for my parents. They miss that they coerced me into marrying an abusive asshole the first time. They don’t seem to get it… all this great stuff? It has NOTHING to do with me, nothing. It is a result of Aussie’s success. HIS parents can use it as an argument for homeschooling. Mine can not. Because, it has NOTHING to do with me, and FAR less to do with them and their teaching skills. And to be honest, a huge majority of my spoiled persona has cost us practically nothing. Airlines give lots of free perks, as do hotel chains, and rental car companies. When the company pays for the Starbucks, and you can give your wife the card, she gets the free syrups and refills and extra perks. So, again, I’d like to say, don’t judge me too harshly on this one, because if the company Aussie worked for didn’t allow him to keep the perks, and instead made him use frequent flier miles to get to work, or that sort of thing, we would look exactly like every other young couple with a couple kids.

I do’t even know what the point of writing this was. I just needed to get it all out. I am so angry and so resentful right now. I feel like I’m outgrowing my family and it’s a lonely feeling.

Not Everyone Fits Into Your Mold

Looks about right to me.

I was at the library today doing my usual walk through.

Step 1. Return the books I could have sworn I returned last week.

Step 2. Browse the mystery “fluff”. You know, the cheap soft cover books you buy at garage sales for $0.50.

Step 3. Stumble upon the true crime section. Decide which serial killer you want to read about this week, because no week is complete without at least one night where you get up 7 times to make sure you locked the doors.

Step 4. Remember that the library is actually a good place to learn things, and might help with this whole homeschooling thing. Find the education section.

Step 5. Remember why you avoid this section.

I wanted a book, something like “What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know”. I am trying to get a plan in place for this school year, something that will tell me “if your kid doesn’t know how to read Dr Seuss by the end of the year, you’re doing something wrong.”

I do not need “Why Public School Damages Your Child.” I don’t need “The Biblical School Year”. I don’t want “Teaching Your Kids God’s Way.” I don’t care about “Good Answered to Common Arguments!” I also don’t need any of the 75 variations of “School Your Child For FREE!”

I don’t care to read the first 3 chapters about how you met your husband and married him the day you turned 18 so you could become a baby factory, as is “God’s plan” for your life. I don’t care about the next 2 chapters where the author makes sure to remind us, over and over, to utilize our husband’s brilliance and have him help, or even send the kids to work with him for the day, for “real world experience” I don’t care to be warned about the dangers lurking on the internet for both our immature child and our easily led into temptation husbands.  I am not concerned with a book written in  comic sans being my reminder I should go to church whenever the doors are unlocked, and I also am not worried about the fact my sons have “girl” chores, like unloading the dishwasher.

I am bothered by the assumption that EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON who chooses to home school their children is obviously a married, broke, stay at home mother, whose husband has a 9-5 job and is a conservative Christian.

We’re starting our 4th year of this. I have been a single mom for all of it so far, though, that does change this year. I’ve been a working mom for a lot of it as well. I’ve been a full time student through at least half of it. I didn’t have all day everyday to devote to making sure they recited prayers correctly. Now, I’m married. My husband is brilliant. And, he doesn’t really get a chance to help me, because he’s never home. I suppose I could send the kids to work with him, but, that involves 3 plan tickets, a week away, and not even getting to see most of it, due to privacy laws.

I don’t wish to argue with people about how they should/should not teach their kids. I don’t care to hear about the “evil” public school system, because, I already made my decision, I don’t need further convincing. I hate the condescending tone of most “answers to arguments” books. No, I don’t think I am going to help make people understand when my response to “What about socialization?” is “I know, why don’t you let your kids be around more people of varying ages? Obviously, your kids are anti-social.” I want to know what the state requires of me, and what they expect of the kids. I want to know what skills will help advance them in life, I honestly do not care about doing this “God’s way”, mainly because I think most people who make that claim know as much, if not less than I do. Unless they have a divine telephone and God’s direct extension number, they don’t know!

As far as doing it for free, don’t get me wrong, I like a good deal as much as the next person. But, if all I was concerned about was the cost of my kid’s education, I would send them to public school, that my tax dollars have already paid for. And guess what? “Wait for back to school sales!” is not exactly ground breaking new information.

And for all the “my husband is head of the house” writing, there is a lot of things that imply your husband is just another kid, but this one brings home a paycheck. No, I have more respect for my husband than that. I don’t need to ban everyone in the house from the internet because the call of the XXX is too strong for his man brain to resist. He knows how I feel about this sort of thing, I trust him to respect my feelings, and so far, he has.  I go to church because I enjoy it, I take the kids. I don’t think it is necessary to have reading practice for my 3rd grader be Proverbs, when I am trying to instill a love of reading in him, and his attention is held much better by the “All About Ferrari” book. We have managed to have some lovely child led philosophical and theological discussions, that I don’t think could have been planned into our day.

Maybe I should write a book. A book for non-super religious, slightly off traditional families who home school. One that is for tips, info and resources, but doesn’t assume that I am a conservative Christian, that doesn’t assume I hate public schools, that doesn’t assume I want to change anyone’s mind. Maybe one that doesn’t assume everyone is married with a minimum of 3.5 kids and a husband who is only slightly more intelligent than the average idiot, but, who you obey because God says so.  But, days like today, I feel there is a market of one for that book, and why would I need to buy it if I wrote it?

Don’t Miss Your Life

I can expense this, right?

There is a song rising up the country charts right now, called Don’t Miss Your Life and the lyrics to the song talk about a man on a flight out west, working on his laptop. An older man starts talking to him, and they commiserate  about life on the road. About how they’ve missed ball games, and a baby being born, anniversaries, and going out to dinner for good grades. The song ends with the younger man deciding he will just get off the plane when they land and he will get a turn around flight and go home because he doesn’t want to miss his life.

I hate that song. I also hate shows where they romanticize these kind of jobs. I don’t know about all companies, but I know darn well, if Aussie got out to California, turned around and came back to go out to dinner with us, when he was supposed to be working, his job would be in jeopardy. And yes, he misses soccer practice, and is supposed to be working on birthdays and some holidays. But, oddly enough, birthdays come the same time each year, as do anniversaries. At the beginning of the year, take vacation if you are that concerned about it. Good grade dinners do not have to be done immediately. You say “Oh, good job honey, lets call dad and see what time we can go out Friday night. You get to pick where!” Not only am I trying to juggle a regular life with his crazy work schedule, I’m trying to juggle a family life, when 2 members of our family our gone every other weekend. We’ve moved entire holidays before. I think Easter was 2 weeks early this year. And you know who cared? Nobody. Independence Day was kept on the right day this year, but, for everyone to get to be there and make the kids happy,  my new husband and I invited my ex husband and the woman he left me for. But, the important thing to my husband and I was that him, the boys and I got to spend the day together. What was important to the kids was that their 4 “parents” got to be there, along with their pseudo-step sisters. What was important for my ex was to see the kids. Nobody had to “miss their life”.

The options are not miss your life or quit your job. The solution is to think outside the box. I realize, I have it easier than many people. If I caller my parents right now and said “Please ignore my birthday, we’ve moved it two weeks forward”, they would and they would be understanding about it.  But, my kids are pretty happy about the fact they get three birthdays a year. One little one, on their actual birthday, lunch with mommy, a little present, maybe cake at grandma’s. Then a big birthday when Aussie gets home from work. Then one with their dad.

And, like I said, movies where they romanticize this I hate as well. You know the ones, his alarm goes off, and she rolls over to hold him, he tries to pry himself away, saying he has a flight to catch, and she pouts. He kisses her, and then cut to the scene 3 hours later, where they are still in bed and he has to rearrange his flights. It doesn’t work like that. Yes, I want to pout when he has to leave on Monday morning, but, there are consequences for him when he tries to put a flight he never took on his expense report. There are consequences for missing that 8am Tuesday morning meeting because you missed your 8am Monday morning flight.

I think having priorities is good. I think your family should come first, but every time I hear that song I think to myself “good job, now you can make that celebration dinner, but how are you going to pay for it when you get fired?”

A Garden Project, continued

I was on a slight hiatus from blogging. First, I was busy outside, then I was bored, so, I drove here…

What? Where do you go when you are bored?

It isn’t too bad, less than a 10 hr drive. I was there for 2 days, and drove home in time to get my kids back this weekend. I fully intended to blog a bit there, because there have been several things recently that leave me with a lot of material to write about, but I only took the iPad, and I forgot my keyboard at home, and I don’t like writing anything substantial with the touch screen.

Anyway, I spent last weekend working on my gardens.

Here is the “before” picture of a small garden between the sidewalk and the house.

I have no idea what those green bushes are, but they are all the negatives of a vine and a bush, and none of the positives.

Those things were climbing up BEHIND the siding. And they are ugly and spread, and look worse when you trim them, and if your neighbor is inconsiderate and lets garbage blow all over the place, they are really handy garbage catchers. Not one of the main things I look for in a plant. So, we had to dig them out, and by we, I mean I watched Aussie while telling him what to do. I have several hunky pictures of Aussie working on this little project, however, he doesn’t want to be identified. So, you will have to settle for this picture.

The love of my life

Anyway, we woke up Sunday morning and decided we needed this project. We went to the garden center, and piled 1,700 pounds of material into the truck. (And by we, I do mean we.) Then, we paid for it, and pushed it all out to the truck, where we picked up and loaded the same 1,700 pounds of material. You should have seen my truck, it looked ridiculous. We drove home, where we then unloaded 1,700 pounds of material from the truck. And then we moved them for the last time, as they were put into place.

Would you believe there is actually a sidewalk under all that dirt?

Aussie did an AMAZING job. He happens to be a bit of a perfectionist, which means it takes him forever to do anything, but when he does, the results are incredible. All those blocks are level. I would have just stacked them and hoped for the best. All the old dirt and mulch and ugly plants were loaded back into the truck to be hauled to my parents. Then my poor truck needed washed.

The car wash floor, that was clean when I got there. My truck is still muddy and filthy, by the way.

Now, for the finished project!

In my infinite wisdom, I started this project during on eof the hottest weeks in our history. My poor plants.

I am SO happy with how it all turned out.

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