Monday, October 29, 2012

when the price is right

Sometimes we gardeners visit a store with a plan to find a specific plant. More often, we visit a garden store and plants find us.  Sometimes this is best!  The sale racks often just have dying annuals, but if you look around a bit there are usually some great finds.

I caught a great sale rack at the big box store (the red and blue one) after a busy fall weekend. I brought home a trunk full of plants for only $7. There were 10¢ snap dragons which had no unidentifiable blossom color. They've now bloomed in my big white pot on the patio and the color is great. I would have been ok with all one of any color, or a mixture. Either way, the price was right. I usually put pansies in the pot this time of year, so snap dragons will be a fun change.

Black and Blue salvia has been on my if-you-see-it-marked-down-this-is-always-a-good-one list. At 25¢ these were quickly put into my cart. I didn't expect to see them bloom this year, so they've been a pleasant fall surprise. I'm not sure I've put them in a good location, but I'll give it a year to see. I want that wonderful blue to pop and even at the edge, my front woodlands are shady.

There was no tag on this yellow friend-of-a-daisy, but the pot did say "perennial" which was good enough for me, also at 25¢. They're in the woodlands garden too, in front of the six foot tall swamp sunflowers. I wish the store had had more, but the three I planted began to bloom within a week of transplanting.

My Sheffield Pink (I think) chrysanthemums were a pass-along from another gardening friend, the best price of all.  They have spread over an eight foot area and may need a new home. They're right in front of the two Beautyberry bushes and since I never pruned them they're almost as tall. I'll see what happens if I put pruning them on my gardening calendar.  It seems they are well loved by flying friends this time of year.

Free and almost free. The perfect price!

Friday, October 26, 2012

all in one paragraph

"I hate you. You are the worst parent in the whole world."

"You hafta help me with my homework because I can't do it otherwise."

This all came out in one paragraph. There might have been a few more sentences in the middle. I tuned out.

I was not declared the worst parent in the world -- the "whole world"-- for not helping with homework. In fact, it was because I was helping that I earned that label.  I went above what had been asked and tried to help a bit extra. I suppose it wasn't what he'd expected and when Bug is confronted with something he hasn't prepared for he usually dislikes it. 

I left the house and took a fifteen minute walk in the nearby park.

I returned to a Bug with his hands on his hips and a mouth puckered in anger.  I heard "you hafta" again and I left the house again. This time I took a book and my glasses and hung out at a picnic table in the park.

Is this being eight years old or just being an intense kid?  Or, perhaps I'm the worst parent in the whole world and the rest of you can relax now that the title is taken.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012



Go ahead, scratch your head. I did. I do every time I think that word. I try hard not to think that word. In fact, every time the school nurse sends home the "Someone in your child's class has ****" note, I recognize it and try to throw it away before my brain registers what the page is about.

Of course when I saw Pook scratching at his head and went to look for a copy of that note, there wasn't one to be found. Scratch.

I decided that my part of this parenting chapter would be the research. Research into what CD needed to do about this problem.  I was helpful. I got CD a comb. I drove to the store for the $20 shampoo. I'm doing lots of laundry. I try to be in another room when he combs Pook's hair.  Helpful.

Behind the scenes I'm scratching my own head.  I'm combing my own head. Just in case. I can't spell "blech" in quite the same way I say it. I say it with a shudder. Maybe more of a cringe.

However, I am being a good mom. I am not making him feel like a pariah. Just because he has cooties it doesn't mean he needs to be treated as if he has cooties. Good mom. I remove and wash pillowcases after he's left the room. I try to remind him gently to stay off the upholstered chair in the den. I still snuggle him and try to be discrete about not kissing him on the head. I used to run my fingers through his hair often. I've noticed this because I haven't been doing it. There are limits to this good mom thing.

If I think too much I begin to itch. I read that they tend to stay near the hairline and ears. I scratch there. Then it moves to my neck and shoulders. I wonder if they crawl around. By this time I'm itchy everywhere and I'm wondering if they could be on my ankles too.  I learned that five minutes at 128° kills them. I put the probe thermometer in the laundry water to be sure it is hot enough. I debate taking it into the shower with me. I can put boiling water on the hairbrushes, but hot water on me will just make my skin dry and... make me itch.

This too shall pass. I'm surprised it hasn't ever happened before. The boys used to share dress up hats and batting helmets with other kids. Now, in middle school, I'm not sure where Pook contracted them. I've bought a preventive spray at a natural foods store. Maybe it'll work and this won't ever happen again.  

Meanwhile... scratch.

Friday, October 19, 2012

my civic duty

I live in a city. Did you think I lived in Atlanta? Yeah, I did too. I will continue to tell people that I live in the city of Atlanta. But in reality, I did not live in a city, and I didn't move either. We've been voted out of our area of unincorporated county in the Atlanta area and into New City. 

I don't like change and I didn't vote for it, but CD did and I can see how it might be good. The New City will include about 40,000 residents. This is being promoted to emphasize our new local control. It is possible that to many people this means "We don't have to let our tax dollars pay for poor people." Hopefully it will mean improvements to the places I spend most of my time. Our county isn't particularly functional. Don't ask me about our school system; I'd post about it, but it would make me too depressed.

Part of me says "whatever" but part of me figures that if I'm going to have change, I'd better keep up with it and give my two cents if I can.  So I've been reading the city's' web postings. I read articles in all the local papers about the upcoming commissioners' elections. I suggested to CD that we walk to meet one of the mayoral candidates when she was nearby. I even attended a debate among the four candidates for my neighborhood district's commissioner. I was impressed enough with one of the mayoral candidates to put her sign in my yard. I never put political signs in my yard.

Our dear pool is one of three pools in New City. The impoverished county has been ignoring them and two were never opened last summer. Our swim team, peers with the Bad News Bears, wants to continue under new leadership. I am on an executive board of parents who want to advocate for our team and pool. I have put my name on a Parks Department email list.  I am doing my civic duty.