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I Slept Through Spring… All 8 Hours Of It.

Pink roses in TaraFly's garden

As I compose this blog post, I’m sitting alone at my living room desk – usually the hub of family gatherings. The Backyardigans are dancing across the television screen… but my toddlers are off on merry adventures elsewhere in the house, charting undiscovered lands in my closet, or sailing an ocean of chocolate syrup on the carpet.

But how can someone possibly compose a blogging masterpiece, when yellow penguins and hippos are singing:

“I want my river back, I want my river back
Fresh water’s what I lack, I want my river back…
For one thing I feel thirsty, or another thing I feel hot.
And some folks like to feel that way, but I myself do not!”

Am I too lazy to switch off Nick Jr.? I know as soon as I achieve peace and quiet in this room, the kids will return to whine and protest.
They have their radars tuned to those “disturbances in the force”.

The last few days have been ungodly hot, and our brief excersions outdoors to play simply led to heat exhaustion and sour moods. We finally succumbed to installing window A/C units in each bedroom, because the ceiling fans weren’t keep us comfortable anymore.

What happened to Spring? It was predicted to come early this year… but did I blink twice and miss it?   Did it come and go like a thief in the night?
(Borrowing some Rapture humor, pardon me.)

Cherry Blossoms in Funkstown Maryland 

I was lucky enough to capture the first blooms of trees in March – my neighbors’ cherry, crabapple, and a lovely magnolia… even though my afternoon walk through Funkstown was accompanied by a downpour of rain.

I love taking photographs during rain showers!
Not only do I get to practice those popular “water droplet” macro shots, but without the harsh contrasts from the sun, the colors of nature are richer and more vibrant in the diffused light.

Red Bush and Old Farm Equipment

You can see more photos from my Spring Walk series on Flickr… :)

We’ve decided to attempt line-drying our clothes this year! When we lived in the country, many moons ago, I hung laundry out most of the year. And shared my wardrobe with spiders and ants.
I also leave my clothes hanging outside during rain showers, and occasionally overnight (if I forget them!)

Hanging Laundry on Clothes Line

We spruced up the front garden with a few additions – including a bleeding heart bush, a rosebush, some forget-me-nots, pinks, and phlox… the coleus bulbs which grew last summer will be filling in the front again this year.

Tara Fly's front garden - roses, bleeding hearts, pinks

I don’t mind getting my hands and knees muddy (and my feet too!) while digging around in the soil, but I dislike weeding….
Determining which plants are “attractive” enough to let live, and which ones must be ripped out by their roots to starve to death, seems akin to mass slaughter: Must I be the Hitler of wild plants?

I realize that an overabundance of weeds can choke the nutrients from my pretty flowers, and some culling needs to be done. But I’m not aggressive about removing weeds altogether.

Small batches of clovers and wildflowers can stay, and the wild raspberry vines that hide our ugly plastic drain pipe…

Fairy garden of wild clovers

Another project in the works is to grow some food. Our first batch of lettuce and green pepper seedlings were ravaged by kids and cats… but we’re trying the experiment again.

Our strawberry plant has been a big hit, though! Even if the toddlers are impatient to eat them, not fully understanding the concept of ripeness.
After how many discussions over green vs yellow bananas?!
I pointed out that red strawberries can be eaten, and green ones need more time to grow.

Jake and the strawberry

Recently, Mia began excitedly ‘babbling’ about the strawberries… odd because her vocabulary is usually quite clear.
Several times I asked her to repeat the words, slowly, emphatically.
I asked for definitions. I suggested possible alternatives.
But she kept insisting… and her confidence was unshaken.
These words meant something to her.

But “hongsuh” and “bluesuh” sounded like total nonsense to my ears, so we changed the subject.

Until a few days later… sitting right here, at my desk, while attempting to work, I overheard the words again …on television.
Jake and Mia were eating lunch while watching “Ni-hao, Kai-Lan”; bits and pieces of the annoying catch-phrases crept through my selective sound barrier:

“Let’s Find… (clap, clap)… Out why!”
“You make my heart feel super happy!”

And suddenly, out of nowhere, I was blindsided by the two words she’d been using for the strawberries: ‘hóng sè’ and lǜ sè

They were learning Mandarin Chinese colors – green and red.

Mia eating a homegrown strawberry

She knew what she was saying all along! I felt guilty for discouraging her, and realized perhaps I should start brushing up on my Nick Jr. ;)

But not today… because June decided to give us fair weather, a consolation prize for sleeping through Spring…. so we’re hitching up the wagon and heading to the park.

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