STUFF I'M THINKING ABOUT

My new seed catalog from Baker Creek came in the mail yesterday and when I went out to feed the chickens, I looked around our dismal backyard. It's kind of a mess. Okay, it's not just kind of a mess. It's big mess. There's trash littered here and there from Josephine pulling garbage out of the recycle bin and stealing used Kleenex out of Michael's bedroom trash bin. Leaves are scattered every where and I never cleaned out the garden beds in the Fall. Dead growth from vines hang on everything. The backyard reminds me of a scene from the Simpsons when Maggie had to choose between a family flooded in light and surrounded by lush green beauty and her actually family standing under a thundercloud in the muck. The backyard is the thundercloud muck yard. I'd like to set the whole backyard on fire and start over. I heard they had flame throwers on sale at Harbor Freight. If I could just convince Michael that we really really needed one and that setting the backyard on fire is a good idea. 

Side note: The other day, there was something unidentifiable and gross in the sink where we set dishes to dry. Michael advised me not to worry about it at the moment. Except I didn't listen and I reached my fingers down into the drain to pull out the whatever. It turned to mush in my fingers and I immediately started gagging. Meanwhile, Michael's standing there shaking his head at me and saying "That was an ill advised move and please don't throw up in the kitchen." So I really seriously doubt I will have any support in buying a flame thrower. 

Every year, I think I'm going to create some backyard oasis for myself. I have so little space of my own in the house and I have no way of carving out any more space with out expanding walls. It is a very small house and Michael alone requires whole rooms and more than half the couch. And he'd really be happy with the whole couch to himself. He already complains that I have the end of the couch that has the chase section. Now throw in a third human, a dog and a cat. More space is not going to happen for me inside this house. But there's a huge backyard out there! I have a hammock! I have chickens to watch instead of a TV! I take allergy medicine! I could be happy in the backyard, if only the backyard looked less wild. Ideally, I would love to put some sort of tiny building back there with a porch to hang my hammock on and cushy lounging spots inside. It could be a place to meditate and do yoga. I don't know what it would be like to have actual yoga space at home. I would have a view of the chickens and the fire pit. I would look out onto a lush beautiful garden. 

This is my dream. Right now, I'd be happy with just coming up with a plan for the vegetable garden. We are notoriously good at growing food we do not eat. I mean, I eat the kale and the greens. If tomatoes happen, we eat those (last year's tomatoes were a bust). Everything else that comes up either provides us with a handful of food or goes bad before we can pick it. I am at the point of pulling the whole garden up and forgetting that space even existed. In fact, you know what I could put there? A patio. Half the grass is already dead and long gone. All I need is some sand and pavers and a little blood, sweat and tears. In fact, after writing that down for all to see, this is exactly what I want to do. I can grow kale in the herb garden and buy tomatoes from the farmer's market. I can sneak vegetables into our landscaping that we have to do around the house to prevent water from leaking into the basement. 

Spring is so close. The chickens are laying eggs again and I noticed the first sprout of tulips coming up. We are in that in between stage of seasons where we are easily lulled into believing in Spring even though it's going to snow at least two more times before the end of March. I feel extra complainy and twitchy. I'm starting to get that fever for cleaning out and making joyful changes. The garden just doesn't bring me as much joy as it does work. Of course, the minute I open up that seed catalog, I might change my mind.