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Who da Ma’am. I da Ma’am. OK, I am celebrating before the victory, but still. I think I’ve mentioned that we have a small yard filled with horsetail. The front yard is filled with horsetail too. Horsetail is also known as Equisetum. It’s an invasive species of plant that probably dates back to the time when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

In order to get rid of horsetail you either dig it up, or poison it. I have dug it up in the back and side yards. The front yard is the domain of the landscape company who was hired by the HOA – to whom I pay a bucket load of money every year.

Suffice it to say that no one really wants to take responsibility for digging up and replacing my front lawn – or the front lawns of my neighbors who are similarly afflicted. It seems there was some bad dirt that was hauled in, or bark mulch that had the spores in it. Voila, instant horestail farm.

So I fired a letter off to the HOA basically saying for the 88 bucks I pay you every month I could afford to do something about this horestail. So if the HOA or Landscaping company isn’t going to do anything I would be happy to dig holes in my front lawn until it was all gone. Then the lawn would be gone too.

I got a quick response. We’ll look into what it will cost to fix and we will put it out to the board to review. Whether or not the board will approve I don’t know. I’m just thinking that we will look into it is better than a straight NO.

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Uggg. Drove my Sweetie to the train to get back to the airport. After 4 days off my brain is not into work. Oh well. I’m here anyways. Things are busy, which is good.

This weekend was a lot of yard work. Heavy lifting. We rented a heavy duty high powered tiller that was bigger than me. It’s a good thing too, because we have blue clay, and not much else, around the house. The construction company prepared the front and back yard with a fine veneer of soil to lay sod in. The rest of the lot was literally clay. I could have made myself a friggin tea set out of this clay, whith matching tea cups.

With the tiller came the big bag o’ dirt. It’s a white mesh bag, taller than me, which contained 3 cubic feet of nursery mix. Bark, dirt, compost and perlite. We made a few passes with the tiller, and then wheelbarrow loads of the nursery mix were tilled in as well as the old bark mulch. It made a nice fluffy dirt which should last until the first rain. Then it will be mud with some wood fiber and perlite. I’m hoping to put down more bark mulch before it rains.

Next, we planted a shade garden against one side of the house with a lovely climbing hydrangea on a trellis. And then there were the hanging baskets on the porch and the lavender we planted in the front yard. The landscaping is supposed to be the responsibility of the HOA. They planted the most hideous, vile, thorny, pathetic looking plants you could find anywhere. We tore one of the thorny nasties out and then put in 4 lavenders. The cute Spanish ones with the little purple feathered head dresses.

It felt good to be out working in the dirt. It also felt great to work next to my sweetie. Let’s just say that previous attempts at working with a previous significant other haven’t been quite so cozy.

I will try to post pictures of the new plants.

Taking the day off tomorrow. I want to spend some time working in the yard, weather permitting. Found a really nice vendor for trees that may suit our purpose right, to start landscaping. I’m waiting to hear back from a gentleman who does flagstone work and rock walls. I’m hoping his price won’t be so much we can’t afford to have him rock our patio.

It’s a lot of work making a home. I’m now trying to debate whether I should go to the gym or the mall. I won’t be working out all weekend, except in the yard. So maybe I can get away with it. Plus I’m got horrible cramps that threaten to put me under the table periodically (pun intended).

I’m leaning toward the mall. I have a 50$ gift certificate to Nordstroms I need to use.

Not much going on here today. I’ve been really busy at work and so I’ve not had anytime to login and update. I’m on the other side of PMS and it’s a place where I can cruise peacefully through my days. For another 2 weeks.

I’ve got some time off coming up. 4 days off. Hoping to work in the yard, after sleeping in of course.

Last night both of my daughters played in the orchestra concert. Then the youngest went off to the My Chemical Romance concert. I let her stay home from school. I know, I’m a bad mom. Both of my kids work so hard and are so good. Every once in awhile I think a little break is in order.

Strawberries. Really, lovely, fresh aromatic, juicy, red all the way through strawberries. Mmmmm. There were no words for these beauties. Only yummy sounds. I bought them at the produce stand a local farming family runs every year. They also do corn. And it’s right there on the street, waiting for me to stop.

And the dog. The kids are snoozing. It was the marathon weekend of cleaning for them. Before they head out with my Mom for shopping for school clothes and head out for a month with their Dad I make them clean their rooms top to bottom. Old clothes go to the Good Will. Papers from last September’s homework assignment get recycled. Only to be replaced by new papers in the new school year, but hey…. Broken junk gets thrown out or mended. It’s a precursor to being able to see their beds and the floors of their room for almost 6 straight weeks. Ahh the inscrutable joys of single motherhood.

Shopping for school clothes with my Mom alieviates that age old problem of friction between mother and child over what to wear. My mother’s tastes run to the more traditional. My youngest has the tastes of a punk rocker. She would buy all black and wear it 24/7/365 if it were up to her. My mom can get away with things that I can’t when guiding my delightful children to good wardrobe choices.

Of course I have to temper that statement with the fact that we went shopping for shorts this weekend and we did all right. I guess I feel entitled to abdicate some of my motherly duties.

Well I went food shopping at the Farmer’s Market this weekend. While I did score some lovely produce, I ended up spending more money than I would have by shopping at the local natural foods market. Grrr. This sustainable thing isn’t going to be so easy after all. Especially if I don’t want to throw a pile of money at it.

OMIGOD my mammo was normal. Meanwhile my co-workers boyfriend had a mastectomy a month ago. My other co-worker’s sister is undergoing exploratory surgery on a mass in her shoulder, my parent’s next door neighbor’s 3 month old baby has a tumor on her brain stem, and my beloved partner’s best friend’s son is in Indiana being treated for testicular cancer by Lance Armstrong’s doctor.

Sigh, can you see why I’m having a bit of survivor’s guilt. Add to that this bizarre twist on menopause where my breasts are actually growing larger right now, not shrinking. It may have a little something to do with the extra weight I put on. Much needed weight. But still, it’s absurd. With a push up bra I have cleavage for the first time since 1991 when I nursed my daughter. I’m turning 50 in September. It almost feels like an embarrassment of riches.

I am so unbelievably relieved. I’d gone so far as top discussing with myself what my best options were for treatment. I reviewed the different types of mastectomies. Yes, call me crazy but I wore a cleavagey top to work today, just in case my cleavagey days were numbered. I’m a loon.

So off to the weekend I go. I will be back Monday most likely, to blog you a second time.

Sounds so regal doesn’t it? I have a crown, ceremonial sash and scepter. But I have no idea where they might be right now. I have a little purse, with an even littler ID that says I am the Queen. It would be funnier if it wasn’t true. I still know the day of the week, the date and who the president is (lame-o as he might be)but the dry cleaning that’s been sitting in a variety of high profile locations is still sitting there.

So I’m driving the royal offspring to the Orthodontist today which means I get, um I mean have to leave work early. I’m hoping this is the last appointment before my oldest gets them off so A) she’ll stop being upset about it and B) so I don’t have to leave work early and drive them there anymore. I still have to pay for this grand reconstruction for another 3 years. But I won’t be driving back and forth so much.

Tomorrow I will have both my breasts smashed flat as pancakes for the glory of science. I should know within a few days what the bump that doesn’t belong there is.

That’s the last of the drivel I can pump out for today.

I’ve been reading about the efforts of several authors to chronicle their move to eat A) Food they produce themselves. Or B) Food from

the neighborhood.

I’m pretty granola already, what with the Dr Bronner’s soap, composter and the title of Recycling Queen of the neighborhood. But it just seems so crazy to pursue this truly unsustainable lifestyle of trucking vast quantities of goods across the miles so we can have tomatoes (albeit cardboard ones) in the middle of winter.

I long ago gave up eating tomatoes from a store that are available in January. Same for corn from somewhere south of the border in December. Now it even seems that California is too far away. I’m interested in trying Community Supported Agriculture, but I don’t think it makes sense for just one person to have 20-40 serving of veggies per week. I guess I could also try canning. See, just this one decision makes a whole new series of decisions necessary.

So for now. I’m going to visit the Farmer’s Market once a week on Saturday. Pick up most of my veggies there. I might stock up on meat and keep it in the freezer for the month. There is still the pesky milk and snacks thing to catch up on every week. No matter. I still want to try and reduce the amount of driving I do each week and to get my food from closer rather than further away.

I, however, am most certainly NOT giving up my tea.

Now that the play is over, and life is slowing back down, I’ve got some time to do the things I want to do. Like reading the Sunday paper in one sitting (no, really, the kids were sleeping). Wearing my bathrobe till 11:00 am. OK it was noon, but I was too embarrassed to admit it at first. Working in the yard? You betcha. Baking? Uh huh that too. Going to the farmer’s market? God yes I am a slut for fun.

I know that no one else would think that was a great weekend, but days that are sunny AND warm out here in the Pacific NW are not all that common. I used to have the attitude that one shouldn’t venture out in the rain. One might get wet. I grew up in California and my mother had this rain/getting wet phobia. Don’t go out! You’ll get WET. Geez I’m pre-shrunk and there is gear to keep you dry. I like to tell everyone I know who isn’t a PNW’er to come on out, the weather is fine. If we only went out when it wasn’t raining we would never go out.

Anyways, it was a lazy (slept till 6:30) and decadent (home made Potato Gnocchi with Pancetta Sage cream sauce) weekend. I also got a cute card and gift from my darlin childrens. The only thing better would have been if I could have finished knitting the hat I am making to give to the Compassionate Knitting project.

Well as I’ve been told many times, you can’t have everything. I just want to know why not?

Mother’s Day is almost upon us. I’m not sure that it has sunk in with my girls that Sunday is

THE BIG DAY

. It doesn’t matter. To me, they have already given me the greatest gift. The gift of myself.

16 plus years ago I was anorexic, bulemic and quite literally struggling to keep myself from losing my mind once and for all. When I got pregnant with my first child, I had an epiphany. I’ve got one chance to make a healthy baby. I’ve got to stop trying to kill myself with food and give this baby my all. When she was born I breastfed, and the sheer joy of seeing my body do what it was meant to do was cathartic.

11 months later I was p.g. again and I nursed my oldest until the calorie load was too much. At 13 months she was weaned, but I continued with my one chance for a healthy baby routine throughout the second pregnancy. I breastfed my youngest daughter until she was 15 months old. About that time the epiphany kicked in. I take care of my babies, why don’t I take care of myself? I had a few more episodes of binging and purging during this time, but the beast had been rendered somewhat toothless and clawless.

It’s amazing what you can do when food is not the center of your life. I found time to do so many other things. The reasons for my eating disorderedness are still there, they just don’t loom large enough to make me hurt myself anymore.

My kids did that, for me. They don’t know that they saved my life. But they did. That’s the best gift anyone could ask for. No macaroni necklaces, plaster handprints and hokey poems can hold a candle to that.