Our summer garden…justified and validated

The spinach is growing enthusiastically.  I cannot believe how quickly it sprouted and how much it has grown.  This weekend we will have some fresh spinach.  The peas and green beans have impressed us with their sudden burst of life, poking through the soil and becoming abundant in short order.  This weekend they are getting trellises.  The corn is making more progress than we had expected, especially for a new hybrid variety that is supposed to grow well in containers.

My only problem is that I planted 25 peat pots with 7 varieties of zucchini and yellow squash last Sunday, and yesterday I realized that they are much more enthusiastic than any other plant I’ve endeavored to bring into our midst and…  WHERE am I going to put 25 such plants????  From my perch in the balcony I identified eight areas in the backyard, and from my ‘scratching my head and wondering’ spot in the front porch I figured out another seven.  That leaves ten plants???  (I’m not very good at Math, you know.)

Of course, I am a lot more optimistic about this TODAY because J actually had stir-fried zucchini and yellow squash as a side-dish with dinner tonight.  In light of this, the excess of squash is justifiable, don’t you think?

The lettuce, arugula, endive, cucumber (I’m making pickles…really…I’m flabbergasted by this notion,) and tomatoes are also justifiable.  Our garden is well on its way to keeping us fed with fresh stuff this summer.  We are, to put it mildly, over the moon with joy.  The more things we can get J to eat, the more varied our garden will be…

Tomorrow is an election day so J will be home all day.  Tomorrow we will work on reorganizing his TV room closet and taking stock of what we have for summer projects, and what we need for summer projects.  One thing on my list is a big poster board so I can create a summer calendar for J; that will serve the purpose of helping him count down to back-to-school and knowing when there is summer school and when he’s going to be home.  I can guarantee that whatever groaning takes place, I will be able to hear through the baby monitor.

I spent today catching up on chores, paying bills, filing papers I had in my IN basket.  I saved four baskets of laundry for folding tomorrow, and it’s Pear Chip Day so we will have what to do in the morning.  The garage has to be swept, and there are things that need to be moved to newly-designated storage spaces.  That’s what J has all those muscles for…  🙂

Speaking of which…

J’s workouts have definitely had an impact on his body.  On Saturday we forgot to put a belt on him, and he was walking around like those kids whose pants puddle around their knees.  It’s quite obvious that size 44 is entirely too big for him, and 42 are loose enough to be cause for concern.  His XXL t-shirts look like they belong to a larger person than J…because they belonged, originally, to larger J.  J’s less, always massive, look muscular and we are pretty sure you could bounce a quarter off his gluteus maximus and have a definite ricochet effect all over the room.

The kid, it seems, has lost enough weight and added enough muscle to impress even those who see him every single day.  I can see a difference, and it’s hard to not boast of how great J looks, especially when he rocks his Panama hat and walks home with so much energy…

Today I discussed the end-of-school-year schedule with J’s teacher.  We will try to stretch it out until the Friday after Memorial Day, but most kids will be gone by then.  I am determined, though, to give J as full a schedule as I can.  I know how much being at home all those snow days affected him, and I want him to realize that being home isn’t punishment.  That’s why the Summer Calendar is so important, and we’re going to work on it together.  If J can see, clearly marked, all his ESY days, all the holidays, Dada’s vacation, and so forth, it will go a long way to reassuring him that this is meant to be fun, not punishment.

Imagine, then, how twelve weeks will look on the calendar.  We are talking banner-size here!!!  We are talking a grid that allows us to give J a clear picture of what’s ahead, and allowing him to cross off all the days he has used up.  Little school buses would be on the ESY days, and a little flag for the Fourth of July…we can do a movie icon for whenever we plan on going to the movies.  I want this to be as visual and as encouraging as I can possibly make it; I want J to map out his summer, and know that -at the end of it all- is his teacher, his school, his regular routine.

I know this is ambitious, but I’m not dealing with a little boy anymore.  I am dealing, for better or for worse, with an adult who finds the routine established at home over the summer and winter months less than exciting, and I -who was once his age and quite easily irritated by proximity to my parents, or by confinement to our home- understand why J prefers the excitement of his peers, and a daily change of venue.

I have ordered a roll-up blind for the back patio.  No matter where I placed the patio umbrella (and, believe me, I moved that sucker around like nobody’s business!,) it just didn’t provide sufficient shade for J.  The roll-up blind, hopefully, will arrive by the weekend, and I will be able (with Dada’s help) to set it up and give J a bit more comfort in that space.  A little privacy will be provided by the corn we have planted in the containers placed on the deck…  So far we have no next-door neighbors, but that is bound to change sooner rather than later.

In a nutshell, we are ready, and we have vegetables that J will eat…we’ve learned to use the peas for pesto, and if he won’t eat them steamed, we know he will eat them that way.  We are ready…

Sort of…


By the time the official start of his vacation starts for sure…



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