Monday, April 27, 2009

Saturday in the Park

It isn't, of course, Saturday right now. Right now its a Monday afternoon and I'm testing the battery life of my laptop. I estimate I have maybe ten minutes before it goes down. I'm also on some unnamed, unsecure wireless network. I'm sitting in the back of the van, with the seats flipped out in their "tailgate" position. It's warm, its sunny. Its wonderful. I'm outside. Toa of Boy is with me. He's hiding in the back of the van, where it is not warm, sunny, or wonderful. Its hot, stuffy, and boring back there. Why is he back there instead of on the playground or playing frisbee with other boys? I don't know. He's pouting about something. I think it might be because I wanted to sit and eat my lunch rather than play frisbee right away. The unparalleled nerve of me. Sweetling is inside. Again, no warm wonderfulness for her. She's inside the school building (whose parking lot I'm in and whose playground I'm parked beside.) She's inside taking the last of her four state mandated standardized tests.

Basically, I'm having a great day, and Toa of Boy and Sweetling are both being tortured, mistreated, and neglected.

I also had a great weekend, which brings us back around to the title of this post. The Jedi, awesomest man that he is, has decided Saturdays are for making me feel wonderful. He has excelled in this pursuit for the last few weekends in a row. This Saturday was no exception. (ahhh...Toa of Boy finally decided that going to play on the playground was much more fun than sitting in the van and pouting. Good for him.) So, we slept in a little in the morning and got up around nine. We had breakfast and got some gardening clothes on. (See, I told you Saturdays were all about me.) The Jedi mowed our yard and our neighbors yard and ran the tiller to break up the weeds growing it what remained of the strawberry patch from two years ago. While he did that, I mixed more soil for the square foot garden and had the kids pick out large sticks (4'-5' long) for supports for their cucumber vines. We put the sticks in pots and filled the pots with Mel's mix. Then we got out the tape measure and made our grid for the garden. We used large, straight sticks to divide the little plot in two down its long axis and then the kids laid white marble rocks perpendicular to the sticks to divide the garden into square feet. My seedlings have been "hardening off" since Friday. Nothing fancy, I just put the plastic container of seedlings under the kids picnic table on the patio. The carrots look a little frail, I'm not sure that they'll make it, but I have confidence in the rest of them.

We went inside and got a shower around noon. Then we all grabbed some healthy snacks and headed to the park with water bottles, a camera, and the kites. We have the perfect park for kite flying. At Parky's farm, there's a large, open, grass field that's kept mown and used as overflow parking during special events. There is almost always a good breeze there, maybe because the large open fields of the farm are surrounded by Winton Woods. I don't know. What I do know is that it is perfect for kite flying. Both the kids have cool, fancy kites that Vaya got for their birthdays a couple of years ago. No cheap, light, plastic drugstore kites. These kits are large and heavier than the dollar variety. Nevertheless, they took to the air without any effort. Literally, an adult would hold the kite up. The child would stand some distance away with a length of string already played out. The adult would toss the kite in the air, and up it would fly. No running, no struggling, no fuss. Of course, Toa's kite tried to dive bomb me a couple of times, but it wouldn't be Toa's kite if it didn't strive to be an agent of terror. After half an hour or more of kite flying, the kids played on the playground for a little while. Then we headed to Olive Garden.

We arrived at the restaurant at the perfect time. At three thirty or so in the afternoon, we were well past the lunch rush and well ahead of the dinner crowd. In we went with windblown hair and all. Lunch was *delicious*. We laughed, we chatted, we enjoyed our meal, it was wonderful. The Jedi asked for a dessert menu at the end of the meal, and Sweetling and I each ordered a dessert to go (Toa of Boy was going to share with Mommy.) We left the restaurant with a big bag of leftovers, the leftover salad, Sweetling's leftovers, the two desserts, and the remaining breadstick.

From there, we headed to Lowe's, where the Jedi dropped me off with Toa of Boy in the garden center. He and Sweetling headed to Walmart, where the Jedi was going to use a gift card towards the purchase of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. Toa of Boy and I had an employee help us find grass for the ex-strawberry patch and the bare patch around the new sundial in front. (Did I write about the sundial yet? Hmmm...I'll have to come back to that.) I had already decided I was never trying to grow a large area of grass from seed again, and told the employee that I was looking for a seed mat. He led me to this fluffy stuff, it look's like Billy's gerbil bedding. It has seeds and fertilizer built in to the fluff. So we bought two bags of grass fluff. I spread it in the ex-strawberry patch this morning and wetted it down, so we shall see. Toa of Boy and I were finished first, so we browsed through the outdoor plant section.

Back home long enough to put leftovers in the fridge and call Pinkie. To Pinkie's house next to pick her up for a sleepover. then to another park, where we met a famiy from church met us. We hung out and talked while Toa played with their little boys and Sweetlng and Pinkie walked around holding hands and chatting. We left the park at 7:30 when Sweetling got a splinter in the palm of her hand.

(And I moved out from the van to the sun, but can't see my screen. So nyah. Typing blind so too bad on the typos. The battery has held for nealy forty meinutes now. Go it. Now you are all wishing for the return of the daybook format. See what happens when I let myself ramble?)

At home, milkshakes were consumed by children while they watched Gilligan's Isle and Sweetling soaked her hand in an epson salt solution. Mango called and wanted me to head out to eastgate with her so she could buy a new wireless router. The Jedi came up with an alternate plan that didn't involve the two ENFPs heading out at 10pm on a road trip.

All in all, an absolutely perfect day.

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