Monday, May 01, 2006

Sunday Afternoon

We had a great weekend. Nothing exciting, just great weather and hanging out at home. Did a lot of yard work on Sunday, since the little boys took good long naps. Buddy Boy has a cold (again) so he slept better than usual in the afternoon, thanks to that great-grape-tasting cold medicine. Working in my yard, I think I am in heaven. It’s not that it is anything elaborate or extravagant, compared to some. But it is green, and it is mine, and I have for the first time in my life all the flowers I love most in my very own garden. I’ve been working on this yard for five years now, and this is the best blooming I’ve seen. This year I am not planting anything new, just trying to keep up with the weeding and pruning. With the two little ones under foot and the tight budget that is enough of a job! One of my very favorite chores is mowing the lawn. I have an old fashioned reel push mower, which I bought new last year. I used to have an old hand-me-down reel mower that was in bad shape and difficult to manage, so this new one is a joy to use. I love the sound of it clackety clacking along, and the smell of fresh cut grass. It reminds me of that passage in Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, where Grandfather says

“There’s a thing about the lawn mower I can’t even tell you, but to me it’s the most beautiful sound in the world, the freshest sound of the season, the sound of summer, and I’d miss it fearfully if it wasn’t there, and I’d miss the smell of cut grass.”

I hope I never have to buy a power mower. I also love to weed and prune. Those darn Maple trees put out so many seedlings it is a full time job keeping them pulled, not to mention the onion grass and the dandelions, but I find it so soothing and satisfying to move through the garden one foot at a time cleaning and sorting and admiring the growth of my favorites.

After I worked for about an hour and a half I sat down in my lawn chair and read the paper. Another joy… the Sunday paper all to myself with no interruptions!! In the home section there was an article about how to take care of ant problems, which is a constant battle around here. This region has an ideal climate and ecosystem for carpenter ants and my yard is overrun with them every summer. I have had someone come and spray them in the past, and the guy told me that the Queen’s nest can be all the way down the block but the worker ants travel the neighborhood looking for food. I really don’t want to spray poison all over my yard again. The article said Borax is the best solution because it doesn’t kill them right away. They take it home to the nest and in a few days the Queen and all of the workers are dead. I have read that before and I mean to try it this year. The article mentioned a company named TERRO as having liquid baits using Borax so I am looking for that next time I get to the hardware store.

One of my favorite sections in the Sunday paper is the feature called Earthweek: A Diary of the Planet. I always check to see what latest disasters and dangers have hit around the globe. It makes me relieved that I have had a safe week and also scares me with the possibilities of what horrors may be on the way. This week the first item is a UV Radiation Warning.

“Canadian health and environment experts warned that the sun’s rays could be more dangerous than ever this summer as levels of harmful ultraviolet radiation are expected to rise by 4 percent. Environment Canada warns that the higher level of cancer-causing UV rays will be due to a thinning of Earth’s protective stratospheric ozone layer. The agency warns that cases of skin cancer, sunburns, cataracts and other related ailments are likely to increase this summer. People are advised to wear hats and sunglasses, and make frequent applications of sunscreen when outdoors.”

Rats. One of the things I don’t like about summer is worrying about putting sunscreen on squirming, complaining little boys. I am not good at consistency and thoroughness. Guess I better work on it.

And on a positive note, one last item. With Buster heading off to New Orleans this fall, I am closely watching the news for hurricane preparedness.

President Bush on Friday rejected the idea of killing FEMA.“The lessons of Katrina are important,” Bush said. “We’ve learned a lot here at the federal level. We’re much more ready this time than we were the last time."

“Let’s, first of all, Pray there’s no hurricanes,” Bush said. “That would be, like, step one.”

Amen. That is one thing we agree on, W.


jo(e) said...

I love the photo of the lily of the valley. We had great weather this weekend, and it was wonderful to spend some time gardening ...

Lilian said...

Yes, I love lilies of the valley too, particularly their smell.

I adore gardening too, though I'm brand new at it (my second year with a front and back yard). Mowing the lawn is also something I enjoy, though here we need to use an electrical one, because the yard is pretty long (narrow, but long :).

Oh, I should mention that I added you to my blog roll (in the section titled "Philly Mamas") - is that OK?