Monday, March 21, 2016

What We Did on our Spring Break - Day 1



So, last week, we had some truly gorgeous spring weather. I opened up the house every day, we went for walks in the evening, the kids wore short sleeved shirts without sweaters to school. It was lovely.

Friday evening, a bit of a cold front blew in. The whole weekend was legitimately cold, gray, occasionally rainy. Whee?

Today, it was sunny again, with a high of 50, which is not quite "walk 3 miles round trip to the library" weather, but it's close. Darned close. So on this, our first official day of Spring Break, we had a suitably lazy morning. The kids played outside for a bit before lunch (wearing coats at first, though those were eventually abandoned once they'd run around enough to warm up sufficiently). After lunch, it was time to empty out our planters in preparation for this year's container garden.

About four years ago, we made these nifty self-watering planters out of giant Rubbermaid tubs. They were pretty clever, and worked quite well for a couple of years. This past summer, we only planted anything in one of them, as the other had basically been taken over by ants. After a handful of sun-baked summers and harsh winters, the tubs are now so brittle that they'll crumble if you so much as look at them too harshly. So, today the kids and I went about shoveling the dirt out of them -- and, for the heck of it, out of all our other containers -- so we can finally retire the broken ones and start fresh with the others.

I have to admit, I felt more than a little silly to be filling garbage bag after garbage bag (I think 17 in all) with dirt. But it's old potting mix, all full of roots and stuff, and it's not as if we have anywhere to dump it in our decked-over backyard. Half the things I read online say you should start fresh with new potting soil every year, and the other half say that's ridiculous and you should recycle it or compost it or sterilize it or just straight up reuse it again. In past years, I've tried to be somewhat conservative, emptying out some of the old soil and mixing in some new, but since we had to empty the big bins fully to chuck 'em anyway (and since I didn't know how many other pots might be harboring secret ant colonies), well... we'll be starting from scratch this year, ridiculous or not.

After that endeavor (and after we swept up all of the soil that didn't quite make it in the bags, because yeah, working with two small children and three small shovels on a windy day with the bags blowing all around, there were some spills), I took the kiddos to the library, to check out some Spring Break reading. Soren read Holes by Louis Sachar last week, so he got the sequel, Small Steps, today. He and Eleri both picked up some Rainbow Magic Fairies books, as well.

Dinner was pancakes and bacon. I didn't have any milk and didn't want to go out to get some, so I attempted to follow a milk-free recipe.

Note to self: Next time, just go to the friggin store and get some milk.

And that about wraps up our day! Tomorrow should be warmer, and we've got some good stuff planned for the rest of the week. :)

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