Saturday, July 12, 2008

Year of the Rat, not Year of the Garden

So did I mention we moved?  In January?  

We did.  From Montlake to Columbia City.  About a 20 minute drive. We really, really love our new neighborhood.  

In the Chinese calendar, this is the Year of the Rat.  Boy howdy!  

When we first took possession in I noticed this smell.  And then other people started noticing the smell. The nice pest control guy came and promptly got mighty excited about the nasty abandonned opossum den in our basement crawl space.  He said it was the worst mess he had ever seen in all his years of pest control work.  Promptly, we had the crawl space totally redone. 

He also put lots of those industrial looking little rat poison boxes around the outside of our house. A couple of months later, there were birds in the roof. He screened all suspicious looking holes. A few weeks later, gnawing behind our bedroom wall. Now all our attic crawls spaces have traps set with peanut butter (we have 4, count them 4, separate attic crawl spaces). I figure a weird insect infestation comes next?

As an exercise in personal growth, I work carefully to keep from letting the opposum/rat/bird/spider pest issue make me crazy.  Also, the mold in the dishwasher issue.  And the one-butt kitchen for a 6 butt household. And the methodical breakdown/giant leak-fest of every water appliance in said kitchen in 4 successive and surreal weeks. And the squeaky carpet that crunches like walking on dry snow and somehow smells like cat pee at all times. And the total lack of fung shui issue. Fortunately, we know this nice architect guy.

The yard, however,  is great.  The backyard out the kitchen door is private, has lovely soft grass, a brick patio, two fruit trees and a large sandbox. There is a side yard with garden space and more lovely green grass, though the hill makes any ball games challenging.  There is a front yard separated from the side yard by a partial fence. 

Last but not least, we have a secret forest!  Really it is the space between our house and our neighbors, but it is full of tall trees, bushes, fallen branches and a little child-worn trail that leads from the front yard along the side of the house, behind the backyard's privacy fence to the driveway. Perfect for my children's busy bodies and imaginations.

I'm finding the separation of the side yard from every other part of the house means that our 
garden lives a lonely life.  Last year, we babied our plants daily in the early morning when we 
first woke up. This year I occasionally notice some thirsty looking plants from the kitchen window and try to remember to water them later.

Fortunately, nature is mightier than my short-term memory and we still get to harvest the fruits of a few spurts of labor. We leave for Pact Camp tomorrow.  I hope the housemates remember to indulge!

A little sun ripened goodness for lunch today.  There were strawberries, but we ate them all before I could get pictures.

Our little square foot gardens hold their own against the voluptuous flowery bushes that the previous owners left. Can you see all the lovely ripening tomatoes?

My square foot gardening book says I can grow my pumpkins up my trellis.  

Birthday present blueberry bushes promise treats for last August.

Raspberries, off in their own quiet corner of the yard, still manage to ripen, though not staked and rarely watered. I ate most of these myself before being detected by small children.

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