Have you ever read the garage sale section of the newspaper and seen the magic words people imagine will send loads of prospective buyers their way with fists full of cash?
Lots of Misc
It's at the end of every ad, and quite frankly, I find its meaning ambiguous at best. "Lots of Misc" could mean every piece of my grandmother's German china or it could mean seven bottles of my grandmother's Miss Breck hair color from 1968. You never know. Which is why I stay away from garage sales that just give an address and Lots of Misc.
With that said, today's post is a hodge-podge. It is miscellany at its best, so do your best to wade through. Hope you find something you like.
Have you ever noticed that in the Midwest, a man is not a man until he owns a riding lawn mower? And once he owns one, which he will call "the tractor" (although it is clearly not a tractor), he will find any opportunity to use it. He will spend hours of his precious Saturday mowing all five acres of his property to a precise 2.5 inches height. Not that he'll use the 5 acres. Not that he'll golf on it or chase his children on it. He just wants to have a ride on "the tractor".
With that said, Midwest men have a virtual age of 7 where tractors are involved.
Here's a unfortunate realization I've made during my last seven years here...
In the Midwest, there is nothing wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition. It makes my East Coast daughter-of-an-English-major's blood curdle to hear my Midwest friends and family ask for someone's location.
Where you at?
It has been spoken into Nextels and Blackberries thousands of times in my town alone, just this morning. I am fortunate that my husband is sensitive, in that he understands my revulsion for the phrase and tries not to use it. The rest of the population, however, is oblivious.
Though my skin crawls, my mind feels assaulted, my inner grammarian wants to shout, "Listen to yourselves!!" I suffer in silence.
But the moment it comes out of one of my children's mouths... I swear to you, I will declare war.
Now an admission: When my mother and I talk on the telephone, we inevitably compare garden notes. She always seems so impressed with the way my garden is progressing. But, honestly, I can't take credit for it. It's the soil and the weather.
Is it any wonder that Midwest farms are so productive? The soil where I live is as black as coal. I could grow a lollipop tree from a scrap of paper and a grain of sugar.
So, as much as I go on about my garden this and my garden that... I am keenly aware that my garden is as successful as it is only because of where I am, not necessarily what I do. What I do helps, to be sure... but the key to garden success is the same as the key to real estate success -- location, location, location.
This weekend I noticed some newcomers to our little plot. I was pulling alfalfa from the garden -- it had grown as tall as I am and was blocking the sunlight from the lance-leafed coreopsis just coming into bloom -- when I noticed a small, grey creature as small as one of my daughter's shoes. Our bunnies have had their babies.
They. Are. Darling.
I love that they have found a home in our wildflower garden (not our vegetable garden, like last year!) There is nothing as cute as watching a bunny chew on something -- even if it is your entire pea crop. Fortunately, thanks to the bunny hutch fencing we chose for our vegetable garden this year, we don't have to go through that again.
Also, my eye caught a flit of yellow as I looked out the window this morning. Our goldfinches are back. This year, I want to get a picture of them. Looks like I'll have to camp out for a while until they get comfortable with me... or until our sunflowers bloom. At current count, there will be 14 of them in the wildflower garden.
It's a good year to be a goldfinch.
A bit of news that is pressing on my mind today... I found out this weekend that one of my best friends back East was attacked by a man with a gun in broad daylight. Without going into detail about it, she is bruised but okay -- never underestimate the power of screaming your head off.
But if you're a praying person, please keep her in your prayers. She is feeling a good bit of fear right now.
Today, the kids have the day off. They go back to school Tuesday and Wednesday for Field Day and the last day of school. Then, we're off for the summer. Part of me can't wait for the schedule to ease up. But, part of me is ambivalent about the portion of our time that will be spent "adjusting" (i.e. bickering). Summer vacation is fun, but sometimes my children need some time to get used to sharing the same space.
The bigger they get, the smaller our house seems.
That's it for now. Hope there was something in there of interest.
If not, I'm sure I could dig up a couple of half-filled Avon perfume bottles, a pair of used Odor-eaters, or a paperweight shaped like a human heart.
I'll give you the lot of them... Got a nickel?
- Midwest Mom