70° days are rare in Maryland this early in March, so this weekend we tried to balance spending as much time as possible with Finn and as much time as we could outside in the fresh air. Saturday was dedicated to long-overdue yardwork, which consumed a good portion of our afternoon, but, what a beautiful afternoon to do it!

I made the mistake of wearing work jeans, and after a half an hour raking leaves off the foundation, I had to switch to shorts because I was too hot. We had five inches of snow last Monday. I am surprised I did not blind the pilots of overflying passenger jets with the sunlight bouncing off my pale knobby knees.

Anyway, while Finn slept off her second breakfast, Jen and I filled twenty bags of leaves from the back of the house, the driveway bed, and the odd area under our back porch, which seems to attract all of the loose leaves in this zipcode like a great sucking vortex.

Weekend project

Once that was accomplished, we three got a bite to eat, changed our diaper, brought the swing outside, and commenced to cleaning out the sad, dilapidated tangle of weeds that was our garden while Finn supervised. I cannot describe to you the sense of satisfaction it gives me to look out on that bare patch of earth and know the neighbors aren’t cursing us under their breath anymore.

Swinging happily

While raking up the leaves, I reflected on the sad harvest we reaped last year (mainly due to the toll taken by varmints), and decided that this would be the year I modify our greenhouse to grow vegetables properly. Doing some research, I found online suppliers who sell polycarbonate glazing and ventilation systems, which will be an up-front investment and take some engineering to install, but should turn our useless sealed hothouse into a productive greenhouse.

Meanwhile, I straightened up the pots and barrels and soil and made way for seedlings.

Then, I moved out to the garage and straightened up as much as I could around the Scout without actually diving into doing something on it. I did break down and disassemble some of my new parts–but I’ll go into that elsewhere.

Sunday we got the girl up early—or is that the other way around?—and made preparations to take a long walk around a lake in Columbia before doing our grocery shopping. After her first bottle of the day, this child, who almost never stops moving, did something she’s never done with me before—she leaned her head down onto my chest, under my chin, and quietly nestled up against me for three of the longest and best moments of my life.

Once we got out onto the trail, she was fine for the first fifteen minutes or so, but soon decided she wanted to be facing forward, which meant we wound up carrying her like a football for two and a half miles. Once out of the stroller, she was her usual observant self, appraising each new passerby with a taciturn stare, careful to warn away strange ladies who, no doubt, were plotting to rush over and pinch her chubby pink cheeks. Touch my face and I will projectile vomit all over your track suit, that glare said. And it worked.

whatchoo lookin at?

Jen and I are afraid nobody will ever see the inside Finn, the girl we get to see who is giggles and smiles and gets so happy her entire body spasms repeatedly like she’s hooked up to a car battery. When she’s around us, she’s Miss Congeniality, and when she’s out in public, she’s Steve McQueen, staring down a hostile world with those steel-blue eyes and a .44 magnum. I will show you proof that she can smile:

After our return to the car, we hightailed it over to the grocery store, where Mama stayed with her in the parking lot while I hustled around and got our shopping done. A quick trip to the health-food store, and we headed home for a three-hour nap and some more yardwork: the front hedge got cleaned out, the greenhouse got a final sweep, and the toolbench in the garage got cleaned off.

About the time I was finishing up for the day, Finn woke up for dinner: avocado and pears. MMMMMMMMM, avocado. And then it was bathtime, and as soon as she was diapered and dressed, it was time for sleep. I’m exhausted just writing about it all.

Date posted: March 8, 2009 | Filed under garden, house, life | Comments Off on Weekend Recap.

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