A Vast Improvement

My in-laws have devoted both Saturdays of their visit (as well as a good bit of in-between time) to beautifying our front yard. I'm quite pleased with the result.

It's dark and hard to see, but this is how the front looked when we moved in. . .and how it continued to look until this week. The front beds are established grass and weeds, and the yard (which you can't see at all) is all grass.

New and Improved:

The robins aren't complaining, as you can see. The small front beds are flowers, and my plan is to fill them with a succession of blooming perennials: daffodils, tiger lilies, Gerbera daisies, mums. For now I just have daisies, a few annuals for the summer, and some larkspur seed that I'm hoping will sprout. The back beds have strawberry plants and herbs, and I planted a row of green and wax beans along the back. Next year, I'm hoping to put up a trellis for beans to climb and long window boxes under the big windows for my herbs. Then the front of the beds can be (hopefully!) covered in strawberries!

And I'm back in the tomato game. . .hoping the pots will keep my awful soil fungi away!


Sleeping Bags

We went to REI last night and looked for new sleeping bags for Kevin and I to backpack with. I was highly entertained by the looks on the employees' faces when I explained we needed the option to include Carolyn either in my sleeping bag or with both of us in a double sleeping bag. . .and that I needed room to grow. Looking at her chart, the first one said (I could say asked, but it was obviously rhetorical) "Car camping." When I said "No, backpacking," her face was truly priceless. The second lady that helped us gave us options and looked up in near-horror when someone commented that I might need a new sleeping bag anyway by the time I no longer needed one big enough for me (pregnant or not) and a young child. "I hope not! They should last 8 or 10 to 12 years!" Because it's unthinkable that anyone could be either pregnant or having a young child for that many years in a row! It was pretty funny.

I will be quick to add a disclaimer, though. I like REI. I have never, ever been in the store without super-helpful and very kind employees. They know their stuff, and they're always glad to help. Things are expensive, to be sure, but they're quality. High quality. And it's a co-op. If you're a member, you get a small dividend on every dollar you spend there. And, though I may have read some shock in their initial reactions last night, both ladies were very helpful and even eventually joked about the space I might need if we were fortunate enough to wind up with twins! We ended up with individual sleeping bags that can zip together to make a double, and I have an optional wedge with mine that can add several inches to its total girth. I'm very, very happy with the variety of options and looking forward to trying them out this summer!