Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Keeping It Interesting
Our sunshine is back and with a happy heart I returned to my yardwork yesterday afternoon and at morning break today. Cutting back, raking, pulling, pruning. . I love it all. Except the doggy doo-doo stuff. Honestly I could do without that. This Spring I discovered that one of our dogs has a serious palate proclivity for Crayola Crayons. I picked up dog poop in every color of the rainbow this Spring. Keeps it interesting.
Cliff is like a child approaching Christmas Eve, as Saturday is THE day he begins building his kayak. Our dear friend Josh (see The Kayak Guy blog on the right) is extremely talented in this arena and has agreed to help the Mister out. They will be builing it in Josh's garage, bless Melanie's heart, so I will invite her and the girls over for some coffee, playtime and lunch as a way to make it up to her, wink wink.
So yesterday Tippy (aka The Mister--Tippy is his kayaking code name. Somewhere in the archives is an all-in-one post explaining both how he earned that knickname and how he lost his wedding band) informs me that this kayak is something like a billion feet long. No, I think like 15 feet. While listening to him, I'm looking around the garage wondering just where we are going to put it. Prior to this, we were wondering where we were going to put 2 additional bicycles. Now we gotta fit in a kayak? I came up with the perfect solution.
A Cute. Adorable. Side Yard. Storage. Shed. Made to look just like my house! I've always wanted one of those. I could neatly store our lawnmower, yard tools, gardening supplies. Maybe even a toy or two. I could tidy up our never-ending disaster of the garage, and even get my car stored in it on a daily basis, thereby extending its already aging body.
The Mister looked at me, not quite certain if I was kidding. I wasn't. Excitedly, I showed him the future location of our shed. He only needs to remove 5 overgrown, thorny shrubs, regrade the side yard and pour a concrete slab.
"Oh yes, you could build it, I could help. We can use up some of our scrap materials, and finally have a place to safely store our things, making them last longer, which means that you would have to spend less money on replacing them," I said happily. "You get a kayak. I get a shed. Sounds like a fair and equitable trade to me!"
"Uh, I thought the worm box I was going to build you was a fair and equitable trade," he protested.
Au contraire, mon frere!
The kids and I are terribly eager to get started on our Composting Worm Box for the basement. Atticus especially. Last year when I was tilling my garden, he was two steps behind me, bestowing names upon worms, in alphabetical order. I told him that it would be too difficult and messy to name every one of our worms, and besides, we couldn't recognize them from one time to the next. I swear the boy is mentally trying to design an individualized worm tracking collar.
Several posts ago, I disclosed the fact that we do not have cable, and that I do not have a cell phone. I got a few comments on that which I did not post, but which I'll address now. No, I'm not anti-technology. Or a communist ;) I am anti-excess (although I fall from that ideal frequently). I do believe in getting the most value for each dollar the Mister busts his ass to earn, and I personally find little value in phones or tv.
I guess also falling along the lines of no cable, no cell phone, I should confess that we also don't have an answering machine, which I know drives some people crazy (Shelly, babe, I'm talking to you, hee hee), but I find it very freeing. I don't drive a shiny new car. The payoff is we don't have a car payment. I drive an older van that I will keep until the wheels fall off or when we have more kids than available seats. It is rarely neat and tidy in my van. The interior elicits the "eww" factor from childless people. It's kind of an ugly color, it's missing a side mirror, the gas gauge doesn't work, etc. Couldn't care less. I read in Dave Ramsey that if a person would invest, from the ages of 25 to 65, the average American monthly car payment, in an average mutual fund, they would have 5.4 million dollars at age 65! That alone convinced me that car payments aren't worth it.
I like the ideas of conserving, recycling, composting and growing my own food. I like the ideas of fiscal responsibility and budgeting and being happy with what one has. I like simplicity and domesticity and knitting on the porch while watching my children play. I don't always live up to these things, but I sure find that trying to makes life fun.