We spent all weekend outside, with Jason finally getting to plant the proper non-container vegetable garden of his dreams in the backyard, while I sullenly weeded and pruned and planted shit in the front. This was my halfhearted response to the fact that almost everyone else in our cul de sac was visited by professional landscaping teams last week, and as the lone DIY-ers on the block I am suddenly terribly self-conscious about our lack of real plants and our abundance of weeds.
The 'burbs, man. You don't think it'll happen to you and then it does. Tonight I fully intend to drive my garbage down to the street and bang the hell out of it with a stick.
Although my contributions weren't solely aesthetic, as I planted two small blueberry bushes out back, with the goal of maybe getting some actual berries around the time the boys head off to college. I also want some raspberries, blackberries and a fig tree or two but now that I know how much digging is involved in planting a single (very small) bush I'm thinking we can put those on next year's to-do list.
I also got a sunburn and today every muscle in my body is like, you asshole.
We're excited, though! As our poor long-suffering real estate agent can testify, we rejected countless houses on a "no place for a garden/wooded lot/bad sun position" basis. I still remember Jason's face as we walked through this house, across the wall-to-wall carpet, past the Kitchen of Sadness and out into the wide open, southern-facing backyard. Since the sellers were around he was still putting on an excellent inscrutable poker face, but I knew. One slight twitch of an eyebrow and I knew he was in full-on YASSSSSS QUEEEEN mode and we'd found our home.
For this first spring, he built two raised garden beds out of cedar and dug out the hill on the far side of the yard:
(And destroyed a ton of grass in the process, yes.)
First crops include: carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, squash, peas, beans, peppers (bell, habanero, Anaheim), broccoli, eight goddamn different kinds of tomatoes, kale, romaine, collards and garlic. And possibly other stuff because we ran out of garden markers.
We planted additional tomatoes in some of our old self-watering containers because Jesus Christ, we're apparently planning for a tomato-based apocalypse, along with several containers/bags for strawberries and potatoes. And all our herbs are still in containers up on the deck. I planted flowers in the deck railing boxes, which will all probably die because I touched them, along with everything else I had anything to do with.
(And then after all this I convinced Jason to drive to the store at like, 9 p.m. to procure us a propane-powered fire pit for the deck, as I would basically like to live outside now, or at least until the temperatures and humidity spike to 112 degrees and everything is miserable again forever.)
We kept Beau out with us almost the whole time, albeit with a leash attached. I'd love to give a "X DAYS WITH NO ESCAPE ATTEMPTS" update, but we only made it five days before a babysitter accidentally let him out on Saturday night, much to everyone's collective panic. He came back to the house all on his own, though, not long after he realized no one was chasing him. Hmm!
Yesterday he slipped out of the backyard twice while Jason and I were unloading and carting supplies back at forth, but both times I was able to kill the "game" dead within seconds with a sharp reprimand and an order to lie down. He immediately obeyed and let me grab the leash.
To say that's a far cry from just a week ago is...um, quite an understatement, so I think he's definitely settling in and understands who we are now. (AKA THE ONES TO BE OBEYED, SO KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF.)
I've started clicker training with him too, though we're still in the early stages of teaching him that click = treat. (String cheese = officially the new waffles.) He's shaky on a few commands ("COME," OBVIOUSLY) and pulls on a leash like crazy, so we're going to work through the list one by one. (I've spent hours every day watching dog training videos, trapped inside a YouTube black hole. At least it's not Candy Crush?)
Thankfully, the bolting out the door/gate is only a thing when somebody is leaving and he wants to follow, then once he's free he's like wheeeeeeee. We can sort of predict when it's a possibility now, and know when to keep the leash attached or have someone hold or crate him. (Having the lease attached is by far the best backup in case an escape happens, but since he tends to get tangled up or knock shit over it's not a perfect long-term solution.)
We can safely open doors to come INTO the house without fear of a small furry bolt of lightning darting through our legs, however, and the morning routine of everybody leaving at different times doesn't upset him as much anymore, so he's okay hanging back instead of desperately trying to follow. So while all five us are still on Very High Beau Alert (the boys won't even touch the door handle without confirmation that someone "has Beau"), I'm feeling good that with time and patience, this behavior won't be quite the ongoing 24/7 disaster-waiting-to-happen it was at first.
Speaking of lightning, check out his amazingly perfect new collar:
I mean. RIGHT? Come on now.
The collar was a gift from longtime reader Laurie, along with a gorgeous memorial bracelet for Ceiba and Max. (Her website is here; Facebook also too.) The bracelet made me go awwwwwwww, and then the collar made me laugh so hard I almost choked up a lung.
Story of my life these days, honestly.