Today is my 42nd birthday. Everyone likes to celebrate their birthday differently. The Rock Star likes a grand affair. The Firstborn Child likes everyone's birthday. I have always preferred to celebrate quietly. No fanfare. No party. Time with friends is a plus. Time with immediate family is a requirement. I want a nice meal of my choosing. I want to do something that I want to do. This year, I wanted to work on my garden.
The Rock Star and The Firstborn Child gave me a bucket of gardening stuff for my birthday. I am a bit excited about playing in the dirt.
Earlier in the week, our lawn maintenance guy tilled up the garden that the owner of the house created. Yesterday, we went to Lowe's and bought more gardening stuff including topsoil and garden soil. Plus we bought fencing to keep the puppy out of the garden. We didn't buy enough dirt to do the job. Hmmmm....
160 lbs of topsoil and 4 cu ft of garden soil did not go very far. I have no idea what I'm doing. Really. I remember what my Dad when he created and cared for his garden. I remember what my Mom did in her mother's flower beds. I've read a few web articles. Otherwise, I approach this adventure like I do cooking. Just eyespot it, something will happen. Since I didn't know enough to look for a tool to spread the dirt around, I did it with my bare feet. I know enough to create a simple fence even though I've never built one before.
Let's stop for a second and talk about the flower bed in front of the house. There are 4-5 patches of deep red amaryllis bulbs in this area - created by the homeowner. After blooming, the very long leaves were looking pretty sad. One day, after work, I cut all the leaves off. I figured if they were bulbs, they would most likely grow back. I think that's how annuals work. My brother thought that I deadheaded them too late in the season. Nope. They are growing back quickly - healthy green leaves. In another month or two, this whole bed will be covered in the long green leaves and deep red blooms will open up.
Today, we hired a babysitter while we went for my birthday meal at Babin's. I love to eat fish. Any kind suits me. Today, I chose Golden Tile and it was delicious. During this time, the babysitter was locked out of the house (by me and my really good habits), had to go to the neighbor's house to call me, I gave her the garage code and all is right with the world. It was her first babysitting job.
We ended up back at Lowe's to buy garden soil - they were sold out of the stuff on sale, of course. So The Rock Star loaded up 80lbs of manure/compost, 80lbs topsoil, and 8cu ft of garden soil so we could finish the job. I found petunias on clearance, bought a bow rake and seed starter mix. After unloading everything, he points out that we didn't need to buy that $15 bow rake because we already had one. Yes, now we have two, so both of us can work in the garden. I set to spreading dirt in the garden, that felt wonderful. We watered it, then it rained because we are that smart.
I have always wanted bright cheerful flowers in my front yard, so I planted those clearance petunias around the tree. Not too shabby for my first attempt. How did I learn to do this? I've watched a lot of maintenance crews landscape pretty flowers in my time - I put that knowledge to work. I also planted some bulbs flowers in the backyard flower beds - hopefully, those will create pretty flowers.
Finally, I began planting seeds from all of the seed packets that had been purchased in the last 48 hrs. Seriously, I do not know what I'm doing. I read the directions for the jiffy pots and planted seeds. It dawned on me that I wouldn't know which pots had what seeds, so with the spoons I don't like and a Sharpie, the labels were created. I think I saw this on Pinterest. I made a huge mess. It felt great. Until the puppy went running off with one of the pots. Twice. There will be some carrots blooming in the middle of the yard mid-summer because of that part of the adventure.
And so we come to the end of the day. The tv is on. The Firstborn Child is trying to make me color for her. She is half-laying on the table in order to be close to me. I think the Rock Star went to sleep. I wouldn't blame him. The Firstborn Child has turned in a magpie and keeps talking. And singing. Every 4 or 5 notes, she changes songs. It is the biggest mashup of songs I've ever heard. She is singing through her repertoire of folksongs and hymns. Have I mentioned that she is almost 3 years old?
I started the whole birthday experience by ordering a "Happy Birthday to me" gift. I love it. Just as much as my family, fish, gardening, and the perky puppy. I have a wonderful friend who has rebuilt her life and she makes beautiful things.
For me, a birthday is about rebirth. I don't remember the day I was born. My birthday reminds that we have a lived one more year trying to make life better. This year, we have made great strides. The road ahead holds many adventures. My heart and mind are ready.