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Bicycle races are coming your way

April 25, 2010

This has been a weekend full of hard work — physically hard; my muscles ache — but the kind with lots of payoff. Saturday morning, I pulled on my wellies and headed out to the garden to pull garlic mustard in the woods, prune dead wood from trees, and weed one of the flower beds. It was raining a little — more like a heavy mist, really — but not enough to be uncomfortable. No one else was out and I had only the company of the birds, who were singing exultantly. Everything smelled like lilacs. Well, everything except the garlic mustard. That smells like onions. Our most fragrant lilac bush, an old one that doesn’t generally have too many blooms, due to its shady location, is in full bloom. But some of the scent comes from the bank of ancient lilacs edging the paddock fence by the barn, six or seven big old bushes that are positively covered in purple blossoms, so much so that when you walk by on the road, you can hear the bees buzzing there.

Everything is blooming a couple of weeks early this year and everything is much more lush than usual. We had one of those rare springs where the daffodils and the bluebells were at their peak at the same time. They are starting to fade now, but the woods still look incredible. And the trillium and lily-of-the valley are blooming there too. The lamium in my garden beds is going ballistic and it’s coming in with a lot more color variety than usual, everything from a pink so pale it’s almost white to a deep purple. The front crabapples, a fuschia color, burst into full bloom today, so we were showered with pink petals when we stood under them to survey the mama robin sitting on her nest.

I collapsed in the middle of the day and watched cooking shows on PBS, because I am a geek and this is something I like to do. But they inspired me to try something new for dinner, so after a bath and a trip to the store, I came home and made poulet on cocotte instead of my go-to chicken recipe (which, come to think of it, was also originally collected from a PBS show on a Saturday afternoon), mushroom risotto and steamed broccoli for dinner. And it was delicious. And there are many leftovers. Hooray!

AJ had a friend, The Boy Across the Street, sleep over last night, which meant no one got much sleep and which also meant that I spent much of the evening hiding out in my room avoiding the sounds of Alvin and the Chipmunks blaring from the DVD player downstairs. I favored the dulcet tones of Simon and Garfunkel and The Graduate. But despite the lack of sleep, I got out in the garden again this morning when I saw that it was not pouring, as had been anticipated. After TBAS went home, I dragged AJ out with me too, and put him to work on the garlic mustard project while I shoveled up compost and worms and trucked them to the vegetable garden and dug them into the soil, after carefully protecting my asparagus plants. Mr. Spy helped me put in a new piece of edging on the bed to keep the soil from washing down the hill and now it is all ready to plant. I’ll get some of the hardier things in over the next few days, if it stops raining. The rest will have to wait a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I have 8 garbage bags stuffed with garlic mustard hogging space in my garage.

For some reason, instead of collapsing with a serious case of jello arms, I made a vat of coconut lime black bean soup for lunch, which was delicious, but I’m not sure how I think I’m going to fit it into the refrigerator. Then off we went to the bike shop in search of a new inner tube for Mr. Spy’s bike, a new helmet for AJ and some handlebar tape for me. We had noticed that the shop had a “moving sale” sign on it when we drove by earlier this week (Julia, this is the one that we’ve stopped at before, not the one where we got your bike fixed, but the other one right on the trail near where we park). We asked the owner about it and he said he was being forced out of that location after many years because they are tearing down the building to make way for a bypass. Tragic! But the good news is that the new shop will be right across the street from The School of Rock. And since I’m now biking to work whenever I can, it’s a good thing too.

When we got back, I showed AJ how to change the tube in the tire and he helped me out by relieving my jello arms of pump duty. He’s a much more gleeful filler of tires than I. The rest of the evening is likely to be more slothful. I am looking forward to it.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2010 7:56 am

    You sound so industrious–gardening, cooking. I’m tired just reading it. Does the garlic mustard have to go in bags so it won’t reseed itself–is it not enough to pull it up?

  2. April 26, 2010 8:10 am

    Yes, even after it’s pulled, garlic mustard will continue to make seeds. It’s an appalling plant, really. And you need to put it in trash bags, not lawn waste bags. It’s the only thing I don’t compost.

  3. April 26, 2010 9:42 pm

    Well, it will be nice to have a bike shop near the School of Rock. Although I am sorry to hear that it won’t be on the bike path, that was such a perfect and convenient location.

  4. April 26, 2010 9:54 pm

    I agree, Julia. And I’m also a little worried about whether the bike path will be moved when they put in the bypass. But given the pile of glass I had to pedal through today on the way to School of Rock, it may actually be a very good thing to have a bike store nearby!

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