Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Garden Report: Now with added DRAMA!

OK, so, this isn't really a garden report so much as a welllllllllllllll, isn't THAT…special… report.

To really set the scene, I need to let y'all in on my grim new reality latest awesome idea.

I turned to my husband weekend before last and said, "You know what we really ought to do?"

He paled.

The only thing more horrifying than, "You know what would be fun?" that comes from my mouth (well, other than the occasional charming turn of phrase picked up from my armed forces buddies) is the phase, "You know what we really ought to do?"

This is Tama-speak for, "I am about to suggest something that is not at all pleasant, likely involving some form of personal sacrifice that you are going to hate to the very core of your being, but it is logical and if you were a Vulcan you would have suggested it a long, long time ago and thus you will not be able to argue with me. Much."

"What?" he asked, cautiously, with the air of a man who is trying to decide whether he'd rather turn and fight the mountain lion, or attempt to run through the field of landmines.

"We ought to split our commutes. One of us should take the very first train, and the other should take the very last one. First one in leaves the car at the train station, second one takes the kids to the sitter's house and leaves the van – then the early bird catches the very first train home, grabs the van, picks up the kids, gets dinner started and so forth, then the late bird catches the last train home and we all yay, 'Hooray, we're all home again!' And then we eat dinner. And go to bed. Unless Deadliest Catch is on because we have SOME standards around here."

The logical aspect of this is undeniable. Catching the early train (at, by the way, 4:40 in the morning) gets the first person into the office just before 7:00. Said person then leaves the office at 3:00 on the dot, catches the early train home, grabs the Denizens and is home by around 5:30.

They're not the last kids at the sitters, and in the entirely likely event that something goes horribly awry on the many, many rails between Here and There…you're not screwed. If Early Bird misses the first train home, the second is still there and will still (normally) get them to the sitter on time – granted, the kids are the last ones there and this causes Drama! and also Angst! to happen, but you know hey – at least I turned up, right?

Meanwhile, the Late One shows up around 9:00, and can stay until 5:00.

Thus are we both less stinky in the nostrils of our Esteemed Leaders and our really don't give a gosh-darn but whatever floats your canoe, you guys long-suffering coworkers, I get a full week of work without having to go all She-Ra on my work from home day, and, well, there you are.

It's brilliant.

Except for the part where the Early Bird (which would be, naturally, me) has to not merely get up, but have her sorry carcass to the train station by 4:40 in the morning.

Beloved friends…I have done it for one week and two days so far. Lo! I have managed to not die. (Actually, all joking aisde, it's working out well – my "natural" biorhythm is actually the early bird sort, so shifting to getting up a bit earlier isn't that bad for me.) (And, I'm brighter in the morning. I think my IQ actually drops throughout the day – by 12:00 it starts to sort of taper a bit, takes a sharp drop after about 2:30 and by 5:00 at night I'm functionally a moron.) (Don't tell me anything important after 5:00. I'm daydreaming. Money-back guarantee on it.)

So yesterday I did everything just right. Got out of the office at 2:50, caught the 2:54, had a nice saunter to the bus (instead of the mad run I have to make if I miss the 2:54 and catch the 3:09 instead – it gets me there, but I have to RUN! about, eh, three block I think?, to the shuttle stop), caught my train, melted like butter out of the ACE parking lot, and picked up the Denizens right at 5:15. (And two of them were all, "Oh, man! Why are you here so early?!" because one had just finally gotten their turn on the Playstation and the other one had just gotten her turn in the playpen with the Cutest Baby Evah™.) (I mean, really, you can't win – get there late and they're all, "{sob! sob!} Why are we always the last ones here?! WHY can't you get her SOONER?! Don't you love us AT ALL?!?!" – get there earlier and they're all, "Gah, what are you doing here?!")

Loaded their squabbling, babbling, pleading bodies into Homer the Odyssey.

Aaaaaand drove on home. I was thinking about what to make for dinner, and of course the perpetual mental checklist of Stuff I'd Like To Do Tonight.

Stuff like, Find my bedroom floor (it's gotten a little crazy in there) (yes, again) and make a new playlist for my iPod because I've had the same three lists for about two YEARS and the same three lists every single day for the last seven months is getting a little old and picking out a new, lighter knitting project for my commute were high on the list.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the Lillehammer pattern and all – but I'm on #4 of 6, I'm almost to the collar of Eldest's so it's getting bulky and awkward for a train commute and, well, I'd like a nice pair of socks or maybe something in a laceweight for a little bit now. Something extra light.

And small. Very, very small.

Also easy. Something I could do with my eyes closed. Which I can't do with the Lillehammer, as the recent episode of having to drop back five rows worth around each end of the underarm areas would attest.

But I digress.

These are the sorts of ideas churning around in my mind as we pummeled into the Den after a long, hard day of commute, work (and my job is becoming more and more demanding as I'm migrating into a new role under a new manager – who, by the way, is an absolute doll and also scary-smart and demanding – which is good because I need to be challenged like crazy or I get pissy, lazy and ironically harder to get working again), and you know what would hit the spot right around now? A beer. A nice cold beer from the fridge in the…wait…why am I hearing water running? Why am I hearing lots of water running…?!

Friends…I looked into my backyard and…

Lake Chaos

Lake Chaos.

What happened was this. The husband and our neighbor were rebuilding the fence this weekend. (I know. He gets all the most-fun jobs.) As part of this, they had joined two hoses together so they would reach to where they wanted to soak some of the ground to make it easier to dig out the rotted fence posts.

Then somebody (who shall remain nameless, but the name rhymes with my husband) left the hose turned on, full blast, and it sat there under pressure for at least 24 hours…maybe a little more…definitely until after we both left for work yesterday…and then…:pop!:

The hoses blew apart, and the water just gushed and gushed and gushed allllll day long.

I don't know how well you can see this in my frantic cell phone picture, but that entire area is flooded all the way up to the very top of the concrete "pen."

But that's OK, because as we all know, California is a water state. We have loads of the stuff! Shoot, we're constantly shipping it by the truckload up to Portland, because we just don't know what to do with it all! We have constant rain, swollen rivers, water tables mere inches below the soil…oh wait… NO WE FREAKIN' DON'T!

We're that other thing – a desert sort of state! Constant drought! Water rationing! The "If you dare to waste water on your garden, we will hunt you down and kill you!" State. (That is our official motto, right?)

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Seriously. I didn't. I just looked at all that water soaking the play equipment and, on the one hand, I was glad it hadn't flooded my garden instead.

On the other hand, though, wah!

That's a good hundred bucks right there, going to waste…

But then my inner pioneer said…well, let's not repeat what she said exactly. She has kind of a potty mouth at such times. But the gist of it was that I would kick my own arse if I didn't think of something to do about that, right.NOW.

So I got the sump pump, and I hauled all five of our "rain barrels" (a.k.a., 48 gallon black trash cans picked up from OSH to go under our downspouts during our annual rainy season week), threw off the lid of the spa-slash-graywater-containment-unit, hooked up the hose to the sump pump and dropped it into the middle of Lake Chaos, and started filling.

And filling.

And filling.

And filling.

Kids…the spa holds roughly 450 gallons of water. It was about half empty – now it is full to overflowing.

The five trash cans are also full.

As is the yard tote – another 50 gallons.

Plus everybody in the garden got a nice, long drink. Even the front lawn, which has been feeling like maybe we don't love it anymore since those stupid vegetables came along.

On the plus side, Lake Chaos was drained to just a few (impressively deep) puddles here and there. The majority of the formerly-standing water is safely stored.

On the downside, well, I've shut off the automatic sprinklers completely. It's just me and my sump pump for at least the rest of the week while I use up all that water.

Because you know, that's just what I need: Another time-consuming, manual, daily task.

Yet another reason why we are the Den of Chaos, not The Restful Home of Eternal Peace and Tranquility.


RobinH said...

Go, you, for saving all that water!

Another Joan said...

Totally in AWE!!! But how did the Denizens do with the potential swimming hole being pumped out?

sungld said...

Omg way too much much drama. Made for a very long day, I imagine.