Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Arrives in Fox Ridge!

The first of the crocus have begun to poke their lovely heads from the earth this weekend, thus announcing the official start of Spring at Fox Ridge! 

With this announcement comes the guilt-inducing realization that it's probably time to take down the Christmas garland from the picket fence out front, pull down the Christmas lights strung across the house, and start tackling the wildly-neglected flower beds that were left to their own devices last fall... Let's not even talk about the leaves that still need to be raked. (Note to self: Don't go out of town for three weeks in late September when you should be getting the garden ready for winter. You will have to face the consequences, soggier and worse for wear, in the spring.) Lesson learned folks-- and we've got a lot of clean up ahead of us...

Another motivating factor: the Mother-Figure is coming out to New York for a visit at the end of March, and it would be a perfect time to start getting the garden in tip-top-summer's-a-comin'-shape. Mummy's got a green thumb like I've got blue eyes, so it would be a major waste not to put her to work while she's here. This is all the more incentive to get some of the grueling manual labor out of the way, so that she and I can focus on the fun stuff like planting some hardy annuals, cutting back the things I'm not sure if I'm meant to cut back, and getting some new early-bird plants in the ground...

Mummy always says she should lose five pounds when she comes for a visit, since I'm essentially running a weight-loss-work-camp disguised as a country cottage.

Maybe I should start charging visitors a nominal fee, and making a forced "exercise" (aka. labor) schedule for their visit?
Saturday: Rest? For the weak! BACK TO WEEDING!
Sunday: Supervised venture into town... (We can't have anyone trying to make an escape!)

Based on that schedule, everyone should be dropping a good 15 pounds over the course of a few weeks. An interesting new way to earn a living while simultaneously improving our house as well?? Maybe....

Somehow, I managed to con Julia into just such a "vacation" this weekend, and quickly put her to work on the leaves. Note that Julia and I both tackled the leaf raking manually, while John used the "manly" leaf-blower for much of his work session. I'm confident that Julia and I burned off way more of our pulled-pork dinner** than John did, but he looks pretty satisfied with his duties in the photo above. Julia looks less so... : ) 

As usual, we could count on William to pitch in a helping paw.  (Note how his funny buzzed square patch is slowly growing back in, but you can still see the last remnant of a bald spot. )

**We also tested out a new slow-cooked pulled pork recipe this weekend, which we ate in sandwich form with my tried but true red cabbage salad and cuban roasted sweet potatoes. This was a totally ridiculous meal, so check back later this week when I'll include all the details for this new recipe. It's definitely worth a try!! 

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