After a last ditch snowfall a few weeks ago, winter finally gave way and suddenly it was sunny days in the 70's. Perusing our yard, the daffodils are in bloom, the bushes are sporting some green, the birds are munching away at the feeder, and splashes of color are emerging everywhere. Six years ago the house was a new construction and had no landscaping. Everything which has come since then was planted by me and Kiersten (and Kiersten's really the green thumb - before we met I was lucky if I didn't kill a house cactus). I was thinking about all of the funny things that we learned along the way, and decided to compile a list:
- When deciding between the cheap and expensive version of a tool, you'll end up with the expensive tool either way. The only question is whether you'll buy the cheap tool first.
- When the tree nursery asks if, for a fee, you would like them to dig the hole and install the tree, the answer should be yes, not "Pfff...I have a perfectly good shovel..." As it turns out, there's a reason their trucks have hydraulic lifts.
- The extra step of staining a sample area of "Honey Wheat" deck stain will avoid the experience of having a "Pee Yellow" deck two days after you stain the entire thing.
- Squirrels have their own core of engineers. I suspect they have a morning meeting complete with hardhats, blueprints, and whiteboards to lay out the day's activities. Not only are they much smarter than you, they actual enjoy the opportunity to defuse your Rube Goldberg squirrel deflector machine in the quickest manner possible. If you happen to be an engineer, this is especially deflating.
- Regardless of your "mad climbing skills", a ladder is a good thing to own.
- Poison ivy looks a lot like regular ivy.
- The longer you live in a house, the more tools you have that you don't know what they do, and can't remember why you bought them.
- A hammock is bigger than it looks in the catalog.
- When Archimedes said, "Give me a big enough lever and I could move the world", he most likely was trying to dig a hole in our back yard, which appears to have been built on a rock quarry.
- Sore muscles, broken tools, replantings: many. Enjoying the first spring blooms, and thinking of all the colors to come in our garden: priceless.