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So a little bit ago I had this conversation with a coworker that started with her misreading an email headed Data Ark Maintenance as Dark Arts Maintenance, leading into speculation about Harry Potter, and what always happens to the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and what Dark Arts Maintenance would be like, including possible spare Dementors stashed in the odd closet (could explain a lot about a particular empty floor at one of my hospitals), and then ended up with a fervent wish for a House Elf to do the filing when we weren’t here, and me promising that if we did get one I wouldn’t knit him or her socks (don’t tell Hermione).  All of which was pretty awesome, so I thought I’d share.

Also on the sharing front, this weekend I got to babysit both Sweet Pea and Fleur, the first time I’ve gotten both nieces all to myself at the same time.  It was pretty great.  Fleur and I did a craft project together, Sweet Pea and I had long conversations about deep subjects (she’s becoming more and more vocal), and I did my best to teach her to say Crivens (mostly because I think it would be hysterical to have a small person running around saying Crivens! all the time).

Sweet Pea and I also discovered that she is mesmerized by me playing the game Bejeweled on my phone.  This came in pretty handy later on in the night.  Sweet Pea was getting very tired, but I was trying to keep her up because I knew Sae would want to nurse her when she came home.  Things were going pretty well until Sweet Pea bonked her head against the box of wet wipes on the changing area, and promptly went into full melt-down mode.  Fleur and I finally got her settled down with a combination of rocking and having her watch us play Bejeweled together.  After a little while, we moved onto the couch, where Fleur and I racked up an all-time high score, and Sweet Pea crashed hard.

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So of course I took a picture.  After a while my cell phone battery started to give out, so Fleur and I switched to books.  Fleur asked me to get out the stash of her old little kids books from the cupboard.  “I don’t read them anymore,” she said, “but I still like to listen to them.”  So I read them to her in a whisper while Sweet Pea dreamed.  It was an incredibly sweet time.

In other news, it looks like I’m getting closer to having a rose garden.  Atlas came over Sunday to work on getting those bushes pulled out for me.  I had tried to tell him that it would be a big job, but I think he didn’t really believe me.  The bushes are still mostly there.  He’s coming back today with a crowbar.  Sarge thinks he should just break down and borrow Sarge’s truck to pull them out, but it’s Atlas’s job, so I’m letting him make the call.

Yesterday I went to help out at Mission of Mary Farm.  This is an urban farm run by a guy I took a poetry class with back when I was at UD.  For a while now I’ve been thinking about urban farming, and building a community garden.  There’s this huge empty lot between my house and my parents’ that has been calling to me more and more.  But it would be a huge job, and a massive commitment, not to mention expensive, so I’ve been mostly just angsting about it a lot.  (Well, and praying too.)  Anyway, at some point it occurred to me that I know this guy who’s doing something awfully similar, and maybe it would be a good idea to go learn some things.  So I emailed my friend, who connected me with the volunteer coordinator, and the upshot was that yesterday I found myself in the backyard of an abandoned house in East Dayton raking well-aged compost into raised beds.

And honestly, I can’t wait to go back.  I remember going to a birthday bonfire for That Guy on the plot of land that is now their primary garden.  It’s now covered with tidy beds of garlic and tomatoes and lettuces and lord knows what else.  I’m totally jealous of their hoop house, not to mention the cold frames, and the asparagus bed.  Plus, I may have found people who get just as excited about Hugelkulture as I do (we’re thinking of making a hugelkulture perimeter around the new lot they just acquired).  Friends, this could be so much fun!

I was also laughing to myself while I was raking the beds, thinking of my own beds that need to be built.  I went to Lowe’s on Friday swearing that I was only going to buy peat moss, and maybe a packet of turnip seeds, and left with four tomato plants, two strawberry plants, two six-cell packs of snapdragons, plus beet and turnip seeds, and the peat moss.  At least I put back the blackberry plant.  But, you know, now all of that needs places to go.  It reminded me of the verse from Song of Songs about don’t look at me because I’m brown, my brothers made me tend their garden, my own garden I have not tended.

Yes, I know.  I’m special.

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