Another New Normal

Today marks the start of yet another new normal, and just when I was getting used to the last one.  The kids headed off to school.  The house is decidedly quiet, and Jasper the Dog is patiently awaiting their return by sitting at the window.  They’ve been gone less than an hour.   It is amazing how much things have changed since they last went to school – Joey’s school uniform doesn’t fit anymore – he’s done a lot of growing.   But for me things are still the same.  The garden is still growing – although not as fast a Joey, and I’m still going to my garden office and doing my computer gardening.   I’m sure we will slip into this new normal as easily as we did for the last couple of new normals.

Monday Message - The 1% Principle
Today’s Monday Message is another shameless plug. I asked Hubby the Un-Gardener what I should put on my chalkboard today and he said: “What’s one thing I can do today to improve my life by 1%” Which happens to be the premise of his book The 1% Principle. And it fits in with #MakeMayCount so I thought ‘why not’.

With the recent changes, my world has opened up a little.  I went shopping.  I decided to buy seeds instead of seedlings as the seedlings were enormous and as I’m not ready to plant my onions out until the middle of June I decided to pass.   It was all a bit overwhelming to be out and about, so I hastily headed home without everything on my list…  I’ll get them at some point when the chaos is no longer chaotic and the new normal settles down into a mundane routine.  I breathed a sigh of relief as I returned to the safety of my bubble.

Outdoor windproof entertaining area
We’ve started calling it ‘The Nook” and have already thoroughly tested its entertaining potential and it is going to be a fabulous space.

The ability to connect with friends and family, made me remember life was about more than the garden, the kids and watching movies with Hubby the Un-Gardener.  The weekend was filled with people we’d only seen through a screen over the last few weeks.  It was lovely and it was the perfect excuse to see if the new wall and chiminea worked.    I suspect from the late nights sat around the warm flames; it will be a fabulous spot.  We just need to get on and finish it so it doesn’t spend its life being a half built entertaining area that we continue to apologise about until we forget there were ever any plans to do anything further with it.

Entertaining on the beach
While it has been nice to have the beach to ourselves, it is even better to share it with friends.

But we also encountered another problem.  We were almost completely out of water.  The kind neighbours came to our rescue and let us hook into their water supply with a multitude of garden hoses that stretched quite some distance.  This is where it is great to be a gardener and having too many hoses is a thing.  Having said that, there is no such thing as having too many hoses.

Beach balls
I have put these deflated balls here for a measure of public accountability. I need to show you them again at least by the end of the week or if I encounter technical problems it’ll be sometime during the following week. If my idea is a complete failure – forget you ever saw them.

Unfortunately, while we now have some water, it isn’t a problem that will go away soon.  This autumn – the season that is supposed to gradually transition from a lovely hot, dry summer to a gloomy wet, cold winter – there hasn’t been much rain at all.  March was ok as far as comparing it to previous early autumns with around 40mm of rain.  But April decided to do its own thing and instead of delivering the expected almost 80mm of water from the sky it only barely managed a meagre  30mm.  This month we should be expecting anywhere between 60mm and 120mm and so far we have had 23mm with nothing but sunshine icons on the weather forecast except the promise of rain on the 27th, but to be honest I won’t be holding my breath.

My self seeded sunflowers are looking so lovely against the blue of the late autumn sky. We shouldn’t be having either of these things so close to winter, but while they are here they can be appreciated.

While not gardening, reconnecting with friends and family is certainly a great way to Make May Count so it was a good weekend and I am refreshed and restored.  But now we are in a new week and without distractions and the chance of a child coming to me for the answer to a complex physics conundrum, I have no excuse not to get stuck in and get more things done.    And as desperately as we need the rain, I really should make hay while the sun still shines.

Come again soon – we are over the mid month hump and quickly running out of autumn.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)


4 thoughts on “Another New Normal

  1. Little confused by the beach balls??
    Love hearing about your return to ‘normal’ – it’s an interesting journey – I’ve had to say goodbye to my muddling in the garden at lunch time to sitting in front of a class of kids… not that it’s bad, but just that I was getting used to my lunch time wanderings! I thoroughly enjoyed not as much screen time though!

    1. Now I have to do something with the balls or you will spend for every wondering. Just one of the crazy ideas I came up with in lock down and if it works it will be awesome.
      I think going back to some kind of ‘normal’ is good as it was so tempting to drift through the days. Now I know that I have until the kids get home to get my stuff done or it won’t get done or would be pushed on to another day. Enjoy your time with all the kids. : o)

  2. Sarah, our April here in Nebraska was a dry month with very little rain. It’s supposed to be the wettest month of the year for us. We barely got 1 inch (25mm) of the normal 3.5 inches (89mm) of rain. May looks to be the same with very light rains that barely moisten the ground. It’s really going to be a tough garden year if this keeps up.

    After being out of school for two months, the school year is officially over and summer break has started until September. The school system decided that whatever the grades the students had when school was let out will be their grades for the second semester of school. In the Fall the school board has been toying with the idea for smaller classes. To accomplish this the students with higher grades will continue to be schooled online at home with the struggling students in the class room.

    I did get some tomatoes and bell peppers planted. I’m praying that this Spring storm season doesn’t bring any hail. Normally we get one or two hail storms. I’m holding back some plants until June just in case the weather decides to blast us with ice balls. I have sweet corn planted so now the race is on to get the electric fence up and functional as soon as possible.

    I am a master at half done projects. I’m determined to complete some this year. We will see how that goes.

    Have a great alone time in the garden. Take some time just to sit, look, and enjoy the garden that you have created.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

    1. It is interesting how we have to adapt to this strange times. It is certainly hard on the kids who are in crucial years in their education. My oldest is one where the grades matter this year but now they are back at school hopefully he will find his feet again. The school year doesn’t end until December.
      Good idea to hold plants back. I always keep a spare set.
      I hope you find some time to finish some of your projects. Cheers Sarah : o)

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