April 3rd, 2006



On Thursday, I went to Home Depot and bought cement blocks. Sixteen of them. Doesn't sound like very many, does it? It's a lot. It's a full load for a station wagon, so I added only the rebar pieces to anchor them and a couple bags of mortor mix.

I got home, pulled the car into the back and, one by one, removed the blocks from the car and set them in the place where I mean to make a raised garden bed. They're heavier than they were when I was 10. Or something.

Sunday I went out with rake and shovel and leveled the ground under the blocks. First you move the blocks away, then pull up the grass, then the roots that are in the way, then level the dirt. Then put the block back in place. Then move it again to make it more level. Eight of them in a rectangle. Driving the rebars to hold them was comparitively easy - the soil is perfect. Except the one big root which was right in the way.

Then move it and level the ground again.

It's as level as it's gonna get.

Technically, I should have dug down about six inches, then filled with gravel and sand. Never gonna happen. Dale said (after the fact), "Well, I could do that in about an hour." Yeah, luv, but you didn't. And I've had the blocks for three days. All weekend. And buying that much gravel and sand? Be three or four trips with the wagon.

So sixteen blocks are laid in two layers. When the weather permits, I'll do another rectangle just like it, about 30" away.

When I can (when it isn't raining, so that I can carry lumber on top of the car), I will get outside-grade plywood to build a box around the rectangle, not touching the ground. It will have a floor about 20" down, so that there is at least 16" to fill with soil. It also needs a heavy plastic liner to keep the wood from rotting. And holes drilled in the bottom. And then a couple inches of gravel.

Lots of trips to Home Depot.

All this work just so that I can comfortably plant my seedlings at counter-top height.

Ah, yes. The seedlings. We had a dozen bean plants a foot tall. I took them outside a couple days to harden off. I think an animal got them. There are two left.

The peas are looking good. So far. The tomatoes didn't come up.

We'll see what we'll see.


Tonight I went to a writer's meeting. I've been meaning to go for months, but I never think of it during the requisite hour or two that is needed in order to actually get there.

Today I thought of it just in time. I was between bringing in the groceries and fixing dinner when I thought about it. I quickly called Barnes & Noble and was told that it would start at 7:00. It was now 6:40. I turned off the stove, changed my t-shirt and added a nice sweater, let them know where I was going, and went.

And was only 10 minutes late.

It was cool. The group leader has published several articles, and the focus of this group is to help you figure out how and where to publish your work. Three people had items to be read and critiqued, and to consider what the market is: a cute children's article on dragonflys, a nostalgic look at a refurbished ball park, and a letter of inquiry for a piece on battered and abused people in the service and their spouses.

For the millionth time I was told I should be an editor. Heh. Right. I already know that. Now tell me something I don't know. Like how, for fuck's sake.

Anyway, next month, I'll take in a piece or two.