April 12, 2007

Tomatoes, Broken Ground, Skeeters of Doom

I'm proud of myself; in spite of the zaniness and long list of "things to do" in the last few days, I managed to finally get little tiny tomato seeds into pots under my lovely new grow light. (Also some ground cherries, to which Matt and I have become addicted--they're something like a cross between a grape and a cherry, but a relative of the tomato. And some basil for the kitchen just for kicks.) Since the average last frost date for our fair city is--believe it or not--May 22, I'm just barely in time. Some folks like to push the date with various insulating strategies, but I know I'm not gonna get there...this year.

I also broke a little ground in the "real" (as opposed to "tall") garden, but quickly abandoned the project. The mosquitos were vicious! When I was out there, I thought they were just attacking me; having always been handy as a mosquito magnet, I figured I was taking it for the team, as it were. And in sheer numbers, I was, but now we have two itchy little girls with big nasty welts, too. Those bugs were *hungry*.

I've been especially careful not to leave any places where the skeeters could hatch, draining any water-collecting things whenever I can and such, but....our neighbors (not you guys, Pickerels!) have a horribly clogged gutter, with quite a puddle beneath it, too, and it has become Mosquito City. Ugh. I am planning not to go out again with the girls until I am armed with the best non-DEET repellant (happily, there are a few now that supposedly work really well) I can get (the other good news is, enough sun will eliminate the problem. The bad news is, Laura at least swells up just like Matt does with bug bites. Big nasty hive-like welts around the bites. And scratches. And scratches. And scratches.) And perhaps we'll send Matt over after State to offer to help clean the offending gutter out--I don't think they'll want the mosquitos around their kids, either; they probably just haven't played much yet this Spring out there.

Oh, and State: the team did pretty well at Districts. Our district has become smaller lately--the same teams are competing, but only one (besides ours) fields many members. There were several schools with one or two competitors! That means we don't get to send as many people to State: the number of qualifiers is based on the number of competitors at Districts. And that other big team is really big, and has become quite the powerhouse of speakers (Matt was pleased that they only beat us by 14? points this year in Sweepstakes; last year it was by many, many more points.) Still, I think about half our team members who went to Districts, qualified.

I have not broken the news to Laura that we're probably not going to be driving out to practice after next Tuesday, since State is at the end of next week.....

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