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The past few weeks have been an absolute crush of work – the garden must be finished, and the KonMari-inspired, once-in-a-lifetime spring clean is nowhere near complete.  And we are still homeschooling for several more weeks.  Every day there is just so much to do.  The weather has been beautiful, which has made me try to work outside in the garden as much as possible.  Everything is coming together nicely.  A few weeks ago, I was waking up at night with the thoughts, “I will NEVER get it all done!” A box of hopeful sweet potato slips appearing on my porch made it even more dire.

This is an anxiety for me, especially with the garden, because every day the season slips away, and it will be longer until we can have vegetables again (the staple of our diet during most of the year).  I may not proverbially “bring home the bacon,” as the saying goes, but at least I can cover the table with organic vegetables! (To the point of oppression, at the height of summer and spring.)

Luckily, over the years, I have learned what to do in this kind of situation.  I take a deep breath, let go of all my optimistic and beautiful dreams I had created between seasons (when I was sitting around and had forgotten what it was like to be hauling hay and manure around in a wheelbarrow), and accepted a smaller, simpler, more realistic version of what I had wanted to grow for the summer.

Smaller, simpler things are really much more enjoyable, aren’t they?  Now I have been enjoying building the garden rather than feeling very stressed out about it (well, mostly).

And as for spring cleaning – I finally got up the courage to tackle the big kids’ room.  It’s been backbreaking, to be honest.  Because I was so busy with the rest of the house, I just did not have the time/energy to enforce them cleaning their room.  It very quickly became the most awful room I’ve ever seen.  My friend PJ came over to visit one day while I was battling the dust velociraptors behind my dresser (they are much more vicious than mere dust bunnies).  I begged her not to, but she peeked in their room anyway and agreed that it was pretty bad.  She qualified that by saying she had actually seen worse – a situation where a dog was also crapping all over the place AND it looked like that.  So that gives you an idea of the adversity….the only way to make it worse was to add poo.

About ten brimming loads of laundry later, you could see the floor.  I managed to get the children to sort through their things, and to my surprise, Mirin easily got rid of a bunch of things that just didn’t fit him.  It was harder for Rose, and just going through her stuff to organize it was upsetting for her.  But we managed by making it look very pretty and dusting it all off, so in the end she is also happy with the result, even though there were some tears at first.

Mirin’s tools were quite different.  Our porch had become his junk pile, with nails, rusty metal, and implements of destruction strewn all over the place.  It gave quite as good as it got – while I was stumbling around organizing, some tool gave me a bad slash on my foot.  Ethan stepped on a nail.  We are glad to see the back of it!  And at last it looks like a porch again – a much larger porch than we realized before.  Even the neighbor kids were exclaiming about how nice it looks with all the trash gone (“You mean Mirin’s stuff?” I told them).

After I had dusted myself off from that, I came across this, and have decided that this is what has happened to the front yard.  It’s not a mess, it’s an “urban adventure playground!”  I think I’ll use that phrase if the city codes enforcement comes by.

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