What I Learned in May


s I’ve said before, one thing living north of the Mason-Dixon has going for it is the four distinct seasons.  While apparently that also means winter can drag into April, I will take a lovely, mild May over the oppressive Texas heat that often starts long before Memorial Day.

And so lovely May has been.  Perennials I’d forgotten about are peaking through the dirt, there’s been a nice mix of spring rain and sunny days perfect for picnics, and the wee ones and I spotted the first rose blooming yesterday.

May’s lessons learned (a monthly posting inspired by Emily) indeed have much to do with my new horticultural endeavors, but are also filled with water-only cleaning methods, summer reading suggestions, and just enough personal information to make the list mildly irrelevant.

May’s Lessons Learned

1.)  Gardening is not as scary as I’d imagined; like most overwhelming things in life, you just need to start.

The fear factor, for me, was mostly centered around killing everything I’d invested so much time in.   But with some tips from gardening friends and a copy of Square Foot Gardening, I’m well on my way to growing a salad’s worth of crops.

2.)  Plants take a long time to grow.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but after a week in the ground, they look pretty much the same.  I guess I’ll have to wait until mid-July for my salad.

3.)  Bunnies are not precious critters to fawn over but plant-eating menaces whose raids must be stopped at all costs.

I used to think Mr. McGregor was mean.  No more. Mr. M, I’m with you: In defense of my lettuce, I’d totally attack Peter Rabbit with a hoe.

Although so far, I’ve only had to use Blood Meal.

Lest you think I’m hoarding animal carcasses in my garage and grinding them in my Vitamix (I’m sorry, was that too graphic?), I’ll tell you that it’s available at Lowe’s (and Amazon, for that matter).


4.)  Eggs can be beautiful.

These lovelies came from my friend, whose eggs I weekly benefit from and whose chicken coop will be the destination of our first summer field trip.

She is blessed who can glean from the local egg-grower chicken-farmer friend who has eggs.

5.)  Norwex cloths are even better than I’d thought.

I’ve been using water + Norwex microfiber cloths to clean my kitchen and bathrooms for the last year and loving them, but still had this uneasy feeling that maybe things weren’t getting totally clean.  I mean, it’s only water, right?

After some research and talking to a Norwex consultant, I am now confidently cleaning with water only.

6.)  Children’s literature makes for excellent summer reading.

I’m in the midst of The Chronicles of Narnia and have started reading Little House in the Big Woods to Bun (whose re-tellings are completely hilarious). The Horse and His Boy is probably my fav of the C of N and I now plan to re-read it every summer.

Also on the summer books docket: Unbroken, more James Herriot, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, The Getaway Car, (thank you, Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide) and just enough Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to be dangerous.

7.)  Cloth diapers are awesome, but do require troubleshooting at times.

And so I’m grateful for the wealth of internet resources available to help.  This one has been of great help lately.

Our first rose of the season--thankful for small treasures like these.
Our first rose of the season–thankful for small treasures like these.

8.)  My husband is capable of surprising me.

Generally, when he’s gotten me a gift, he gets excited and says: “I know it’s only December 9, but don’t you want to see your Christmas present now?”

No, I don’t.  The anticipation and surprise is half the fun.

But he completely caught me off-guard when he went in with my sweet parents on my birthday/Christmas/Mother’s Day/all-minor-holidays-for-the-next-year present: a MacBook Air.

Even as someone who is stuck in 1940, technologically speaking, I can appreciate its awesomeness. Thanks Hubs.

9.)  Garage sales are just as fabulous as I remember them to be.

Although I was surprised that my great finds were not from the neighborhood sale I was most looking forward to this year.  Good lesson: treasure is often uncovered in unexpected places.

Anyway, little Buckaroo will be handsomely outfitted next fall (brand-new coats for $4?!).

10.) A double-date can be babysitting money well spent.

We’ve been on maybe two double-dates since Bun was born three years ago, mostly because I’ve had a rule (ish) that if I’m going to go get/pay a sitter, I’m going to spend that time ALONE with my husband.

After a fun dinner out with new friends, I’m starting to change my tune.  I’d forgotten how lovely (and efficient) it is to share a conversation and get to know someone without stopping to avert child-related crisis.

I don’t imagine double dates will become a staple in our schedule, as our evenings out are limited and I do prefer to spend them only with Hubs.  But, I wouldn’t be opposed to working one in now and then.

What knowledge did May bring you?  Clearly, nothing is too unimportant to share…

About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • The flower pictures are gorgeous!! I’m really enjoying the fruits of others’ labors this spring as all kinds of flowers are blooming, without me doing a thing. 😉 It’s nice to rent sometimes. =)

    • Renting is fantastic! I was almost sad to stop renting when we did. Lots less maintenance costs and no crazy taxes. And free flowers 🙂

  • Alex Sudan

    Unbroken is such a great book!! Also, it is 4:04 am and I am reading your blog. pregnancy insomnia much??

    • Al, hope you’re not reading at 4am again tonight 🙂

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