Sunday, March 15, 2015

That Time of Year

One of the best things about living in Kansas City is that most years we get really nice and long springs and falls. We are now two weeks into a gorgeous spring. The last couple weeks have had highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s. Again, we spent the entire weekend outside.
Our yard near the house had been professionally landscaped at some time in the past. Unfortunately, the previous owners of our house (all of them) didn't take the upkeep and maintenance portion of the homeowner's class. Everything in back had become so unkempt and overgrown that drastic measures were required. We had several fountain grasses along the back patio, same as the old house. Except these were planted over soaker hoses and had gotten really, really big. One day of digging and cutting later and they are history. I cut apart and replanted some along one of the property lines to remind our next door neighbor about such things. One of the previous owners had also planted some wild, blooming onions. These turned out to be exceptionally prolific and I'm surprised they aren't growing in the house too. The problem is that they are too soft to pull so a hopefully a couple gallons of roundup did the trick.
The garden beds are finished and now contain peas, radishes, and green onions. It's a little early yet but I thought I spied a radish seedling today. I'm still getting used to the idea of a garden getting sun all day. Such a novel concept.
We still have lots of planting to do but the house is loving a little care. Not to brag, but we are enjoying the full southern exposure on the back of the house too. We had a window in our last bathtub. Since it faced the front of the house we never used it. Our tub now faces the rear and opening the window in the shower is a treat in March.
Without a basement it's difficult to start many plants. I've read enough posts from Mark Willis to be convinced into some sort of low-cost plastic greenhouse for the beginning of the season. When Mavis posted one on sale from Amazon I decided to give it a try. I mean this thing cost less than $60. I'm giving it a week trial on the bad porch before moving it behind the garage and into more sun. I repotted the tomatoes into 4" pots and moved them out along with some wildflowers and the citrus. It gets hot enough in the daytime that I have to open the door and the tomatoes aren't showing any stress from the couple 30 degree nights. Since the tomatoes went directly from the grow light out to the greenhouse they did get a little sunburnt but nothing too bad. The nice thing is that in a month I can break it down and stow in the garage.
Winston has been crucial helping in the yard and garden this weekend. He has had a rough week. He took a plastic shovel to the head at daycare and bled like a stuck pig on Thursday. Yesterday he managed to hang a toy dump truck up on the sidewalk when he was going full speed. His face broke his fall. The only saving grace is that he can't see it and seems to be a tough little guy. Needless to say he has gotten a bit more cookies and ice cream the last couple days.
We didn't want to cook this evening and I have been wanting to try Il Lazzarone since it opened Wednesday. After a perfectly awesome lunch at Port Fonda and even better margaritas on Friday with Sam, I was excited to do two great restaurants in one week. Il Lazzarone is one of 12 restaurants in the US to be certified to make authentic Neapolitan pizza. Their wood-fired oven is straight from Naples and pretty spectacular. Winston enjoyed watching the pizzas go in with the long stick. If you are in KC I would highly recommend stopping by. The food is fantastic.

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