What are all those frozen holes in the ground?

“Let’s go stab some grass!” I told my 8-year-old son.

That’s just what the pediatrician ordered for an 8-year-old boy who sometimes gets so bored he just throws himself on the floor for entertainment.

If you’ve followed this blog, you might know that we are not the best tenders of grass, usually letting nature take its weedy course. In our case, this has led to a backyard that is nearly one half clover.

A few years ago, we used to have wild bunnies that would come visit—all named Carrot—and they would eat the clover, as the clover’s natural predator, and then fertilize the grass with their little pellets. Ah, nature in balance.

But then our neighbor allowed their cat outdoors. And, while we love him, he does not curtail the clover population. And the bunnies have vamoosed. (Though his visits have led my son  to compose a  chanting song with the refrain: “Fertilizing Cat Poop!”)

Back to the grass: We are too cheap to pay for a lawn service and wary of long-term pesticide use, thus the scarcity of actual lawn. Still, late in the season as it was even last week, I thought I’d give grass seed a shot. With wooden stakes we bought at Halloween (don’t ask) we started “aerating” the back yard by stabbing holes in the ground, whack-a-mole style.

“This is fun!” my son noted of his Medieval weaponry.

My daughter, meanwhile, demurely declined, holing up inside the castle.


Pride in Ownership

I was sitting in a Barnes & Noble the other day when I overhead the best bit of wisdom on how to learn, really learn.

A man in his ’60s was studying calculus with a tutor, and reading back his answers, and checking himself when he got it wrong.

He asked more questions and checked and rechecked.  Then he stopped and said: “I want to own this, not rent it. You know what I mean?”

I can’t drive 35 . . .

Our Subaru had a glitch in the hood yesterday. So we had to take it in this morning. Trouble was: the now unsecured hood might fly up and force my husband to slam on the brakes.

“I’ll drive behind you because I know what to do,” I said, figuring I could time my stop.

He told me to drive in front instead. I’m guessing so we wouldn’t lose two cars on the way to the mechanic.

“What are the ethics of that?” I asked.

Of course it turned out fine. He drove very, very slowly,  and I watched in the rearview mirror for any snafus. I couldn’t have driven behind the wounded Subaru anyway. Driving that slowly makes me want to slam into the car in front of me, brakes or no.