I realized that if you don't follow me on the clock app, you have no idea about the success or failure of our gardening efforts.
Hell, you might not even know that we have been making gardening efforts!
So here I am to tell you all about them.
My first success of the year was tulips and, yo, it really energized me. When we lived in Florida, the only thing I remember successfully not killing was a single tiny watermelon which Logan happily ate.
Here? I'm growing potatoes, onions, squash (just the blossoms so far), two types of tomatoes - one from a produce stand and another from a shoe guy (that's a story for another time).
However, my favorite part of our yard here at the Professor Haus is our side yard, or what I like to call... my Fairy Tale.
Cause that's what it looks like to me.
Here's the current view outside my office:
We got clover and these gorgeous dahlias that I grew completely from scratch (aka I threw some bulbs in the dirt) and this is just a tiny part of my favorite part of our yard.
We have bunnies come and eat at our clover patches and big, fat bumblebees landing all over everything. The butterflies have grown colorfully gigantic and the fireflies at night are bountiful.
In short, it's magical.
But you know what it also is?
A couple days ago, we were outside looking at a river and noticed an "ordinance officer" parked by our driveway. We didn't think much of it, because we normally have a "transportation officer" parked in the exact same spot to catch the big 18 wheelers that aren't supposed to drive on our road.
Welp, it was for us. A young fella shuffled up to us and, head down, asked, "Do you live here?" then sheepishly handed us a slice of paper that said that we needed to cut our front and back lawn within 5 days or they will do it for us.
"I gave you five days" he mumbled.
It was obvious to me that he didn't believe in the job he was doing and that made me feel really sad for him. But I took the citation and the pit in my stomach and went about my day.
Now, I think it is important to talk about the differences between how I reacted to this situation in present day vs. how I would have reacted to this pre-therapy and doing a lot of internal work on the not-so-nice parts of myself.
Previously, I would have catastrophized this so hard. I would have been too embarrassed to tell anyone, because I didn't want them to tell me what I already did wrong or what I should have done. My brain would have kept spinning about what I could have done differently and what a terrible person I was for letting this happen. When really, I was just pissed that they didn't love the fairy tale as much as me.
And this did happen, for a fraction of the time that it would have previously.
Instead, this time I embraced that love instead. And I did something that past Jacki would have never done. I shared my story, including video of our "unkempt" yard and the very detailed citation we got and, y'all, it's blowing up.
I posted this thing two days ago and have over 175k views.
Which is cool and all, yeah. My favorite part was the wealth of knowledge I got from the comments.
Yeah, at first, like 25% of them were negative "cut your lawn, hippie!" types. But by now the vocally positive 75% of the comments have squashed the buzz cuts (both in hairstyles and yardstyles) to less than 10%.
The outpouring of support and compliments has felt really amazing and wasn't what I was expecting. I've learned so much about what I should do to move forward, protecting our lovely clover-filled lawn.
So our next steps were to cut the parts of our yard that we have not designated a "Fairytale"... cause those are the visible ones. Then Mickey went to work on some of the trees.
He also did all the weed eating (which they call weed whipping up here and that feels wrong somehow) because my spaghetti arms are literally unable to hold that thing up. The parts of the fairytale that he's already cut look sad and brown instead of green and lush like all the surrounding areas.
However all the info that I've gathered from the comments has helped me formulate a plan. A plan that looks, welp, like this.
Congrats, if you can make sense of it. If not, you can keep up with our progress (slowly) here or on TikTok, which will be much more immediate.
So once we get this plan into place, I'll apply for our yard to be a Certified Wildlife Habitat. And then, once we get some milkweed planted, I'll apply for us to be a Monarch Butterfly Migration Waystation Habitat.
I've gotten some excellent suggestions for low ground cover so that we don't worry about the yucky grass getting too tall and needing to be cut.
Past Jacki would have just cut it and not tried to preserve any of it. Because she had convinced herself that the things she loved were't worth fighting for.
Now, I know better.