In a fit of industriousness, I decided today the kids and I would move the wood pile near the house. See, the kids pool is right there, and I want to make a garden so it's pretty, not oh look! the kids are playing near the wood heap! sort of thing. The kids were thrilled. They've been dying to plant stuff.
So after naps the kids and I headed out. I piled and loaded old nasty-falling apart wood onto the wheelbarrow, wheeled it over the verge, and dropped it over the bank, where it will gradually decompose among tree branches and grass clippings.
Cass filled a toy wagon with twigs and trundled them, then lost interest and disappeared into the house, only to re-emerge with a toy piano. The kid can't play, so this wasn't exactly a good thing. It did, however, drive off the crows.
Rosey was pretending to mow the lawn on the other side of the house. When we first came out, she picked up a piece of wood that had wood slime on it, and spent the next ten minutes wiping her paws on the grass and complaining. Ewwwwwww, she said, her nose wrinkled. Ewwwww.
We found two frogs, and caught a glimpse of Barney, the resident garter snake. He was fat and happy. (Probably from eating frogs.) Dirt-covered (me - I looked like a farmer) and red-cheeked from running (kiddles 1 and 2) celebrated the last wheelbarrow-full with freezies and some berries.
**EDIT** I'm not sure why the next few paragraphs didn't show up on the page - my draft looks great? Chalk it up to Blogger, I suppose!**
It was then, of course, that one of the women I work with pulled up. She was friendly, but not her usual enthusiastic self. She had some papers for me for next week's bulletin, and was veeerrry careful not to touch me when she handed them over. I shrugged it off (maybe I was a little dirty? I vaguely remember rubbing my cheek...) and carried the papers inside.
Where I saw what I looked like. Anyone remember the scene in Mary Poppins where they all pretend to be chimney-sweeps? I wasn't dirty, I was mud-encrusted. I had a dirt tan. I was black from head to foot, with red smudges on my lips from the too-ripe strawberries. No wonder I scared her. I scared myself.
I have no idea what to say to this woman next time I see her. The kids and I were tunnelling out an escape hatch? We're behind schedule on our adobe house? I'm going to have to think of a good one for this.
Later, R flung open the shower curtain and goggled at my dirty feet. She stood there for a moment, looked right at me and said "Potatoes?"*
*I should clarify this: We tell the kids there's enough dirt in their ears (on their legs, etc) to grow potatoes in - right before we swoop in with the washcloth.