"Daddy you're making me smell."
It's getting up to 60 degrees today. It barely crossed 32 yesterday. Welcome to Mud Season. Most people avoid the slop my in-laws deliberately drive 2000 miles away to avoid it. But not us - we embrace it like farmyard pigs. So at 9am this morning I got the kids dressed for outside, grabbed some tools and we went over to Woodchip Mountain to get our slop on. Partly to avoid my daughter asking to play Angry Birds, and partly to try and chase this current cold out of our bodies with a little Puritan work-ethic. Last year I cleared a chunk of the woods out back and turned it into grass. I'm doing the same again this Spring with another little bit of yard. So I cut down a tree, hacked through some brush, raked up the ground and generally farted about thinking that I could totally do the farmer thing. As long as it only required me to do this for two and a half hours or so, anyway. My kids rolled down Woodchip Mountain, stomped and dug in the mud, rolled in last years leaves, and generally went a-wanderin' all over the back yard.
I figured I'd take pictures earlier rather than later. That way when I was covered in crap and needed to keep them where I could hose them down I could. Here's Oboe showing that his dainty, "Oh Noes!! The Jelly Is On My Finger!!" daintiness means squat when it comes to mud.
And my daughter is half girl/half hog.
This is delightful too. I like how The Doodle is alert and aware that something somewhere is wrong - but still hasn't realized that it is all over my daughter's arse. I should keep this one for her when she starts dating. Which would appear to be looming sooner rather than later seeing as she was marching about the house this morning yelling, "GET YOUR FREE BABIES HERE!!" She's going to be quite popular around these parts with that attitude.
Oh - and as a point of reference - yesterday I got a snap of the daffodils and snow drops coming up through the snow.
At one point after a few hours we bumped into a new neighbor. He bought a chunk of land that touches mine, and right before we were due to go back in the house I noticed he and some other blokes were stood right off my property stake. So I deliberately walked over to say hi. I had mentioned on the way over to my daughter that we'd be quick because I didn't want her going to school all dirty and smelly. Oddly the neighbor didn't give much of a toss that I'd come over to say hello. Initially he was kind of rude, but then I played the chirpy English, "life is fantastic!" buffoon that Hugh Laurie used to do so well years ago, and the guy mellowed out. Randomly when I was about to say our goodbyes - with my son hiding in my shoulder and my daughter climbing my leg like a monkey (and repeatedly grousing that she was tired/hungry/bored) - my daughter loudly stated, "Daddy, you are making me smelly." Time to go then. I made a joke about spraying her off with a hose and dousing her with tick powder like at the start of old prison movies - but now my over-exuberant Englishness made it sound like it was probably likely that was how us foreign-types wash.
Lastly - I capitulated on something I had been taking a stand on. And I'll happily admit I was completely wrong. I have mostly avoided giving my kids peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches. Sounds disgusting to me. I've made salami or ham and cheese sandwiches instead mostly. But then they started leaving the bread. Which is not only a waste of bread and money but is bloody annoying when they say their hungry btu won't eat the bread. Today I asked my daughter what she wanted and she said PB&J. Her and her brother ate two of them - every inch of it.