Monday, March 19, 2018

The Grass That Will Become Greener

Greetings faithful blog readers,

Spring break went by quickly (as all good things do), and we were able to accomplish a lot of grading, baby, and house projects. Today, we went back to work, and believe me, the 6AM alarm and our first real need to adjust to daylight savings lighting wasn't easy, but once I was back in the classroom, I was happy. Discussing Emerson and Harriet Jacobs is what Mondays were made for.

Anyway, I wanted to pop in with a few updates from the end of our spring break, and the biggest one of all is the progress we're making on the side yard. If you've been reading the blog for awhile, you know that I once (naively) believed our landscaping would be a short term project. Brendan tried to warn me of how unrealistic that was, and here we are three years later, and the yard has become a bit of a hobby horse. We spend a good deal of money and time on landscaping, but you know what? I think we both enjoy it (though I have to remind Brendan frequently not to be self-critical--we are getting things to grow in a desert, and that is a major accomplishment in my opinion!)

We focused on the back and front yards in the first two years, and only really started pondering how to fill all the space on the side of our lot last year.  You can see pictures of the mostly empty side yard here last spring. If you recall, two Aprils ago, we planted grass plugs which a few months later (and I'll admit, to my surprise) turned into actual grass. This April, we're going to be a bit busy, so I suggested that perhaps we should use spring break to make some side yard progress because I know it has been bothering Brendan. But planting grass plugs is a lot of work, and, at 37 weeks pregnant, I'm not in any state to help, so we had to call in reinforcements. Luckily, my dad was available and willing to help. Weeks before the break, Brendan started trading his gym time for side-yard prep time.

Pictured, the results of their hard labor; not pictured, how sore they both are from squatting.

Don't worry, the desert willow isn't dead. It should come back this spring along with most of the evergreens (we're a little worried about one of the four, but we're hopeful).

I hope by July we have an update with some beautiful grass and a baby sitting on it!

In other spring break news, I discovered that Torino's Pizza Bar does Saturday and Sunday brunch. Since there are only two other Sunday brunch options I know of (Wall Street Bar & Grill and Basin Burgers), this was big news that I felt wrong keeping to myself.

The food was excellent and very fairly priced, but the wait was really long (think almost an hour to get our food, even though the restaurant was almost empty). Still, I'd give it another try. They also have $4 mimosas and $8 bloody Marys (though none of us partook, so I can't comment on that).

My salad cravings continue! Butter lettuce is the new best thing to happen to lettuce. I like to buy the kind that you can pull right off the root. I made a dressing with 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 1/8 cup of sugar, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Put whatever fruit and cheese you like in the salad (strawberries, cara cara oranges, and apples here) and you've got yourself dinner. Don't forget dessert: mint chocolate chip ice cream is still my favorite these days!

Guess who helped me finish grading midterms today? Zo. 

We hope you're getting a little help today too as you ease back into the work week.


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