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I am not ready to give her up!

It may be ridiculous, but all I can be right now is sad.

Summer hasn’t even started yet, and already it’s too short.  Two months?  That’s barely enough time to picnic, forget finishing our unpacking, fixing up the house, gardening, heading to the lake, and all the other things we want to do.  We’re going to blink and it will be time for school again.

Autumn used to be my favourite time of year.  I loved the weather, the leaves, the fact that most folk stopped coming to the lake – leaving it just for us…  I loved everything about it.  Now I’m dreading it.

Autumn this year means my baby is leaving me.  And the kicker?  I’m the one who convinced her to give grade one a try, she wanted to stay home and have me teach her.  But Ms. Jackson, the grade one teacher at Mayfair?  She’s fabulous.  Is so obviously passionate about her kids, and I just know Lily-Ann could learn so much from having her be a daily part of her life.  I’m just so not ready to give her up.  Not even close to ready.

Moving from Pre-k to Kindergarten was hard enough.  I still miss our Friday afternoons.  But the idea that come Fall I will only have my girl for a few hours every day???  It’s just too much.  I honestly cried myself to sleep last night.  It’s ridiculous, I know.  I can’t help it though.  I am not ready to give her up.

We haven’t even started Summer holidays and already I’m depressed and upset over Summer coming to an end.  How the heck am I going to make it through?  There isn’t enough time in the world to prepare me for giving up my daughter full time to the school system.  Can’t she go part time?  Honestly?  Truly?  Is that an option?  Because THAT would make it all better.

A cornball view of spirituality and a patch of dirt.

There are few things as truly good for the soul as dark rich soil and all the life contained within.  Of course, there are few things as jarring for the body as cultivating a yard gone to meadow and then planting said yard with perennials.  So while my mind and heart sing out a blissful YES, my body wimpers, sobs, and groans in protest – but it’s worth it.

One of the greatest tools for ripping apart the surface of a yard yet to become garden is the Garden Claw.  And for my parent’s purchase of said tool years ago I am grateful.  It takes some work; jabbing it into the ground, twisting and wrenching, ripping up that tough top layer filled with root and unwanted growth.  My arms were already sore from the previous begun cultivation, but without this particular tool?  I can’t imagine the work it would have been.  With all the tree roots in our yard, there was no mechanized way to really dig in – and I don’t mind having the chance to feel truly involved with this process.

There isn’t much that’s all that gratifying about jabbing, twisting, and pulling up clumps with the Garden Claw…  nor is there much to take joy in while you use your hand fork to rake through the mess pulling out unwanted plant and root – inch by inch.  Shaking loose the dirt held within each clump.  But the next step?  It makes it all worth the effort!

Feeling that dark rich soil that waited for you, hidden just beneath?  It’s pure heaven.  Watching and discovering the infinite life contained within stirs the soul in ways nothing else does.  Connecting with the Earth at the most basic level, on your hands and knees as you commit each tiny plant to it’s home.

I’m not a gardener.  I don’t know the names of all the crawling creeping things within the soil, nor do I know the names (common or proper) of the perennials we planted the last couple of days.  But I do know that we all need to find a way to connect to our Earth.  If you ever need to see deity, to feel the Earth breathe life and to know that we are all connected?  There is no simpler way to do so than to pick up a trowel and go find a patch of dirt that has been lying in wait for someone to tend it – to turn it from dirt to soil.  To create with it something amazing.

A bit cornball?  Maybe.  But that’s me.

10 Steps to a Toilet Paper Tube Starter Garden

Today we’re going to do things a little different.  Instead of just sharing a photo with you, I’ve got ten.  And the wee girlie and I, will share our steps to making your own starter garden.  No need to have a greenhouse, when you have reusable items laying around the house.

Step One:

Gather all your materials!  Lily-Ann says you’ll need “toilet paper rolls, toilet paper rolls, toilet paper rolls, toilet paper rolls.  And things to put in the toilet paper rolls: DIRT!”  But you’ll also need clear containers, scissors, and seeds.

Gather Your Materials

Step Two:

Cut the tubes!”  Roughly in half is perfect.

Cut the Tubes

Step Three:

Show off your tubes!  Okay.  LOL  You caught us.  It’s not really a step…  but the wee girlie wanted to show off the tubes she helped cut.  LOL

Show Off Your Halved Tubes

Step Four:

Lily-Ann, we can’t keep calling these steps if you’re just wanting to share pictures of what you’ve done.  Folks are going to stop reading.  We need to tell them what to do so they can plant seeds inside too.  “Okay momma.  Uno mas?”  Okay, Kid Kid, one more.

Lily's Pile of Halved Toilet Tubes

Step Five:

Snip, snip, snip the tubes.

That’s right, cut (or snip) several slits into the side of each tube half.  Cut about half way up the side, and put between four and six slits in each one.

Snip Each Halved Tube Several Times

Step Six:

Now like this…”  Lily-Ann demonstrates in the air how to fold the tubes.  “See?

A Half Tube With the Cut End Folded In

Step Seven:

I don’t remember…  You tell me Mother?”  hehehe…  Next you put the soil – “DIRT!” – yes, dirt, into each tube.  Do this AS you are folding tubes.  You need the moisture and weight of the dirt to hold the folded bottoms together.  They will just keep popping open otherwise.  Trust me, we tried folding a bunch first.  LOL  It didn’t work.

The Wee Girlie Scoops Dirt Into a Folded Tube

Step Eight:

We’re almost done.  “Now Seeds!!!”  That’s right.  Open a package of seeds, and pick out a seed.

Lily-Ann's Chosen Seeds - Sweet Peas!

Step Nine:

Put it right in the middle with dirt all around.”  Got that?  Pop a seed into the middle of each toilet paper tube starter.  Just leave it sitting out on the top.  As you’ll see from our picture, it doesn’t have to be RIGHT in the middle.  A toddlers estimation of “middle” is perfect.  🙂  And honestly?  I’m sure if one or two get stuck right on the edge of the roll they’d sprout just fine.

A Seed in Each Starter Tube

Step Ten:

Cover the seeds (if required) with a thin layer of soil, then close the containers and “Go play upstairs!

Okay, so the process is a little long to hold the rapt attention of a two and a half year old for it’s entirety.  But I thought she did pretty good.  She helped every step of the way – including uploading my photos AND writing this post.  Her exclamation of Go Play was the end though, with it, she lept off the chair and ran off to entertain herself elsewhere.

All Done!

Hope this gives you the courage to try a little repurposing of your own.  🙂  It’s super easy to take household garbage and give it a new life.  Even in a project as easy as this one.  Toilet paper rolls would have made it into our compost (where the plants would have gotten them eventually anyway) and the flimsy bakery plastic that one occasionally brings home on a whim would have ended up in a landfill.  So hold onto them next time and you’ll have a mini-greenhouse for your toilet paper tube starters.  Your own little counter top garden.

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